Through the Ceiling

I am on vacation, but I do read the newspaper, and words are failing me.  Rather, I should say, words are choking me!  I’ll just use a few  bullets and a quote, and have done with it.

  • Repeal the law that created a debt ceiling.  It’s idiotic.  Just a phony way to impose “fiscal discipline.”
  • Do we have a democracy?  Most people want a taxes on the corporations, the wealthy, and judicious spending cuts.  We got neither, and the show is being run by a bunch of radical lunatics with backing from very big money.  I’m beginning to think Troutsky is right after all.
  • I voted for Obama because I thought he could win and Hillary might not, and of course, he was far better than McCain.  I never expected much.  He has surpassed my expectations in a negative way to an amazing extent.
  • Is he a dunce, a tool of the establishment, or a technocrat robot?

Here’s some text from Paul Krugman (bad on global warming, good on politics!) in his column today on Obama’s abject surrender to the Tea Party arm of Wall Street, and part of his linked text – my emphasis:

Did the president have any alternative this time around? Yes.

First of all, he could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, he replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly. Great call. . .

Obama, at his press conference last December, announcing his surrender to the GOP on tax cuts; the questioner was Marc Ambinder:

Q Mr. President, thank you. How do these negotiations affect negotiations or talks with Republicans about raising the debt limit? Because it would seem that they have a significant amount of leverage over the White House now, going in. Was there ever any attempt by the White House to include raising the debt limit as a part of this package?

THE PRESIDENT: When you say it would seem they’ll have a significant amount of leverage over the White House, what do you mean?

Q Just in the sense that they’ll say essentially we’re not going to raise the — we’re not going to agree to it unless the White House is able to or willing to agree to significant spending cuts across the board that probably go deeper and further than what you’re willing to do. I mean, what leverage would you have –

THE PRESIDENT: Look, here’s my expectation — and I’ll take John Boehner at his word — that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse, that that would not be a good thing to happen. And so I think that there will be significant discussions about the debt limit vote. That’s something that nobody ever likes to vote on. But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower. [Oh, yes you can!!]

And so my expectation is, is that we will have tough negotiations around the budget, but that ultimately we can arrive at a position that is keeping the government open, keeping Social Security checks going out, keeping veterans services being provided, but at the same time is prudent when it comes to taxpayer dollars.

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2 Responses to Through the Ceiling

  1. Justine Baal says:

    It always makes me laugh when people demand higher taxes on corporations and “the wealthy.” The U.S. already has one the highest corporate tax rates in the world and about 60% of all income taxes are already paid by the top 5% of wage earners.
    If you want other people to pay your bills, don’t hide behind the government tax collectors. Grow a pair and ask your neighbors with a nicer house or shinier car to pay for your lattes. Nothing like a few slammed doors to cure your class envy!

    • Lichanos says:

      I don’t think that the US corporate tax rates are anywhere near as high as they are in the developed western nations such as England or France. Probably they are higher than in China, India, Brazil, or Chile. Of course, that’s only the rate on the books – not the EFFECTIVE tax rate, which is what is actually paid.

      60% of the income tax may be paid by the top 5% of the earners, but then the top 5% of the earners have the lion’s share of the wealth. Furthermore, even if the percentages don’t line up the way you’d like, you are leaving out the fact that the wealthier you get, the less income is subject to taxes. That is, there are all sorts of very clever ways to draw income that is free from income tax. Don’t know about you, but I don’t have a tax shelter.

      I rarely drink lattes – I like my espresso straight. I don’t have class envy, and my life is pretty cushy. It’s the 90% of the people that are getting the shaft that I’m worried about. Of course, you could say I’m a fool to be concerned about them, but that’s your problem.

      If you are interested in actual statistics, I’ll get you some, or you start your own research here.

      BTW, where did I suggest that I want somebody else to pay my bills? For what? Oh… did you pay for your share of the National Defense today?

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