Politics

Left and Right, Fooled by Obama

Is the president really a liberal?

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Smart women know that if a guy is sending mixed signals—promising to call but never getting around to it, making dates and then canceling, professing warm feelings but not introducing you to his friends—it can mean only one thing: He's just not that into you.

Liberals keep wondering why Barack Obama so often disappoints them. But if he truly cared about not disappointing them, he wouldn't. He disappoints them because his heart is somewhere else.

It took a while, but thanks to the tax deal he reached with Republicans, it seems to be dawning on those in the left wing of the Democratic Party that he is not one of them and never will be.

They were aghast when he agreed to keep the Bush tax cuts for upper-income households, while settling for an inheritance tax rate of just 35 percent. House Democrats promptly rejected the agreement wholesale.

For a long time, liberals suppressed their doubts by blaming Republicans, or Wall Street's excessive influence, or Obama's political advisers. Eventually they decided the president, though well-meaning, was naive, inept, or afraid to fight. They did not, however, examine the underlying presumption: that Obama shares their beliefs and goals.

No doubt they took heart from his background as a community organizer, his idealistic rhetoric, and his left-wing pastor. They were also encouraged by conservatives who denounced him as a fanatical socialist on a mission to transform America into a replica of France or Cuba or Berkeley, Calif.

The last two Democratic presidents, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, were white Southerners who hewed close to the center. In Obama, an African-American from Chicago, those on the left end of the spectrum expected something more to their taste.

So the tax cut deal came as a bitter surprise. But why? Obama has made it plain that he sees liberal priorities as sometimes congenial but always expendable.

He signed a stimulus package far smaller than liberals wanted. He dropped the "public option" from health care reform while protecting the interests of insurance companies. He bailed out big banks.

He stuck to George W. Bush's policy in Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan. He hasn't gotten around to closing the Guantanamo detention camp. He signed a free trade deal with South Korea.

Fervent liberals claim there's nothing in the middle of the road but yellow stripes and dead armadillos. But that's where Obama consistently travels.

A few weeks ago, liberal Democrats were up in arms about the recommendations of deficit commission co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the plan "simply unacceptable." Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, an avowed socialist, denounced it as "absurd."

What no one seemed to notice is that the commission came about only because of an executive order by Obama, who also appointed the leaders. Could it be that Obama selected them because he knew, and liked, what they would propose?

Jonathan Chait of The New Republic noted that their plan is "tilted, overwhelmingly, toward Republican priorities," and that "three-quarters of the savings come from spending cuts." He made the excuse that to appease Republicans, "the commission had to cater to their whims by crafting a plan that lies almost as far as can be toward the right-wing side of potential choices."

Could be. Or it could be they catered to the whims of Barack Obama.

Conservatives have always assumed that because he learned from radical Saul Alinsky, knew former Weatherman Bill Ayers, and sat through sermons by Jeremiah ("God damn America") Wright, Obama must sing "The Internationale" every morning in the shower. Giving up that conviction is not easy.

Even after he cut the tax deal with Republicans, Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger claimed the president is "a Class Warrior with every fiber of his being"—comparing his policies to those of Franklin Roosevelt in his 1936 attack on "economic royalists."

But under FDR, the top income tax rate was 94 percent. Obama proposed a top rate of 39.6 percent. That's higher than under President George W. Bush, but lower than the 50 percent top rate in 1986—when the president was a notorious class warrior named Ronald Reagan.

Liberals and conservatives have one thing in common: They have both persisted in believing that Obama, in his heart of hearts, is a man of the left. But by his fruits, they—eventually—shall know him.

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  1. When will both sides learn – Obama does what is good for Obama?

    1. When will both sides learn – Obama does what is good for Obama?

      In other words, he IS a liberal.

      1. You must mean politician.

        1. This ^

      2. He is a socialist at best.

        1. He’s a corporatist.

          1. There is a difference?

            1. In pratice… not really.

    2. Good morning AP and Suki. My two favorite people.

      1. Are you sure they’re both people?

      2. I thought a penny was Suki.

      3. Hello Rather. Good to hear from you.

        1. Picked up the flu in London, along with my first TSA orgasm.

          1. At least you didn’t come home empty handed.

            Seriously, get well and plan for your next TSA encounter.

  2. I seem to recall how, just a year or so ago, anyone who disagreed with Obama had to be a racist. There was no possible reason to disagree with his policies other than racism.

    So by claiming to oppose Obama’s recent policy decisions, liberals are showing their true colors.

    They’re a bunch of racists!

    1. My God, you’re right.

    2. A year ago? I was seeing “Obama’s critics are racists” accusation as late as early fall.

      Personally, watching fossilized commies like Bernie Sanders argue that we can’t spend our way out of this depression has been pretty sweet.

  3. …and sat through sermons by Jeremiah (“God damn America”) Wright

    This rather conservative guy never held this one against Obama. I have always seen his attending that church as Michelle’s doing. Obama would not be the first man that has bought peace all week with an hour of his time on a Sunday morning.

    1. God damn GoNavy!

      1. I have never felt so proud to be an American in this country when Go Navy showed me that he understands it’s better that men hang up their balls to make a better marriage.

        1. Let me be clear.

          This “Michelle O” is an imposter.

          1. Yeah, but I wouldn’t risk making her mad, regardless.

            1. Lol. Slick Willy, I would never hurt you…unless you fucked with me 😉

          2. Let me be clear.

            So, you’re asking God for this favor, right? It’s what you Hope to Be and Need to Change, the Better You, the Higher Self?

            Because there’s no other it makes any sense.

    2. This rather conservative guy never held this one against Obama. I have always seen his attending that church as Michelle’s doing. Obama would not be the first man that has bought peace all week with an hour of his time on a Sunday morning

      According to “Game Change”, that book about the election, the church was Barack’s choice, not Michelle’s.

      1. That said, the whole Rev Wright thing is still a big ol nothingburger.

        1. yeah, you weren’t there when chickens came home to roost. we cleaned up droppings for weeks!

      2. I had trouble with what is actually wrong with saying “goddamn America”. Even the most retarded among us can see this country is pretty fucked up.

        1. The problem with this statement is that in its context Wright went on for several minutes slamming various social justice policies that Bush and other republicans did not support, such as “healthcare,” “affirmative action,” and “tax breaks to the wealthy” among a bunch of other things. Wrights assertion throughout up to the “goddamn America” part is that the US government has failed to make right the wrongs done to Africans in the past by not supporting the aforementioned social policies. He also asserts that the government is actively seeking go enslave black people by keeping them in the ghetto, impoverished, hopeless and on drugs. To his last point I believe he is correct and I will explain momentarily. Anyway, this whole screed is aimed at certain social policies that if not outright socialist, are at least gateway policies to outright socialism. The brunt of his point is aimed at goals that are unconstitutional by any rational sense and therefore, when he says “goddamn America” he is referring to the constitutional ideal America. In face, if you rewind the speech even further back he makes several assertions that the constitution before the 13th 14th and 15th amendments the constitution somehow allowed slavery. Any laws that allowed slavery or racial discrimination in terms of equality under the law was unconstitutional. IMO, these amendments are nice ornaments, but really not necessary.

          America is fucked up, but it is not the original intent and spirit of the constitution that is fucked up, it is the politicians who work to defy the constitution that are fucking it up and there are some cultural issues that keep it fucked up. Black people are stuck in the ghetto because people like Wright go around and tell those black people that they are victims of centuries of oppression at the hands of rich white people. Victims always feel helpless. Helplessness stifles any drive to improve ones lot in life, because after all, they were never given the education, “level playing field,” or legal equity to get out of poverty. If there is no legal equity in this country for black people, it is because of courts and laws that are not in keeping with the constitution, not because of the constitution. Wright and many others seem to believe that what is needed are more laws and amendments to the constitution that provide equity for only certain groups or races of people. For most part there is nothing wrong with the aforementioned amendments, though the 15th does rectify certain language that was added to the Article one about determining representation for states, AKA the 3/5 clause. To be clear, the 3/5ths clause did not prohibit black people from voting, it prevented southern states that wanted to protect slave laws from gaining additional representation, which would balance the power of the House in favor of the southern states because of their huge black populations. If these southern states had gotten full representation, they would have perpetuated slavery even longer. Correcting this language is only necessary if you are interpreting the constitution completely wrong. Considering the fact that every other elected official who speaks seems to have a completely retarded understanding of the constitution, I guess it is good that there is some clarity.

          The fact that too few politicians actually uphold and defend the constitution is whats fucked up about America, not the constitutional ideal itself.

  4. Seeings as how he’s just a cog in the Rodham Chicago Machine, of course he’s going to do everything that Bill Clinton would have done.

  5. Is the president really a liberal?

    It depends on what the definition of “Is” is.

  6. Nah, Chapman. Obama isn’t a liberal. Hes a GD Marxist traitor bent on distroying this country.

    I hope he dies a lingering, painful death.

  7. Chapman is wrong here. Just because Obama yielded to political realities in the stimulus, health care, tax and other legislation does not mean he’s a moderate. Just witness his sour performance when asked about the tax deal he just made: He couldn’t be more clear about how much he hated both the deal and the people with whom he made it.

    A better gauge would be to conduct this thought experiment: If Obama didn’t have to worry about Congress and could just decree into law what he wanted, what do you think the shape of the stimulus, health care bill and tax rate regime would be right now? Ditto CO2 laws and card check.

    I rest my case.

    1. Obama is a whore, but a socialist whore!

      1. it keeps costs down and provides greater availability for more “clients”.

    2. Absolutely. He has nationalized more industry in the last two years than either Chavez or Castro, prompting both to joke that he was moving to the left of them.

      He signed into law a massive socialized health care program.

      He’s driven welfare payments through the roof.

      I mean, seriously, the guy has done NOTHING that is to the “center” of the political spectrum, much less the “right” of it.

      One must be smoking crack to make this defense of Obama, this claim that he’s not a leftist liberal.

      1. Uh huh.

        What “Left” means depends entirely on where you’re sitting.

    3. That press conference was an excellent example of the difference between Obama and Reagan/Clinton. If the latter had been compelled to make a deal like that, they would have swaggered to the podium, robustly projected confidence, and sold the deal like it was the best and only way for the foreseeable future. Obama doesn’t have this quality unless he’s campaigning; the ability to actually sell the details of real-world policies eludes him, and his “leadership when it’s convenient” governing style doesn’t do anything more than irritate both sides.

  8. Obama is a liberal who practices incrementalism.

    He will go as far to the left as he thinks he can get away with at any point in time.

    If blocked, he may make a tactcial retreat or side step. But the objective is always to keep pushing leftward.

    1. How delighted you must be then that the left is fringe in the USA.

      1. According to the MSM, the left is the center.

  9. This article is bullshit. Obama is an extreme Leftist with an extreme leftist agenda – that which has driven him to his downfall. He simply has been able to comprehend the reality of Nov 2nd and act accordingly, which now surprises those of us (ie., most of us) who were sure that he did not possess the inherent ability to do so. What we are seeing here is the manifestation of the fact that he is, above all, a rank opportunist to his marrow and that that will always supersede his leftist core if needs be.

    1. ” a rank opportunist to his marrow and that that will always supersede his leftist core if needs be.” So you admit that he is not, in fact, an extreme Leftist with an extreme leftist agenda.

      1. Uh, no. I gather that you think that being an opportunist precludes being an extreme leftist, etc. Dostip: it doesn’t.

  10. Both sides are full of shit.

    The left went ballistic because Obama never wanted single-payer and eventually abandoned them on a public option that was friendly to the insurance business and sent Aetna, Wellpoint, and others stock soaring.

    The dumbass conservatives falsely called this a “government takeover of healthcare” – similar to how new capital standards in FinReg are a “government takeover of banking” – again proving that conservatives are the dimmest bulbs on any Xmas tree.

    Same type irrational wailing on both sides = he is pragmatic and effective.

    Oh – and I still have my fucking guns you idiot Beckerhead Cons.

    1. “He’s a Marxist!”

      “He’s a corporate shill!”

      “He’s destroying the country!”

      “He’s destroying the middle class and protecting the rich!”

      Only thing we’re learned about Obama: The people that label him are obviously morons.

      1. CommentArrrr|12.13.10 @ 9:20AM|#

        “He’s a Marxist!”

        “He’s a corporate shill!”

        “He’s destroying the country!”

        “He’s destroying the middle class and protecting the rich!”

        Only thing we’re learned about Obama: The people that label him are obviously morons.

        Stupid is what stupid does and you do stupid so damn well.

    2. Same type irrational wailing on both sides = he is pragmatic and effective.

      Remember the Thorazine, shriek.

    3. “The left went ballistic because Obama never wanted single-payer…” Obama always wanted single payer and still does.

      1. Hence the inclusion of provisions in the health care law that will drive virtually all private insurers out of business.

        1. Quit listening to Rush Limbaugh (King of the Rednecks) and your paranoid lapses of reason will become less frequent.

          1. So the 85% requirement isn’t in the law, shriek?

            Let’s see if you can respond cogently for once.

          2. “paranoid lapses of reason”

            Drink?

            1. No need…reading shriek’s reality-defying posts makes me as woozy as a few single-malts.

          3. Why bother with Rush? One only need listen to Obama, who pointed out that Social Security and Medicare started out a lot smaller than they are today.

            Conservatives and libertarians needn’t worry, though, because spending on those programs, plus the new healthcare regs, is about to go pear-shaped thanks to the aging of the baby boomers. Anyone who thinks that the whole entitlement system isn’t going to get subsequently knocked on its ass, short of a war or Black Plague-type disease that wipes out 1/3 of the population, in the span of 1-2 decades clearly hasn’t seen the numbers.

          4. “The left went ballistic because Obama never wanted single-payer…”

            “I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer universal health care plan.” – Barack Obama

        2. If the mandate isn’t overruled it will keep the big private insurers in business. All the little guys will be out and premiums will sky rocket, but that’s how it was designed.

          You really think the lobbyists from Blue Cross/Blue Shield and the like wrote a bill that they thought would eventually force a single-payer system? Even better, unless you want to go to prison like Wesley Snipes, you better get on one of their plans or else pay your insurance tax.

    4. So:

      1. You’re okay with gov’t healthcare and banking takeovers.

      2. You have a gun and are willing to commit violence in the name of your political ideology.

      Thanks for showing your true colors, shrike… you’re a liberal anarchist.

      1. He loves Somalia where it is all cooperate with the thugs or die. A leftist vision of heaven if there ever was one.

      2. There is no “takeover” you idiot.

        The only thing that came close in my lifetime was the Bushpig’s $700 billion TARP government mandatory purchase of bank equity.

        And Obama has backed that out – even made $12 billion on the nag of the lot, Citigroup.

        Only you conservative idiots think a new minimum capital requirement is a “takeover”.

        1. I’ll do anything to protect Obama… even lie.

          ESPECIALLY lie.

  11. Is it a coincidence that things have gone better Obama-wise since my former classmate (sigh) David Axelrod returned to his walrus-hole in Chicago?

    1. Yes, it is a coincidence.

      And, “Go, whatever our mascot was!”

    2. What am I, chopped liver?!

  12. To ponder what Obama’s personal convictions are is irrelevant. Does anyone actually believe Obama is making the calls on anything?

    1. Who do you think is pulling his strings?

      1. Whoever runs the Chicago political machine. I suspect it’s Hillary.

        1. Daley.

          1. Ahem, over here, over here, anytime, anytime…

  13. Whoa, Steve. You are confusing expediency with ideology.

    The only reason he feels safe enough to move to the left in small steps instead of big ones is because he understand that they will always come back to him. There’s no need to keep feeding them – he owns them. If he took big steps, the rest of the country would reject them (see healthcare). At the end of the day, his policies put the country much closer to their vision than ever before.

    1. They, them, them, them, their. What?

  14. As with almost all of Chapman’s articles, this one too is complete bullcrap.

    Does anyone honestly believe that Obama wouldn’t have signed a single payer bill if it could have passed through Congress? Give me a freaking break. They barely managed to ram through the bill that they did WITHOUT the single payer option, and they had to use every low-down dirty trick in the book to do it.

    As for his compromise now on taxes, unlike Pelosi and the insane lefty democrats in the House, Obama really seems to understand that he took a historic beatdown last month, and that if he doesn’t triangulate like Bill Clinton did he’s not going to get re-elected.

    Chapman is the new Weigel; a complete tool.

    1. But he’s always been too shallow to be a good tool.

      they had to use every low-down dirty trick in the book to do it.

      No, that really wasn’t enough. They wrote an entirely new book in the process of getting that one through.

      Obama’s a socialist. It’s just that there are always those who are even more socialist-er.

  15. I’m pretty sure that Obama has said several times that making sure the wealthy don’t have to sacrifice a single dime, while lecturing everyone else about the need for sacrifice and austerity, is not among his top priorities.

    It’s annoying when ideologues on the left assume things that were never true: one that Obama is a huge liberal firebrand (they were behind Edwards during the primary–some judgment they have); two, that he can get stuff passed without having to count votes in Congress.

    I’m sure if he were a dictator, we’d have single-payer, but he’s not and he apparently seems little point in coming out in favor of things that will never pass.

    1. “making sure the wealthy don’t have to sacrifice a single dime,….”

      That would be the same wealthy that already pay most of the federal income taxes collected – far in excess of the percentage of the total value of government services that are provided to them in exchange for their money.

      Looks that they are already hit up pretty good by Uncle Sam.

      1. far in excess of the percentage of the total value of government services that are provided to them in exchange for their money.

        That’s a matter of opinion. I think the wealthy have been treated pretty well by their government, especially over the last 10-20 years. And I don’t think tax policy should be based on your opinion of how badly the rich have been treated. It should be based on what pays the bills in a way that doesn’t burden anyone.

        1. “That’s a matter of opinion”

          No, it is a matter of empirical fact.

          Theo bottom 50% of income earners only pay about 3% of federal income taxes collected. There is no way that they are only getting 3% of the value of government services – especially since all the recepients of government welfare progrmas like food stamps and Medicaid are in that group.

          And if they are getting more than 3%, that means that the top 50% who pay 97% of the taxes collected are getting less than 97% of the value of services provided by those taxes.

          Those “rich” are therefore paying more in taxes than the value of services they are receiving.

          1. That’s if you ignore the benefits that being rich by itself entails. I think we have a system that, more than anything else, rewards merely being rich. Not to mention the intangible benefits of having a social safety net, national security, and the rule of law, which, one could argue, the rich benefit the most from. It’s not quite as simple as you have laid out–and you’re ignoring the fact behind the disproportionate numbers: the rich have most of the money. That’s why they pay most of the taxes.

            1. WHy do you rob banks?

              Cause that’s where the money is!

            2. Utter nonsense.

              No one’s income or wealth level is a ‘service” provided to them by the federal government.

              It IS indeed as simple as I laid out and you aren’t the least bit capable of proving the case is otherwise.

        2. “…what pays the bills in a way that doesn’t burden anyone.”

          Magic?

          1. Not having a 5th car is not a burden, especially when compared to not having a 3rd meal in a day.

            1. How many cars are owned by Teresa Kerry and her pet, John?

            2. Tony|12.13.10 @ 12:54PM|#
              “I copied another brain-dead non-sequitur from some dim-bulb web site.”

              Thanks, Tony, we knew you could do it!

    2. Why isn’t 34.5% good enough, Tony? Do you really think we can fix our financial problems just by increasing taxes on those fucking rich people*?

      *Not my definition; I’m not a Democrat.

      1. No, but they’re the ones who can afford to pay more, and are we or are we not concerned with balancing the books? I realize Republicans have been completely open about being total hypocrites, hysterically warning about a debt apocalypse for two years only to stop caring once welfare checks for the rich were on the line, but I fail to see why 34.5%=freedom and 39%=tyranny.

        Assuming you care about actually addressing budget shortfalls (and not just ignoring the issue in favor of daydreaming about massive cuts to government that won’t ever occur in reality), this would seem to be an easy way to make up some ground without burdening anybody.

        The rich weren’t even asked to sacrifice to pay for two wars–an unprecedented idea. Whatever your position on government policy, let’s not forget that Republicans will never find themselves in a moment where they think it would be prudent to raise taxes on the rich. They exist to cut those taxes (and do little else). So I’m just asking for a little honesty. If not from the GOP, which is asking too much, at least from you.

        1. Let’s face it, Tony: The ONLY reason liberals want to rescind the Bush tax cuts (one of his few positive actions), is based in jealousy of wealth and revenge against the wealthy and, more importantly, against Bush.

          Cut. The. Fucking. Budget.

          1. Cut what from the budget? What’s so fucking sacrosanct about a 35.4% rate, enacted by a president who failed at almost everything? It’s not like the cuts did any good for the economy.

            Because if you actually started listing things to cut that would make up for the shortfall, you’d be in a position of arguing for fewer social services for poor people for the sake of keeping tax rates lower for rich people. To me that’s a stupid and immoral position.

            1. Everything. As in “everything”. Eliminate what we don’t need, and cut the rest. Five percent off the top would be a good start.

              If *I* have to live on less in hard times, then so should the government.

              1. Isn’t cutting everything indiscriminately just a way to punish fiscally sound programs and reward wasteful ones? Can we be a little more serious about the issue than that? Just say you think it’s good policy for government to give a brand new Lexus to every wealthy person and that you’re OK with cutting services to poor people in order to pay for it.

                1. “government to give a brand new Lexus to every wealthy person”

                  Hyperbole.

                  1. “Punish”? No, just trim the fat.

                    As for the wasteful ones… eliminate them, as I clearly implied earlier.

                  2. It’s not hyperbole at all. In fact, if you make substantially more than a quarter million a year, you’d be getting a lot more than a brand new Lexus.

                    1. So I think it’s perfectly legitimate to say you’re in favor of government cutting programs for poor people in order to give a new lexus to rich people. That’s only if you’re interested in fiscal prudence (which the Republicans aren’t, they just say they are when Democrats are in power). It’s still an immoral position.

                    2. It’s still an immoral position.

                      No, plunder is immoral. And what you love is plunder. Pure and simple.

                    3. Tony|12.13.10 @ 11:55AM|#
                      “It’s not hyperbole at all.”

                      You’re right. It’s just, plain stupidity.

                2. I’m not in favor of the Central State passing out Lexuses to those who have earned them, but I’m not for that same Central State taking them away from those who have.

                  Get it?

                  1. Oops…that first should be “have not earned them.”

                    1. They got the Lexus by sitting there doing nothing while Republicans gave it to them. How did they earn it exactly?

                    2. “They got the Lexus by sitting there doing nothing while Republicans gave it to them. ”

                      Prove it.

                3. I’m okay with cutting services to poor people in order for wealthy people to buy a brand new Lexus with their own money.

            2. What’s so fucking sacrosanct about a 35.4% rate, enacted by a president who failed at almost everything? It’s not like the cuts did any good for the economy.

              That’s beside the point, and it clearly shows that you haven’t bothered to do the math (by your own admission, because you’re too lazy).

              Bringing back the Clinton-era tax rates on “the rich” would only yield an extra $70 billion a year–or, a measly 4% of the current budget deficit, assuming no subsequent tax avoidance. And no, this isn’t a case where “every little bit helps!” This is about your social disapproval of people who make a lot of money, not because you actually care about bringing the deficit down. Even bringing back those rates across the board only yields $300 billion–again, assuming no subsequent tax avoidance. And raising those rates in the teeth of a depression is the height of stupidity.

              And please don’t argue that the middle class have low tax burdens. I make $60K a year–yet taxes make up the single biggest portion of my monthly budget, and it’s not even close, even after taking out the state taxes. That’s on top of sales taxes and countless fees at the local level. I have money in the bank only because I live like a damn monk; I certainly don’t spend my dollars the way the President and the country’s dipshit economists want me to spend.

              As far as cutting government spending, eliminating a 30+-year failure like the Department of Education would be a good start, but the only way to bring the budget back on line and start paying down the debt is to make cuts to the Big 5–Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Defense, and Unemployment/Other Entitlements. The only other real option is to do what Jackson did to pay down the debt–sell off public lands.

              1. I love Tony’s non-answer. He just keeps thinking that the government is giving out brand-new luxury cars to rich people, which is total bullshit AND wealth-envy.

            3. If Bush failed at everything so did Mini-me.

            4. Just say you think it’s good policy for government to give a brand new Lexus to every wealthy person and that you’re OK with cutting services to poor people in order to pay for it.

              It’s good policy for government to not steal a brand new Lexus from every wealthy person, and I’m okay with cutting services to all people to keep such theft from being rationalized as good or necessary.

        2. (stomping foot) but they’re the only ones who can afford to pay more!

        3. Whatever your position on government policy, let’s not forget that Republicans will never find themselves in a moment where they think it would be prudent to raise taxes on the rich.

          Now you’re being ridiculous. 1) Democrats favor ‘the rich’ almost as much as Republicans’. Note the bailouts of big business so favored current ‘leadership’. 2) Republicans exist to win elections and gain power. If that means trashing ‘the rich’, Republicans will do just that. Of course, if both parties start in on this ‘the rich’ will then start moving all that money you want to confiscate in the name of ‘social justice’ out of reach of the IRS, revenue will drop, and ‘the poor’ will end up worse off than they would be otherwise, but at least we socked it to ‘the rich’, which is what really matters.

    3. Hey look, its Crony doing his best to explain why thuggery is good for one and all. Such a swell gent, even if he expects you to pay his rent.

    4. Right. Mr. Two Americas – a fucking millionaire going around the country telling people that millionaires are evil – was a “good” choice for president.

      I’m STILL laughing over everyone who supported Mister Pretty-Hairdo.

      Oh, and he cheated on his now-dead wife. Real classy, John.

  16. I’m pretty sure that Obama has said several times that making sure the wealthy the government and those cashing government checks don’t have to sacrifice a single dime, while lecturing everyone else about the need for sacrifice and austerity, is not among his top priorities.

    I think this is a little more accurate view of what Obama has actually done.

    1. You mean a little more framed according to your silly antigovernment dogma, which wouldn’t change much no matter what circumstance or decade we happened to be in.

      1. Remember, kiddies, objecting to unlimited plunder by the State means you are “antigovernment.”

        That is all.

      2. You mean a little more framed according to your silly antigovernment dogma

        Note to self:

        The left winger is displaying strange behavior today…he appears to now agree with the enforcement of slavery, the war on drugs, the massacre of Indians, and every war the US has been in since WW2.

      3. Tony, why should the people PAY for the state’s inability to balance the budget? How is that any of OUR fault? It’s the politician who spend not us – though I must admit we’re assholes for asking for social perks politicians are all too willing to give.

  17. Well, Tony, I would be delighted to hear about Obama doing anything that would mean the government and those cashing government checks have sacrificed a single dime.

    And no, a limited modified “pay freeze” doesn’t count.

    1. But you don’t include the biggest recipients of government boondoggle around, those paying the upper tax rates. Does a person who makes a quarter million dollars a year need a new Lexus from the government? That’s what they’re getting in this time of austerity and sacrifice.

      1. Are we back to the “tax cuts for the rich = sending wealthy people checks” BS? Seriously? Because that propaganda may fly with the easily-led, but… this is not a tax cut.

        Thirty-four percent is good enough. Cut spending, and quit fucking with the tax rates/feeding the wealth-envy pitchfork brigades.

        1. We can go back and forth all day long re-framing the issue. You can say it’s preventing a tax increase, I can say it’s a welfare check to the rich. Who cares? Do the Republicans whose talking points you are regurgitating really think they can get much mileage with this stupid doubletalk? “It’s not a tax cut!” Yeah who gives a shit. It was a tax cut and was set to expire. If they had been cut to 20% you’d be arguing that that is “good enough” wouldn’t you?

          I say the burden of proof should be on those who passed the cut without any plan to pay for it–with two wars going on to boot–as to why they should be kept, not those who argue simply for paying for the things we buy.

          1. I’d settle for a 20% top tax rate, if that were the best outcome.

            I don’t spend my every waking moment hating rich people. Sure, I engage in some wistful wealth envy now and then, but *I* don’t want my occasional lapses to become public policy, which is the big difference.

            1. When you guys don’t have an argument you start in with the cheap psychoanalysis. Why does it never occur to you guys that class warfare can be fought both ways–and, I’d argue, the rich have been winning handily.

              1. I listened to several of Bernie Sanders’ speeches and interviews over the last few days, Tony… and it is NOT “cheap psychoanalysis” to call a spade a spade. That smug prick was saying exactly what I described earlier.

                1. And, I might should have added… Sanders isn’t the only one flogging that “rich people suck” bullshit.

                  But, thankfully, there is only one Bernie Sanders. However, he does have like-minded supporters, and they’re all full of shit.

              2. And that’s why libertarians want to remove the government from the economy altogether, so there is no “class warfare” i.e. one class of people using the government to their advantage against another class of people.

          2. “I can say it’s a welfare check to the rich”

            You can say it all you want. It is an economically false statement.

            People keeping their own money are not being “given” anything. It was their own money to begin with.

            1. Not if before the tax cut it belonged to the treasury, i.e., the people. It was the people’s money turned into a welfare check for the rich.

              1. chicken, egg, chicken, egg…

              2. Not if before the tax cut it belonged to the treasury, i.e., the people. It was the people’s money turned into a welfare check for the rich.

                The government is not refunding any money to a person. Merely reducing amount that is taken from them going forward. You seem to be arguing that once taxes are at one rate, the money that represents belongs to the government permanently even if tax rates are reduces. The top marginal tax rate was at 94% at one time; therefore, 94% of all income that would have been taxed at that rate in reality belongs to the government. This is bizarre.

                1. No more bizarre than arguing that we can’t raise taxes because it’s “their money.” Which implies that rates must only go down and can never go up.

              3. More nonsense. It never “belonged” to the Treasury. The Treasury didn’t create that wealth to begin with.

                And there wasn’t (and isn’t) anything sacred about the previous tax rates. Tax rates have changed many times over the history of the country.

          3. Since the tax rate could theoretically be 100%, Tony, then by your logic doesn’t all income belong to Treasury, and the portion that individuals are permitted to keep is a gift from the government? Wouldn’t it only be fair if everyone recieve the exact same allowance as everyone else? Of course, everyone would contribute equally, right?

            Oh wait, some people aren’t as smart or physically capable as others. Okay then, everyone has to contribute as much as he is able. Also, a single man with no dependents doesn’t need as much money as, say, an unwed mother with eight kids; so each person should receive a government gift based on how much they need, right?

            It’s the perfect plan! Why hasn’t anyone ever tried this before?

      2. Tony is exactly right on this one, provided you’re a fucking retard that believes earned income from every taxpayer belongs to the state and the state provides you with an allowance.

  18. We can go back and forth all day long re-framing the issue. You can say it’s preventing a tax increase, I can say it’s a welfare check to the rich.

    And you would be wrong. Extending current rates prevents a tax increase, and is not a welfare check to anyone.

    1. If it’s not offset by spending cuts that don’t burden anyone more than they already are, then it’s essentially a welfare check paid for by the Chinese.

      If you want to argue that we shouldn’t raise taxes due to the economic conditions, fine, be a Keynesian, but I doubt you’d ever be in favor of raising the upper rates even if they were much lower and the economy were sound.

      1. I doubt you’d ever be in favor of raising the upper rates

        If upper rates were below lower rates then i would be in favor of raising them…but to be honest I probably would simply want to lower the lower rates so they are the same as the upper rates.

        NOW SAY THAT 10 TIMES REALLY FAST!!!

      2. Of course we’re not in favor of raising rates at anytime. We’re libertarians! We don’t want to be forced to participate or pay for these programs. We want to make our own choices as to what to do with our time and money.

        1. Of course we’re not in favor of raising rates at anytime. We’re libertarians!

          I don’t know. If Income, corporate, and capital gains were all a flat 12% i would probably stop arguing over the issue if they wanted to raise them to 15%.

  19. Ahem. I am a half-educated grifter who shucked and jived his way through our flabby university system by reading a handful of crude hackneyed polemics and impressed my equally lazy professors who have essentially done the same. I really wouldn’t know Karl Marx from skid marks.

  20. I can confirm this.

    1. He is slacker. This chocolate-colored fellow is NOT following plan.

        1. Run, RUN! its them chickens agin!

        2. ARFARFARFARFARFARFARF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

  21. It’s not that complicated. He’s still exactly what he’s always said he was. He just capitulated because he couldn’t let the tax cuts expire for the middle class and poor which is what would’ve happened if he hadn’t gotten the Repubs on board by giving them something they liked for Christmas. They should have held out and demanded that the tax cuts be made permanent for all(AT LEAST!).

  22. Being a millimeter to the right of Trotsky and FDR does not make Obama center of the road.

    Also I am sick of the whole left/right paradigm. On my scale he is on the 606th layer of the Abyss of statism, 10 million miles below the sea level of libertopia.

    1. I sit here in Dom Daniel chilled to my marrow.

  23. I thought this was settled. The left/right, liberal/conservative paradigm is a false one, the single purpose of which is to protect the interests of the ruling class/the status quo. No, the media is not liberal or conservative and those with their hands on the levers of power are neither liberal nor conservative. They are there to protect the interests of their masters. As long as the debate continues to be framed by the false, left/right continuum real issues will never be considered, which is how it is intended to be.

  24. Judge rules federal health care law unconstitutional…

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/201…..l_virginia

    1. So evidently Obamacare’s constitutionality will be determined by which political party the president was who appointed the presiding judge. What a clear and understandable document the constitution is…

      Ironic that what was the GOP alternative to Hillarycare is now the issue the GOP is attacking Obamacare’s constitutionality on.

      1. So evidently Obamacare’s constitutionality will be determined by which political party the president was who appointed the presiding judge. What a clear and understandable document the constitution is…

        I blame your buddy FDR for that one. The only reason why there is much confusion is because he decided to push the court toward socialism using political threats rather then doing the hard work of trying to amend it.

      2. Tony, it’s the correct determination, without regard to the ideological bent of ANY Judge or Court.

        Give it up. Hillarycare and Obamacare = bullshit that should never see the light of day. Just like McCain/Feingold should have been shitcanned, though there’s still hope to fix that horrific decision.

        1. Forgive me if I don’t take your word on that.

          1. It’s not “my word”, Tony… it’s how things should play out in the courts. Forcing people to buy a product or service, is bullshit and should be called out as such.

          2. Since Tony believes that all money belongs to the government except for the portion that they give to the serfs as gifts, he sees nothing wrong with the rulers dictating how the serfs spend their allowances.

            1. I’m not saying that, I’m really only acknowledging the legitimacy of taxation. I know that’s a radical concept around here.

            2. How is claiming that it is constitutional for the government to declare that each citizen is required by law to purchase a specific product in any way a defense of taxation?

    2. Wow. I knew this was more or less inevitable, as the law is blatantly unconstitutional on at least two major levels; but I certainly didn’t think it would happen this quickly; I thought this fight would take at least two or three years.

  25. Throw in the list: appealing DOMA and DADT decisions (and spinelessness on a legislative repeal of the latter), using the healthcare law to protect big pharmaceuticals, protecting Pfizer from investigation, the nomination of Elana Kagan. But there are still many things that maintain Obama’s left wing bona fides.

  26. Is Steve Chapman deaf, dumb, and blind? He must be, for Obama is as thoroughly Marxist as can be, and everything he has done proves it. This tax deal serves his purposes, yes, but it is laden with a carload of socialism. Obama disappoints his radical loons only because he is not moving fast enough.

    1. That is the nature of the Vanguard of the Proletariat. Wherever you are now, they will position themselves several steps ahead. Lenin experienced the very same problem Obama does today in 1920 with the Tonys to his left. Except Lenin’s New Economic Plan was quite a bit more tolerant of market based decision making than anything Obama would accept if unconstrained. Note to those who say, ‘he hasn’t been given enough time.’ Did we not know enough about Soviet Communism in 1920, two years in, to know that it should have been smothered in the cradle? Same with Obamaism. Gut the agencies, defund the acadamies, cut off the non profits on the government tit, raze every locale, incubator and safe house, leftist crazies thrive. Starve them and save ourselves.

  27. Wow. I knew this was more or less inevitable, as the law is blatantly unconstitutional on at least two major levels; but I certainly didn’t think it would happen this quickly; I thought this fight would take at least two or three years.

    The lawsuit ain’t over til the fat lady (take your pick: Kagan or Sotomayor) sings. We’re still a couple of years out from the SCOTUS opinion.

    Which I predict will be a more-in-sorrow-than-anger, gosh-we-have-all-this-precedent 5-4 ash-canning of any vestiges of limited government.

  28. the rich most certainly can pay more in taxes. There’s shitloads of money you could get from the rich. But a corporation making $250k per year in profit is NOT a RICH PERSON. That’s peanuts for a BUSINESS.

    Tony, these idiots might be… well, idiots. But it is also pretty apparent that the left isn’t serious about altering/changing tax laws and rates for optimal returns. A few extra percentage points isn’t going to do shit when fat rich bastards hide all their money anyway with expensive accountants. You wanna raise money from the rich? How about we put limits on write-offs. A mercedes is not a “business expesne”, and a day on the golf course isn’t either, even if you like to do meetings there. Or how about the real estate transfer tax? Better yet, how about a federal real estate property tax on houses over $1.1 million? Actually tax luxuries. You’re right, there’s is tons of money the rich could pay, and these are the ways it could be done. But your side seems more obsessed with the IDEA of the thing, and hence the focus on the bare RATE. Not to mention Obama’s flat out admission that he would still have a high tax rate even if it drew LESS money than a lower rate, which is CLEARLY an anti-rich ideological stance.

    If I were a congressmen, I’d be glad to compromise on tax rates if you guys would actually help cut spending. But your side is as rigid on that as libertarians are, and that’s really saying something.

    1. *by IDEA of the thing, I mean on the representational value of the tax rate, or the on the esoteric moral statement, if you will, as opposed to actually raising tax returns

    2. There is some rumbling about Obama taking on major tax reform at some point. Of course that’s necessary. Let the Repubs defend tax loopholes if they dare. (I’ve seen them try already, it’s not pretty, but Frank Luntz may not have worked it all out yet.)

      My problem with cutting spending is when it takes the form of the “bipartisan deficit commission”‘s ideas, or other schemes to cut social services for the poor. That is ultimately the GOP’s goal (after all that money could be in much better hands–rich people’s).

      We’re talking about rate because that’s what this bill is about. I’m all for tax reform that returns some progressivity and fairness to the system, and I’m all for spending cuts as long as it’s defense.

      1. Why is “defense” the ONLY place you mention, Tony?

        1. Because most of the other major parts of the budget I don’t want to see substantially cut.

          1. Because everything not-defense = untouchable? What a narrow mind you possess, Mister Liberal…

            1. …then again, anyone who ascribes morality to tax policy, has to have something wrong in the head. I keep forgetting that about our arguments, Tony.

              1. Yeah, because no taxes could be worse than others, right? Moron.
                Again you libertarians prove you’re morons.

                1. Shut the fuck up, Edwin, if you’re not going to say anything rational.

            2. I’m sure there are other things like agriculture subsidies and other unnecessary boondoggles. I’m just not in favor of stealing from the poor to give welfare to the rich is all.

              1. “Steeling from the poor to give welfare to the rich”

                Hmm… how does that work?

                1. Don’t ask him to explain his twisted “taxes have moral components” bullshit, El D.

                  Apparently, Edwin believes it, too. Fools do rush in.

          2. not even farm susbsidies? Or how about the arts thingy? These things are hardly crucial social services. There’s plenty of bullshit in the federal budget

      2. With “progressivity and fairness” defined as massive wealth transfers from the productive classes to shitheels and deadbeats.

  29. I said it before and I’ll say it again since it’s such a hard lesson for libertarians to learn. Taxes are most certainly legitimate. It is not the same as theft. you have the option to LEAVE the country you’re in. The government MIGHT chase you for taxes you owed while you WERE here (or wherever country you were born in), but they don’t tax you while you’re gone. Yes they will use force against you if you don’t pay. Because that’s theft of services. Similarly, a restaurant owner will probably use force against you if you try to dine-and-dash. You never sign a contract when you order your food, doesn’t make the arrangement any less real. While you’re in a country, you are entitled to year-round free access to a number of services. You need to pay for those services. That they are not pay-per-service doesn’t suddenly mean that they’re illegitimate. There are a number of private businesses that work similarly, like a gym membership; pay monthly, use it as much as you want, you don’t pay per visit to the gym. Why would it suddenly be illegitimate just becuase it’s a government?

    All the elements of implied contract are there except for a person who is truly clueless as to the nature of governments and laws, like some kid raisded in a basement his whole life or something.

    1. And maybe one day statists like you will see the difference between Kentucky and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

      1. Statists suck, be they full-bore leftists like Tony or semi-leftists like Edwin.

        1. Why, because we have much more sound arguments that actually point out the important elements in concepts as opposed to bullshit spin with semantics with a few key words like” force” and” theft” ?

          1. Coming from someone who typed this:

            “like some kid raisded in a basement his whole life or something”

            …I’m not all that confident you CAN make a sound argument, Edwin.

            1. Here’s where your argument against me, personally, falls on its ass, Edwin:

              I am a minimalist, an adherent to the “night watchman state” model. I don’t agree that all taxes/all government are/is unnecessary… just most of both.

              Not to get into an argument with the more-purist and/or actual anarchist libertarians… but your beef is more with them, than with me.

              But, if it makes you feel better, Edwin… just keep slingin’ your “moron” club, and look down your nose at everyone else. Be the elitist you believe yourself to be. It apparently makes you more confident, though one wonders why.

              1. OK, I clearly demolished your silly claim that taxes are “exactly the same as theft”. It’s the kind of semantic/logical game you guys play with just about everything.

                1. I never made that claim.

                  1. OK, then why did you mock my post?

        2. How am I semi-leftist? What because I’m not vehemently anti-government? If that to you automatically means I’m “leftist”, you need to seriously reconsider your political positions. I’m not saying anything any conservative wouldn’t say. Read my post on raising the tax rates above. Does that sound like “leftist” talk to you? Try fucking reading and paying attention, you ignorant douche.

          1. I read it. You managed to eke out a few decent points, I’ll admit. But, deep down, I think you dig on authoritarianism, a trait shared by leftists – thus, the “semi”.

            1. I “dig authoritarianism” because I don’t think taxes are exactly the same as theft? And that makes me a leftist?

              You have serious trouble understanding politics and the left/right dichotomy

  30. Obama is as left as left can be. The fact that he has been an abject failure in many smaller policies, like the “public option” doesn’t mean that he did not want it or did not fight to get it. He has set the groundwork for all sorts of socialist policies. Do you honestly think that if Obamacare actually gets implemented that it wont in the end drive insurance into the hands of the government?

    Obama sees the writing on the wall. He is going to placate these republicans with the tax issue so he can bank chips for some other bullshit program.

  31. He’s a member of the “gradually expand government power but don’t rock the boat too much at once, unless there’s a war” party.

    1. ObamaCare was “gradual”?

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  33. He’s a a pragmatic corporatist that believes government programs can improve lives. There’s very little evidence that he’s a radical leftist. Yes, if he thought it would work he would probably advocate for a medicare for all type of approach, but he knew that wouldn’t get the support of the health care lobby and republican-lite Democrats in the senate. And he thinks the tax rate should increase a little.

    A far left liberal might have ended the wars, lowered military spending, pushed for single-payer, significantly raised taxes on the wealthy, introduced anti-poverty programs, created actual government directed job programs, nationalize the banks, etc.

    What he’s done in office is probably pretty close to what you would expect from a moderate republican.

  34. How about mbt kisumu sandals this one: there are X driving deaths a year- what % of driving deaths (or serious injuries) involve alcohol, or other intoxicating substances? kisumu 2 People are pretty darn good drivers when they are not impaired.

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