Taxes

The Left's Populist Tax Agenda

Direct ballot initiatives are democracy at its best, but also at its worst.

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Copying the right's success, the left is taking its tax agenda directly to the people.

California's Proposition 13 property tax cut and cap, passed in 1978, and followed by the similar Massachusetts Proposition 2 ½ property tax limit passed in 1980, set the stage for President Reagan's tax cutting at the federal level. Bypassing state legislatures, governors, and local politicians, the popular tax rebellions in California and Massachusetts turned tax questions into ballot initiatives to be decided by voters.

This November, voters will again have the chance to decide on taxes. But in a number of cases, the questions they will be voting on are not aimed at limiting taxes or at cutting them, but, instead, at increasing them. On the ballot:

  • In Berkeley, Calif., voters will consider Measure D, which would impose a one cent a fluid-ounce tax on distributors of soda, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.
  • In San Francisco, Calif., voters will consider Measure E, which would impose a two-cent an ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • In Nevada, voters will consider Question 3, which would impose a two percent "margin tax" on Nevada businesses with revenues of more than $1 million a year. The proceeds of the tax would be dedicated to fund the state's public schools.
  • In Illinois, voters will consider a "millionaire tax increase for education" question, which tests support for an additional 3 percent tax on those with income of more than $1 million a year. As in the Nevada proposal, the tax revenues would be earmarked for public education.

The measures aimed at limiting taxes seem more modest, mostly aimed at preserving or restoring the status quo.

  • In Georgia, voters will consider Amendment A, which would change the state constitution to prevent lawmakers from increasing the state's income tax above the six percent rate now in effect.
  • In Tennessee, voters will consider Amendment 3, which would change the state's constitution to prevent lawmakers from imposing a tax on wage income.
  • In North Dakota, voters will consider Measure 2, which would prevent the state or local governments from imposing mortgage taxes or any sales or transfer taxes on real estate.
  • In Massachusetts, voters will consider Question 1, which would eliminate the requirement that the state's gas tax be adjusted annually for inflation. As Steven Aylward of the Committee to Tank Automatic Gas Tax Hikes put it in the state-distributed information for voters booklet, "That's taxation without representation. If the Legislature wants to increase taxes they should have to vote for it. No tax should automatically increase."

The tax-increase ballot measures, in particular, are a sign of how the higher-tax crowd has become more sophisticated in the decades since the passage of Proposition 13. Their poll-driven playbook seems to be to tailor tax increases to target unpopular minorities—millionaires, big businesses, individuals with the poor taste to drink Gatorade or Coca-Cola instead of latte, Perrier, or Cabernet—and then to claim that the tax revenues will be spent on worthy causes such as schools or obesity reduction. Never mind that the education tax measures are heavily backed by teachers' unions, or that millionaires and many big businesses already pay plenty of taxes, or that studies have shown no connection between school spending and educational outcomes.

Direct ballot initiatives are democracy at its best, but also at its worst. At their best, they engage ordinary citizens at the grassroots and let taxpayers make their views known to politicians who too often prefer to tax and spend. At their worst, they are ways for well funded interest groups, such as teacher unions, to gang up on unpopular minorities, such as millionaire earners.

The citizen activists who spawned the tax rebellion of the late 1970s and early 1980s—Howard Jarvis of the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and Barbara Anderson of Massachusetts Citizens for Limited Taxation—were geniuses. So it's no wonder that the left would try to mimic their tactics. But the genius of the tax rebellion-ballot initiative wasn't merely the idea of taking tax issues directly to the voters. It was the insight that, given a choice, most voters will choose to lower, or at least to limit, their own taxes. That's one concept that the left will have a harder time copying.

NEXT: Yet More IRS Employees Busted for Stealing Taxpayers' Identities

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  1. Whatever else you say about the left, they steadfastly believe that wealth redistribution through the tax code is the way to utopia and seldom try to hide it.

    1. All taxes result in a redistribution of wealth.

      1. Re: Tony,

        All taxes result in a redistribution of wealth.

        Whoa! Tony the bloviator suddenly turning candid!

        Quick! Check outside! The world must be coming to an end!

      2. You’re putting the cart before the horse. Is the goal of the taxes revenue, or is the goal of the taxes redistribution?

        Of course in the case of California’s moronic soda/pop/coke tax proposals, the goal is neither of those: the goal is either the desire to control or raw puritanical hate.

        1. The goal isn’t revenue for its own sake, but to pay to enact certain collective ends. One legitimate collective aim is redistributing wealth downward so that we do not live in a plutocracy.

          1. How’s that working out in practice?

            1. Worked fine until Reagan and Norquist and their ilk came along and sold the country on the idea that redistributing wealth upward was good for it. How’s that working out in practice?

              1. LOL. It was all good ol’ days before 1980. Then, it all went to hell.

              2. Re: Tony,

                Worked fine until Reagan and Norquist and their ilk came along and sold the country on the idea that redistributing wealth upward was good for it. How’s that working out in practice?

                Pretty awful, but it didn’t start with Reagan or Norquist. JFK lowered taxes, too.

                1. Yeah the top marginal rate went from 91% to 65%, a figure that would turn Norquist into a suicide bomber if it existed today.

                  JFK advocated for this under the theory that planned deficits can be good, while Republicans opposed his tax-cutting policy on the grounds that deficits are never okay. In other words, JFK was acting under Keynesian theory.

                  Things got a little warped when the drown-government-in-a-bathtub crowd emerged. Reagan was the first truly supply-side president, and we’re still suffering the consequences.

                  1. Re: Tony,

                    Yeah the top marginal rate went from 91% to 65%, a figure that would turn Norquist into a suicide bomber if it existed today.

                    That was quite a huge drop, Tony, regardless of how much you want to obfuscate. The point here is that even when the top rate before Reagan lowered to 28% was 3 times higher, the effective rate was actually lower than the 28% the country ended up with in 1988 – after all the so-called “loopholes” were closed. So in essence, rich people got a tax increase during the Reagan years. When George Bush p?re raised taxes again – breaking his campaign promise – he a) lost the election against Clinton and b) ushered in a huge recession which was the main reason Clinton won.

                  2. Reagan was the first truly supply-side president, and we’re still suffering the consequences.

                    Yeah, the 25 years of prosperity that resulted caused quite a bit of suffering for you leftists who hate to see capitalism work. I’m sorry you are still suffering. Most of the rest of us aren’t, thankfully.

                  3. We are enjoying the rewards, not suffering anything. I remember the 50s and 60s, you don’t.

                  4. Tell you what. We can go back to the 1979 tax code in its entirety. Or we can stick with the tax code we have now, which has significantly lower marginal rates but under which very few things are deductible.

                    For fun, let’s compare the effective rates and a few other values under Carter (1979) and G.W. Bush (2006). Recall that under Carter (1979) the marginal rate went all the way up to 70% paid on income over $215,400 (married filing jointly); under Bush (2006), the highest marginal rate was *only* 35% paid on income over $336,550 (married filing jointly).

                    Would you believe that in 1979, when the highest marginal tax rate was 70%, the effective income tax rate paid by the highest income quintile was hardly affected, standing at 15.7% in 1979 and 14.1% in 2006? The effective rate for the top 1% had dropped only a few points down to 19% (compared to marginal rate of 35%).

                    The point is that rates are only one piece of the tax puzzle. The high rates of the 70s would choke people under today’s deduction and exemption schedules. OTOH, because of the wide-open deduction and exemption schedules in the 70s, the high marginal rates were not really impactful.

              3. Am I supposed to be impressed more by your historical ignorance or your animistic invocation of boogeymen?

          2. Re: Tony,

            but to pay to enact certain collective ends

            No, you were right the first time: It is about wealth redistribution. From working people to special interest groups, the Military/Industrial Complex and Non-Government Organizations. That redistribution.

          3. The goal isn’t revenue for its own sake…

            Well, that’s really really stupid. The tax system should be designed to minimize the distortion on the economy necessary to raise the revenue desired.

            …but to pay to enact certain collective ends. One legitimate collective aim is redistributing wealth downward so that we do not live in a plutocracy.

            Even if the goal is redistribution, the tax system still should try to minimize the effect on the economy to collect the desired revenue. For example, corporate and capital gains taxes should be zero. Taxes should be collected from people, not from abstractions.

            By the way, it is wonderful how the most redistributionist policies of all — Social Security and Medicare — redistribute wealth with wonton regression from the poorest age cohort to the richest.

            That’s what happens when you don’t try to maximize revenue with the least effect on the economy.

            1. Government spending averages about 20% of GDP. It’s kinda hard not to “distort” the economy no matter what it does.

              But it’s no distortion at all. The market cannot exist without government, for one thing (at least not a type of market you have any interest in living in). Government is simply a customer in the market. It’s a customer who, ideally, is buying things for the purpose of making life better for the community it governs.

              I completely agree that SS and Medicare should be paid for in a more progressive way.

              1. Government spending averages about 20% of GDP. It’s kinda hard not to “distort” the economy no matter what it does.

                Agreed. Nonetheless, it does not also have to distort through the tax code itself.

                In other words, government does not have to redistribute wealth through the tax code.

              2. Hahahahahahaha….ah….FapMaster….this statement made my day!

                “It’s a customer who, ideally, is buying things for the purpose of making life better for the community it governs.”

                ..and how is that working out for you?

                1. Every community needs a tank, fish. You gotta problem with that?

              3. How about it stops stealing 20% of our gdp? How about it leaves that money in the hands of people who appreciate it’s value and make wise decisions on how to spend it? How about it stops banning and mandating product and services?

                That would tend to distort the market a bit less.

      3. Tony; to be more specific; all taxes take money from the productive and give it to the ostentatiously unproductive ?. politicians, bureaucrats, and political activists. Any trickle of money that actually makes it into the hands of the genuinely poor is doubtless an oversight.

      4. From people who produce to people who work in the government. Poor people are incidental to this process.

    2. Wait, who said anything about redistributing the wealth?

      They believe that money is power, and the more power transferred to the government, the better. That’s why they prefer, when the money eventually leaves the government to buy votes or at least give the vague impression it is being used pro-socially, it tends to come stripped of its purchasing power. It’s also why they don’t want to provide vouchers for education (aside from the union issue), why they want single payer for healthcare, and why they want that single payer to purchase women’s birth control for them, rather than putting OTC and making it affordable.

  2. Oh, you thought they were done?

  3. If millionaires don’t want to be oppressed by democratically enacted taxes on them, they are welcome to give all their money away and live the good life.

    1. Nice business you got there. Shame if anything ever happened to it. And if something *does* happen, you’re welcome to live the good life.

    2. Re: Tony,

      If millionaires don’t want to be oppressed by democratically enacted taxes on them, they are welcome to give all their money away and live the good life.

      Or they can leave and live the good life.

      Is that good enough for you, or are you all about taking their money, too?

      1. Yes, they can go Galt, and I encourage it. If you don’t want to live in a modern society (which requires some progressive taxation), then they don’t have to. They can go make an untaxed profit selling grub worms to emaciated children somewhere.

        1. They can go make an untaxed profit selling grub worms to emaciated children somewhere.

          Which you will ensure is the only economic option available. Apparently it’s not begging the question when you hold all the cards.

        2. Re: Tony,

          Yes, they can go Galt, and I encourage it.

          So what was the point of saying :give all their money”?

          If you don’t want to live in a modern society (which requires some progressive taxation), then they don’t have to.

          So if they leave and there is no more plucking of feathers or fleecing, who’s going to pay for this wonderful “modern society” that you talk about?

          1. The less whiny and entitled millionaires who take their place.

            1. Re: Tony,

              The less whiny and entitled millionaires who take their place.

              Those live next to the unicorns.

              Good luck, kid.

            2. The New Soviet Man lives!

            3. Yeah, the less whiny millionaires. That would be the ones who use crony capitalism to their advantage, leveraging their government connections to destroy their competition. Then they deliver inferior products at higher prices. The higher tax rate is simply the cost of hiring government goons to smash the upstarts rather than using private goons. Higher tax rates paid by a few, higher prices paid by ALL. That’s certainly the path to prosperity…in socialist fantasy land.

              1. Re: Bean Counter,

                Yeah, the less whiny millionaires.

                Actually, Tony has it exactly backwards. The whinier millionaires would be those that cry to government for more regulations, special deals and other accommodations but he seems to think that millionaires who don’t do that are the traitors and heretics. Tony is quite the fascist, you know. He simply fancies himself an altruistic soul.

                1. I agree with your point. However, the idea that Tony is a fascist – “That’s no military secret; everybody knows that!”

              2. Exactly, bean, exactly.

                These are the Hollywood millionaires, and the Democrat friends who make a killing off government.

        3. “Yes, they can go Galt, and I encourage it.”

          Or they can just move out of Illinois.

    3. Why do billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett create foundations to which they donate so much of their money? Being good little statists, they should long for the opportunity to have their money confiscated by the government and used how the government says it should be used.

      Instead, its almost as if they realize that putting their money into the hands of the government would be worse than flushing it down the toilet.

  4. If millionaires can exploit everyone else in their lust for profit, they can certainly afford to give up a measly 3 percent to the schools. I just don’t get the outrage over the fact that the people who benefit the most from society are asked to contribute to paying for things like infrastructure, and public education. So society should pay for the roads and pay for training the workforce, but the big boss who benefits from it shouldn’t have to pay anything?
    People on reason will defend these people to the death thinking that one day they will be one of them. fittingly, since these people see you as slaves, you do it for free.

    1. Re: Noodlez,

      If millionaires can exploit everyone else in their lust for profit,

      Oh, look! How quaint! Another idiot repeating the completely debunked and left for dead Marxian Labor Theory of Surplus Value!

      And I thought only third-world university professors still spewed that same claptrap. I guess not!

    2. So society should pay for the roads

      ROADZ! Who would build the ROADZ?

      and pay for training the workforce

      Which is a raw deal considering the poor lads can’t seem to be able to understand what they read when they come out of High School.

      People on [R]eason will defend these people[…]

      You see, Reason people? You’re not defending freedom, you’re defending slave drivers!

      Gee, good thing these trolls come here to straighten us out!

      1. Contrary to libertarian logic, adding a Z to the end of a word doesn’t refute a point.

        You should forgive people’s misapprehension of your motives, as you seem unwilling to stop using the word “freedom” to mean exclusively tax cuts for millionaires.

        1. “Contrary to libertarian logic, adding a Z to the end of a word doesn’t refute a point.”

          Contrary to Tony logic, an actual point has to be made before it needs to be refuted.

        2. Re: Tony,

          Contrary to libertarian logic, adding a Z to the end of a word doesn’t refute a point.

          It satirizes the point. Don’t you know satire? It’s pretty funny.

          You should forgive people’s misapprehension of your motives

          Really, my “motives”?

          as you seem unwilling to stop using the word “freedom” to mean exclusively tax cuts for millionaires.

          The same way you’re not willing to stop using the phrase “modern society” to mean government?

          1. So you content that a superior version of a large-scale road infrastructure is possible without central planning? Or are you just evading the point because you can’t argue that with a straight face?

            I don’t equate modern society to government, just not that all modern societies have one, and a strong one that taxes rich people.

            1. Tony:

              I don’t equate modern society to government, just not that all modern societies have one, and a strong one that taxes rich people.

              They tax the poor, too, Tony. Don’t forget. There’s a lot of historical president for that, too. Therefore, I assume it’s a pillar of civilization. I’m sure there’s no special pleading exception for that.

            2. Re: Tony,

              So you content that a superior version of a large-scale road infrastructure is possible without central planning?

              You see? ROADZ! Who would build the ROADZ?

              Yes, it is perfectly possible. Any idiot can pave a road. Why did we want one, anyway? Besides moving troops quicker from right coast to left coast, of course.

              I don’t equate modern society to government,

              Yes, you do. You do it all the time.

              1. Well why not let the free market built the interstate highways for that purpose? Are you suggesting that some large-scale things in fact can’t be done without central government planning? That in order to live a proper moral life, we simply cannot have some things?

                1. The free market does not build things that people don’t actually need.

                  MARKET FAILURE!

                2. No, this country had roads before the government tried to make a monopoly of it. And, just like today, those who hauled freight (that would be CAPITALISTS) paid the most tolls. The difference is that now we pay the tolls at the gas pump rather than honestly at toll booth.

                3. Re: Tony,

                  Well why not let the free market built the interstate highways for that purpose?

                  The free market is just us, kiddo. If YOU want to put an interstate highway, be my guest. It’s your money.

                  Are you suggesting that some large-scale things in fact can’t be done without central government planning?

                  Oh, you can do anything with central planning. The pyramids were built with central planning. They’re just pretty useless, just like most centrally-planned things. But it can be done.

                  That in order to live a proper moral life, we simply cannot have some things?

                  You can have whatever YOU want – except not with my money.

                4. Tony:

                  That in order to live a proper moral life, we simply cannot have some things?

                  I think this boils down Tony’s entire problem: you mean, if we live morally, I don’t get to do what I want?

                  Yeah, fuckwad. If being moral means that your favorite pharaoh couldn’t have built the pyramids with slave labor, and that was the only way to do it, then guess what? Living morally means no fucking pyramids. That may make you cry a big consequentialist boo-hoo (“Tony: How could slavery possibly be wrong, if it means no pyramids? Woohoo! I’ve found the inherent contradiction in abolishing slavery!”), but part of growing up means realizing that doing the right thing doesn’t necessarily imply also getting to do whatever you want, simultaneously.

                  And, it’s specifically because of that property, that you want nothing to do with morality; it’s so constraining.

                  1. It means we don’t get highways, the Internet, space travel, or pretty much anything beyond an agrarian shithole.

                    Take your own advice. You don’t get everything you want, including a certain tax rate. Growing up fundamentally entails realizing that you share the world with other people.

                    1. Tony:

                      It means we don’t get highways, the Internet, space travel, or pretty much anything beyond an agrarian shithole.

                      Fortunately, your complete lack of the intellectual capacity required to imagine that private entities and corporations might be able to benefit from and produce transportation and computers communicating doesn’t actually constrain reality. So, I just ignore your bullshit. It does sound scary though: agrarian shithole. I’m so glad that governments orchestrated the industrial revolution. Is your entire read of history so hilariously wrong?

                      Take your own advice. You don’t get everything you want, including a certain tax rate.

                      Yes, yes, we get it, Tony. It’s so much more mature and righteous to complain about pesky morality than it is to complain about taxes. I’m glad you’ve got your priorities straight.

        3. I guess on this site liberty is the sole property of the rich. The rest of us should be content being serfs and dreaming of some day living the good life that our betters enjoy.

          1. Freedom is the absence of government force.

            It has nothing to do with targeting certain groups for extra soaking via taxation.

            1. “Freedom is the absence of government force.”

              Only to people who don’t own dictionaries and who do possess a cult-like obsession with hating government.

          2. Serfdom and poverty are not the same thing.

          3. Re: Noodlez,

            I guess on this site liberty is the sole property of the rich.

            Aw, how quaint! This idiot is repeating the little red marxian boilerplate of freedom = having money! Aw!

            Bring the camera, honey! This is a Kodak moment!

          4. Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little economic security will have neither liberty nor security. If you’re poor, you have two political paths before you: be poor and unfree, or poor and free. No one is going to make you rich except you.

            The left doesn’t care about your grievances or your fears or your needs, it just leverages them to manipulate you into furthering its own ends, which are absolute inequality — the concentration of all wealth and totalitarian power in the hands of a tiny, wholly unchecked, permanent class of philosopher kings, in an arrangement maintained by quasi-religious indoctrination by a subordinate class of artists, scholars, pedagogues, and preachers and, where that fails, violence from an unaccountable enforcer class. In short, a return to feudalism. The term “serfdom” isn’t just hyperbole, it’s the leftist agenda.

          5. Noodlez:

            The rest of us should be content being serfs and dreaming of some day living the good life that our betters enjoy.

            Noodlez, if you’re waiting for the government to give you the good life, then I hope you enjoy waiting a long time.

          6. Noodlez|9.29.14 @ 5:47PM|#
            “I guess on this site liberty is the sole property of the rich.”

            Not really, but it’s obvious that stupidity is the sole property of the left.

          7. You’re not truly free unless you’re free to be wrong.

            And well, you’re VERY free at this point.

        4. “Contrary to libertarian logic, adding a Z to the end of a word doesn’t refute a point.”

          Let me present a better Libertarian “Reasoning”.

          Statist!
          Communist!
          Socialist!
          Cunt
          Turd.Burglar.

          Now you know I win this debate, right?

          1. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 6:57PM|#
            …”Now you know I win this debate, right?”

            Asshole, you win every debate with those voices in your head.

          2. Turd.Burglar.

        5. Why is a millionaire deserving of your special attention? Many of us are millionaires on paper; nowhere near the famous 1%. Go pick on the BILLIONAIRES.

          1. “Why is a millionaire deserving of your special attention? Many of us are millionaires on paper; nowhere near the famous 1%. Go pick on the BILLIONAIRES.”

            I agree. Up until 5 million shouldn’t even be considered for extra taxing…other than on their sales taxes, etc…

            I’ve seen figures as low as 4 million and as high as 11 million (net worth – all assets) to get into the 1%.

            1. Up until 5 million shouldn’t even be considered for extra taxing

              Why that specific number. It seems rather arbitrary to me, given that currency changes value over time.

            2. And we need a progressive tax on those with a high IQ, of course. Because they have an advantage on everybody else. What do you think the threshold for that should be?

              1. Tony would be okay at anything over 97.

    3. As trolling efforts go, I give this one a B-.

    4. “they can certainly afford to give up a measly 3 percent to the schools”

      Yes, but can society afford to take money from well-run businesses and transfer it to poorly-run schools? Right now, it doesn’t really matter how much or how well we educate kids, even the STEM graduates are having trouble finding jobs.

    5. You gross a million in a restaurant for example and your net if everything is going well might be $60-$100,000. 3% of that is $30,000. That is a big chunk off the top.

      1. You form a company that decides to earn 0% profit, since profits are evil. You contrive to manufacture and to sell widgets at cost, because profits are evil. Your widgets are wildly successful, and you manage to have revenues of $1M, but $0 profits, because profits are evil.

        Now fork over $30K in special margin taxes.

    6. If millionaires can exploit everyone else in their lust for profit, they can certainly afford to give up a measly 3 percent to the schools

      We spend more as a percentage of GDP than we did in the 50s.

      http://www.usgovernmentspendin…..Spt_15ps5n

  5. “In Tennessee, voters will consider Amendment 3, which would change the state’s constitution to prevent lawmakers from imposing a tax on wage income.”

    Tennessee doesn’t currently have a tax on wage income but it does have a 6% tax on dividend and interest income.

    1. I need to get the hell out of Ohio. Tennessee sounds like Galt’s Gulch compared to this fucking place.

      1. If you do move, then you have an opportunity to do some creative tax planning:

        Move somewhere in TN close to a state line with another state that has a lower state sales tax.

        For example, you could move to Bristol – which is partly in TN and partly in VA.

        VA has a state income tax and sales that that is significantly less than the TN sales tax (TN borders 7 states).

        Move to the TN side, pay no state income tax on wages and cross over into VA to do all your shopping and pay the lower sales tax there.

        1. That’s not *fair*. TN should force those stores in VA to identify the TN residents and charge them TN taxes and remit those taxes to TN. Oh, and subject themselves to audits by TN tax people.

          That’s the logic behind the movement to tax internet purchases…

    2. “Tennessee doesn’t currently have a tax on wage income but it does have a 6% tax on dividend and interest income”

      Yeah, and sales taxes up to 9%, eh?

      Highest in the US of A, as I hear.

      1. Nope. Ca has cities as high as 12-13.Where I live it’s 9.75. Factor in “fees” and regs, and we gotta be number 1. I paid 750.00 to register a 20 year old motorcycle, recently.

        1. Asshole repeats what he finds on any random lefty site or rag. To expect him to actually check various lies is asking entirely too much.

      2. Yes, TN’s sales tax is a whole 3.2% more than Massachusetts. But, without the income tax.

        So we manage to struggle by. It’s tough being able to keep all that extra money from your paycheck and then only having a choice of when it’s taxed. Choices are hard.

        By the way what’s your state income tax in Massachusetts? Oh yes, 5.25% Well good luck with that.

        1. “By the way what’s your state income tax in Massachusetts? Oh yes, 5.25% Well good luck with that.”

          Yep – for that price we get education enough that the locals don’t join the KKK and militia and we also have medical care for all……

          #47 (3rd to last) in infant mortality….wow, you must be proud.

          #49 in Heart Disease…..I guess you should stop buying Pralines with those extra pennies you save.

          #38 in Educational attainment….

          What are you good at? What can the State be proud of? Now don’t try to fool me since I lived there for years. I do remember giant Monsanto and other plants which operated without much oversight and blighted the landscape. I guess that’s freedom for ya.

          Well, average all the health stuff out – and you come in #42 – at least you can rest assured that SC is probably worse!

          I wouldn’t be bragging about what you 9.25% buys….looks like you need to fix your “small” gubment so you get an ROI.

      3. Sure, so every dollar I save (chose to not spend) is not subjected to a 5-6% income tax and then also not subjected to a 9% (?) sales tax. Just by living in TN and saving a dollar, I’ve already “earned” about 15% on it before I put it in my mutual fund.

        1. ” I’ve already “earned” about 15% on it before I put it in my mutual fund.”

          Yeah, unfortunately the cost is dead babies, poor overall health and dying earlier. But, hey, you’ll have a few extra bucks when you kick off…..

          (we live 4 years longer in MA than in TN).

          Hey, time is money…..not MONEY IS TIME. I’ll pay the few extra percent to be toasting at my great grandchildrens wedding.

  6. We’ve had two ballot questions in MA about lowering taxes….I think the state Libertarian party put them on the ballot (we are fair here, unlike many states).

    Both were turned down by the voters.

    One would have abolished the state income tax (5.25%) and the other lowered the sales tax.

    MA voters didn’t vote them down out of stupidity. For example, at the local level we (my area) vote down any crazy increases (well, any at all actually) in the local and school taxes. But, again unlike other states, people here are educated and know how to count. If we abolished all those taxes we would suffer in terms of education and many other aspects.

    On the other hand – if we are going to talk “populist”….I think MOST people would vote for stuff that was going to save them money NOW. Human nature. But those people who have a longer time frame understand that things don’t work that way. Our kids may be out of school, but someone else helped pay for ours back when.

    It’s called civi society. You should look into it.

    1. So a deeply reflective understanding of human existence = lets give more money to the state, for we will be uneducated if we don’t. You leftoids live in a bubble of pretentiousness where the only ones you fool are yourselves.

      Government schools are producing kids who can’t read or write (let alone perform basic arithmetic), but you think they should always get more (of someone else’s) money?

      No wonder you idiots hate capitalism, you can’t even see when you’re getting ripped off by the state.

      1. Yes I hear that the kids in Somalia always out perform the kids in the United States “Government schools”.
        Seriously though is there a better investment to be made than in education????

        1. Yes: investing in education according to my wants, needs, and desires.

          Poor people in 3rd world countries scrap anything they can together to get their children in schools they feel give them the best education.

          Plenty of non-rich people in this country (me included) scrap together enough money to pay for both public and private education – THAT’S how important it is.

          Stretching that sentiment to excuse a terrible government school system that wastes tons of money demanding MORE money at the point of a gun is why I can’t take your type seriously.

        2. Noodlez|9.29.14 @ 7:22PM|#
          “Yes I hear that the kids in Somalia…”

          Compared to the kids in North Korea, commie?

        3. Investing more in the corrupt, union-controlled school systems we suffer under is one of the worst investments possible. Sure, a good education is priceless. But throwing more money at these institutions has produced horrid outcomes, like “college” students who must do remedial math and English in college.

          1. “Investing more in the corrupt, union-controlled school systems we suffer under is one of the worst investments possible”

            Well, I certainly agree to some point there…..in our case, it funds a number of great state colleges and our “union” schools do pretty well compared to most states….but I do agree that education needs vast reforms. It will happen – but not by starving the beast. It will happen because the technology and results will be better.

            1. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 8:02PM|#
              …”but I do agree that education needs vast reforms. It will happen – but not by starving the beast.”…

              Starving it sufficiently to remove the intermediation of the crooked Pub Sec Unions.

            2. There is no correlation between spending on schools and student performance. None. Nada. Zilch. Maybe your ignorance of that fact explains your view.

              1. BigT|9.29.14 @ 8:47PM|#
                “There is no correlation between spending on schools and student performance. None. Nada.”

                Correct, see:
                http://www.psk12.com/rating/US…..yID_0.html

                1. There is a strong correlation between student performance and parental involvement (PTA, after school activities, volunteering, etc), however, that transcends family income.

                  The answer to our failing schools is the same answer to our failing families – marriage.

        4. Yes I hear that the kids in Somalia

          STOP! You are disqualified. There is no economic freedom in the Totalitarian state of Somalia.

          Also, regarding the funding of education with tax dollars going to public schools with overtly bloated budgets: My personal experience has in education has led me to this striking new and powerful technology. Think of it as a network where people host any and all information that you may access at your leisure. Let’s call it The Internet. With access to it, you, quite literally, have access to the entire worlds wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. I, therefor, present your new teacher. Everyone, meet GOOGLE.

        5. And how about a dose of lefty pretentiousness with a heapin’ helpin’ of EXCLAMATION POINTS?

          Noodlez|9.29.14 @ 7:22PM|#
          …”Seriously though is there a better investment to be made than in education????”

          Yes, in many cases there is. Food, for instance.

          1. And how about a dose of lefty pretentiousness with a heapin’ helpin’ of EXCLAMATION POINTS?

            Noodlez|9.29.14 @ 7:22PM|#
            …”Seriously though is there a better investment to be made than in education????”

            Yes, in many cases there is. Food, for instance.

            Those are actually question marks. Kochsucker!!!!!!!!

        6. No, there might not be. But, until you figure out a way to actually educate kids perhaps stop taking more money from people who do the second best thing, that is better their own lives.

      2. “Government schools are producing kids who can’t read or write (let alone perform basic arithmetic), but you think they should always get more (of someone else’s) money?

        Wow, talk about total Bullshit.

        It IS true that many Conservative states have low income and failing schools and economies, however we have a household income average of 68K….I’d say that shows economic might. How about you?

        As far as someone else’s money, MA actually pays more into the Federal System than we get out – so many of those “conservative” states – you know, the ones closer to Libertarian Paradise? They take my money to fund their horrible schools and everything else. I wish I could cut them off.

        1. craiginmass:

          As far as someone else’s money, MA actually pays more into the Federal System than we get out – so many of those “conservative” states – you know, the ones closer to Libertarian Paradise? They take my money to fund their horrible schools and everything else. I wish I could cut them off.

          Yes, when you look state by state, republicans are the party of the poor, and that’s a bad thing: stupid redneck hicks who want your tax dollars while spouting hypocrisy about limited government
          When you look by how poor people, as a demographic, vote, then democrats are the party of the poor, and that’s a good thing: consciousness taking care of people.

          Whatever.

          1. Actually, Republicans are the party of inequality and tax avoidance. That’s closer to the truth, but these days they are simply Kochsuckers.

            Do some reading and let us know how much $$$ Kochs are going to make from suing for libel from here:
            http://www.rollingstone.com/po…..e-20140924

            This must be a lie, eh?
            “they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House.”

            And this one might win big bucks!
            “Koch’s climate pollution, meanwhile, outpaces oil giants including Valero, Chevron and Shell.”

            This one will win a VAST judgement:
            “it shuttered its 85,000-barrel-per-day refinery in North Pole, Alaska, owing, in part, to the discovery that a toxic solvent had leaked from the facility, fouling the town’s groundwater)”

            This just couldn’t be!

            “Joseph Stalin had just launched his first Five Year Plan. Stalin sought to fund his country’s industrialization. The USSR needed cracking technology, and the Oil Directorate of the Supreme Council of the National Economy took a shining to Winkler-Koch ? primarily because Koch’s oil-industry competitors were reluctant to do business with totalitarian Communists.”

            This one is a real Gem!
            “the Red endgame was the creation of the “Negro Soviet? Republic” in the Deep South. In his own writing, Fred Koch described integration as a Red plot to “enslave both the white and black man.”

            Lots more where all that came from!

            1. “Lots more where all that came from!”

              Yep, half-truths, hints, innuendo, why it’s all there!
              Did you have a point other than you’re a lefty ignoramus?

              1. I like that he used Rolling Stone as his source. That was precious.

                1. Notice also that asshole requires the sons to be blamed for the (supposed) ‘sins of the father’.
                  Asshole is straw-grasping, which for an ignoramus, is not surprising.

            2. craiginmass:

              I made it all the way to “Koch” and then I just had to stop reading. Really, the only reason i started reading, was wondering how long it was going to take Koch to show up for no reason whatsoever. Congratulations. You made it one sentence.

              Listen, I really think you need to put the blog down and come back when you have an original thought. I know you’ve all hyped up on anti-Koch brothers propaganda, and you’re just waiting for someone to give you the slightest excuse to blow your Koch load all over every thread. But, not only are you not the first person to actually enjoy swimming in Koch propaganda, but, believe it or not, other people have, too. The internet doesn’t work just for you; we all have it, and we’re aware that you guys think that the USA would be covered in rainbows and moonbeams 24/7 if only you could get rid of the evil Koch brothers.

              How many Koch loads are you going to blow before you get bored? Because, frankly, I never read an article about any issue or libertarianism differently because you have such a big hard-on for the Koch brothers.

              You know the Sarah Scaife Foundation also funds the Reason Foundation. Could you at least whine about the evil Sarah Scaife, just to change the pace a little? Because, I’m kinda past the whole “you should hate libertarianism because Koch’s love libertarianism and look I can show you they’re evil.” Kim Jong Il liked classical music. Do I have to hate that, too?

              1. Scaife?

                Everyone knows they have funded a massive part of the entire right wing enterprise for decades.

                They fund anti-immigration groups, anti-islamic groups and every other right wing cause under the sun….

                Population control is one of their big ideals.

                As ugly as their activism is, it’s not as blatantly selfish as the Kochs – i.e. they are not worming their way into every level of politics while making billions from the exact same efforts (deregulation, lack of regulation, stealing from native people, polluting our commons, etc.)

                Yeah, you SHOULD hate libertarianism because the modern version is nothing but pure selfishness based on both the Fiction Writer and the Kochs.

                Nothing there worth admiring.

                1. craiginmass:

                  Yeah, you SHOULD hate libertarianism because the modern version is nothing but pure selfishness based on both the Fiction Writer and the Kochs.

                  Right, because a libertarian desire to leave peaceful people pretty much alone is complete selfishness. Or, does it have to be bad through guilt by association? I can’t figure it out.

                  Anyway, are you just a joke, or do you really not realize how you come across? Get back on your meds again, grandpa; you’re going hyperbolic again.

            3. The thicker tinfoil headinass. The thicker tinfoil will keep the KochBucks from controlling your mind.

        2. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 8:06PM|#
          …”It IS true that many Conservative states have low income and failing schools and economies, however we have a household income average of 68K….I’d say that shows economic might. How about you?”…

          Wow, talk about total bullshit, asshole!
          http://www.psk12.com/rating/US…..yID_0.html

          Yeah, MA is first, but then there’s those or-so-red states of Montana and So. Dakota at 6 and 7, that worker’s paradise of NY right in the middle and the People’s Republic of CA, with HUGE school expenditures coming in at #46!
          That’s out of 57. according to your fave lying bastard.
          But then he was raised in HI, that socialist wonderland (#47).

          1. Are you really that clueless?

            First of all, counting states with almost no population and that are not part of the “con” mainstream does not count!

            Top states in educational achievement – which also correlates to income and..in many cases…life span, infant mortality, prevalence of STD’s, etc.

            MA
            MD
            CT
            VA
            NY
            VT
            NJ
            CO
            IL
            RI

            I don’t see a solid CON state among them.

            It must be really sad for you to see a speck of the truth and then run around trying to find a stat that meets your already decided world view!

            Wow……that’s not logic. That’s ideology. Let the facts show you the way and you’d agree with me.

            What a joke! South Dakota.

            1. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 9:30PM|#
              “First of all, counting states with almost no population and that are not part of the “con” mainstream does not count!”

              Oh, counting states that something, something, something don’t count?
              Fuck off, asshole.

              1. SD is #46 in educational achievement of residents – to say nothing of the fact that fewer people live there than in a small city!

                Either way, your record of being WRONG is unbroken!

                1. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 10:42PM|#
                  “SD is #46 in educational achievement of residents – to say nothing of the fact that fewer people live there than in a small city!”

                  You ramble on about So Dakota, and you seem to make claims not in evidence. Got a cite for your claim?

            2. Oh, and see this, asshole:
              “Study: No Link Between School Spending, Student Achievement”
              http://washington.cbslocal.com…..hievement/
              Funded by the Koch Bros(tm) for your reading pleasure!

            3. Maryland is #2? Umm, no. You think NY is #5? Umm, no again.

            4. craiginmass:
              So, what do you think of this article?
              Northeast loses 40% of House seats as people flee high-tax states

              Basically, the high-tax states are doing so awesome, that they just can’t hold on to their house representation? If that’s the way it works, then is the success of progressivism politically self-defeating?

              What are your thoughts, oh wise one?

        3. That same silliness again. And how far does that 68k accounting for the cost of living?

          http://www.missourieconomy.org…..of_living/

          Let me make it simple for you. You need to earn 33% more in MA to have the same living standard as TX. According to the Census Bureau the median –being supposedly more educated you do understand why median is more representative, don’t you?– income in MA is 64k and TX is 52k. 1.33 * 52 = 69k. Oops.

          1. “You need to earn 33% more in MA to have the same living standard as TX”

            Hmm, so my friends in TX somehow use much less in auto fuel and A/C for their McMansions and Hummers…to drive vast distances?

            Wow. I’ll have to move to MS. so I can really live high on the hog!

            Thanks for the education.
            Now explain to me why we live longer? What’s a couple years of your life worth?

            http://www.theatlantic.com/hea…..le/283538/

        4. Well, when those calculations are done, they include military bases as outflow. A lot of red states are also heavily populated by military bases and military personnel (cause and effect?). So in a sense, blue states are paying to locate their war machine (the one Obama is using) elsewhere (in red states).

          Or, another way of looking at it, is NY, Cali, Mass and blue states have larger populations of millionaires and billionaires. So the extraction of money from them to fund poorer red states is a feature!

          P.S. My home state is pretty much exactly $1 in and $1 out for the last 30 years or so.

          1. “Well, when those calculations are done, they include military bases as outflow. A lot of red states are also heavily populated by military bases ”

            I don’t buy it.
            Electric Boat is in CT nearby here. CA has massive bases. Lockheed Martin is big in NJ, Raytheon in RI and MA….that’s a lot of money!

            We can massage numbers and stats all day and night – but infant mortality, general health and lifespan and other such factors are (IMHO) the best measurements. It’s not always what you spend – but what you GET for what you spend. Texas has a lot of money, but never has so little been done with so much (inequality, pollution, etc.)

    2. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 6:55PM|#
      …”But, again unlike other states, people here are educated and know how to count.”…

      Yeah, asshole, no one but TOP MEN can count.

    3. What headinass is not telling you, is that he drives all the way up to N.H. in order to do his tax free shopping.

    4. We’ve had two ballot questions in MA about lowering taxes..

      I bet the ads against them were hilarious. Teachers moping into the camera, nurses laboring late into the night, single mothers slumping over piles of bills.

  7. “In San Francisco, Calif., voters will consider Measure E, which would impose a two-cent an ounce tax on sugar-sweetened beverages.”

    I will be curious to see if, legally, this can be made to apply to Coca-Cola (which is sweeter with high fructose corn syrup) if it isn’t also applied to any and all “fruit juice” drinks that are sweetened with high sugar juices such as apple or white grape that are NOT part of their advertised flavor.

    1. How about the triple-whip caramel latte?

      Start taxing the crap out of their fancy coffee and you’ll get even the hippest progressives to start railing against the system.

  8. We need these taxes to fund education, because we don’t already pay billions in taxes to fund education.

    1. Unfortunately, hardly any of if funds education.
      It funds gov’t workers putting in time for their retirement.

  9. Whoa–taxing sugar-sweetened beverages but not corn-syrup sweetened? There goes Mexican Coca-Cola. Isn’t that discriminatory taxation?

  10. ballot initiatives are at least better than back room deals on the hill.

    1. So we should change from a Republic to some kind of true democracy?

      1. No. Mob rule is as bad as totalitarian rule.

      2. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 8:09PM|#
        “So we should change from a Republic to some kind of true democracy?”

        So ‘back room deals’ are a republic? Do you have an advanced degree in stupidity?

        1. “Do you have an advanced degree in stupidity?”

          Hey, I understand, when you don’t have an argument you have to resort to insults.

          1. Noodlez|9.29.14 @ 8:58PM|#
            “Hey, I understand, when you don’t have an argument you have to resort to insults.”

            No, you don’t.
            To anyone with more brains than the typical lefty ignoramus, a ridiculous false-dichotomy does not require an ‘argument’ in response.
            So there’s a reason you *think* you understand…

        2. Yeah, and you kochsuckers approve of one or two guys buying the entire government?

          http://www.rollingstone.com/po…..e-20140924

          “they’ve cornered the market on Republican politics and are nakedly attempting to buy Congress and the White House. Their political network helped finance the Tea Party and powers today’s GOP. Koch-affiliated organizations raised some $400 million during the 2012 election, and aim to spend another $290 million to elect Republicans in this year’s midterms. So far in this cycle, Koch-backed entities have bought 44,000 political ads to boost Republican efforts to take back the Senate.”

          My God – if you can’t see the hypocrisy, you are blind. Obviously democracy is a LONG way from the kochsuckers ideals.

          1. My goodness! Asshole posts a partisan article full of innuendo, hints, factoids all of which prove nothing at all!
            It couldn’t be that asshole is a lefrty ignoramus, could it? Why, yes it is…
            Suck it, asshole; your claims are just one more expression of your stupidity.

            1. “In fact, it appears the very essence of the Koch business model is to exploit breakdowns in the free market. Koch has profited precisely by dumping billions of pounds of pollutants into our waters and skies ? essentially for free. It racks up enormous profits from speculative trades lacking economic value that drive up costs for consumers and create risks for our economy.

              The Koch brothers get richer as the costs of what Koch destroys are foisted on the rest of us ? in the form of ill health, foul water and a climate crisis that threatens life as we know it on this planet. Now nearing 80 ? owning a large chunk of the Alberta tar sands and using his billions to transform the modern Republican Party into a protection racket for Koch Industries’ profits ? Charles Koch is not about to see the light. Nor does the CEO of one of America’s most toxic firms have any notion of slowing down. He has made it clear that he has no retirement plans: “I’m going to ride my bicycle till I fall off.”

              1. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 9:49PM|#
                “In fact, it appears the very essence of the Koch business model is to exploit breakdowns in the free market.”
                Uh, finding goods at a lower price and selling them at a higher one is not a ‘breakdown’, but lefty ignoramuses wouldn’t know that.

                “Koch has profited precisely by dumping billions of pounds of pollutants into our waters and skies ? essentially for free.”
                Yep, they did have a division that dumped waste. They (it) were caught, fined (not “free”, asshole), and as I recall they fixed the problem. Unlike governments:
                “With Earth Day coming up this weekend, it might be helpful to remember that the worst polluter on planet Earth is not a major corporation, but the United States federal government,”
                http://ivn.us/2012/04/18/the-n…..overnment/

                “It racks up enormous profits from speculative trades lacking economic value that drive up costs for consumers and create risks for our economy.”
                Which is, on the face of it, total and complete bullshit, but again lefty ignoramuses are too stupid to understand.
                If the trades “lacked economic value” as that imbecile claims, they would not have occurred.

                1. “If the trades “lacked economic value” as that imbecile claims, they would not have occurred.”

                  Yeah, same goes with Bernie Madoff, Enron, etc…you are 100% correct. They do have value…for the crooks!

                  1. craiginmass|9.29.14 @ 10:43PM|#
                    “Yeah, same goes with Bernie Madoff, Enron, etc…you are 100% correct. They do have value…for the crooks!”

                    So, asshole, any trade has to be fraudulent?
                    Asshole proves again imbecility!

                    1. “If the trades “lacked economic value” as that imbecile claims, they would not have occurred.”

                      This is YOUR quote, but your feeble mind is unable to defend your own constructs!

                      YOU claim that fraud does not naturally occur…the Koch’s couldn’t be fraudsters because they can skirt laws and make trades and speculations and tie up and control markets…..right?

                      Wrong! It appears they are nothing if not selfish. Stealing oil from native people (apparently, they can’t count…and the count works in their direction only). They poison the ground in our frontiers (Alaska) and then close up shop.

                      In a perfect world, they’d be shipped back to Uncle Joe’s country where their type is warmly welcomed…well, until Putin decides you’ve dipped a little too much and jails you.

                  2. headinass. Put your money where your mouth is. Stop crossing the border into N.H. to do your shopping. Pay your states sales tax.

                    1. “headinass. Put your money where your mouth is. Stop crossing the border into N.H. to do your shopping. Pay your states sales tax”

                      1. I don’t
                      2. I even pay most sales tax on my Amazon purchases.

                    2. I don’t believe you. You are a proven hypocrite, and liar. In fact I bet you are one of those massholes clogging up I-95 every weekend to get out of that shithole of a state you made.

                    3. “In fact I bet you are one of those massholes clogging up I-95 every weekend to get out of that shithole of a state you made.”

                      Two incorrect assumptions:

                      1. That I am a wage slave like you (weekend?, what’s that? Only a day when the stock market is not active and traffic to the beach is worse!).

                      2. I-95? It would take me 90 minutes to even get to said road…if I ever needed to drive on said road, which I don’t.

                      Nah, I watch fox, turkey, deer…and sometimes even bear and moose…out my sunroom window. Not a bad place, really, unless you don’t like God’s creations.

                    4. “Wage Slave” ? It’s good to know that you think so highly of people who actually work for a living. You should try it some time when you are not underpaying, and beating your wage slaves.

                  3. And George Soros made $1B in one day by speculation and manipulation of currency markets.

                    And Tom Steyer made billions of dollars in oil industry hedge funds.

                    And James Simmons also made billions of dollars as a hedge fund manager.

                    But of course, they donate to the Democrats, so *their* money is just fine and not at all to be questioned as possible corruptive of the process.

                    1. “And George Soros made $1B in one day by speculation and manipulation of currency markets.”

                      Fine with me. I’d invest right alongside him if I could. But he doesn’t, to my knowledge, lie and cheat on oil “counts” to his partners nor poison the ground, air and water and then walk away.

                      It’s called responsibility. I thought you folks liked to preach that?

                    2. You however do lie, and cheat headinass.

              2. A super-powered central government run by enlightened progressives by your logic should be able to thwart the “evil” plans of the Koch Brothers.

                It appears that even after 6 years of Chocolate Nixon, nothing’s changed. Could it be that the government, not the free market, is actually the problem?

                1. “It appears that even after 6 years of Chocolate Nixon, nothing’s changed. Could it be that the government, not the free market, is actually the problem?”

                  Lots has changed. Read about the young people today. They are ardent environmentalists. They don’t parade about claiming they should be able to drive a Hummer I if they have the money. They don’t have 10 kids. They don’t go to church (less likely than ever).

                  They also don’t trust the Government although they know for sure that it beats the alternative and for CERTAIN that it would be Kochsucking.

                  Lots has changed. Libertarians seem to think of thinks in the age-old black/white (conservative) type os mindset – that being that if they can find ONE example of a problem, it means that we need to throw all babies out with the bath waters.

                  The world does not work like that. Change comes slowly – hey, isn’t pot legal and decrim and medically available in more places than ever? Yes, thank a liberal.

          2. Rolling Stone? Seriously? I thought you Massholes were supposed to be smart.

            Why is it so hard for you to understand that the free market is more democratic than any of your beloved government? Don’t like something? Don’t buy it. You get to vote every day, every minute. Instead you just want a communal wallet that you can steal from for your pet choo-choos and teacher’s unions and EV’s and money-losing solar panels.

            Could it possibly be that you’re not really interested in democracy at all, but just cloak your greed and power lust with that word to hide the bad taste of central planning? Nah, that can’t be it.

            1. “Nah, that can’t be it.”

              Asshole has made it a point to brag that he was a ’70s “protester” and why don’t the rest of us get off our asses (which presumes none of us did).
              Well, I did. But I did rarely, since most of the protest marches were nothing more than a populist claim on others’ wealth, and by that time it was obvious it was true and mob thuggery. Which is probably why asshole liked it.
              I didn’t.
              BTW, he also hasn’t made comment about protesting Obo’s new war. Wonder why?

              1. “But I did rarely, since most of the protest marches were nothing more than a populist claim on others’ wealth, and by that time it was obvious it was true and mob thuggery.”

                So, stopping the Vietnam War was “a populist claim to others wealth”?

                Unlike you a-holes of today, we never asked for anyone for ourselves…no welfare, no tax breaks, etc.

                Rather we protested so that people could live and prosper instead of being shipped off to die and kill.

                Is that “anti-Libertarian”.?

                1. Well why are you not out protesting Obama’s new war headinass ?

                  1. “Well why are you not out protesting Obama’s new war headinass ?”

                    Well, I’m a bit older but in truth many of my old friends are protesting it. NO libertarians out there in the streets with them! Also, I don’t see Koch speaking up too loudly or throwing billions at it.

                    Not saying it’s a just war because it’s all screwed up, but you certainly can’t compare the DRAFT and killing peasants in their rice paddies for naught…..as well as 50,000 Americans killed and 100’s of thousands (millions?) done in by PTSD and Agent Orange to a bombing campaign with no loss of American life.

                    Scale does matter – and painting ISIS as being akin to the Vietcong is not exactly a brilliant comparison.

                    I’m not pro-war by any means – and in this case there is no winning either way. I suspect it’s just an attempt to salvage even a crumb after we spent a dozen years and vast treasures. It’s not going to look good when ISIS is swimming in the indoor pool in the new American Embassy.

                    But, unlike you guys, I can admit I’m not a middle east expert. I really don’t know much except that I don’t consider those ISIS guys human. Take that for what it’s worth.

                    1. Just as I thought. You think it’s okay when the guy you voted for does it.

            2. “Rolling Stone? Seriously? I thought you Massholes were supposed to be smart.”

              Please dispute facts in the article. Koch’s have billions and they have defended their “good name” before.

              My claim is that 90% plus of the article is the truth. Prove otherwise – with facts. Or, let me know when the Kochs sue. After all, Rolling Stone can’t go printing lies about a corporation and wealthy people – can they?

              1. Sure they can. If the libeled parties simply choose to ignore the attacks.

                1. “Sure they can. If the libeled parties simply choose to ignore the attacks.”

                  The Koch’s aren’t that way…

                  Can you imagine being that foolish that you buy fake wine? And these are the guys you entrust your world to?

                  http://news.artnet.com/market/…..E.facebook

  11. My buddy’s mother makes $83 /hour on the computer . She has been fired from work for 7 months but last month her income was $16557 just working on the computer for a few hours.
    you can check here ———- http://www.jobsfish.com

  12. Will earmarked tax revenue go to schools or used to buy road salt? Or whatever the need – and there will be one.

  13. It all starts when laws don’t apply to all people equally. A discriminatory tax code encourages ever more discrimination.

  14. Article redux: first, people voting for things I agree with prove ballot initiatives are the people’s will. Second, people voting for things I disagree with are being manipulated by special interests. Man, the quality of the articles on Reason is astounding. You just don’t see things like this in the MSM. We should just anoint a kind of round table of corporate bosses to lead the country. They did such a fine job back in 2008.

    Quick question: I’ve heard a rumor that these nefarious “special interests” are actually nazi-socialist invaders from Mars. True?

  15. I propose we create an area (of their choosing)about the size of 1/10th of the country and just give it sans rules to socialist/statists and they can redistribute wealth or whichever silly college socialist nonsense they want. The rest of us can continue the model of produce-benefit-give tithing and generally behave.
    Let them have the opportunity to create their utopian world from their college ideology. (Of course the problem is that when it takes a big loose shit on them, they’ll blame . . . . bush and reagan or the rich.

    1. Plus we can transfer the half of the lowest socio-economic population (and ALL the “undocumented citizens”) since they generated them with their idiotic schemes for social justice in the first place.

      1. The Berlin Wall would soon be built, and then it would be corn-popping time for the rest of us.

      2. So you want to segregate the country? I know its hard for a neo-confederate like yourself to realize, but brown people contribute a hell of a lot to this country.

        1. He didn’t say segregate by race. Even “undocumented citizens”, while mainly Hispanic, do if fact come in all colors. If we’re getting rid of them its because of their demonstrated willingness to ignore our laws, not because they are brown (or any other color).

    2. “I propose we create an area (of their choosing)about the size of 1/10th of the country and just give it sans rules to socialist/statists and they can redistribute wealth or whichever silly college socialist nonsense they want. ”

      Actually, these exist to some degree and they are responsible for a vast portion of the wealth and innovation in this great country. Boston, Silicon Vally and the entire Bay Area….come to mind.

      The experiment has been in progress for 100’s of years..and it has worked. No need to repeat.

      1. Knock yourselves out! Take all and any of those places up to 10% of the country and form your own union and constitution . . . and you cede ANY authority or benefit from the other 90%. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass (figuratively speaking).

        1. “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass (figuratively speaking)”

          Right – as if you won’t sell us your oil and the tops of your mountains you are cutting off at the same price you currently sell it to the Chinese for?

          Hint. We make more $$ and are more efficient with the money (use less energy) so we win.

          1. We make more $$ and are more efficient with the money (use less energy) so we win.

            God, what laughable nonsense.

            The chance that you actually have a job worth what you’re paid is pretty slim. So you’d pretty soon discover how worthless you are, unless you can kiss the right asses at party headquarters.

            Even if you manage to hold on to your “job”, you will be paid in ridiculous denominations of worthless money. Your $1 trillion paycheck won’t even buy a loaf of bread at the end of the day.

            Then of course will come the famines, rolling blackouts, and diseases as the farms, power plants, and other infrastructure are forcibly shut down for “inefficiency” or simply crumble because nobody wants to do hard work.

            The only salvation you will have is from trade and commerce with other places, which you will decry as “exploitative” even as it keeps you alive.

      2. Jeebus, headinass makes shreek sound coherent in comparison.And that is saying something.

  16. Another example of my 33rd Law in the ‘unreal life of California…’

    http://www.plusaf.com/falklaws.htm#33rd

    “The Only Criterion for putting a Tax on something is that the “something” must be Measurable. No other reason is necessary.”

    Tony, You Rock! [-head.]

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