We Can’t Win the Future By Repeating the Past

Obama's uninspired State of the Union Address

How can we “win the future,” as President Barack Obama exhorted us to do in his 2011 State of the Union address, when our top elected official remains so drearily stuck in the past? And despite the commanding role of what can only be called Sputnik nostalgia in his speech, Obama was not even channeling the distant past in his remarks.

Instead, he served up the equivalent of a microwaved reheating of the sentiments of his immediate predecessor, George W. Bush. That’s some sort of groovy, space-age technological feat, for sure, but we shouldn’t confuse left-over platitudes about cutting wasteful spending on the one hand while ramping up publicly funded “investment” on the other for a healthy meal.

With an unacknowledged debt to the long-running reality show Survivor (“Outwit, Outplay, Outlast”), Obama insisted that we must “out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” Which is to say, he sounded exactly like Bush 43, albeit with more open references to China and endless plugs for high-speed rail.

Here’s Bush in 2004:

I propose a series of measures called Jobs for the 21st Century. This program will provide extra help to middle and high school students who fall behind in reading and math, expand advanced placement programs in low income schools, invite math and science professionals from the private sector to teach part-time in our high schools. I propose larger Pell grants for students who prepare for college with demanding courses in high school. I propose increasing our support for America’s fine community colleges, so they can — I do so, so they can train workers for industries that are creating the most new jobs.

Here’s more Bush, this time from 2007:

I propose to double the Federal commitment to the most critical basic research programs in the physical sciences over the next 10 years. This funding will support the work of America’s most creative minds as they explore promising areas such as nanotechnology, supercomputing, and alternative energy sources…I propose to make permanent the research and development tax credit to encourage bolder private-sector initiatives in technology. With more research in both the public and private sectors, we will improve our quality of life and ensure that America will lead the world in opportunity and innovation for decades to come.

And again in 2008:

Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources.

Any of that could have fit into last night’s speech, which was chockful of statement like this one:

We have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.

It’s not just the construction industry Obama wants to “redouble.” We must spend more on high-speed rail, wireless capacity, access to higher education, and funds for K-12 schooling as well. And on re-“revitalizing” NATO and our commitments abroad (even as we bring the boys home from Iraq and Afghanistan). We must, says the president who bragged about giving a monkey-gland shot to a Cold War alliance, commit to “a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs.”

“We do big things,” Obama said to applause. And to paraphrase Spider-Man comics, with big things come big bar tabs. Here’s a summary of major areas of spending growth at the federal level over the past decade: 

Billions of real 2005 dollars
Government Function 2000 Level 2010 Level 10 yr % Inc.
Science, space and technology 22.1 29.4 33.0%
Energy 3.5 14.2 305.7%
Natural resources and environment 29.7 40.2 35.4%
Transportation 53.4 88.9 66.5%
Education 39.5 78.7 99.2%
Health 35.0 58.3 66.6%
Income Security 46.9 64.9 38.4%

 Source: Veronique de Rugy based on Figures sourced from OMB, Historical Tables, Table 8.8

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  • pud||

    SOTU word cloud.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-20029580-503544.html

  • Realist||

    What an amazing photo 5 of the dumbest fuck Presidents....ever! Gee, I wonder why this country is in such deep shit.

  • ||

    Remind me again how many of 'em have Ivy League degrees?

    Well, at least they had the proper "credentials"...

  • cynical||

    I've said it before, but death or exile for anyone with an Ivy League degree is a necessary step for fixing the country. They're our aristocracy, and we have to break out the guillotine.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I've said it before, but death or exile for anyone with an Ivy League degree is a necessary step for fixing the country. They're our aristocracy, and we have to break out the guillotine.


    This does beg the question of how Ivy League education has become so degraded.

  • Realist||

    Come on. It's not what you know....it's who you blow. Whose your daddy? What are your connections? How much money can you get?

  • Only two smart ones there||

    The one on the left and the second from the right.

  • Realist||

    They all have an Ivy League degree and further more so did their opponents, save for Dole, if you count the Naval Academy as Ivy League.

  • ||

    We're doomed.

  • ||

    Here’s a summary of major areas of spending growth at the federal level over the past decade:

    Damned if I can find an enumerated power that allows spending on any of those things.

  • sarcasmic||

    Congress has the power to do anything "necessary and proper" to "regulate commerce" and promote the "general welfare".

    No limits.

  • ||

    Try some align="right" in your numeric table cells.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Gillespie and de Rugy are our generation's McMillan and Wife, Hart to Hart and Mr. & Mrs. Columbo all rolled into one. They should travel the punditry countryside together solving public policy crimes.

  • Cyto||

    His speech wasn't uninspired. It couldn't be - the New York Times said so. It was "inspirational". NPR told me the same thing.

    Actually, removing tongue from cheek for a moment, calling it "uninspired" and then spending the first page listing the Bush statements that were the inspiration for (or at least intellectual predecessors of) the Obama SOTU speech is at least somewhat ironic.

  • Brett L||

    Almost as ironic as conflating an inspired (as by the Gods) performance and the inspiration (as by a thing) for a position.

  • Cyto||

    Yeah, but I did it on purpose. That makes it "literature". If I had a sense of comic timing it would have even been funny.

  • Brett L||

    I can't believe HTML5 still doesn't have the /sarc tag.

  • ||

    It inspired me to have another beer and go to bed early.

  • Sam Grove||

    It seems they all use the same MS Word template for SOTU speeches.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "Win The Future" hasn't even fully caught on as everybody's new favorite undigested, recycled, platitudinous slogan yet and I'm already so sick of it that the thought of having to listen to stupid people say it over and over, as if it was just a stew of magic sounds that could replace thought as the source of depth and meaning behind the other sounds that come from their faces in the year to come makes me want to have my eardrums removed and wait a year to learn sign language or read lips. And when the some new idiotic bumper sticker bromide is introduced at next years SOTU address I may just go full Helen Keller.

  • Sovereign Immunity||

    "Moving forward" has already done that for me.

    BTW, Helen Keller is a not a legit diagnosis, so the ACA does not apply to you.

  • Brett L||

    Wasn't "Win the Future" the slogan of a Sci-Fi blockbuster in the last couple years?

  • Cyto||

    There are those who would deny that we must "Win the Future". But let me be clear, we must win the future...

  • Skynet||

    So. Way. Fucking. Ahead. Of. You.

    End of line.

  • ||

    I believe that the above couplet requires the drinking of an entire bottle of Jack.

  • Kirk Lazarus||

    Everybody knows you never go full Helen Keller.

  • Blane||

    Never go full Helen Keller. You don't buy that? Ask Patty Duke, 1962. 'The Miracle Worker.' Remember? Went full Helen Keller, went home empty handed.

  • Blane||

    Fuck me... she did win... next time I will do better research.

  • me||

    At least you got the reference. I considered working in the "empty handed" quote, but went for brevity. Works much better as a reply anyway...

  • ||

    "Bat shit crazy". That line always makes me chuckle. I want a better future. I want more edjumacation I want more arts I want more of what I want and I'm gonna make everyone else pay for it!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....ata_player

  • ||

    History is just like a slot machine, I guess.

  • cynical||

    In that we're supposed to give our political class more money to blow so they can win it all back? They've got a lucky streak coming, they can feel it? That sort of thing?

    Too bad the machine is rigged. House always wins.

  • Cyto||

    Oh, BTW - Stossel stole my election pledge on his show last night.

    He gave a pretty good stump speech too. He must have added the line about pardoning drug offenders after publishing the text linked above. If history is any guide, he'd get as much as 3% of the vote on that platform. Run, Johnny, Run!

    John Stewart is fond of claiming that "reality has a liberal bias". The fact that so many self-evident issues like ending the drug war can gain no traction whatsoever convinces me that reality has a depressingly "stupid bias."

  • ||

    my name's spelt j-o-n u moe ron

  • Cyto||

    yeah, sorry Jon. I don't get to watch your show too often, and I was too lazy to google the spelling. Say, while I have your attention, how about turning your progressive wit on the drug war? Maybe you could turn out to be useful in some meaningful way.

  • Steven Colbert||

    We aprove of all expressions of totalitarian government except wars against countries who have more perfect(read:totalitarian) governments.

  • nekoxgirl||

    The speech was essentially just a rehash of everything the Democratic Party has said since the 1990's (maybe longer but I don't remember back that far). Seriously, Democrats, get some new material. Not only are your ideas terrible, they are getting really boring.

  • Charles Novins||

    The two take-away quotes from the speech highlight the moribund themes. First, we must "out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world." That's the future? Uhh, that's what we already did. The question is why it seems to have stopped. The other quotable claimed budget hawks want to "cure an overloaded plane by dumping the engine." The government is the "engine" of the economy? Since when? Even the more delusional big-guv advocates always give lip-service, at least, to the role of business. I guess they thought the sound-bite was sufficiently colorful that no one would think about it. That kind of nuttiness seems to persist in America - recent celebrations of 50 years since the Kennedy speech have all trumpeted the "Ask not what your country can do for you..." call to fascism without so much as a whimper. Too bad for the Orwell estate that they didn't have some outstanding money-wagers...

  • ||

    "Dump the engine"? Hell, dump the pilot...

  • George V||

    Dump the baggage handlers and flight attendants too!

  • ||

    No those people are actually useful, unlike the president.

  • Progressive||

    Obviously high unemployment, states teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and a balooning national debt are all a good start, but it's not enough. We must redouble our efforts! Win the future!

    Loved this part:

    "The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don’t agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes"

    Get that? Tax breaks = government spending, which only makes sense if every penny you make really belongs to the government, and the only question is how much you will be allowed to keep. (h/t Patterico)

  • Tony||

    You just don't want to admit that a revenue decrease is essentially the same as a spending increase because then you'd have to admit that you're advocating for welfare for the rich.

  • Destrudo||

    If you think that just because they have the same budgetary effect they are the same thing, then you are either truly stupid or just a partisan weasel like krugman. Go find a bear to spread your cheeks for, then die in a fire.

  • Tony||

    If you think that just because they have the same budgetary effect they are the same thing...

    But we're talking about the budget, are we not? Not silly linguistic theory.

    I assume all of you are aware of the fact that you're being completely retarded when you frame it the way you do, but do so for the sake of not seeming like a complete plutocrat who thinks welfare is ok but only for rich people.

  • sarcasmic||

    Welfare is a transfer from one to another.

    Letting someone keep more of their income by taking less of it away is not a transfer from one to another.

    So tax cuts are not the equivalent of welfare.

  • Tony||

    They're less morally justified, that's for sure.

    Once your income is taxed, that money belongs to the Treasury. If you take less money than before, you are essentially transferring some of the government's budget to the pockets of millionaires. It fits your definition of welfare perfectly.

  • sarcasmic||

    Let's substitute you for government, and employer for taxpayer (which is the truth, is it not).

    Once your employer pays you that money belongs to you. If you are paid less money than before, you are essentially transferring some of your budget to the pocket of your employer.

    Huh? Your reduced paycheck is equivalent to a transfer of money from you to your employer?

    Dude...

  • Tony||

    It may not be a transfer through exactly the same means, but it's functionally equivalent to me getting the prior paycheck and then writing a check to my employer, is it not?

  • sarcasmic||

    "It may not be a transfer through exactly the same means, but it's functionally equivalent to me getting the prior paycheck and then writing a check to my employer, is it not?"

    Functionally equivalent?

    In an intellectually dishonest way I suppose, but not in anything close to reality.

  • sevo||

    Tony|1.26.11 @ 1:10PM|#
    "Once your income is taxed, that money belongs to the Treasury."

    Read carefully, asshole.
    If taxes are reduced, that money *isn't* taxed. Is that elementary enough for your excuse for a brain?

  • Tony||

    I think my argument is more elementary. Like simple arithmetic.

  • sevo||

    Tony|1.26.11 @ 1:27PM|#
    "I think my argument is more elementary. Like simple arithmetic."

    "Simplton" arithmetic.
    Adding 2 and 2 and getting 7 is not arithmetic; it's lying.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Less money than before? If your only standard is arithmetic from "before" that would mean that any dropin the rates of the last 10 years would be welfare and any raise would be theft by the government. Unless you mean before that or before that.

  • cynical||

    "Once your income is taxed, that money belongs to the Treasury."

    Your income is taxed on a yearly basis. If you lower the tax rates for future years on future income, nobody owns anything yet.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    They're less morally justified, that's for sure.


    How the fuck is welfare morally justified?

  • sevo||

    Tony|1.26.11 @ 1:02PM|#
    "...Not silly linguistic theory....

    Last refuge of lying asshole:
    "words mean what I want them to.
    Go away you stupid shit.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Corporate bailouts are corporate wellfare and I'd say 99% of the people you're addressing are opposed to them. If it were true, however, that the rich were receiving welfare because you don't feel they are taxed enough and that they are no longer welfare recipients as soon as enough money is being taken from them to make you feel satisfied, then there would be no reason that all tax rates lower than 100% couldn't be considered welfare.

  • Tony||

    Similarly, by your logic we must tax everyone at 0%, since it's "their" money.

    It's welfare because those rich people are not having their money stolen from them, they are paying for the service of having a government. They get that service regardless of what their income tax rate is. So cutting their rates while providing the services is essentially welfare. But that wouldn't be a problem except that giving them the break requires a huge amount of deficit spending.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Why do you put "their" money in scare quotes? Is all income the governments money? Is the amount that remains after taxes a gift from the government?

    The rich don't draw on most of services provided by the current government. They just pay for most of it. It isn't welfare to decrease the amount of stuff you force someone to buy for someone else. It's just stealing less. Yes, I do think an income tax at any rate is wrong. Do you admit that you think all property belongs to the state?

  • sarcasmic||

    "Do you admit that you think all property belongs to the state?"

    My guess is that he figures that if it known that he ass-kisses and defends those who take money from the rich, that perhaps they'll throw him a couple crumbs.

    Beats the hell out of learning a marketable skill and plying it in the real world.

  • Tony||

    The rich don't draw on most of services provided by the current government.

    Oh, but they do. Police mostly protect their stuff (they have a lot more to lose). Ordinary people don't use the courts as much as people or entities with lots of money at stake. Add these to the fact that the rich are by definition the largest benefactors of a stable and prosperous society. By any reasonable measure, everybody, but especially the rich, gets off cheap considering the benefits of a stable, functioning, and prosperous society maintained by its government. Taxation is NOT stealing. It is the debt people owe to the society that has given them the opportunity to prosper.

    I don't think all property belongs to the state, I just think there would be no concept of property without the state. The rich can thank their government for their ability to accumulate stuff and keep it by paying for the service.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Ordinary people don't use the courts as much as people or entities with lots of money at stake."

    You seem to have forgotten that libertarians acknowledge that courts are a necessary function of government.

    Courts comprise a tiny fraction of the cost of government, as does law enforcement.

    The wealthy do not need Medicare or Social Security, nor do they need public education.

    Those three items are the bulk of the budget funded by taxing these evil rich people.

    Your argument is bunk.

  • Tony||

    The wealthy do not need Medicare or Social Security, nor do they need public education.

    Have a little imagination. The rich may not need these services specifically, but they do need streets that aren't crowded by dying elderly and disabled people, and they really need lawns not populated by indigent people trying to get in their house to steal their stuff. These programs aren't just charity, they are a service for all of society, which is better off as a whole with a safety net.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Have a little imagination."

    It is imagination that you lack.

    Your unimaginative argument is that if something is not done by government that it will not be done at all.

    Believe it or not, but before the creation of Medicare elderly and disabled people did get medical care.

    The program was not created because of a lack of care.
    It was created to take the shame out of accepting charity.

    And it has succeeded on a grand scale.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    There's no reason nor any historical prompting to lead one to the conclusion that the streets would be as you picture. History and reason lead to the recognition that Medicare and Social Security created the mass dependancy that exists now. Ever growing entitlements will lead to ever rising taxes on the ever shrinking rich. Try paying for these entitlements by taxing the remaining zero rich people at a rate of 10,000% of their income. You can't be this stupid.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    The proportion of tax dollars collected from the rich, even at these welfariously low rates, accounts for all the money spent on ALL the courts, ALL the police, ALL politicians with ALL their pork with enough left over to fund a small chunk of promised entitlements. Rule of law is fairly cheap. "...to each according to his need" is expensive.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    It's welfare because those rich people are not having their money stolen from them, they are paying for the service of having a government.


    What kind of service from the government?

    The kind that Timothy Cole received?

    The kind that Eurie Stamps received ?

  • Tomcat1066||

    "Similarly, by your logic we must tax everyone at 0%, since it's "their" money."

    Now you're catching on.

  • Locomotive||

    Your premise is only correct if the goverment owns all money and the fruits of your labor as well, and you have no claim on it. That's clearly not the case so your logic is flawed. Rich people and poor people have the same obligation to contribute to the care and feeding of society. To say rich people should pay more simply because they have more and when they don't they are getting welfare is arguably marxist.

    Furthermore, the idea that rich people should pay more because they have more makes less sense because there are constant types of expenses that the government incurs like defense that you could attribute evenly across all citizens and then others that vary by groups of people like entitlements, and one could argue the rich pay more than their fair share since they are covering expenses for things that they don't ever get the benefit of.

  • CJ||

    Similarly, by your logic we must tax everyone at 0%, since it's "their" money.

    That's what I'd do if it was in my power. Have you ever seen one of those bumper stickers that says it'll be a good day when schools have more money than they need while the military is funded by bake sales? They're half-right. It would be great to tell Team Red to put up or shut up and fund their evil by themselves without stealing from you or anyone else here.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Classic. Taking less money from people is essentially the same as taking more from them.

    Ask any one of many the businesses that have moved out of California why some of the highest taxes in the nation haven't solved California's revenue problems.

  • sarcasmic||

    Hey Tony, do you have a job?

    Is that job a claim to your employer's money?

    If your employer reduces your pay is that equivalent of you providing welfare to your employer?

  • Tony||

    I really get what you're saying with these ridiculous semantic games. I just think it's completely dishonest because you want be able to think of a multi-hundred-thousand dollar tax break for the wealthy as fair and just and subsidies for the poor as evil socialism.

  • sarcasmic||

    I'm not opposed to subsidies for the poor as long as the funding was not obtained through coercion, that is to say I fully support voluntary charity.

    Just because I do not want something done by government does not mean I do not want it to be done at all.

  • sevo||

    Tony|1.26.11 @ 1:07PM|#
    "I really get what you're saying with these ridiculous semantic games."

    No. you stupid shit. Using words to express what they mean is not a "semantic game">
    Your tired attempt to convince the world that UP=DOWN is left over from Orwell.

  • Tony||

    Using words in a clear and honest way is all I want you to do. Just say that it's okay for government policy to send $300,000 checks to the top 1% wealthiest during a budget crisis for no reason at all, but a single dime to a poor person is evil socialism.

  • sevo||

    Tony|1.26.11 @ 1:21PM|#
    "Using words in a clear and honest way is all I want you to do."
    Lying asshole. Calling a tax cut "increased spending" is about as far from honesty as it is possible to get.

  • sarcasmic||

    If your employer reduces your pay does that involve you sending them a check?

    The government (employee) is not sending checks to the taxpayer (employer), it is taking less from them.

    Any dime sent to a poor person had to be first obtained through borrowing (from future taxpayers) or taxation.

    In that example the employee is paying the employer.

    You've got it backwards.

  • Tony||

    If your employer reduces your pay does that involve you sending them a check?

    In terms of the amount of money in my pocket and theirs, what's the difference?

  • sarcasmic||

    "In terms of the amount of money in my pocket and theirs, what's the difference?"

    You were paid $500/wk and your pay is reduced to $400/wk.

    You are saying that that is the equivalent of sending your employer a check for $100/wk.

    However since you are starting off with $400/wk, you'd be left with $300/wk after paying your employer.

    Oh! You mean it's the same as them paying you $500/wk and you sending them a check for $100. The problem with that is that they're not paying you $500 anymore because they realized that you are a fucking moron, and they're trying to figure out how to cut the cord completely without getting sued.

  • Cyto||

    Using words in a clear and honest way is all I want you to do. Just say that it's okay for government policy to send $300,000 checks to the top 1% wealthiest during a budget crisis for no reason at all, but a single dime to a poor person is evil socialism.

    Not taking $300k from someone is not the same thing as cutting them a check for $300k. Since you seem to have trouble with this, I'll use a car analogy.

    Let's say you drive a 2007 Toyota Camry. If I steal your car, you have 1 less 2007 Toyota Camry than when we started. But I didn't steal your car - so you have 1 more 2007 Toyota Camry than you would have if I had stolen your car. By your logic, I thereby bought you a 2007 Toyota Camry.

  • ||

    You guys keep waiting for Tony's hard disk light to come on.

    Ain't gonna happen...

  • Sean W. Malone||

    ^this^

    ...I quit waiting.

  • Tony||

    Cyto it's not that I don't understand your argument, I just think it's useless.

    Let me make an analogy. You pay a housekeeper $100 a day to clean your house. One day you decide you only want to pay her $50 a day for the same work. Her being able to feed her children, buy supplies, and meet her obligations depended on that $100. So she has to borrow money from China to make up the difference.

    It's not that the wealthy are stealing dollars by getting a tax cut. They are stealing services. After all, they get the same services they always got, just for cheaper, resulting in a large budget imbalance.

  • sarcasmic||

    "So she has to borrow money from China to make up the difference."

    No. She lives in the real world, not the world of government.

    She stops taking the family out to eat on Sunday, starts using store brand supplies, cancels cable, cuts minutes on her cell phone plan, trades her car in for a more fuel efficient model, and finds other ways to SPEND LESS.

  • Tony||

    She could cut spending, but at some point she'd reach a minimum. You can't go through life cost-free. Besides, she's providing exactly the same services as always. The only thing unfair is you cutting her salary in half. It's not unfair that you have to pay someone to provide a service, which is the crux of this argument for lower taxes.

  • sarcasmic||

    Also Tony, in the market if I cut her salary in half she'd likely tell me to screw and go find someone who would pay her more than $50. Your analogy sucks.

    Additionally the agreement we originally had was voluntary.
    There's nothing voluntary about taxes. (this so-called 'social contract' is not a contract because I did not enter into it voluntarily) You pay them or nice men with guns invite you to court. If you give those nice men a hard time they might kill you, if you go with them to court you may wind up locked in a cage with murderers and rapists.

    No, there's nothing voluntary about taxes.

  • Tony||

    sarcasmic don't take my analogy too far.

    Technically you did enter into the social contract voluntarily. You won't be arrested for renouncing your citizenship and thus the services of your government. You are free to do that. What makes you think you should be able to get it all at no cost?

  • sarcasmic||

    "Technically you did enter into the social contract voluntarily. You won't be arrested for renouncing your citizenship..."

    No, idiot. Voluntarily means I acted in order to enter into the contract. If I have to act in order to exit the contract then it was not entered voluntarily.

    You really are a moron.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    What made her salary fair before it was cut when your only method of value judgement is a zero sum comparison of current to previous? Her prior pay was zero.

  • sarcasmic||

    If a small rate cut results in them keeping $300,000, how many $millions are they paying for those stolen services?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You pay a housekeeper $100 a day to clean your house. One day you decide you only want to pay her $50 a day for the same work. Her being able to feed her children, buy supplies, and meet her obligations depended on that $100. So she has to borrow money from China to make up the difference.


    Or she can do more work.

    When gas prices went crashing down in the fall of 2008, they had to sell more gas in order to make up the difference.

  • ||

    She dumps you cheap ass and gets a job at the mansion up the street that pays her 200 bucks a day. Go fuck yourself and your shitty job!

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Let's say you drive a 2007 Toyota Camry. If I steal your car, you have 1 less 2007 Toyota Camry than when we started. But I didn't steal your car - so you have 1 more 2007 Toyota Camry than you would have if I had stolen your car. By your logic, I thereby bought you a 2007 Toyota Camry.


    +1 googolplex

  • Fiscal Meth||

    If you value clarity and honesty, why do rely so heavily on reframing it into terms of a $300,000 check from the government to the rich? Try to explain your position without that reordering of reality. It doesn't hold up when you admit that we just kept the same tax rates we've had for a decade.

  • Locomotive||

    It's not sending checks, it's simply taking less income by means of coercion and even a dime is evil if you got through coercive means.

    Assuming you even pay taxes, try no paying them end eventually you will understand coercion.

  • No, you say it.||

    You always present opinion as fact, weasel-word Tony.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    I really get what you're saying with these ridiculous semantic games. I just think it's completely dishonest because you want be able to think of a multi-hundred-thousand dollar tax break for the wealthy as fair and just and subsidies for the poor as evil socialism.


    You have consistently been comepltely dishonest on many threads, even the threads about the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords.

    Do you not have some cum to suck out of some guy's balls or something?

  • sarcasmic||

    Tony needs to move to England.
    Health care is socialized, and prostitution is legal.

    He could get paid doing what he loves and never work a day in his life!

  • sevo||

    Tony|1.26.11 @ 12:36PM|#
    "You just don't want to admit that a revenue decrease is essentially the same as a spending increase..."

    You stupid shit, letting people keep their own money is not spending it.

  • Tony||

    So recent tax cuts have put an average of about $300,000 extra dollars in each pocket of the top 1%. Is that completely justified by this semantic handwaving?

  • sevo||

    Tony|1.26.11 @ 1:13PM|#
    "So recent tax cuts have put an average of about $300,000 extra dollars in each pocket of the top 1%."
    Assuming you're not just lying as per normal, it means nothing. Repeat: Nothing.

    "Is that completely justified by this semantic handwaving?"
    Is your stupidity justified by your inability to reason? The only handwaving is your sorry attempt to lie and get approval for it.

  • celtigirl||

    "So recent tax cuts have put an average of about $300,000 extra dollars in each pocket of the top 1%."

    Tax cuts have left (or not taken, whichever you prefer) $300k in each pocket...not "have put"

    left in *does not equal* put in any dictionary any where ever.

    not taken *does not equal* put in any dictionary any where ever.

  • Tony||

    Yeah, that's the semantic bullshit I'm referring to. The figures remain the same, and I don't see how you justify borrowing money from China to fund the government while simultaneously cutting rates for the wealthy.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's not semantic bullshit, it's honesty.

    Your words are the bullshit.

    Dishonest bullshit.

  • Cyto||

    But we cut rates for the "not wealthy" even more. A large chunk of the populous had their rates cut to zero, or even below zero by the Bush tax cuts. How can you justify borrowing money from China to fund the government while simultaneously cutting rates to zero for almost half of the people in the country?

  • Tony||

    Cyto, that's not true by any sane measure. Cutting the rates of someone in the top 1% by $300,000 is orders of magnitude more than could possibly be cut from the rates of someone near the bottom.

  • Sean W. Malone||

    Do you actually understand the word, "Rate", Tony?

    No... No sir, I don't think you do.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Yeah, that's the semantic bullshit I'm referring to. The figures remain the same, and I don't see how you justify borrowing money from China to fund the government while simultaneously cutting rates for the wealthy.


    How about just cutting government spending?

    Do we really need to spend money to kill people like Eurie Stamps ?

  • ||

    I don't see how you justify borrowing money from China to fund the government while simultaneously cutting rates for the wealthy.

    I don't either. That's why I advocate for NOT borrowing money from China, and slashing the shit out of government.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    You're just complaining that no one will accept your reframing. If we're the ones doing the semantic bullshitting, why must you always refer to what it "amounts to" or it's "funtionally the same as"? If your whole argument relies on reframing, then it's you who's doing the semantic bullshitting.

  • Who's borrowing?||

    I'm not borrowing or approving that anyone borrow in my name. How about you? Your pathetic progressive political slut pals are selling the country.

  • ||

    Oh.... I see you resent the 300,000 bucks cause that is more than you make a year? Is that why you want to support a plan to steal it from them?

  • ||

    Oh.... I see -you resent the 300,000 bucks cause that is more than you make a year? Is that why you want to support a plan to steal it from them?

  • Michael Ejercito||

    You just don't want to admit that a revenue decrease is essentially the same as a spending increase because then you'd have to admit that you're advocating for welfare for the rich.


    It is not essentially the same.

  • ||

    This is a shame because the Bush tax cuts are such a small issue. Real tax reform is needed. Eliminate corperate income tax, have a flat persoanl income tax or a flat retail tax, eliminate all the tax credits and deductions and intorduce a universal credit which provides basic welfare.

  • Fatty Bolger||

    We're already well aware that you agree with Obama that all income belongs to the government first, and therefore tax cuts = welfare.

  • Old Man with Candy||

    You just don't want to admit that a tax rate decrease is different than a revenue decrease because then you'd have to admit that you don't understand basic economics.

  • Old Man with Candy||

    That was supposed to be a reply to Tony. I'll blame the squirrels.

  • George V||

    Of course, by not admitting that Tony has made a de facto admission that his is a zero-sum world.

  • Tman||

    Despite the horrible reality that Obama is simply a worse democratic version of all the bad parts from the Bush administration (with added liberal hypocrisy!), it has been extraordinarily enjoyable to watch the left have conniption fits over this reality.

    They will still line up like lemmings to worship the guy but the luster has definitely worn off.

  • ||

    Historians also advise me to ban all nukes and guns - http://www.hnn.us/articles/135398.html.

  • Gregory Smith||

    I say flat tax for all. No more progressive income taxes, no more special brackets. After all, if I run a red light my fine isn't different from a guy that makes 100 times what I make, why shouldn't taxes be the same way?

    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

  • Cyto||

    Funny you mention that as your example. There actually is a movement to make traffic fines income dependent.

  • Gregory Smith||

    Income dependent? Wow, I've never heard that but I believe you and think that's insane. What's next? 5 years for murder if you're poor, 10 if you're rich?

    http://libertarians4freedom.blogspot.com/

  • Fatty Bolger||

    They already do this in many (surprise) socialist countries.

  • George V||

    Those sentencing guidelines are not progressive enough.

  • $100 Tacos for $100||

    I sure could go for a hundred tacos right about now.

  • ||

    Re: Photo

    It's been some time, but I thought there were only three stooges...

  • ICGAMBLERS||

    semantics [sɪˈmæntɪks]
    n (functioning as singular)
    1. (Linguistics) the branch of linguistics that deals with the study of meaning, changes in meaning, and the principles that govern the relationship between sentences or words and their meanings
    2. (Philosophy / Logic) the study of the relationships between signs and symbols and what they represent
    3. (Philosophy / Logic) Logic
    a. the study of interpretations of a formal theory
    b. the study of the relationship between the structure of a theory and its subject matter
    c. (of a formal theory) the principles that determine the truth or falsehood of sentences within the theory, and the references of its terms
    semanticist n

  • SM||

    A libertarian quoting MLK...will wonders never cease...

    ...wonder what that guy would have advocated?

  • ||

    "In Clinton’s last year, the feds spent about 18 percent of GDP and no core federal responsibilities were being shirked".

    That wasn't sustainable spending, though, because he had to spend the surplus social security income to claim that it was a balanced budget. That money was supposed to be for future generations. Clinton was no different. He just got lucky to be sitting president during a bull market.

  • Ken||

    At least he promised to veto anything with earmarks. So thats at least one good thing.

  • Timely Renewed||

    Actually , the solution does lie in going past to the past -- all the way back to the past. To really reduce the scope, size and power of the federal leviathan we need to restore the original constitutional limits on the federal government. The only way I can see to do that is constitutional amendments restoring the Constitution’s original meaning and structure.

    However, the federal Congress is not going to approve by two-thirds vote constitutional amendments limiting federal power. Therefore, we must first amend the amendment process itself to eliminate the unnecessary convention now required by Article V and permit States to directly initiate amendment proposals. This will break the current de facto federal congressional and judicial monopoly on interpreting the Constitution, and permit grassroots patriots on the state level to restore the Constitution by amendment. See http://www.timelyrenewed.com

  • ||

    WTF!? who is gonna pay for this-with what taxes,from what jobs---there's a hole in the bucket,dear Liza,dear Liza---and the more money we print in government, the less we have in our pockets-and prices going up----won't be long before the catch-prase is "PASS THE AMMUNITION"----PTA!

  • ||

    SARAH PALIN IS LAUGHING-SOMEWHERE-WHERE HER WINDOW CAN SEE ACROSS THE BERING STRAITS--AND SEE--RUSSIA! SHE SAYS WTF-YEH-WE ALL SAY THAT!

  • ||

    WINDOW SHOPPING FOR THE ECONOMY IS ABOUT AS SATISFYING AS EATING CARDBOARD WHEN YOU ARE UNEMPLOYED, SICK,AND HUNGRY. STOP BLOWING SUNSHINE UP THE COUNTRY'S KNICKERS AND GET DOWN TO THE VERY UGLY REALITY---WE ARE BROKE AS A NATION, AND IT WON'T GET HAPPIER ANYTIME SOON! SOON-EVEN SARAH PALIN WILL STOP RESPONDING TO OBAMA'S RHETORIC---THEN-THE GOOSE IS WELL DONE!

  • nike running shoes||

    is good

  • alipay||

    good

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