Godspeed vs. Beck

Witness the awesome rightness of the Glenn Beck/Godspeed You! Black Emperor mashup:

124 Responses to “Godspeed vs. Beck”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    Poor Godspeed to be thus associated… well done though!

    Most insightful moment on this track for me was when Glenn Beck demonstrates his understanding of WW1’s origins are at the same level as my border collies’ understanding of chess.

  2. knarlyknight Says:

    This launch makes me smile. Thank you America for NASA.

    The pilot’s message to the passengers is near priceless:

    “Those of you on the right side of the aircraft can see the space shuttle, those of you on the left side of the aircraft can probably see people on the right side of the aircraft looking at the space shuttle”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE_USPTmYXM&feature=youtu.be

  3. enkidu Says:

    “drinks are on the house”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY59wZdCDo0
    You’ve probably already seen this, but the first one is so wonderful, it is worth linking to again or another plug if you haven’t seen it. Of course wwnj wouldn’t listen to a dang dirty f!ing hippy like Carl. More’s the pity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2oXFWKpJiA
    The second one is also nice. But not as incredible for a variety of reasons. Worth watching after you’ve stopped grinning from the first video.

    The final frame has this stat: $2.1 Trillion for military spending, $38 billion for space exploration and science. So by my rough back o the napkin guesstimates: the US spends about $600B directly in defense (offense) each year. Plus another few hundred billion in black ops, nukes (under dept of Energy) and other affiliated costs. Make it a nice even $1 Trillion. Our allies probably spend another $500 to $600 billion all told (yes, wwnj, France is our ally, and fyi Hawaii is a US state since 1959). So the US and it’s allies spend roughly 3/4 of the world’s $ on military force… Of the remainder I’d bet a majority is spent by dictatorships (like the Saudis… are they an ally? debatable) to suppress and control their people. So we are spending at least 10X more than The Bad Guys.

    Obviously we need to make teachers and gov clerks in Wisconsin pay for the economic downturn by busting their union. They’ve already agreed to the cost control measures, but want to keep collective bargaining (which doesn’t save much of any cash right now). Hey I know, why don’t we focus on building American jobs and industry rather than punishing some grade school teacher who makes $53,000? Maybe if we actually put a few of the real crooks (the banksters, credit rating agency liars etc) in jail we might deter the next big Rethuglican rip off. (crickets)

  4. shcb Says:

    I fractured a couple vertebrae last week, reading Enky while on prescription pain killers is kind of fun.

  5. NorthernLite Says:

    And I’m just sitting up here in Canada waiting for Spring to come so I can ride my motorcycle (it gets 85 MPG :) watching 1/3 of your country attack teachers, paramedics and cops for your debt problems while completely ignoring the fact that you spend a trillion dollars a year on the war machine.

    Instead of putting your tax rates back to 90’s levels you’d rather vilify a teacher that makes 40-50 grand a year, spends nights and weekend marking papers, stays after school to help troubled students and coaches the basketball team in her spare time.

    I’m sorry, but that 1/3 of your country needs tro give their fucking heads a serious shake.

    BIGTIME.

  6. shcb Says:

    The public workers can always find a different job if us old meanies are giving them such a raw deal. But you see the problem is even after we are finished being heartless SOBs they will still have a better deal than they can get in the private sector given their skill sets and priorities (generally speaking). You see even though the amount teachers pay for their portion of health insurance in Wisconsin is going to triple, it is still only 60% of what they will pay if they get jobs in the private sector, and they would have to work all year long. But it’s up to them. If they quit in droves because the private sector is so wonderful in comparison we will have to sweeten the pot to get them to come back, it’s the way a competitive market place works.

    Health and Human Services spends more money that the Department of Defense, why not get rid of them to pay for teachers raises?

  7. NorthernLite Says:

    Uh, where is a cop, firefighter, paramedic, teacher, water inspector, food inspector, etc. going to get a job in the private sector, “given their skill sets”?

    And from what I understand they’ve given up lots, are prepared to give up (or pay) more, they just don’t think they should have to give up hard fought worker’s rights to bargain.

    Whatever.

    The right-wing fucktards in your country are just going on a union busting orgy and you know it. That’s it, that’s all.

    It’s okay because you know who’s going to benefit the most by your attacks on your best and brightest? Canada.

    Our doors are open for hardworking teachers, police, building inspectors, childcare workers… send em up!

  8. shcb Says:

    Sure this is union busting move, we have the momentum right now so you have to capitalize as you can. But there is a more legitimate reason, unions are bankrupting states with unsustainable benefits packages.

  9. knarlyknight Says:

    Excellent posts NL. And shcb, you make sense too!

    I’ll be back later with a smidgeon of info. about the no-bid GIVEAWAY to the Koch megalith that actually underpins this whole dispute.
    (Unless someone else helps me out and finds it first, I’m distracted by two other fronts here one against an overbearingly ugly Jehovah’s Kingdom Hall almost in my backyard and the other finessing an uneasy
    loving truce with an ex-spouse. Sheesh, I used to think chess was a difficult game, got little time to mess with a wwnj, glad to see NL is so damn capable.)

    Hey, what kind of bike you ride NL?

  10. NorthernLite Says:

    2009 Honda CRF 230m

    It’s a supermoto for on and off road. I’m hoping to upgrade in a year or so, this was/is my starter bike… Do you ride?

    http://www.honda-motorcycles.info/model_pics/2009-honda-crf-230m.jpg

  11. NorthernLite Says:

    My response is in moderation, maybe because of the link to Honda lol? Here it was without the link…

    —–

    2009 Honda CRF 230m

    It’s a supermoto for on and off road. I’m hoping to upgrade in a year or so, this was/is my starter bike…

    Do you ride?

  12. shcb Says:

    Knarly, NL and I will hash this out, I’ve never had an ex wife or been shot in the foot, I’ve always thought those are two things you can experience vicariously, better you than me. Good luck.

    As far as the Kingdom Hall goes, I don’t know, they seem to all go inside and keep to themselves, I don’t know how much of a fight I would put up for that one. Strange group but they seem harmless. They wanted to put a church on ten acres of left over land in our neighborhood a couple years ago and it caused more of an uproar than a jail would have, people bought 30 foot custom banners to hang from their decks protesting it, they were successful in blocking it, so it can be done.

  13. NorthernLite Says:

    “we have the momentum right now”

    I’m not sure that’s the case, as all the polls I’ve seen show a very large majority of Americans back the worker’s right to organize and bargain.

    I don’t think its that you have the momentum as it is so much that the Dems in your country seem to be pussies, especially the federal politicians.

  14. knarlyknight Says:

    NL – I rode a Yamaha XS 400 for a couple years then got a Seca 400 and drove that from 1984 to 1994. My longest trip was from Victoria to Cold Lake Alberta in late April 1986, still vivid memories of driving through Rogers Pass in a spring blizzard by keeping within the tire-tread tracks of semi-trailers. Eventually stopped riding because I came to realize I had defied the odds of being hit by careless motorists for too long already. Traded it in for a nice canoe.

    shcb, Kingdom Hall is nearly complete, the problem is they installed 24 light fixtures on the exterior of their building to radiate their blinding bright light into our previously serene & tranquil backyards. It looks like an alien invasion, and they like it.

  15. knarlyknight Says:

    HERE’s the “smidgeon” of info I’d promised earlier:

    From Walker’s Bill “…the department may sell any state−owned heating, cooling, and power plant or may contract with a private entity for the operation of any such plant, with or without solicitation of bids, for any amount that the department determines to be in the best interest of the state

    Commentary: “The bill would allow for the selling of state-owned heating/cooling/power plants without bids and without concern for the legally-defined public interest.” … “It’s like a highlight reel of all of the tomahawk dunks of neo-Gilded Age corporatism: privatization, no-bid contracts, deregulation, and naked cronyism. Extra bonus points for the explicit effort to legally redefine the term “public interest” as “whatever the energy industry lobbyists we appoint to these unelected bureaucratic positions say it is…”

    In other words, THEFT of public assets by Koch & the corporate elite. Further info and references here:

    http://www.dylanratigan.com/2011/02/21/the-less-discussed-part-of-walker%E2%80%99s-wisconsin-plan-no-bid-energy-assets-firesales/

  16. shcb Says:

    “I’m not sure that’s the case, as all the polls I’ve seen show a very large majority of Americans back the worker’s right to organize and bargain.” Probably so but they also don’t like the runaway spending or the thought of their states in bankruptcy, so they may need to make a choice of which the like or dislike more. From what I understand the rights to bargain aren’t being taken away totally anyway.

  17. enkidu Says:

    I think I mentioned the no bid sales (closed to public scrutiny as well) earlier. This is all politics and payoffs instead of public service. Union busting doesn’t help the budget, but it does gut union power and political muscle. The unions already agreed (long time ago) to the cuts and higher investment rates in their pensions etc. Take away collective bargaining and these are just social clubs.

    http://crooksandliars.com/files/vfs/2011/03/public_worker_salaries_lg.jpg

    The Weeper of the House, John Boner said of the dread collective bargaining “We’ve given them a machine gun and put it right at the heads of the local officials and they really have their hands tied.”

    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/146699-boehner-likens-state-budgets-to-hostages-with-machine-guns-at-head
    Nope, no violent rhetoric. Move along, move along.

    Hey did you see that fauxNEWZ was using footage from CA to say the WI protestors are violent? Some hot head is yelling at a wwnj, wwnj spits on him, hot head shoves wwnj. No pinkies were harmed in the creation of this post.

    When will we hold the banksters and credit criminals to task for imploding the world’s economy? Never apparently. I know wwnjs blame “negroes and mexicans” for the credit crisis, but that makes less than zero sense, as the crisis was global: everyone was making money selling toxic debts/bets as AAA securities.

  18. NorthernLite Says:

    Wow knarly that’s crazy! I was even too scared to take my bike out now, there’s just a little snow left on my driveway (I have a very long driveway) I can’t imagine driving through that shit!

    shcb, again, stripping away the right to bargain over working conditions etc. has zero to do with balancing a budget.

    enk, “When will we hold the banksters and credit criminals” – no shit, I just had this same conversation with an old timer on my lunch break when I went to grab a few things at the grocery store. His son is a teacher and asked why teachers are being attacked so viciously when the real criminals and people who caused the entire world’s economy to crash are back to raking in record profits and receiving fat bonuses.

    Great question.

  19. knarlyknight Says:

    NL,
    What was crazy was that the downtown dealership that sold me my first Yamaha 400 knew I was a crazy teenager who’d never ridden a motorcycle before but they let me take it out back, told me “the gears are one down and 5 up, practice in the alley for a while before you drive it home” and shut the door behind them.

    I hit a dog an hour later (a Samoyed), the dog ran straight at me and I locked up the front brake, crashed, and while it wasn’t hurt nor me seriously I was bleeding from the road rash and the dog kept attacking me as rolled around on the street. Quite the horror scene as the white dog was covered in blood and looked demented. Then I pushed my bike home (it wouldn’t start) and told my parents that I spent my summer savings on a motorcycle that afternoon.

  20. enkidu Says:

    That’s like a scene from a movie!

  21. NorthernLite Says:

    LOL totally!

  22. shcb Says:

    “stripping away the right to bargain over working conditions etc. has zero to do with balancing a budget.” It has zero to do with balancing a budget directly, but indirectly is another story. The union isn’t willing to negotiate the issue that is leading to the bankruptcy of the states, the defined benefit pension plans, so the only alternative may be to break the union. They will negotiate the peripheral issues so they can say they are playing ball but not the issue that needs to be addressed. You can paint the elephant in the room’s toenails the color of the walls to hide him but he’s still there.

    “asked why teachers are being attacked so viciously when the real criminals” this has been a problem for at least a decade or two, it has just been kicked down the road and was easy to ignore when the economy could absorb the high cost of the pensions, but it can’t right now so this is an opportunity to get it fixed while there is public support

  23. NorthernLite Says:

    Okay, shcb.

    You just keep right on spending over a trillion dollars/year on the war machine, kill your unions, drive your teachers and paramedics wages down to scab levels and we’ll meet back here in a few years and see how America is making out – better or worse.

    Remember this date.

  24. enkidu Says:

    The wrong wing nuttiness of blaming the unions for bankrupting the states (real world causes? job losses, real estate implosion, low taxes, wall street crash and overspending, in that order) pales in comparison with the plain fact that the unions have already agreed to the financial changes. The union busting is just pure nasty politics: pay back. I think it is interesting to watch the police and fire fighters supporting the teacher and public employee unions.

    Every poll (except Republicanmussen) show strong support for the unions to keep collective bargaining. Except on fauxNEWS, where they simply reversed the numbers on the poll to have it fit the Wingnutoverse narrative.

    The elephant in the room is the wwnj view that the economic crisis was caused by greedy gubmint union workers. Or greedy negroes and mexicans. It obviously had nothing to do with the super rich and powerful or any Rethuggle, ever.

    Oh yeah, Barney Frank is to blame as well. Plus Algore is fat! har har har

  25. NorthernLite Says:

    And you now what it else is weird? I’ve been told over and over again how corporate tax cuts and tax cuts for the richest folks results in job creation.

    Bush’s tax cuts have been is place for 11 years now, right?

    Just sayin’…

  26. enkidu Says:

    Trillions in tax cuts and giveaways. More trillions in wars and military spending on ‘defense’. Trillions in unfunded ‘homeland security’. w doubled the debt. ronnie raygun tripled it. Clinton raised taxes, created millions of jobs and reduced the deficit.

    Plus that fat guy inventerated some iSuperHighway something that allowed millions of them dang dirty A-rabs to overthrow their dictators and demand real democracy. I wish it would happen here: the kleptocracy and oligarchy is strangling the damn planet. Wish we had leaders who would, you know, lead.

  27. enkidu Says:

    http://public-consultation.org/exercise/

    Hey kids want to try your hand at balancing the Federal Budget?

    Seems like this is missing a bunch of pieces (like healthcare? Medicare? Medicaid?) but I was able to balance the budget by increasing a few taxes and slashing a few little things (like ‘defense’ in half) Increase taxes a just a tad, change estate taxes, some SS withholding and done. See? Not so hard!

  28. knarlyknight Says:

    What are you talking about NL, plenty of jobs have been created in China, India, Singapore, etc. (and Mercedes dealerships) as a result of those tax cuts.

  29. knarlyknight Says:

    To wit:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/mar/01/us-taxation-public-finance

    It doesn’t get more succinct and clear than that. Even shcb might be able to understand.

  30. NorthernLite Says:

    Two great links, thanks for sharing.

    Enk, I totally agree with your cuts to “defense”. I think anyone taking a sober look at what the U.S. spends on the war machine and what they get in return for that massive cost will easily come to the conclusion that that’s where act of balancing the budget should start.

    knarly, touche. I really liked that article and I’m actually going to steal one of the comments from below and it and post it here because it’s basically what I feel…

    “This isn’t news and is, thus, not that interesting.

    What will be interesting is when the US populace generally realises this and what they will then do. The US economic system is fundamentally sustained by the myth of the American Dream and when people realise it’s impossible for the vast majority, I don’t think there’s another narrative to take its place. Except, perhaps, for riots.”

  31. NorthernLite Says:

    Note – you can substitue “Canada” for “US” in the above comment, our CONServatives are just a little bit behind in getting us to that point…

  32. knarlyknight Says:

    NL, good points. but sadly (or gladly, depending how you look at it) Cdns are a long way from riots. Question (I know not the answer) When was the last time there was a right in Canada unrelated to hockey celebrations or the NFL?

  33. NorthernLite Says:

    I think last summer’s G20 meeting in Toronto was the closest thing we’ve had to a riot in a long time. Although, most countries wouldn’t even consider what was took place a riot. I guess it’s a Canadian riot :-)

    Alhtough I think there was some rioting in Montreal a few years back iirc…

    All this talk about rioting is making me think of this really good tune by the Kaiser Chiefs…

    “I Predict a Riot” by the Kaiser Chiefs

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU4ke34dKWo

    Good Friday tune! =)

  34. knarlyknight Says:

    Goood tune. I was recently told to check out “Seasick Steve” which is great if you like Blues.

    A Canadian riot. Hmmm. Good idea. I can see it ending with everyone sitting down for some beers around a bonfire, talking it out and finding compromises and blaming all the earliar commotion on the Americans. But before the riots start, we should establish some standards. Like size of rocks that may be thrown, types of business establishments whose windows can and can not be smashed, that sort of thing. It could be federal legislation with the rights of the provinces to enact specific provisions. Oh wait, it’s a riot, never mind.

  35. knarlyknight Says:

    Riots… I love this photo:
    http://www.gilad.co.uk/writings/coexistence-an-incredible-photo.html

  36. enkidu Says:

    If you liked that pic, you’ll like this:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2011/02/04/how-to-counteract-re.html

    Recall how Egyptian Muslims made human shields around Christian churches in Egypt after they were targeted by radicals? Well the link above is a pic of Egyptian Christians returning the favor during the Tehrir Square uprising. See? That’s how it’s done. You don’t brandish your AR-15 at a healthcare rally.

    I think this is the tip of the iceberg that the Information Superhighway is enabling. The super-rich and entrenched powerful special interests better watch their 6. Algore is in ur base, killin yer dudes! All your base are belong to Algore.

  37. shcb Says:

    Why would anyone think the American dream is unattainable? The dream is open to anyone willing to work and will be open as long as we fend off socialism. I broke my back last week, gutted out the pain,finished a project on time, sold it to a premier architectural firm yesterday and am going to file a patent on it on Monday… that my friends is the American dream. Remember i started as the dumb farm kid government paid counselors said shouldn’t go to college.

  38. Smith Says:

    “The dream is open to anyone willing to work and will be open as long as we fend off socialism.”

    lol

    Someone drank the Kool-Aid

  39. knarlyknight Says:

    You folks need to first define what you mean by “The American Dream.”

    shcb seems to think it is the ability of a dumb farm kid to work despite a broken back, no doubt endangering his health and quality of life in future, in order to meet a project deadline. By the way, good luck with the patent thing (seriously).

    I think most people now think of the dream as someday you might actually have a chance to earn a decent wage in order to have enough stuff to be relatively comfortable and have some leisure time (vs. unemployed or forced leisure time full of anxiety, empty stomachs, and untreated medical conditions.)

    Not long ago it was the dream of home ownership.

    But maybe it originated simply as the right to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Something we all take for granted now unless you live in Libya. Note here it is the pursuit of happiness, not necessarily happiness.

    I tend to think of it as simply havign a reasonable chance of achieving a decent standard of living through any combination of hard work and smarts (which gives hope to folks like shcb who can achieve much with hard work.)

    However, a clear picture of the numbers suggest that “dream” is an illusion. Out of the 300 million or so people in the USA, most would say they are striving to achieve the American dream. Leftist propaganda paints a story of such wealth inequality that it is apparent those striving do not even have a chance at their fair share. E.g. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph#

    HOWEVER, the reality is even worse than the leftist propaganda, see the thing is that the leftists don’t even comprehend the state of unfairness arising from the numbers they quote. Most of those 300 million people who believe they are chasing the dream have a virtual zero chance of getting even a fair shake. The problem is that few people understand the numbers. This will help, but be sure to click the zoom in and zoom out buttons as far in and out as they go! http://www.lcurve.org/

    People who really understand those numbers are probably wondering why there hasn’t been another revolution yet.

    Given the wealth distribution, where

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Dream

  40. knarlyknight Says:

    ignore the last two lines, they are dangling edits that should have been deleted.

  41. knarlyknight Says:

    Comment stuck in moderator’s queue. Here it is broken into parts:
    You folks need to first define what you mean by “The American Dream.”
    shcb seems to think it is the ability of a dumb farm kid to work despite a broken back, no doubt endangering his health and quality of life in future, in order to meet a project deadline. By the way, good luck with the patent thing (seriously).
    I think most people now think of the dream as someday you might actually have a chance to earn a decent wage in order to have enough stuff to be relatively comfortable and have some leisure time (vs. unemployed or forced leisure time full of anxiety, empty stomachs, and untreated medical conditions.)
    Not long ago it was the dream of home ownership.
    But maybe it originated simply as the right to “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Something we all take for granted now unless you live in Libya. Note here it is the pursuit of happiness, not necessarily happiness.
    I tend to think of it as simply havign a reasonable chance of achieving a decent standard of living through any combination of hard work and smarts (which gives hope to folks like shcb who can achieve much with hard work.)
    However, a clear picture of the numbers suggest that “dream” is an illusion. Out of the 300 million or so people in the USA, most would say they are striving to achieve the American dream. Leftist propaganda paints a story of such wealth inequality that it is apparent those striving do not even have a chance at their fair share. E.g. http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2011/02/income-inequality-in-america-chart-graph#

  42. knarlyknight Says:

    HOWEVER, the reality is even worse than the leftist propaganda, see the thing is that the leftists don’t even comprehend the state of unfairness arising from the numbers they quote. Most of those 300 million people who believe they are chasing the dream have a virtual zero chance of getting even a fair shake. The problem is that few people understand the numbers. This will help, but be sure to click the zoom in and zoom out buttons as far in and out as they go! http://www.lcurve.org/

    People who really understand those numbers are probably wondering why there hasn’t been another revolution yet.

    shcb, I am not suggesting that people shoud give up and stop chasing the “dream”, I am saying the game is so friggin rigged that there is little chance of succeeeding. Sadly, I do not have a viable alternative to offer(other than emigrating to Norway.) Rioting seems counterproductive, what’s needed is a power shift back to people with human decency as the predominant core character trait, instead of what we’ve seen the last 20 or 30 years or more: simple greed.

  43. shcb Says:

    The problem with equating the upper tax rate now and in the 40s and 50s is that you also have to factor in the number of people subject to that rate. I’ve tried to explain this before but it seems no one understood, let me put it this way. The following is adjusted for inflation.

    There are about 15,000 tax returns that are for over $10 mil each year, in 1941 you would have to have made $75 million to reach the upper bracket, not many people would be paying that upper bracket.

    From ’42 to ’55 the upper bracket was between $1.6 to 2.7 mil in today’s money, between 5% and 7% of the people paying the upper bracket today would be paying taxes in that bracket if the upper bracket would have continued from then to now. So if you want to bring back the 90% bracket of old that is fine but the government will bring in a lot less revenue.

  44. shcb Says:

    Let me toss this out there, there is a old conservative argument that says if you look at all the major expenses, food, housing, cost of cars etc, they have remained somewhat unchanged through the decades, but taxes have continued to go up on a percentage basis. That for the middle class to have more money the best way to give them more is to lower taxes

    The moral of my story is by working hard and smart you can still acquire the American dream. If less and less are living the dream it is possible it is because they aren’t working as hard or as smart as in the past, not because the deck is stacked.

  45. Smith Says:

    The level of delusion in that comment is pitiable.

  46. shcb Says:

    how so?

  47. enkidu Says:

    You are kinder man than I, Mr Smith. Pitiable isn’t the word I would use.

  48. NorthernLite Says:

    http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/222638/bailout

  49. enkidu Says:

    odd, wouldn’t play for me
    I keep getting a red X, under thta a white bit of text that sez “C1″

    I finally tracked it down here, apologies for annoying ads and intro
    http://www.mefeedia.com/watch/28149062
    (funny!)

  50. shcb Says:

    Let the tribunals at Guantanamo begin! I’m so proud, the young man is finally acting like a real president, following in the footsteps of Bush. If he continues he too may rise the level of a mediocre Chief Executive, he has a long way to go and short time to get there.

  51. enkidu Says:

    substitue the word “boy” for “young man”
    and then substitute the word π!@@#& for “boy”
    screech it in a heavy suthrn drawl and you can get all the teabagger ‘flavor’
    mmm mm m! racist

    so the score on Healthcare Reform is something like 5 for and 2 against?
    if you can elevate it to the Supremes before they impeach Clarence Thomas (really? not reporting hundreds of thousands of dollars of your wife’s income from a wwnj PAC? talk about gansta! ;)

    name one R candidate who can beat Obama… lol
    he’s a moderate Republican President, which send you nutjobs straight to crazytown – plus he’s a π!@@#&! The Sherrif is a π!@@#&!

  52. NorthernLite Says:

    Oops, sorry enk that it didn’t work, but I’m glad you found it!

    The whole episode is actually hilarious. It starts off with Stan investing a hundred bucks at his bank and before the banker is done with the paperwork he tells him his money is already gone lol.

    I just saw another episode last night about Somali pirates. The writing for South Park is borderline genius, imo!

  53. NorthernLite Says:

    And that’s a good point about Obama. He’s supposedly the ‘most liberal prez of all time’ but I see him and his governing style as centre-right.

    A liberal prez doesn’t pass unpaid, trillion-dollar tax cuts for the rich, ignore the middle class, steal a recycled Republican healthcare plan, keep Gbay open… and it goes on.

    I’d be really, really be happy to see the Obama that campaigned and won by a huge margain. The centre-left, candidate Obama. President Obama is not the same person.

  54. knarlyknight Says:

    it’s true (what Enk & NL said) I’d add that America’s Dems are so far right of centre they are in the ditch. (which puts the Rethuggles in the trees somewhere.)

    Enk’s other point is true too – you don’t even need the southern drawl. I’m thinking Obama bombs the hell out of ghadaffi in Tripoli and ghaddafi ends up on the end of a rope, the teabaggers cheer like there is no tomorrow and forget he’s “not one of them” (wink wink say no more) for a week or two then it’s back to undercutting the commander in chief as he tries to contain another financial crisis brought on by more of the same that came to pass under Bush’s watch: high oil prices, eroding value of a US dollar, job losses & pissed off labour, continued turmoil in middle east (saudi arabia? doubt that as I can barely fathom the implications). Then there will be another major crisis just before the elections somewhere we almost had forgotten about or completely overlooked: Pakistan, Azerbaijan, a Korea (pick one), Ohio, or Yemen – and suddenly Obama will be the new messianic Commander in Chief. “messianic” one way or the other. Either that or I am wrong.

    Meanwhile, shcb is still trying to figure out how the level of delusion in his previous comment is so delusional…

    Has anyone been paying attention to what’s going on in Wisonsin, a la Michael Moore?

  55. enkidu Says:

    I watched the MM speech last night. It is ok, but could have done more to blame the real culprits (banksters – or if u r a wwnj, negroes n mexicans).

    Also, iGore is fat! Harharhar

  56. knarlyknight Says:

    Really??? I thought he touched just the right notes with the audience in front of him. Sure, if he was writing a treatise of 95 and nailing it to the door like Martin Luther did in 1517 he’d have plenty of time to list every fraud & crime to bring America to its knees, but this was just an opening salvo. Listen again.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wgNuSEZ8CDw&feature=player_embedded

    MM couldn’t have gone any further without ending up in Gbay solitary confinement for months and being abused, naked, for hours and hours on end with threats of continued abuse like is happening to your fellow citizen, yet to stand trial, Bradley Manning.

  57. knarlyknight Says:

    not to take anything away from the “revolution” a la MM, but….

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2011/mar/04/bradley-manning-us-wikileaks-hypocrisy

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/mar/07/bradley-manning-wikileaks

  58. shcb Says:

    You’re right Knarly, I don’t understand how my comment is delusional, please explain.

  59. shcb Says:

    The UN is considering imposing a no fly zone in Libya, enforced by American fighters I’m sure, using our overspending on defense for offense. So is the UN considering using our overspending for nation building? Obama would have to approve the use of our overspending for the rest of world to use our overspending making him a party to the rest of the world overspending on defensive (offensive) nation building. Just a thought.

  60. enkidu Says:

    knarls – Bradley Manning is being held in abhorrent conditions. Borderline torture. thx gwb! With Obama backing indefinite detentions, another ‘campaign Obama becomes president Obama’ moment. I’m not sure if wrong wing nut job is crowing about how great it is that America has trumped up kangaroo court ‘trials’ and one body of law (disclaimer, I’m not a lawyer, tho wasn’t Obama a Constitutional Law professor once upon a time?)

    wwnj – altho I know it is useless on a factual, reality-based level, as a form of entertainment and public mockery of nonsense, I’ll give you a short list of how low taxes are right now for the rich. Estate tax lowest in decades. Capital gains tax, lowest in decades. Fed income tax, lower than 80% of historical levels. Corporate taxes, most corps don’t pay any tax at all due to the number of loopholes and such. But Obama is asilamocommiesociamalist? We should lower spending across the board and raise taxes similarly. Problem solved.

    I’m sure your response will be a typically ludicrous handwaving and right wing talking points about them poor poor rich folk (snif). I’m with Joe Biden, paying your taxes is patriotic. I didn’t like where my money was going under shrub, you racist freaks must be just howling moonbat crazymad about how Obama is trying to get America investing in America rather than useless wars overseas. (would you be able to parse that if we substituted the word π!@@#& for Obama?)

    Look, we’ve tried your way: lower taxes and more wars = higher debt and a lack of investment in America (and the people who need to pay for this are obviously the hugely wealthy/über powerful teachers and that shlub at the DMV! grrrr!). Sadly, while we’ve hoped for more Change, seems like we’ve gotten more Hope and less change. Perhaps the problems of the bush economic crash were much more severe than the hoi poloi were given to ‘understand’ (a word which here means, information gathering for normal folk or rightwing schreetchy nonsense for wwnjs)

    Obama is doing the right thing w Libya so far: staying the hell out of it, even tho the usual rightwing nutjobs are howling for blood (yeah, I’m looking at you wetstart and holy joe) Maybe some intelligence, perhaps a few black ops or predator strikes against Crazyman’s fuel and ammo supplies… right now I’m against a no-fly zone, but we should cautiously back the people’s power to determine their own government. Going cowboy stupid didn’t help things the last time, remember? Empty hat didn’t finish the job in Afghanistan before he screwed up and invaded the wrong country to grab their oil (and managed to screw that up as well).

  61. knarlyknight Says:

    jeeesus enk, you made me realize how thnkful I am that Obama holds the trigger… if Bush was in charge we’d be invading Sudan to deal with ghaddaffi loyalists

  62. shcb Says:

    We were talking about how to get more money to the middle class, not the rich, so your tirade is a bit off target. Corporations don’t pay taxes they pass them on to customers unless they are targeted.

    Just to clarify, Obama is as white as he is black so I don’t know how anyone can be racist when discussing him.

    This “investment in America” hasn’t worked, it rarely does more than a temporary stop gap measure, you had it right when you were in your “jobs, jobs, jobs” phase, but those jobs have to come from the private sector. Maybe the government can help, maybe not, but like driving on a slick road sometimes you just have to let go of the wheel and let the thing straighten itself out. Bush tried handing out $600 checks, that didn’t work, people just paid off their credit cards. Obama is building rock gardens in front of gas stations, that isn’t working either, it gives some poor slob a job for a few weeks but it doesn’t last any longer than Bush’s checks. Government just needs to get out of the way for a while.

  63. enkidu Says:

    lol!
    If wetstart and cariboo barbie (the quitter from twitter) were at the controls we would have invaded Botswana or perhaps Guatemala.

  64. enkidu Says:

    ah yes, using racist code for π!@@#& is perfectly reasonable ‘debate’ for a wwnj
    gfy
    you’re a extremist just like the ienjs, just with more HeeHaw and fewer virgins

    so this comment
    http://www.lies.com/wp/2011/02/25/godspeed-vs-beck/#comment-220505
    isn’t about the rich and their taxes?
    you are seriously delusional

  65. NorthernLite Says:

    “So is the UN considering using our overspending for nation building?”

    If military action is taken it will be NATO-led, with the alliance footing the bill.

    Just because you *chose* to spend trillions in offense in the name of defence doesn’t mean America is always footing the bill. America apparently felt the need to invade and occupy Iraq, even though most of the world and the UN weapons inspectors all said no, there’s no WMD there. It will be a huge mistake.

    But you did it anyway. You pay for it then.

    I for one hope that NATO will soon intervene. Or are we going to stand by and watch another massacre carried out against innocents? Rwanda? Sudan? Hello?

    Again, you can whine about America being the great defender in order to justify massive military spending but that’s all you’re doing – whining.

    You actually haven’t defended anything, especially morally-speaking, in a very long time.

    It seems that whenever there is something actually worth intervening militarily for you can’t, because the public and your bank accounts are exhausted from wars of choice.

    And that, my friend, is some really sick irony.

    PS – Like the new toolbar in the header section of Lies.com…

  66. shcb Says:

    Enky

    “That for the middle class to have more money the best way to give them more Is to lower taxes”

    If I had meant rich I would have said rich, but that doesn’t fit your narrative (tirade) so you tell me what I said and then comment on that, good work if you can get it.

    NL,

    “If military action is taken it will be NATO-led, with the alliance footing the bill.” the US will pay for 90% of it not counting the investment of the carrier group. That is fine but don’t tell us we are spending too much and then want to use our tools, send a the French carrier and the entire Canadian navy to handle the no fly zone, that won’t quite make a US carrier group but it should handle protection from pirates in Zodiacs. Of course then the US would have to protect Canada.

  67. knarlyknight Says:

    …protect Canada from, uh, the Mexicans? How about you leave Canada out of this shcb. Either that or you might find a big shipment of hockey sticks turn up exactly where you do not want them.

    A little knowledge is dangerous shcb. Raising taxes on corporations does not equate exactly to an increase in prices, sometimes yes, usually the prices rise a fraction of the tax increase. That is because prices are determined by the market, not necessarily by what the corporation want to charge.

    Raising Corporate taxes can also reduce corporate dividends.

    It can also reduce retained earnings of a company, which is especially useful for getting at the fat cats who shelter their wealth in corporations and live on a fat expense account from the corporation to also avoid income taxes.

  68. NorthernLite Says:

    “then the US would have to protect Canada.”

    From what?! Seriously!!

    See, this is where your problem lies… nobody is out to get Canada, Russia is not going to invade our country if we send some resources (which, by the way, we already have thank you very much – HMCS Charlottetown has joined your flotilla, it left early last week from Halifax).

    Same with you… China is not going to commit suicide and invade America – EVER. They’ll never be able to catch up to your capability and even if they did try to attack you, the rest of the world – save for a few countries – would come to your aid in heartbeat.

    You really don’t need to spend over a trillion dollars a year on the war machine… you really don’t. As a reminder, you spend more each year than the entire rest of the planet COMBINED.

    But you do get kudos for this line: “that won’t quite make a US carrier group but it should handle protection from pirates in Zodiacs”

    That was funny :-)

  69. enkidu Says:

    great steaming teapot…
    I link directly to your quote about the top tax brackets in a discussion about taxing the rich… wow… the delusion is strong with this one

    and the ridiculous stuff about how the whole world needs Merkkkuh’s ‘protection’
    really funny wwnj stuff

  70. Smith Says:

    I see shcb is getting worse with time.

  71. shcb Says:

    Enky, where in that comment did I mention the top tax bracket?

    Knarly, the customer pays all the taxes a corporation pays, they also pay for all profits and expenses. When that is all done there is nothing left, everything has been accounted for. You are confusing all that with the price of the product. If the price is lower than those three items the corporation will soon go out of business, if profits are too low the company can’t entice investors and the company will go out of business or stagnate. When that happens the consumer looses, and the economy loses, and people lose jobs. The government also loses because people aren’t paying taxes, either through the corporation or personally. While competition is generally between competing products there is also a point where people will not buy a product no matter who is producing it, since taxes aren’t competitive but are imposed this can kill whole industries that would otherwise thrive.

    How you are right that prices may not go if expenses go up, that includes taxes, but at some point those jobs and that product will be made in a place where those expenses are lower, and there will always bee a place where they are lower until the natural balance is reached.

    NL, if Canada has no enemies why does she have a military?

  72. NorthernLite Says:

    Peace keeping missions. We have quite the storied history in this arena, in fact we’ve been credited for inventing the whole concept.

    Lis of missions since WWII: http://members.shaw.ca/kcic1/peacekeepers2.html

  73. NorthernLite Says:

    To fight terrorism and extremists we (and you) don’t need thousands of jets and tanks – just small tactical units and stellar intelligence and black ops.

  74. shcb Says:

    But we do need them to keep places like North Korea and China in check, Russia too. We don’t have the luxury of only one threat at a time.

  75. NorthernLite Says:

    But does that require spending trillions of dollars and plunging your country into massive debt – and then have China finance that debt?

    Perhaps if you didn’t invade countries based on complete bullshit these other countries wouldn’t feel the need to beef up their arsenals and you wouldn’t have to “keep them in check.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I want America to be the superpower but I think somewhere along the way you guys went waaaay overboard.

    All I’m really saying here is that if you want to get your fiscal house in order, start with your DoD spending.

    Chopping job training programs and the like is not good for your future and its really not denting your debt.

  76. shcb Says:

    Fair enough, you think cutting the defense budget will cure our debt woes (I’m exaggerating, I don’t think you think it is the complete answer, just a step in the right direction). In the first place you can’t drop our spending to 0, you say you still want black ops and intelligence. We say we spend about 400-500 bil on defense and you are adding intelligence etc on top of that to get to your 1 tril number, but you want to keep the intelligence so I’m going to say you want to keep at least half the trillion (the intelligence). Now black ops need support, they have to be inserted, removed, protected, all the folks supporting them have to be fed and clothed etc. and that is all done with traditional troops. Much of the success of the surge was to gain intelligence by having common soldiers on the ground in with the population for extended periods of time so the population grew to trust them, that worked, but it was conventional soldiers, we probably want to keep that. We could close up bases all over the world but they are in places where they act as deterrents, you could call those peacekeeping missions, which you approve of.

    What I’m saying is we can’t cut the defense to 0, a big, huge cut would maybe be 100 billion, not small change but there are other places we can cut as well. Realistically we probably can’t cut more that 50 billion and maintain what we really need to maintain. You guys hate Rumsfeld as much as Bush but he did a lot of what you want early on, he canceled programs that were designed for the last war and enriched programs for this war.

    Look into it a little, see how we are historically not that far off from our historical defense spending as a percentage of GDP.

  77. NorthernLite Says:

    Of course I’m not saying bring it down to zero, but I think you could easily cut $300-$400 billion and still maintain the strongest deterrent on Earth.

    Nobody in their right mind is going to fuck with you other than the cave-dwelling douche bags who already did. No amount of troops, guns, jets, tanks and drones is going to change that. How many nukes do you have again? Like tens of thousands?

    I think if you cut the “defence” budget significantly, went after SS, your health programs, and then took the axe to government duplication and waste (which really is minimal compare to the former items) and lastly and most importantly raised taxes a little on the richit would show that everything is fair game and the sacrifice is really being shared by everyone.

    Problem solved.

    NorthernLite 2012 :-) lol

  78. shcb Says:

    Maybe you can run as a Republican, so far you are about as good as we have :-). I’ll agree we can cut the nukes back a lot, the only nukes that make sense are on the boomers.

    I don’t think you could cut it back as much as you would like or people would fuck with us, the reason they don’t is because we have all those toys, the trick is to know where the line is. i agree with you on most to the rest except taxing the rich, I think they are taxed about right as far as rate goes. I would probably go along with you as far as getting rid of some subsodies, which I guess would raise their taxes.

    Shall we end on that good note?

  79. enkidu Says:

    We say we spend about 400-500 bil on defense and you are adding intelligence etc on top of that to get to your 1 tril number

    the sheer lack of factual, rational, easily confirmable knowledge leaves me speechless… $738 Billion in the budget for 2011

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/01/us/budget.html

    I do think the diagram has some problems: Nat’l Defense should include Veterans Benefits and some black box stuff that would be difficult to guess at.

    The real growth in spending is in Medicare. So Obama tried to improve our dysfunctional healthcare system. And reduce costs and expenditures. For this he is an Islamocommiesocialist. Social Security is in fine shape for the next couple decades but by 2038 may only be able to pay something like 85% of what it promised. Revenues will increase as we claw our way out of the bush Recession.

    Cut 1% across the board (yes, there should be increases and exemptions for things that increase our jobs jobs jobs). Raise taxes 1% across the board (exemptions for the poorest, heck it wouldn’t amount to much anyway ;) Do this as many years in a row as necessary to put a dent in the deficit and confidence will start a virtuous cycle. Plus some prudent investment in energy, education and infrastructure. A ‘Smart Stimulus’ for this generation’s Sputnik Moment.

    Did you know that the Quitter from Twitter is so dumb she doesn’t know what “Sputnik Moment” means? true dat

  80. NorthernLite Says:

    Yes, shcb, we should end there. Good debate.

    enk, I believe the quitter from twitter didn’t know what Sputnik was until Obama used it in the speech. But it’s Russian, so she naturally just assumed it was commusocialist.

    Wich is weird, I mean she could probably see Sputnik for her house ;)

  81. shcb Says:

    Enky, I was going from memory, and I think that was military spending, the chart you are showing is for national defense which probably includes Homeland Security and such, the FBI budget is in there. And that is all well and good, I’m sure NL doesn’t want to cut the FBI (except for waste). We are just talking ballpark numbers anyway you fucking idiotic stupid scumbag. Now there, did my last outburst add anything to the discussion? No, it was just childish.

  82. enkidu Says:

    childish as usual

    but no racist epithets. so, an improvement.

  83. knarlyknight Says:

    Great chart Enk,

    Anyone looking at that and not recognizing the problem has got a problem.

    Homeland security is a superagency and it seems that a lot of its costs are spread-out, so for instance you will see it in air transportation security, also under General Science as Homeland security space programs (wtf?), Administration – border and transportation directerate security, etc.

    FBI is not a big item relative to those… so shcb’s argument is taken since it works against his point..

    Also, the National Defence section does not include incurred military costs which go on year after year, i.e. military retirements under income security, or many other military type costs you’d expect to include e.g. international development has a big section on foreign military sales trusts, and the Corps of Engineers are a puny section in Natural resources…

  84. enkidu Says:

    The Soviets aren’t much of a threat to us any more. Tho they’d love to sell us more oil and natural gas (by us I mean The West). China would be nuts to attack (at least using military force ;)

    The rest (even all lumped together) aren’t worth spending a trillion every year.

    So the current Bad Guys du jour are scary brown people who live in the 5th century, in caves. Booooo!

    iirc you wwnjs lost more cash than we spend on the FBI each year. By a factor of about 2X (you know, ballpark)

  85. NorthernLite Says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/10/michael-moore-maddow-wisconsin_n_833922.html

    Get the hand cuffs ready…

  86. shcb Says:

    This situation in Madison is really interesting. It’s like watching a medieval siege campaign. It is a battle of waiting and posturing. In the beginning the R’s had the entrenched position, they were safely behind the walls of being newly elected with a mandate. The opposing forces laid siege by running to a neighboring state, I know that seems backwards, the ones running away are the siegers, but they forced a standoff. In any siege the entrenched have the advantage of being in the protected castle and those outside the walls have the advantage of mobility. Then it simply becomes a test of who will run out of supplies first. In this case the R’s had the upper hand first but that advantage was short lived because of the bold move of the D’s. Over time though the D’s supply line of public support has run slim because people want resolution at some point. The R’s were running low too but not as low as the D’s so the R’s decided to make a breakout move, the Knights are charging out the castle gates and the D’s Knights are forming on the field to meet them, the battle is about to begin.

    On a more practical note this move by R’s isn’t that unheard of, it was just the opposite of the procedural move that the D’s used.

  87. NorthernLite Says:

    Well in your scenario “the average folk”, or “peons” are starting to get really pissed off.

    I hope the R’s have lots of quarters… cuz this game is just getting started.

  88. shcb Says:

    Yeah, some of them are getting whipped into a frenzy, but they are a minority, the question is can the R’s get enough of the rest whipped into an opposite frenzy. The battle lines are drawn but the troops haven’t engaged yet. They are still in that Hollywood scene with both sides running at each other yelling. Actually that may not be true, Republicans may have just drawn first blood. Now the D’s are talking a recall, the question is have either or both over played their hand?

    I think it is fun to watch these events from two perspectives, the issue as you are doing, but also as an unattached observer watching the game of it all.

  89. knarlyknight Says:

    Two prespectives: “the issue as you are doing” “also as an unattached observer watching the game of it all”.

    Not so strange that for shcb considering the issue as a fellow compassionate human being does not even enter into consideration.

  90. knarlyknight Says:

    oops, typo… please replace “shcb” with “wwnj”

  91. shcb Says:

    Compassion? So a few thousand people get laid off so the Ponzi scam can continue, where is the compassion there? Plus, you didn’t understand what I was saying, you can be as compassionate as you want, you can be as uncompassionate as you want, you can be pro or anti union, you can not give a rat’s patuty about the issue, doesn’t matter. The point is you can have whatever point you want and still look at this from the game aspect, from the aspect of winning and losing, strategy and tactics.

  92. knarlyknight Says:

    Oh plz, tell us about the Ponzi scam. But first, please be sure you understand exactly what a Ponzi scheme is. If not, plz stfu.

  93. shcb Says:

    The state pensions are a defined benefits plan, they pay out more than they take in due the people retiring early and being paid too much. The system can’t sustain itself, in the beginning there were more people paying in than people retired, within a short time the money going out was going to equal the money coming in so the base had to be widened, classic pyramid. This is where the expansion of government started, when teachers needed assistants, when we needed an agency for every aspect of our existence. But at some point (now) even that widening of the base isn’t enough so you have two choices, cut back on benefits or raise taxes, taxes were raised during the good economy but now that it is bad there isn’t enough money to continue the scheme and it is collapsing. This is why FDR warned us that the public sector shouldn’t be unionized, they have the ability to raise taxes to an unsustainable level without fear of competition.

    Does that explain it well enough?

  94. NorthernLite Says:

    I like how you refer to teacher, police and firefighter pay as a scam.

    The fact is you’ve cut taxes – both state and federal – so much over the past decade that you can’t afford to run your country properly. You can’t pay your bills.

    So now your teachers are being rabidly attacked while the real scammers on Wall St. who collapsed the entire world’s ecnonomy are enjoying those nice tax breaks. Meanwhile, American children are becoming less educated as teacher morale crumbles and the best and brightest flee.

    The downward sprial of America continues…

  95. shcb Says:

    Their pay isn’t a scam, the scheme isn’t a scam, it is out there for everyone to see, it is a scheme that is unworkable. It is the same scheme that was prevalent in private unions for years, the difference is that once it became insolvent and there was enough competition from foreign industry the system was modified to one that was sustainable.

    We haven’t cut tax rates over the last decade, at either the state or federal level. Revenues may have dropped but rates have not dropped. But in places like Colorado teachers pay has steadily increased because of simpleminded voter initiatives put in place while we were still flush.

  96. NorthernLite Says:

    The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. So instead of asking the wealthy to help dig your country out of the hole they had a big hand in helping digging, you’re going after the middle class.

    Fox News and all the Conservatives told us last year that you can’t legislate pay and bonuses. They also told us that $250 000 does not mean you’re well off and it’s not a lot of money. But a teacher making less than $50 000 is waaaaay too much. Fucked. Up. Shit.

    Do you see the rioting taking place in the M.E.? Do you know where it’s stemming from?

    If your country has such a big revenue problem, why did you just cut taxes (i.e. revenue)? Do you think cutting spending is the only way you’re going to eat away a deficit as large as yours – especially when significant “defence” cuts are a non-starter? Do you want to borrow my calculator?

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2011/03/10/watching-uproar-wisconsin-protests-time-remember-unions-make-lives-better/

  97. enkidu Says:

    http://www.boingboing.net/2011/03/09/tom-the-dancing-bug-39.html

    Hear that children? We is simpleminded because we done use facts instead of wwnj bs like this: “We haven’t cut tax rates over the last decade, at either the state or federal level. Revenues may have dropped but rates have not dropped.” “This is where the expansion of government started, when teachers needed assistants, when we needed an agency for every aspect of our existence. ”

    I can see why you hate teachers so much, what with their insistence on basic math facts (I know, facts is lib, etc etc) like 2+2=4, up is up (not down, sideways, flat or taxamagical) and you are full of wwnj bs. I pity those nuns.

    “we haven’t cut taxes over the last decade” now that is some Counterfactual Earth bullsh!t right there boys n girls. The Wingnutoverse says tax cuts for the rich pay for themselves! Deficits don’t matter! (unless you are a D!) And Obama is a commie for trying to improve healthcare and lower costs.

  98. shcb Says:

    The rich are getting richer, and so are the poor, just not as fast as the rich, but that has a lot to do with the rise of India and China. You just can’t seem to understand that we are talking about two different subjects here and you can’t seem to separate one of those issues into two parts.

    The national debt is separate from the budget crisis of the states, two separate issues.

    Once we have those divided up we have teachers pay and their pensions, and other benefits. Again separate issues. Now I may have confused you since I frequently mention local (Colorado) teachers wages but that is somewhat isolated, it is a combination of ill advised voter initiatives that collided at the wrong time.

    Teachers pay is fine, the pension plan would be fine if we could afford it, but we can’t. this isn’t a swipe at teachers, it is just a fiscal reality.

    In your last paragraph you ask “why did you just cut taxes (i.e. revenue)”. That is what I’m talking about, in that one small part of a sentence you have confused about a half dozen things. There are tax rates, there is revenue, and there is cutting taxes (rates). Last thing first, if you are referring to extending the Bush tax cuts as a cutting taxes, it isn’t the current rates have been current since they were cut in the early 2000s not extending that sunshine clause would have been raising them, just as Bush lowering them from Clinton was a cut , by your logic Bush raised Reagan taxes.

    Revenues have dropped because the economy has dropped. If you are used to working 4 hours of overtime and your boss cuts you back to 40 hours, you can’t demand a raise to make up for that lost revenue, he can’t afford it. If you have been foolish enough to increase your monthly bills such that you need those hours you are either going to have to cut back on something or go in debt. Now going in debt may be a good option if the down turn is temporary. The last thing you want to do is increase you spending unless increasing that spending will bring in more revenue. The best thing you can do is help your employer bring in more business so he can put you back on overtime.

    Cutting spending is one way of eating away at a debt, increasing income is another. We are talking about the national debt now, teachers, unions, state and local budgets have nothing to do with anything in this paragraph. To eat away at a debt you have to make more money than you spend, no more difficult than that, doesn’t matter how you configure it from there. The best thing we can do now is freeze spending, military too, cut where we can, and grow the economy, Jobs, jobs, jobs as enky says. That probably means letting people keep more of what they earn and reducing regulations on companies. If you raise taxes on the rich will you take in more money? If you take in more money you can’t give it to the poor, you can’t redistribute the wealth. If you cut back on what you spend on the poor (they don’t contribute so you can’t cut their taxes) you can’t give it to the rich unless by doing so raises more revenue.

  99. shcb Says:

    You see NL you are falling into the trap Enky has fallen into, pick a topic then just regurgitate a lot of bumper sticker slogans the are related to the subject. Study this stuff, look at the raw data, make some spreadsheets, do some legwork. Just for fun I compared the taxes of California to Colorado to the US yesterday in relation to income and unemployment to check what Victor Davis Hanson has been talking about lately. As California’s taxes have gotten out of line with the US the unemployment has risen much faster than Colorado’s. Income has grown in relation to taxes in Colorado while taxes have surpassed income growth in California. The tax rates haven’t doubled or tripled in California, they have gone up a little here and there, but this game is played at the margins, this is why the best and brightest get MBAs from Harvard and the moderately intelligent teach 8th grade geography, the best and brightest will move a plant from sunny California to flat Nebraska for a fraction of a percentage point.

    Now of course taxes aren’t the only reason for this happening but there is a correlation. California has done all the feel good liberal programs and raised taxes to feed the monster and they are in trouble, so why don’t they just raise taxes even more, just raise them till they can pay for everything? Because all they can do is raise the rate, they can’t raise the taxes, when the rate gets too high all the revenue of that taxpayer moves, not just the part they raised, and the state ends up with even less money than it started with and more bills to pay with less.

  100. knarlyknight Says:

    maybe someday I’ll read that if I get bored at work next week, but I am not wasting my weekend reading wwnj drivel, but I did scan it and can paraphrase: it’s like this, blah blah blah duh.

  101. shcb Says:

    Tell where I’m wrong when you get the chance. Remember, I’m pretty much confined to my recliner for another few weeks

  102. Smith Says:

    “You see NL you are falling into the trap Enky has fallen into, pick a topic then just regurgitate a lot of bumper sticker slogans the are related to the subject.”

    Pot, meet kettle. I haven’t seen anything beyond regurgitated slogans from anyone on this site in quite some time now. It seems to be the only form of discourse that can be sustained here. Attempts to diverge from this path are met with cries of “Islamofascisocialism” instead of rational debate, so why bother?

  103. enkidu Says:

    My bumper sticker says 2+2=4

  104. shcb Says:

    Actually, Smith, with the exception of you and Enky we have pretty decent discussions.

  105. shcb Says:

    Three guys are up for a vice president promotion, an engineer, salesman and accountant. The board feels they are equally qualified so they ask one last question, what is 2 + 2? The engineer gets out his calculator and works the buttons for a solid 3 minutes, sits back in his chair and says “given all the variables of stress, wind load and manufacturing defects it is about 3.995. Next the salesman has his turn, after several minutes looking over charts and a couple calls on his blackberry he declares it is most positively 4.01. After the board asks the accountant the answer to 2+2 he squints his eyes, sits up in his chair and says “what do you want it to be?”

  106. NorthernLite Says:

    I think you’re the one who’s not grasping the situation. You say taxes/debt has nothing to do with states…

    When states have been doing the same thing that has caused the federal government to go in so much debt – cut taxes to much.

    It’s business 101: Your revenues have to at least keep pace with your costs. It’s actually easier as a government, you don’t have to turn a profit. Just balance a budget.

    Which is impossible to do when you keep cutting your revenue stream.

  107. NorthernLite Says:

    Poor corporations… They obviously need more tax cuts.

    Corporate Profit Margins Hit 18-Year High

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-03-14/profit-margins-at-18-year-high-signal-bigger-s-p-500-dividends.html

    But just keep damning those pesky teachers and their $45, 000/year salaries…

  108. shcb Says:

    Sure you can have the same cause at the state level or federal level, what I am saying is in this specific case the issue of states and teacher’s pensions is separate from the national debt. You keep lumping them together. They can be somewhat related, for instance if the feds pay more for roads, causing the state to not have to spend that on roads so they spend it on increased teachers pay, or vice versa. But for the most part what is happening in Wisconsin is strictly a state issue, what makes it a national issue (national interest) is it is common in most states, but it is not a Federal Government issue.

    Yes, you can increase your prices or decrease your costs to balance your books. Government also has to show a profit, it just isn’t called profit. They typically have reserves which is the same as profit to a degree. Right now there is a push to get a TABOR amendment in Florida like the one in Colorado, here is an opposing view to it that you will probably agree with, they aren’t being absolutely fair with their analysis but they make a good point, TABOR limits the spending of government. They are worried that limiting the spending will limit the expansion of government, which I think is a good thing, they, and you probably don’t. They seem to be under the government needs to constantly be giving their customers more and more, like a private company, and I don’t think that is the case.

    Let me know what you think.

    http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3407

  109. shcb Says:

    That Bloomberg piece is great news isn’t it? The government will raise more money when the taxes are paid on the dividends and the companies will have more profit to produce more jobs, the workers will then be tax payers instead of tax takers. Great news.

  110. NorthernLite Says:

    Maybe you can explain to me how giving a corporation — that’s already raking in record profits — another tax cut will produce jobs.

    I was under the silly illusion that businesses hire workers when demand for their good and services can’t be met by current staffing levels. This happens when the middle class is prospering and are spending money on things.

    I fail to see how more corporate tax cuts create jobs. They’re already sitting on tonnes of cash.

    I will try to review that link later tonight

  111. shcb Says:

    Hmm, good questions, what tax cuts are you talking about?

    You are right that there needs to be a market for jobs to be created, but markets can be created too. There was no market for Ipods before they were created, you waited until you got to your car or home to listen to music (portable cd players I know, I’m using a little poetic license here) the more money a company has the more they can innovate so they can make more money… When those markets are created those that still have jobs buy, companies hire to meet that demand and those new workers have disposable income to buy other widgets and the thing spirals up. The welfare and unemployment rolls begin to drop saving the government money at the same time as those workers are paying taxes once again.

    Something else that happens is much like government has reserves so do companies, so when a downturn comes they can resist layoffs for a period of time. Of course I am talking about responsible well run companies, which most are.

  112. shcb Says:

    One other thing, these companies making record profits are doing so (my guess, I have nothing to back this up) is because they were the companies that were healthy before the recession started. They are the last standing in some industries, but that will change, that is the beauty of capitalism, if someone starts making too much profit someone else will be willing to make a little less and take over some of that market share. This is probably a blip.

    During the pit of this recession I was talking to one of the guys at Johns Manville, he said Warren Buffett had told them to cut where they could but not too much, he said he would rather lose a little money and be fully functional when things start to rebound so they could reap some of these profits you are talking about, which is why he is as wealthy as he is.

  113. NorthernLite Says:

    It’s an issue undergoing to debate right now up here – the sitting Conservative government wants to continue passing further corporate tax cuts even though this will add to an already record deficit. They are saying the cuts are necessary for job creation.

    The Gov. of Wisconsin, who claims the state is broke, is passing more corporate tax cuts, again, saying they are necessary for job creation.

    There is absolutely no data demonstrating corp. tax cuts or cuts for the wealthy result in job creation…

    There is however, tonnes of data showing these cuts bankrupt governments and add to piles of debt.

  114. shcb Says:

    Let me offer this for your consideration. In the cases you are talking about it may create jobs, if you add one caveat, the term job creation is used too loosely. If a state or country can make it more lucrative for a company, jobs will be transferred from another area to the other. While it really isn’t creating jobs like a new technology might, politicians call it job creation.

    For instance, in Colorado the decision was made a decade ago or so that we like tourism and technology more than manufacturing, it is cleaner and attracts a higher class citizen. So we passed a law that heavily taxes inventory, the result was most supply houses now only keep the bare minimum in their warehouses and have satellite offices and large warehouses in Utah where they don’t have that tax, so by not having those corporate taxes Utah can say they “created” those warehouse jobs.

    There is a balance, if taxes get too high there is tons of evidence it hurts economies, if taxes get too low there is tons of evidence it hurts government spending. A lot of it is where are the priorities of the citizens, this is why the founders wanted to keep the states as autonomous as possible, what is important in New York may not be in Wyoming.

  115. NorthernLite Says:

    On a sort of a side note, I thought this was particually interesting…


    In an interview Monday with the Boston Globe, the former Pennsylvania senator 9rick Santorum) said the state law and current federal laws “tend to drive employers out of the private sector plans because they’re expensive and more people end up on the government plan.”

    Right there you have a Republican presidential candidate admitting that government administered health plans are much cheaper than private insurers.

  116. shcb Says:

    Sure, just like public education is free :) do you have the whole transcript of what was said or just that part of one sentence?

  117. NorthernLite Says:

    Fianlly had a chance to review that TABOR link.

    Yeah, I don’t think that TABOR is a very wise idea. You’re really tying the hands of government with it, from what I gathered. But I also don’t think it’s totally unreasonable or an extreme policy, if that makes any difference :)

  118. NorthernLite Says:

    Here’s where I read the Santorum quote: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/14/santorum-hits-romney-over-health-care/#more-150273

  119. shcb Says:

    Well, you were diligent in getting the whole quote :) usually what is meant by that statement is the government is going to subsidize their “insurance company” with taxpayer money, then the private company (the insured, not the insurance company) has to pay those taxes plus buy insurance from a private company if it doesn’t want to use the government option. That of course is going to more expensive from an out of pocket perspective. That doesn’t mean the government will provide equal services for less total money.

    TABOR, the problem we have in Colorado, the problem that article skirted and applies to the teachers union, is also related to our voter initiative process. Voters in Colorado can vote to put things in the constitution. Now this seems like a good thing right? Democracy at its finest. TABOR was a good thing to hold back an overspending congress, and that was enacted by a voter amendment. Then along came Amendment 23 (from memory, don’t shoot me if I have the number wrong), it put K-12 budgets on an ever increasing upward slope (for 10 years as I recall) also voter initiated and also in the constitution, and also a good thing from the perspective of teachers who were underpaid slightly. But it made it very difficult for congress to modify either. So what happened is other budget items had to be cut, the area that was cut the most was higher education. If you reread (or recall if you have a better memory than I) that article you will see where all that is alluded to but really not explained very well, selective editing.

  120. NorthernLite Says:

    That’s what I mean – it ties the hands of the government, in both cases. There may be years where large investments needs to be made and there may be years where cuts and no increases are necessary.

    I wrote a paper in college about having governments develop 10 year strategic plans, much like a company has a business plan for the next several years. You see these strategic plans mostly in local governments but not really in the upper levels (provincial/state and federal).

    My reasoning for it was that it seems there is a lot of waste when a government from party ‘x’ implements a policy or program and then party ‘y’ comes along a few years later when they’re in power and kills it. Most of the time the policy/program is killed for ideological reasons – not necessarily because it was bad. So much waste. My thinking was that you would have these strategic plans developed with heavy input from the public (key aspect and very important), civil servants and politicians that outline the major goals for the next 8-10 years or even beyond and those are what we work towards. No drastic changes from year to year (unless absolutely necessary), no introducing anything new and grand that doesn’t align with goals set out in the Plan. This would allow you to develop 2 or even 3 and 4-year budgets and maybe people stick to them.

    It would probably never work but I did get an ‘A’ on the paper :)

  121. shcb Says:

    That sounds like a good idea, a modified TABOR like system could be worked into that well. Let me think about that for a while, the reason you got an A is because you are on to something, which is why it won’t happen :)

  122. NorthernLite Says:

    LOL, yeah that’s kind of what my dad said at the time when he read the paper. He said “this makes way too much sense for the government to do.”

  123. shcb Says:

    Do you still have the paper? we’re too far into this thread, you and I are the only people reading it at this time I’m sure, but at some point after the Japan thing is over it may be an interesting topic. I am going to give it some thought though, off the top of my head (and through the Vicodin) I think the problem is the politics of one party being stuck with another’s business plan will be problematic.

  124. NorthernLite Says:

    Yes, I thought of that – that’s why in my vision it was all parties + the public + senior governmental staff providing input, developing and *approving* the business plan.

    Would be quite the spectical eh, lol. Probably make for some ecellent TV.

    I’m sure I have the paper still, probably in a box in my parents basement. I will try to find it next time I go for a visit.

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