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2/27/12

New Polling Data Shows How to Fight Obama’s Class Warfare

The following essay was published at International Liberty and is re-posted here by permission of the author.
I think the polling results and percentages you will encounter in this article may raise your eyebrows and perhaps give you some polite facts to share with some of your more leftward leaning friends at the next party or BBQ you attend.

Although it sometimes seems as if all the news is bad, these results can give us a sense of balance.


February 27, 2012 by Dan Mitchell

Since starting this blog, I’ve periodically shared polling data that gives me hope. Highlights include:

o More than two-to-one support for personal retirement accounts.

o Recognition that big government is the greatest danger to America’s future.

o An increasingly negative view of the federal government.

o More than eight-to-one support for less spending rather than higher taxes.

o Strong support for bureaucrat layoffs and/or entitlement reforms instead of higher taxes.

o And my favorite poll results are the ones showing that voters understand that the goal is less spending, not lower deficits.

Now there’s some new research that is both encouraging and educational. Here’s part of the report from The Hill.

Three-quarters of likely voters believe the nation’s top earners should pay lower, not higher, tax rates, according to a new poll for The Hill. The big majority opted for a lower tax bill when asked to choose specific rates; precisely 75 percent said the right level for top earners was 30 percent or below. The current rate for top earners is 35 percent. Only 4 percent thought it was appropriate to take 40 percent, which is approximately the level that President Obama is seeking from January 2013 onward. The Hill Poll also found that 73 percent of likely voters believe corporations should pay a lower rate than the current 35 percent… Republicans were more likely than Democrats to support lower tax rates for the wealthy, but voters in both parties solidly supported lower rates compared to current law. Eighty-one percent of Republicans favored tax rates below current levels, compared to 70 percent of Democrats. The Hill Poll, conducted by Pulse Opinion Research of 1,000 likely voters, also found broad support for lower rates across income groups. The group most supportive of lowering tax rates on the wealthy below current rates made between $20,000 and $40,000 a year; 81 percent supported tax rates of 30 percent or lower.

This data is important because it shows the value of framing an issue. Instead of defensively responding to Obama’s class warfare, proponents of good tax policy should be making a philosophical/economic point that “nobody in America, no matter how rich or how poor, should have to pay more than one-fourth of their income to government.”

And proponents of class warfare should be put on the spot and asked “what do you think is the maximum tax rate anyone should pay?”

Last but not least, friends of liberty should make the key point that higher tax rates on the so-called rich are merely precursors for higher tax rates on everyone else – as even the New York Times recently admitted.

2/22/12

This Story Stinks

Lots of things the government does stinks to high heaven, but a story I read today on Dan Mitchell's excellent blog, International Liberty, sets a new standard on the "malodorous" scale. It's a story about farting, of all things.

This is a polite blog for the most part, but you'll have to beg our pardon for releasing this story. (Pun intended) It's really a story about how goofy, and even dangerous, it gets when government employees - in this case teachers - over-react to the kind of thing that wouldn't even get the disciplinarian involved back when I was in school. Teachers used to handle this kind of stuff with a dunce cap in those days, but I digress.

It seems that a student used some "country" nomenclature to describe what he had done in the library when nature called and it resulted in eleven different government agencies responding to the "emergency" and his arrest for his doodling about "dropping a bomb" among the books. Here is the way the tale appears on Dan's site:

"Harold Wayne Hadley, Jr., 19, was arrested at a Mississippi junior college after he allegedly wrote a note on a piece of toilet paper on Tuesday, containing the word ‘bomb,’ according to Weirdnews.net. The note prompted 11 emergency agencies to respond to the school, but there was no bomb. Hadley and his family contend that he was only explaining the joy of flatulating in the library. “He was in the restroom doodling on some toilet paper … we are from the country, and he calls passing gas, bombs,” said Hadley’s aunt, who wouldn’t give her name to WDAM. ”[He] put ‘I passed a bomb in the library,’ talking about passing gas, and somebody came in and found it, gave it to a teacher that recognized his hand writing and it blew all out of proportion.” …Hadley was arrested and held on $20,000 bail. If convicted of threatening to blow up the school, he faces 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine,according to WAPT."

I'm guessing he won't get a guilty verdict or even face trial once the authorities smell the coffee instead of the gaseous stupidity of their over-reaction. In his piece, Dan goes on to address a lot of very valid questions about the actual issues this whole mess brings up, so I'll let him raise a stink about it over at his blog and I suggest you read the rest of it because like all the of his posts, it's terrific.

Which brings up a perfect segue for my next request. Although many of you already know, for those you who drop by here only occasionally, I have started a new blog and invite you to click on the link and help me launch it. It's called Cheeky History and if you enjoyed the style I wrote this article with you might enjoy it. It's a non-political spot where you can spend about thirty seconds a day learning some tidbits about "what happened on this day in history" with my own cheeky spin on them.

I'm having some fun writing the blurbs and I'm hoping folks might enjoy reading them. If you do, by all means leave a comment and let me know. If you think it stinks as much as what happened in the story above, well, just do what you usually do when you are in the library and someone "drops a bomb", make a squinchy face and leave as fast as you can.

2/17/12

Answer the Doorbell

It's clever, and it would be funny, except it's not.


Hat tip to Homer.

2/15/12

Is Obama from Keynesa?

Did you hear the one about the economist who walks into a bar with an imbecile on his arm? The bartender asks him.......

2/12/12

Cheeky History - The New Blog Feature

2/12/12

In 1809 on this day a man evolved from a monkey and entered into this world.  His parents named him Charlie. In adulthood, Mr. and Mrs. Darwin's bouncing boy went on to have a theory about how animals got to be the way they are and it changed the world. Along the way his theory pissed off a lot of religious people and a controversy started that continues to this day. He got so famous they named an award after him.

I'm of the minority opinion (again) because I could never understand what all the fuss was about. It always seemed to me that if a guy was powerful enough to create all the heavens and everything in them, he probably could fashion the method of creating new species in any manner that caught his fancy.

Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln was born on this day too. And so was a dancer named Anna Pavlova, whose dog couldn't stop drooling whenever she busted a move. Oops! The dog actually belonged to some guy with a similar name. My bad.


The above is yesterday's entry to the new blog feature. It's just an introduction to my newest brainstorm. One I hope will be fun and lighthearted and mostly non-political. Imagine, a whole new audience made up of those who are weary of politics! Even Democrats and liberals might enjoy it.


I'm having fun toying with the ideas and even thinking of making a new blog out of it. So please let me know what you think by taking the poll on the right or drop me an email. I hope you enjoy it.

2/8/12

It's Beside the Point

For quite a while now I have been telling any Obama detractor who would listen that I think they are missing the point by focusing on our organizer-in-chief.

It's not to say he isn't a problem, because he is. But it's kind of like your cough is a problem when you have strep throat. When it comes to your health, the cough is really beside the point. And like Obama's damaging presidency, it's actually useful to a degree.

As Thomas Sowell has said; "Barack Obama is not so much the cause of our decline but the culmination of it." The ideas he holds are the problem and he is only the latest in a long line of people who push them. And so it goes with the candidates for the Presidency in this messy Republican primary season.

For many conservatives, the Mitt Romney candidacy is heresy. He isn't a conservative and therefore should not be the Republican nominee. True enough, but it's beside the point if your goal is to turn the situation around before it's too late. What passes for conservatism now-a-days won't fix the situation. Nor will electing a technocrat who thinks that the only problem with our government is that he's not in charge of it.

Then there is the newest "anyone but Mitt" candidate, Rick Santorum. Rick, whose trademark sweaters are only slightly more stylish than Jimmy Carter's were, is basically a clone of George W Bush. Bush was godfather (or the puppet, perhaps) of the neo-con version of what passed for conservatism in the eight years before people signed on to the dream of hope for leftist change. George made the situation worse during his turn, and so will Rick if he gets the chance. Between trying to pound his version of morality down the country's throat and attacking the people who favor individual liberty, he seems anxious to attack Iran for good measure. Whatever he would do as President other than those things would be beside the point of saving the currency or addressing the debt catastrophe.

So now let's turn to the last Republican in the "anyone but Mitt as long as it's not Ron Paul" candidate. The music seems to have stopped for Newt Gingrich's dance with the nomination, so he himself is beside the point. I thought about leaving him off the list, but darn it, it's just not fair that someone as grandiose as Newt should be left without a chair when the music stops. But alas, that's just the way it is. Life ain't fair, I guess.

Which leaves one last candidate, none other than Ron Paul. At least in his candidacy we finally find some honesty because Paul has been telling anyone who will listen that he himself is beside the point when it comes to addressing the situation we find ourselves in. That makes one person in this whole mess who finally "get's it." The most unlikely of candidates; he's too old, he's not a slick campaigner, he doesn't articulate the positions as well as so many others in his movement, and he has been proclaimed a million times as irrelevant by the media pundits. But, he "get's it."

He knows it's the ideas that matter if you are actually trying to do something other than just get elected. It's the ideas that turn into the policies that will finally address this situation. It's not the guy, it's the ideas.

And since the country has tried all the other ideas of the left and right, and none of them have done anything except spend, borrow and print money while making things worse, the country might finally be ready to try the only thing that has ever worked over the long term. Freedom, not intervention. It works everywhere and always. Government doesn't have the answers. You do.

And THAT is the point.

2/5/12

Laughing Your Debts Away

A short while ago my friend Tom - who traded bonds for many decades and knows something about debt -sent me an email that simplified the understanding of the federal debt problem. I'm guessing he thought it might end up on this blog.

Some of you might have seen the email I'm referring to. It has been forwarded all over the net since then. I added it at the bottom of this post for those who might not have seen it yet.

The national debt, as it is sometimes called, is easily thought of as something the government owes, but we all owe the money. Unfortunately, for most people it's more of a concept than an actual problem. It's why they keep voting for people like Barack Obama and George W Bush. It's also why they haven't figured out that Mitt Gingrich won't be the correct answer to the question of how it's going to be addressed.

People have a hard time relating to numbers as astronomical as those the government owes. When the numbers become so big, billions and trillions start to run together into one big imaginary number. But remember folks, a brazillion isn't just a hair removal reference and Greece isn't just a place with goat soup and stinky cheese. If you take a good look while walking along on our national journey, you can see the end of the road that we have been kicking the can along for so long. And you don't have to squint anymore.

You can go back to sleep this election and hope the nightmare is gone when you wake up, but that hope will get you just about as far as the "hope and change" the nation bought into when a bunch of Democratic marketing slicksters sold it to them in 2008.

So how can we laugh while our money burns? It's easier if you use the tragicomedy video below as a teachable moment to make it clear just how ludicrous the debt has become as the politicians spend us into oblivion in order to buy our votes. The numbers, listed below, are the correct ones with some of the superfluous zeros removed. I was laughing at the end of the video, but only because I know the joke is on us.



The email reads;

"This rather brilliantly cuts thru all the political doublespeak we get. It puts it into a much better perspective."

Lesson # 1:

* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $ 38,500,000,000

Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:

* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
* Total budget cuts: $385

Got It ?????

OK now Lesson # 2: Here's another way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let's say, You come home from work and find there has been a sewer backup in your neighborhood....and your home has sewage all the way up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ......
Raise the ceilings, or pump out the crap?

2/2/12

Bad Lip Reading

Some comic relief is needed during this campaign season so I ripped off the idea of posting these videos from our friends over at The Humble Libertarian. If you rely on lip reading to understand what the candidates are saying, you end up with the same understanding that the rest of us have.

Let's start with Ron Paul since most people think (correctly) that I favor him for next President of the US.

Enjoy.








Newt was left out because his was as silly as, well, as silly as his campaign is.

2/1/12

The University of Michigan is a Good Place for a Pander Party

As President Obama attended his latest campaign pander party (thinly disguised as government business instead of the taxpayer supported campaign trip it actually was) the things he said in his speech reminded me of something Dr. Walter Williams has said; "Politicians exploit economic illiteracy.”

So as the professor also often says, "Let's look at it."

Putting aside the inane headline in the paper that read; "Obama Targets College Costs" (a supposition that getting the federal government involved in those costs is actually part of his job description), let's look at what causes costs to rise for higher education, or for that matter any commodity. As always it's the ratio between demand and supply. In this case, the government has caused the demand to rise by subsidizing the potential students and the colleges themselves. (As an aside, they did the same thing in causing the housing crisis.)

The story goes on to describe the "college affordability ideas" Obama is promoting. One is that he threatens that if the colleges and universities don't cut costs they risk losing some of the federal aid he is promising as part of the ideas. The law of carrots and sticks will never replace the law of supply and demand. And the law of supply and demand is one of only a few laws in existence that wasn't written by politicians. It has the added benefit that it enforces itself, so they are left out of the force equation as well, which drives them insane.

According to the newspaper article (Chicago Tribune) the President stated that "schools can't just jack up tuition every single year and simply expect people to pay it!" So, as usual, he said at least something that made sense. Unfortunately, after citing that basic tenet of economics 101, he screwed it up on the follow through (as he also usually does) by showing his utter illiteracy on the subject (or contempt, as the case may be) when he calls for the use of coercion to correct that condition instead of assuming the consumers of the product will make other arrangements. The truth is, the people he says can't be expected to just pay the "jacked up" tuition do not expect to pay it, they expect you to pay it. Because people like Obama keep promising them things, and delivering.

Republicans don't get a free pass on this one. They have had similar plans to jawbone prices down as well. If they think that it will work any better for them they are just as dumb or just as cynical as Obama is. They both would like to think that powerful people like them can just order education costs to go down.

The reason for the speech is not to "fix" the college affordability problem, it's to buy votes with taxpayer money and shore up his support. It's text book pandering, this time to university students who backed him last time but don't look like they will deliver in big numbers this time around. After all, they are in school to learn and at least some of them have learned a thing or two about hope and change in the last three years. Large numbers are rallying to the campaign of a seventy-six year old doctor who has great appeal to the Democrats among them.

So while most of us are planning our super bowl parties, Obama is in the Democrat stronghold of Michigan hosting a pander party. At halftime the meal they are serving up is pulled pork, but the pork will be pulled from the taxpayers pockets.