Sunday, May 29, 2011


What is it about the Constitution? People carry their copies around like it’s the Bible and chastise the rest of us for not reading it. I’ve ranted before about its interpretation but has anyone actually read it? I admit it’s a bit dry, not to mention, deliberately vague.

Herman Cain announced his presidential bid last Saturday. There’s always been something odd about black republicans to me, especially when they wear cowboy hats. I know there were actually a lot of real black cowboys, but you sure don’t see them in the John Wayne movies these yahoos are referencing.

"We don’t need to rewrite the Constitution of the United States," Cain said. "We need to reread the Constitution and enforce the Constitution."
"And I know that there’s some people that are not going to do that. So, for the benefit for those that are not going to read it because they don’t want us to go by the Constitution, there’s a little section in there that talks about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
"You know, those ideals that we live by, we believe in, your parents believe in, they instilled in you. When you get to the part about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, don’t stop right there, keep reading.
"’Cause that’s when it says that when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it. We’ve got some altering and some abolishing to do."

Those words were in the preamble of the Declaration of Independence.


Sunday, May 15, 2011


It’s really hard for me to read the comments section of political blogs. There are a lot of people who are incredibly ignorant about history. I can’t believe how many people equate Fascism with Socialism. Fascism was a response to the left in spite of the word Socialist in NAZI. It really seems pointless to believe social justice is possible given our lowest common denominator awareness of the world around us.

The biggest fallacy perpetuated by the right is that Obama is a lefty.

Before the gulf oil spill, President Obama pushed to expand offshore drilling. His Interior Department gave British Petroleum's rig a "categorical exclusion" from environmental scrutiny and, according to the New York Times, "gave permission to BP and dozens of other oil companies to drill in the Gulf without first getting required permits. After the spill, the same Interior Department kept issuing "categorical exclusions" for new Gulf oil operations, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar still refuses "to rule out continued use of categorical exclusions," the Denver Post reported.

Salazar, who oversaw this disaster and who, before that, took $323,000 in campaign contributions from energy interests and backed more offshore drilling as a U.S. senator.

Obama’s corporate support has always been right out of the Republican playbook.

Obama has continued George W. Bush’s detention and domestic wiretap policies. He won’t end the federal ban on gay marriage. Immigrant activists are frustrated by the administration’s failure to push for immigration reform.

He has taken some good ideas from the right.

The first Cap and Trade plan was from George H. W. Bush It was about acid rain. Newt Gingrich voted for that plan. He actually said Cap and Trade for carbon would be a great idea.

An individual mandate health care bill was a republican idea. It was the republican alternative to Clinton’s single payer plan. Mitt Romney was doing an individual mandate plan as late as 2009. Chuck Grassley even said individual mandates had bipartisan support.

A budget deal to cut the deficit with both spending cuts and tax hikes was a George H. W. Bush plan. He said it was necessary. He did it, and it worked.

Now these are considered crazy Liberal ideas.

Republicans have abandoned ideas that actually worked. Cap and Trade improved the acid rain problem. An individual mandate worked in Massachusetts and George H. W. Bush did set the stage for balance budget in the ‘90s.

Why have Republicans given up on their successful policies? I guess polarizing American voters and winning elections is more important. Does Obama believe this as well?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Economic Effects of Taxes

Republicans are trying to convince us that getting rid of taxes will make our economy grow. Many things affect the economy more than the federal tax code.

Changes to revenue generally aren't caused by the tax rates at all, but by other changes in the broader economy. Bill Clinton raised taxes in 1993, and the economy expanded for much of the 1990s and tax revenue went up.

"There's no clear relationship between taxes and economic growth," said Bob Williams of the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. "Too many factors complicate the picture to draw clear conclusions about the taxes-growth relationship."

A 2006 report from the U.S. Treasury Department concluded the effect of most tax laws on the wider economy were "uncertain, but probably generally small."

The Treasury report sought to document the revenue effects of every major tax law passed since 1940. To compare the different laws, it examined tax revenues as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product, a measurement that accounts for economic growth and inflation.

The report found that laws that lowered taxes produced declines in revenues, and that laws that increased taxes produced increases in tax revenues. Tax cuts don’t increase government revenues more than they would have increased otherwise.

Tea Partier Rep. Joe Walsh said on This Week with Christiane Amanpour, "Every time we've cut taxes, revenues have gone up, the economy has grown."

That’s not true. Revenues did not go up in 2001, 2002 or 2003, after tax rates were lowered.

The Bush tax cuts had a time limit because they were unsustainable. We were at historic lows for taxes already. All the cuts have to end, not just for the wealthy! We would have achieved a surplus in 2007 without them.