Gary Johnson

Progress! John Oliver Mocks Third-Party Candidates Because They Are as Awful as Trump and Clinton

As Election Day nears, even the alt-MSM starts slagging choices beyond Dem/Rep duopoly.

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HBO

On Last Week Tonight, HBO's John Oliver laid into third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Jill Stein, mocking them for being basically as silly and stupid as…well, not Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but Joe Exotic, who runs a big-cat park and is given to statements such as "current politicians…rape you of your rights."

To his credit, Oliver openly grants that he is only talking about Stein and Johnson because between them they are pulling close to 10 percent in national polls, more than enough to cover the spread in an election where the winner is likely to get less than 50 percent of the popular vote. Unlike, say, Carl Hiaasen, he also grants that folks voting for someone other than a Democrat or Republican might actually be doing something more than making a childish protest by voting third party. Oliver says that you might be actively embracing an alternative set of politics.

But of course, the main point is to delegitimize third-party candidates by showing them to be fundamentally unserious. Stein is written off as an anti-vaxxer and, if not quite a 9/11 truther, then close enough to disqualify her for government work. She also, Oliver demonstrates, doesn't seem to understand that the Federal Reserve does quantitative easing, not the Treasury Department.

Johnson gets slapped around for getting angry when, in a scene from the excellent documentary Rigged (watch online here), he goes off on a Bloomberg reporter who asks whether he's just a spoiler. The Great Aleppo Gaffe and (truly disturbing) The NBC Tongue-Biting Debacle make appearances, of course, as they should.

Then Oliver gets more serious. When it comes to policy, Oliver admits that "there's a lot to like there. He supports marijuana legalization and opposes the death penalty, civil forfeiture, and police militarization. But scratch beneath the surface and there are some positions you may be less comfortable with. For instance, he opposes having a minimum wage and when he says he's for smaller government, he's not kidding around." Oliver plays a clip of Johnson calling for the abolition of the federal Departments of Education, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development and then stumbling over a follow-up question about whether these departments do anything that should be continued after their dissolution. More substantively, Oliver says that Johnson's proposed consumption tax is "overly simplified" and would hurt poor people by levying up to a 28 percent bite on everything we purchase. Citing a 2005 report, Oliver says that for Johnson's plan "to work, [the report concluded] the sales tax would have to be way more than 28 percent…and to avoid all that there might have to be savage government cuts. But rather than honestly admit that, Johnson tries to wriggle out of the problem."

Well, no. While you can argue that he's way off or that it's difficult to hit such a target, Johnson has geared his plan to be revenue neutral with current receipts of about $3.2 trillion a year. More important, at every mention of government spending, the former two-term governor of New Mexico recites that his top order of business would be to submit a balanced budget to Congress within 100 days of taking office and that the balancing would be accomplished via spending cuts (such as eliminating whole departments of the federal government). Johnson is totally up front about his desire (and, he would argue, the mathematical need) to cut government spending year over year. There's no need to "scratch beneath the surface" about that at all.

And if the litmus test is whether a candidate is serious about spending and taxes, Johnson comes out looking less delusional than either Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, both of whom increase spending while walling off entitlement programs from any sort of reform needed to keep ever-rising and job-killing national debt in check.

But such attacks on third-party candidates sometimes work out in funny ways, often throwing publicity rather than shade in the direction of non-traditional candidates. In fact, several times during the writing of this post, I tried to call up Joe Exotic's official website, but the site apparently can't handle the traffic coming its way courtesy of Oliver's treatment from last night. In a similar way, the more that the media (and the major parties) must engage third parties (if only to dismiss them), they often achieve a very different end than the one they intend.

Here's the segment.

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  1. Johnson calling for the abolition of the federal Departments of Education, Commerce, and Housing and Urban Development

    Yes, please moarrrrr

    1. Agreed, Oliver says this like it’s a bad thing – and I’m betting he can’t name a positive thing any of these departments do.

      1. “Provide cushy jobs to many of my viewers” shouldn’t be that hard to come up with.

        1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link,

          go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,, http://www.highpay90.com

      2. You know, he actually named several things in the video.

        1. positive

          is the key word

          1. I’m guessing that John Oliver perhaps disagrees with your assessment of whether those items are positive.

            1. I have no doubt John Oliver thinks that way. He can pony up his own money instead of mine.

          2. Thank you, this is exactly why I included the word.

        2. The Nazis invented the v2 rocket and developed the jet engine. I guess we should’ve kept them around longer.

      3. Actually, on the show he reeled off a list of things those departments do. The only offices that were not basically “pursue the liberal agenda” were the Census Bureau and the PTO. If we absolutely have to have those two functions, we can send them back to the departments they came from (Justice and State, respectively).

      4. Those departments keep progressives employed allowing them to be able to afford cable and therefore to watch John Oliver, the second biggest dick on cable. Only O’Reilly is a bigger dick

  2. Oliver is a sack of shit who’s full of shit and a shitty comedian as well. That some people take him seriously as a political commentator is as about as sad as it gets.

      1. “But it’s CURRENT DATE people! I can’t believe anyone could hold that opinion in CURRENT DATE”

    1. Well, they took Jon Stewart seriously, so no surprise here.

    2. He was an intern on the Daily Show distinguished mostly by his air of desperation. He’s taken a two-minute bit and made it a full-length show. This goes far in illustrating the intellectual characteristics of his audience, I suspect.

      1. I wonder if the clapping seals (the audience) are full-time employees that travel from the Oliver show to the Maher show, then over to the Colbert show followed by the Fallon show, make a quick appearance on SNL then continue on to Conan, Kimmel and Daily Show after which the female seals separate from the herd and stop by the view? Employees? Actually unpaid interns. Stupidity is free and plentiful. Bernie proved that.

      2. …Kind of like Joey in Friends.

    3. Rand Paul was on the Daily Show when Oliver guest hosted and it proved that Oliver is fucking hack. The whole time Oliver was trying to catch Paul saying something stupid or outrageous but failed miserably especially when they discussed healthcare.

      1. Is there any question whether we weren’t better off in the days before media got to shit all over the election so easily? Nick says that GJ biting his tongue was “truly disturbing”. Well, perhaps. But beyond “here is a list of each candidate’s positions” I don’t see what the media is adding to this discussion.

      2. Rand made a total ass of himself. He never had any heathcare policy at all — just the slogans and soundbites that excite the Paulista Cult.

        When has ANY candidate EVER done anything as TOTALLY stupid as getting a standing ovation from Berkeley liberals on civil liberties and non-intervention, then — less than a week later — piss it ll away by calling for religious tent revivals all across the country to protest civil liberties!

    4. Very much this. Never trust a person with two first names. Proggie bootlicking humor has run its course.

    5. Seriously. Why is Nick even given this vapid , left-wing windbag the time of day?

    6. I am gonna have to disagree with you there, Grinch. Oliver is kinda like a sack of shit, but without the sack.

    7. Ask any proglodyte fan of his if they’d find him as funny if he had a Midwestern accent instead.

      Then enjoy the crickets chirping.

    8. Fuckin’ A x infinity!

    9. Isn’t one who is a sack of shit inherently full of shit?

  3. Someone needs to take a baseball bat to John Oliver.

    1. It could be a Pay per View event. With the proceeds going to benefit the retarded (which would be most fitting). His shrill screams of agony and his sobs for mercy would be worth every penny.

    2. What? And ruin two pieces of wood?

  4. The very problem with the major party candidates is that they’re serious. They’ve got really fucked-up plans and they seriously intend to carry them out.

  5. How about a compromise: since we’re stuck with reports about what an unfunny leftist comedian thinks about US politics, could you at least not include pictures of his stupid fucking face?

    1. No kidding. His face is one of the more punchable I have seen.

  6. Who cares what this unfunny partisan hack has to say about anything, let alone something touching the heart of American civic life? It’s like turning to Amy Schumer for news of the day. They both are hacks dredging the soft, polluted shallows of political humor. Carlos Mencia has a greater evocative range and deeper cultural comprehension than John Oliver.

    1. I only see Chucky when I look at Amy Schumer. Both Chuckys that is.

  7. John Oliver is entertaining as long as you don’t pay attention to what he actually says. His tone, facial expressions, etc would be even better if he was speaking in Lower Upper KantUnderstandUstan.

  8. John Oliver continues the Comedy Central political shows’ great tradition of being, ironically, not funny at all. And of course he’s against third parties. He’s against second parties, unless the second party is there to be a comedic foil for Progressive Democrats. The idea that a candidate would run for office who wasn’t authorized by the political establishment following a lengthy apprenticeship toeing the party line is anathema. Really, if they could get rid of the election part, they would. They look at China’s one-party system and think, “Now THAT’S how you run a country!”

    1. Comedy Central is Tony?

      1. …shit, you know, it was there right in front of my face the whole time and I never saw it…

      2. You mean Comedy Central is composed of circus geeks who bite the heads off of chickens, who then proceed to ram the bodies up their own assholes? Who knew?

    2. Hasn’t California already adopted the one party system? How’s that working?

    3. Dude… You’re not new here. It’s tow the lion.

      *shakes head* Darn kids.

  9. I watched about 5 minutes of this and it was too much for me. To think that people actually take this guy seriously is what really depresses me.

    1. By definition half the population is average intelligence and below. I’m not surprised at all.

      1. I’m of average intelligence and I can see through the facade of politics. It’s mind boggling that people are easily drawn into this shit.

        1. Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.

          – George Carlin

          1. It’s more like a third.

        2. I’m going to apologize here. What I was getting at is many people are easily led for whatever reason but I said it in a mean way. Plenty of smart people agree with the guy too.

      2. You need to learn what an average is.

        1. OK, median then but a lot of people don’t know what that is.

          1. Easy. It’s someone who can talk to the dead.

            1. You are confusing medium and median. A medium is someone who talks to the dead. A median is what they stand on when they do it.

              1. Um no, did you finish grade school? A median is someone from Medes. They talk about them a lot in math class because the people of Medes invented math. With some help of course from the citizens of Jacobia and Gaussia.

                1. +1 Wronskian

    2. Oliver is part of a modern comedy trend where progressives point at something non-progressive and the audience laughs.

      “I hear Trump is running of president.”

      Howls of laughter.

      “He said something last night at a rally.”

      Laughter.

      “Oh look, these third party people are running for office too!”

      Laughter.

      “They think they could do a better job than Trump.”

      Laughter.

      “Bernie thinks he might still get appointed dog catcher.”

      Total silence.

      “Find out who wrote that joke and fire them!”

      Laughter.

  10. BTW, in b4 WHYNCHA START YER OWN BLOG THEN

  11. Who is this blatherer and why should I care what he spouts?

  12. He just doesn’t want Donald Trump as President and prefers someone that is actually qualified. I saw we cut him some slack and I say that as someone who is probably going to vote for Jill Stein.

    1. “He just doesn’t want Donald Trump as President and prefers someone that is actually qualified”

      Where can we find that person?

      1. Electing someone who’s qualified? You mean like a “community organizer” from Chicago with a year of Congressional experience? I mean, shit, why start now?

        1. He did a pretty good job so you have a point.

          1. american socialist|10.17.16 @ 11:17AM|#
            “He did a pretty good job so you have a point.”

            That’s FUNNY!
            “Now, even Democrats can see the ObamaCare death spiral”
            http://nypost.com/2016/10/16/n…..th-spiral/
            And how many wars has he started or expanded? 4? 5?
            I guess you must be talking about his golf game.

            1. He’s a socialist, he loves wars. You’re never going to rile him up with that line.

            2. Hmm, check my numbers…

              Combined number of U.s. Troops and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan in FY2008… 360,000

              Combined number of U.S. Troops and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan in FY 2016… 43,000

              https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/R44116.pdf

              This is your great warmonger? I admit I forgot all the Peace Corp volunteers in Somalia that your lover Gilmore was bitching about when he was complaining about MEDIA BIAS! Those count too I guess.

              1. Gee, asswipe, are you hoping to pay your mortgage on cherry-picker’s wages?

                “The Death Toll Does Not Lie ? Afghanistan Is Obama’s War”
                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/…..83441.html

                “The 12-Year War: 73% of U.S. Casualties in Afghanistan on Obama’s Watch”
                http://www.cnsnews.com/news/ar…..amas-watch

                “More than 2,400 dead as Obama’s drone campaign marks five years”
                https://www.thebureauinvestigates.com

                1. He called you gay, Sevo. I guess being gay is a bad thing to him.

                  1. So he’s an imbecile AND a bigot?
                    Not surprising…

                    1. Guys,

                      You’ve got the wrong idea. I’m pro-gay. I don’t throw around arguments like, hmmm, we better hold off on this whole gay marriage thing because some Jeebus freak baker in Appalachia might have an objection about baking a cake for Sevo and Gilmore. Nono, I think it’s super cute the way you guys slobber over each other and make cutesy-face while saying the same shit that Rush Limbaugh does. You’ve found each other and I am– without reservation– happy for you two. Congratulations.

              2. Is this the new prog peacenik party line? “At least it’s just foreign brown people who are dying now.”

              3. How Team Obama Justifies the Killing of a 16-Year-Old American

                Asked about the strike that killed him, a senior adviser to the president’s campaign suggests he should’ve “had a more responsible father.”

                http://www.theatlantic.com/pol…..an/264028/

          2. The economy is in shambles, the country is tearing itself apart, and we are increasingly likely to sleepwalk into a war with Russia. Yeah, mission accomplished asshole.

          3. He couldn’t have done more damage if he was trying to wreck your country on purpose.

      2. Obama? I always thought DT was the best candidate the Republicans had in 2016.

        1. Well yeah, he’s basically a democrat, so you would.

      3. Seriously, where does this Clinton as competent/qualified meme come from? She’s the Typhoid Mary of public policy. Sure, she has a lot of experience, but at the end of the day what she is most known for is getting fecal matter in everything she touches.

        1. She’s qualified to start more wars, expand the ones we already have, take corruption to a level never seen before in the USA, shred the Consitution some more, elevate cronyism to new heights, and promote economically destructive ideas like free college for everyone.

          Yeah, she’s qualified all right.

        2. THIS. She has shown over and over that she is utterly incompetent, besides being a pathological liar.

      4. Doesn’t count that person in one of those evil third party candidates.

    2. Let’s try it again: He just doesn’t want Donald Trump as President and prefers someone who is actually qualified. As a Jill Stein voter, I say we cut him some slack.

      1. american socialist|10.17.16 @ 11:14AM|#
        “Let’s try it again:…”

        Don’t bother, asswipe. Don’t you have a mortgage payment to make?

      2. How can you be a Jill Stein voter? She is an anti-vaxxer and you have clearly vaccinated yourself against common sense.

      3. Fuck off commie scum –

    3. Obama was totally qualified.

      And his ‘qualified’ really turned out well.

      1. We got more government, that’s all that matters to amsoc.

  13. “o his credit, Oliver openly grants that he is only talking about Stein and Johnson because between them they are pulling close to 10 percent in national polls, more than enough to cover the spread in an election where the winner is likely to get less than 50 percent of the popular vote.”

    Translated: They could cause Hillary to lose!

    1. If Gary Johnson or Jill Stein was causing Trump to “lose” votes, the Progressive Left would shower heaps of praise on them.

      1. Yeah, funny how that’s not happening.

  14. “John Oliver Mocks Third-Party Candidates Because They Are as Awful as Trump and Clinton”

    That is not possible.

    1. Have you listened to Stein? I know the Green Party nominating a moonbat is cliche, but her own statements and policy positions made me accept that she is, in fact, as bad as major party candidate B. (No one is as bad as major party candidcate C)

  15. John Oliver can be pretty funny and makes a lot of good points in his longer segments. He’s not always right, but he has a pretty solid batting average.

    1. i fear for his safety poking fun of that Chechnya warlord/head of state.

    2. Like Jon Stewart, he has his moments.

      This isn’t one of them.

    3. I think he has good delivery and I like the long-form segments instead of keeping everything shallow. That faint praise probably makes me one of his biggest fans here.

      His big problem is that he and his writers seem to think that comedy is created by pointing out things that disagree with a progressive worldview, going “what a moron!” and pausing for laughter.

  16. “The least of four evils” is a good line that needs to be shoved in the face of anyone crying about how a year of party primaries doesn’t deliver them their perfect bespoke candidate. It’s beyond belief the level of self-absorption it takes to whine that one of two candidates doesn’t fit all of your specific personal needs.

    1. And he swoops in with the strawman!

      1. You tell me why some people find it excruciatingly difficult to pick the better candidate between Trump and Clinton. I’ve encountered a more complex dilemma picking out grapefruit.

        1. False dilemma!

          1. or choice rather

          2. Because it’s possible Gary Johnson could be president? I’d think all you libertarian computer geeks would be comfortable with the concept of binariness.

            1. “I’d think all you libertarian computer geeks would be comfortable with the concept of binariness.”

              Oh, isn’t that………………………
              Pathetic.

              1. In his defense, Tony is a one bit kind of guy.

            2. Here we go again with the remedial lesson in logic:

              If libertarians habitually vote the lesser of two evils, then neither party has any incentive to heed libertarian ideas and policies. The more votes libertarian candidates get, on the other hand, the more compelled the major parties are to try to actually win libertarian votes. Choosing the ‘lesser evil’ is a short run oriented strategy. Some of us would rather play the long run strategy (in my case, saying they’ll have to do better things get me to vote at all) because we know we’re fucked in the short run either way.

              And youd have to be pretty mendacious to honestly contend that this about not getting the perfect candidate. Rand Paul was imperfect but tolerable. These two are abysmal.

              You might wanna get checked for Alzheimer’s Tony, you seem to keep forgetting everything we explain to you here.

              1. Voting as a bloc for a losing candidate (i.e., the libertarian candidate or other third-party option) only becomes a message IF it can simultaneously draw more people in, even as it loses. If 2% vote for a third party, no one cares. But if 2% becomes 3 % becomes 5%, etc., even if it never turns in to a winning vote it becomes a powerful message. If that were the case, your argument would stand.

                What I think libertarians miss is how much of a fringe element they are. A predictable fringe bloc voting reliably for fringe elements doesn’t mean anything – it can safely be ignored in perpetuity.

                Alternatively, if you engage the system, you have the opportunity to sway and influence. It’s incontrovertible that Sanders had an effect on Hillary’s platforms. Sanders, a socialist and political pariah, engaged himself in the process and was able to change the topics of debate. Had he remained ideologically pure to socialism and disengaged, he would have changed nothing.

              2. Neither party has any incentive to heed libertarian ideas and policies.

                There are no libertarian policies! NONE! And “libertarian ideas” are memorized slogans and soundbites,
                1) Nothing on the economy and jobs.
                2) Nothing sane on taxes. Fair Tax is a 64% cut for millionaires who consume a tiny percentage of their income, and a 300% INCREASE for the middle class who spend nearly their entire income (per Forbes, average in big-ticket items like cars)
                3) Nothing on the biggest fiscal debacle, Medicare (vouchers are wrong market)
                4) Nothing on private healthcare
                5) NO reforms and/or restructuring of the government.

                Rand Paul was imperfect but tolerable.

                Ran perhaps THE most dumbfuck campaign in US history. Imagine the wackiness of going to Berkeley, getting a standing ovation on non-intervention and civil liberties, then pissing it all away …. less than a week later .. calling for religious tent revivals nationwide to deny equal rights!!! Thus proving it’s impossible to expand his dad’s wacky coalition of anti-gummint goobers, bigots and conspiracy nuts.

                you seem to keep forgetting everything we explain to you here.

                He may be laughing too hard at you,

            3. That’s why we need government: to take complex social problems and simplify them down to binary choices. So we can all get it. Duh.

        2. Picking out avocados is more difficult by orders of magnitude.

      2. Please don’t feed the troll. It’s getting very fat.

        1. If everyone will ignore it for a while it will go away because it will be passed out in the basement floor for the rest of the day.

          1. He’s been on this site for years but yet still chooses to not understand our beliefs at best or at worst misrepresents them.

            1. Because it is a troll. It’s not here to argue in good faith, it’s just here to be a dick.

              1. It’s akin to going to adopt a dog and passing a kennel with a particularly vicious dog inside. He’s a chihuahua but thinks he’s a rottweiler. Nobody will take him home precisely because he’s a vicious, bitey little thing, but everyone pities him because they know what kind of environment he had to have been raised in. He barks and barks and bares his teeth at anyone who passes and is ignored, which only makes him angrier.

                A pitiable, spiteful troll that isn’t even good at trolling.

            2. He isn’t choosing that, he’s too retarded to understand.

        2. Fine

          *picks up toys, kicks sand*

    2. Re: Tony,

      It’s beyond belief the level of self-absorption it takes to whine that one of two candidates doesn’t fit all of your specific personal needs.

      “The overall shittiness of both and the whole process is a feature and not a bug so stop whining and vote for MY candidate, already!”

      “Yes, master.”

      In the meantime, I can go to the store and buy exactly what I want yet the Market is not democratic…. You told me so like 2 years ago.

      1. “The market is only good when you have to pay for all of my stuff and I get most of yours”

        /Tony

      2. If by overall shittiness you mean being an amalgam of the interests of hundreds of millions of people, fine. We don’t each get our own president, much as that concept seems to elude the snowflake demo.

        1. Re: Tony,

          If by overall shittiness you mean being an amalgam of the interests of hundreds of millions of people, fine.

          Even a person that lost his brain while fighting jungle ear-boring worms knows that neither candidates can be an amalgam of the interests of hundreds of millions of people because a) they’re all individuals, not amalgams, and b) people (all the hundreds of millions) lie about their preferences. They normally vote against someone rather than for someone.

          We don’t each get our own president,

          Why not? Why are you so accepting? Why do you show your tail so easily?

        2. If the 90% wants to eradicate the 10%, hey what can you do? It’s the will of the people. Why can’t we snowflakes just accept it.

          Btw, anyone find it funny that Tony thinks people know what’s in their best interest when voting but not when buying, selling, working, or in other economic behavior? Then they need to be told what to do… by the people they wisely elected to tell them what to do.

  17. I’m not a violent person, and I don’t think there’s room for that sort of thing in politics, but every time I see people like John Oliver talking about government and authority I feel the need to remind them of the true purpose of the Second Amendment and the certainty of their having a very real, very personal understanding of that purpose in the event they or their goon squad should actually attempt to enforce their will on, well, me, for starters.

    1. I don’t think there’s room for that sort of thing in politics,

      I will make an exception for Tony and Federal District Court Judges.

  18. Challenge: Name me a funny right-wing comedian.

    If you say Dennis Miller, you haven’t watched him lately– or ever for that matter.

    1. Re: American Stultified,

      Challenge: Name me a funny right-wing comedian.

      Challenge: name me a Marxian comedian who makes people laugh without being told to laugh by a guy with a sign.

    2. Uh, Clint Eastwood.

    3. Doug Stanhope. Libertarian and hilarious.

    4. Maybe he’s gone a little to out to the right but Dennis Miller has a higher IQ than all left-wing comedians put together.

      Who gives a shit about ‘lately’?

    5. Because when I’m trying to figure out politics, who’s better to turn to the Gallagher?

    6. There are a number of comedians who lean right and are funny. Some of them mostly talk about culture, such as Adam Corolla, Jim Norton, and Bill Burr. Others, such as Drew Carey (libertarian, really) and Ron White do their funny without talking much at all about politics. Why? I don’t know. Perhaps because they see themselves as comedians, instead of activists who need to use their platform/”voice” to cram their packaged agenda up the asses of everyone they encounter.

      1. Corolla is fucking hilarious, but he triggers the poor snowflakes, so he doesn’t count. Also, Penn Jilette.

      2. Because you have to be a special kind of stupid to be a comedian and to bring politics into your act. You are basically cutting your income stream in half. It’s the special type of stupid that is particularly prevalent on the left, because for some reason they don’t have the requisite self-control. It’s almost as if a lack of self-control was some kind of trait that pre-disposed one towards a lefty ideology. Go figure.

    7. Jeff Dunham

    8. Bill Burr would certainly be considered right wing by leftists, even if he doesn’t identify as such.

      And even Dennis Miller on his worst day is funnier than any leftist comedian. Seth Macfarlane? Bill Mahler? Aziz Ansari? Come on, those guys don’t even try anymore, they just flog pet causes all day long.

      The best comedians are, and always have been, the most apolitical. Only people with as little sense of humor as Daily Show viewers actually enjoy being being sermonized by a sanctimonious, arrogant douche bag. The rest of us would rather hear funny jokes.

    9. Steven Crowder

    10. The first guy that springs to mind is Penn Jillette, who technically only fits the ‘funny’ in your list, but enough of his entertainment is intended to be humorous that I’m comfortable calling him a comedian, and since most of the left thinks libertarians are right wing, I think he pretty much fits the bill.

  19. …the main point is to delegitimize third-party candidates by showing them to be fundamentally unserious.

    We’re all being refreshingly transparent as the election nears.

  20. When Johnson and many supposedly fiscal conservatives talk about balancing the budget just like a household, I wonder how they account for the fact that many people (me, for instance) go into debt multiple times my annual income when I purchase a house, or go into debt for a not-insignificant fraction of my income when I purchase a car.

    1. Do you acquire a debt equal to your annual income every year?

      1. No. Neither does the country.

        1. Ok, do you acquire a third of your annual income in debt every year??

          1. No. Neither would we, if we actually taxed the population for what we spend. Spending won’t be reduced unless and until taxpayers are confronted with how much it costs to run the country by having to pay for it each year.

            1. The government took in something like $3.3Trillion dollars this year. If you think the problem is not collecting enough taxes, I have three words for you: Fuck off, slaver.

              1. You’re very kind. But you miss my point. Whether or not you feel that the government collects too much in taxes, my point is that there will never be a serious effort to rein-in spending unless the government actually collects the amount of taxes necessary to fund its services. If we don’t collect the taxes, all that happens is we run-up debt, which is an abstraction that no one feels.

                If you’re serious about fiscal conservatism, you need to collect the taxes necessary to pay for the government – period.

                1. “If you’re serious about fiscal conservatism, you need to collect the taxes necessary to pay for the government – period.”

                  Bullshit.
                  If you’re serious about fiscal conservatism, you need to cut spending.

                  1. It won’t happen. It has never happened, and it won’t in the future so long as we can just add to the debt.
                    Raising taxes to pay for the government will allow the populace to make a choice regarding the appropriate level of government. Without an increase in taxes, we’ll just keep increasing the debt with no reduction in government.

                2. Or, you know, we could cut spending and let people pay voluntarily for the services they actually want.

                  1. You’re not a very realistic person, are you?

                    1. Probably not, since I am trying to argue with a lefty online expecting it to be a rewarding use of my time.

                3. This. I’ve said it before: the problem is not that pol’s lie and screw the voters, but rather that they give the voters everything they want. The horrifying aspect ignored by nearly everyone is that our political process is WORKING

                4. If you’re serious about your houses fiscal conservatism, you need to go rob someone to pay off your debts before you consider maybe not spending as much.

                  Sounds legit.

            2. Or, or, or…. maybe if we spent less than we taxed!

    2. People are bad at financial decision-making?

      1. Are you saying that it’s a bad financial decision to get a mortgage?

        1. Non-sequitur, but I’ll bet you knew that.

          1. Huh? If that’s not what Hugh Akston meant, what did he mean?

            1. See below if you’re that confused.

              1. I’m beginning to think that you like to speak in riddles.

            2. Here, let me help you:
              Sevo|10.17.16 @ 12:15PM|#

              “When Johnson and many supposedly fiscal conservatives talk about balancing the budget just like a household, I wonder how they account for the fact that many people (me, for instance) go into debt multiple times my annual income when I purchase a house, or go into debt for a not-insignificant fraction of my income when I purchase a car.”

              Do you take on debt to meet daily expenses? If you do, you’re an idiot. If you don’t, you’ve just made a faulty analogy.

        2. How in the holy hell is a mortgage a good analogy here? A balanced budget means revenue is equal to or higher than the costs. The correct analogy is a mortgage you can’t afford, like buying a mansion in Beverly Hills.

          1. It’s not, but it is commonly used by apologists for big government.

            1. The basic argument is logical, and used by libertarians like myself to support the Fair Tax (get everyone to see how much their govt costs) or to put Scandinavian welfare states into perspective (want their system then pony up like they do).

              1. “The basic argument is logical”

                Do not see it.
                Gov’t rarely assumes debt to finance one-time costs, so any analogy to a mortgage is flawed.

    3. Do you forcibly collect funds from your neighbors to pay that debt back?

      1. Changing the subject. Ten yard penalty.

      2. You’re changing the goal-posts. The question wasn’t whether taxation is theft, it’s whether countries should treat their budgets like households do theirs.

        1. It’s absolutely part of the question. Perhaps you don’t care for the implications of it, namely that it makes government spending inherently immoral.

          1. It’s difficult to have a dialog when someone wants to change the subject, particularly when the topic that you want to discuss is so impractical. Do you have any expectation that government is going to disappear?

            1. No. Minimized as you would a necessary evil.

              Otherwise, there is no rational limit to government spending and debt. Pass it on to the next generation, who cares? And when the chickens come home to roost, just squeeze some more out of the populace.

              1. Okay. Now you’re at least raising something that can be discussed. I hear you that government should be minimized. Believe it or not, I think that everyone – literally, everyone – would agree. The difference is that people have different views as to what that minimal amount should be. Some think that it’s important to have a military that is funded more than the 10-or-so next-largest militaries in the world. Others (like me) disagree. Some think that government should regulate food and drugs, while others (I’m guessing you, for example) think that the free market should be trusted to handle that.

                We live in a big, diverse society, with many viewpoints. Your view isn’t necessarily the majority view, and (you might be surprised to hear) not even necessarily the “correct” view, to the extent that such a thing exists.

                By the way, I agree that there’s not really a rational limit to government debt. However, there is a rational limit to government spending – the populace will accept only what it can reasonably pay for. As I’ve mentioned in other comments here, there will never be a spending reduction until people decide that we’re paying too much, and people won’t decide that until we actually have to make those payments, rather than pushing them off into the future.

              2. Okay. Now you’re at least raising something that can be discussed. I hear you that government should be minimized. Believe it or not, I think that everyone – literally, everyone – would agree. The difference is that people have different views as to what that minimal amount should be. Some think that it’s important to have a military that is funded more than the 10-or-so next-largest militaries in the world. Others (like me) disagree. Some think that government should regulate food and drugs, while others (I’m guessing you, for example) think that the free market should be trusted to handle that.

                We live in a big, diverse society, with many viewpoints. Your view isn’t necessarily the majority view, and (you might be surprised to hear) not even necessarily the “correct” view, to the extent that such a thing exists.

                By the way, I agree that there’s not really a rational limit to government debt. However, there is a rational limit to government spending – the populace will accept only what it can reasonably pay for. As I’ve mentioned in other comments here, there will never be a spending reduction until people decide that we’re paying too much, and people won’t decide that until we actually have to make those payments, rather than pushing them off into the future.

                1. Couldn’t you have just used yourself to direct this post to?

                  “By the way, I agree that there’s not really a rational limit to government debt. However, there is a rational limit to government spending – the populace will accept only what it can reasonably pay for. As I’ve mentioned in other comments here, there will never be a spending reduction until people decide that we’re paying too much, and people won’t decide that until we actually have to make those payments, rather than pushing them off into the future.”

                  How would you propose the populace determine what they can reasonably pay for when they are largely divorced from the decisions of the federal government? Using this logic….would this mean you would be ok with continuing to pile on programs regardless of their merit because they can be paid for? This seems like an open ended

                  And it is very very hard to get rid of program once it is initiated. So not really buying your arguments

                  1. As an example, let’s say that we currently tax people at about 3/4 of what government actually costs, and use debt to pay for the remainder. People only “feel” 75% of the expense. On the other hand, if we taxed them for the full amount, they’d “feel” the full hit, and maybe at that point they’d be willing to vote for people who wanted to cut spending.

                    It’s like individuals with credit cards – it’s easy to buy something when you just add the cost to a future debt.

                    1. The politicians who spend all this money have responsibility in the matter? it is hard to cut government programs….as there is nothing more permanent than a temporary government program.

                      We are passed the 3/4 of what government actually costs (how did you determine this was appropriate government cost, why can’t it be less?)

                      your concept doens’t work with a progressive tax code where the rich are provided the bulk of the income. How do you expect people to feel it if the solution is just tax the 1% more. And then all the special interests will whine about how getting cut.

                      Your premise is flawed….more revenue would mean more spending.

                    2. The problem with your otherwise well-put argument is that you’re treating the “people” as a single unit who will all feel the pain and react accordingly. In reality, it will be a minority of people who will “feel” a tax increase – and that minority will lack the political power to impose fiscal discipline as long as the majority benefits from the overspending.

    4. Yes, but you don’t do that EVERY god damned year……

      1. Neither does the country. By the way, we could have very low deficits if we’d actually pay as we go for what we have. “Cutting spending” will never happen unless you actually charge taxpayers for the cost of what government does. Only then will people be able to determine whether what they’re getting is “worth it.”

        1. Neither does the country

          No, it just adds to the debt it already has.

          By the way, we could have very low deficits if we’d actually pay as we go for what we have.

          Considering most of the deficit is now tied up in Medicare/Medicaid costs (over $1 trillion a year), don’t expect that to happen.

          1. Considering most of the deficit is now tied up in Medicare/Medicaid costs (over $1 trillion a year), don’t expect that to happen.

            That’s his point. But your numbers are WAY off.

        2. We cant even cover the mandatory spending every year. We would run out of money in august.

        3. “Neither does the country.”

          Wait, you don’t think the country borrows money to pay for things every year?

          1. The reference was to incurring a debt equal to our national income every year.

            1. We spend more than we make every year. When a person does that, it’s called fiscal irresponsibility. The mortgage analogy fails because an average person’s expected future income minus future cost is enough to finance the mortgage over time. The state, however, is in the opposite situation: future costs are expected to outpace future income. To a person in a similar situation, you would say: better start cutting costs.

              And your other argument about taxation is just plain retarded. We don’t need to increase taxes to cut spending. We can just cut spending. You keep saying ‘people need to be taxed before they’re willing to cut spending” to a bunch of people here are ready cut spending asap.

              1. The reference was to incurring a debt equal to our national income every year.

                The mortgage analogy fails because an average person’s expected future income minus future cost is enough to finance the mortgage over time

                You fucked up AGAIN!!! See the words I put in boldface for ya’.

                And your other argument about taxation is just plain retarded. We don’t need to increase taxes to cut spending. We can just cut spending

                So, genius says that the middle class actually paying for the programs they support — instead of using debt and subsidies by the rich, is RETARDED!!!

                How many teats are YOU sucking today?

    5. I wonder how they account for the fact that many people (me, for instance) go into debt multiple times my annual income when I purchase a house, or go into debt for a not-insignificant fraction of my income when I purchase a car.

      The difference is you actually pay that debt off, moron. We haven’t paid down the national debt since 1957.

      1. Thanks for the insult. We were close to beginning to pay down the debt in 2000, but then the Republicans said that a surplus meant that the government was collecting too much of our money, so he reduced tax rates.

        If you supported those tax cuts, then you’re not serious about paying-down the national debt.

        1. “but then the Republicans said that a surplus meant that the government was collecting too much of our money, so he reduced tax rates.”

          And they were right.

        2. Fuck you, cut spending.

          1. You sure do make a compelling argument.

            1. Well, when someone is slinging bullshit such as you are, what do you expect?

              1. I expect, if they have a valid point, for them to make it. If they don’t have a valid point, I guess I expect insults. You can see the conclusion that I’m drawing.

            2. Well when you make shitty analogies and think that cutting taxes (which mostly went to the lower and middle class) is the thing that government shouldn’t have done, that’s pretty much all the argument you deserve.

              As always with people like you, it’s never the government’s fault for spending too much, it’s our fault for not opening our wallets more.

              1. My previous statements may have been unclear, but I honestly don’t know how I can make it more clear to you. Whether you think government is spending too much or too little or just the right amount isn’t part of my argument. In fact, my guess is that everyone in America thinks that government spends too much on some things. It doesn’t matter.

                What does matter is that if you’re serious about reducing government spending, you need to have people actually pay for the government as they go. People will not agree to eliminate government programs if they can keep them and add the cost to our tab. Government will be reduced, if at all, only when we’re actually taxed at a level that forces us to pay for the services and programs. At that point the people can decide whether the programs are “worth” the amount we’re paying.

                1. ” Government will be reduced, if at all, only when we’re actually taxed at a level that forces us to pay for the services and programs.”

                  Not buying it. People are largely divorced and have little to no power on what the federal government spends money on. It is much harder to get 300 million having a conversation about what constitutes the right amount of spending and wanting things….as there will always be a group whining about something getting cut. There is no way to accomplish what you suggested due to the structure of the federal government

                  It won’t reduce government spending. How do you propose this actually be accomplished based on what i said above?

                  1. I’m not sure what you’re saying. I’ve already told you that I don’t think people will ever reduce spending so long as we can push the payment for that spending off into the future. I’ve also said that simply arguing for reduced spending won’t work because people would rather have what they want and let someone else pay for it in the future. My evidence for that assertion is the last 40 years of history.

                    So, what exactly are you saying should be done to reduce spending? Just more arguments that we should reduce spending?

                    1. Increasing taxation WILL NOT reduce spending. What evidence do you have that it will?

                      I suspect it will be used as an excuse to spend more.

                    2. For proof of this, tornado, just look at the pot tax in colorado. We have an incredible income from it. They havent sent cash out to us, and they arent cutting the tax. They did find a few new pet projects though

                    3. I responded above a minute or so ago. The analogy is like a person with a credit card. You can tell him/her to stop spending, but he/she might find it difficult to do if the cost is simply added to a future debt. But if you remove the credit card and make him/her pay as he/she buys, that might provoke a decision that leads to reduced spending. (Maybe not – it depends on the circumstances – but I don’t see a realistic way to get reduced spending otherwise. The last 40 years has shown that yelling about reducing spending isn’t going to work.)

                    4. How would you determine via increased taxation that the population has had enough and now spending needs to be cut?

                    5. What spending would be cut as well?

                    6. Johny scrum what if more tax receipts results in a bigger military budget?

                    7. Well, I wouldn’t like it, but if the taxpayers as a whole are willing to put-up with that, I’d have to live with it. My hope would be that taxpayers would say that it’s not worthwhile trying to project power everywhere in the world, and decide to vote for people who want to reduce the military budget.

                      But it won’t happen as long as the taxpayers don’t feel the hit because it’s going on a credit card.

                    8. The taxpayers would make that decision, via their votes.

                    9. Politicians don’t exactly do what they say once they get in office. It is purely fairy tale thinking.

                    10. I have no control on what the federal government spends money. 300M people all have different interests.

                    11. You are holding contradictory views.

                      On one hand you are saying spending cant be cut until everyone feels the full amount. But yet then turn around and say if i vote in people who say they will cut spending then the politicians will just decide to cut spending.

                      Examples why this is pure wishful thinking:

                      pubs getting rid of ACA.
                      dems getting rid of the patriot act.
                      dems being anti war
                      pubs saying they would cut spending and haven’t done so

                    12. You are holding contradictory views.

                      On one hand you are saying spending cant be cut until everyone feels the full amount. But yet then turn around and say if i vote in people who say they will cut spending then the politicians will just decide to cut spending.

                      Examples why this is pure wishful thinking:

                      pubs getting rid of ACA.
                      dems getting rid of the patriot act.
                      dems being anti war
                      pubs saying they would cut spending and haven’t done so

                    13. Yes, its the only way to avoid a terrible economic collapse.
                      We could also use a real interest rate.

                    14. Jonny, you need to whine, wave your arms and snarl like Ron Paul.
                      Then insult Obama and Hillary.

                      Not one of these dumbfucks realizes that they’re defending free stuff for the entire middle class … like progressives! … no matter how many times you simplify it for them…

        3. Thanks for the insult

          You’re welcome. It happens a lot around here, so you better nut up and get used to it.

          We were close to beginning to pay down the debt in 2000, but then the Republicans said that a surplus meant that the government was collecting too much of our money, so he reduced tax rates.

          We were never “close” to beginning to pay the debt down in 2000 because the economy of the late 90s was built on a temporary economic bubble that popped in the fall of that year.

          If you supported those tax cuts, then you’re not serious about paying-down the national debt

          Cutting spending will do that also.

          1. Yep perhaps the government should have been more pragmatic and not spent so much in the first place. It seems johnny wants to excuse politicians spending other people’s money like drunken sailors

            1. I take offense at that remark. I’ve been a drunken sailor and known a lot of other drunken sailors, and none of them ever spent money as profligately as a politician.

          2. Yep perhaps the government should have been more pragmatic and not spent so much in the first place. It seems johnny wants to excuse politicians spending other people’s money like drunken sailors

            1. Cheese-and-crackers! (Pardon my French.) I’m saying the exact opposite of what you’re taking from it – the government will never be “more pragmatic and not spend so much in the first place” if we the taxpayers don’t force them to that decision, and we never will do so as long as we’re just deferring payment by adding to the debt. We might do so if we actually had to pay for the cost of government, which might cause people to vote for reduced spending. As it is now, no one wants to do that, because it doesn’t cost us anything tangible.

              1. Like california?

                kbolino|10.17.16 @ 2:16PM|#

                I’d bet the correlation between “high taxes” and “high spending” is pretty strong. California is not known for its lightweight government, despite having some of the highest taxes in the country.

                It’s a non sequitur.

              2. The federal government is set up in a way such that it is really really hard to do what you are saying. Why is the assumption the current cost of government is the appropriate cost? And you know not lower?

                There are quite a few things that aren’t needed like 700B on defense. Perhaps 400B would suffice and still make it at high level.

              3. Examples why this is pure wishful thinking:

                pubs getting rid of ACA.
                dems getting rid of the patriot act.
                dems being anti war
                pubs saying they would cut spending and haven’t done so

          3. We were never “close” to beginning to pay the debt down in 2000 because the economy of the late 90s was built on a temporary economic bubble that popped in the fall of that year.

            You seem compelled to prove you’e massive stupidity over and over and over.
            1) That means the deficit was very close to zero in 2000.
            2) You also fucked up on when the bubble popped. It was not the fall of 2000. It was March of 2001. Look here for the official dates of our business cycle since the 1850s. Recessions begin when the economy “PEAKS” So look done the PEAL column for …. March, 2001!!!

            http://www.nber.org/cycles/

            Now pull your head out of your ass. Just another bellowing blowhard. (laughing)

        4. The goal should be to run a balanced budget, not necessarily a surplus. Inflation will whittle away the debt over time anyway.

          1. The goal should be to run a balanced budget, not necessarily a surplus.

            Typical progtard.

            Inflation will whittle away the debt over time anyway.

            Yeah, cut it in half in a mere century, at 3%. Or down to 3.3 Trillion at 1% for a mere 400 years!
            Why do you Keynesians LOVE inflation so?

        5. We were close to beginning to pay down the debt in 2000, but then the Republicans said that a surplus meant that the government was collecting too much of our money, so he reduced tax rates.

          1) Republicans CREATED the near surplus. because they forced BOTH spending and tax cuts.
          2) The Bush tax cuts had nothing to do with surpluses that never happened. Clinton, who took office in the 22nd month of a Reagan-fueled expansion, let us with a recession — after forcing Fannie and Freddie to reduce their minimum lending standards, standards which had protected taxpayers since the 1930s

          Here’s a link to official dates for our business cycles since the 1850s.
          http://www.nber.org/cycles.html

          A peak is when recessions start, Scroll down to March. 2001. Dubya took office in late January,
          You’re correct on Republicans with taxes. “Tax cuts pay for themselves” traces to lies about the Reagan tax cuts. Revenues did skyrocket, but it was FICA revenues where rates increased, phased in with six steps. Income tax revenues increased only $45 billion for the entire decade, all of it from capital gains taxes, as the market recovered from a 70% crash.

    6. Do you think it’s a bad idea to pay down your loans and get out of debt? Do you enjoy losing the buying power of the interest your paying on the loan?

      1. No. I think we should pay-down our debt. But the Bush tax cuts showed me that will never happen – as soon as we get near a surplus, “fiscal conservatives” will argue that we’re collecting too much, and demand tax reductions.

        1. And the Obama years showed me we will never cut spending, so get ready for your hyperinflation.

          1. Just to add a couple facts here, through Obama’s first term tax receipts as a percentage of GDP were lower than in the previous 40 years or so. (I can’t recall the exact time period, and I’m too lazy to look it up.) Nick Gillespie regularly advocates that we should keep tax revenue at about 19 per cent of GDP, because that’s what it’s been for a long time (on average). But during Obama’s first term it was routinely under 15 per cent of GDP.

            Do you think maybe that’s why the debt increased so much, rather than supposedly out-of-control spending?

            1. What does the debt increasing have to do with his point about cutting spending?

              1. The whole point is how to reduce debt. That’s what this discussion is about – whether we can do it by reducing spending, increasing taxes, or a combination of both.

                I’m a little suspicious that you understood that, but didn’t like the facts about tax receipts as a percentage of GDP, so you decided to change the subject. I’m not sure of that, but I am suspicious.

                1. No matter what the rate is, the gov spends more.

                2. Cutting spending is not the same thing as reducing debt. Where did i change the subject? you were responding to a post about spending. And then you start talking about debts and deficits in response.

                  Didn’t federal receipts rise after the bush tax cuts? So any rise in deficits would be due to spending (wars) would it not?

                  1. Cutting spending is a way to reduce debt. So is increasing tax receipts, to pay for the government.

                    Regarding federal tax receipts – tax receipts, in constant dollars, were higher in 2001 than they were in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005. It was only in 2006 that receipts finally exceeded the levels in 2001.

                    1. Link?

                    2. There was a recession in 2000 The receipts increased from 2003 thru 2007 after the bush tax cuts which first was mid 2001 with a graduated phase in which was accelerated by the one in 2003. There is clearly an increase in receipts (maybe not due to them) after they were implemented so your assertion that the increased deficits under Bush was not due to spending is not logical.

                      And 2005 was greater than 2001…not 2006 fyi.

                      Please stop being dishonest

                    3. >“The receipts increased from 2003 thru 2007 after the bush tax cuts which first was mid 2001 “

                      They fell in 2002 an 2003, essentially flat in 2004

                      20.0 2000
                      18.8 2001
                      17.0 2002
                      15.7 2003
                      15.6 2004
                      16.7 2005
                      17.6 2006
                      17.9 2007
                      17.1 2008

                      OMB

                      “And 2005 was greater than 2001”

                      It was significantly less.. 85% of the tax cuts went to households under $250,000, who were paying less than 45% of the tax. — the exact opposite of Kennedy’s and Reagan’s which were identical. In Kennedy’s words, “Across the board, top to bottom, personal and corporate.” They both also targeted investments which revived our industrial base. Kennedy used a tax credit. Reagan’s accelerated depreciation was better against the double digit inflation – getting your money back quicker.

                      The middle class was already shrinking, had been since 1987.

                    4. Constant dollars. Take a look. And maybe be more careful with accusations of dishonesty, or someone might respond with an accusation of carelessness or obtuseness.

                    5. The ACA is an example. Alot of people are feeling the pain of increased premiums. Yet the GOP who ran on it and took the house and senate….has done nothing about it. Your assertion while it makes sense ignores reality.

                    6. “Yet the GOP who ran on it and took the house and senate….has done nothing about it. “

                      Even crazier, they threatened to shut down the federal government to defund the ACA, with no alternative. They still have no alternative. Polls show many or most Americans see the higher premiums as the price of insuring more people. The two aren’t linked, but nobody challenges that either.

            2. The OMB shows the tax receipts were only at 15% of GDP in 2009 and have increased to 19% or so since then so your claim that it was routinely under 15% is false

              1. Look, I’m trying to argue in good faith. I said twice in my comment about tax receipts that I was talking about Obama’s first term. I’m not trying to play “gotcha,” or argue talking points. Please stop responding to my comments like that’s what I’m doing.

                1. “But during Obama’s first term it was routinely under 15 per cent of GDP.”

                  It was not routinely under 15%. The floor was 15% in 2009 and then increased.

                  1. The same year the gov spent an extra boatload of cash.

                  2. 14.6 in 2009
                    14.6 in 2010
                    15.0 in 2011
                    15.3 in 2012

                    So, my memory was wrong – it was under 15 2 years, exactly 15 one year, and slightly over 15 in the final year of his first term.

              2. The OMB shows the tax receipts were only at 15% of GDP in 2009 and have increased to 19% or so since then so your claim that it was routinely under 15% is false

                OMB data are
                here.

                Total federal receipts were exactly 15% in 2011. 18.3% for 2015 and not forecast to exceed 19% until 2018. The four-year average, 2008-2011, (15.3%) is inflated by Bush’s bailouts but still lower than any single year since 1981, thus the lowest four-year average in 35 years. DAMN, I had to look at that for quite a while!

                Here’s the four, year by year, 2008-2011
                17.1
                14.6
                14.6
                15.0

              3. The OMB shows the tax receipts were only at 15% of GDP in 2009 and have increased to 19% or so since then so your claim that it was routinely under 15% is false

                OMB Data)

                Total federal receipts were exactly 15% in 2011. 18.3% for 2015 and not forecast to exceed 19% until 2018. The four-year average, 2008-2011, (15.3%) is inflated by Bush’s bailouts but still lower than any single year since 1981, thus the lowest four-year average in 35 years. DAMN, I had to look at that for quite a while!

                Here’s the four, year by year, 2008-2011
                17.1
                14.6
                14.6
                15.0

            3. Nick Gillespie regularly advocates that we should keep tax revenue at about 19 per cent of GDP, because that’s what it’s been for a long time (on average).

              If Nick’s actually argued this, he’s clearly never looked at the OBM statements. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has averaged around 17.5 percent since the end of WW2, in a very narrow range. It’s only been over 19% something like 11 times in that period, and it’s even happened during recessions.

              Do you think maybe that’s why the debt increased so much, rather than supposedly out-of-control spending?

              If you’re spending more than you’re taking in, you have a spending problem. If the government’s budget was kept at 17.5% of GDP, then we’d likely have been able to pay down the national debt at some points in the last 60 years.

              1. This. Johnny scrum is trying to justify the politicians spending like drunken sailors by kicking the can down the road.

                1. Again, the conclusion you’re drawing is precisely the opposite of what I’m saying. I have to blame myself for being unable to make you understand what I’m writing.

                  1. What is your solution

                  2. I am arguing your premise is based on faulty assumptions…case in point:

                    Examples why this is pure wishful thinking:

                    pubs getting rid of ACA.
                    dems getting rid of the patriot act.
                    dems being anti war
                    pubs saying they would cut spending

              2. Tax revenue as a percentage of GDP has averaged around 17.5 percent since the end of WW2, in a very narrow range. It’s only been over 19% something like 11 times in that period,

                I don’t know what you mean by narrow, but The range was 14,1%-19.9%

              3. >“. If the government’s budget was kept at 17.5% of GDP, then we’d likely have been able to pay down the national debt at some points in the last 60 years..

                Depends on the economy. Total receipts averaged 14.9% of GDP for Obama’s first term, 2009-2012 — correcting myself elsewhere on the page! (I had begun with 2008)

            4. Tax receipts decline in recessions, genius. They went up again afterward, and spending went up by even more.

              1. Tax receipts decline in recessions, genius

                No need to insult Red Rocks for his blunder, which I’d already corrected.

    7. “When Johnson and many supposedly fiscal conservatives talk about balancing the budget just like a household, I wonder how they account for the fact that many people (me, for instance) go into debt multiple times my annual income when I purchase a house, or go into debt for a not-insignificant fraction of my income when I purchase a car.”

      Do you take on debt to meet daily expenses? If you do, you’re an idiot. If you don’t, you’ve just made a faulty analogy.

      1. Spending on the military isn’t a “daily expense.” Neither are infrastructure spending, or spending on education or health care. All of those can be characterized as investments.

        Similarly, spending on pollution control is an investment in our environment. Spending on civil-rights enforcement is an investment in our society, to help everyone fully engage in that society.

        What do you characterize as a “daily expense”?

        1. “Spending on the military isn’t a “daily expense.” ”
          It is under Obama

          “Neither are infrastructure spending, or spending on education or health care. All of those can be characterized as investments”
          Yes, all three of those are

          “Similarly, spending on pollution control is an investment in our environment.”
          Bullshit

          “Spending on civil-rights enforcement is an investment in our society, to help everyone fully engage in that society.”
          Man, you must have brown eyes!

          1. Sure, you can disagree. But the fact is that what is and isn’t an “investment” isn’t as clear as you’d like to make it.

            1. Those aren’t really investments. That is just throwing money at things….it doesn’t produce results. It is hard to take someone seriously who has this approach.

              This seems to be the shtick

              You complain about the results of X
              X needs more money as investment
              Money is thrown at X
              You complain about the results of X
              Rinse and repeat over and over

              1. You don’t think that the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act “produced results”? You don’t think that the FDA has minimized events like the Army beef scandal during the Spanish-American War, where Armour and others sold spoiled meat to the military?
                You don’t think that the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act have allowed Blacks to participate in American society in a way that they hadn’t been permitted to do so?

                Those are real benefits, and real investments, whether or not you choose to accept them as a “legitimate” function of government.

                1. I am not necessarily against these things and actually support them like the civil rights and voting act. But calling them “investments” looks kind of goofy.

                  What are the results of the clean air act and clean water act?

                  For the FDA you are using an example from the Spanish American War? That isn’t exactly a glowing endorsement. What other events were minimized?

                  1. 1. Why not call them investments? I call my student loans investments. I call my car loan an investment. Even routine maintenance on my car or my air-conditioning can be seen as an investment.

                    2. The results of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts are cleaner air and water.

                    3. I’m using that as an example because that was right before the Food and Drug Act was enacted.

                    1. Unless youre maintaining a classic car, maintenance on your car is not an investment.

                    2. A car is not an investment unless there is a rare situation where it appreciates.

                2. Do you need to do an “unintended consequences” test on all your investments Jonny?

              2. You don’t think that the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act “produced results”? You don’t think that the FDA has minimized events like the Army beef scandal during the Spanish-American War, where Armour and others sold spoiled meat to the military?
                You don’t think that the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act have allowed Blacks to participate in American society in a way that they hadn’t been permitted to do so?

                Those are real benefits, and real investments, whether or not you choose to accept them as a “legitimate” function of government.

                1. You don’t think that the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act “produced results”?

                  Yeah, they moved most U.S. industry overseas and drove the price of everything from cars to food way up.

                  So you passed a law. Big fucking deal. People had to make enough money to pay for it. And those who didn’t? Well, I guess they can always collect a welfare check.

                  And most of what those Acts did happened 40 years ago. Nowadays, what? The EPA chases dwindling returns, nonsensical bullshit, and just plain fucks with the common people, because the bureaucracy has to continue to justify its existence.

                  Same with the FDA and the Pure Food and Drug Act that created it. You’re bringing up something that happened over 100 years ago, when standards and personal wealth were drastically different. The FDA didn’t make people rich enough to pay for cleaner food.

                  And what of all the people who die while treatments wait for FDA approval?

                  1. This is kind of where i am at. They may have served a purpose but now largely are a drain due to diminishing returns.

                  2. Why are cars so expensive?

                    1. Cash for Clunkers.

                  3. On one hand you’re arguing that the laws made people poorer. But you also argue that since the laws were passed everyone’s richer. Have you considered that maybe these sorts of regulations don’t kill our prosperity, as is constantly argued?

                    1. Success apparently in your mind is don’t kill our prosperity. You aren’t considering opportunity costs (the unseen). I don’t dispute some of these were valuable but your approach seems to be just tax, spend and regulate with no regard for what the results are or what the impact is.

                    2. That’s quite a bastardization of what I wrote. I never said that I think all regulations are good; I don’t even have the time to make such an evaluation. I’m sure that there’s much waste in government, and many poor decisions, just like in any organization of people.

                    3. On one hand you’re arguing that the laws made people poorer.

                      No, I am not. The laws made things more expensive. Whether people got richer or poorer is a secondary matter and the consequence of many factors.

                      Some people got poorer. Some got richer. The law does not put real value in people’s pockets, although it can certainly take it away.

                    4. Have you considered that maybe these sorts of regulations don’t kill our prosperity, as is constantly argued?

                      Who said “they killed [all] our prosperity”? They stifled the industries they targeted. Don’t deflect. Just because other sectors continue to prosper doesn’t change the effect of the law.

                      The American steel worker is a thing of the past. Yet steel is as necessary as ever. Whether the EPA or the NLRB drove the final nail in the coffin, the fact remains that what used to be a source of domestic wealth and employment no longer is.

                    5. Do you blame the EPA or NLRB for the loss of American jobs producing cheap trinkets? Or do you think that in all those instances, the cheaper labor and less-restrictive regulatory provisions overseas might be the culprit?

                    6. You are wanting to have your cake and eat it too with the less restrictive regulatory provisions point.

                      You are advocating for more regulations which incentives this

                    7. You don’t want to blame the EPA and NLRB for loss of jobs… but then proceed to admit they make employees and the costs of producing things more expensive.

                      You can’t have it both ways.

                    8. Sure they make things more expensive. But they’re not why we lost steel jobs. That’s why I brought up cheap trinkets, which I don’t think we’re materially affected by the EPA or NLRB, but still are produced overseas because people there will work for $2/day.

                    9. Do you blame the EPA or NLRB for the loss of American jobs producing cheap trinkets?

                      What “cheap trinkets” are you talking about?

                      Or do you think that in all those instances, the cheaper labor and less-restrictive regulatory provisions overseas might be the culprit?

                      No, I don’t generally blame the poor for the problems of the world.

                      China doesn’t have the domestic wealth to afford our regulations without destroying their own economy. The U.S. and Europe can’t even afford their own regulations, which is why so much is done overseas in the first place.

                      Even if you could somehow remove the competitive advantage of countries with less regulatory burden, it would not magically put more money in anyone’s pockets. Maybe I could afford to pay twice, or three times, or more, as much for necessities, and maybe you could too. But would my job still even exist? Would yours? Would it pay the same? Employers have to account for increased expenses as well.

                      There is not enough wealth in this country to truly pay for the standards our laws mandate. That is why our trade policy has been so loose. But when you’re talking about a country as large and economically diverse as the U.S., the division of labor that trade takes advantage of is essentially “get people who aren’t as stupid as you are to do it instead”.

                    10. Democrats killed the steel industry in 1986. along with many of our best-paid union jobs. They repealed both Kennedys Investment Credit and Reagan’s accelerated depreciation. The net result a 7.5% higher costs for job’s creating industrial investment and extended the depreciation (getting their own money back) from 8 years to 16 years — ALL our trade competitors were at 5 years.

            2. Jonny Scrum-half|10.17.16 @ 1:06PM|#
              “Sure, you can disagree. But the fact is that what is and isn’t an “investment” isn’t as clear as you’d like to make it.”

              You arbitrarily define expenses to fit your argument and expect to be taken seriously? Your sort of sophistry is stupid on your part and I’d be embarrassed if I fell for it.
              Fuck off, slaver.

              1. It’s funny.

                He gets to define what an investment is, and we get to be forced to pay for it. If that “investment” doesn’t pan out? Oh well, it wasn’t his money!

                1. I think we should spend a few hundred billion more on the military each year…it would be an investment!

                2. You can disagree. If enough people disagree, too, then your side gets what you want. But you have to make the argument.

                  And, I’ll say it again – if you really want people to stop spending on government, you need to make them pay for it now – not at some indeterminate point in the future.

                  1. So if you make them pay now…how do you propose this reduction will come about? What is my side you are referring. There are over 300 million individuals in this country.

                    Your premise makes no sense. Making people pay for government is a way to stop people spending by government…making them pay more means they will want more spending.

                    1. Tornado16nb
                      So if you make them pay now…how do you propose this reduction will come about?

                      There would be no deficit spending. Subtract the current deficit from current spending and … less spending!

                      Your premise makes no sense.

                      Elementary subtraction. Are you aware the government is running deficits?

                      Making people pay for government is a way to stop people spending by government…making them pay more means they will want more spending.But HE makes no sense!!!

                      If people’s taxes increase with spending, they will want MORE spending?
                      So you make sense because people would CHOOSE higher taxes???
                      Jonny has somehow managed to humiliate over two dozen people here, all of which defend deficit spending to keep taxes lower. So many Progressives on a libertarian website!

                  2. You can disagree

                    Is just a nice sounding way of saying “shut up and do as you’re told”.

                    Your programs constantly fail to deliver their stated promises. My “disagreement” is ignored or ridiculed. The cult of top men admits no rational assessment.

                    1. Yea it is a convenient way to justify spending more and more. His premise that spending will be cut by increased taxation is a pure bait n switch. Though all proggie programs are bait n switch. They never deliver their promises or close to it while spending gobs of money (overruns) but who cares because it is someone else paying for it.

                    2. I’d bet the correlation between “high taxes” and “high spending” is pretty strong. California is not known for its lightweight government, despite having some of the highest taxes in the country.

                      It’s a non sequitur.

                    3. Johnny what about cali? good point on this one.

                    4. He is trying to bait n switch into more spending thru increased taxation while hilariously calling them investments.

                    5. Hey, I have to go. But I looked up state tax spending by state and saw that California was only slightly over the national average.

                      Again, I don’t know that I can express myself any more clearly. See ya.

                    6. Yea and they have higher taxation

                    7. But I looked up state tax spending by state and saw that California was only slightly over the national average.

                      So my point stands? Um, thanks for the verification, but why are you wording it like some kind of refutation?

                    8. Its like watching a hockey game where the home team is losing and the announcer is searching for things to say.

                    9. So a NESN Bruins game, you mean?

                    10. Pretty much. I was thinking the flyers game, in the secomd period when they just dominated.

                  3. No, we don’t have to make the argument you do.

                    If you want to spend taxpayer money studying sexism in the naming of hurricanes, or subsidizing companies owned by your friends, you have to prove it’s a good investment, not us.

                    Secondly, government investments are usually bad investments because if they were good investments people would invest in them voluntarily.

                    We really shouldn’t call it an investment because it’s not voluntary. You seem to operate from the assumption that the government gets to take my money and spend it as it pleases, and to get it back, I have to convince them that I would benefit more from being able to invest my own earnings as I see fit.

                    And guess what: they’re never convinced. Much like you I imagine. I say the stimulus was a waste of money because it wasn’t nearly targeted or timely enough to have its intended multiplier effect and it diverted capital toward industries where it would have suboptimal returns. You would say “but it did produce some stuff, ergo it was an investment with returns and all.” And I say, sure, but didn’t produce anywhere near a trillion dollars worth, and therefore it was a net loss and a bad investment.

                    Repeat for probably most government spending projects.

              2. Is “Fuck off slaver” your catch phrase?

    8. It should be closer to a household style.

  21. But scratch beneath the surface and there are some positions you may be less comfortable with. For instance, he opposes having a minimum wage and when he says he’s for smaller government, he’s not kidding around.

    Just remember, boys and girls, Hillary’s the honest one. When she says something, you know it’s a lie.

    That’s what makes her the most qualified candidate.

  22. No matter what, Johnson is just plain absolutely completely no where NEAR as awful as Trump or Hillary.

  23. I watched that Johnson tongue video. I’m not sure why his making the point that he could get up there on the debate stage and be completely tongue tied is considered creepy or disturbing.

  24. I wonder how they account for the fact that many people (me, for instance) go into debt multiple times my annual income when I purchase a house, or go into debt for a not-insignificant fraction of my income when I purchase a car.

    Do you go into debt to fund investments with a rate of return greater than the investment expense, or do you throw your borrowings at stupid expenses with no return, like cocaine-fueled island vacations?

  25. Dear Reason, please stop watching John Oliver and reporting it here.

    Thank you,

    Hillary Clinton’s daughter

  26. But scratch beneath the surface and there are some positions you may be less comfortable with. For instance, he opposes having a minimum wage and when he says he’s for smaller government, he’s not kidding around.

    Oh yeah, we’re gonna have lots in common with mainstream democrats if we can just see past the minor differences.

    Jesus H. Christ.

    1. I can’t believe he thinks about minimum wage like the majority of economists (and Hillary Clinton’s staff in private).

      That loon!

      1. Even if libertarians could compromise on a minimum wage, or gun control or any other issues– the idea that government isn’t big enough is simply too central to libertarian philosophy. That’s something I just can’t see past. And you’d think what with BlackLivesMatter that Democrats would at least question the vast, unaccountable regulatory state and its role in modern policing. But nope, just not big enough. More is the answer.

        Fuck these people with a rusty fork.

    2. I can’t believe he thinks about minimum wage like the majority of economists (and Hillary Clinton’s staff in private).

      That loon!

      1. Damn my post doubling trigger finger.

  27. Isn’t that Hillary email thing just one big gaffe?

    “Really I thought that big bold letter ‘C’ at the top of every page just meant the beginning of the chapter! Even though I’m not reading a book! Even though it’s my responsibility to know what that stands for! And the idea that everything I’m reading has a big ‘C’ at the beginning is somewhat retarded! Other than that, I really don’t remember what was going on!”

    Clearly, presidential thinking. Why can’t we have more of this?

  28. My wife still PVRs SNL out of habit despite not finding it funny in parts these days. I happened to walk into the room when she was watching the opening bit spoofing the second debate. It’s amazing how they just seem to miss the mark. And they miss the mark mostly because they do lean left. It’s painfully obvious. I would have absolutely had the moderators act like the dicks they were. If you’re gonna spoof, spoof it all. Not sure I get the interpretation of Hillary either.

    Bah.

    1. I thought it was pretty funny, but I never saw the actual debate, so I’m coming in blind as to how the real debate looked.

      1. They spoofed Hillary and pretty much presented Trump as-is.

        1. So they were dishonest, and you fell for it.

      2. I admit I’m getting a tad too tight assed for my own good.

        Alec Baldwin is very funny.

        1. enough with the euphemisms already!

  29. At least he pretends not to be insulting his audience: “I’m going to pretend to take the 3rd party candidates seriously – after showing these unflattering clips – and criticize their policies on a *substantive* basis! Watch me go point by point over how a government commission report of 2005 casts doubt on Johnson’s consumption tax idea, and basically give these two minor candidates the kind of vetting the MSM couldn’t be bothered to do with Hillary.

    “And of course I’m not going to answer the key question – how are their policies worse than Hillary’s – because if I did *that,* I’d have to compare Johnson’s ideas for trying to reduce federal spending and federal debt and compare them to Hillary’s idea of *continuing and expanding* spending and debt, and some in the audience might reply, ‘well, Johnson’s plan at least seems to tackle the real issues and not deliberately make them worse.

    “No, I’m just going to get the audience sufficiently disillusioned by the 3rd parties as to default back to the Democats, their natural home, while acknowledging in general terms tha Hillary is bad.”

    1. It’s a classic Oliver move, you’ll see it in essentially every clip he does. Whatever he thinks is bad, he’ll dredge up every possible argument against it and flog them for 10 minutes. The progressive alternative gets at most a one-sentence summary of its cons, if that.

  30. John Oliver reminds me of a common kind of “entertainer” you’d get behind the Iron Curtain: they were really bad at acting and humor, but they succeeded because they were in favor with the political power structure so they kept failing upwards.

  31. John Oliver’s schtick: guy in nerd outfit with glasses and British accent, appeals to populist rhetoric with a humor twist, letting stupid people feel smarter than whoever he’s making fun of at any point in time.

    “Hey! I’m laughing at a nerd with glasses and a British accent! I must be smart and cultured, too!”

  32. Jonny Scrum-half seems to be clinging to the top men fallacy…the government knows how to spend money better than you do. Spending more money on infrastructure, education and healtchare never seems to abate the issues for which you think more is needed while simultaneously driving up the cost.

    Please enlighten me: you talk about raising taxes (and dislike cutting of spending) to cover the cost of doing government. But why do you feel that number is the cost of doing government? Why can’t the cost be lower….as in who is to say the current spending is the appropriate cost of government?

  33. Jonny Scrum-half seems to be clinging to the top men fallacy…the government knows how to spend money better than you do. Spending more money on infrastructure, education and healtchare never seems to abate the issues for which you think more is needed while simultaneously driving up the cost.

    Please enlighten me: you talk about raising taxes (and dislike cutting of spending) to cover the cost of doing government. But why do you feel that number is the cost of doing government? Why can’t the cost be lower….as in who is to say the current spending is the appropriate cost of government?

    1. Listen Tornado, the federal government isn’t “spending,” it’s “investing.”

      Jonny clearly said so.

      1. We owe it to ourselves.
        Or the bill goes to the kids, they’ll figure it out.

      2. Listen B.P. we can’t cut spending until we raise taxes…because that won’t mean more spending or something. 300 million people will just come together with a way to decide on spending cuts when they pay more taxes somehow someway

    2. Why are so many of you so totally clueless on what he’s saying, either getting it totally backwards or inventing things out of thin air? Why are you acting like progressives, defending endless borrowing to keep taxes lower than they would be otherwise? Is your hatred of taxes so totally crippling? I read one of you claiming we never had to run surpluses to reduce the debt — just allow “inflation” to reduce the debt … over 400 years or so???

      The belief that lower taxes is more important than lower spending is precisely why we have so massive a debt problem. Study market economists instead of the Keynesians who dominate your “thinking.”

  34. The Fair Tax is not Johnson’s. It has a life of its own and, yes, it would be a massive tax increase for the middle class and a massive tax cut for the rich. Here’s why. The rich consume a tiny portion of their income, so they’d pay a much lower rate on on far fewer dollars. The middle class consumes virtually their entire income — as a class, average out big ticket items like cars. So they’d pay a much higher rate on many more dollars. The sources and simple charts are available at Forbes.

    Gary frequently cites the numbers of the Fair Tax, misrepresented as a 23% sales tax to make a phony comparison with with a 15% income tax bracket and 7.65% FICA. But it’s 23% is of the final (after-tax) price, which is 30% of the selling price. And the average income tax rate at $40,000-100,000 is 8.8% ,

    Some say current selling prices will fall by removing the burden of FICA taxes, but only Marxists believe prices have anything to do with costs. (vs Supply and Demand) And if high marginal income tax rates punish investment, then a 30% sales tax will certainly reduce current consumption. But don’t blame Gary. Repealing the IRS sends a tingle up the leg of many libertarians, even though no plan exists that would allow repeal.

    1. The middle class consumes virtually their entire income — as a class, average out big ticket items like cars.

      If a 23% tax rate was imposed on things like cars and homes, what exactly do you think would happen–that car dealers and home sellers would have to adjust their selling prices to meet income requirements for the loan, or that there would be an increase in 0%, 7- 8- or even 10-year loans, and/or sub-prime loans to entice buyers to keep coming in the doors in increasingly expensive products?

      Because the latter is exactly what’s happened thanks to the Fed ZIRP policies, and that’s not even taking the lower taxes into account.

      1. Forget changing the tax code (at least, for the moment). The first thing that needs to happen is the interest rates need to rise. Inflation and spending are not unalloyed goods. People need to save more and use credit less.

        1. Low interest rates wouldn’t be such a problem with less gov spending and less price-hiking regulations. Even without raising the rates, those changes would give people more excess income to invest.
          Mainly I’m pleased as long as interest rates are stable and predictable and minimize the need for gratuitous price changes (menu costs and whatnot).

          1. >”Even without raising the rates, those changes would give people more excess income to invest.”

            It would cause a MAJOR stock market crash.

            With interest rates near 0%., trillions of dollars shifted from interest-bearing instruments to equities, sharply increasing demand for stocks, which is why the market is at record highs despite pathetic GDP growth. The Fed has backed itself into a corner.

            When interest rates return to historic levels, trillions will leave the stock market as prices collapse from reduced demand. It could be VERY ugly.

            1. The likelihood of a stock market crash following a rise in interest rates to normal levels seems obvious to me. I claim no expertise (in anything) but I don’t understand how another scenario could be expected. Given as many times as I’ve heard people say the economy is great because look at my 401k, I suspect not everyone expects a downturn. It seems to me we’re in a massive, government-created bubble. Hopefully I’m completely wrong and there will be a better outcome than what I anticipate.

              1. It is obvious, but perhaps too few understand that large pension and investment funds have always sought a balance of opportunity and risk … which is WHY we have both stock and bond markets.

                Historically, as people age their investments shift more to safety (bonds and CDs), There have been far too few reports on how many seniors are in the stock market, almost in desperation, to escape near-zero interest rates. The market Reagan inherited was still falling to a 70% loss. Totally opposite cause, but shows what volatility can do, and seniors would be among the hardest hit.

                I blame journalism which no longer has “experts” reporting on anything, not just finance and economics..

                The only hope is if the Fed increases interest rates VERY slowly, so as to mitigate the flight of capital from equities.

      2. “If a 23% tax rate was imposed on things like cars and home”

        Houses are not consumption. It’s a 30% sales tax. None of that has ever happened in a real marketplace. Longer term loans make the individual care more affordable but reduces aggregate demand anyhow by the higher interests costs. And I don’t see you offsetting MUCH higher taxes on the middle class.

        Subprime loans? The cause of the so-called great recession?

    2. So I’m just a bit confused then, is your comment then to say the Fair Tax is a bad idea just by itself? Or that the numbers are being misunderstood by those for/against it? And if the Fair Tax would not create a positive impact for the nations tax system, what other alternatives are out there that are worth researching? I read the Forbes thing, and don’t think the author had a response on an alternative plan.

      1. then, is your comment then to say the Fair Tax is a bad idea just by itself?

        Forbes provides the proof at the link I supplied.

        And if the Fair Tax would not create a positive impact for the nations tax system, what other alternatives are out there that are worth researching?

        What would be the positive impact be on you of a 300% tax increase>

        I read the Forbes thing, and don’t think the author had a response on an alternative plan.

        Why would he need one, after documenting how crazy it is?

        Bill Gates now pays a top rate of 39% on at least 90% of his gross income = 35% of gross
        Cut that to 30% of MAYBE 10% of his gross = 3% of gross less the prebate of .006% (at $100 M) still 3%

        For $50,000-75,000, average, 8.6% on 67% of income = 5.7% of gross
        Increase that to prox 30% tax on 90% of income = 27% of gross. (AVERAGE consumption for class per Forbes)
        less a prebate of 10% (at $62,000 median) = 17% of gross = 298% increase

        So that’s a 91% tax CUT for Bill Gates, and a 298% tax INCREASE (on average) at $50,000-$75,000 gross
        (assumes family of 3 for both,) Their video says the prebate is NOT welfare because it’s only half the current average deductions and exemptions — YOU get only half the exempt income PLUS a higher tax rate!

        The alternative is …. what we have now! Or do you insist on tripling your own taxes?

        1. Have you given any consideration to the idea that perhaps some people on this libertarian web site might prefer their government bennies be cut in half instead of doubling their taxes to pay for the same bennies?

          I get that a nonprogressive tax would be damned tough on the citizenry given the current size of the government. There’s a lesson to be taken from that – the government is too big.

          1. (that said, I don’t mean to sound like I wholly disagree with you and am attacking you. I’m wishy-washy on the Fair Tax myself.)

          2. “Have you given any consideration to the idea that perhaps some people on this libertarian web site might prefer their government bennies be cut in half instead of doubling their taxes to pay for the same bennies?”

            Over 40 years as a libertarian? Sure,. But what less than 5% of the electorate prefer has no value at all., Many of us have worked and waited over 40 years for an opportunity like this. People are open for massive change which won’t happen again for 50-100 years.

            The economy is THE biggest concern and all we have is a huge tax cut for the rich and a 300% tax increase for the middle class. So our “message” is that we want to triple the taxes on the vast majority of voters. But at last we have nothing for healthcare on general, nothing for Medicare and no reforms to regain control of government.

            “What can you libertarians do that’s any better than we have now?”
            “We can tell you that government is too big!.”
            “Oh.”

            There’s a lesson to be taken from that – the government is too big”

            If we have no idea how to change that, what good are we?
            Our message should be that government is too big, but we have no idea how to deal with that?

        2. Well I only ask because I seem to hear from both sides of the political spectrum that the US tax system is broken/rigged/unfair, so something needs to change. I appreciate numbers and you do throw out a lot, so I was curious to see where you landed then. Status quo seems outside the norm or recommendations.

          1. Darn, I can’t find link. I saw it in a forum over a year ago, maybe here. The premise was that government id so huge that a single fl tax on anything would seriously distort markets and the economy. The income tax punishes investment. A consumption tax punishes consumption. Libertarians should not be taking sides. The tax code should be neutral on that. So have two flat taxes, at equal low rates, on both income and consumption. 9% on each. The sales tax would be the consumption most sates tax now. The income one was per worker, no joint returns, one large exemption for everyone, so a witholding tax on wage, dividends and interest. a 0.9% capital transaction tax on real estate and stocks, instead of a capital gains tax.

            Stes

            1. Sorry you couldn’t find the link, I would have liked to read it. I just started researching tax stuff, so it’s all very new to me. Thanks for all the interesting info (especially on a page dedicated to John Oliver)!

              1. I finally overcame my retardation and googled the tax rates.
                http://libertyissues.com/taxfed.htm

                I may not have realized that it was published in 1994. I also like the argument that we lost the late 1970s tax revolt, We sent one message, politicians heard a different one. Both parties can increase spending – the welfare or military state — as long as the middle-class doesn’t pay for it or we’d revolt again. Even Massachusetts had a property tax revolt like CA’s Prop 13.

  35. Johny Scrum claimed that tax receipts were routinely below 15% GDP for obama.

    The OMB shows the tax receipts were only at 15% of GDP in 2009 and have increased to 19% or so by 2011 since then so your claim that it was routinely under 15% is false

    1. Total federal receipts (OMB) were exactly 15% in 2011. and 18.3% for 2015. But recall the rich subsidizes a big chunk of middle-class income taxes. The subsidy is paid entirely by progressive tax rates, Thus any flat tax, on income or consumption, would be a huge tax cut for the wealthy.

      And nearly 20% of the entire personal income tax now subsidizes Medicare, over a quarter-trillion per year. That subsidy comes from the highly subsidized personal income tax. It’s how the Bushies “paid for” Medicare Prescriptions.

      1. This is true. Though when talk about Johnny i meant the guy above not really you.

        Funny store…was debating with a prog one time, he was complaining about rich not paying their fair share. I think it was mainly the loop holes. Seemed like a good fellow. Anyway he ended up proposing a 15% flat tax which i thought was ironic….as that would lower rich while raise everyone else. I could support a 15% flat tax

        1. >“This is true

          Wow! Few people here would acknowledge their error so readily!

  36. I think it is a bit dishonest to assume the federal government will only cut spending if they take in more tax revenue because the people will be paying for the programs fully then or something. It is also a bad assumption on what currently money is spent on is a legitimate need

    1. There is a solid argument that spending should be cut before taxes are cut or you should generally finance tax cuts with spending cuts rather than debt). But the whole ‘you have to raise taxes to cut spending’ is absurd and contradicts the experience of most other countries in the world, where tax increases are usually followed by spending increases, not decreases.

      1. But the whole ‘you have to raise taxes to cut spending’ is absurd and contradicts the experience of most other countries in the world

        I believe he said if taxpayers paid current expenses from current taxes, instead of kicking the can down the road with debt, THAT would reduce total spending. The same revenues would pay 100% of new liabilities instead of only 75% or so (hypothetically. In that hypothetical, spending would be cut by the 25%.

        Anything else strikes me as defending more debt. It would certainly help in if the vast middle class actually paid for the government programs and loopholes they support. The following is attributed to Jefferson but I can’t find a credible source for the author.

        “Democracies prosper until the majority learns how to vote itself every-increasing subsidies from the public Treasury … paid for by taxes on others.”

        The middle class subsidies have been increasing since 1987. The more the rich pay, the worse the middle class is.

  37. Needs reposted for johnny scrum

    kbolino|10.17.16 @ 2:16PM|#

    I’d bet the correlation between “high taxes” and “high spending” is pretty strong. California is not known for its lightweight government, despite having some of the highest taxes in the country.

    It’s a non sequitur.

    1. It’s rather disturbing that so many have no idea what Scrum said, most getting it exactly backwards and thus defending the very principle of deficit spending — free goodies for taxpayers. Isn’t that what progressives do?

  38. John Oliver is a fucking retard. Stop giving him attention.

  39. This is why we need a wall. The UK only sends us twits and Keynesians.

  40. RE: Progress! John Oliver Mocks Third-Party Candidates Because They Are as Awful as Trump and Clinton
    As Election Day nears, even the alt-MSM starts slagging choices beyond Dem/Rep duopoly.

    Are Clinton and Trump as awful as everyone thinks?
    No.
    They’re much worse.
    Don’t think so?
    Just wait until the next fours are up.

  41. If Hillary advocated cannibalism John Oliver would spend an hour condemning Trump for being anti nutrition

    1. did you hear that trump is anti-nutrition now!?

  42. When on earth did John Oliver become “alt media”?!

  43. The NBC Tongue-Biting Debacle

    What’s this one?

    1. Have you see where he sticks his tongue WAY out, sitting on a park bench being interviewed.
      58 second clip

      Notice the reporter laughs genuinely. She asked him why it would be effective getting into debates. He said he’d gain immensely, just from the exposure … even if he said nothing, stuck out his tongue and actually talked. Was that Perhaps to those who think yelling and snarling is effective. I’ve had several friends tell me that his occasional goofiness is HIS way of not being a politician. Makes him human. I’ll note the generally low trust and respect granted to the screamers. But I also think it would help him ONLY if he got wide exposure of the entire man. His mountain climbing impresses a lot of folks outside the political class. I had a gal tell me that she connected with a short clip of him jogging — because she jogs too,


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  45. i’m not a libertarian at all, but i was asked yesterday to defend gary johnson to a hillary supporter. i started to, and then i had to give up because it’s just kind of pointless really. that’s not a slam on johnson, but you have people who have only heard of his gaffes, and then want to talk about how that clearly demonstrates he knows nothing about foreign policy. they feel qualified to dismiss him as if they’re being fair and know the first thing about him.

    i don’t even care that much about actually changing their minds, as much as i wish we could agree on what an intelligent discussion actually looked like. i really lost faith when they told me to tell them about his foreign policy, but i couldn’t mention anything about de-escalating our military involvement around the world. that’s like asking me to talk about economics without mentioning the budget. i’ve voted already, so i’ve mentally checked of this election and i’m not coming back.

    1. You had no specific policy platform to describe. We are the only ones who love talking theory, when most voters want to hear specifics.

      1. if most voters cared about specifics, this would be a decidedly different election.

        1. this would be a decidedly different election.

          Only if Gary had ANY specifics,
          Voters disagree on what the specifics should be. Trump and Hillary both have crazy tax proposals, but each targets a different concept of taxation. Gray’s is actually the craziest, so he has NOTHING to show why the other two would be so bad. You can’t be a something with a nothing.

          If he’d made the debates, they’d both be laying for him and the Fair Tax alone would crush him and ridicule libertarianism even more than we are now.. At the Town Hall, when Chris Cuomo asked why the Fair Tax had a large tax cut for the rich, Gary said he (Cuomo) was “into the high weeds.” That’s evasion. We don’t need to get trapped like the conservatives are on tax cuts for the rich, when we’d be the ONLY ones defending one. By applying the data provided by Forbes, Gary is promoting a 65% tax cut for the rich and a 300% ax increase on the middle class … while promising to proposing a balanced budget with ZERO chance of being adopted.

          We can’t blame him when we have some very well-financed think think tanks who’ve never had an actual tax plan that makes sense, and no spending plan either. Give me a detailed federal budget and a calculator, tell me how much you want to cut spending and give me 3-4 days. I’ll show you EXACTLY what to cut … which would be totally useless.

    2. Here’s what to say, “Aleppo is only a thing because Hillary was running guns from Libya to there which caused the deaths of four Americans including an ambassador.”

  46. I’m still fine with Johnson as a 3rd party protest vote, but if he steps in it big time once again I might just write in Kasich.

  47. Weak. Oliver didn’t even include Gary Johnson’s greatest gaffe.

    How does one walk into a room full of libertarians and choose Bill Weld to be a running mate?

    1. Because they’re both the smartest libertarians in the room?

  48. Man, if the worst thing you can say about Johnson is you don’t like his policies isn’t that like the most ringing endorsement you can give him? Johnson should just run ads with white letters on a black screen reading “Gary Johnson”, then a fade to “You may not like his politics”, another fade and finally “but at least he doesn’t molest women or store national secrets in his bathroom”.

  49. Johnson’s entire campaign boils down to “I was a popular and successful governor who never raised taxes, I favored legalizing marijuana and gay marriage and I get along with the other party”. In any other election that would be a formula for getting 0.01% of the vote. Not this time.

    He’s trying to sell calm sanity to people who desperately want bat shit crazy.

    Look at Hillary’s eyes! Wide open and unseeing as if she was hallucinating, but then what do you expect from someone who thinks that repeated failures and a million miles in an airplane qualify her for the presidency?

    Trump can’t put together two consistent sentences, has the attention span of a brain damaged rabbit and obsesses over minor slights tweeting insults to insignificant people at 2:00 AM.

    Jill Stein thinks socialism works (and has no idea that what she’s advocating is actually fascism). She looks like the woman wandering the streets with all her possessions in a supermarket cart while carrying on a conversation with her armpit.

    With that field of Happydale Sanitarium escapees tell me that Americans want sanity in the White House.

    1. He’s trying to sell calm sanity to people who desperately want bat shit crazy.

      Why blame “stupid voters” for Gary’s total failure to have a single policy alternative to the major-party dummies? Voters are finally ready for deep changes, and we’re still talking theories and slogans.

      “But Trump’s and Hillary’s policy agendas are crazy.”
      Compared with what?

  50. Shoulda just titled this, “John Oliver says more utterly inane and retarded shit. That is all”.

    All we really need to see is “John Oliver” and we know it’s fucking stupid.

    1. Even when he ridicules Hillary?

  51. John Oliver is a damned hack. If it isn’t Hillary Clinton approved, he isn’t going to support it. Thank god comedy central still airs South Park.

    1. Then why does he also ridicule Hillary?

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  58. Obama – with Clinton as his SOS – not a warmonger?

    Civil War in Libya – 5.5 years
    Civil War in Syria – 5.5 years
    Revolt-Murderous Mob Rule-Coup-Sinai War in Egypt – 5.5 years

    How many have died as a result? Oh, gee, the media doesn’t keep count for us like they do with Afghanistan and Iraq.

    But we do know that 11 million Syrians are homeless.

    That’s what happens when you tell civilians to protest their brutal dictator. The dictator usually fights back – brutally.

    Much like ’56 Hungary . . .

    If you read Face the Nation’s March 27, 2011 transcript of Schieffer’s interview of Clinton and Gates, you can see how idiotic and callous this administration is when it comes to foreigners’ lives . . . it’s just a great theoretical game to them.

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