Obama critiques

I have recently gotten a few positive notes from people (rare indeed!) appreciating criticism from an obama supporter.

I have to say that it is scary to witness the level of rabid blind support for obama. Many other O supporters have confided the same odd feeling of being in a cheering crowd and missing any content. Any time large groups stop questioning leaders and worse squash those few that do, we risk moving to dangerous extremes.

Today it seems uncool to question why obama has no coherent economic or tax policies. The nytimes mag story on ‘obamanomics’ failed to name one logical policy. Instead the author gushed about how young and hip the new candidate was.

Why is it that I cannot find one major media outlet doing a deep dive on the whole concept of ‘just taxation’ – taxing the rich not to raise govt revs but to better equalize income disparities. I’m having the same out of body experience as 7 yrs ago when we actually engaged in a dialog about what kinds of torture were ok and when. Nuts! Where was the outcry from pulpits to press that we would have zero tolerance. Google and read the arguments on this blog.

Today we talk about taxing the rich and equalizing incomes as if it too is a normal ‘moral’ idea. Is there a proven history around this policy as there is with reagan’s supply side economics?

At the risk of being the heretic (sp?), I will state what is painfully obvious and not discussed. There is no proof that raising taxes will help the poor. Even the IRS reports that increasing cap gains tax will decrease govt revs.

Lately, I’ve asked people whether they would prefer a system that generated greater wealth for all but came with a greater spread from richest to poorest. Surprisingly, all have said no. They’d prefer less wealth with more equality. Well, why not just move to a socialist country? Who are you helping? Shouldn’t we be trying to provide the greatest std of living to the most?

I’ve also pointed out that the majority of our country wants to be ‘rich’. Nobody tunes into ‘who wants to be equally poor?’.

Why is it that every election forces us to vote with our wallet or our conscience? Crazy old white men who won’t fuck with our economy or raging liberals who mistake our desire for better social policies to be a mandate for socialism.

When will someone start a viable third party that offers the libertarian values so much of us truly believe in? When will someone democratize democracy?

6 thoughts on “Obama critiques

  1. I am glad to see you take this on. I am not an Obama supporter and this is one of the main reasons. The government cannot solve our problems, we have to do that for ourselves. Passing capital through the government is an incredibly inefficient way to try and influence economics. Your other post on this is coherent as well. We need to realize that the only way to raise people out of poverty is to educate them and then employ them in the private sector. It is such a fallacy that because those with capital have grown their capital then that had to be at the expense of everyone else. The top 1% subsidizes the government for the bottom 40% already and Obama thinks a higher subsidy is going to make difference?

  2. Mark,
    First, glad to see you are back with the wild-eyed, seat of the pants rants. You should get that beer picture back up.
    Second, I am as libertarian as the next guy, but you are completely off base on this.
    You seem to be oblivious or ignoring the fact that China is holding outrageous amounts of our debt, and we are running huge deficits *today*. As the status quo, not in some imaginary Democratic social program spending land. We have a problem, period, and we either fix it or hand it to the next guy.
    Fixing this mess even as it stands is going to take a tax increase and a spending decrease (and thats even if we don’t try to do something about education and healthcare and social security) The money is going to come from somewhere. So…it can’t come from the poor because they just don’t have it. We can tax them to be fair, but its hardly going to matter. The money could come from the middle class, but it is awfully hard to stimulate spending and growth if your middle class is underwater. So it HAS to come from the rich…its the Willie Sutton rule — we rob banks because thats where the money is. If you are rich then get over it — frankly it is a lot worse to be poor.
    I really don’t think very many Democrats, outside of Bernie Sanders, are really advocating more taxes to *punish* the rich when they discuss income inequality. The point is that the income inequality demonstrates that a number of policies have actually unfairly favored the rich — tax codes with loopholes, farm subsidies and tax dodges, hedge funds who don’t pay gross income, or corporations that stash their gains offshore.

  3. Kid, If Obama is going to increase the taxes to decrease the deficit then its fine, its a policy similar to clinton and it worked. But he said reducing deficit is not his priority (read the NYT article)
    BTB, our tax system is inherently unfair. It taxes Ordinary Income at a significantly higher rate (>35%) than the Capital Gain (15%). Thus Warren Buffett’s tax rate is lower than his secretary.
    In my opinion we must have a same flat tax rate (like 20%) for individual income tax, corporate income tax and long term capital gain. We can make it progressive by deducting the first 100k and indexing it for inflation. Thus families making less than 100k pays no tax and even a upper middle class family with say 200k income pays like 10%

  4. Mark: Your critique of redistributive tax policy as an affront to economic theory that teaches that free markets (w/ only minimal regulation) produce the best and most efficient outcomes ignores a crucial issue. Namely, that so called “free markets” (often referred to as “competitive markets”) are purely theoretical and non-existence in the real world.
    Among other things, the neo-classical economic theory that posits free and unfettered markets as the path to efficient outcomes requires: 1) large enough numbers of buyers and sellers so that none are large enough to effect market (no monopoly power); 2) all buyers and sellers have equal knowledge; 3) goods are fungible; 4) all factors of production are free to migrate and follow price signals (our so called “free trade” policies permit capital and materials/goods to move transborder but labor can’t; etc., etc.
    Given that these conditions aren’t met, we don’t have free markets and outcomes should no be left soley to them. It is only with regulation that we can even come close to mimmic free market outcomes. While not an ideal solution, it’s better than the free for all alternative. Imagine an NFL season with no refs. Certain teams would begin violating all the rules and the one with the richest owner could bring in straight up gladiators. Eventually only one team would remain standing and there wouldn’t be league anymore. Might be fun to watch, but it wouldn’t be football.
    As to blaming homeowners signing mortgages they couldn’t pay. Yes, they bear some blame, but I’ll bet not one of them devised “credit default offerings” at the heart of our current crisis. These DFOs walked like insurance policies, talked like them, worked like them, but because they wink-wink didn’t call them insurance, they escaped insurance regulations (e.g. minimum reserve levels sufficient to pay anticipated claims). Thus hedge funds and other big players traded them around the world using them as collateral
    in 60 to 1 leveraged schemes. That’s the virus that’s shaking the world markets and it’s so completely commingled that no one knows who has what-not good in terms of accountability. It’s like trying to get the ham out of the Spam.
    Different but more important subject, at least for me. In 2006 I posted a comment on your blog re: Jeffery MacDonald. In it I stated that I knew him. Could you please remove that posting? Some of the disclosures therein are causing problem

  5. Mark: You recently e-mailed me in response to my comment re: Obama’s redistributive policies. In that comment you stated that you’d remove a 2006 comment bearing my name having to do w/ my knowing Jeffery McDonald. Could you please do that asap. It’s still causing me problems. Thanx

  6. Mark-
    Thanks for the thoughts. I’m glad to see someone at least waking up to what’s going on. This is a gigantic power grab by some people in our government. Medical reform is included in this bill. Does the average person know that? No, because the sponsors of this bill, our president included know that if they give the American people time to really look at it they will be outraged! Our president is complicit in this sham on the american people and is just as big a lying scumbag as his predecessor! He said he would change the way Washington works and he is showing us everyday that he is the same old tired lying pile that we’ve endured administration after administration. For instance did you know before Judd Gregg withdrew his nomination as Commerce Secretary that the Obama administration was planning to move the census from the department of Commerce where it is an open and reviewable process subject to the scrutiny of oversight (where the US census numbers are based on actual head counts) to the President’s office where it is not under any scrutiny and done in secret and based on computer modeling. This from a president who told us that he would govern differently, that there would be no hidden agendas and closed door dealings. This man is already proving to not be who he said he was. He’s the same run of the mill dishonest charlatan that we have been plagued with for decades.

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