published Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Stupid Cupid

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about Clay Bennett...

The son of a career army officer, Bennett led a nomadic life, attending ten different schools before graduating in 1980 from the University of North Alabama with degrees in Art and History. After brief stints as a staff artist at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Fayetteville (NC) Times, he went on to serve as the editorial cartoonist for the St. Petersburg Times (1981-1994) and The Christian Science Monitor (1997-2007), before joining the staff of the ...

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carlB said...

Exactly correct. The global corporate monopolies have been taking our money and jobs, now that we are "drained dry" without ebough life sustaining jobs to keep our economy running they are not willing to help.

February 13, 2011 at 12:34 a.m.
erobersonII said...

Tax cuts aren't the problem. Rampant government pork spending and entitlement programs are the problem. Why should a single mother who paid in $900.00 in taxes get $6,000 back? Don't tell me it doesn't happen, because I fill out my stepdaughters taxes every year and it does happen. I get her what is legal, but that doesn't make it right.

February 13, 2011 at 12:44 a.m.
librul said...

Oh boo hoo. The CEO of JP Morgan Chase took home a BONUS of $17 million the year after the taxpayers gave the bank a $25 million bailout and you're bitching about a single mother getting five grand in assistance? How conservative of you!

February 13, 2011 at 1:13 a.m.
erobersonII said...

The taxpayers didn't give the CEO a bonus, the government did. There is a big difference. And no, I don't believe that was right either. I don't believe the government should have bailed out a business that was going down. I'm old enough to remember when AMC bellied up. The government didn't rescue them. I'm old enough to remember when International Harvester bellied up. The government didn't rescue them, either. The government didn't rescue Studebaker, or Hudson, or Nash. The government is not supposed to rescue business or take care of disfunctional families. The government is supposed to provide for the common defense. Read the Constitution.

February 13, 2011 at 3:29 a.m.
Francis said...

this guy won a pulitzer prize?

......the more appropriate version of this would be an arrow through the heart, with freedom or the constitution written on it, and the words obama administra- tion written on the arrow....with generous blood splatter.

leaving the tax rates as they've been under bush is not a tax cut.....it 's the fair thing to do...

we the people have PLENTY of money confiscated from us already..that includes all businesses...the government needs to learn how to spend it res- ponsibily and to cut back on waste.

carl b and librul...you're just a couple of anti-american and anti-business commy slugs.

how much money does the federal governement collect from t he tobacco companies?............or walmart.....

you libs hate the private sector and profit made in the private sector...even if those profits were not huge...which they're entitled to make..you'd bitch and moan...because you're about control..control..control...

erobpersonII is correct....

even for bennett..this a really crappy and offering..........

February 13, 2011 at 6:29 a.m.
hambone said...

How's business Francis?

February 13, 2011 at 6:37 a.m.
fairmon said...

carlB, Who are those corporate monopolies that have taken our jobs and money? What could or should they do to help us? How will they help but keep their stock holders from selling their piece of ownership and cause them to bankrupt?

If you put your money in a business where you might lose a lot or all of it what kind of return would you expect for taking that risk? Would you expect something in the range of 4% to 20% on which you will have to pay 35% taxes? The government is the entity that is scheming and dishonest when taxes are involved. They use the tax system to favor some and punish others. They hide a variety of cost in the production of goods in the U.S. which reduces their ability to export and increases the cost to American consumers who then buy imported products from countries with little to no tax on businesses. Both parties participate and many do so out of ignorance.

Too many CEOs and similar positions are over paid for the contribution they make to a companies success. However, it is a board of directors and stock holders that condone it. Do you have the same opinion about athletes and coaches compensation?

erobersonII, I agree. I know a person paying in around $1500 income tax that will get a $6700 refund. They quit their job when they reach a point that reduces the refund. They co-habit in a nice house with someone that supports them. They retain their section 8 apartment, they get food stamps, utility assistance and they have Tenncare. Their plan for the refund is to trade for a new car.

There is something wrong with people receiving a much greater refund than the taxes paid. It is a way of hiding what amounts to welfare. If they are to receive welfare keep it separate from the tax system and account for it in the budget as welfare.

I don't think the lower tax rates should have been extended for any period of time. I have no problem with taxing high personal incomes more if the greater than paid refunds and wasteful spending are also stopped but businesses should not pay higher rates.

February 13, 2011 at 6:55 a.m.
fairmon said...

What is the message in this cartoon? It seems to say that more of peoples spendable income should be confiscated to support a big and growing government. Would reduced spendable income also reduce demand? If demand is reduced will that reduce the number needed to produce the goods and services people buy? Will the inability to buy increase the number dependent on the government? Will increased dependency lead to a need to confiscate more of spendable income? What happens when the amount available to confiscate is not sufficient? Does the government just print and borrow more?

Is it better to tax all businesses or would it be wiser to have some registered as a regulated business that pays no local, state or federal taxes that hires welfare moms and others with limited skills to, for example, sew and assemble garments. Require them to pay decent wages with health care and disability insurance provided? A country paying zero wages can't off set the transportation and other cost enough to import products competitively. Garment assembly is just one example of many opportunities to employ people that will not be employed any other way. Regulations would limit profits and not prohibit exporting to avoid a trade war or being involved in trade agreements.

Radical it is but it is time to do something radically different than what we have been doing that obviously isn't working. Some say American workers are doing the high tech work and others do the low teck. How long will we kid ourselves with that political rhetoric? Didn't China just prove they can build a Stealth bomber? Didn't Airbus win a contract that Bowing was also bidding on?

The president says he plans to propose an overhaul of the corporate tax system to reduce favoritism and enable American companies to compete and export more. He plans to remove the creative ways the non manufacturing entities avoid paying taxes comparable to producers that pay up to 35% in federal taxes in addition to local and state taxes. In his words "close the loop holes" and reduce the rates to a fair level for all. We shall see if he does soon I hope.

February 13, 2011 at 7:53 a.m.
AndrewLohr said...

Do the exceptions the administration has granted to Obamacare qualify as tax cuts, Mr. Bennett?

(Or do they amount to admissions that O'care is a disaster?)

(Maybe Congress should make all exemptions to O'care automatic for everyone, so that the laws will be uniform for all and bureaucrats will not grant favors? The Epistle of James condemns favoritism.)

February 13, 2011 at 8:32 a.m.
LibDem said...

harp3339: What you say makes disturbingly good sense though I can't agree with every point.

Gov. Haslam has suggested that a large corporation like Amazon shouldn't have to collect sales tax (though, apparently, small local businesses must do so because they are, after all, small). How can you level the playing field when the great majority of people and politicians in the state are in agreement with this policy?

On a National level, how would you get the reforms you've suggested through a Congress that began fund raising in the first week of January?

The Earned Income Credits described above were intended to encourage people supporting small children to get jobs and earn some money. It was well intended but I admit to being staggered by the results. The best you can say about this now is that the money goes immediately into the economy.

February 13, 2011 at 8:49 a.m.
delmar said...

For someone as simple as I am, it is hard for me to understand why the tax code has to be so complicated. Is or would it be so hard to just have a flat tax on income? No April 15 deadlines, no mind numbing forms and calculations to try and get back as much as possible. Just a fair tax. Is that such a far fetched idea that it will never happen? I realize there is a big picture here to look at but why can't it be done, or better still why WON"T it be done?

February 13, 2011 at 8:53 a.m.
woody said...

Okay..so I get the theme of today's toon, but most of what I have read thus far is nothing more than partisan rhetoric.

Do you want to double your money?? Take it out of your pocket fold it over and then put it back in your pocket....

Do you want the government to stay out of your business dealings?? Then stop inviting them in!!

And, once again stating the obvious, if you want a better government than you have then stop voting the 'party line' and start voting for someone who might actually have your best interests at heart!!

Financially and politically speaking, "The buck starts and stops with you!!"

Good day, Woody

February 13, 2011 at 9:03 a.m.
tderng said...

Clay should have a bullet hole to a brain with the bullet having "big government" on it.That will kill the American way of life faster.That seems to be the thing some people want in this country,big government and less personal freedom.Perhaps we should be forced to go down to the government store for breakfast,oats only because eggs,bacon,breakfast cereal etc,are bad for you,and we all know that the government knows better than we the citizens whats best for us. Then at lunch we can go get our veggie only lunch(all meats are bad for you). and for supper we can go get our reward for a hard days labor,the best employees maybe get a piece of fish and two veggies. Then for our evening entertainment we get to watch opera or classical music,followed by government employees telling everyone how happy we are since we don't have to make any decisions about where our food comes from.Oh yes I forgot we must all live in the same size dwelling because the government can't show favoritism.Maybe a three bedroom two bath flat if your married with more than one child.The married with no children get a one bedroom one bath,the unmarried get an efficiency apartment.Wouldn't that be wonderful?You don't have to worry about where to work,the govt. will tell you where they have a need and thats what you will be trained to do.UTOPIA!!!!We would be the happiest people in the world!All our essential needs met,food,shelter,housing,even entertainment!What are we waiting for?Lets go!No more need for payrolls or unions because everyone gets what they need from big brother!

February 13, 2011 at 10:17 a.m.
whatsthefuss said...

I don't remember inviting government into our business dealings. I didn't hear a cry from the masses to let Lehman fail and save Goldman and Chase along with AIG. Bail out GM and let Chrysler go for $.00 on the dollar. I don't remember the people screaming for a CASH FOR CLUNKERS that did no more than move a cycle of buyers to the front and the next 6 months the dealers couldn't sell a car. The used car lots were robbed of inventory and the used car mechanic lost a large percentage of his livelihood. There are also parts manufactures that no longer have a customer for those parts they manufacture. Perhaps a wisper from the unions and a few special interest groups but no cry from the masses. I don't remember asking the government to give away $8,000 to every new home owner. Again it spurred home sales for a period but left it stagnant at best following the end of the program. Everything works in cycles and when you disrupt them there is always a downside to interfering. Ask any payday lender and they will tell you if you are willing to give money, in this case lend it, people will line up with their hand out. When China was given favorable trading status the government became involved in business. I don't remember the people asking the White House to move jobs to a country that will manufacture our products for pennies on the dollar. Again, a wisper from Corporate America, no more. It made a president and members of congress very rich but did nothing for the working American. So if your hearts bleeding on this Valentines Day, there is not much one can do. Only the rich are allowed to run for office, or the puppets that are propped up with big money behind them pulling their strings. I used to believe it began with me and you but I've lost that lovin feeling. Somehow The Days Of Wine And Roses don't smell so sweet!!

February 13, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Woody said: "Financially and politically speaking, "The buck starts and stops with you!!"

You sound a bit down this morning, Woody. Understandable, politics can do this to a person. The reality is nothing is going to change for the better in America until the middle class wakes up and realizes that they are the major “stockholders” in America.

February 13, 2011 at 10:53 a.m.
potcat said...

I know i am in a Republican state and it proves my point from above post that a cartoon about tax cuts turns out to be the poors fault.WoW Garment assembly would get these low life bottom feeders off the taxpayers back.Radical Harp real Radical only one problem WE DONT MAKE GARMENTS!The absolute best and hardest working people i have ever known worked in sewing factories. Please read in todays Business section of todays papper C3 Manufacturing decline or better yet read the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis about the PRIVITly OWnED BANKs Gambiling and the American taxpayer picking up thier well orchestrated HIEST.Read and weep inMarchs Vanity Fair WHEN IRISH EYES AER CRYING about which their banks and goverment Really SCREWED them!

February 13, 2011 at 11:20 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

In all due respect, Harp3339, sometimes I think you have no shame.

You drone on and on about some couples you know who shamelessly exploit a safety net system that was set up for children, the elderly, the disabled, and poverty level families, but never seem to say a word about the wealthy sector in this country who manipulate our laws, rules, and tax system to avoid the responsibilities they have to this country.

What about these sneaky types who hide their assets in offshore accounts to evade their fair share of taxes? Why not include a rant about these people occasionally? It’s not that long ago that they were in the news bigtime – along with their swiss bankers and swiss bank accounts:

“UBS, the largest bank in Switzerland, agreed on Wednesday to divulge the names of well-heeled Americans whom the authorities suspect of using offshore accounts at the bank to evade taxes.

The bank admitted conspiring to defraud the Internal Revenue Service and agreed to pay $780 million to settle a sweeping federal investigation into its activities. . .

Prosecutors suspect that from late 2002 to 2007, UBS helped American clients illegally hide $20 billion, letting them evade $300 million a year in taxes.

. . . UBS urged some American clients to destroy records and to stash watches, jewelry and artwork that they had bought with money hidden offshore in safe deposit boxes in Switzerland. The bank also encouraged them to use Swiss credit cards so the I.R.S. could not track purchases.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/19/business/worldbusiness/19ubs.html

February 13, 2011 at 12:09 p.m.
dude_abides said...

"If you cut the onerous taxes on business owners, they'll reinvest that surplus, thereby creating jobs!" Well, what happened? Cartier and Faberge and Louis Vuitton have done quite well while the unemployment rate has risen. Counter intuitive! Sounds like the business owners invested in self gratification rather than the USA. Obama doesn't understand that if the rich quit sitting on their hands, we will see the diamonds. While you're at work, the beneficiaries of the tax cuts are sitting in a boat the size of your house figuring out how to divide and conquer the middle class yet again with wedge issues and sound bites. However, it's nothing a little "Cairomania" won't solve.
Happy VD everyone!

February 13, 2011 at 12:20 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mr. Fuss pointed out, "Only the rich are allowed to run for office, or the puppets that are propped up with big money behind them pulling their strings."

Mountainlaurel added, "The reality is nothing is going to change for the better in America until the middle class wakes up and realizes that they are the major “stockholders” in America."

Potcat advised everyone to, "read the book The Big Short by Michael Lewis about the Privately owned banks Gambling and the American taxpayer picking up their well orchestrated Heist."

I am constantly amazed at how regular working class people, the so-called 'ham and eggers' or Joe and Jane six pack, continually buy into Republican malarkey. Since 1980 the GOP has been the party of fiscal irresponsibility and the so-called 'liberal press' has committed journalistic malpractice in not reporting how they've bankrupt America.

It's somehow noble for Republicans to demand unfunded tax cuts for the rich and then turn around and demand to cut programs that help the neediest people try and keep their heads above water.

Republicans have only one plank in the party platform: tax cuts for the rich and they will climb into any political bed to make it happen. Period. They don't care one way or the other about outlawing abortion, but they love to tease pro-life supporters to get their votes. Same with the NRA.

As "Tea Party" candidates started knocking off party approved GOP candidates in the primaries, did you see how quickly established Republicans tried to get in front of the movement?

It's not that Republicans hate the middle class. They just want the middle class to shoulder the majority of the tax burden. As billionaire Warren Buffet famously said, there's class warfare going on in America and we're winning.

One definition of Codependency "involves putting one's needs at a lower priority than others while being excessively preoccupied with the needs of others."

If you work for a living, stop allowing Republicans to rip you off. When is enough going to be ENOUGH?!

February 13, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
carlB said...

Reply: In reading the opinions, where are all of the "facts" of what really was happening and what the results were from the last administration's policies along with having the Bush tax cuts, reguardless of who the cuts were for?

When we look at how the last administration managed the wellfare of this Republic, against all practical and sensible knowledge, with the predictable outcome. Then there was the fraud occurring which was a catalysis in helping cause the failure of the financial systems in 2007.

Therefore, why is there so many differenct opinions on what the conditions of this Republic were and what needed to be done when President Obama took office to prevent another great depression?

February 13, 2011 at 1:09 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

CarlB wonders, "...where are all of the "facts" of what really was happening and what the results were from the last administration's policies along with having the Bush tax cuts, reguardless of who the cuts were for?"

Why don't you enlighten us? If you have an opinion, state it, and please present the data to back it up.

As to your last point, "Therefore, why is there so many differenct opinions on what the conditions of this Republic were and what needed to be done when President Obama took office to prevent another great depression?"

It's also possible for reasonable people to disagree. Let's see your take.

February 13, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.
carlB said...

carlB, Who are those corporate monopolies that have taken our jobs and money? What could or should they do to help us? How will they help but keep their stock holders from selling their piece of ownership and cause them to bankrupt? Username: harp3339 | On: February 13, 2011 at 6:55 a.m


Reply to harp3339: At this time it is hard to find a major company located in the USA that does not have investments in the lower monetary value countries getting their goods made for the lowest labor cost.

What is our trade deficit each month? Last month it was about $40.0 billion dollars per month.
Can you associate the trade deficit with the loss of manufacturing jobs and the loss of service jobs as more of the companies formed "joint venture" companies in the lower monetary value countries?

You might have missed this but there are many other companies that have been doing the the same thing.

Here is a surprise that kicks this country where it hurts. Look what "Intel" is doing for the educating of the Vietnam workers. Of course, Intel is not the only global corporation who might be doing this. We have educated people who need jobs created here, but when these global corporate monopolies continue to invest in manufacturing plants in the lowest wage countries and bring their workers here to get educated, then the US must not really have an education problem. It has to be the difference in our workers' wages and their benefits as compared to the workers' wages in the low monetary value countries.


Intel's Vietnam plant opens doors http://www.tennessean.com/article/201011...... Intel's decision to build the plant in a country without a world-class university, instead of India or China, jolted the global tech world when it became public knowledge four years ago.

Intel Vietnam Scholars at Portland State

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uTn44aT9......

February 13, 2011 at 1:40 p.m.
fairmon said...

mountainlaurel,

I probably shouldn't try to respond, you are impossible. If you had read all the post you would see I have no problem with higher incomes having a higher rate. I didn't say some people didn't need or shouldn't get help. Using the tax system to distribute welfare that is not accounted as welfare is unscrupulous and both parties participate.

I have said repeatedly and will repeat again that those who illegally avoid taxes should be severely punished. For example, Charlie Wrangle was "sanctioned" by congress but never charged with tax evasion. Tim Geithner says he forgot and paid up with no further problem. Those moving money with taxes due to avoid taxes should be fined and punished. Those intentionally filing a false claim should lose all their assets.

Yes, I have and I do criticize those that avoid paying taxes they owe. I totally support a bill that abolishes all deductions, reductions, incentives, penalties, grants and ear marks then sets increasing flat rates from 5% up to 50% or more. Income taxes should be filed on a post card that shows total income, taxes due, taxes paid and the net. I would prefer zero income tax as described in bill number HR-25 which is a consumption tax. Each dollar of any goods or service at the retail first time buyer price will include 22 cents federal taxes. The wealthy hate the idea since they spend more and would pay more with no means of avoiding the tax. Politicians resist it because it is hard or impossible to manipulate and is too transparent. But, think about how much revenue would come from all the illegal, work for cash, ill gotten gains, and currently avoided taxes.

I did notice you called us stock holders, I disagree with that, we are stakeholders for sure with an awful lot at stake. Let me make one thing very clear; I have no respect or value for either party including the current and prior administration. Their motivation is to be elected and have power and to hell with the country is the prevailing behavior. They are all now hollering jobs, jobs, jobs but not one meaningful viable proposal to increase employment has been offered by either party.

February 13, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.
ITguy said...

When Clinton was still president and George Bush was running for President, Bush argued that we needed to cut taxes because the Government was running a surplus (never mind the debt). He later argued that we needed to stimulate the economy. The real agenda was to cut taxes for the wealthy.

After 9/11, we launched two wars with no way to fund the effort. I am still waiting for the Neo-cons to explain how deficit spending resulting from those wars is going to trickle down and stimulate the American economy. Someone please tell me how we ever thought we could increase Military spending by 80% with no increase in taxes, and still balance the budget.

The fact of the matter is that we are spending far more than the revenue that is received from our Federal taxes. No one can dispute this. Our budget is way out of balance.

We also cannot correct the problem by simply cutting spending. It won't happen. The Republicans are trying to cut 100 Billion in discretionary spending and look at the howls. They haven't even talked about the Military, Social Security and Medicare. And guess what, you will have to address those three to come any where close to a balanced budget.

The truth is that we will have to cut spending and raise taxes. You can argue about which taxes to raise and what programs to cut, but we will have to do both. Any politician who tells you otherwise is lying.

And please don't think that you can cut spending without having an adverse effect on the economy. If Taxes hurt the economy, cuts are equally as detrimental. So, the adjustments must be gradual.

It amazes me that the Republicans are trying to convince us that by simply cutting programs for the elderly and the poor, we can balance the budget.

February 13, 2011 at 2:37 p.m.
fairmon said...

potcat,

There is still some limited garment assembly locations in the U.S. but the legislatively imposed cost to businesses make it impossible without the registration and classification process describeed, which is similar to a REIT. There are many things we no longer do that we could and should do that would allow people to make a liveable wage. Keep in mind our educational system is not cranking our 100% high tech graduates.

February 13, 2011 at 3:04 p.m.
fairmon said...

carlB,

You are right many corporations do produce in lower wage and benefit countries. Did you see the interview with the CEO of Intel when he said they had pursued building their factory in U.S. taxes but legislatively imposed cost and taxes would cost one billion more to build the same factory then they would be faced with a corporate tax rate of 35%. He openly stated on public TV It was not the difference in wages. Actually wages are a low percent of production cost. The facility, equipment, materials, taxes etc. are much larger factors.

The trade deficit reflects how much we buy from other countries versus what they buy form us. The trade deficit is skewed by oil imports but oil is imported and has to be accounted for as an import. Excluding oil we would still have a sizable deficit.

Apparently where we differ is that you don't believe most producing companies actually pay up to 35% tax on profits in the U.S. and from zero to much less in other countries. Banks, brokers, insurers are favored by the federal tax system and they do pay much less than companies like Caterpillar, Honeywell and similar producers that would hire people, export more and expand if our government treated them better. You are convinced it is all due to the wage differences but my working with international corporations convinces me it is not the wages. It is scary how little some of our members of congress know about the manufacturing business. Members of congress concentrate on the financial sector, favor them and if you saw their wealth and their investments you saw where most of their investments were.

What would you propose other than their good will at the stock holders expense to get those companies to invest the two trillion they have available to invest in America? Do you know a German broker is planning to buy the New York Stock Exchange, NYSE. Did you know China has bought and plans to buy more U.S. natural gas companies and mineral rights?

I own Intel stock. If the CEO had decided to spend one billion more than necessary to build a factory I would have voted to fire him at the next annual stock holder meeting. I refuse to be an owner and let any company use my money that is managed like our government manages.

February 13, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.
woody said...

Earlier today, Mountainlaural made this observation...

"You sound a bit down this morning, Woody. Understandable, politics can do this to a person. The reality is nothing is going to change for the better in America until the middle class wakes up and realizes that they are the major “stockholders” in America."

No Mtnlrl..it isn't politics that brings me down..it's the incessant inane rhetoric, and from both sides it appears. I know..I know..some people just have to have someone to hate in order to feel better about themselves.

Thank God..I'm not one of them..as, I am sure, neither are you.

However, you are right about one thing. "We" are the majority stockholders in this giant corporation, known as the United States of America.

Now, if "we" would only stop giving our 'voting' proxy to the wrong people....

Still smiling, Woody

February 13, 2011 at 4:51 p.m.
carlB said...

CarlB wonders, "...where are all of the "facts" of what really was happening and what the results were from the last administration's policies along with having the Bush tax cuts, reguardless of who the cuts were for?" Why don't you enlighten us? If you have an opinion, state it, and please present the data to back it up.

As to your last point, "Therefore, why are there so many differenct opinions on what the conditions of this Republic were and what needed to be done when President Obama took office to prevent another great depression"? It's also possible for reasonable people to disagree. Let's see your take. Username: blackwater48 | On: February 13, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.


Reply to blackwater48: Glad you are interested, but because my reply followed your post, it was not directed to what you wrote. I mostly always agree with you and also agreed with your post, above. Was "wondering" what I did for you to unload on me? Don't mind at all to answer your questiona.

Will answer the last question first since I was referring to the opponents of this administration. Of course as they say there are more than on to "skin a cat" but when it comes to this Republic's condition and which party has already shown poor leadership in getting the Nation in the conditions it was before Obama was even elected. This is a struggle for the good of this Republic, not a fight for which party is in control. Since the Republicans backed themselves into a corner, and this Republic is in too many unfinished critical conditions which need to be corrected, President Obama is showing the strong leadership needed. He is giving his "enemies" a way out of their "bashing" to make this Republic work instead of letting it fall into another great depression.
Unless the Republicans want this Republic to fall in another great depression as they appear to be wanting to happen since they are not helping at a time when everybody should be working together to prevent another great depression.
Getting the manufacturing jobs back in the USA, giving the US consumers the choice of buying the goods made in the USA will solve most of our problems.

Will continue with another post.

February 13, 2011 at 5:28 p.m.
EaTn said...

Woody and mountainlaural---sometimes the best fix for political depression is to step a away from it for a day or so.

February 13, 2011 at 5:38 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

CarlB, Sorry you thought I was unloading on you. I think I mentioned that it's possible for reasonable people to disagree, and I really do want to see why posters on this site believe what they do. Most decline to elaborate. Glad we mostly agree, and glad we sometimes don't.

Look forward to the rest of your post.

February 13, 2011 at 6:52 p.m.
carlB said...

Username: blackwater48 | On: February 13, 2011 at 1:29 p.m.

Continuing Reoly to blackwater48:

The differences in opinions seem to be whether to let this Nation continue to fall into another great depression or to do what Obama is doing in trying to prevent another great depression.

11 Reasons Why Companies Form Joint Ventures By Christian Fea http://ezinearticles.com/?11-Reasons-Why...

Joint venture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia JV companies are the preferred form of corporate investment but there are no separate laws for joint ventures. Companies which are incorporated in India are …

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joint_venture


What The Top U.S. Companies Pay In Taxes Christopher Helman, 04.01.10, 03:00 PM EDT How can it be that you pay more to the IRS than General Electric? http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=180848995288501&id=100000411491079

The Numbers: What are the federal government’s sources of revenue?

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/briefing-book/background/numbers/revenue.cfm

The 'American System' Means Sovereignty, Not Free Trade PHYSICAL ECONOMY -- Part II by Nancy Spannaus http://american_almanac.tripod.com/nbs2.htm


Chinese premier: U.S. dollar's supremacy a 'product of the past'

Yes, China is the "big dog" and China knows that the value of our dollar will have to decrease unless the American people help to get the US back in a balanced trade. President Obama is in need of subsidized money along with the cities, counties and the States, all of which cost the tax payers, to entice private manufacturing companies to invest in their areas for creating jobs.

China has a 10% growth, what GDP does the USA have? Where are all of the loyal private American manufacturing companies who should have some allegiances to the US? So what will happen to our dollar value while the US needs to get our manufacturing base back and preventing this Republic from getting into a great depression?

Chinese premier: U.S. dollar's supremacy a 'product of the past' By Julian Pecquet - 01 http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/138177-chinese-premier-us-dollars-supremacy-a-product-of-the-past


Answering the Deficit Spending Question Once And For All http://www.businessinsider.com/answering-the-deficit-spending-question-once-and-for-all-2010-6 Mark Lawrence | Jun. 22, 2010, 7:49 AM

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/answering-the-deficit-spending-question-once-and-for-all-2010-6#ixzz157pIZKx2 Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/answering-the-deficit-spending-question-once-and-for-all-2010-6#ixzz157mlMriR

February 13, 2011 at 6:55 p.m.
fairmon said...

carlB,

You are right, getting manufacturing jobs that pay decent wages while reducing real unemployment/underemployment from over 20% to around 5% or less and ending two unnecessary wars that will not make us safer are two key economic improvements. We can't keep policing the world and spending 700 billion a year on defense. We can't afford 500 billion a year or more in welfare when the alternative minimum tax refunds are included. We are paying 200 billion a year for government pensions but our representatives never mention that but are anguishing over social security.

I am serious when I ask how would you increase demand and have companies invest, build and grow in America. We need them to do that and hire Americans to make American goods and provide services from America. I hang up when I get a poor English speaking response when I make a service call.

I think I know how to do that but most people posting don't seem to agree. I wonder how many have held corporate level positions in a major international manufacturing operation? I wonder how many have coped with low level bureaucrats that have no business experience that put their own personal and costly twist on regulations? I wonder how many have had to approve for payment the taxes they think corporations don't pay? I wonder how many have gone to the SEC web site and looked at financial filings?

February 13, 2011 at 7:15 p.m.
ITguy said...

Harp,

I support an abolition of the corporate tax, if we increase the personal income tax. Corporations are nothing more than a collection of individuals. We need to make it easy to form corporations that hire people.

February 13, 2011 at 7:45 p.m.
carlB said...

Gov. Haslam has suggested that a large corporation like Amazon shouldn't have to collect sales tax (though, apparently, small local businesses must do so because they are, after all, small). How can you level the playing field when the great majority of people and politicians in the state are in agreement with this policy?

LibDem | On: February 13, 2011 at 8:49 a.m.

Reply to LibDem:

I'm glad you have mentioned the tax deal with Amazon. You should have referenced the article in Friday's, February 11,2011 CTFP on the left top of page C2. The title is "Amazon Closing Center amid tax Flap." The Amazon center is located at Austin, Texas. This Amazon artical is an interesting read and appears to be directly related to the artical in Saturday's CTFP article on front page A1 concerning Gov. Haslam's interest in Amazon not collecting the sales tax. There appears to be a story involved with Amazon locating in Tennessee and why they are leaving Texas?

February 13, 2011 at 7:47 p.m.
carlB said...

Username: carlB | On: February 13, 2011 at 1:40 p.m.

Reply: The information to the Intel sites did not work. Hope these will.

Intel opens plants in Vietnam, China Published: Saturday, October 30, 2010, 8:47 AM By Bloomberg News

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2010/10/intel_opens_plants_in_vietnam.html

Intel opens Vietnamese testing facility http://www.bit-tech.net/news/bits/2010/11/01/intel-opens-vietnamese-testing-facility/1

February 13, 2011 at 8:43 p.m.
trburrows said...

happy valentines day tomorrow libs. hope its a great day for all. come tuesday, the gloves come back off.

February 13, 2011 at 8:50 p.m.
carlB said...

You are right many corporations do produce in lower wage and benefit countries. Did you see the interview with the CEO of Intel when he said they had pursued building their factory in U.S. taxes but legislatively imposed cost and taxes would cost one billion more to build the same factory then they would be faced with a corporate tax rate of 35%. He openly stated on public TV It was not the difference in wages. Actually wages are a low percent of production cost. The facility, equipment, materials, taxes etc. are much larger factors.

harp3339 | On: February 13, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.

Yes it would have been better if I had said the total lower cost of getting the global corporate monopolies goods manufactured in the lower monetary value countries.

My bottom line opinion about the imported goods is that the higher the unemployment rate rises, the less money the people have to buy any goods.
Maybe you have an opinion on what happens to to the "markets" when this Republic reaches this critical point.

February 13, 2011 at 9:07 p.m.
trburrows said...

last year i retired from a fortune 400 company in 22 countries with 7.5 billion in yearly sales. i did the purchasing for raw materials and negotiated national contracts for usa plants. the major reason to move a plant to mexico and asia is salary and benefits. we can get a plant manager in mexico for the price of a floor sweeper in usa. second is tax savings.

February 13, 2011 at 9:46 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

ITGuy said: “When . . . George Bush was running for President, Bush argued that we needed to cut taxes because the Government was running a surplus (never mind the debt). He later argued that we needed to stimulate the economy. The real agenda was to cut taxes for the wealthy.”

There always seems to be a hidden agenda – the latest involves bankruptcies and another Bush. When George W. Bush was president, the Republicans passed a sweeping bankruptcy law, which made it very difficult for people to file bankruptcy. At the time, the Republicans claimed it was needed because of fraudulent, abusive and opportunistic bankruptcy claims.

The fact that studies - including an in-depth by Harvard University medical and legal scholars – found that more than half of bankruptcies in the U. S. cited medical issues as the major contribution factor in bankruptcies didn’t seem to matter. The only thing that matter was that banks wanted it.

Today, former President Bush’s brother, Jeb Bush, is running around the country with Newt Gingrich essentially encouraging States to go bankrupt. Bush and Gingrich claim it’s needed to avoid Federal bailouts, but in reality it’s about giving states a way to avoid honoring their contractual obligations with their employees – now talk about abusive and opportunistic bankruptcy claims.

February 13, 2011 at 10:51 p.m.
fairmon said...

trburrows,

Most corporations locating in Mexico or another country send an American manager and other management to manage their operation. Those managers are paid their regular salary plus other considerations to relocate. A driver in many instances is to produce what you sell in a country in that country. Some have a law that only an amount equal to that produced in a country may be imported from another country. Your company may have been different but with all due respect I don't recall a purchasing person in our decision making meetings. I know wages were of little consequence in the decision with much less impact on unit cost than several other factors such as taxes and transportation cost for the finished product and the materials required to produce it. Regulations and government mandated items did have an impact. When you consider what percent of unit cost is wages they really aren't a significant factor although many company employees and politicians insist they are. Our experience with the Mexican work force was not good. Have you seen the number that are returning production to the U.S. from Mexico. I think Whirlpool may be one of the largest recently announcing their decision to do that.

February 13, 2011 at 11:15 p.m.
SavartiTN said...

I somehow think it odd that just as our country is suffering it's greatest financial need, they reduce taxes. Something is seriously counter intuitive with that. Especially since it seems that everyday the news talks about record profits for big corporations but also talk about how they aren't hiring.

They've figured out that they can make the money and keep it, too.

February 13, 2011 at 11:17 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

The future of manufacturing in America? I think the future is so bleak we'll need (solar powered) klieg lights just to see tomorrow.

We are still number one but other countries are gaining fast. We've already given up on producing goods with thin profit margins, but U.S. manufacturing is still thriving on high-tech products. We need to capitalize on that.

The next wave appears to be alternative energy. China has already adopted the Pickens Plan but we languish in the dead sea of gasoline and fossil fuels. I believe we should be gearing up for the Green Wave, through R & D investment and tax incentives for entrepreneurs. It should be our national priority. It could be the key to restoring our global dominance.

Unfortunately, Republicans see this as a partisan issue. I believe they see themselves as Patriots, but they act like a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Oil.

More than likely it's just politics. The GOP Congressional strategy, confirmed by public pronouncement, is to make Obama a one-term President. That's it. That is Republican job one, but trying to accomplish that has nothing to do with what's best for America.

Lucky for the GOP, most Democrats are weanies. Some of you think Obama is a megalomaniac, but hard core liberals think he's weak. He didn't fight for single payer, he didn't fight for limiting tax cuts on the first $250,000 of income for ALL AMERICANS, he didn't fight for a stimulus package big enough to really impact the economy.

Too often, liberals believe, he compromised with Republicans before negotiations even began and caved into their demands without ever drawing a line in the sand.

Even hard core Democrats would be hard pressed to tell you what Obama really stands for. There is no "Obama Doctrine."

Our economy is driven by consumer spending, not the rich getting richer. But given our current political quagmire, there's is little hope of anything productive happening anytime soon.

The economy is showing faint signs of life and they topped 12,000 on Wall Street again, but the recovery is too slow.

In the mean time, liberals and conservatives continue to snipe at each other In Congress, on the 24-hour cable news channels, in forums like this one, at the water cooler, in bars, at parties, and don't forget the blogs and 'social media.'

We seem to be, politically, hell bent on racing to the bottom as quickly as possible.

February 13, 2011 at 11:35 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Harp, thanks for your post responding to Burrows' statement: "the major reason to move a plant to mexico and asia is salary and benefits."

It didn't sound right to me but what do I know? Great information and a great post.

February 13, 2011 at 11:47 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Krugman has posted a mini list of cuts the Republicans are pushing. Interesting to see what a group that insists on tax cuts for the Nation's wealthiest 1% feels we can do without:

WIC 1008 million Food for Peace 544 million
 Nuclear nonproliferation 648 million
 
FEMA, various, around 1.2 billion
 EPA clean water and drinking water about 1.8 billion
 Community health centers 1.3 billion Centers for disease control 900 million

WIC is nutritional aid for pregnant women and women with young children; let’s cut that, because the damage to the nation from malnourishment is a problem for future politicians. NOAA is weather and climate — hey, what we don’t know can’t hurt us. Nuclear nonproliferation — well, we probably won’t feel the pain of a terrorist nuke assembled from old Soviet fissile material for a couple of years. FEMA — well, how often do hurricanes hit New Orleans? CDC — with luck, by the time plague hits someone else can be blamed.”

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/12/eat-the-future/

February 14, 2011 at midnight
blackwater48 said...

Another great post, Mountainlaurel. Glad I'm not the only one who can't sleep tonight!

I try to read Krugman but he tends to only deepen my depression and confirm my darkest fears. Thank for the recap.

February 14, 2011 at 12:09 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Blackwater48 said: "I try to read Krugman but he tends to only deepen my depression."

Yes, Krugman can do this. But maybe this will cheer you up. [grin] One of my favorite bloggers economists, Dean Baker, is co-author of an interesting article on “reindustrializing” America. He believes renewable engery products will lead us in the right direction. It’s a lengthy 32 page article, but a worthy read whenever you have a chance:

“Reindustrializing America: A Proposal for Reviving U.S. Manufacturing and Creating Millions of Good Jobs"

The U.S. economy faces enormous questions and challenges in attempting to recover from the collapse of 2008-2009. Some of the most pressing questions are short-term and cyclical: When will unemployment start falling? When will banks start lending at reasonable levels for productive purposes? At what level will the housing market stabilize and foreclosures fall off? Can an overall economic upswing be sustained?

But equally daunting are a series of longer- term, structural challenges: Can we establish a growth engine driven by something other than financial bubbles? Can we renew the automobile industry and, more generally, rees- tablish a healthy manufacturing sector? Can we accomplish these various tasks while also rebuilding the economy on a new foundation of clean energy as opposed to fossil fuel energy sources? Are all of these projects also compat- ible with expanding decent job opportunities throughout the U.S. economy? Addressing these longer-term challenges is the overarching theme on which we focus in this paper.

We begin by examining these questions within the general context of debates around public investment and industrial policy. This includes a brief review of the longstanding question as to whether public investments in the traditional areas of transportation, energy, and water management divert scarce resources that would otherwise be available to private investors, or whether these public investments create a nurturing environment that encourages more spending by private investors. We conclude from our review of this evidence that a large-scale commitment to public investment projects that are well- designed and implemented does indeed provide a crucial foundation supporting the healthy long-term growth of private investment, in addition to much higher levels of public safety and amenities. . . “

http://www.peri.umass.edu/fileadmin/pdf/other_publication_types/magazine___journal_articles/final_Spring_2010_Pollin.pdf

February 14, 2011 at 12:48 a.m.
Francis said...

krugman! ...oh ,yeah..whenever i see his column in the paper i make sure his photo by his column is face up at the bottom of my bird's cage in the center.... direct hit every time. splat!! he's not recognizable quickly..

krugman is a depressing, anti-capitalist and a lover of big governement soaking tax payers......he's a socialist or a facist...who would rather cut off his you know what than allow tax payers to keep more of what they earn. he's an elitest and a punk sitting in his ivory tower in academia.....awarding him a noble prize was just as assanine as awarding one to obama.....the noble prize now carries about as much credibility and prestige as a prize from a crackerjack box.

krugman has open disrespect for freedom, freedom of speech and individual liberty..

you libs love all that academic gobbledygoo.....you get a tingle up your leg when you read it or hear it.....oooooo...wow...he's a professor.....it's just so..so..complicated......we dumb asses out here......just don't understand.. we just don't understand......we should just sit back and let those noble prize winners and professors play with us like we're pawns..

anyone who quotes krugman has no credibility......it's nauseating.... and speaks to their lack of respect for freedom.

and that's you , mountainlaurel...

you facist/communist leaning liberals are sickening..you make life depressing with your lack of respect for individual liberty.

move to another country....i'm sick of you trying to make america into norway sweden or some other damn socialist hole.

February 14, 2011 at 2:15 a.m.
woody said...

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY EVERYONE!!!

And, specifically to Francis, even though the heart isn't really heart-shaped, and is full of all sorts of 'ooshy-gooshy' things like aortas and such, don't give up on the fact that someone (Lord knows where) out there actually loves and cares for you and would really feel special today if you were to turn your attentions toward them and give up ranting and raving for just a single day out of your seemingly miserable life.

Though, if naught else is true, God loves you, Woody

February 14, 2011 at 6:46 a.m.
Sailorman said...
February 14, 2011 at 7:04 a.m.
fairmon said...

Francis

Personal attacks probably won't influence anyone. I often understand your point but Mntlaurel and others provide a perspective to consider also. The opinions expressed here will not affect what happens in D.C., local or state politics. It does help us understand how other people think and how their views may permeate throughout the country. We can express our opinion on an issue and why we hold it without personal attacks and name calling. If your objective is to vent frustration I guess your post may do that.

Keep in mind very few people have owned or experienced being responsible for profits and meeting the payroll of a personally owned business. Fewer have been responsible for meeting the requirements of stock holders, stake holders, a board of directors plus local, state and federal governments that view them as revenue sources above and beyond the jobs they provide. This lack of business acumen prevails in most political bodies and is evident in both parties in congress.

Most people fail to differentiate between the highly paid executives in a company and the companies bottom line. It is evident executives are often compensated beyond their value. Excessive executive compensation has an effect similar to taxes on the business. Excessive compensation and taxes increases what we pay for the goods and services produced or provided.

People are heavily influenced by political leaders, print and TV journalist, economist and financial advisers that never hesitate to opine what governments and businesses should do about any issue. Have you noticed anyone with name recognition has or will be having a book published? I wonder what people think the authors motivation is?

February 14, 2011 at 7:27 a.m.
trburrows said...

it is clear that most here dont know what cost vs sales mean. while you think all companies send manager to mexico, we dont. we have district ones who handle several plantsl. salary and benefits are tremendous costs. if you have never been in this position, im wasting my time. also, why would you not send in a person who can get you raw materials at the best price now? someone here said it right, very few will ever be in that position and will never understand.

February 14, 2011 at 9:06 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Mountainlaurel wrote, "Krugman has posted a mini list of cuts the Republicans are pushing." A link to the full article was provided so you could read it for yourself.

Harp pointed out to Francis that, "Personal attacks probably won't influence anyone. I often understand your point but Mntlaurel and others provide a perspective to consider also."

Francis prefers a big government approach to clamping down on the freedom of speech: "you facist/communist leaning liberals are sickening..you make life depressing with your lack of respect for individual liberty. move to another country....i'm sick of you trying to make america into norway sweden or some other damn socialist hole."

Francis is the living embodiment of the adage, 'a little knowledge is dangerous.'

One thing Francis has in abundance: little knowledge. Oh, and opinions marinated in bile and sauteed with pointless rage.

February 14, 2011 at 9:17 a.m.
trburrows said...

yea but he sure can make me laugh when you people depress me with links to hard facts.

February 14, 2011 at 9:23 a.m.
whatsnottaken said...

Puke. Yep, Clay and his tax-me-to-spend-on-deadbeats philosophy is a wonderful Valentine's Day present for bleeding hearts everywhere.

February 14, 2011 at 9:46 a.m.
carlB said...

I am serious when I ask how would you increase demand and have companies invest, build and grow in America. We need them to do that and hire Americans to make American goods and provide services from America. I hang up when I get a poor English speaking response when I make a service call.

I think I know how to do that but most people posting don't seem to agree. I wonder how many have held corporate level positions in a major international manufacturing operation? I wonder how many have coped with low level bureaucrats that have no business experience that put their own personal and costly twist on regulations? I wonder how many have had to approve for payment the taxes they think corporations don't pay? I wonder how many have gone to the SEC web site and looked at financial filings? Username: harp3339 | On: February 13, 2011 at 7:15 p.m.


Reply to harp3339: It's hard to follow up on your questions. I have expressed many times what my opinions are of what has occurred to cause the financial conditions, causes of high unemployment, what happened after our "leaders" approved and continue approving trade agreements with the lower monetary value countries, the causes of losing our manufacturing base economy while turning into a service-debt-consumer based economy. In other words, on the unsustainable path of "racing to the bottom" when we are running the high trade deficit with the "global corporate monopolies" producing, getting the goods that we buy manufactured, using the lowest labor possible, in the countries with lower monetary value than the monetary value of our dollar. Many people might agree or do not agree that the "Capitalist" have the right to do their business as usual when they leave this Nation to do their business. In the situation we have now it has taken a lot of years, a lot of lobbying and misleading information about our "free trade" to get us to where we are today. The President is talking now about his new budget.

February 14, 2011 at 10:30 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

Only a true Republican would see a 3% increase on income ABOVE $250K as unnecessary hardship, but cutting aid to the poor as Liberty incarnate.

What did Jesus say? "If there is a poor man among your brothers in any of the towns of the land that the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward your poor brother. There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land."

How about, "He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."

One more for the road: "Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy."

Slash away, oh GOP, rain oppression on the poor. But remember what Marley's ghost said when Scrooge asked why he wore chains:

"I wear the chain I forged in life,' replied the Ghost.I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it. Is its pattern strange to you?'"

Party on.

February 14, 2011 at 10:35 a.m.
carlB said...

Username: blackwater48 | On: February 14, 2011 at 10:35 a.m

Reply to blackwater48: Have you read my opinion on why cutting taxes for the people to spend the money in helping create jobs here in the USA?
It goes like this; When our large volume retail stores' shelves are full of the global corporate monopolies' imported manufactured goods instead of "Made in the USA," the money that is spent does not create manufacturing jobs in the US.

February 14, 2011 at 10:50 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

CarlB, I totally agree.

That being said, seventy percent of our economy is consumer driven. Having more money in the hands of working people to spend is the fuel that keeps the engine running.

How does increasing taxes three percent on incomes over $250K put the brakes on that? Tax cuts for the rich usually goes into tax shelters.

I know I'm painting with a broad brush, but that's what many economists believe. It's what I believe, too.

U.S. manufacturers have given up producing goods with small profit margins. How do you convince them that competing against lower wage countries is a sound business plan?

February 14, 2011 at 11:28 a.m.
Francis said...

blackwater..kiss my ***...you're so-called knowledge is simply an elaborate run-around that always leads back to the same thing...control the people, take what they earn and dictate how they will live.....you libs sicken me to no end........your sophistry laden posts are an absolute joke....the bottom line is you have no respect for individual liberty.....you don't impress me with your posts....it's all the same...big wooop..

February 14, 2011 at 12:29 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Francis said, "blackwater..kiss my ***"

On Valentine's Day no less. Yikes!

February 14, 2011 at 12:44 p.m.
Francis said...

it's an utter waste of time to go back and forth with liberals on here..total waste

you know what you want, we know what you want.....so cut the crap..

your agenda is about reducing freedoms, attacking individual liberty, control, control..control........

you don't need to be debated on here..just called out for what you are.

bennett's cartoon is a bad piece of propaganda....not worthy of a middle-school newspaper...yet you lib slugs go gaga over it...

get out of this country..it's not for you. go t o norway and have the governement tax you at 75% or whatever the hell it is.....and have them pick out a car for you.

you're not americans...real americans will not tolerate the loss of freedom...real americans cannot, i repeat , cannot be communists........the only logical conclusion to what you want is communism...

February 14, 2011 at 12:48 p.m.
canarysong said...

Catching up on the posts on this thread, I am struck by something. Forgive me for going off topic.

Despite the fact that media pundits are getting rich dividing us with inflammatory rhetoric, politics (that work) is not about 'us' and 'them', it is about woking together for the betterment of society. We all want basically the same things: security, opportunity, prosperity, justice, freedom, and a better future. Though there may be slight differences in how we define those concepts, the differences are really just that....slight. I further believe that even most conservatives want these things not just for themselves, but for everyone. Where we differ is how we think those things might best be accomplished.

Now to my point: We cannot get there at all if we do not learn to listen to each other and to work together. While we are not going to solve the nation's (or the world's) problems here on this forum, our dialogue cannot help but have a ripple effect that colors our attitudes, our interactions with others, and (significantly) the choices we make in the voting booth. What are we here for, to denigrate anyone who thinks differently, or to see if we might learn something?

Francis' 2:15am post (and the ones that followed) is a pointed example of the hateful and divisive spewing of insults that serves no productive purpose. Blackwater48 generously described it as based on "little information", but let's be real, it most often seems based on no information at all.

Contrast this with harp3339's 7:27am post. Harp, who I also often disagree with, knows how to listen and how to disagree respectfully. His opinions are based on personal experience and on real information, and his posts are well-reasoned. This is a platform from which productive dialogue is possible.

What we say here does matter. It both reflects and helps shape who we are and how we behave in other parts of our lives. The huge challenges we now face are SHARED by us all. And we won't be able to deal with them effectively unless we can learn to work together. Are we waiting for a perfect leader to inspire us? Maybe WE need to start setting the example and call for our elected representatives to follow it. We may still fall into a bit of snarkiness now and then, but let it be more of the type that we experience with our friends and family; those with whom we may disagree, but that we still care for, regardless.

BTW; I hope that everyone, especially those that use the Christian bible as their moral guide, pays close attention to blackwater48's excellent 10:35 post.

February 14, 2011 at 1:17 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

Francis explained, "you don't need to be debated on here..."

I'm sorry, I missed that part. Debated? Your spittle drenched rants are not in the same area code as 'debate.'

Look it up. While you're at it, check out "Freedom of speech."

For instance, I would never demand that you leave America and go to another country. Our foreign relations are strained enough, but I certainly enjoy your contributions to this post.

I can't help but wonder if you are secretly punking us, serving up steaming piles of sarcasm for everyone's amusement. No other explanation makes sense.

February 14, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.
potcat said...

... You have no respect for individual liberty...Francis, what Planet are you living on? Liberty seems to mean a lot to you. Freedom from restaint or restriction is the definition of the word Liberty. Sorry to inform you Francis but we in America have not had individual freedom in Oh lets see ... NEVER... We are restrained and restricted from birth till death in every manner be it laws or culture.Thats not always a bad thing but lets get Real. This Liberalcommie control freak is all about indidual freedom and a hell of a lot more of it.

February 14, 2011 at 1:33 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Blackwater48 said: "Only a true Republican would see a 3% increase on income ABOVE $250K as unnecessary hardship, but cutting aid to the poor as Liberty incarnate. What did Jesus say?”

It seems to me that it's less than Christian to blame children, poverty level families, the unemployed and the elderly on social security for the bad acts and decisions of war mongering and financially irresponsible politicians who are directly responsible for our current economic crisis.

Having said this, I would to add another quote to Blackwater48's fine list. This biblical verse is from the old Hebrew bible:

"Don't point your finger at someone else and try to pass the blame!" [Hosea 4:4]

This biblical verse was intended for those in leadership positions. The intended lesson was rather straightforward: If you’re a leader, don’t point your finger at the people you’re supposed to be leading. Look in the mirror – accountability will most likely be there.

February 14, 2011 at 2:11 p.m.
carlB said...

CarlB, I totally agree.

That being said, seventy percent of our economy is consumer driven. Having more money in the hands of working people to spend is the fuel that keeps the engine running.

How does increasing taxes three percent on incomes over $250K put the brakes on that? Tax cuts for the rich usually goes into tax shelters.

I know I'm painting with a broad brush, but that's what many economists believe. It's what I believe, too.

U.S. manufacturers have given up producing goods with small profit margins. How do you convince them that competing against lower wage countries is a sound business plan? Username: blackwater48 | On: February 14, 2011 at 11:28 a.m.


Reply to blackwater48: You and I are off the same thought process relating to the tax cuts for the rich and the lower class "masses" spending their money. Rich people buy imported goods also and the principle is the same when they spend it on imported goods.
At the best, getting the manufacturing jobs back in the US is going to be a slow process. My point was, when the people only have the choice to spend money for imported goods being made outside this Nation, is there any doubt that this is an unsustainable condition? It might keep some of the high volume service retail stores in operation, but evently more jobs will disappear it will be "winner take all" as the money continues to dry up since the number of workers will decrease, if there are not more manufacturing jobs created here, employing the workers, making the goods we need to buy.

Unless we get our balance of manufacturing and service jobs back in balance, along with balance our trade deficit the choice of what will occur will be out of our control. If the US people don't have money to continue buying imports, then what happens to the global corporate monopolies goods being made for the US consumers? What I have be saying is that the US consumers can help speed the change needed for balancing the trade deficit, and getting the private sectors to invest in manufacturing plants here, if they use discretion when buying imported goods, keeping in mind that when they buy imported goods, especially manufactured goods, they could be causing much higher unemployment and the lost of their jobs. There will have to be "compromises" made by everybody but I don't believe the people realize what these compromises and sacrifices will consist of or will be yet? Right now the opponents of President Obama are wanting all of the blame for our financial and jobs conditions to fall on his back, but the more we see what the private enterprise sectors have done to create this situation. Rhen we are having to provide them subsidies and for getting them to even consider locating their manufacturing plants in our area just to create jobs.

February 14, 2011 at 6:09 p.m.
pmcauley said...

I don't think people disagree with the idea that the more money people have the more they spend. This would help the economy. Agreed. There is no evidence that cutting corporate taxes leads to an actual overall increase in jobs. The theories are great but please provide some evidence.

I don't trust businesses. They are made of people who are for the MOST part selfish.
Francis: Conscience is not the fear of God it’s the fear of the police, therefore we need more government oversight NOT less. We had little oversight during the corporate plundering days of Bush and almost had a depression. The evidence I see leads toward increased government monitoring, not less.

pm

February 14, 2011 at 6:49 p.m.
trburrows said...

We had little oversight during the corporate plundering days of Bush and almost had a depression.

ha, almost had a depression...... obama comes on and we do have one. and he cant shake it loose. thanks you prove our point

February 14, 2011 at 7:42 p.m.
pmcauley said...

TRB: We're not in a depression, thank you President Obama.

Ask your grandparents or parents, I think they’ll tell you what a depression is.

pm

February 14, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.
fairmon said...

More spendable money in the hands of consumers will help those countries we import from. Many food products are now imported, check as you buy and don't be fooled by packaged in the U.S. which is better than packaged elsewhere but packaged in the U.S. indicates it is not U.S. sourced. Until American made products can compete with imports or people refuse to buy imports no amount of stimulus money or tax reductions will improve our economy.

Remember the big banks and other financial institutions were the culprits. GM financial business helped take them down in addition to the economic collapse caused by banks, Fannie and Freddie. GE had a big financial arm also. Don't lump those making tractors, electronics and other manufacturers in with those that Barney Franks and a few others insisted make high risk loans,

We shouldn't lump all businesses in the "they are crooks" category when most make every effort to do right and obey the rules. Without supplying a name to avoid being viewed as supporting the other party a national politician was asked about the U.S. having the highest corporate tax rate in the world. His clipped response was "They all seem to be doing OK the way it is". It is bad that we run them out of the country but even worse is when they go bankrupt and their sales are absorbed by a foreign owned business.

February 14, 2011 at 8:31 p.m.
Clara said...

"Puke. Yep, Clay and his tax-me-to-spend-on-deadbeats philosophy is a wonderful Valentine's Day present for bleeding hearts everywhere. Username: whatsnottaken | On: February 14, 2011 at 9:46 a.m."

I do wish you would stop generalizing the population that is on welfare, Soc. Sec. etc. Some are deadbeats, for sure, but I'm quite aware that there are many INDIVIDUALS who honestly deserve and need the help these programs give.

I know of several, personally, that use some of their meagre benefits to help others.

February 14, 2011 at 8:44 p.m.
trburrows said...

pm im in a depression. a depression is when a person is depressed. and obama did it. i had plenty of money on bush's watch. nobody has any money now, so they say.

February 14, 2011 at 8:45 p.m.

pmcauley wrote: “There is no evidence that cutting corporate taxes leads to an actual overall increase in jobs. The theories are great but please provide some evidence.”

"U.S. Effective Corporate Tax Rate on New Investments: Highest in the OECD," by Duanjie Chen and Jack Mintz, Tax & Budget Bulletin no. 62, May 5, 2010 (http://www.cato.org/pubs/tbb/tbb_62.pdf) (Additional studies cited within this one.)

This was a good take on the president’s budget announcement:

“New Era of Big Government” by Tad DeHaven http://www.downsizinggovernment.org/new-era-big-government

“The George W. Bush administration ushered in a new era of big government. The Obama administration has built on Bush's profligacy, and the president's new fiscal 2012 budget proposal would further cement the trend …

“While the president would like the country to believe he’s found religion on spending cuts, he’s actually relying on a rosy economic forecast and sucking more money out of the private sector to reduce annual deficits.

“Taking more money from the productive private economy to maintain destructively high levels of federal spending is not a recipe for economic growth. Therefore, this budget proposal is as dangerous as it is disingenuous. Fortunately, it’s also dead on arrival in the Republican-controlled House.”

February 14, 2011 at 8:58 p.m.
trburrows said...

wwwtw when i saw pm's post i knew people would be all over it. he's been on an island for a few years. everyone knows that is exactly how you creat jobs fast. great post and come back.

February 14, 2011 at 9:08 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

Looks like another so called "fiscal hawk" got his comeuppance – and rightfully so. This time it’s Republican Representative Leonard Lance of New Jersey:

“Okay, this one is funny. As you know, Dems . . . have been loudly insisting that House Republicans in favor of repealing the Affordable Care Act should forego the "government run" insurance they enjoy as members of Congress.

One of those GOPers is Rep. Leonard Lance of New Jersey, a fiscal hawk who opposes the health reform law out of opposition to big government.

He is in the crosshairs of an ad by Blue America PAC accusing him of enjoying taxpayer-funded insurance. After that ad started running, Lance's office protested that he is not enrolled in the plan enjoyed by members of Congress, and successfully got the ad pulled. . .

But it turns out he receives medical care for practically nothing, thanks to the taxpayers of New Jersey. Lance receives family health coverage that is free except for co-pays, the state Department of Treasury confirmed Friday.

The former state senator, assemblyman . . . qualified for retirement in 2006, his 25th year of service. He retired in January 2009, when he moved on to Washington, and enrolled in the state's free health plan for retirees.

The family plan Lance is enrolled in is the most expensive of the 10 options available. His coverage costs $1,906.42 per month, or $22,877.04 per year.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/02/house_goper_who_said_no_to_con.html

“House GOPer against big government health care enjoys taxpayer-funded state government insurance” [Washington Post – Greg Sargent]

February 14, 2011 at 10:06 p.m.
carlB said...

I don't think people disagree with the idea that the more money people have the more they spend. This would help the economy. Agreed. There is no evidence that cutting corporate taxes leads to an actual overall increase in jobs. The theories are great but please provide some evidence.

I don't trust businesses. They are made of people who are for the MOST part selfish Username: pmcauley | On: February 14, 2011 at 6:49 p.m.


Reply to pmcauley: Well you never know who has cause to be greedy or selfish.

The old saying about people "spending all the money they make" can vary from time to time during their life which might relate to how much money the people are making and their cost of living. While the USA was reaching it's peak wages and manufacturing before the "global economy" started causing the "race to the bottom," continuing to reach it's negative effect on this Nation and other European countries, there was a period of about forty - fifty years that people had better jobs then the younger people do now. This is because of the global economy and the cost of living increases for these people. Many of these people are retired and still living. The Real Population Problem: Too Few Working, Too Many http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/144340/the_real_population_problem_too_few_working_too_many_retired/

Retired people might be making more and paying more taxes than the masses of the unemployed and the workers under employed and the workers making the lower wages while helping prevent a higher anual deficit? Along with this, just think if the retired people had the choices to buy the manufactured goods made in the USA, they would help create many more manufacturing jobs here.

You can see why it is important to get back our manufacturing jobs. More jobs here would also help in other situations.

Don't take me wrong on the tax cuts on families making greater than $250,000 thousand dollars. I am/was against extending their tax cuts another year

February 14, 2011 at 10:30 p.m.
blackwater48 said...

pmcauley wrote: “There is no evidence that cutting corporate taxes leads to an actual overall increase in jobs.”

He's right.

WWWTW and his brother-in-arms, TRBurrows, believe that jobs are created when corporate taxes are cut. To the credit of Mr. World, he did try to provide "evidence."

He produced an article from the Cato Institute advocating Corporate Tax Reform. I read it over and never came to the job creation part. I admit that I tend to skim and could have easily overlooked it. I'm getting older so please cut and paste the evidence of job creation as it relates to corporate tax reform. I would love to see it because I have never seen any before.

According to Deutsche Bank, economists estimated that corporate profits rose to $1.68 TRILLION in the third quarter of 2010, the highest in history. This is not an anomaly or a blip on the radar. Since the fourth quarter of 2008, profits grew for six consecutive quarters at the fastest rate in corporate profit history.

At the World Economic Council recently, Jamie Dimond, Chairman and CEO of JP Morgan, mentioned that banks aren't lending as much to corporations these days because so many companies are "sitting on piles of cash."

And yet unemployment is still high. Companies are not hiring back many workers even though they are treading water in a sea of money. Why would they suddenly start hiring if corporate rates were reduced a little or even a lot? That is not a rhetorical question.

Let me beat the Economics 101 drum yet again: Seventy percent of the American economy is driven by consumer spending.

February 14, 2011 at 10:58 p.m.
pmcauley said...

I don't think monitoring business is the cause for increase "effective" taxes, though the article does not have a clear definition of effective, it's the relentless trip to the trough the politicians make. They do this to get reelected. It is tacitly assumed if the budget is larger it's because there is more government, maybe it should not be permitted to attached unrelated riders to every piece of legislation.

The banks have made obscene profits, has it even trickled down to the their own employees? Banks have profitted, did they help all the people who lost their homes? It's not communism or socialism, it's looking out for your fellow American. It's called decency.

February 14, 2011 at 11:08 p.m.
SCOTTYM said...

mtnlrl,

R.E. your 10:06 post

What, exactly, does the fact that Rep. Lance uses a STATE run health insurance program offered by the STATE which he served for 25 years, have to do with his opposition to the FEDERAL health reform farce?

This shows a fundamental misunderstanding on the part of the left about why those of us who oppose FEDERAL control of our health care decisions do so.

It also seems those prancing this bit of silliness about do not know the difference between a VOLUNTARY state retirement benefit, and a MANDATORY federal imposition.

STATE government and FEDERAL government are two very different animals.

If one does not like the way things are going in any one state, one can vote with one's feet and find greener pastures in another state.

Want legalized weed? Move to California.

Want legalized prostitution? Move to Nevada.

Want government mandated healthcare insurance for everyone? Move to Massachusetts.

February 14, 2011 at 11:27 p.m.
trburrows said...

so, you skim read and you want to tell us were wrong? untill you get off your butt and read/understand the url's provided to you kindly keep to yourself. more money turned loose in public=more jobs. if you dont see this your a fool.

February 15, 2011 at 12:27 a.m.
pmcauley said...

so trb. You can't find the reference to jobs either? Pm

February 15, 2011 at 6:41 a.m.
blackwater48 said...

PM, I started to answer Burrows last night but spittle started shooting out so I shut it down. Yikes.

While the basic premise that more money in circulation is good - although I'm not sure what is meant exactly by 'more money turned loose in public' - the topic was 'the way to lower unemployment is to lower corporate taxes.'

Based on record setting record profits, however, and the trillions that companies are sitting on, lowering taxes will have no affect on unemployment.

If WWWTW and Burrows were correct, unemployment right now would be like 1.8%.

Anyway, pm, great initial post.

February 15, 2011 at 8:16 a.m.

blackwater48 asks: “Why would they suddenly start hiring if corporate rates were reduced a little or even a lot?”

If you're looking for a direct, statistical correlation, you won't find one for a number of reasons. The first is that it has been a very long time since reducing corporate rates has been tried in the U.S. You could compare new factories built by U.S. companies in countries which have reduced corporate taxes (virtually all of our competitors for those factories have been doing so for decades) with the number of new factories built here.

Another reason you won’t find a chart to prove or disprove what both parties are finally coming around to realize is the fact that there are multiple contingent factors that contribute to the decision to build new plants and hire new workers. Cutting the corporate tax rate is not a panacea, but it sends a strong message to investors that the government has decided to reverse its ridiculous hostility to the only sector of the economy which is capable of creating sustainable jobs.

You acknowledge that having more money in circulation might be a good effect of such a cut. It is not the circulation of money itself, but the confidence investors need in order to take the necessary risks for expanding their business, increasing their earnings, as well as those of their employees. Simply put, encouraging business activity is an essential pre-requisite for creating new jobs. At the very least, it would help stop the bleeding of manufacturing jobs moving to more lucrative environments.

There seems to be a big hang-up for you guys with the size of corporate profits. Without large corporate profits, no jobs will be created. Period. Hiring workers isn't an altruistic activity. No employer owes a worker a job. It isn't trickle-down, either. Job creation is an indirect or spillover effect of an employer’s assessment that the environment is sufficiently favorable to making capital investments for which he or she will reap significant benefits.

And, get ready, the salaries of the CEO's will go up exponentially to those of their employees. So what? Who are we to decide what level constitutes being "obscene?" Many of them are indeed unimaginable to folks like us. In tough economic times, the temptation to resent those who seem to be unaffected by the downturn is almost irresistible. I can only speak from what I’ve observed, but many of those people did a much better job than I did at planning ahead for the inevitable recessions that occur in free (or relatively free) economies. Some folks had the sobriety to focus on saving and investing, even when almost everyone else, as you acknowledge, is absorbed with consumer spending. I am certainly not exempt from that short-sightedness, and I am paying the price.

February 15, 2011 at 11:05 a.m.

Injustice, of course, is rampant in both the private and public sectors, but it’s not because government intrusion into the private sector isn’t pervasive enough. The more government decides that it is competent to make decisions about and control every fluctuation and nuance of the market, the more those who create capital will find ways to get around the regulations and restrictions. You can’t legislate morality, as you well known, even with regard to the greedy bastards living it up while we toil and see few rewards, no matter how hard we work or how ethical we are in doing so. (And we tend to exaggerate our own moral rectitude when the green monster comes knocking.)

The underlying fallacy in class envy arguments is in believing that wealth (or capital) is a finite sum of material resources. If one person or group GAINS resources, it is thought, it means that someone else is being DEPRIVED of their “fair share.” In reality, wealth is something which can be created and expanded. Wealth includes non-material, as well as material resources. This “human capital” includes one’s specific skill set, talents, experience, education, networking ability, etc. In most cases, growth in personal wealth depends on what we value and how productive we are with the capital we already possess.

Economics is a positive sum game. The idea that economics is a zero-sum game (you win = I lose) is a widespread, counterproductive (personally and societally) fallacy that paralyzes us from achieving our potential. More than one player can win.

Economics is about values and morals – the decisions we make. There is not a one-to-one karmic correspondence. And free markets, for all their shortcomings, are better for more people than utopias.

February 15, 2011 at 11:09 a.m.

This is a pretty good application to what's going on with the budget:

http://www.aei.org/article/103128

February 15, 2011 at 11:15 a.m.
pmcauley said...

WWWTW: THANK YOU for your thoughtful reply. I've read it once and will study it some more, you've me given stuff to think about. My schooling was/is more science/computer science orientated so I really appreciate input from people who have a different perspective and what sounds like the knowledge to back it up.

pm

February 15, 2011 at 12:07 p.m.
pmcauley said...

WWWTW: I agree with most of your points: There will never be a statistically reliable correlation between taxes and jobs as there are simply too many variables. It would be simplistic to think otherwise, no matter how attractive that would be.

If you want to decrease corporate taxes to increase the desirability of relocating to the US: fine. It would be disingenuous to state that there will be more jobs as a direct result. It occurs to me, and likely to others before me, that economics is all smoke and mirrors. It’s all about perception and confidence. If people feel that the economy is better they might loosen that tight grip on their money. That being the case more businesses come; the more people will be confident and utopia will evolve.

What you state about the zero sums vs. positive sum makes sense and I’ll chew on it for awhile.

I absolutely believe that CEO, and EVEN politicians should make a lot of money, they took the risk, spent the money and made the deals. Politicians because we want the best people and I’m hoping there’s a strong correlation between WAGE and competence.

Since you can’t legislate morality, we need to have rules, like the one that would have prevented the balloon payments to explode in everyone’s faces. The countries that had these rules, like Canada, didn’t suffer as much. We need to have someone with power looking out for our interests so we don’t huge safety issues, better health, a non-polutted environment, etc. Went human greed has to compete with morals; I don’t think morals would win.

pm

February 15, 2011 at 12:52 p.m.

Thanks pm. A physicist taught me much of what I've learned about economics, proving that it's not so much about jargon, formulas and charts as it is about human motives and behavior.

(Also, could you possibly give me a couple "useful" checks before mountainlaurel finds her way over and starts checking them "no" and calling me names?)

(I'm coming to believe that she made up "Francis" as a foil to make her own arguments look better. Consider: the occasional nice vocabulary word that sneaks through all Francis' bad grammar and spelling. Also, though they take opposite sides, their faulty logic and ad hominem attacks run along the same lines.)

February 15, 2011 at 1 p.m.

pmcauley wrote: "Since you can’t legislate morality, we need to have rules ..."

Good point. Force, fraud, and theft have to be kept in check.

February 15, 2011 at 1:03 p.m.
pmcauley said...

To be honest, I've been tempted to create a second persona just to create havoc. I've resisted the urge. Might be fun though

pm

February 15, 2011 at 2:10 p.m.
delmar said...

The one thing I hope everyone can agree on is, if we were all a little more conscious of how we spent our money, such as buying domestic vs. imported goods whenever we can, I think maybe we would be pleasantly surprised at the results. I'm not saying that is the answer to everything as far as the current economic situation and I am certainly no expert and I believe there is not just one thing that will get us out of this mess, but as patriotic Americans, perhaps we have the power to help things along with our buying decisions. Maybe if we showed our passionate support for "American made" we would convince some companies that they can make a profit here again.

February 15, 2011 at 3:08 p.m.
fairmon said...

Reduced corporate rates resulting in lower prices should increase demand. Many corporations are sitting on huge cash reserves and are looking for an opportunity to invest and earn a return. As a stock holder in some of them I would be shocked and upset if they decided to invest for altruistic instead of sound business reasons. Savvy stock holders will sell immediately if a company fails to report increasing revenue and good profits.

Examples of reduced rates effect: Take a look at Canada. Check out how many food and other items you buy are from Canada, Brazil, Argentina and similar locations. China has zero business tax, notice how close the price difference in China imports correlate with tax rates. China's advantage is their ownership in some businesses.

February 15, 2011 at 5:54 p.m.
carlB said...

Username: delmar | On: February 15, 2011 at 3:08 p.m.

Reply to delmar: What you said, certainly makes sense to me. The US consumers, industrial and our masses of regular consumers, apparently do not think what the effects of creating an unsustainable $40 - $50 billion dollars per month trade deficit when they buy imported goods supplied by the "global corporate monopolies"? Over a period of ten years how much money has this already accummulated for the Companies having their manufacturing done in the lower monetary vaqlue countries? Does $4800 billion dollars sound about right?

US National Debt Graph: What They Never Tell You http://zfacts.com/p/318.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oYw3ks... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1bZ-T... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5yxFt... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V4Unb...

February 16, 2011 at 6:48 p.m.
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