Rant


In response to a previous post on taxes, a commenter said:

Interesting, They [the top 1% of earners] paid 23.3 percent, sounds real big. sounds unfair [End sarcasm]

I don’t have the numbers handy for 2003, but in 2000: The top 1% had 21.7 % of all income. and the top 10% had 48% of the income.

So that sounds about right to me.

source : “The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and CheatEverybody Else”
which references http://emlab.berkeley.edu/users/saez/piketty-saezOUP04US.pdf

Nice reference: “The Covert Campaign to Rig Our Tax System to Benefit the Super Rich–and CheatEverybody Else”

1) I wouldn’t call any campaign to do such “covert” because no one in their right mind views the government as an efficient charity – not even those that claim to (e.g. Ted Kennedy has done everything in his power to avoid paying taxes via off shore accounts and international trusts – etc.). Why SHOULDN’T the rich do everything in their power to avoid paying taxes? I do everything within the law that I can. Since every single dollar of federal tax used for social programs is immoral because it ultimately works against those it claims to help, I feel a moral obligation to do exactly that.

2) The actual numbers speak for themselves. As one reviewer of the above referenced book points out, the IRS figures paint quite a different story than the “liberal think tanks” (an oxymoron for sure) that supplied the statistics for the book.

(so given (1) I assume only a limited success based on (2)).

3) The title alone highlights the socialist egalitarian mindset. Never mind the fact that most of the rich earned their money (as a source, I suggest a book like The Millionaire Next Door or any Thomas Sowell editorial that covers the demographics of social mobility) – the entitlement mindset of the average egalitarian socialist sees unequal distribution of wealth as “unfair” and “cheating” even though equality of opportunity is not an issue. That’s why, when those people win and their ideology carries the day, invariably progress stagnates, corruption flourishes, any sense of responsibility is extinguished, deaths by the thousands ensues, and totalitarianism often takes hold. Again, this is why socialists are required to ignore history in favor of their idealized conceptions.

Based on social mobility numbers that show those with a moderate financial intelligence that are willing to work hard can amass wealth enough to bring financial security, I suggest there is another reason that accounts for disparity in the concentration of wealth in recent years. It’s that the socialist mentality has created an entitlement mindset that works against those that hold it. As more and more people feel they have a right to what others have earned, they are less likely to feel they should work toward anything themselves. Rather, they begin to see, not a world of opportunity where even they could gain by contributing, but instead a world of “inequality” and “unfairness” where they are “oppressed.” It’s not that the rich have manipulated their wealth in some unfair manner to “steal” from the “poor,” it’s that people like you have created a permanent underclass in recent times by perpetuating a socialist entitlement attitude that keeps many enslaved to an artificial victim mentality. By this means modern socialism’s spread becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

As evidence I offer the following: a vast majority of current millionaires earned their wealth in a single generation and a largely disproportionate number of these people are first generation immigrants who came here with almost nothing, and proceeded to buid businesses by their own sweat. It is interesting to find this wealth doesn’t translate into following generations once these families become “Americanized.” This can be explained easily enough via the corrupting influence of your ideology.

What did I tell you? GM management fails in a competitive market and we taxpayers will pick up the tab – or so the Washington post reports. The industry and the government are avoiding calling it a bailout but in fact it will cost the tax payer many many times more than the Chrysler bailout. The post reports:

Taken together, however, the components of their wish list would cost tens of billions — far more than Chrysler ever dared to seek.

Both Ford and GM are attempting to circumvent notice when asking the corporate welfare minded Republican party for a series of tax breaks and grants. Read the post’s report … and weep. A bailout by any other name is still a bailout.

While I found it difficult to find a news article about it, today marks a milestone in the long march toward the “great society” envisioned by “cradle to grave” socialists from FDR to the modern Republicans lead by President Bush. Don’t worry, be happy, the government will take care of you and mediocrity will triumph. It brings a tear of joy to my eye, for today was the opening of enrollment in the new Medicare prescription plan. At least it’s good to know that, while the country may go bankrupt as a result, while the positive effects of competition are nullified by further separation of the consumer from the payer, while people will grow more dependent on and expectant of the government, at least insurance and pharmaceutical companies will grow fat off the public dole.

England’s left wing rag The Independent is blaming the riots in Paris on poverty and exclusion. Why am I surprised? Socialists are immune to objective reality. With a century of dismal failure, the fact that there are any left is confirmation of this (and in a round about way, confirmation of Alvin Plantinga’s discussion called An Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism, but that is a topic for another post).

If there is any “alienation” at the root of the riots among Muslims in Paris (a fact conveniently left out of The Independent’s report), it’s a result of the multiculturalist attitudes in France that have allowed cultural and religious bigotry to blossom, by drawing and emphasizing the lines that distinguish communities, rather than requiring their assimilation into the culture. That is the difference between what immigration in this country used to be like in the earlier part of the 20th century, when we where known as “the great melting pot,” and the prevailing (post-)modern attitudes that maintain we ought to be a “salad bowl.”

As is apparent in France, salads get tossed.

(Pardon the Dune reference)

Just a quick note – those that know me or have been reading along know that, though I’m very conservative, I’m no Bush fan, and I viewed the only possible good from his election would come in the form of reforming the runaway, postmodern deconstructionist, tyrannical, unconstitutional, “separation of powers” violating, elitist, activist US Supreme Court. Though I don’t know a whole lot about Mr. Alito, I do know he makes the right people upset. Is the new left wing nickname, “Scalito,” supposed to be a slam or a complement? – I’m not sure … 😀

This news item provides a perfect example of the hypocrisy inherent in so much of the left. The article opens

A crowd protesting a white supremacists’ march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores, and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said.

With the consequentialist attitude of the protesters that affords the justification of violence against the police, vandalizing of vehicles, the destruction of a neighborhood bar, and as the article goes on to report, the threatening of a local minister, and the destruction of a convenience store – one wonders if there really is any difference between the protesters and the protested. What exactly could the protesters claim was wrong with the position of the Nazi’s they were protesting without condemning themselves by the same proclamation?

Is it any wonder the Nazi’s call themselves “National Socialists?” Right wing tyranny and left wing tyranny is still tyranny.

Pat Buchanan’s latest commentary on President Bush’s most recent capitulation to mediocrity with his recent Supreme Court appointment says everything I wanted to say but don’t currently have the time to. Personally I felt that control of the runaway courts was the only reason to put Bush back in office in 2004 (well that, and the alternative) – and now I’ve been disappointed even in this.

I may end up needing to retract my previous criticism of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s statements. She may end up getting what she wanted after all.

Added at 5:48 PM EDT – It appears that Ambra Nykol, a blogger I greatly appreciate and who’s opinion I respect and often agree with, has come out in favor of this nomination. I think the cries of “trust him” are way overdone. As Mike said in the comments to this post, Bush’s penchant for patronage makes the appointment of his personal lawer suspect. While it is true (as Mike and Ambra point out) he hasn’t given us cause for alarm with respect to judicial nominees, his faith in the people he has surrounded himself with is driven by loyalty and not performance. As the Republicans are backed into a corner by their own base on: the budget, resonse to Katrina, clear incompetence in Bush appointees, disregard of the principles of constitutional federalism, Tom Delay indictments, etc. etc., Bush runs to a loyal advisor and away from a fight. Pat Buchanan paints an accurate picture when he says:

… in selecting her, Bush capitulated to the diversity-mongers, used a critical Supreme Court seat to reward a crony and revealed that he lacks the desire to engage the Senate in fierce combat to carry out his now-suspect commitment to remake the court in the image of Scalia and Thomas. In picking her, Bush ran from a fight.

Pork and Patronage. While I certainly never trust the NY Times to bring me accurate information when unchecked (especially from their “opinion” page – which really constitutes the entire paper), this story about the number of Federal Government contracts for Katrina cleanup going to the politically connected doesn’t surprise me in the least. There was a time I would have been sure only the Democrats would have done something like this, but not anymore.

Speaking of constitutional ignorance. It’s pretty scary when it comes in such large portions from a sitting Supreme Court justice. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg recently said of any woman George Bush might appoint to take the place of O’Connor

any woman will not do

Meaning, based on this and other things she said in the interview, that someone like her would be required. Given that President Bush has repeatedly promised a “strict constructionist,” Justice Ginsberg is likely to be disappointed. I guess she’s forgotten what the constitutional prerogative of a sitting President is with respect to the Supreme Court justice selection (read Article II, Section 2, it’s not a large document).

She certainly is ignorant as to what constitutes legitimate legal case law support when she answered a question about the court’s (specifically O’Connor’s) reliance on international law as part of the legal reasoning behind some recent court decisions. She said:

I will take enlightenment wherever I can get it.

… except apparently where she’s obligated to get it from when considering cases at the Supreme Court.

Since the very foundation of contemporary liberal thought (an oxymoron if there ever was one) is postmodern deconstruction, any true “constructionist” Judicial nominee will invariably be conservative. A liberal constructionist would be like a square circle – a clear contradiction in terms.

I toned this post down after I let the initial version stand out there for a few hours.

Finally! calls from the right for fiscal (and other) accountability of the Republicrats in charge. If there was any doubt among those on the right that those in charge are not on their side, read Bruce Bartlett’s latest column and compare it to Novak’s. I also previously mentioned Debra Saunder’s article on the same topic.

All of these are from Townhall.com! the very mouthpiece of the right and the dreaded (from the perspective of the left) Heritage Foundation.

As conservative as I am I will throw my support to the fiscally responsible John McCain for 2008 (if he runs) and hope for the best.

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