I, For One, Welcome Our New Lizard People Overlords

Sigh. Life without a political campaign to obsess over is so empty, somehow.

At least there’s still the Coleman/Franken recount (holding the possibility of Senate Democrat #59). Minnesota Public Radio has a website with some fun examples of challenged ballots from the ongoing recount, including this one:

More on that from Nate Silver: Minnesota: Is Franken Being Too Nice?

83 Responses to “I, For One, Welcome Our New Lizard People Overlords”

  1. enkidu Says:

    Can you imagine if the magic 60th Senate seat was delivered by Mr. Lizard People Voter? If Franken wins by a single vote, e will all have this guy to thank/blame.

    oh the huge manatee!

  2. shcb Says:

    I have a question for all of you. During the election the Democrats were saying they were going to tax evil “Big Oil” because they were making “obscene profits” that was when oil was $140 a barrel (three months ago), now it is $50 and my daughter says the industry is looking at layoffs. The question. If the Democrats don’t tax the hell out of the oil companies (causing fuel prices to rise) will they be liars?

  3. knarlyknight Says:

    I haven’t been following Obama’s tax the oil industry plans, but my guess is that it would be a tax on profits, or at the least a shutting of loopholes (for lack of a better word, they may be legitimate) that allow oil companies to defer taxes into future years under very favourable terms, i.e. forever.

    But that doesn’t answer your question exactly, it just suggests that if gigantic profits no longer exist then there is nothing to tax / no reason to tax further, that’s just common sense.

    I’ll shut up and let someone who knows what the demorats actually promised re: “tax the hell out of oil companies” (somehow I do not think they actually used those words.) Maybe they were talking about a carbon tax?

    What caught my eye was the argument that “we can’t leave Iraq for at least 3 years because it’ll take that long to bring all our stuff home!” Hooooboy, things are going to get interesting. http://www.alternet.org/story/107992/too_much_stuff:_how_our_profligate_consumerismm_might_keep_us_in_iraq/

  4. knarlyknight Says:

    Also, don’t cry for the oil industry at $50 oil, that’s a damn good return on conventional and even most unconventional plays. Any oil company not making money at those prices does not deserve to be in business. The only reason there would be layoffs at $50 / bbl is if the budgets were done on $100 oil, and the exotic extraction projects planned under that price scenario would not be competitive at $50. I bet many solar and wind would be competitive under the gigawatt equivalence of $100/bbl oil, and even $50 oil.
    Signing off for the night.

  5. shcb Says:

    I was just chiding you a bit on your prodigious use of the word “lie” through my tenure here. But surely you remember Obama wanting to single out the oil industry

    “I’ll make oil companies like Exxon pay a tax on their windfall profits, and we’ll use the money to help families pay for their skyrocketing energy costs and other bills,” the Illinois senator said.

    so if he had been in power then with no balance of power to stop him much of the profits the oil companies are using now to continue operations would have been confiscated by liberals in a kind of reverse Robin Hood economic plan. Of course this confiscation of property would have been over and above the already second highest corporate tax structure in the world.

    Just to show there are no new ideas in Washington I present the 2008 WPA

    We’ll put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling roads and bridges, modernizing schools that are failing our children, and building wind farms and solar panels; fuel-efficient cars and the alternative energy technologies that can free us from our dependence on foreign oil and keep our economy competitive in the years ahead.

    this is from Obama’s radio address yesterday. Now personally I am not unpleased with this since my daughter builds schools and our town will soon build windmill blades. But again it is long on platitudes and short on details. One report I read said Obama has gone further than any other president elect with this address. I thought huh? What did he say? He is going to “create” 2.5 million jobs? Really? How is that possible? But all politicians say those things, just another day at the Washington office.

    As far as the withdrawal from Iraq, don’t worry Knarls, Obama will disappoint you in so many ways this is just the first. The best way to withdrawal in 16 months is to just leave the stuff behind, which we usually do anyway. All those containers will be houses, all those portable mess halls will be schools, trucks will haul vegetables, it’s what we have done since WWII, maybe before. We were never going to leave in 16 months, this is just a way for the press to give their guy a little cover. We can’t leave because BUSH took too many bags on his trip to Iraq.

  6. NorthernLite Says:

    The key is the phrase “windfall profits”. If they’re not making 40 billion dollars profit every 3 months on the backs of American consumers, then there’s no “windfall” to tax.

    Siding with the oil industry is not going to lead to any more votes for your party, so I’d be careful.

    Maybe instead of making 160 billion in profit this year, they’ll only make 100 billion.

    Uh-oh, there’s another industry that’s going to need a bailout!

  7. shcb Says:

    I hope Obama picks his people carefully, you can’t make business decisions based on emotions, this greed and envy emotion is quite destructive to an economy. Should we also confiscate say 90% of Johnny Depp’s 26 million for one movie? Make it 99%. Who cares if he has spent his life perfecting his craft and he is the only one who can play the part, no one should make that much money for a few months work. Taxes should be fair.

    You have obviously never owned a feast or famine business. You have to make money when you can so you can invest and pay off debt so you can weather the down times. But fear not with Lawrence Summers as Obama’s advisor you will extract your pound of flesh from the rich.

  8. NorthernLite Says:

    Johnny Depp – Really? You sure, he’s pretty liberal and probably wants to be taxed more. I would have taken you for more of a Bert Reynolds fan.

    Obama is going to take all the rich people’s money and spread it around.

    Mewhahahahahahahahahahaha.

  9. shcb Says:

    that worked so well in the French revolution

  10. NorthernLite Says:

    And he’s goona spend hundreds of billions on your nation’s infrastructure, creating a green ecnonmoy with millions of new good paying jobs.

    Mewhahahahahahahahaha.

  11. shcb Says:

    That sound good, except the market will create those jobs if there is a product people are willing to buy.

    I am wondering about this tax the wealthy thing. Obama says he wants to give most Americans, 95% I believe is the number, a tax cut, or payment, whatever. He is then going to pay for all his programs by taxing those over $250,000. My figures show that if we raise the tax on people making over $200,000 11% (from 34% to 39%) and then give everyone under $100,000 a rebate, it becomes revenue neutral when the rebate is $822. is that about what you get?

    Now I know this is simplistic since he is supposedly talking about the top marginal rate which would mean the increase is only on the next dollar. Of course he keeps mentioning eliminating the Bush tax cuts which were across the board, helping lower income tax payers more than upper on a percentage basis. So does that mean everyone gets an increase that is offset by the rebate, either fully or partially (everyone gets a net tax increase)? I’m not sure he has a plan other than what to say to get elected.

  12. NorthernLite Says:

    Dude, the election is over. Just sit back for the next 8 years and watch and learn. That’s pretty much all you can do.

  13. shcb Says:

    the next election cycle starts in 10 months

  14. shcb Says:

    besides, I was here for the Carter years, we’ve seen this all before, the question how will Obama tweek Carter’s policies and will it work this time.

  15. NorthernLite Says:

    Well, do you need more evidence that George W. Bush’s policies are fucked? How’s your country doing?

  16. NorthernLite Says:

    Besides, judging by the reaction of the markets since Friday, people seem to have much more confindence in Obama’s policies.

    Time to spread the wealth!

    Mewhahahahahahahahahahaha.

  17. shcb Says:

    Well, let’s recap, in the 8 years of Bush, we had the worst attack on our soil, we had one of the worst hurricanes ever, we have fought two wars, and we were holding our own until the Democrats took control of congress. I think Bush did a good job, not great, but good under the circumstances.

  18. knarlyknight Says:

    Yes, let’s remember that the worst attack on American soil happened under Bush’s watch (despite ample warnings.)

    As for the hurricane, that was expected sooner or later and you should expect more, had Bush not appointed his stable boy to lead FEMA perhaps it wouldn’t have been so messy. But go ahead and blame others, the fact is that Bush’s cabal have been incompetent at serving the people and have instead plundered America for their cronies.

  19. NorthernLite Says:

    I also love how over the past few days Obama seemed to tell Bush this:

    “Alright, piss on ya. You don’t want to lead this nation through this extraordinary difficult time? Fine.

    I will.

    Get your pathetic ass out of my way. You didn’t do much leading for the last 8 years so why start now, eh? Go hide for the next two months, coward.”

    I am sooooo glad that change has finally come to America. It’s nice to see real leadership there. Almost forgot what that was like!

  20. shcb Says:

    What has he done that has shown this exemplilary leadership?

  21. NorthernLite Says:

    You have to take those partisan blinders off, man. And you should probably stop sniffing glue too.

  22. shcb Says:

    I’m willing to give the man his due, but you didn’t answer my question.

  23. NorthernLite Says:

    Good grief…

    Truth is, there’s no time for the old (and unproductive) political games. If the opposition party is smart, it will sit down around the table Obama is setting and become a part of fixing America’s problems.

    Standing on the sidelines and booing — without offering constructive suggestions — is going to be seen for what it is: political posturing of the very sort Americans voted against. Opposition is fine, even necessary, but it has to be rooted in ideas, not blind ideology.

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/24/borger.obama/index.html?eref=rss_politics&iref=caffertyfile

  24. leftbehind Says:

    Isn’t it a little early to be either needlessly criticizing Obama, or praising him prematurely either. Why don’t we just give him a few months to actually succeed or fail and then evaluate his performance. The current conversation is like trying to evaluate an athlete’s professional career the day he graduates from high school.

  25. shcb Says:

    I don’t think it is too early to criticize Obama, he is making decisions that are going to affect our lives. Now he has no real power but he has influence, from an article I read yesterday Bush is encouraging that influence and is encouraging Obama to start to take a front man position since it is so important to our security that there be no lag in leadership.

    I have tried really hard to make sure I am being critical of his policies not the man, now I know that may be a difference without distinction but that’s all I can do. I am being more critical of his supporters than Obama, as you can see from NL’s response he has no item that he can point that he is basing his statement that Obama has shown leadership this last week. He mentioned the stock market upswing, but that is being largely attributed to the CITI bailout, which of course is more of a Bush creation, remember Obama was studying for his debate when that was being discussed.

    Now NL thinks Obama looks more presidential and he “hope”s Obama will be more presidential, and he can’t wait for him to take money from the rich, but I’m trying to look at this more objectively. I saw a show this weekend where two women were discussing the economy and one said that the people were waiting for Obama to take office because he ran a campaign based of hope and change and she thought that would start spending again, helping the markets recover etc. Once I got past my initial “she’s a twit” reaction I thought, she may be right. A good coach can fire up a team to think they can win over a superior opponent and that can last a quarter or two but eventually a sound game plan carried out by better players will win. She had such a gleam in her eye when she mentioned Obama’s name, too bad Bill Rusher will be proven right again.

    I just haven’t seen that Obama has that sound of a plan. When he raises top marginal rates and finds out he only gained 60 billion dollars but he has spent 400, he will be forced to raise taxes lower and lower into the tax brackets, or increase the deficit. If he gives rebates then he doesn’t even get that 60 billion, but the sparrows will be chirping “where is my $822”? Eventually people will realize they got a $400 check but their taxes went up $900 so the sparrows could get their $822.

  26. NorthernLite Says:

    Truth is, there’s no time for the old (and unproductive) political games. If the opposition party is smart, it will sit down around the table Obama is setting and become a part of fixing America’s problems.

    Standing on the sidelines and booing — without offering constructive suggestions — is going to be seen for what it is: political posturing of the very sort Americans voted against. Opposition is fine, even necessary, but it has to be rooted in ideas, not blind ideology.

  27. leftbehind Says:

    SHCB – Obama’s supporters are not the issue here, least of all NL. He doesn’t even live in this country and whatever Obama spends, doesn’t spend or decides to “spread around” is only of academic interest to him, or Knarly for that matter. Neither of them are even American, and neither will be directly impacted by any of Obama’s domestic policies. The issue is Barack Obama, and the fact that he is our President and, whatever he’s saying now, deserves to be judged only on what he ends up doing, and how his policies ultimately effect the economy. Granted, I am not necessarily on the same page, philosophically, as President-elect Obama, but a) he could be right and I could be wrong and b) everyone’s philosophy seems a lot more fixed in theory than it ultimately ends up becoming in practice. I may have my chagrins with some of his rhetoric, but he has the job now, and I have enough faith in his overall ability and character to allow him to do it before I send out the S.O.S.

  28. shcb Says:

    NL,

    I have offered constructive suggestions; cut corporate taxes and capital gains taxes in half. Can’t get more specific than that.

    LB,

    I’ll be fair if Obama’s or the congress’ or the compromise works, but until then I am going to give my opinions of what I think will happen if for no other reason so I can say “I told you so” when it happens. I am willing to take the risk of humiliation if I am wrong. NL and Knarly may not be able to vote in this country but they are as affected by our policies as any citizen of Texas, their economy mirrors ours, we supply military protection, Canada in return is helping in Afghanistan, American auto builders supply Canadian’s with jobs, they buy our cars, they may as well be our 52nd state.

  29. leftbehind Says:

    “52nd State…” they’re gonna love that…

  30. leftbehind Says:

    With due respect to everyone, Canadians are affected by american politics, but it hardly has the impact on the vast majority of them that it has on every one of us. If Obama raises taxes they won’t pay them. If he cuts taxes, it won’t be their taxes he cuts. If wealth gets “redistributed” in America, it won’t be their money that gets spread around. If the U.S. Government declares another war, there’s nothing binding any Canadian to go fight it unless their own government volunteers their involvement. Canada’s relationship to American politics is essentially like mine with Mexican politics – it has an effect to be sure, but it hardly affects me the same way it affects Mexicans, and the degree to which I am affected is as much a function of my own government as it is the Mexican government.

  31. leftbehind Says:

    Japanese auto makers provide jobs for tens of thousands of Americans, if not more. To what extent does that make me an active participant in Japanese politics?

  32. shcb Says:

    all true but our politics and economy has more of an effect on peoples of other countries than thier politics has on us, that is why they are more interested in our governance than we are of theirs

  33. leftbehind Says:

    Granted, and their input is not unwelcome; but it must be kept in perspective, mustn’t it? The economies of China, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain and a good many other nations have a great effect on me as well, but most of what they do on a governmental level is out of my control, none of my business, and certainly nothing I’m going to fixate on to the degree that I’ll take a lot of time away from worrying about my own economy and governance. If I really want to manage the effect of foreign governments and economies on my own life, my only recourse is to become involved in my own politics in ways which will encourage my own government to manage these effects for me. If I feel that the politics of whatever Middle Eastern nation has too great a negative effect on my life due to the price of oil, for example, what’s going do me the most good – railing against the Sheik of Araby all over the internet or lobbying my own politicians for fuel policies that might lesson the influence of foreign oil on my pocket book?

  34. shcb Says:

    agreed

  35. shcb Says:

    The comment of the 52nd state was an overstatement of epec proportions, but I have to indulge myself every now and then.

  36. leftbehind Says:

    52nd, or 57th?

  37. NorthernLite Says:

    52nd state is not that far off, as we are very much integrated – economically, militarily and socially – and is exactly the reason I follow your politics so closely. Hell, our country is now heading towards a recession because of American policies over the last several years.

    This is especially true for me in Ontario, we’re sort of like a Ohio (large manufacturing sector) with a little bit of California (growing tech industry) and we’re also the financial capital of our country. Though at least the banking industry remains strong.

    When America farts, we definitely smell it. And sometimes even our underwear gets stained. (that anology was for you shcb :).

    shcb, your advocating the same sort of ideological policies that have gotten us into this mess and that were strongly rejected by voters. I don’t see the point.

  38. leftbehind Says:

    If your county’s headed towards a recession just because of American policies, you should have been on the phone to Ottawa a long time ago. Somebody up there isn’t doing their job.

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    In the 1970′s the 52nd state comment would’ve resulted in a hockey stick in your teeth, these days most people realize there is a lot of truth to it and it is becoming ever more true – ie. after NAFTA and now the implementation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of which neither you nor I had a say in creating except to the extent our voices are heard by the corporate leaders and government execs who crafted the agreement (which is to say hardly any input at all.)

    As for whether Obama’s policies will impact Canada directly or indirectly, that’s an academic discussion. Technically, his tax policies will be indirect, unless you are talking about something like protectionist trade practices (of which the democrates seem to favour slightly more) in which case that has a direct effect. But the reason that the discussion is academic is that the American economy is TEN times bigger than Canada’s, we sit right next door and our trade is something like 80% with America and 20% with the rest of world, so anything happens to America has an immediate and significanty effect on us: it doesn’t matter whether you call it direct or indirect, it still happens in a big way.

    Suggesting that the impact on Canadians is somehow comparable to how Mexican government policy affects Americans is not valid. The magnitudes are all different and reversed. If America is the bull elephant and Canada is the cow elephant, then Mexico is the little bird sitting on the baby elephant’s butt.

  40. NorthernLite Says:

    LB, I heard ya, and trust me I have been! If you think I’m hard on your politicians, you should hear the stuff I say about my own.

    But the fact is we export 85% of our goods to you, so when you go down, we’r not far behind…

    52nd state.

  41. leftbehind Says:

    If one looks at how Mexico’s domestic economic and other policies have been instrumental in creating a flight of millions of jobless Mexicans across the US / Mexico border, the effect of Mexican politics on America is every bit as important as any effect America has on Canada. But again, if this is a problem, it is as much the American government’s fault as the Mexican government’s, just as it is the Canadian government’s fault if it’s people are not getting the best of their relationship with the U.S.

  42. leftbehind Says:

    This is really an odd conversation, as I’m used to Canadians being a lot more proud of their country than you two are. You both seem to view Canada as little more than a helpless pawn of the US.

  43. knarlyknight Says:

    Our current leader has been talking and acting like we are a helpless pawn for some time now, it has had a profound demoralizing effect.

  44. shcb Says:

    Do you guys think this merging of North America to a certain extent is in response to the forming of the EU?

  45. leftbehind Says:

    But he’s wrong, isn’t he?

  46. NorthernLite Says:

    I don’t see how saying US policies profoundly affect us is un-Canadian. Isn’t this whole gobal economic crisis the result of the American economic collaspe?

  47. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, I actually wouldn’t mind this so-called North America union if Mexico would get it’s shit together. I’m not holding my breath though.

  48. NorthernLite Says:

    We have enough oil, fresh water, lumber and all kinds of other natural resources to make sure we are all secure.

  49. leftbehind Says:

    schb – Of course. Economic unions between nations is the wave of the future, obviously. The EU was designed to give the larger European economies an edge over the North American and Asian economies. It’s only a matter of time before similar unions emerge in response.

  50. shcb Says:

    Knarls mentioned protectionist trade policies, Obama has said he wants to punish companies that send American jobs to other countries, it will be interesting to see if Canada and Mexico are included in his list of countries companies can’s send jobs to. I love discussions like this, although I really should be working :-)

  51. leftbehind Says:

    NL – I’m not calling you un-Canadian, but there is a difference in perceiving one’s self as a trade partner, even a lesser trade partner, and presenting yourself as a hapless victim of an outside power. Pinning the entire Canadian economic downturn on US policies is at least close to the latter. Is none of Canada’s current situation Canada’s fault? Or has Canada done absolutely nothing but follow the US around for the last 20 years?

  52. NorthernLite Says:

    There’s plenty of blame for Canada’s leaders as well, for sure. Like I said, I let them know it too. For example, they should have been more aggressively trying to diversify our trading partners so we’re not so reliant on a strong US economy to thrive.

    But that’s a big problem with globalization, even if we had done that, the whole world economy is collapsing so we’d be screwed anyways. America is (currently) the economic engine of the world, when it runs out of gas, we all start to sputter.

    Our government also shouldn’t have wasted our budget surplus on tax cuts last year. Now we have nothing to weather the storm and will go into deficit for the first time in 15 years.

    So please know that I despise many of my own politicians just as much, if not more, than some of yours. But I love my country very much and would give my life for it.

  53. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, what Obama said was that he will stop giving tax breaks to companies that close factories in the US and open them up in China, and instead give them to companies that create them in the US.

    He’s not saying that if you want to expand your busniess and open up shops in other parts of the world he will punish you.

    He’s saying if you’re going to close a place down here so you can open one up in India, do it without the US government’s help.

    Sounds reasonable to me.

  54. knarlyknight Says:

    LB – You asked, “But he’s wrong, isn’t he?” in regards Canada at mercy of US policy. That may have been rhetorical, but as our leader is quacking like a duck and acting like a duck, well then he would seem to be a duck.

    In other words, talking and acting as if Canada is at mercy of US policy becomes self-fulfilling over time, in the absence of strenuous objections from opposition parties – and their voices are often downplayed in the corporate media. Net effect is that the “helpless pawns” idea becomes embedded in the natinoal psyche.

    FYI, with Canada’s first past the post election system plus the split of the center and left of center voters between at least 4 parties, the ruling Conservative party only has something like 20 or 25% of the popular vote (& that’s of the people who actually bothered to vote.) So 75% to 80% of voters would prefer to have another party (more left-leaning) in power rather than our current governing party. In as much as that governing structure is dysfunctinal, we are indeed at the mercy of winds blowing in from America.

    Side note – the recession is not as bad here as in the USA – our banks are generally in good shape and the recession is looking to be relatively minor at this point compared to the USA, despite the Canadian auto-industry (a major major sector for Canada’s “economic heartland”) being decimated.

  55. leftbehind Says:

    NL -While I don’t think you necessarily need to despise anyone, I am glad to hear that you reserve your strongest emotions for your own leaders. That’s certainly where your attentions should reside.

  56. shcb Says:

    Really? I’ll have to look at that, I couldn’t figure how any philosopher-king bureaucrat cold determine that a particular job was here and is now not here. I still wonder how you would determine how much of a plant’s production would have to move before the “plant” moved. And what about the reverse? Do we get credit if we bring jobs here? For instance I am bringing a product we have developed in Holland to Colorado to produce, but some of the components will still be made in Holland, and then I will probably ship completed units to other countries but maybe not Holland. Another project on my plate is a terra cotta extrusion that we are making in a plant in Portugal. I have been tasked to make a new product line using the plant in Portugal to make one component, but using our plant in Georgia to make another, assemble it here in Colorado and ship world wide. Of course our guys in China will want to make the parts I am making in Colorado there, bring in the terra cotta from Portugal and assemble it there to be sold in say Australia. So where did those jobs come from? Holland? America? China? The only one that doesn’t care is Portugal, they said they just want to make the terra cotta and be left alone.

  57. NorthernLite Says:

    Actually, shcb, you should look into that. I believe Obama’s exact quote from the campaign was, ‘We’ll stop giving tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and start giving them to comapnies that create them right here in America.”

    Sounds like that might be you.

  58. shcb Says:

    NL,

    But you see the point here is that how do you tell when those jobs are lost or gained? And for what purpose? If I develop a product here we will probably introduce it in America and start to manufacture it here, but what if it doesn’t sell here. But the Chinese love it. All I have to do is call my freighters and a month later the equipment is on the floor of our plant in Guanzou, all I have to do is spend a few weeks setting up the machine and train the guys running it. Did we lose those jobs in America? Well yes, but the product wasn’t going to sell anyway so those jobs were gone no matter what. But of course I haven’t stopped, I’m already designing a couple other products that might sell well here. My company hasn’t lost that revenue or lost the investment I made to develop the product it just changed the location of manufacture and sale.

    The people I work for own over 200 companies large and small all over the world we move projects and parts of projects around like chess pieces. How are you going to tell when jobs are lost or gained because of those decisions? It just makes more sense to simply entice companies to product here instead of there rather than punish them

    When I suggested that we lower the corporate income tax by say 50% you said that Obama had been elected because of policies like that, or something to that effect. So I looked it up.

    The corporate tax was instituted in 1909 at 1%, it stayed there for a few years and then rose to around 10% where it stayed until WWII. It was bumped to its high of 53% for the war effort and stayed there more or less until Reagan, he dropped the tax to its current level where it has stayed since. Of So this is no more a Bush policy than a Clinton policy.

    Now this is just the top rate, it gets too convoluted to graph all the rates and the tax credits. But Obama could be truly revolutionary and historic not because of the color of his skin, but because of something he did. By dropping corporate taxes to a level not seen since the 1920’s he could truly make history. Remember, this is a tax that is paid by everyone, when you get a gallon of gas or a gallon of milk or buy a new car you are paying this tax. It doesn’t matter if you are Donald Trump or a welfare mom sucking on a government teat, you will have more money to spend on things your family needs. Now of course this means less money for the government, but it also means more jobs, so I don’t know where it levels out, maybe it’s 25%, it will naturally find its balance.

  59. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb,
    Interesting explanation for why you can not determine whether jobs are lost or gained, but there’s probably a simplistic plan to link corporate tax breaks to the number of employees on payroll and net revenues, or something like that. More likely than communist-style tinkering like that is that the “program” will only apply to the largest corporations, since those wil be easier to track. I’m not defending it, just trying to guess what’s in store for you guys.

    Also, corporate tax rates are not paid evenly by you and me so your argument that they are just a tax on you and me is very, very misleading. Those who consume more pay more, so a corporate tax is naturally progressive. Also, high-end luxury products are often more profitable, as are corporations that cater to the wealthy, so the higher marginal corporate tax rate for such profitable companies are even more likely to effect a minor shift towards equalizing of incomes. Given the gigantic earnings disparity now which has not been seen since the oil baron and Rockefeller days of the 1920′s and no significant measures to address the growing disparity, high corporate tax rates are probably not so bad.

  60. knarlyknight Says:

    LOL – http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-fri-ford-mullaly-pay-nov28,0,7192070.story

  61. shcb Says:

    What I dislike most of government micro managing the actions of companies with deciding if a job was lost or won is it tends to force companies to make decisions based more on the rules than what makes the most business sense. Years ago I built a machine for Samsonite to punch some holes in a trim piece on a suitcase, they did this because they were doing all the hand work in Mexico but if they sent a completed part to the US they were charged a different import tax rate. So I built a $25,000 machine to punch a few holes. The part was handled several times more than needed just to get this lower tax rate. It was good for me, and it added one worker to the line in America but the part was still made 95% in Mexico. So under these rules would Samsonite get credit for the one worker they added here to get around the rule? It sounds good as a campaign slogan but I just don’t see it happening in reality.

    From what I can see the corporate tax rates are based on dollars, not percentage of profits, so a company that makes high end products may have a higher percentage of profits, say a boat maker make 20% which equates to $5 million in profit, they get charged 34% but a company that makes diapers and shows a 5% profit that equates to $17 million gets charges 38%. Oddly enough the highest rate is companies making $100,000 to $335,000, they pay 39%. Since all these taxes are passed on to the consumer, which of these tax rates affects the welfare mom more? But that doesn’t even get to the bottom of the issue. Any company with profits over $18,333,333 is charged a flat 35%. It doesn’t matter if they produce diapers or mega yachts. So lowering the corporate taxes will help the poor by lowering prices on goods, and since it is more likely the products the poor are going to buy are going to be mass produced by large firms making over $20m per year, I contend it will help the poor more than the rich on a percentage basis. Don’t forget that these taxes are paid several times in most cases. A medium size company makes a profit selling it goods to Walmart and then Walmart pays 35% on the profits it makes selling the little guy’s widget.

  62. NorthernLite Says:

    shcb, your trouble lies in the fact the Americans voted for the exact opposite of what you’re suggesting, so it ain’t goona happen.

    Just take your tax cut from Obama and enjoy it.

  63. knarlyknight Says:

    NL, you are right, of course.

    shcb, for the sake of argument, approximately how much does a single person who spends all of their $20,000 p.a. earnings contribute, through their consumption, to corporate taxes? Are you suggesting it is upwards to $7,000? Likewise, would someone who earns $200,000 and spends it all contribute up to $70,000 to corporate taxes?

  64. NorthernLite Says:

    And for those that are still experiencing political campaign withdrawl, there’s some interesting stuff happening up here.

    As you may remember, we just had an election last month, and elected a Conservative minority government. A minority government bascially means the opposition parties, combined, have more seats than the party in power.

    Well, the Conservative government released their economic statement yesterday, without consulting the opposition parties, and it contains no stimulus or anything else to jolt the ecnonomy. Not only that, they stuck in legisialtion that would cut public funding for our parties (each party gets about $2 for each vote they receive). This has got the oppostion up in arms as for some of them, the public funding is a big part of their budget.

    So a few things can happen

    1 – The Opposition Parties could form a coalition government and ask our Governal General (GG) for permission to gain the confidnce of our House.

    2 – The GG says no to that, and we head back to the polls for the second time in 3 months and the like the 5th time in 6 years.

    3 – The Government backs down and sits down with the opposition parties to amend the legislation so it will pass. (This is the whole purpose of minority governments)

    4 – The Opposition backs down and accepts the governments legislation.

    There are all kinds of risks and rewards in the above for each party, it’s quite facinating to watch.

    To make all this even more fun to watch, the Official Opposition Party – The Liberal Party – has just had it’s leadership campaign start for next leader of the party.

    I know Americans could proabably care less about it, but it is quite remarkable and watching them live in House of Commons today should be pretty entertaining!

    Knarls, you gotta be lovin this.

  65. shcb Says:

    Knarls,

    That of course would depend on what the person spends his money on. But for argument’s sake let’s say of his $20k five goes to rent or a mortgage, I don’t think that is taxed as corporate taxes, I could be wrong. Most investors look for companies that make say 10% profit with high volume places like grocery stores and gas stations making 2% or so, of course both of those have companies behind them paying corporate taxes. The grocer may only make 2% on a roll of toilet paper but Weyerhaeuser makes 10% on a smaller amount, the trucking company that took the wood to the plant and the paper to the store also paid taxes. But let’s just say 10%. So the taxpayer paid 35% of 10% of $15,000 or $525 or about the amount of one of these stimulus packages.

    NL, four or five percent of Americans voted for some yet to be defined “change” the rest voted the way they always vote. When Republicans won the whole country there were people on my side that said America has finally come to its senses, it is move conservative finally, well, you’re back….

  66. knarlyknight Says:

    NL,

    Loving it? Yes, but trying not to get too giddy, even though I’ve been hoping for a workable opposition coalition forever (i.e. months). But I can’t yet believe the conservatives could have been so stupid, perhaps we have yet to see their real (political) game plan.

    shcb – The point is to compare the taxes paid by the guy making $20,000 to the another guy the same in all respects except he makes $200,000. So by your estimates the poor guy pays $525 and, all else equal, the rich guy pays $5,250.

    So Corporate taxes were to double, then, by your assumption that it all gets passed on to the consumer anyway, the poor guy would pay $1050 ($525 more) and the rich guy would pay $10,500 (or $5,250 more).

    Of course the poor guy probably needs the $525 for food, shelter or clothing or other items close to essential so the $525 hit hurts him more than it does the rich guy who was going to use the $5,250 to replace his 2 year old living room couch.

    So yea, Obama, go ahead and double corporate taxes and then give the poor guys $525 back so they can still buy their fresh local groceries.

  67. knarlyknight Says:

    shcb- one final thought before signing off for the day: perhaps it’s better now to do as you say and cut the capital tax in half so poor people get $262.50 each and the rich can have $2,625 each?

  68. shcb Says:

    That’s right Knarls the rich will get the same percentage as the poor, that is what equal opportunity is all about, you work hard and smart and you get more stuff. Your parents worked harder and smarter you started out with more stuff. Maybe the poor guy could buy a good saw with his $500 and start doing handyman work on the weekends and evenings and make enough extra money to buy a hot dog stand in front of Home Depot and his wife could run that on the weekends and make enough extra money to put their daughter through college. Sure the rich guy already has his daughter’s college fund in the bank, but the guy with the hot dog stand is the American dream.

    But of course that is only one side of the coin, the incentive to leave some of those jobs that are being shipped out of here is greater because the businesses are gaining 20% of their profits back, Some fraction of that can offset the advantage of sending the jobs to China. Also businesses in other countries are more apt to send work this way which produces more jobs and more taxpayers. And when you take an unemployed person and make him employed the government makes money on both sides of the ledger.

  69. knarlyknight Says:

    No that is not equal opportunity. Giving the rich ten times more than the poor is not equal opportuity, it is the most extreme favouratism imaginable.

  70. shcb Says:

    no, you’re talking about equal outcome not equal opportunity

  71. knarlyknight Says:

    No, I am talking about UNEQUAL outcomes.

    And if you are okay with unequal outcomes, then it makes little sense to give the rich more and it makes far more sense from a fiscal stimulus perspective to give the poor more because the poor will spend almost all of it locally on things they need now.

  72. shcb Says:

    …but you are wishing for equal outcomes, that is only possible if you take from the over producers and give it to the under producers which of course is what liberals do. There’s an old joke that goes; liberals believe you have the right to do whatever you want as long as it’s mandatory. You see if you double the corporate tax so the poor guy gets $1000 you have increased the tax on profits to 80%,who is going to invest in a company that is not going to make a profit? The answer is government, and presto chango we have communism. Congratulations.

  73. knarlyknight Says:

    So now you have abandoned your argument that corporate taxes get passed on to the consumer. You can’t have it both ways.

    If you can remember, we were talking about a tax that gets passed on to the consumers.

    Essentially that is a consumption tax. In Canada it is called the Goods and Services Tax, and it sits at 5% on final sales (rebates are given to producers who pay the tax on inputs). That is in addition to the Canada’s Corporate Tax of 33.5%

    Bringing out the bogeyman of communism was a cheap trick, talk of doubling the capital tax was simply for illustrative purposes. Besides, if you want to play that game you have to realize that BY YOUR DEFINITION is alread firmly entrenched as a communist state given the government cash infusions to major corporation that investors will no longer touch except at a fraction of their former share prices.

    And as long as you want to share jokes, there’s another old joke that goes: conservatives are idiots, well actually it’s not a joke.

  74. knarlyknight Says:

    * BY YOUR DEFINITION the USA is …

  75. knarlyknight Says:

    Also – while you remain consistent in your ideology that raising corporate tax is always bad but lowering it is always good – your two contradictory basic premises both show bias:

    SHCB Premise One – Corp tax passed on to consumer, so corporate profits are not meaningfully impacted by the tax:

    Cut corporate tax = GOOD (the rich guys get tens times the amount than does the poor guy)

    Raise the corporate tax = BAD (the rich guy pays ten times more than the poor guy.)

    Conclusion: reward the rich, shcb wants to reward the rich and punish the poor.

    SHCB Premise Two (my original argument) – Corp tax does not get entirely passed on to consumers, (it is a tax on profits)

    Cut corporate tax (SHCB thinks this is good) = corporate profits increase and government revenues fall, government has less money to fund wars and otherwise serve people, rich guys (i.e. owners of corporations) get more profits.

    Raise the corporate tax (SHCB thinks this is bad) = corporate profits decrease, government revenues increase providing more war funding and greater ability to serve the people, rich guys (i.e. owners of corporations) get less profits.

    Conclusion: shcb thinks rich guys should get more profits and government should have less money to fight wars and serve the people.

  76. shcb Says:

    As I’ve said before I’m for zero corporate taxes because it passed on to the consumer, but what isn’t passed on to the consumer is profit. This is the money that makes development of new products possible, like life saving drugs, clean cars, Ipods. Without profit we would still be plunking around on green screens with 286 computers. Profit is also what funds pension plans and 401k’s. I know your doubling the corporate tax was for illustration but that is the direction you want to move it and that is a direction toward socialism. Which will result in less profit and more money for redistribution which will ultimately result in no production unless it is mandated at the muzzle of a gun.

    Yes you can have it both ways, you can only pass so much profit to the consumer. At some point there is a more cost effective method, move the jobs offshore. As soon as the shipping cost is less than the expenses of making the product, including taxes, the job goes the Ireland or China, or Mexico.

    Let an idiot explain it to you. If every country has a 35% corporate tax that equates to a national sales tax of maybe 5%, Canada’s seems to be double that that puts them at a disadvantage already. If you raise that percentage or another country (Ireland) lowers it they have a competitive advantage just like a store running a sale. The idea is that you make up for the lower profit with an increase in volume. You didn’t pay attention in your economics classes did you?

    Read some of Lawrence Summers’ early ideas before the Clinton years, his theory was that you soak the rich, lower government spending and grow the economy. Well Clinton had no problem soaking the rich, the Gingrich congress helped at least curtail government spending and the dot com bubble grew the economy. Only problem is there isn’t a dot com bubble on the horizon. Maybe wind power, but that isn’t practical so it will require massive government spending either directly or through mandates to power companies. In either case Summers’ second point is violated.

    Reagan’s (Kemp’s actually) idea was to lower taxes, lower spending, and grow the economy through incentives. This proved effective through the Clinton years.

    The only purpose of taxing the rich is vindictive jealousy. But you know what; they will just pick up their ball and go find another game.

  77. knarlyknight Says:

    Gee thanks for the lecture. So now you admit corporate taxes don’t all get passed along to the consumer. Congratulations. Now all you need is a realization about all the driving forces for investment, and that corporate taxes are a significant but not the only driving force for investment. Once you get to that point, it’s a relatively small step to a recognition that true wealth and happiness does not come from what corporations give you. But I’m done with you now.

  78. shcb Says:

    Ahhh!!!! all corporate taxes get passed to the consumer!!!! just as all other costs get passed to the consumer, it can be no other way, the question is simply how much profit is left over, and where can the owner of the company get the most profit with taxes, all taxes only a part of the equation. yes. gawd you are infuriating.

  79. NorthernLite Says:

    Hey, here’s a crazy idea. How about government taxes according to their expenditures? It’s called balancing a budget. I know, like whoa!

    So if you want to go around invading countries and occupying them for years, or bail out corporations with trillions of dollars, you’re going to have to pay for it somehow. I know the current thinking is that fighting a war on a credit card is a good idea, but I assure it’s not.

    It’s quite simple. You can’t lower your revenue while increasing your spending. What you’ll end up with is… (see Bush’s legacy).

  80. shcb Says:

    You understand that you will have to reduce entitlement spending to balance the budget don’t you? We don’t spend enough on the military to balance the budget. Well we do but if the US doesn’t spend what it does then the ROW including Canada will have to take up the slack and cut back on some of your social programs and increase your military spending probably 3 or 4 fold so you would be spending 12 or 15% of your GDP on the military, European nations would have to do the same. But even if we cut our military spending in half, without two wars, we would still be in the red. But it would be a start, I’m all for the ROW paying their way more than they do now. And I’m all for cutting back on Social Security and welfare. We’re in agreement on this.

  81. NorthernLite Says:

    We have increased our military spending quite a bit. And we’ve increased spending in healthcare, education and infrastructure. We do it by charging taxes equal to our commitments.

    I know, it’s crazy.

    What kind of business ensures that its revenues are at least a little higher than its costs? Oh right, a successful one.

    Didn’t Bush inherit a huge budget surplus? Did he present even one balanced budget?

    Is he still your hero?

  82. shcb Says:

    I’m going from memory here, but I think there were one or two years of the Clinton administration where there was an actual surplus, the surplus was on paper only as I recall and it was through inflated projections. Again that is from memory. As a percentage of GDP the Clinton years saw a draw down of military spending to about one half of historical norm due the fall of the Soviet Union, I think we are a percent or two above the historical norm now. But no, we aren’t spending a grotesque amount on this war.

    I remember that Canada recently doubled its defense spending but that takes it from something like 1 to 2 percent of GDP as I recall. To be considered a world class navy I would think you would need at least a couple nuclear subs in each ocean at a bil and a half or so each that would be an additional 20 or 30 percent right there, without operating costs (21 mil each) then you should have at least one light carrier and support ships… so I think tripling or quadrupling your recently doubled defense budget should do. By the way, we should have a few Los Angeles class subs laying around, the Salt Lake City, Olympia, and Honolulu were scheduled to be decommissioned last year and the Augusta is scheduled to be decommissioned this year, why don’t you guys put in a bid?

  83. enkidu Says:

    I’ve been too busy trying to keep my business afloat and then the thxgv holidays came along and this thread done passed me by.

    In a word, hilarious. It never ceases to amaze me just how partisan the Rs really are. Obama’s a fascist, he’s responsible for the economic meltdown, for adding $4000 in college costs, he’s a commie, a socialist, a marxist, most liberal liberal ever etc.

    I am with Joe Biden, paying your taxes and participating in our system of government is patriotic. Just blindly blaming the other guy for everything isn’t healthy. I am sorry that either candidate would have had to raise taxes, but we just can’t spend that much debt every year.

    Markets do better under D presidents (and this does not include the recent bush disaster, er I mean economy). Look it up.

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