Fiscal Cliff

So What's Next, Mr. President?

Nearly every decision made during Obama's presidency has been conducted under the canopy of catastrophe.

|

The worst part of the fiscal cliff deal isn't the specifics—though they do stink. It's being reminded again how utterly detached Washington is from reality.

The question, now that we've finally hiked taxes on the rich (and doesn't everyone feel better knowing that life is that much fairer?), is: How are we going to continue paying for the government we've been promised? As it turns out, raising tax rates on the "wealthy," the most pressing issue of the Obama Age, amounts to a mere $62 billion of new revenue.

To put it in perspective, the deficit spending this year alone was more than $1 trillion. So the fiscal deal will supposedly bring in $620 billion in new revenue over the next decade, which is less than any year's worth of debt under President Barack Obama. If redirecting resources from private-sector investments to green energy subsidies feels like a victory, congratulations.

But if you're not a class warrior, a Hollywood studio, a maker of electric motorcycles, a booze producer from Puerto Rico, an algae grower or NASCAR—all of which are subsidized in the bill—you're out of luck. For the rest of you, there are higher taxes. The expiration of the payroll tax holiday means that Washington will continue to pretend Social Security and Medicare are "paid for," and according to the Tax Policy Center, 77 percent of you will see your taxes rise an average of $1,635 per year.

The "American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012," indeed.

For all of you, there is also more debt, as the Congressional Budget Office found that the fiscal cliff deal increases the deficit by $4 trillion.

Yes, this is what Americans voted for in November. But if we're supposed to believe that this deal reflects a "balanced, responsible" approach as the president asserts, what does the future hold? The GOP has surrendered on its core issue: It voted for a tax hike. Obama? No spending cuts. No tax reform. No debt reduction. No entitlement reform. There is no balance. And none is coming.

How can we expect any useful policy to emerge from manufactured crisis, anyway? Nearly every decision made during Obama's presidency has been conducted under the canopy of catastrophe. The result is hastily assembled legislation that is larded up with goodies. It's no accident.

And a newly elected Congress will be immediately submerged into another round of "negotiations," this time centered on the debt ceiling (which we've already hit). Failure to surrender to the president's demands allows the media to portray Republicans as the ones pushing the nation into default/over cliffs/etc. Low-information voters will soon be informed by Democrats that the debt ceiling, rather than debt, is the villain.

Even if we concede that Republicans, with no leverage or leadership to speak of, did the best they could in averting even higher taxes, they still lost. And the dynamics of the debate have not changed. This might be politically fortuitous for the president, but it is a disaster for the rest of us. Obama is unserious about debt because anything that cuts the size of Washington threatens his agenda. But a looming $50 trillion unfunded entitlement crisis is real. And the party in charge hasn't offered any concrete ideas on how to deal with it.

So now that the rich pay more, it'd be nice if we could stop incessantly complaining about how dysfunctional Washington has become—as if ideological unanimity were something to be desired in a free nation—and start talking about how indifferent the president has been on one of the critical issues we face.

NEXT: Microsoft Wants Anti-Trust Authorities to Stick it to Google

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I can imagine a science fiction scenario in which a giant comet is bearing down on the Earth but the funding for the NASA mission to blow it up can’t get passed because of all the crappy subsidies attached to it.

    1. Simpsons did it. Simpsons did it.

      KENT BROCKMAN
      With our utter annihilation imminent, our federal government has snapped into action. We go live now via satellite to the floor of the United States congress.

      SPEAKER
      Then it is unanimous, we are going to approve the bill to evacuate the town of Springfield in the great state of–

      CONGRESSMAN
      Wait a second, I want to tack on a rider to that bill – $30 million of taxpayer money to support the perverted arts.

      SPEAKER
      All in favor of the amended Springfield-slash-pervert bill?

      FLOOR
      Boo!

      SPEAKER
      Bill defeated.

      KENT BROCKMAN
      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: democracy simply doesn’t work.

      1. Good grief. I am undone.

        1. Those bastards are everywhere.

          1. I’d say I’m like a pathetic fool whose memories are all old TV episodes, but they’ve probably done that joke too.

            1. That’s Abed on Community.

              1. There is someone other than Alison Brie on Community?

                1. Occasionally.

                2. Apparently the Alison Brie “teach me how to understand Christmas” video has been removed from the entire internet.

                  Okay, found a small clip with the “Diminishing returns” joke, but not the full scene.

                  1. You can still watch her sing “Santa Baby.”

                    1. I can’t look away from the 2nd link. It’s mezmerizing.

                    2. It’s like watching a lava lamp. That I want to take on a long train ride to Poundtown.

                    3. Thanks, it didnt come up from a google search.

                      Im guessing Vimeo is an authorized site or something.

                    4. How did all this yogurt get in my pants?

                  2. Try the Community episode (s03e10) name, Regional Holiday Music.

                    1. We are going to look back on the Community cast with amazement.

                      “All those people? On one show? And no one watched it?!”

                      Also, we will wonder what the hell the Emmy’s were thinking with their Modern Family obsession.

                    2. Hey Goldwater, speaking of TV, you’re another Wodehouse fan I think? No? Can’t remember now, but I read yesterday the BBC is doing a production of some Blandings Castle stories this year. I can’t decide if I’m pleased yet as David Walliams is involved.

                    3. The thing about Wodehouse is that it seems like you should dislike his characters- they are generally upper class twits who fell ass-backwards into their positions- they are just so lovable in their fuck upedness and they are generally harmless.

                      I guess that says a lot about how the British view nobility.

                    4. The problem with Wodehouse adaptations is that they must skip the hilarious descriptions. It’s less funny to see and hear a female character with a loud laugh than it is to read that her laugh sounded like “a squadron of cavalry charging over a tin bridge.”

                      And without a narrator, you don’t get bits like this (from “The Artistic Career of Corky”):

                      “Sir?” said Jeeves, kind of manifesting himself. One of the rummy things about Jeeves is that, unless you watch like a hawk, you very seldom see him come into a room. He’s like one of those weird birds in India who dissolve themselves into thin air and nip through space in a sort of disembodied way and assemble the parts again just where they want them. I’ve got a cousin who’s what they call a Theosophist, and he says he’s often nearly worked the thing himself, but couldn’t quite bring it off, probably owing to having fed in his boyhood on the flesh of animals slain in anger and pie.

                    5. Yes, for sure. I don’t think I would like watching the adaptations half as much if I wasn’t mentally playing through the narration at the same time.

                      They make excellent audiobooks.

                    6. Also, we will wonder what the hell the Emmy’s were thinking with their Modern Family obsession.

                      The two gay guys adopted a kid! So brave! And all the women are either old or jailbait! Subverting patriarchy! And the fat kid is hilaruous! Everyone loves funny fat kids!

                    7. And all the women are either old or jailbait!

                      DON’T TALK SHIT ABOUT SOFIA VERGARA!

                    8. YEAH, what he said! And Sarah Hyland is 22, bitch!

                    9. I’ve come to the conclusion that any of us, any of us, would fight each other to the death over who gets to woo Alison Brie.

                      I warn you now, I’ll cheat and I’m way stocked up on Acme products.

                    10. I’ll pass, JW. I’ve seen much better.

                    11. Then where are the pics, smart gai?

                    12. You’ve seen her, Warty. Short memory is indicative of lardassery. I don’t buy your 33 BMI claim. I think the 55% is correct.

                    13. That was your cue to post Luba. AND YOU FUCKED IT UP.

                    14. Worst chatroom ever.

                    15. Your mom is the worst chatroom ever.

                    16. I’ve seen better than Luba.-D

                    17. PICS YOU IDIOT

                    18. You’ve been eating carbs again, haven’t you? Did they run out of your special, special whey?-D

                    19. BMI is not a percentage body fat is… there is a difference.

                    20. I’ll pass, JW. I’ve seen much better.

                      Now, you’re just mocking my pain.

                    21. Now, you’re just mocking my pain.

                      Commiserating, actually.

                    22. I’ve come to the conclusion that any of us, any of us, would fight each other to the death over who gets to woo Alison Brie.

                      Sure, I’d grease the lot of you, no question.

      2. The “Simpsons did it” episode of South park was brilliant. It also should have been the clue to Groening to pack it up and quit.

        At least Groening is having Bart keep his promise:

        Bart: If I ever have a show, Im going to run it into the ground.

        1. And The Simpsons reply was Bart watching an episode of South Park and exclaiming “I just wonder how they keep it so fresh after 43 episodes!”

  2. What’s next?

    More taxes.

    More spending.

    More debt.

    More regulation.

    More cronyism.

    More corruption.

    More lies.

    In this case, I think past performance is a guarantee of future results.

    1. Tut tut, we must listen to what our betters in government tell us, to the exclusion of what they take every opportunity to show us.

  3. It was never about getting revenue and always about pleasing the class warrior’s followers. Do not be surprised that team blue now gloms to the fact that this rate hike produces a pittance, and demands more hikes, only this time it won’t be just on the rich, but on everybody. The end goal here has always been for government to get more money and spend more money, only they have to do it in a way that makes the serfs feel like they won.

    1. This. Obama accumulates more power for the government, more theft, more everything, but as long as he does it and couches it in a way that makes his TEAM BLUE supporters feel is giving them what they want (class war, screwing the rich, union support, etc), they will uninhibitedly support it no matter how much it ends up fucking them too. They are lemmings streaming towards their own destruction, enthusiastically supporting someone who gains tremendously while they get nothing.

      1. But it’s a crisis! And rich people still have more than other, less rich people!

        1. SMITHERS!

          Release the hounds!

      2. Be fair, not just class war, but actual wars all over the place.

      3. Here is the problem with that. That is what Obama likes. But that is not what his supporters and those in Congress who still have to run for re-election like. Oh they love the idea of taxes, just as long as they are paid for by other people. In the cliff deal they raised taxes only on those making 400K plus when they wanted 250K plus for the entire election. Why? because lots of the right people in the blue states didn’t want their taxes raised.

        1. And they gave tax breaks to Hollywood. This is the problem that the Democrats ultimately face: To raise the revenue neccesary to pay for all of the programs that they want, they need to charge the middle class a rate that would cause the middle class to reject those same programs.

          Therefore, monetizing debt is the only way.

          God, whoever the fucker was in the 70s or 80s who said, “Wait, why are we asking if we should have guns or butter? Why not have guns and butter?” Should be shot

          1. They have convinced their supporters that they can balance the budget by taxing Republicans and evil corporations and kulak small business owners. As we all know that is not true. When it finally hits the blue state yuppies that the tax bell tolls for thee, it is going to be very funny.

            1. It amuses me how often a progressive Leftie posts a picture or chart of how the red states generally get more from the Federal government than they pay in. It’s completely lost on them that this is a direct result of a highly progressive tax system on high salaried states. A tax system they actively support.

              And they never seem to truly grok it. They think it’s the result of Evil Republican Congressmen stealing money from the Feds for their own states. Which they do of course, but not any more efficiently than Democratic Congressmen gobble up the pork for their own states.

              1. No, it’s because the the biggest drivers of federal spending are Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security. There are old people everywhere, and poor people everywhere. Military bases, on the other hand, tend to be concentrated in red states. Mostly because

                1.) that’s where there are large expanses of cheap land.
                2.) white progressives decided the military was icky and declasse. San Francisco, for example, got most of the federal military bases near the city shut down a while back.
                3.) of course the last thing Congress considers in the deployment of the American military is actual military effectiveness, but ICBMs go in the Dakotas because you don’t want to put them next to big cities. Naval bases go in warm water for obvious reasons. Plus while we have pretty good neighbors, obviously the Caribbean basin and Mexico have been more of a security issue then the northern border for the last two hundred years or so. Well, 196 I suppose….there was that little war where Andy Jackson launched his political career.

          2. That would be Reagan, and he was. But not for that reason.

      4. they will uninhibitedly support it no matter how much it ends up fucking them too.

        It’s redneck governing. It’ll never happen to them.

        “Gentlemen, we have a crisis that demands immediate action!”

        “Here, hold mah beer.”

      5. So…he’s in a position to grant nothing, and we’re in a position to demand nothing, yet…he gets everything.

        Nice.-(

  4. The “American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012,” indeed.

    Mr. Smith, please remember that “up” really means “down”.

  5. Well there’s the Barry O second term agenda.

    Kick back watch the good times roll?

    1. Kick back watch the good times roll?

      No, no…it’s lie back.

      1. No, no… it’s bend over.

        1. As long as you think of England, either way works.

          1. According to joe, this is why there are no women libertarians.

            1. The real reason is that we have a different ontology of choice that’s incompatible with libertarianism because of makeup.

              1. I *told* you that makeup made you look like a cheap whore.

                1. According to Jezehellions, makeup is slavery or something.

                    1. “I’ve found that you can find happiness in slavery.”

                      Hitting up the bondage club again, SF, huh?

                    2. “The blind have been blessed with security.”

                    3. I met some people at Slippery Rock that claimed to have gone to high school with Reznor.

                      They swore to god that he stomped a puppy to death at a house party.

                    4. If I ever win a presidential nomination, I am going to walk out to the podium playing Head Like A Hole.

                  1. According to Jezehellions, makeup is slavery or something.

                    As is the suppression of body odor.

                2. I thought she looked like a cheap whore even without the makeup.

                  That’s why there are no female libertarians.

                  [sarcasm off]

              2. “The real reason is that we have a different ontology of choice that’s incompatible with libertarianism because of makeup.”

                We love it when you talk dirty. Or maybe just when you use big words like “ontology”. Or maybe it’s a slow news day.

  6. We can be sure of one thing: it will be spun as all the republicans’ fault, even though they just gave this asshole almost everything he demanded.

    1. The problem is that the only people that lose are “We, the People”. At least those that produce instead of demand because they are entitled, will suffer first and harder, but in the end we will all pay when the house of cards comes crashing down. Don’t worry though. The political class has a contingency for when that happens too. The people in power will become absolute rulers, and they will use their infinite wisdom to parcel out the goodies, just like they did in the USSR and are doing in North Korea these days, in a “socially just” way. When everyone but the reigning aristocracy are living in misery social justice will finally be served up good.

    2. Key word there is almost. As long as Obama doesn’t get everything he wants (and, honestly, more. I mean, the Kos Kids are still pissed he didn’t die on the hill of the public option) it will still not be his fault.

  7. Q: What’s next, Mr. President?

    Obama: Camps. For the rich.

    1. And gun owners.

      1. Those are imaginary.

        1. Then killing them outright is okay.

    2. “Smithers, tell that downtrodden young oaf to avenge me.”

    3. Starts channeling Ten Years After

    4. Oh, I hope there will be canoeing.

  8. I’d suggest to him that he start a third autobiography:
    “The First Four Years: BOOOOOSH!”

    1. When I said something similiar the other night, my buddy’s very democratic gf responded indignantly that no democrat can be held responsible for anything that happens (with the economy) for at least the next half-century, because it will take that long to repair the complete and utter ruin brought about by Bush. She said that with a straight face.

      1. Was it Bush or was it the Jews? Who are we supposed to hate and blame for all of our woes again?

        1. Hmm, I thought it was the gypsies.

          1. I need to know who to hate.

            1. Gypsies and Jews are so 20th century. Now you must hate, rednecks, gun owners, and the “rich” whoever they are.

              1. And doctors and lawyers, John. Everyone hates them.-)

            2. Emmanuel Goldstein, if I’m not mistaken.

          2. It is always someone. The more the fail, the more it will be someone else’s fault.

            1. I hate to sound all hyperbolish, but things increasingly have a pre-WWII feel to them. Here and in Europe.

              1. They do, and you are not hyperbolic, Pro’L Dib.

                1. I find my lack of hope disturbing.

                  1. I find your lack of faith disturbing.

                    Speaking of, the petition to begin construction on a Death Star got enough signatures to go through. I propose we blast Pluto to test it, so we can stop arguing about its planetary status.

              2. A good third world war would fix everything…

                1. Well, sure, with all of the broken windows, how could we lose?

                  1. Well at least I know where that draft is coming from.

                2. And fully employment. Nothing opens up the labor market like killing off a few million of your young and productive.

                  1. Not to mention smashing the industrial bases of other countries!

                  2. At least a foxhole is a hole you can use?

                    1. I’m going to hoard leather suits, gasoline, ammunition, and canned food.

                    2. You’ll need a steel boomerang, Pro’L Dib. And a dog. I suggest a Blue Heeler.

                    3. We joke…

                      But it’s conditions like this that spawn crisis. I’ve long thought that another “big one” is one very possible outcome our race to the bottom.

                    4. of

                    5. I’m starting to worry about it, too. A big war in Europe, Asia, the Middle East or pick two of the above seems all-too possible.

                    6. Don’t be silly! Why would the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization be at all concerned with Obama shifting fleets and deploying troops to the Pacific?

                    7. Also, The Customs Union of Russia, et al. This is also in China’s interests, by the by.

                3. Well WWII fixed the Great Depression, libs will of course say FDR did that.

              3. I have been having a sense of impending doom for at least a year. Not that Romney could have done much, but Obama’s re-election just sealed the deal. There are too many dominoes on the verge of toppling: federal, state, and municipal bankruptcies, Europe going broke, the “Arab Spring,” Iran getting nukes, China on the verge of economic and political implosion, and on and on.

            2. According to Democrats, there are always Republicans at the root of all problems. Hoover, Nixon, Reagan, Bush, Bush. One Facebook friend referred to the current one as “the most mean-spirited Congress ever,” and of course she wasn’t referring to the Senate.

      2. Obama does know that there is more than one envelope, right? RIGHT?

      3. Jim, in fairness to your friend’s GF, it IS that bad, so…

        She’s not wrong.

        As long as she’s hot. If she’s one o’ them troll-fugly prog womyn, I take it all back, and add “Stupid fucking prog witch! Someone needs to fuck her.”

        /misogynist to the end

        1. Yeah she’s pretty hot, but I’m married, so that effect doesn’t work as much on me as it might otherwise. I still argued with her.

          1. You do realize that “marriages” like yours aren’t legally recognized or generally accepted in polite society.

            1. I know, I know – inter-racial marriages aren’t valid because they expanded the state and forced people to redefine what they thought of as “marriage” because it was generally only between people of the same race.

              I’m a horrible cosmo.

              1. Interracial marriages have a LONG history. Its a rare point in history where they arent common.

                You get an F in analogy.

                1. No comment on the “expanding the state” part?

                  1. No comment on the “expanding the state” part?

                    No need. When “state marriage” first expanded the state, they included “interracial” marriage, so there was no later expansion.

                    All marriages are interracial marriages, because all of us are interracial.

                    By the “one drop” rule, we are all niggers.

                    1. When “state marriage” first expanded the state, they included “interracial” marriage, so there was no later expansion.

                      All marriages are interracial marriages, because all of us are interracial.

                      That’s so much bullshit and you know it.

                      These people were not speaking scientifically, they were using science as a fig-leaf to cover blatant racism. State marriage did not (in many states) include black/white marriages as any normal person would use those terms (not scientifically speaking, but judging based on skin-tone). So it was an expansion of the state.

                      Your logic is like saying there was no such thing as black slavery since every one is actually a little black.

                    2. but judging based on skin-tone

                      But they werent judging based on skin tone. There were plenty of people considered to be “white” who were darker in tone than plenty of people considered to be “black”.

                      Sure the basis was skin tone originally, but it became more about genetics after that. Im sure plenty of pale skinned “black” men moved to a new place and passed themselves off as white and got away with it and their offspring were considered “white” from then on. So, in some sense, it was what you could get away with*. But if people knew your parents, it didnt matter the color of your skin.

                      *which fits with what I said about the one drop rule being BS. It was really a “one drop after whichever generation convinced their neighbors they were white” rule.

                    3. geneology, not genetics. Genetics didnt really exist yet.

                    4. None of which answers the original point about marriage.

                      Here, since you’re being purposefully obtuse, I can break it down like this:

                      Could Michael Vick and Paris Hilton have received a state marriage license in Virginia in 1950? Before you answer, remember that couples were still being arrested and sentenced to prison as late as 1964 for being interracially married. Check the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia.

                      Now, could Michael Vick and Paris Hilton receive a state-sanctioned marriage license in Virginia in 2013?

                      If the answer to the first question is “no”, and the answer to the second question is “yes”, then there was an expansion of state power, no matter how much sophistry you try to utilize in arguing about the meaning of “race”.

                    5. if the answer to the first question is “no”, and the answer to the second question is “yes”, then there was an expansion of state power

                      Not trying to be obtuse here, but wouldn’t that be a reduction in state power? Isn’t it the state saying “no” in the first instance? If it no longer has the authority to ban marriages based on race, isn’t that less state power?

                    6. “If the answer to the first question is “no”, and the answer to the second question is “yes”, then there was an expansion of state power, no matter how much sophistry you try to utilize in arguing about the meaning of “race”.”

                      How do you figure that state power expands? More voluntary, peaceful behavior is left unpenalized.

                    7. Notable examples of “passing”: Anatole Broyard and J. Edgar Hoover.

                    8. Your logic is like saying there was no such thing as black slavery since every one is actually a little black.

                      No, it would be me saying that of course black slavery exists because every slave is black, because everyone is actually a little black.

                2. And it did force many people to redefine what they considered a valid marriage, because so many people were against it [interracial marriage].

                  And at the time, it was not common (in the United States).

                  So I still don’t see how the analogy fails. I wasn’t speaking over the course of history, but rather of the state of things in America at that time.

                  1. I wasn’t speaking over the course of history

                    I was.

                  2. it did force many people to redefine what they considered a valid marriage, because so many people were against it

                    Im going to disagree, in a subtle way.

                    I think people DID consider them to be valid marriages, they just didnt like it, because they didnt want races mixing. But they still considered it a marriage and wanted it to stop. Same, for that matter, for polygamy. They believed Mormons were married to multiple wives, they just didnt like it and wanted to stop it.

                    On the other hand, and another reason why the analogy is invalid, certain people DONT consider what gays have to be a marriage. They arent married, even if they say they are or the state says they are. Its not that they dont like it (they dont), its that they dont think its marriage at all.

                    Its biblical if nothing else: Interracial marriages occur in the bible. Polygamous marriages occur in the bible. Gay marriages dont.

                    And this last point is why I was looking at “all history” and not just “at the time”.

                    1. You don’t want to go the biblical route: hell, a judge actually used the bible to justify his decision in sentencing a couple to prison for interracial marriage in 1958.

                      In the words of Judge Bazile, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

                    2. You don’t want to go the biblical route

                      I have no problem going the biblical route.

                      Judge Bazile cant read. I can.

                      King David was multiracial, as his great-grandmother was a Moabite. Although that might be some artificial* boundary, as Moabites are considered semetic.

                      But there are plenty of clear cut interracial marriages in the bible.

                      *all racial boundaries are artificial, so I dont see a reason not to count that one.

                    3. Doesn’t matter what you believe is plainly written: what matters is what the people in positions of power believed.

                      And many of them believed that the bible prohibited interracial marriage.

                      I don’t want to post all the many, many links I easily found showing the biblical arguments people make against interracial marriage, so knock yourself out (I happen to agree with you and believe those people are wrong, but since they once seemed for form a majority opinion, you can’t simply dismiss them when discussing the era in question).

                      And much as I wish it wasn’t so, what a judge thinks the bible says means a hell of a lot more in the real world than what you or I think the bible says. We don’t send people to prison. He does.

                    4. you can’t simply dismiss them when discussing the era in question

                      Actually I can, for the reason you stated:

                      those people are wrong

                      I dismiss Supreme Court decisions all the time that misinterpret the constitution, why should this be any different?

                    5. Then there’s no more point to the conversation. I’m discussing things as they exist in the real world, where you can’t simply ignore legal decisions and realities that you don’t like, because ignorning the judges and cops earns you a beating or prison time. Those are real things that actually affect real people. The couple that Judge Bazile sentenced didn’t have the luxury of simply dismissing him because he was wrong, so it’s completely unhelpful when talking about that time period to just ignore things like that which don’t fit your preferred narrative.

                      Now, I’ll repost this in hopes you’ll respond to it:

                      None of which answers the original point about marriage.

                      Here, since you’re being purposefully obtuse, I can break it down like this:

                      Could Michael Vick and Paris Hilton have received a state marriage license in Virginia in 1950? Before you answer, remember that couples were still being arrested and sentenced to prison as late as 1964 for being interracially married. Check the Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia.

                      Now, could Michael Vick and Paris Hilton receive a state-sanctioned marriage license in Virginia in 2013?

                      If the answer to the first question is “no”, and the answer to the second question is “yes”, then there was an expansion of state power, no matter how much sophistry you try to utilize in arguing about the meaning of “race”.

                    6. You arent listening to me, I will repeat in hopes that you will respond to it:

                      Im going to disagree, in a subtle way.

                      I think people DID consider them to be valid marriages, they just didnt like it, because they didnt want races mixing. But they still considered it a marriage and wanted it to stop. Same, for that matter, for polygamy. They believed Mormons were married to multiple wives, they just didnt like it and wanted to stop it.

                      On the other hand, and another reason why the analogy is invalid, certain people DONT consider what gays have to be a marriage. They arent married, even if they say they are or the state says they are. Its not that they dont like it (they dont), its that they dont think its marriage at all.

                      You responded to the next paragraph about biblical stuff, they maybe was distracting and I should have left off.

                      This is the important point.

                      The law is an ass, that was never in question.

                      Im referring above to people, not lawmakers or judges, who I dont consider to be human.

                    7. Again, it doesn’t matter if you consider lawmakers and judges to be human – they are the ones making these decisions. They are the ones putting people in jail. And it very much fucking matters to the people in jail what the opinions of those lawmakers and judges are.

                      And since the original point was about the expansion of state power, which is completely tied in to lawmaking, you’re still dodging the point. You claim state power never expanded to encompass what most people would call “interracial marriage”.

                      I say it did. I offer proof (a person commonly considered “black” could not marry a person commonly considered “white” without going to jail, but now, they can do so, and claim all state benefits of licensed marriage).

                      Do you still wish to continue with your claim that interracial marriage never extended state power, that they were always considered the same? This isn’t a matter of interpretation: it’s an objectively provable assertion. Because history, the laws as written, the laws as enforced, the judges doing the enforcing, and the people who were put in prison are all evidence against your position.

                    8. And since the original point was about the expansion of state power

                      NO IT WASNT. The original point was your analogy sucked.

                    9. you’re still dodging the point.

                      You are the one dodging the point: People considered interracial marriage and polygamous marriage to be marriage for all of human history.

                      Gay marriage rarely, if ever, had this same consideration.

                      This is my one and only point in this thread. Anything else is distraction.

                    10. history

                      Bullshit. As Ive pointed out again and again, history never gave a damn about the race of married couples. Alexander had three legitimate interracial marriages.

                    11. Hey guy, America in the first half of the century also counts as “history”, and whats more, that recent history of the country we live in is more pertinent to the conversation than what Alexander the fucking Great ever did. So your blanket statements about how it “never” mattered are bullshit.

                      And did you, or did you not say this:

                      No need. When “state marriage” first expanded the state, they included “interracial” marriage, so there was no later expansion.

                      That’s the point I’ve been contesting the entire time. You claim, quite clearly, that interracial marriage was “included” (your word) in state-sanctioned marriages. I stated it was not. I offered proof that it was not (people being sent to jail for it).

                      So, do you stand by that statement?

                    12. So, do you stand by that statement?

                      Yes.

                      Look at what I said: When “state marriage” first expanded the state

                      As this would have been a few hundred years before the existence of Virginia as something other than a colony, I dont know how your jailing evidence applies.

                      That was a much later change to the initial laws.

                    13. recent history of the country we live in is more pertinent to the conversation than what Alexander the fucking Great ever did

                      Disagree… I think Alexander and Roxanne shows that there is a very long history of interracial marriage being acceptable and commonplace. Richard and Mildred Loving are a mere footnote. In fact, I had to look up their first names. I knew Roxanne’s. Although, to be fair, I had to look up the names of his other two persian wives.

                      The US South is a blip on that long history.

                    14. On your supposed point, I will make an analogy. 🙂

                      The FICA tax holiday just ended. I think its semantics to argue over whether that is a tax increase or whether its just a return to normality. But generally, I think it was understood that it was a temporary change and not really a tax increase.

                      Although in some sense, it is, in that the tax rate is higher this week than last week.

                      The laws you are referring to were a sanity holiday on marriage laws. The norm for marriage across history included interracial marriage. In some ways, you can argue that state power increased when those laws went away, but in very legitimate other ways, everyone knew the laws were bullshit and that those things were marriages, even if people were going to jail for it.

                      Although, on the other hand, I might argue the counter, and say that the fact that people were going to jail means that state power decreased when those laws were overthrown.

                      Another reason your analogy fails, gays who claim to be married dont go to jail for it.

                    15. Oh for the love of god, you’re really going to go with “Well REALLY that was a several decade aberration that was corrected”???

                      We’re talking about state-sanctioned marriage in the United States. Interracial marriage was never valid in the slave-holding (and then former slave-holding) states except for a brief time after the Civil War but before the more modern anti-miscegenation were passed. THAT was the “holiday”. The anti-miscegenation laws simply took things back to the way they had always been since slavery was first practiced in the south.

                      You’re essentially claiming that there’s a magical baseline from which all changes in history can be measured. Using your tax example, if the “Bush tax-cuts” were to expire, you say it would be quibbling over semantics to call it a tax increase. But since that has been the effective rate for a decade now, it’s obviously not unless you’re claiming absolute authority to declare the pre-Bush tax rates as the “true” tax rates, in some kind of Platonic sense.

                      Likewise, in America, in the southern states, interracial marriage was never the norm, and indeed for the most part was not even legal until recently. The fact that you’re dancing on the head of a pin now trying to paint that as not really counting because the ancient Greeks did such-and-such is evidence that your argument is hollow.

                    16. And this is pure sophistry.

                      In some ways, you can argue that state power increased when those laws went away, but in very legitimate other ways, everyone knew the laws were bullshit and that those things were marriages, even if people were going to jail for it.

                      Although, on the other hand, I might argue the counter, and say that the fact that people were going to jail means that state power decreased when those laws were overthrown.

                      So you’re stating that yes, one could argue that state power was increased, but in another way, it was also decreased. Pure sophistry.

                      Oh, and it’s also bullshit that you claim to be able to speak for everyone who lived 60 years ago. No, everyone did not know that those were “real marriages”. Judge Bazile didn’t “know” that, anymore than he believed the laws were “bullshit”. And since apparently you can easily dismiss his thoughts since you don’t consider him human, the voters who passed and maintained those laws also clearly had expressed preferences that the laws were not bullshit.

                      When your argument boils down to, “Well sure people supported those laws but I know for a fact that on the inside they secretly disagreed with them!”, then you know you’ve lost.

                    17. “Well sure people supported those laws but I know for a fact that on the inside they secretly disagreed with them!”

                      That isnt what Im saying. Im saying they supported the laws because they hated whites marrying blacks (or actually, they hated blacks marrying whites) but they still considered it a marriage.

                      They absolutely agreed with the laws, they wanted to prevent the marriages from happening.

                      That is different than the modern thought on gays, in which a large group of people dont think that what two gay men (or women) have is a marriage, even if they dont think they should go to jail for it.

                    18. You’re still assuming to speak for a huge number of people who lived, and many of whom died, before you were born.

                      You don’t know what they thought or didn’t think about the validity of the marriages. The only actual facts we have to go on are the pieces of written legislation they used to express their beliefs.

                    19. You don’t know what they thought or didn’t think about the validity of the marriages.

                      Okay, fair enough. But I know that outside those states, and in other countries, and throughout history, interracial marriages were occurring.

                      I also know that in these other states, and in these other countries, and throughout history, racism has existed.

                      So, I think I can fairly well extrapolate, unless you think there was something especially different about the people of the US South in that time period.

                      I tend to think that people really dont change very much. Maybe Im too cynical.

                      What I think was happening was that the racist fucks were using the power of the law to strike out in ways that they didnt use in other times or places.

              2. It’s why you belong here. Feel our cold, urban embrace.

      4. And this is why I don’t have more friends. In situations like that, I can’t stop myself from eviscerating people.

        1. I use to have more Team Blue friends than Team Red, but as I get older I can no longer maintain the cognitive dissonance it takes not to yell, ‘fuck off, slavers!’ in their faces.

          Sure Team Red has a set of quirks that aggravate but the ones that set me off the most, economic ignorance, class warfare rhetoric, knee jerk reliance on government solutions, innumeracy and gun control are all Team Blue diseases of the mind where Team Red will get the occasional cold, TB case is always at the stage of irrevocable terminal pneumonia.

          1. Honestly, the only real problems I have with Team Red is the practical nativism and belief among a lot of them that the collapse of the nation is the result of not being hard line enough on socon issues.

            Unlike Team Blues though, Reds respond to reason. If you present a compelling case they don’t descend into spittle-spraying screaming fits about what a hateful/selfish/murderous/racist person you are.

            1. If you present a compelling case they don’t descend into spittle-spraying screaming fits about what a hateful/selfish/murderous/racist person you are.

              Unless you use the term “blowback”.

            2. Uh, I’d like to introduce you to my family sometime.

              This illusion of yours will quickly dissapate

            3. I would not say more rational, but there is a difference. In the nineties, I socialized with people who signified lefty but were not really vocal about it where only a few amongst them who were universally acknowledged by the same social unit to be doofuses who were all political all the time. Now, the doofuses are the over whelming majority. They all sound like the guy we nick named ‘Oliver Stone’ back in the day.

      5. …because it will take that long to repair the complete and utter ruin brought about by Bush.

        Isn’t it odd how under the Bush policies we came out of the dot com/9-11 recession in about 18 months?

        FOUR FUCKING YEARS after the housing bust…

        If only… oh fuck, never mind!

        1. In a similar vein, isn’t it odd how it was the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy caused those “unpatriotic” (per Senator Obama) deficits…and yet undoing them yields a paltry few dozen billions?

      6. Does the first amendment cover smacking in such a scenario, since it would be the only form of expression that does justice to such an idiotic comment?

    2. Oh, sure, Obama’s first four years were really the result of a white man (not 1/2 of him – someone ALL white).

      Therefore – RACIST!!!

      I blame Bush.

      1. If only he had ever had control of Congress, things would be totally different right now.

        1. If only the limiting Constitution were repealed, all would be well.

          If only people couldn’t keep their money to waste on foolish things, all would be well.

          If only people who don’t believe in our leaders could be silenced, all would be well.

          1. Energy and food are both way too cheap. It’s why we have a country of fat people wasting gasoline in speedboats and driving to Malls.

            1. This idea of people buying things is the problem. Food and all other goods and services should be doled out by an enlightened central authority, based on a political ranking system for each citizen.

              The ranking would start with the president as Citizen #1 and would go down to some libertarian redneck (former) gunowner in southern Georgia as Citizen #315,104,302.

              1. Citizen #315,104,302….that guy? What a loser

                Citizen #315,104,301

                1. See, this way, the haveless and havenots will fucking deserve it! Wrong thinking must be punished!

  9. We’re due for a run of crappy presidents. Mostly because the situation we face (more automation meaning a vastly different economy with very few of the industrial jobs that are taken for granted as a measure of the success of an economy) is one our society has yet to come to grips with.

    Basically, we are the equivalent of Americans in the 1880s wondering how our country will cope with moving from an agrarian society to an industrial one. We simply haven’t had the cultural shift necessary yet to actually move forward.

    1. This is one of the most optimistic things I’ve ever read in the comments here. Thank you.

    2. Except at that time the market existed under a more laissez faire political climate. Hope your right though.

  10. So What’s Next, Mr. President?

    What do you mean? Let me be clear. My administration took decisive action that ensured America was saved from the dreaded fiscal cliff. No further action will be required until the next crisis, at which time we will raise taxes on the wealthy and make it look like the Republican’s fault.

    Wash, rinse, repeat…

    1. Not really. Obama already commented that the taxes weren’t high enough on the wealthy yesterday after signing the bill. He’s not really waiting till the next fiscal cliff.

      1. He pretty much announced that higher taxes would be his price for agreeing to raise the debt ceiling.

        Only in Washington would somebody demand that you give concessions so they can do what they desperately need and want to do.

        1. I think he agreed to the 450k cutoff now because he knows he can ask for 250k next time.

  11. Write Gambling Software, Go to Prison

    In a criminal case sure to make programmers nervous, a software maker who licenses a program used by online casinos and bookmakers overseas is being charged with promoting gambling in New York because authorities say his software was used by others for illegal betting in that state.

    ….

    Stuart asserts that New York authorities only came after him because they wanted to use him as a conduit to uncover illegal gambling operations in that state. He says the New York district attorney’s office tried to strong-arm him into a plea agreement that would have had him hacking into the systems of his software clients in order to obtain the usernames and passwords of gamblers and their bookmakers to help authorities gather evidence of illegal gambling.

    Although Stuart initially agreed to the terms of the plea, he later recanted because he said he was uncomfortable being used as a pawn to secretly collect information on his customers. He claims authorities are charging him now in retaliation for refusing to cooperate with them.

    1. Jesus. Who aren’t New York politicians and district attorneys not engaged in war like conduct against?

  12. 1. Vacation in Hawaii
    2. Fundraising
    3. Golf
    4. Vacation in Spain
    5. Golf
    6. Fundraising
    7. Vacation in Nantucket
    8. Golf
    9. Fundraising
    10. Vacation in California
    11. Golf
    12. Fundraising…

    1. 13. Avoid Michelle and the brats as much as possible.

      1. that’s why those 3 always are on vacation somewhere.

    2. You forgot giving speeches to make sure everyone remembers he’s important.

      1. The speeches are at fundraisers. If he could give the speeches from a golf course during a vacation, he would declare himself Dictator for Life.

  13. BOHICA…

  14. Looky here = a new and exciting view on how to over-react to the Newton Shooting!

    http://www.unionleader.com/art…../130109955

    Another View — Kathy Sullivan: We need to take the guns away now

    Ooh, novel! I especially like the rhetorical angle of pretending that “a hysterical and irrational mass roundup of all weapons in the U.S. is actually the *sensible and reasoned approach*”

    Seriously = its all about “the Framing”. Dems will milk this style more than “Create OR Save JOBS!” Anyone who soft-pedals anything short of TOTAL BAN! is an apostate…

    e.g.

    The responses to the Newtown murders by those who oppose common-sense gun safety laws fall into five categories: more research, more enforcement, more guns, more treatment for mental illness and less violence in films and video games. This is not to say that everyone calling for research, guns and/or treatment also opposes common-sense restrictions. However, those who are opposed to restrictions are focusing on one or more of those five areas in an effort to thwart the will of the majority of Americans who believe that the time has come for action…

    [snip]

    ….either get with the program or get out of our way. Today.

    The “common sense” restriction is “complete roundup of all semiautomatic firearms in the US” (only, they’re referred to as ‘battlefield-weapons’) That’s SENSIBLE and COMMONSENSE.

    1. Do the people who believe that the complete roundup will work think that criminals will just willingly hand them over or would they prefer a martial law scenario with forced confiscations?

      Or do they just not follow their thought to its logical conclusions? I guess I would prefer that possibility to them being hopelessly stupid or hateful of their fellow Americans.

    2. I honestly don’t know if a gun seizure would be the hill I choose to die on (and kill for). I just don’t know.

      But it might be. You would hope that the fact that someone like me would even seriously entertains the idea would give the gun grabbers and their armed goons pause.

      1. Thing is, if you don’t make guns your hill, the next time you won’t have a choice.

    3. And if you claim that they wanna come and take our guns by force then you’re crazy and paranoid.

    4. Lucky for us the one track mind of this nation has switched to the fiscal cliff deal and away from guns.

  15. When will the main street media strip him of his teflon coating and
    start reporting actual FACTS? The government keeps growing larger
    and they make on average more than the private sector worker? This is
    “unsustainable”. We will be seeing an exodus of citizens that know how
    to create jobs to countries that are welcoming the best of the U.S. and
    no one can blame them for leaving. This will be Obama’s legacy, that is,
    if the truth is EVER reported.

  16. You can’t really say the GOP ‘raised taxes’. You need to start with what the situation would be without any action at all, not with what they were on 12/31/2012. I’m surprised I didn’t hear much about the other taxes that will be going up because of Obamacare.

  17. How To Cut Spending: End Corporate Welfare!!!

    As Rex Nutting of Marketwatch noted in his 12/18/2012 article “Why isn’t Obama demanding corporate welfare cuts?”, “$2.6 trillion could be saved […] It’s possible to achieve all the budget savings we need for the next 10 years simply by cutting the fat out of discretionary spending programs and tax expenditures [removing all of the corporate welfare] without raising tax rates on the wealthy or cutting the safety net at all.”

    Oil and gas companies, which are raking in record profits, certainly don’t need $4 billion a year in subsidies, and even the oil company CEOs admit they don’t need it!

    Why are cuts to Social Security and Medicare even being discussed while literally billions in corporate welfare are constantly spilling out of the Treasury?

    White House petition to End Corporate Welfare:http://wh.gov/Qa6f

  18. For the rest of you, there are higher taxes. TLP181

  19. Happy New Year,NBA ,NFL 2013

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.