Monday, September 17, 2012

For the thoughtful

I paraphrase Mark Twain.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are an asshole than to open it and remove all doubt.

If you want to join Mitt in griping about all those layabouts who don't pay federal income taxes, please don't leave a comment until you've read this.

And for more giggles.


  1. We should all be happy to let Mitt yack on. He's doing a good job, thankfully, of talking himself out of that job he's looking for.

    1. Good point, Francis. I think the real question is WHY does Mitt want to be president.

    2. Strikes me, he just wants everything, in a "gimme" sort of way.

    3. His own kind of entitled, huh, Bill?

  2. The Atlantic has an article on the 47% and where they are. There is a map which shows where most of the 47% are and the least. Surprise, surprise, the top states with non-taxpayers (federal income tax) are in the south with Idaho the only one in the top ten not in the south.

    1. Shocking, no, Kulkuri? I called my layabout retired parents and told them to get off their lazy asses and get to work to pay some federal income taxes. They were pleased to hear I'm thinking like a Republican.

    2. Next you'll be telling me to get off my ass and go back to work, just when I was getting the hang of being retired???

    3. Hey, Kulkuri! Get off your lazy, mooching ass. There must be some job you can do to earn your social security check. Slacker.

  3. So when Romney makes a comment (admittedly poorly stated) denigrating a faction of voters, it is true insight to his psyche and worldview? Then please explain to me what Pres. Obama's comment about "bitter" Pennsylvanians (my home state FWIW)"clinging to their religion and guns" says about his views?

    When he says private citizens did not build their businesses, government did, what does that say?

    But now that the CBO revised upward the number of middle class who will have their taxes raised thanks to ObamaCare, maybe that 47% is getting closer to 50%....Six million Americans will pay the health care tax rather than obtain coverage under President Obama’s health care law, according to a new Congressional Budget Office estimate Wednesday — a 50 percent increase over CBO’s estimate of just two years ago.

    CBO also said there will be 30 million people without insurance, though all but the 6 million will be exempt from the tax. The exempt Americans are a combination of illegal immigrants and those with incomes too low to pay income taxes.

    Read more: CBO raises estimate of those hit by Obama health care tax - Washington Times

  4. Oh, Jonah. Please. I thought you were smarter than that.

    The President:
    If you were successful, somebody along the line gave you some help. There was a great teacher somewhere in your life. Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that allowed you to thrive. Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business -- you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen. The Internet didn’t get invented on its own. Government research created the Internet so that all the companies could make money off the Internet.

    The point is, is that when we succeed, we succeed because of our individual initiative, but also because we do things together. There are some things, just like fighting fires, we don’t do on our own. I mean, imagine if everybody had their own fire service. That would be a hard way to organize fighting fires.

    So we say to ourselves, ever since the founding of this country, you know what, there are some things we do better together. That’s how we funded the GI Bill. That’s how we created the middle class. That’s how we built the Golden Gate Bridge or the Hoover Dam. That’s how we invented the Internet. That’s how we sent a man to the moon. We rise or fall together as one nation and as one people, and that’s the reason I’m running for President -- because I still believe in that idea. You’re not on your own, we’re in this together. (Applause.)

    1. Source for my reply.

      Then Candidate Obama, April 6, 2008.

      So, it depends on where you are, but I think it's fair to say that the places where we are going to have to do the most work are the places where people feel most cynical about government. The people are mis-appre...I think they're misunderstanding why the demographics in our, in this contest have broken out as they are. Because everybody just ascribes it to 'white working-class don't wanna work -- don't wanna vote for the black guy.'

      That's...there were intimations of that in an article in the Sunday New York Times today - kind of implies that it's sort of a race thing.

      Here's how it is: in a lot of these communities in big industrial states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, people have been beaten down so long, and they feel so betrayed by government, and when they hear a pitch that is premised on not being cynical about government, then a part of them just doesn't buy it. And when it's delivered by -- it's true that when it's delivered by a 46-year-old black man named Barack Obama (laugher), then that adds another layer of skepticism (laughter).

      But -- so the questions you're most likely to get about me, 'Well, what is this guy going to do for me? What's the concrete thing?' What they wanna hear is -- so, we'll give you talking points about what we're proposing -- close tax loopholes, roll back, you know, the tax cuts for the top 1 percent. Obama's gonna give tax breaks to middle-class folks and we're gonna provide health care for every American. So we'll go down a series of talking points.

      But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there's not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it's not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

      Um, now these are in some communities, you know. I think what you'll find is, is that people of every background -- there are gonna be a mix of people, you can go in the toughest neighborhoods, you know working-class lunch-pail folks, you'll find Obama enthusiasts. And you can go into places where you think I'd be very strong and people will just be skeptical. The important thing is that you show up and you're doing what you're doing.

    2. Contrast The President's messages with this:

      Audience member: For the last three years, all everybody's been told is, "Don't worry, we'll take care of you." How are you going to do it, in two months before the elections, to convince everybody you've got to take care of yourself?

      Romney: There are 47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what. All right, there are 47 percent who are with him, who are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe that government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you name it. That that's an entitlement. And the government should give it to them. And they will vote for this president no matter what. And I mean, the president starts off with 48, 49, 48—he starts off with a huge number. These are people who pay no income tax. Forty-seven percent of Americans pay no income tax. So our message of low taxes doesn't connect. And he'll be out there talking about tax cuts for the rich. I mean that's what they sell every four years. And so my job is not to worry about those people—I'll never convince them that they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives. What I have to do is convince the 5 to 10 percent in the center that are independents that are thoughtful, that look at voting one way or the other depending upon in some cases emotion, whether they like the guy or not, what it looks like. I mean, when you ask those people…we do all these polls—I find it amazing—we poll all these people, see where you stand on the polls, but 45 percent of the people will go with a Republican, and 48 or 4…

    3. Then Candidate Obama was saying that people are angry and have reason to be and they vote from that bitterness, often selecting single issues on which to base their choices. True, but harshly stated. I'm sure he wouldn't say it again if he had the chance. But he never once said that his campaign should write those people off, that he wouldn't do whatever he could to serve the needs of those "bitter clingers."

      Regarding "you didn't build that?" I don't believe the President meant that entrepreneurs don't build their businesses. Maybe he meant they don't build the infrastructure that makes having a business possible. Maybe he meant no one builds a business alone, in a vacuum. Either would be in keeping with the other things he's said over the years and either are supported by policies he's pushed.

  5. Thank you, I figured you would say that....the thing is, government doesn't build anything can't...not without money...which it gets from where? The taxpayer...who gets it where? from income...from where...the businesses Pres. Obama seems to think could not exist without's the other way around.

    Serves the needs of bitter clingers? Tell that to the Catholic Church and the contraception mandate....really respecting the beliefs of bitter clingers there, isn't he?

    1. I don't think the President believes that at all. I think he sees business and government as two equally important and necessary entities, interdependent to the other. Again, his policies have supported this idea.

      As for the Catholic Church, well, that's a pity. My opinion is that religion should get the hell out of the business of talking about sex altogether. And in return, we can all stop calling out to god when we climax. ;-)

    2. I'm sorry, but these parts do not sound like a person who sees business and government as 2 equal and interdependent partners:

      Somebody helped to create this unbelievable American system that we have that
      "allowed you to thrive".
      Somebody invested in roads and bridges. If you’ve got a business --
      "you didn’t build" that.
      "Somebody else made that happen".
      The Internet didn’t get invented on its own.
      "Government research created the Internet so" that all the "companies could make money" off the Internet.

      Okay enough from me...I'm too busy trying to think of what phrase to substitute for "Oh' God!" would think it would be easy for an agnostic

    3. Ha! Please be sure to let me know when you come up with a word for that because this agnostic is struggling with that one too.

  6. Just reading this correspondence between you and Jonah, I was struck by a thought ...

    The "right," in US American terms, has a deep-seated suspicion of "government" in nearly all its forms (with the exception of what consenting adults do with each other in a sexual context). A major component of this is the tendency to see "government" as them, distinct from - and generally hostile to - us. But, in fact, in all secular constitutional democracies, government is actually just the administrative expression of the collective will of "we, the people." The days of evil King George and taxation without representation are long gone.

    So, of course, government does build all sorts of things - as the agent of communities, a people, a nation, a society.

  7. I would agree (mostly) with Mr. least in being suspicious of government, but let's understand the Constitution was written based on that suspicion of the power of government to intrude in private lives (and no I do not believe government needs to be in people's bedrooms). The Constitution was written to express exactly what powers government has and nothing more...and even that was not enough to get people to agree, so the Bill of Rights had to be added to state expressly what government cannot do.

    Government is supposed to be the expression of the will of the people....but we all know it's not. Congress' approval rating could not get much lower...yet we all know how many incumbents will be's the old "throw the bums out" but "my guy's not one of them---look how much he does for us"
    We fall for the idea that the government is some separate entity...look how many people brag about getting a refund on their income tax, as if it is some gift from the government...idiots, every one of them, cause they just gave the government an interest free loan of their money for a year...then had to fill out paperwork and prove it belongs to them just to get it back!

    Government does not takes...and redirects...and that is by design...the problem is how much it takes now and for what. Government is not self-funding. It does not create capital like a business does. It can only take what others have created. We are at tipping point, where more people are takers from the government than are not. That is not sustainable. That is what Romney was so ineloquently getting at. He screwed up by linking those people to the same 47% that support Pres. Obama....that was just wrong and unfortunately gets him off track.
    We spend more than we take in. The current administrations solution is to take more and spend more. How's that working for Spain and Greece?


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