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I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.



Dec. 16th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC)
Re: Actually
I don't have time right now to respond fully mobeus, but I wanted to clarify something.

A small business owner has to account for their, and their employees' FICA taxes. Not sure what that proves.

A small business owner is both an employee of, and owner of, a business. He pays FICA taxes on himself as an employee, and FICA taxes on himself as an employer. As such the fica tax rate on the small business owner, as an individual, is double that of other people.

So, at a 40% tax bracket, a small business owner is actually paying around 55% of every dollar he earns to the feds. Add in state and local taxes and it gets pretty obscene.

Furthermore, the tax rate on profits of an s-corp, which is the legal entity used by most small businesses, is actually higher than that of a c-corp, which is used by big multinational corporations.

I will be honest with you? Would I survive with a tax hike to clinton levels? Yes. It wouldn't be the end of the world, only in good years do I make any significant amount over 250k (another thing, income fluctuates greatly for many small business owners). I would still vehemently oppose an increase in capital gains and dividend taxes as I feel that would cause a stock market crash (http://politics.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2010/12/2/delaying-tax-vote-could-crash-stock-market.html) but I could survive, and do well, with the 250k+ bracket going back up to 40%.

However, I don't think it is a good idea, I think it would hurt economic growth, and in the end hurt everyone through a more anemic recovery with a weaker job market.

And mostly I get my hackles up about labeled a millionaire or a billionaire, saying I'm not a working american, or I don't pay my fair share. (if 55% plus isn't my fair share, what is?).

But if I were to accept a income tax increase, I would demand significant spending cuts as well. I will not stand for my taxes to be increased just to chase ever higher levels of wasteful spending from an ever larger and more intrusive federal government.
Dec. 17th, 2010 12:08 am (UTC)
Re: Actually
Well dalimar, thanks for taking what time you did have, and coming forth with some well-though well-researched points. Lot of politics these days is screaming heads, and I fell into a bit of that myself.

Guess at bottom here's where I come from: Under Clinton we had a balanced budget. Probably due somewhat to overinflated economy. But if the economy really was overinflated/stimulated, those tax rates couldn't have been depressing it too much. More to the point, if we had a frenzied bull market, as most think we did, then I don't see how we could/should be shooting for an even more active economy, which is what we would need to reach balance with lower tax rates.

And of course, since Clinton, the country has shouldered some massive burdens that everyone agrees we're on the hook for: 2 wars, and a much-increased domestic security budget. Regardless of where you stand on health overhaul, etc., those few things should be paid for. We could modify some of the entitlement programs, like you suggest, but if they're to maintain their basic services, and the wars are to be paid for, and the budget is to be balanced, taxes must go up.

In time of war, taxes should go up.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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