June 20, 2009
State Senator says state income tax is inevitable

Their memories are very short. We stood up at tea parties in April to protest high taxes. Then the Legislature did not increase any broad tax the same month. They listened! But now two months later they are again pushing an income tax.

"It's inevitable, so just accept it. Stop your tea party protests. Actually, we don't care if you protest. It's inevitable."

Get ready for a Washington state income tax, sooner or later | Seattle Times Newspaper:

Like it or not, before long, Washington state will have a state income tax.

It's not going to happen next year, and probably not in the next decade. But it is inevitable, because our state will steadily become unable to function without a structural change in the way we generate revenue.

Our current tax structure was developed more than a century ago for an economy based on agriculture, manufacturing and local commerce. It was appropriate then and for many decades afterward, but over time it has become less and less appropriate -- and adequate -- for the needs of our modern economy.

Inevitable? Our Constitution must be changed to allow an income tax and that requires a vote of the people.

She says Anti-tax-increase people are stuck in the 19th Century. They just can't accept the realities of the modern day. That's how their spokesperson Senator (she earned it) Rosa Franklin builds her case.

How has the income tax worked for California? California has a state income tax, sales tax, property taxes and every other tax known and it's way short of revenue, according to the powerful in Sacramento.

Hat tip: EFF WA.

Posted by Ron Hebron at June 20, 2009 07:38 AM | Email This
Comments
1. No. State income tax in NOT inevitable. We must do everything possible to fight this one.

Any state senator that is saying we need a state income tax needs to be defeated in the next election.

I'll keep the system we have now, flawed as it is, rather than having state government intrude into my personal financial affairs. An overly intrusive federal government is quite enough, thank you very much!

Posted by: Politally Incorrest on June 20, 2009 08:25 AM
2. Just more evidence the Democratic majority in this state is out of ideas. Perhaps a change in the Governors Mansion( Anyone seen Gregoire lately?) and the majority in at least one of the chambers in the legislature to allow discussions of alternatives. Sen. Franklin has been representing South Tacoma for over 20 years with Democratic control at the State level for most of that time. Why hasn't her economic philosophy changed the character of South Tacoma Way?

Posted by: Smokie on June 20, 2009 08:39 AM
3. Given the economic problems we will all face soon (both nationally and in Washington State),
it is more likely that a wide spread backlash and renaissance of capitalism will result.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on June 20, 2009 09:09 AM
4. I can almost guarantee that there will be no Washington state income tax.
 
According to the plans of Obama, during his third term, he will eliminate all the states and unite the country under its new name, Obamanation.
 
Eons of peace and happiness will follow.
 
If you don't want happiness and peace, that proves you are a racist.

Posted by: Bozak on June 20, 2009 09:35 AM
5. It is more likely than Rosa Franklin will be voted out of office than it is that we will get an income tax.

And she will never be voted out of office, unfortunately.

Franklin is the one stuck in the 19th century, when "progressives" got together and decided that the "correct" answers for how to run society were discoverable truths, that if you just add up the numbers, derive and apply formulas, that you can determine the best course for a people.

These people and their philosophy -- socialism -- forgot to factor in liberty, however. And they still do.

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole -- with their common aim of legal plunder -- constitute socialism. ... Mr. de Lamartine once wrote to me thusly: "Your doctrine is only the half of my program. You have stopped at liberty; I go on to fraternity." I answered him: "The second half of your program will destroy the first."
Posted by: pudge on June 20, 2009 09:46 AM
6. Franklin's been a doddering old fool for years. SHE won't live to see an income tax, and it's far too easy to point to states that have both a sales and income tax (California) to prove that the issue isn't how much revenue... but how morons like Franklin waste it.

Posted by: Hinton on June 20, 2009 09:47 AM
7. So many lies in a single article.

There is precisely and only one reason leftists want an income tax: more money. They "think," (using the term loosely) that a combined sales and income tax will bring in more money (That is, redistribute our wealth) to a greater degree, so they can feel free to spend it on their lackeys (state employees) while they pay back their union masters.

The bone whoever wrote this (and it WASN'T Franklin... she just signed it) tries to throw us is reduced sales tax rates (another temporary measure to get us to buy into this nonsense... and a major revenue killer) and phasing out the state share of property taxes while capping property taxes at .64 (How can you cap something that's been phased out?) two efforts that Franklin-type leftists have stood against for years; a 2/3rds Leg/public approval requirement for "future changes" (Like the ones the leftists gamed in the last Leg? You know, where every "fee" collected gets sent to the general fund... kinda like a "tax" does... as "fees" aren't subject to the 2/3rd's vote? Like that?) and some nebulous B&O tax and public utility credits.

What we know is that leftists don't support tax cuts as a rule, unless it supports their efforts... like their massive B&O tax cut for newspapers in this state, primarily because newspapers in this state act as propaganda arms for the leftists running government.

This bait and switch nonsense is just that. It's not about "fairness." It has NOTHING to do with "regressive" taxing. It's about.... mo money.

If, for example, their financial models showed that implementing this system brought in LESS money, do you believe for one second that Franklin or any other fringe nutter would support an income tax?

And the despicable, hypocritical thing is that these scum just lack the guts to come out and admit it, so we're presented with this massive smoke and mirrors in it's place.

I defer to California again, where the taxing utopia that Franklin and her fellow leftists have desired for so long was achieved decades ago.

And what a wonderful, fiscally strong government they have down THERE, eh?

Franklin's biggest problem here is that she can't point to any state where the combination of a state income tax and sales tax, with all of the other massive numbers of taxes and fees the leftist impose are doing markedly better than this state because they've found two different ways to rape the checkbooks of their citizenry.

We were born on a Saturday... but not LAST Saturday, Senator.

Posted by: Hinton on June 20, 2009 10:10 AM
8. At #5 it is more likely than Rosa Franklin will be voted out of office than it is that we will get an income tax.

Wrong.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on June 20, 2009 10:20 AM
9. "A system that relies on sales tax cannot withstand our modern-day cycle of economic booms and busts. When households cut back on spending, as they do whenever there's a recession, our revenues dry up and we lack the money to run our state services. An income tax, on the other hand, would provide the steady revenues to maintain state services even in hard times."

What an idiot. When people lose their jobs their income goes to zero. Then the state loses both the income tax and the sales tax.

California has one of the highest tax burdens in the country. What's their budget shortfall? About $25B. Kinda destroys the left's fantasy that raising taxes on the middle class, ala Slick Willie, provides an economic boom.

Look what happened in Maryland. They tried a soak the rich millionaires tax, and the rich are leaving the state (mainly small business owners taking businesses and jobs with them). The state is now taking in about $100M less than before.

How's that working out for ya?

Posted by: Obi-Wan on June 20, 2009 10:30 AM
10. Dear pudge:
are you saying that nations with progressive income taxes develop into tyrannies without elections?

Such as France
UK
Germany
Sweden

is it your position that they are developing into tyrannies without elections?

The USA has had an income tax for many years. I believe it's almost 100 years. Are you saying this had led the USA to become a tyranny without elections?

CA NY CT NJ MA and many other states have an income tax. They are often the states with the highest per capita income, btw.

Are you saying they have become totalitarian states with no liberty and no elections?

That seems completely insane, as is: counterfactual.

The nations that became communist dictatorships include
-Russia
-China
-Cuba
-North Korea

I don't really think any of them had a progressive income tax before succumbing to the communist takeover and dictatorship.

So tell me Mr. pudge what nation is it that had elections and then imposed an income tax and then became a communist dictatorship?

Any?

Thank you.

Btw still wondering how you can be for plain meaning rule when it would mean the Second Amendment would allow you hydrogen bombs. And there's a good article in the NYT today about Sotomayor -- it says in that voting rights case SHE was the one applying the plain meaning rule. The non-"activist" approach. I think this means that you don't really support a non-"activist" approach, you support an activist approach that results in judicial decisions that you like.

Or do you actually want it clear that anyone can have a hydrogen bomb at home?

On this issue, like the notion that a progressive income tax leads to loss of liberty, it seems like the whole concept is undermined by facts and reality.

Au revoir--

Posted by: Torture Lawyer on June 20, 2009 10:32 AM
11. Obi Wan,

Don't you mean to say "Senator" idiot?

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on June 20, 2009 10:39 AM
12. Tortured @10 -- technical aside, would your post be considered, on the whole a straw-man argument, even if you don't actually formally state a point?

Posted by: Mark on June 20, 2009 10:50 AM
13. @11, LOL.

Posted by: Obi-Wan on June 20, 2009 10:52 AM
14. What a bunch of phoney-baloney. Just ask California how having sales tax AND income tax is working for THEM.

Posted by: Michele on June 20, 2009 11:09 AM
15. Inevitable? With Washington's history of defeating income tax proposals? What's this person been smoking?

If the Legislature could enact it without a vote of the people, there might be a chance. But our Constitution and the right of referendum and initiative makes unilateral action by the Legislature impossible.

Get a life!

Posted by: kmort on June 20, 2009 12:43 PM
16. The Democrats have been drinking their own bathwater for far too long in WA.

Posted by: JoeBandMember on June 20, 2009 12:52 PM
17. Democrat arrogance on display.

Posted by: Michele on June 20, 2009 02:08 PM
18. The Left always says this or that is "inevitable." They are declaring victory before the battle, it's just psychological warfare, so that we'll disarm ourselves before the real fight.

Draw the sword, and fight to the end! The Left must not prevail!

Posted by: Tomas de Torquemada on June 20, 2009 02:18 PM
19. The Democrats have many examples of what their policies do to manage our money. Take a look at two of the primtest:

California
New York

Total screw ups. California being one of the finest tragedies which has been the result of the Democratic party wrecking crew.

Posted by: Yogi on June 20, 2009 02:23 PM
20. Yogi,

They're doing it in Washington D.C., and misery loves company.
Liberals think, after all, "if it failed miserably in California, why not try it here?"

Posted by: Amused by liberals on June 20, 2009 03:12 PM
21. HP,

Quite right IMO.

The epistemology of the left is the sound bite and talking point.

What is most interesting is that nearly all of books written by liberals miss the main thesis to their own work.
They can chronicle facts, but not interpret them; experience and survive events, but rarely learn from them; and then almost always the wrong lesson.

Whatever makes them feel good is (to them) "intellectually" sound, but adults see right through their daze, and mostly they are not even aware of it.
It's largely why most of them are so testy. They feel cheated because they are living a lie of their own making and deep inside embarrassed that others are quietly laughing at their inane hijinx.
Read John Jensen for example. Deep down inside he knows he's absolutely full of crap, but he has no idea what to do to fix it.

That's why I find liberals so amusing.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on June 20, 2009 04:29 PM
22. Let me clue you in about Rosa Franlkin. That woman has never had an original thought in her head. I had to listen to her speeches when I worked in the Legislature. I could never understand how anyone with a brain could vote for her.

She is in a Democrat stronghold. Being a black woman the press will not say anything bad about her. What she has become is the sounding board for the Democrats when they want to toss out a questionable agenda. You can bet she is parroting what the Democratic caucus is pushing for behind closed doors.

What are the looters going to do when there is nobody left to tax?

Posted by: Vince on June 20, 2009 05:58 PM
23. One of the finest sites chronicling Liberalism in its ongoing search and destroy mission is Lawrence Auster's View From the Right.

Posted by: Tomas de Torquemada on June 20, 2009 08:04 PM
24.
Who is John Galt anyway?

Posted by: andy on June 20, 2009 08:27 PM
25. Elec-ted's:
read my sphincter:
S-T-O-P
F'-in
S-P-E-N-D-I-N-G
S-O
M-U-C-H!
(now flying my Gadsden regularly)

...and 14: dead on--give them more--they devour more---the black hole principle

Posted by: jimmie howya-doin on June 20, 2009 08:35 PM
26. Rosa Franklin's just your typical fellow traveler.

Posted by: Infidel on June 20, 2009 08:54 PM
27. It is instructive to note that Oregon, which doesn't have a sales tax and has an income tax is in just as bad of shape as Washington spending-wise. Maybe more.

That being said, it wasn't but a few years ago that Oregon was saying that they needed a sales tax in addition to their income tax because an income tax was subject to wild fluctuation when the economy went sour and they needed a consistent income stream that a sales tax would provide.

In other words Oregon and Washington, that use opposite tax methods, are proposing the same fix for a budget deficit using opposite solutions. Which pretty much proves that it's not a revenue problem but a spending problem. No matter where those bast*rds get the tax money it is never enough.

Posted by: G Jiggy on June 20, 2009 10:11 PM
28. Apparently, the collectivists hope to change the state's tax system so that we can enjoy much greater swings in revenue as the business cycle moves through its ups and downs.

See this Reuters article:
"CHICAGO (Reuters) - Personal income taxes, a key revenue generator for most U.S. states, plummeted 26 percent, or $28.8 billion, in the first four months of 2009 compared to the same period in 2008...."

Posted by: Micajah on June 20, 2009 10:55 PM
29. G Jiggy is right. This is a spending problem; not a lack of an income tax problem. These democrat politicians are blowing a LOT of smoke.

Posted by: Michele on June 21, 2009 12:58 AM
30. Pudge, your entire comment was an ad hominem. And how is an income tax any more connected to socialism than a consumption tax? Of course, it is not.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 21, 2009 01:01 AM
31. Taxes of all sorts are going to continue to rise as long as we have a broken spending process.

Posted by: NWDIGEST on June 21, 2009 06:36 AM
32. http://www.leg.wa.gov/senate/franklin
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Results.aspx?District=29
http://www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/franklin/biography.htm

Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-South Tacoma, is vice chair of the Senate Rules and Senate Health & Long-Term Care committees. She also serves on the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance, and the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection committees just doesn't get it.

In just skimming her ghosted article, a major flaw is that Washington loses tax revenue to out of state internet sales.

The Internet sales tax "exemption" went away earlier this year.

What other flawed talking points does she have?

Frank Chopp and Gary Locke don't need friends like her

The Seattle Storm and Clay Bennet just fell a notch by giving her the 2007 Seattle Storm Woman of Inspiration; inducted into the WSNA Hall of Fame, 2002 award

Posted by: Green Lake Mark on June 21, 2009 07:16 AM
33. http://www.leg.wa.gov/senate/franklin
http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Results.aspx?District=29
http://www.senatedemocrats.wa.gov/senators/franklin/biography.htm

Sen. Rosa Franklin, D-South Tacoma, is vice chair of the Senate Rules and Senate Health & Long-Term Care committees. She also serves on the Senate Financial Institutions, Housing & Insurance, and the Senate Labor, Commerce & Consumer Protection committees just doesn't get it.

In just skimming her ghosted article, a major flaw is that Washington loses tax revenue to out of state internet sales.

The Internet sales tax "exemption" went away earlier this year.

What other flawed talking points does she have?

Frank Chopp and Gary Locke don't need friends like her

The Seattle Storm and Clay Bennet just fell a notch by giving her the 2007 Seattle Storm Woman of Inspiration; inducted into the WSNA Hall of Fame, 2002 award

Posted by: Green Lake Mark on June 21, 2009 07:20 AM
34. Should WA implement an income tax, it will be permanent. Where has a change in party (in the US) caused an income tax to be repealed? Democrats cause change, Republicans conserve Democrats changes. That's the way it is. Both parties' politicians want more money, more power, more influence.

Posted by: tehag on June 21, 2009 07:39 AM
35. "The Internet sales tax "exemption" went away earlier this year."

I think that's true. I need a definitive source. Anyone?

Posted by: Ron Hebron on June 21, 2009 07:48 AM
36. John Jensen wrote:

And how is an income tax any more connected to socialism than a consumption tax? Of course, it is not.

From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.
- Karl Marx, father of Communism

Seems to me that an income tax fits the vision of Marx much more than a consumption tax. After all, the State takes from you based upon what you make (your ability), not from what you choose to do with your own earnings (your need)...

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 21, 2009 09:38 AM
37. Yeah, a source for the claim "Internet sales tax "exemption" went away earlier this year." would be interesting to see.

Meanwhile, one can read:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-10220649-38.html


And this, for those wishing to better understand the impact of internet sales on a state like WA that depends so heavily on sales tax:

"Sales Tax Collections Across U.S. Experience Worst Decline in 50 Years, New Rockefeller Institute Quarterly Report Finds"
http://www.rockinst.org/newsroom/news_releases/2009/2009-04-14-sales_tax_collections_worst_in_50_years.aspx

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 09:38 AM
38. Mike,

What was the growth of State Government the last 4 years under Gregoire? And what was the rate of inflation plus population growth?

The problem isn't revenue; it's spending. If we held to a sensible increase in spending we would have a surplus, and wouldn't have the problem with dropping sales tax income.

It's not a revenue problem - it's a spending problem. And that means you CANNOT tax your way out of it! You can only control it by restraining spending.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 21, 2009 10:08 AM
39. "MikeBoyScout," please note that the press release you linked to shows a sales tax revenue decline in the 4th quarter of 2008 that is far less severe than the personal income tax decline noted in the article to which I linked in comment #30.
"Sales taxes, which are usually the largest or second-largest source of state tax revenue, suffered a 6.1 percent decline. Including those collected by local governments, the sales tax showed its weakest performance in 50 years."

The income tax is more "volatile" than the sales tax--its revenues go up or down more than the economy's ups and downs.

You said the article would show the impact of Internet sales tax avoidance, but I didn't notice any mention of it in the article.

Posted by: Micajah on June 21, 2009 10:16 AM
40. The question on whether income taxes are inevitable in the state of Washington is not a question about philosophy or even government spending, but of politics.

Democrats hold the legislative and executive branches and if their majorities expand in 2010, one should expect the proposals (trial balloons) of Parks and Brown to be advanced.

The standard Republican response of 'less spending' has become both increasingly irrelevant and unbelievable in the voting publics mind and the results are plain in the election results.

The solution is an old one. Rather than repeatedly ranting and raving about 'socialism', Republicans need to identify and advance how the publics money can be better managed and significant efficiencies obtained.
If that is not possible, then for Republicans to remain viable they must identify where they shall obtain revenue to meet the demands for public spending programs the electorate clearly demands.

Rosa Parks and Lisa Brown are leaders on this issue because the Democrats are in the Majority. And I doubt there is any need to talk about the last time there was a Republican governor in this state.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 10:26 AM
41. @41 Micajah on June 21, 2009 10:16 AM,

"You said the article would show the impact of Internet sales tax avoidance,..."

No, I didn't say that explicitly, but I can see how it could be interpreted that way. Sorry.
The news release highlights the drop in Sales Tax revenue being "one of the largest components of state and local budgets -- suffering the worst decline in half a century" but does not conclude the cause to be internet sales tax avoidance. mea culpa.

That people who are spending less would further utilize the internet to lessen their tax burden whenever legally and logistically possible is my conclusion based upon my behavior and that of those I know.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 10:50 AM
42. MikeBoyScout @ 42: "...then for Republicans to remain viable they must identify where they shall obtain revenue to meet the demands for public spending programs the electorate clearly demands."

Trouble is, the "demands," such as they are, come from people who want someone else ("the rich") to pay for them. The obvious solution is to get the revenue from those who make the demands. That would temper their desire for more.

Posted by: Micajah on June 21, 2009 11:21 AM
43. Mike,

You want more income? Here's a plan to cover the $8 billion deficit over the next 2 years: tax every living person in Washington with a special "life" tax of $50 per month. That would cover the deficit.

You have a family of 4? Great - $200 per month is due. Single? Only $50 per month. No deductions, no limits. Every person pays, regardless of income.

You Slavers want to spread the wealth around, how about spreading the pain around, too?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 21, 2009 11:36 AM
44. @44 Micajah on June 21, 2009 11:21 AM,

"The obvious solution is to get the revenue from those who make the demands. That would temper their desire for more."

That's an interesting argument, but election results (especially in WA) would tend to point to it being politically inviable in (at least) certain circumstances.

At the risk of going straw man (and being castigated for it), I'll attempt to walk the line with an reductio ad absurdum.

The absurd extension of your argument is that only people using WA's education system should pay for it. A candidate proposing the elimination of public funding for K-12 education would be lucky to win a Republican primary, and would never win a general election on such a policy change proposal.

Rich vs. Poor is old line Democratic class warfare polemics. For the polemic to be successful, Republicans should better consider discussions about growing the pie - e.g. Reagan, Kemp.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 11:48 AM
45. I am with #1 and Pudge - Donating to Rosa Franklin's opponent will help cut out this cancer in the next election.

Posted by: KDS on June 21, 2009 12:26 PM
46. @ 47 KDS on June 21, 2009 12:26 PM, et al -

Prior to donating to Franklin's 2010 State Senator District #29 opponent, maybe you should first recruit an opponent?

Franklin ran unopposed in 2006, probably for good reason.


Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 12:59 PM
47. Micajah,

We may have reached the point where those who work and pay taxes are outnumbered by those who do not work and expect others to pay their way. Excessive taxation of producers can only result in such peoples' increasing unwillingness to bear the responsibility for feeding, clothing, housing and providing medical care for indolent non-producers. Tax revenues can only decrease as a percentage of producers decide it's not worth the effort and close their businesses. Sad, but it is happening as we speak.

Posted by: Saltherring on June 21, 2009 01:01 PM
48. MikeBoy @ 48 states, "Franklin ran unopposed in 2006, probably for good reason."

And could that reason be that over 50% of her constituents live off the taxpayers?

Posted by: Saltherring on June 21, 2009 01:06 PM
49. @49 Saltherring on June 21, 2009 01:01 PM

Said:
"We may have reached the point where those who work and pay taxes are outnumbered by those who do not work...."

You can't be serious!

90.8% of the people in this state are employed.

SOURCE: http://www.google.com/publicdata?ds=usunemployment&met=unemployment_rate&idim=state:ST530000&q=wa+unemployment+rate

Where is your source for an unemployment rate above 50%?

Wouldn't Occam's razor show us the primary reason for WA's budget deficit (and nearly every other state) to be the decreased tax revenue caused by the slow down in the economy?

just saying.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 01:14 PM
50. @50 Saltherring on June 21, 2009 01:06 PM

"And could that reason be that over 50% of her constituents live off the taxpayers?"

Most likely NO, but I'm open to your providing data that shows that to be true.

And your supposition, if true, would mean that donating to her opponent (if one could ever be convinced to run) to be futile - wouldn't it?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 01:25 PM
51. @51...Wake up MikeBoyScout! What is meant by the Term (TAX PAYER), are those who are employed by the Private Sector. Anybody, who gets their funds or employment from the Public Sector are Not Tax Payers. Their Monies come from the Tax Payers of the Private Sector. Without the Monies from the Payment of Taxes from the Private Sector, the Public Sector would have no money whatsoever to make any kind of payment whether, it would be paying wages, bills or whatever. Although, these public employees pay Taxes...Again, it is monies received from the True Tax Payers of the Private Sector. Get it? Probably not...Your a Liberal!

Posted by: Daniel on June 21, 2009 02:13 PM
52. @54 Daniel on June 21, 2009 02:13 PM,

OK, and your point is what exactly?

Surely you don't mean to imply that the thousands of Washington based Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, Cost Guard, or our Policemen, Firemen, etc...
are less of a citizen or not meaningfully employed because they do the work of their community and receive enumeration from taxes.

And don't the above who earn their salaries as dedicated public servants deserve to be considered taxpayers, or doesn't the tax burden they sustain count in your mind?

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 02:38 PM
53. 10% unemployment rate accounts only for those collecting benefits and seeking employment, not those who have made careers living off the rest of us. Factor career welfare recipients with government employees, incarcerated criminals and marginally employed who receive food stamps, subsidized medical care, etc. and you could well have a majority of the population. And if not, I'm quite certain Acorn can make up the difference on election day.

Posted by: Saltherring on June 21, 2009 03:01 PM
54. @56 Saltherring on June 21, 2009 03:01 PM,

So, to be clear, your contention is that over 50% of the residents of the state of Washington are either unemployed or freeloading off of the taxpayer?

And therefore, the possibility of electing government officials in the state of Washington who respect the wallets of taxpayers approaches (or equals) zero?

Therefore, as a(n assumable) taxpaying Washington resident who abhors social welfare and freeloaders, your strategy is to remain in the state and donate to non-existent candidates with no possibility of victory?

good luck with that.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 03:13 PM
55. I Knew that you as a Liberal wouldn't Get It. No Surprise. The Point was to support the position and meaning of Saltherring's statement of reaching the point of those who work an pay taxes are outnumbered by those who do not work and expect others to pay their way. Although, he should have stated in the manner of we are reaching the point of those who pay taxes are outnumbered by those who do not pay taxes. You came out with the statement that 90.8% of the people in this state are employed. Big Deal! Big Nothing! What is important is the number of Voting Tax Payers to the number of Voting Non-Tax Payers. In short, the Voting Non-Tax Payers will be able to continue to Vote themselves Largess to the Point of Bankrupting all of us.

We have to have Government. Government has one duty and that is to protect the Society from abuses Foreign and Domestic. Yes, we need our Armed Services and other Essential Services to accomplish this protection from abuses but, Government has grown far more than, meeting those basic needs. It is the Power of the Vote that keeps us from losing our Liberty and our Earnings and if enough Government dependent Voters out Vote the responsible Voters for accountable and reasonable Government dedicated to serving the People rather than, serving itself, the Government, more than, the People...We as a Free Healthy Nation who can say that our Riches and Lifestyle is such, that it is reflected by the fact that we have the Fattest Poor People on Earth, will collapse into the Dust of Poverty if this Runaway Big Government continues to grow unabated. We will Finally achieve Liberal Heaven...Walking and Living in Mud Huts!

Posted by: Daniel on June 21, 2009 03:25 PM
56. @58 Daniel on June 21, 2009 03:25 PM,

Thanks for the reply, but in all those words I didn't catch a response to my question about whether or not tax paying public servants qualify in you mind as Tax Payers?
A simple yes or no would suffice if your fingers are tired now.

While you're at it, can you please provide data regarding your assertion:
"What is important is the number of Voting Tax Payers to the number of Voting Non-Tax Payers" ?

How many non-taxpayers are there in the state of Washington? (please provide citations)

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 03:33 PM
57. To State Senator:

/"\
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|>~ | |
/'\| |/'\..
/~\| | | | \
| =[@]= | | \
| | | | | \
| ~ ~ ~ ~ |` )
| /
\ /
\ /
\ _____ /
|--//''`\--|
| (( +==)) |
|--\_|_//--|

Posted by: Crusader on June 21, 2009 03:44 PM
58. "You can lead a liberal to knowledge but you can't make them think."

As evidenced by MikeBoy.

Posted by: Saltherring on June 21, 2009 04:57 PM
59. @62 Saltherring on June 21, 2009 04:57 PM,

And what knowledge have you "led" us to again???

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 05:20 PM
60. MikeBoyScout, a lot of the people here like Saltherring don't feel the need to back up their words with evidence, because others providing the obligatory cheering line (in this case, Daniel and hellpig).

Mindless partisan support of demonstrably stupid statements is no replacement for true critical thinking and an actual analysis of the facts. Statements as stupid as this And could that reason be that over 50% of her constituents live off the taxpayers? deserves scrutiny from not only the minority progressive commenters here but anyone interested in the truth.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 21, 2009 06:43 PM
61. John, I don't think you and I see eye-to-eye on many political issues, but from all I've read I'd like to think we could find common cause through reasonable dialog.

Too many here are all too quick to poison the well or spout the most absurd opinion as 'fact'.

What has utterly baffled me is why they would think this will possibly change and or mitigate the direction of politics in this state - which has gone so very badly for Republicans for more than 20 years.

Many would be, and once were, Washington Republicans won't even consider returning to the party, and many remaining Republicans refuse to become active for fear of actually encountering the juvenile WingNuts they read on so called conservative blogs or see on TV at tea parties.

Posted by: MikeBoyScout on June 21, 2009 07:00 PM
62. MikeBoyScout, many people aren't working hard for the state or local GOP. They're not toiling for their cause. Their vitriol goes to the web and not to any real action. It is disappointing because a strong opposition is vital in any democracy, but that vitality is hardly ensured by scathing anger that we read from hellpig.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 21, 2009 07:19 PM
63. I would support an income tax- if it completely replaces the sales tax (including the B&O tax which is a sales tax no matter how you slice it) along with the same Constitutional ban on a sales tax as there currently is on an income tax.

I'd be willing to go along with such a deal- but we'll never get it. The Democrats want to slowly raise the tax level until we have sky high taxes in both sales and income tax areas. Just like boiling a frog.

Posted by: Cicero on June 21, 2009 08:16 PM
64. Nearly a majority of Washington State citizens get direct cash or equivalent benefits from the State:

1. There are 2.1 million who get direct benefits from DSHS
2. 9.2% of Washington State workers are unemployed, meaning another 327,000 getting benefits
3. There are 600,000 Federal, State and Local (Government) employees

That's just over 3 million. That's about half the State population. Seems like it's pretty a solid claim!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 21, 2009 08:17 PM
65. I think the discrepancy lie with the fact that probably 40 percent of people who work dont pay any income taxes by the time all is said and done. I do think everyone pays into social security that works no matter how much their gross pay. (Not funny that it's called "gross" pay)! Add this to one out of five work directly or indirectly for the government wherein their checks are paid for by taxes and one can see why were f*****! It truly is 51% paying the way for 49%. Free healthcare will tip the cart and I just hope democrats taste like chicken.

Posted by: mark on June 21, 2009 08:20 PM
66. Shanghai Dan, since you're adding up totals without discrimination, add to the total the nearly 1 million slackers in Washington State on the Social Security dole.

Puts you up to 4 million of the 6+ million in our state taking a portion of my hard earned income.

Or, as I like to think of it, the majority of the folks that post on this blog.

Posted by: BA on June 21, 2009 08:38 PM
67.
Washington States sucks in so many ways.

Why not this as well?

Posted by: Tar n' Feather on June 21, 2009 08:50 PM
68. I just think it's funny how the leftists ask for "how is income tax socialist" and when shown, they shut up. And how they scream "NO WAY 50% are on the dole!" and when shown, they shut up.

Facts cause them to run to their little holes, like cockroaches fleeing from the light...

I wonder if they realize that over 35% of all dollars in these United States are now spent by Government? And if the Obamassiah gets his wish, it'll be over 50%. THAT is pure fascism.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 21, 2009 09:47 PM
69. Actually, the real number isn't 50% - it's 100%.

EVERY American, for a considerable portion of their lives, spend it on the public dole.


Posted by: BA on June 21, 2009 10:13 PM
70. @59 MikeBoyScout...The answer to your question about whether or not tax paying public servants qualify as Tax Payers was given in my comment @54. However, let me state it again...NO! Public servants do not qualify as Tax Payers....PERIOD! Why? Because, their Money comes from Tax Payers to begin with. Get It? Of course you don't! It is the Private Sector that produces the Wealth. It is the Public Sector that spends the Wealth. Without the Private Sector paying the Taxes, the Public Sector wouldn't have a penny. Your a Liberal and it is beyond you to get the Full Picture of where it is at. Your a member of the Sucker Class and will always be used by Men more clever than you. You can pour Truth on a Liberal and it is like pouring water on a ducks back. Little to nothing ever gets through.

Posted by: Daniel on June 21, 2009 10:15 PM
71. Well, Queen Chrissie, you have one LESS subject to tax. I finally got fed up and moved away from the state I was born and spent most of my life in.

Good luck to the rest of you. Seriously.

Posted by: Elmo on June 21, 2009 10:28 PM
72. Elmo, from what I have heard Florida has people moving there by thousands per day fleeing from these Income tax happy states.

I and many others will leave this state if this is pulled off. Actually I am ready to do it now!

Posted by: GS on June 21, 2009 11:43 PM
73. Torturer: are you saying that nations with progressive income taxes develop into tyrannies without elections?

No. Where'd you get THAT nonsense? I never stated or implied any such thing.

Jensen: you obviously don't know what ad hominem is (the very fact that you acknowledge that I spoke about certain types of taxation being socialist means my entire comment could not have been ad hominem), and further, I didn't say income tax is more socialist than consumption tax. I was talking about PROGRESSIVE TAXATION.

(Although, that said, income tax IS more socialist, obviously, because it not only gives govt more power to butt into your private affairs, but it also gives YOU LESS power to control government revenue, which you can do with consumption taxes by reducing spending on taxable goods. Socialism is primarily about control, and income tax gives the gov't more of it ... which is why socialists prefer it.)

Posted by: pudge on June 22, 2009 08:27 AM
74. pudge, you and others do not know the definition of the word socialism.

It is not progressive taxation. It is not income tax. It is not health care regulation. It is not environmental regulation. It is not anti-trust laws. It is not a stimulus package. Socialism is ownership and management of the means of production and the distribution of those goods.

It has no other definition.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 22, 2009 09:17 AM
75. >>>Republicans need to identify and advance how the publics money can be better managed and significant efficiencies obtained.

I catch the bus with a woman who works for the state Attorney General's office. She's retiring this month. She said the standard deal is to retire after 30 years with 60% pay. Then, you get another job to work the remaining 10-20 productive years of your life, like we in the private sector do. Without a golden pension.

How much could be saved by having state employees retire at 60 or 62 instead of 48-52? Make them pay into a 401(k) to fund their own retirement. Budget problem solved!

Posted by: MOR on June 22, 2009 09:20 AM
76. >>>Republicans need to identify and advance how the publics money can be better managed and significant efficiencies obtained.

I catch the bus with a woman who works for the state Attorney General's office. She's retiring this month. She said the standard deal is to retire after 30 years with 60% pay. Then, you get another job to work the remaining 10-20 productive years of your life, like we in the private sector do. Without a golden pension.

How much could be saved by having state employees retire at 60 or 62 instead of 48-52? Make them pay into a 401(k) to fund their own retirement. Budget problem solved!

Posted by: MOR on June 22, 2009 09:22 AM
77. Jensen: pudge, you ... do not know the definition of the word socialism.

False.

Socialism is ownership and management of the means of production and the distribution of those goods.

False.

It has no other definition.

False.

We've gone over this before, though perhaps you were not privy to that particular education. But you're quite wrong. Look at my quote from @5 above. This definition advanced by Frederic Bastiat -- which was in common use at the time and has remained so for the following 150 years -- is a perfectly valid definition of the word. In fact, his definition is far more commonly used in the United States than the one you offer.

What you may be missing here, apart from historical perspective and common use, is that when government has such near-complete control as most American socialists advocate, it necessarily results in de facto ownership. So, for example, we have what even you would likely agree is a socialist alcohol market in Washington, but even if we got rid of the state liquor stores, if the state maintained the same level of regulation on the private sellers, including significant restriction of the number of sellers so that there would be just as few choices, there would be not much difference on the market, and it would remain just as socialist as before.

And this was Bastiat's point. You note that he did not say -- as you falsely implied, just as you falsely claimed that I said income tax was socialist -- that any of those things in itself is socialist. He said put together they constitute socialism, even without government ownership. And this is why I occasionally frame things in terms of whether they are "more" or "less" socialist, by how much control they give to the government over us. Really, my use and yours are not all that different: you focus on the technical fact of ownership, while I focus on the effect that ownership has, and include other things that have the same effect.

It's similar to how democracy does not equate to liberty or a lack of enslavement: under democracy, you can still enslave a huge portion of the population. Similarly, private ownership does not equate to capitalism, or a lack of socialism.

And again, if you are sitting there saying, "yes, it does! that's what it means!," well, you're self-evidently wrong. Words don't work like that. You can't define them by fiat. My use of the word, following Bastiat's, is almost as old as the word itself and has been in very common use for that long (and, again, in this country, it is far more common than not).

Posted by: pudge on June 22, 2009 12:49 PM
78. Pudge wrote:

just as you falsely claimed that I said income tax was socialist

John's confused, that was me that backed up the concept that income taxes are socialist - well, communist, really - as it takes from people based upon what they make, not what they need.

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 22, 2009 01:10 PM
79. Socialism, is any act that erodes the Free and Fair Market and the Inalienable Rights of the Individual. That is the Core of the meaning. You can flesh it out with endless commentary but, the Bottom Line is the Core of the meaning as stated above.

Posted by: Daniel on June 22, 2009 01:33 PM
80. "Rosa Parks and Lisa Brown are leaders on this issue because the Democrats are in the Majority." from Mike the Boy Scout.

Hey, Mike, do all black people look the same to you? This lady socialist from Tacoma is not the same person who rode in the front of the bus in Alabama in the 1960's. Some of us are not named Rosa, and some of us are conservatives.

You ought to learn something from Shanghai Dan. Otherwise, you will continue to not make sense.

Posted by: Jim Gilman on June 22, 2009 02:36 PM
81. Socialism


1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

----

"Progressive income tax" is missing from that list.

Pudge, that is not what the word socialism means. I do not care if one person somewhere co-opted to mean superficial critiques of taxation. Taxes in 1850 were much different than they are in the world today, and not many Americans would describe their nation as socialist despite the progressive income tax.

The progressive income tax does not fit the description of "unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done" in the eyes of most Americans. Please do not co-opt a scary word for your narrow political aims.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 22, 2009 03:20 PM
82. Friends, you should not be so dismissive of the possibility of Franklin's proposal passing, even if it IS put to a vote of the people. Just think: we're talking about enacting what would be spun as a "small income tax on the rich" (like those who make $100K or more). In exchange, they would eliminate the state portion of the property tax, which would give everyone about a 25% reduction in their property tax bill. They would also knock off about 3% of the state portion of the sales tax, about a 30% reduction. Now think: if you were a young person just getting started, or a senior citizens facing constantly-rising property taxes, or just a low- to middle-income worker, wouldn't you see this as a TAX CUT? Of course you would -- and it would be heavily advertised that way.

You and I know all the problems that come with an income tax -- the forms, the complexity, the constantly-changing rules as legislators pass out political favors to their friends, the intrusive revenue agents. But a significant majority of people in the state would not see it that way. They would see it as an immediate tax benefit.

Do not dismiss this as "can't happen". It CAN HAPPEN, and very well might, unless opponents can come up with convincing explanations of why average taxpayers would be better off continuing the existing system rather than adopting the new proposal.

Posted by: Toby Nixon on June 22, 2009 03:37 PM
83. The convincing arguments need to be targeted specifically to the "young person just getting started, or a senior citizens facing constantly-rising property taxes, or just a low- to middle-income worker".

Of course, what Toby describes does suggest that the average taxpayer might be better off...lower sales tax and lower property tax. Other than the camel nose under the tent, what are the arguments?

Posted by: BA on June 22, 2009 04:04 PM
84. John Jensen wrote:

Taxes in 1850 were much different than they are in the world today

Yes, they were much lower and much less pervasive and invasive! My how we've fallen...

not many Americans would describe their nation as socialist despite the progressive income tax

And many Americans would be wrong. We've seen evidence that a majority are wrong - look at the 2008 election.

The progressive income tax does not fit the description of "unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done" in the eyes of most Americans.

And again, most Americans would be wrong. The richer you are, the higher the taxes you pay for the same "goods" you get from the Government. Or the more of your work the Government claims to give you the same amount of "goods".

Either way, the higher the tax, the less you benefit which IS directly an unequal distribution of goods.

The fact that so many Americans may be woefully ignorant of basic economics is sad, but unfortunately appears to be true.

Toby Nixon:

That is my fear, too... The powers that be will buy off the right number of votes to get the income tax pushed through. Then give it a few years and every single promise about limits will be ignored and crushed.

You know, 3-4 years ago the Slavery Party was screaming from the rooftops about deficits and fiscal responsibility. That all stopped a few years ago, even as the deficits got bigger and bigger. I wonder why?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 22, 2009 04:39 PM
85. Other than the camel nose under the tent, what are the arguments?

I will gladly cut your taxes 20% today for the ability to raise them 100% tomorrow...

That camel nose is a dangerous thing!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 22, 2009 04:57 PM
86. And many Americans would be wrong. We've seen evidence that a majority are wrong

First of all, I completely disagree with you. But if America is a socialist nation, then why are we so afraid of socialism again?

You know, 3-4 years ago the Slavery Party was screaming from the rooftops about deficits and fiscal responsibility. I wonder why?

You know, 3-4 years ago the Republican party was very quiet about deficits and fiscal responsibility. I wonder why?

Posted by: John Jensen on June 22, 2009 05:48 PM
87. John wrote:

You know, 3-4 years ago the Republican party was very quiet about deficits and fiscal responsibility. I wonder why?

Because the deficits were shrinking at record rates, once the Slavery Party was kicked out of the Senate. It only exploded once again when the Slavery Party took over.

No need to freak out about deficits when you are actively shrinking them towards zero - you are doing something about them! It seems that only the Slavery Party considers shrinking deficits and deficits under $200 billion a problem when exploding deficits pushing $2 trillion are OK!

But I don't expect you to understand this - it would require logic and an open mind!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 22, 2009 07:49 PM
88. John,

But if America is a socialist nation, then why are we so afraid of socialism again?

But if America is a Chrisian nation, then why are we so afraid of Christianity again?

You like that one, John? No? How about:

But if America is such a gun-owning nation, then why are we so afraid of guns again?

Or...

But if America is such an obese nation, then why are we so afraid of obesity again?

Still not? How about:

But if America is such a racist nation, then why are we so afraid of racism again?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 22, 2009 07:55 PM
89. Dan gets it right in 93 when he states, "I will gladly cut your taxes 20% today for the ability to raise them 100% tomorrow..."

And that is exactly what the Dimocrats will do. Hopefully our state's voters are smart enough see through the smokescreen....aren't they?

Posted by: Saltherring on June 22, 2009 09:01 PM
90. The Reality is this...Government's offer of a New Tax Scheme aka State Income Tax under the guise that it will cut Taxes in other areas, enough for overall relief of the Citizenry is a LIE. Even, in the initial application of the New Tax Scheme, it will fleece the Citizenry by far greater amounts than represented by any reductions of other Taxes. Government wants to Grow. The more Taxes they can collect the greater the Growth and the greater the demand for even more Taxes. Only, the reduction of Government will bring Tax relief.

Posted by: Daniel on June 22, 2009 09:28 PM
91. Jensen:

"Progressive income tax" is missing from that list.

That list is not the only proper definition of socialism.


Pudge, that is not what the word socialism means.

If you believe so, then rebut my argument. Until you do, you're simply sticking your fingers in your ears and shouting, "NUH UH!!!!"


I do not care if one person somewhere co-opted to mean superficial critiques of taxation.

Straw man fallacy, as no one did this.


Taxes in 1850 were much different than they are in the world today

Straw man fallacy, as you are attempting to imply that this has any bearing on my argument, or Bastiat's. It does not.


and not many Americans would describe their nation as socialist

Non sequitur.


The progressive income tax does not fit the description

Irrelevant, because of the fact that this description is not the only proper definition of socialism.


Please do not co-opt a scary word

As noted -- and as you utterly failed to rebut, or even try to -- my usage has been in common use for a century and a half. Claiming I co-opted the word with this usage is utterly dishonest of you ... especially since you already conceded that Bastiat used it that way.

But the fact is that my usage is very common, and that in the English language definitions are determined by usage. If a word is commonly used -- especially over a period of 150 years -- to mean something, then that is what it means. And don't pretend that my usage is not common, because it's pervasive in this country. It's been in use by conservatives stretching back decades. It has been commonly used to fight against all manner of government control -- even when not ownership -- since before either of us were alive, and is used all over conservative media today.

Therefore that meaning is a correct one for the word. That is how English works.


But if America is a socialist nation, then why are we so afraid of socialism again?

Because to the extent we are socialist, it is a terrible thing, and making us MORE socialist will be even worse. Obviously.


You know, 3-4 years ago the Republican party was very quiet about deficits and fiscal responsibility. I wonder why?

I wonder why you are making things up. In fact, 3-4 years ago was when the GOP-controlled Congress finally started to act fiscally responsible, and turned the direction of the deficit around. That's why when the Democrats finally got around to putting their first budget up, they were handed a deficit of well under $200b for the first time in years. Then the Democrats blew it, of course.

Oops, Dan already made that point. Oh well, I'll leave my rebuttal anyway.

(Also Dan, great post @96. :-)

Posted by: pudge on June 22, 2009 10:35 PM
92. Thanks Pudge... I predict we hear nothing from the Leftist wing regarding that post. Hits too close to home, shows that they only want "majority rules" when they are in the majority!

Principles just get in the way, you know...;)

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 23, 2009 08:39 AM
93. pudge, If you believe so, then rebut my argument

If a word is commonly used -- especially over a period of 150 years -- to mean something, then that is what it means.

I quoted the freaking dictionary. The very purpose of a dictionary is to track the usage of and definition of a word.

You want to use a political philosopher's definition from 1850 when socialism was at the height of criticism but at the dearth of implementation? Want to believe that political philosophy doesn't grow over 150 years when most of the world uses progressive taxation? You think a critic's definition is more important than philosophers who created the socialism school?

Fine, but don't pretend like the rest of America agrees that we have a socialist taxation structure. You do not want to argue on the merits of progressive taxation, so you seek to change the argument to "socialism" (ad hominem). This is in line with pudgery, of course: changing perfectly good phrases (judicial activism, filibuster, lie) and muddling to the point where they mean everything and nothing.

A flat tax puts the needs of the state and rich far ahead of the livelihood of the population. Is it fascist? Guess so! If progressive taxation is socialism, then socialism saves families and makes our country stronger.

In fact, 3-4 years ago was when the GOP-controlled Congress finally started to act fiscally responsible, and turned the direction of the deficit around

That's a complete joke! The economy was very strong in early 2005-2007 which is the only thing that led to a reduction of deficits. And then guess what happened? The economy slowed down in 2007 because of the credit crisis.

BUT EVIL DEMOCRATS DID IT!! PRESIDENT BUSH DOES NOT HAVE A VETO PEN!!!! MEDICARE PART D, THE IRAQ WAR, AND BUSH'S TAX CUTS WERE COMPLETELY DEFICIT SPENDING SINCE THERE WERE NO RELATED CUTS BUT WE'LL IGNORE THAT!

Dan, I'm not a moron like you so I never claimed that America was an obese or a Christian nation. The fact that you declared the nation socialist is laughable. If that's how you view your country after 30 years of more Republican control of our country than in any other time in history, fine by me. Your party failed you, I guess.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 23, 2009 11:11 AM
94. Wow John, the vitriol really comes out! Here's a few points:

Look at the DJIA in 2007 - it was increasing. So that was the crash you talked about? Well, it did start to drop AFTER the Slavery Party budget was created! But funny, it really didn't implode until after the Slavers took control (you know, in 2006).

No denying the fact that Federal receipts increased, and that the budget deficit SHRANK only when the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress, is there? Unless you like to make up your own facts, that is!

And thirty years of Republican control? So tell me - what 30 year period are you referring to? Because there was that President called Bill Clinton, and he didn't have an (R) after his name. And of course Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (no R again). And Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and more. None have (R) after their name...

In fact, over the last 30 years (1979 to 2009) we've had exactly 4 years when the GOP controlled the White House, the Senate, and the House (all under President George W. Bush). And we've had 4 years of complete Slavery control of those three institutions (two under Carter, two under Clinton).

So 30 years? A bit of hyperbole, eh John? Or just more ignorance on your part - which would make you the moron, now wouldn't it John?

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 23, 2009 12:53 PM
95. Dan, I said "more" Republican control -- which is a fact. Since 1980 we've had 20 years of Republican presidents and 8 of Democratic presidents. The Republican revolution in 1994 significantly changed the political power in this country. I'm not saying that Republicans were running things the entire time, I'm just saying that you've had a lot more conservative relevance in the debate than you had between 1930 and 1979, yet no mainstream Republican has ever proposed a flat tax.

Look at the DJIA in 2007 - it was increasing. So that was the crash you talked about?

I never said the word crash, fool. There was a credit crisis that began in late 2007, causing a recession to begin at that point. Everyone agrees with that.

Name all the big Democratic spending after they took power? The early-2008 stimulus that Bush pushed (380-34 House, 81-16 Senate)? The TARP program that Bush and his cabinet pushed? This type of dishonest revisionist history is stuff I expect from a fool like Dan, but not from someone like pudge.

No denying the fact that Federal receipts increased, and that the budget deficit SHRANK only when the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress, is there?

So you believe that the GOP between 2002-2006 was the model of fiscal responsibility? Revisionist history.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 23, 2009 01:07 PM
96. Hi John,

I thought you said you know how Government works? For the last 20 years which party has DOMINATED the Congress? Much more so than the other party had a majority of the White House (and for the record, for the last 30 years, we had 10 years of Slaver, and 20 years of GOP leadership in the White House).

So which party has really controlled the Government?

So you believe that the GOP between 2002-2006 was the model of fiscal responsibility? Revisionist history.

Yes, you have such revisionism in your blood! Who wrote the 2002 and 2003 budgets? HINT: It WASN'T the GOP! In fact, here's a pretty picture that shows which party was in control of what.

The FACTS are irrefutable. When the GOP controls the purse strings - the House and the Senate - the deficits go down. When the Slavers have either chamber (or worse yet, both) the deficits go up.

Once the Slavers were booted back out, what happened? The deficits DROPPED. And when they came back? The deficits exploded.

Look, the real FACT is that the last GOP/Bush budget ran a $160 billion deficit. The Obama deficit of 2009 is $1.85 TRILLION. Twelve times the amount.

That's the fact. It's sad that you have to revise history so you can have your ego intact but I guess that's what is required for Slavonomics to succeed!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 23, 2009 04:14 PM
97. Dan, will you shut your mouth and read what I'm writing?

In the last 30 years Republicans have had more power than they had in the previous 50 years. Yet, in the last 30 years not a single Republican leader at the federal level has proposed eliminating the progressive income tax.

Okay, dummy? Your views are fringe and stupid. Even Republicans think so.

The Obama deficit of 2009 is $1.85 TRILLION.

Look at this graphic.

Read this poll: Nearly three in four respondents said that the president inherited the current economic conditions, versus just 14% who said he is responsible for them. Only 6% said the Obama administration is most responsible for the budget deficit. Nearly half blame the Bush administration.

The FY2009 budget was written by Bush. TARP was proposed by Bush. The stimulus in early 2008 was proposed by Bush.

Your revisionist history isn't working. Stop lying.

Posted by: John Jensen on June 23, 2009 07:07 PM
98. Hi John,

Boy, you really are angry and stupid - I'd suggest some deep meditation!

Now, about your claims:

In the last 30 years Republicans have had more power than they had in the previous 50 years.

Which is less than the Slavery Party controlled in the last 50 and 30 years... So your point is?

Yet, in the last 30 years not a single Republican leader at the federal level has proposed eliminating the progressive income tax.

Really? Would not the massive flattening of the tax code under President Reagan and President Bush not count as moving towards an elimination of the progressive income tax? Seems like they were moving towards that...

Look at this graphic.

Yes, yes... And who was in the Senate CREATING those bills that went to the President? Hmmm, perhaps a Senator OBAMA? You keep saying you know how the Government works; i don't think so based upon your continued examples of ignorance relating to how appropriations are created and passed...

Read this poll: Nearly three in four respondents said that the president inherited the current economic conditions, versus just 14% who said he is responsible for them. Only 6% said the Obama administration is most responsible for the budget deficit. Nearly half blame the Bush administration.

Yes, the media has done a wonderful job of convincing people of a fallacy!

But if you want to hold to this, then I assume you'll also immediately call for President Obama to stop his insanity with health care and focus on the deficit (which the American people consider a MUCH bigger problem).

The FY2009 budget was written by Bush.

REALLY? You mean Presidents write budgets? You sure it wasn't Nancy Pelosi and the Slavery Party controlled House that wrote it? And that Harry Reid and the Slavery Party controlled Senate that passed their version? And then the combined Slavery Party controlled Congress that passed the budget?

That same budget that President Bush REFUSED to sign, leaving it to President Obama to sign?

You sure you got your facts straight there, chief?

TARP was proposed by Bush.

And it was passed by? Say it with me now: "CONGRESS". And that INCLUDES then-Senator Obama who actually asked President Bush to push TARP through. Bush acceded to the President-elect's wishes.

The stimulus in early 2008 was proposed by Bush.

Yes, and he was wrong. And of course, that stimulus was voted for by (say it with me now) SENATOR OBAMA!

Your revisionist history isn't working. Stop lying.

No revision or lying here! Rather, your attempt to whitewash your Obamassiah is most eye-opening!

Let that partisan HOPE AND CHANGE ring true!

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 23, 2009 09:08 PM
99. Obama was not the President-elect when TARP was passed. McCain and Bush both lobbied for TARP's passage. McCain went as far to suspend his campaign. Obama also pushed for TARP, you are correct.

If congress is responsible for everything, why are you blaming Obama?

Posted by: John Jensen on June 23, 2009 11:28 PM
100. Centrifuge John posted:

If congress is responsible for everything, why are you blaming Obama?

This one's real easy, John. I'll even make it multiple choice!

Who was a sitting US Senator from 2005 to 2009, when he was sworn in as President?

A. George W. Bush
B. Paris Hilton
C. Barack Ohama
D. All of the above
E. None of the above

Oh, oh, here's another one!

Which US Senator helped to shape, and subsequently pass through the Senate, the record-setting FY2009 budget, then - while serving as US President - signed that same budget into law?

A. Patty Murray
B. Steve Jobs
C. Barack Obama
D. All of the above
E. None of the above

So Centrifuge John, now that we know who passed the record $2 trillion deficit as a Senator (you know, an elected official who can actually change legislation) and who signed those appropriations into law, we know who's really to blame.

HOPE AND CHANGE!

PS: I made the right answers "C", just in case you weren't sure. Then you can use the old rule about "choose C if you're not sure"

Posted by: Shanghai Dan on June 24, 2009 08:33 AM
101. Jensen, Jensen, Jensen:

I quoted the freaking dictionary. The very purpose of a dictionary is to track the usage of and definition of a word.

And no dictionary pretends to be authoritative, and certainly not on issues of political philosophy. Besides, Wikipedia -- which you love to quote -- backs me up:

Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, creates an unequal society, and does not provide equal opportunities for everyone in society. Therefore socialists advocate the creation of a society in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly based on the amount of work expended in production, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how and to what extent this could be achieved.

Socialism is not a concrete philosophy of fixed doctrine and program; its branches advocate a degree of social interventionism and economic rationalization, sometimes opposing each other. Another dividing feature of the socialist movement is the split between reformists and the revolutionaries on how a socialist economy should be established. Some socialists advocate complete nationalization of the means of production, distribution, and exchange; others advocate state control of capital within the framework of a market economy. ...

Social democrats propose selective nationalization of key national industries in mixed economies, with private ownership of property and of profit-making business. Social democrats also promote tax-funded welfare programs and regulation of markets. Many social democrats, particularly in European welfare states, refer to themselves as "socialists", introducing a degree of ambiguity to the understanding of what the term means.

It is notable that Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist and his views are indistinguishable from the Democratic Left in the rest of the Senate.

So we have established briefly that many on the left in Europe and the U.S. use this term with this meaning. And it's obvious to anyone paying attention that the right has used it with this meaning for decades in this country. George Will uses it that way. William F. Buckley used it that way. Both adherents AND critics use it that way, and have done so for -- again -- more than a century and a half.

Your claim that this definition is invalid is utter nonsense.


You want to use a political philosopher's definition from 1850 when socialism was at the height of criticism but at the dearth of implementation?

No, I did no such thing. I am using that as an early example of TODAY'S common meaning. I note that you keep ignoring the fact that millions of people use this word in this way. Why do you do that? Well, I know why: because it is prima facie evidence against you.


Want to believe that political philosophy doesn't grow over 150 years ...

No, that is what YOU are doing.


... when most of the world uses progressive taxation?

Wow. You are actually making the argument that because "most of the world" does it, THEREFORE it is not socialism. This is what you're actually saying. Incroyable.


You think a critic's definition is more important than philosophers who created the socialism school?

Right, like I said, you want to believe political philosophy doesn't grow over 150 years. And why is it that you are making an ad hominem against Bastiat, trying to imply he is of some lower stature -- a "critic" instead of a "philosopher"? Well, I know why you make this fallacious statement, so don't bother answering me.


... don't pretend like the rest of America agrees that we have a socialist taxation structure.

Please stop lying. I already told you that I didn't say progressive taxation is socialist.


You do not want to argue on the merits of progressive taxation, so you seek to change the argument to "socialism" (ad hominem).

Please stop lying. That is not my intent at all. And please learn what "ad hominem" means, because you obviously don't know.


A flat tax puts the needs of the state and rich far ahead of the livelihood of the population.

That is obviously false.


In fact, 3-4 years ago was when the GOP-controlled Congress finally started to act fiscally responsible, and turned the direction of the deficit around

That's a complete joke!

It's ... true.


The economy was very strong in early 2005-2007 which is the only thing that led to a reduction of deficits.

False. It was a contributing factor, true. But from FY2002 through FY2004, the budget grew 14%. From FY2005 through FY2007, it grew 10.4% percent. Revenues, on the other hand, grew 1.5% in the first period, and 19.2% in the second.

So we had more revenue AND less growth in the latter period. Both were significant: our $160B deficit would have been a $250B deficit if we had spent in the second period like we did in the first (assuming same revenue). And contrary to your claim, even if revenue had been only half what it was -- say 9.6% -- we still would've seen a reduction in deficit, down to $368B from $412B (assuming same spending).

So ... you're quite wrong. Obviously, spending played a role, and rate-of-spending decreases by themselves would have lowered deficits assuming modest, non-recessionary, revenue.


BUSH'S TAX CUTS WERE COMPLETELY DEFICIT SPENDING SINCE THERE WERE NO RELATED CUTS

Tax cuts are not spending. Ever. Please understand this basic fact, this fundamental reality. Spending is when you spend, whether you have the money or not. Reducing taxes is on the OTHER side: it reduces revenue. Revenue and spending are not the same, though inversely changing either has a similar effect on the deficit.


I said "more" Republican control -- which is a fact. Since 1980 we've had 20 years of Republican presidents and 8 of Democratic presidents.

And Presidents matter less than Congress in such things, and in those 30 years you mentioned -- or the 20 years you mention here -- Democrats have had more control of Congress.


... no mainstream Republican has ever proposed a flat tax.

False, of course. Many have, most notably Steven Forbes. Also note that many other prominent Republicans have pushed the FairTax (especially Huckabee), which is a similarly (mostly) non-progressive replacement for the income tax, though it is not a flat income tax. So it's not just progressive vs. flat, it's also progressive income tax vs. other forms of taxation.


There was a credit crisis that began in late 2007, causing a recession to begin at that point. Everyone agrees with that.

No, Jensen. Please don't pretend such nonsense. Many of us, including many economists, do not believe that is a proper date for the beginning of the recession.


Name all the big Democratic spending after they took power?

I won't bother, but I will point out that the Democrats in their first budget since regaining power -- FY2008 -- they had a drop of 1.7% in revenue, yet still managed an increase of 9.3% in spending ... almost as much as the increase the previous three years combined (recall, 10.4%). In dollar amounts it's even closer: $257B increase from 2005-2007, and $254B from 2007-2008. (Granted, this doesn't take inflation into account, but still ... that's a lot.)


The TARP program that Bush and his cabinet pushed?

Note for the record that this was not in FY2008, so is unrelated to my numbers above.


This type of dishonest revisionist history is stuff I expect from a fool like Dan, but not from someone like pudge.

Shrug. You pointed out not a single thing that I said that was incorrect or misleading in any way. (Oh, and by the way, THIS comment of yours is an ad hominem, unlike the one youa accused me of. Here's a hint: ad hominem requires an argument against a PERSON.)


No denying the fact that Federal receipts increased, and that the budget deficit SHRANK only when the GOP controlled both chambers of Congress, is there?

Also no denying the fact that the trend reversed after 2004.


So you believe that the GOP between 2002-2006 was the model of fiscal responsibility?

I think you're talking to Dan, but if you are talking to me: I never said they were the model of anything, and I explicitly said 3-4 years ago, which obviously does not include 2002-2004, when the deficit grew to over $400B. (Of course, the Democrats controlled the Senate for some of the most important years there, FY2002 and FY2003.)


in the last 30 years not a single Republican leader at the federal level has proposed eliminating the progressive income tax.

Not true, obviously. Dick Armey has, if you need a congressional leader. But that it has not been as serious proposal is irrelevant ... politicians don't propose what can't win, usually, and right now it can't win. That you are using this as evidence of anything is ... stupid, frankly.


Nearly three in four respondents said that the president inherited the current economic conditions, versus just 14% who said he is responsible for them. Only 6% said the Obama administration is most responsible for the budget deficit. Nearly half blame the Bush administration.

You really think this reflects truth in any way? Come on, you're not that dumb.


The FY2009 budget was written by Bush.

False, of course. SOME of it was proposed by Bush. But the House bears the responsibility for the bill, which means it's Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. They could completely ignore the President's budget and write their own. There's no reason they have to care what Bush proposes. And, of course -- talk about revisionism -- the budget passed by the House was larger than the one Bush proposed anyway.


TARP was proposed by Bush. The stimulus in early 2008 was proposed by Bush.

To his detriment. So what? You say this as though it is meaningful. No one here would say Bush was a strong fiscal conservative.

Posted by: pudge on June 24, 2009 10:18 AM
102. Rizzo (the wanna be conservative murderer) wrote "This type of dishonest revisionist history is stuff I expect from a fool like Dan, but not from someone like pudge."

Pudge replied "(Oh, and by the way, THIS comment of yours is an ad hominem, unlike the one youa accused me of. Here's a hint: ad hominem requires an argument against a PERSON.)

Wrong jackass, his comment was not ad hominem, and I'm sure given your habitual misstatements that you believe this comment is.

Wise up or continue to be wrong every time you use the term.

Posted by: Amused by Liberals on June 25, 2009 08:26 PM
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