Friday, October 10, 2008

Democrats = Nazis

The rightwing fear-smear machine, via conservative blogger John Hawkins, goes there:

When I called this the most dangerous time for America since WW2, I was dead serious. Barack Obama with a large Democrat majority in Congress, an adoring media, and a big crisis to work will be nearly as dangerous to this country's future trying to "help" as Nazi Germany was trying to kill us. That's no exaggeration. They literally may be able to do damage that our country will NEVER recover from...

8 comments:

New Orleans Ladder said...

I haven't figured out if they do this on purpose or if it is coded into their Medication, but you see the double triple reverse doublethink shell'swap message hidden in this dingo'lingo??? OK lemme toll'ya, Bush's Family IS the very NAZI Fascist Groove Thang that we fought in WWII. Hell they even tried to overthrow Roosevelt! Get outta heah. These people don't have balls they have ball bearings.
Cooooon't you see? They also did it like this by backwards Framing the Press as Elite Main Stream Media when it was just going Right along wit'it all.
Yaaaaaaghghgnggngnnn....:)
Thanks fo'da Mc'Video too, Mon.
Editilla

Eric said...

Too bad he had to drag Nazis into it, because otherwise he had a great point. Obama wants to do a lot of big things at a time when we have precious little economic resources (none, really, as far as the federal govt is concerned) to do them with. I would always disagree with his view of government out of general principal, but the timing could hardly be worse. Too many people are naively accepting his word that the numbers will all work out for these programs, instead of demanding to see the numbers. He hasn't proposed a single specific budget cut (ending Iraq doesn't count, that money doesn't go back into the budget to be used for other things) to pay for his plans. He says he wants to tax the rich, but would you go along with his healthcare plan if it meant increasing the taxes of the wealthy up to 85% of their income? Those could very well be the kind of numbers he needs in order to make it work, and you aren't even asking (of course, you may think 85% sounds like a fair number, I have no idea how one comes to such conclusions).

I know you think he's an intelligent man and thus you probably just trust him to make an intelligent decision, but come on Huck, no politician is deserving of that level of trust. They should all have to put their cards on the table. If he won't show the numbers, it's either because there are no numbers, or else they are so large he knows it would scare people away.

And if Obama taxes the wealthy too heavily during a time of major economic depression, he could literally destroy our economy. He could ruin us, and that's what has a lot of conservatives legitimately worried.

Huck said...

Eric - I know that Obama is a politician, but I take him at his word that he will be responsible and prudent with the public trust. There is nothing about Obama that leads me to think he will make rash decisions that will harm this country in ways so damaging that it will be worse than Nazi aggression. Obama has consistently said on the campaign trail that the feeding at the trough is over and that we're all going to have to tighten the belt and learn to live within our means.

But I do have to try to ask you to be somewhat realistic about what the incredible debt burden imposed on our country over the last 8 years by the Bush administration means. The government simply cannot ignore its financial obligations and that means that it will have to dramatically cut spending (which Obama is cagey about, though he has mentioned the need for this) AND raise some taxes (which I think Obama is trying to do responsibly) simply to be fiscally responsible. What makes you think Obama will tax 85% of the income of the wealthy? I have never once heard Obama suggest that as any feasible conceptualization to fund his health plan. And there's just no way that this would ever be pass muster, even among the most liberal among us. I wouldn't support an 85% tax on the wealthy. That's just absurd. In fact, Obama has gone through great pains to point out that his tax plan represents increases on the wealthy that are modest by measures even in comparison to the Reagan years. Too often, conservatives are judging Obama's tax plans compared to George Bush's fiscally irresponsible tax cuts.

I would suggest that what has already ruined us is not what Obama will do to try to get us on some kind of sound financial footing, but what George Bush has already done.

But what bothers me to no end is how conservatives are stoking up irrational fear of Obama. And, I'm sorry, I do believe there is a racial motivation underlying it. I don't see how any rational and honest observer doesn't see this. In fact, there are even a good number of sane conservatives who are taking notice of this element of the vilification of Obama.

I know that's not what grounds your worries about Obama (though I think your fears are unnecessarily exaggerated); but it's precisely what's behind the Nazi comparisons that Hawkins mentions. The point Hawkins is making depends upon the Nazi parallel. Without it, the hyper-paranoia and fear about Obama just doesn't hold up.

Eric said...

"I take him at his word that he will be responsible and prudent with the public trust."



"But I do have to try to ask you to be somewhat realistic about what the incredible debt burden imposed on our country over the last 8 years by the Bush administration means."

I have been a very loud critic of Bush and the GOP spending. However, if you are looking for a candidate who has a long history and voting record of fighting for fiscal discipline in our federal government, there is only one currently campaigning for President, and his last name is not Obama.

"The government simply cannot ignore its financial obligations and that means that it will have to dramatically cut spending (which Obama is cagey about, though he has mentioned the need for this) AND raise some taxes (which I think Obama is trying to do responsibly) simply to be fiscally responsible."

Spending cuts are definitely in order, but excessive taxes are actually one of the things preventing our government from receiving higher revenues. There is so much empirical evidence from all over the world supporting this theory, I do not understand how Democrats still deny it. I honestly believe they would rather punish the wealthy with higher taxes out of some sense of 'social justice', than see the government receive more tax revenues and see more jobs created.




"What makes you think Obama will tax 85% of the income of the wealthy?"

What makes you think he won't? He's cutting everyone elses taxes, won't offer a single government program he wants to cut, and wants to institute all kinds of new spending and programs... if it takes a 60%, 70% or 80% tax rate on the wealthy to do this, doesn't he have an obligation to do it in order to meet his campaign promises? Won't he have a mandate from the American people to tax the wealthy to carry out these promises? Probably something you should look at since you support him.

"And there's just no way that this would ever be pass muster, even among the most liberal among us."

I think it would pass muster with quite a few of you.

"I wouldn't support an 85% tax on the wealthy. That's just absurd."

Is it? Why is 85% absurd but 35% isn't absurd? What is an appropriate amount of money to extort from the wealthy to give to the rest of us? Since the inception of income tax in the USA, the top marginal rate has been as high as 94% and as low as 7%. What's a "fair" number? [Rhetorical question, as "fair" means everybody pays an equal share. IMHO, a flat rate would be about as 'fair' as we could hope for.]

"In fact, Obama has gone through great pains to point out that his tax plan represents increases on the wealthy that are modest by measures even in comparison to the Reagan years."

I've heard him make that claim on capital gains tax, but not on income tax. If we're talking about marginal rate on income tax, when Reagan took office, the top marginal rate was 70%. He reduced it to 33% over the next 8 years. So even if he's talking about income tax, Obama could raise taxes on the wealthy to 69% and still be technically speaking the truth about it being "lower than when Regan was in office".


"I would suggest that what has already ruined us is not what Obama will do to try to get us on some kind of sound financial footing, but what George Bush has already done."

While you certainly can't hang it all on George Bush, (a massive and unfunded social insurance program that completely ignores long-term population demographics is also a huge contributor) you are right that the next President is going to be left holding a very heavy bag. Frankly, I don't think either one of them are up to the task, but if I have to pick one, it won't be the one who wants to punish the very people who already shoulder the vast majority of our federal expenses. We got into this mess through stupid and irresponsible decision making, and we aren't going to get out of it by making stupid and irresponsible decisions of a different nature.

"But what bothers me to no end is how conservatives are stoking up irrational fear of Obama."

Of course, it's only irrational if he doesn't ruin the country. ;-)


"I'm sorry, I do believe there is a racial motivation underlying it."

Those damn racist Republicans.
Of course, no black Democrats are voting for Obama solely because he's a black guy.

Huck said...

Eric - I'm in a bit of a rush, so just one comment for now; but I'll be back later for a more complete response.

The way you present the tax reduction revenue increasing argument pretends that there are no limits to the laffer curve conundrum. I agree with the principle that if taxes are too high, then that can cause an overall net loss in revenue to the government. But I also realize that there is a point where taxes can go too low such that marginal returns to the government's revenue streams also decline as well. Surely, if the tax rate is zero then the government's tax revenue is also zero. So the argument that lowering taxes will always and everywhere increase government revenues is just hogwash. There comes a point when lowering taxes doesn't produce enough income to maintain the equilibrium - i.e. lost tax revenues from lower tax rates is matched by increasing tax revenues at the lower tax rate because of higher incomes. The question is what is that magical equilibrium rate. I don't believe it's 85%, but you shouldn't believe it's 15% either unless you have some concrete economic data to support that contention.

With regard to the racial thing, you know I never said folks are voting for Obama or against Obama because of race. I'm sure that some are doing this. What my comment referred to had nothing to do with whom one is voting for, but how one is vilifying Obama as a candidate. There are very legitimate reasons for opposing or supporting Obama; but one doesn't go around playing the Muslim terrorist card against Obama unless there is some underlying fear of ethnic difference at work here.

Eric said...

Huck, I'm glad to see you at least admit the Laffer curve is a real phenomenon. Most liberals I have discussed this with think it is a Republican myth, and that tax increases always result in increased government revenues (in fact, more than once I have been treated like an uneducated rube for suggesting the opposite whilst in highly educated liberal company, even when offering historically verifiable proof...).

Of course there are limits to the tax gains achievable in the USA by tax cuts. Furthermore, even the Laffer curve has some subtlety to it. One thing I have seen a few economists comment on is that the laffer curve applies differently to different income levels, which makes sense: A person earning $70,000 per year, who has her tax liability decreased by 5% still doesn't have nearly as much increase in economic "pull" as a person earning $5 Million per year
who has their tax liability decreased by 2%. As such, Obama's type of middle class tax cuts are not likely to be as effective in stimulating the economy as giving smaller tax cuts to the very wealthy (who would still end up paying the overwhelming majority of taxes in America, just as they do now). Of course, I realize his argument isn't rooted in economic policy, but on some hoakey concept of 'social justice' where anybody who earns above $250k is somehow doing harm to their fellow Americans and must atone for it... but I'm just trying to speak in terms of practical results. I can make that argument while setting ideology aside (although it is admittedly consistent with my political beliefs). Assuming Obama is telling the truth about his tax cuts (personally, I think he's using a time-tested political tool called lying... worked wonders for Bill Clinton on the same issue) I would be on the receiving end of a tax cut. I'll certainly take a tax cut, but I can't do as much good with it, in economic terms, as a wealthier person could.

So yes, it is a complex problem, but surely we can agree that it is at least borderline criminal for the government to be very far on the wrong side of this curve. What possible benefit can there be from having taxes set so high that they impede job creation, consumer spending, savings, and tax revenues?

In an economy as diverse as ours, there is no concrete proof as to what the magical number of equilibrium is, but we can look at past cuts to guide our way. We can also look to Eastern Europe, where many countries have recently embraced flat taxes under 30% with incredible success, as an indicator that we likely have ours set too high.

As in my personal life, I generally favor a policy of "walk until you've crossed the line, then back up a step". When we cut taxes so far that the government begins to lose revenue, then we should talk about raising them. I'll probably still argue against it, but at least then we'll be having the argument on sane ground instead in some crazy world where we make people pay too much in taxes just for the hell of it.

Eric said...

Also, one other thing the historical record has to say about increasing taxes on the very wealthy: when it happens, they hide a lot of their money from the government.

That's (ostensibly) wrong of them, and if they are caught they face consequences, but the truth is it always happens, every time, and when politicians like Obama get all excited about siphoning off wealth from the 'fat cats', they always forget to factor this in, with the result being that they always greatly overestimate the amount of money they will grab.

Just a thought.

Nathan said...

Its seems strange to me that some people belive that Obama will fix the economy crisis.

Lets not forget Obama was a HUGE supporter of subprime loans which has caused a HUGE part of our financial crisis. He said "At the time it was a good idea" while McCain said "This is going to be a problem in the future" THat was in 02'-04'

Also President Bush tried to pass a bill having our government over watch subprimes loans because of companies like Fanniemae. yet the democrate congress (with its 13% approval rating) said no way. This bill was attempted to pass in 04' and 06' and in 07' is when everyone with subprime loans lost thier houses.

If you look at Obama's donations he has made between 450k-1.5mil$ a year yet has donated as little as 1% yearly yet he has preached on the weathly donating to the less fortunet. hipocrosy. Lets not forget that Fanniemae wrote a fat check to Obama for 250k$ after the bill was ruled out to "manage them"

Im not saying Obama would be a horrible president. Im saying I would rather have someone who can foresee problems in the future instead of those "it was a good idea at the time" statments