Sunday, September 28, 2014

Republicans Strive to Harm?

 The discussion regarding the Democrats Targeting Mills Wealth at MinnPost took an interesting turn.
"I do find it interesting that Liberals pride themselves on being tolerant and accepting of different people, yet they seem happy that the ads are trying to drive wedges by making people envious and jealous of the Mills family. A local group that seems to have made their money by providing good products for good prices. Definitely one of my favorite places to shop.

And of course there was that goofy hair ad where they replay the same clip over and over. I guess this is likely good news, it likely means they have nothing of substance to go after him for." G2A 
"No John, I don't envy his wealth, I don't need it. I'm not jealous of him or his family, from their history, it sounds kind of sad. I dislike Mills because he is arrogant, smarmy, and has a vision for this country that is designed to make life worse for people like me and those I care about. Why is that so hard for conservatives to accept? It is possible to think a person is a jerk, independent of their financial status." Matt

 "Then all the ads mentioning his salary, family wealth, etc should be stopped?

Personally I don't know if he is arrogant, smarmy, etc. I have never talked with the man.

And the correct statement would be . "I believe his vison will make life worse for ..."
I am always amazed that people think Republicans are actively trying to "make life worse" for their constituents. Many of whom are just like you. The reality is that they believe in a different way of making life better for us." G2A

"I don't believe they have any care for their liberal constituents at all. Then again I don't think they care about the conservative ones without money to fund campaigns either. You forget, I'm a cynic. Go ahead and believe your "just like me" malarkey all you like, conservatives don't care about me and mine, and never will. Don't act so surprised when I express my distaste for them as a result. You're all welcome to change your views and behavior if you'd like to win my support or assistance, but of course that won't be happening in my lifetime, so here we are." Matt
What I was fascinated by is the idea that Matt truly seems to believe that all Republican politicians care about are the wealthy.  I mean almost half the population of American citizens vote Republican, including people who are poor, middle class and wealthy, White, Black, Hispanic, Religious, not Religious, etc.

I mean both the Democrats and Republicans believe in a mixed economy.  The Democrats just want to pull it to the Socialism side and the Republicans want to pull it towards the Capitalism side.  Do all Liberals truly believe that the Republicans are out to "make life worse for people like me and those I care about"???  I mean wouldn't that be kind of counterproductive and likely to annoy their voters who come from almost every demographic?

Just a note: from what I can tell Matt's household is middle to upper middle class.  And I am guessing White, but I have no idea.



Laurie said...

Mill's income and wealth make him part of the 1%. It is reasonable to assume that he puts the interests of the 1% above that of a person making $50,000.

Also, he is likely to vote with the GOP majority he would join and my impression is that they cater more to the wealthy than the middle class.

Laurie said...

Would Mills vote to increase the minimum wage? I don't think so.

A couple links on inequality/ economic fairness:'

Americans Have No Idea How Bad Inequality Really Is

Pew research center

John said...

As they were mentioning over there, Dayton is wealthier and a trust fund baby. At least Stewart has been working in the family businesses. So why do you believe Stewart will more biased towards the 1% than Dayton?

In your comment it seems that you believe the success of the 1% and those making $50,000 are not related.

But as I said, you believe pulling our mixed economy to the Left is a good thing for America. Whereas I see pulling it to the Right is good thing for America.

John said...

I don't believe in government setting an arbitrary minimum wage, what is your point.

You want to raise wages, stop buying over seas goods or send all of the illegal residents back to their home country... I'm not sure why Liberals keep wanting cheap goods and think they can have good wages?

By the way, don't forget that a higher minimum wage hits the poor hardest. Just like a sales tax.

Are you going to lobby for higher welfare and social security checks so those folks can afford the new higher prices?

Anonymous said...

As much as anything, the problem Republicans are having is that they have adopted a Manichean world view which sees the world in terms of absolute good and evil. Just about every day, I meet Republicans who, quite literally, think I am in league with the devil.


Anonymous said...

What about equivalence? Do I think Republicans are in league with the devil? I certainly don't, but I am sure some people on my side of things do. But in a consensus based government, folks like me can't afford to dismiss those who happen to disagree with us on many issues. In order to get things done, we have to find common ground with those of different interests and parties. That's why we have Rino's but don't have Dino's.


Laurie said...

Stewart is a republican and Dayton is a democrat. In the last 2 years Dayton and the democrats have increased education funding and reduced the number of uninsured. What has the GOP done for middle and lower income people? One can look to Kansas to see the results of implementing republican / conservative policies

What's the Matter With Sam Brownback?
How the Kansas governor's red-state experiment could turn Kansas purple.

Mostly, I don't think it matters who wins as congress doesn't do anything anyhow. But maybe it will matter in 2016 or beyond which way the rep from the 8th district votes. All people really need to know about candidates to decide is D or R.

Sean said...

"So why do you believe Stewart will more biased towards the 1% than Dayton?"

Mark Dayton advocates for policies -- specifically in taxes -- that benefit others as opposed to himself.

jerrye92002 said...

Maybe Reagan said it best, that Democrats argue about how to slice the pie, and Republicans just want to bake a bigger pie. If you look at the economy as a fixed resource, then it is easy to be concerned that somebody is getting more than you, and if a politician promises to take it away from that person, you applaud even if you don't get a bigger share. That is the liberal view, and as much as I understand the reality of it, I cannot make it make sense. And the last piece, of course, is to create, sustain and benefit from the hate for those trying to bake the bigger pie, to justify confiscating an ever-larger share of pie for the liberal overlords.

jerrye92002 said...

BTW, does anyone see the rampant hypocrisy here? Last I looked, the top 4 richest US Senators were Democrats. And Democrats routinely spend vastly more on politics, from FEWER donors, than do Republicans.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe Reagan said it best, that Democrats argue about how to slice the pie, and Republicans just want to bake a bigger pie."

the problem is that our economy doesn't expand the pie anymore. Those in charge of it are too fixed on cutting for themselves larger slices. The economy grew a lot in those years when the policies Reagan complained about prevailed. Since then, not so much.


jerrye92002 said...

"the problem is that our economy doesn't expand the pie anymore."

No, the problem is that economies don't expand themselves. People working to expand their own prosperity expand the economy as a whole. Government can prevent that, or it can get out of the way and allow it, but it can't create real wealth.

Anonymous said...

the problem is that economies don't expand themselves.

Sure they do, but they also stagnate and contract themselves. Our economy has been deteriorating for quite some time.


John said...

"Mark Dayton advocates for policies -- specifically in taxes -- that benefit others as opposed to himself." I am not sure. Here is an interesting article.

So Dayton raises the taxes on the wealthiest MNs and sprinkles the money across the union personnel, low income folks, Vikings, Mayo clinic, and other supporters like pixie dust. And they drive his re-election funding through the roof and he gets to be perceived as the good Fairy God Mother...

Now who is he doing this for and at what cost to us who have to pay the taxes?

If you were a trust fund recipient, wouldn't being perceived as a hero be pretty intoxicating, especially if you could do it by spending other people's money?

Laurie said...

What good is a bigger pie if all of the income growth is going to the 1%

Chart: Happy Days Are Here Again—for the Superwealthy

Laurie said...

If Dayton wins and dfl retains its majority in the house I think education funding will be one of the reasons. People like all day K, increased per pupil funding, and tuition freeze for higher ed.

John said...

Yes, pixie dust is very popular with the recipients.

As long as one does not overload the pixie dust making machine and cause it to break. Or flee to another state.

Maybe I should have gone with geese and golden eggs. I could have described them flying away from the masses who pursued them...

John said...

Where have the citizens had their 401Ks and IRAs sitting?

In guaranteed payment, no risk investments?

Or did they buy too nice of home, buy too nice of a car, take too many vacations, etc so they do not have retirment savings?

S&P 500 Returns

Now I do truly feel for those who have really low incomes. I can understand why it is hard for them to save, but for the other 80% of the population there is no excuse that they are not saving something and benefitting from this bull market.

jerrye92002 said...

"What good is a bigger pie if all of the income growth is going to the 1%
" -- Laurie

Recently, respected economists have discovered that periods of economic growth reduce income inequality, and stagnating growth disproportionately helps high income folks. So, this marvelous Obama recession is what is driving the inequality he complains about.

Oh, and that wonderful bull market was what brought on the Great Depression. The market keeps going up, IMHO, because nobody believes that Social Security will be there for them, and because the Fed has kept interest rates at ridiculous levels, making the safer bond market non-appealing. The only question is how big this bubble will be when it bursts.

Laurie said...

Do you understand graphics? Here is another one for you:

Chart: Big Gains for the 1 Percent of the 1 Percent

As a top 10% you may feel pretty wealthy and superior and have a hard time relating to the financial struggles of a even a person who earns the median income. But in the big picture you are being screwed by the top .01% just like the rest of us. At what point will you think that maybe the top .01% is taking an unfair share of the income? When they claim 50% or 75%?

John said...

CNBC Wealth Equity

I liked their solution... People need to develop themselves.

Please be specific, how is the top 1% screwing us?

What exactly are they doing that is so terrible?

Sean said...

"Please be specific, how is the top 1% screwing us?"

I don't know if I'd phrase it that way, but if you don't think the very wealthy have an oversized influence on our political system, I think you're deluding yourself.

John said...

That wasn't very specific.

Sean said...

Here's a few examples:

* relaxed regulation of business, which contributes to accounting scandals (Enron, etc.), Wall Street shenanigans, reduced employee safety, and environmental damage

* continuation of the carried interest tax loophole

* there are some in the 1% who push strongly to make it harder for poor people to vote

jerrye92002 said...

Here's an interesting question: If big money is corrupting politics, is it the fault of the big money, or is it the fault of the politicians for being corruptible in the first place?

And I am curious, Laurie, as to how you believe the rich are "taking" an unfair share of the pie? Only government has the power to forcibly take what somebody else has earned, and they disproportionately take from the rich. The rich, on the other hand, can only take what somebody is willing to give them in exchange for goods and services.

John said...

Please don't confuse law breaking with free gifts. Somebody went to jail or paid huge fines for those shenanigans. And a couple died or killed themselves. Or are you saying that many wealth people break the law.

I agree that the carried interest loophole exists, however I think it is a tax policy that we could all use if we wished. Correct? However I agree with your point.

As for voting, I assume we are discussing voter ID. Now I thought you were telling me that welfare folks needed an ID to get benefits, so I am still puzzled why people are against voter ID.

John said...

One area that still puzzles me is why are long capital gains and dividends taxed at a lower rate?

It is definitely a huge benefit for wealthy people that the not wealthy can not use to any significant extent.

Sean said...

"Somebody went to jail or paid huge fines for those shenanigans. And a couple died or killed themselves. Or are you saying that many wealth people break the law."

How many innocent people were damaged by the failure of Enron, Arthur Andersen, Worldcom, etc.? Who went to jail for the fraud perpetrated in the financial services industries? (Hint: nobody)

Yet, we've seen many in the 1% fight commonsense reforms designed to prevent these events from happening again and fight giving regulatory agencies the resources they need to enforce the laws that are already on the books.

Consider the various mining incidents that have happened in recent years -- what do we hear every time? The operations hadn't been inspected in years because regulators don't have enough staff or whatever violations did occur had minuscule fines that the companies chose to just pay instead of fixing the problem.

"I agree that the carried interest loophole exists, however I think it is a tax policy that we could all use if we wished. Correct?"

If we all had sufficient resources to establish our own private equity or hedge funds, sure.

"As for voting, I assume we are discussing voter ID."

That's merely one component to it. There's the handling of the voter registration file (Florida's Republican governors have a 15 year history of disenfranchising minority voters through shoddy purges of the voter rolls, for instance), resources given to local officials for elections (look at the length of poll lines in minority/poor areas versus wealthy areas), stances on early voting or no-fault absentee voting, etc.

Anonymous said...

One area that still puzzles me is why are long capital gains and dividends taxed at a lower rate?

Has to do with time value of money.


jerrye92002 said...

First off, I would suggest that the notion Republicans alone tinker with the tax code is clearly wrong. Two, to suggest that this is done to "harm" poor people is clearly incorrect, and in fact the opposite is more likely true during Democratic reigns. Third, this whole argument arises because of the incredible complexities of the tax code, making it impossible to be fair and including every kind of social engineering-- encouraging this and discouraging that other. Four, if the tax code is the most likely place to "buy influence," (and it is) you have the question of whether the john or the prostitute is acting immorally or illegally. Six, there is no such thing as a tax loophole. Every single provision was written in there by Congress, for some purpose, and if people do what Congress intended when the provision was added, it's Congress's fault if that is considered "unfair" by those who cannot benefit. Seven, the whole problem, along with about 75% of the lobbyists in DC, disappear with adoption of the FAIR tax and elimination of the IRS.

Finally, I take offense at the basic premise here. I don't think that I, or any of the 50 million other people who vote Republican, want to harm any of our innocent fellow citizens. I especially don't think we should be accused of hating women, or blacks, or gays, or Hispanics, or children, because many of us ARE women, or blacks, or gay, or Hispanic, or have children. We often object to liberal policies, and the Left cannot seem to distinguish that from personal (or class) attacks. In turn, they can't seem to object to policy differences WITHOUT attacking the other side personally as stupid, hateful, etc. That's THEIR problem.

Sean said...

"In turn, they can't seem to object to policy differences WITHOUT attacking the other side personally as stupid, hateful, etc."

Coming from an expert, I guess...

Laurie said...

normal people think the top 1% having 22% of the income and 40% of the wealth is not right. Maybe laws should be passed to decrease this inequality a little. Maybe there were some laws in place in 1960 that helped to limit the the 1% to 10% of the income. You act as if capitalism was created by God rather than people passing laws.

Maybe if the wealthy paid higher taxes the salary I earn teaching kids to read would be enough for me to pay my kids college tuition.

John said...

The reason why most wealthy people are wealthy is because they love investing, not spending... USA Teacher

These people/families choose to invest in themselves by learning, and choose to live beneath their means so they can invest. And therefore you think they should pay more in taxes because they lived in this manner and accumulated wealth? Which you perceive to be unfair...
Buffett Lifestyle

How to Become Wealthy

I will never understand the Liberal view. It seems the goal is to encourage people to spend and never accumulate wealth.

John said...

I'll use my self as an example.

I spent the last 2 weekends:
-cutting down our huge apple tree, hauling the limbs to the recycling center, and pulling the stump.
- working on fixing a broken exhaust manifold bolt on my ~13 year old Suburban
- maintaining my own yard
- etc

Now I could hire a tree service, use a mechanic or buy a new Suburban, or hire a lawn service. However I would rather keep that money in the stock market where it was growing.

So I do this for my whole life and accumulate millions of dollars of wealth. Is it really unfair that I have a big net worth where as others who spent do not?

John said...

Rich go Broke
Riches to Rags
Why Rich Go Broke
NYT Rich go Broke

John said...

So do you truly believe that people who live below their means and invest the difference for their entire life time should have the same wealth as those who do not save and invest as diligently?

So do you think it should be the job of government to take some of the fruits yielded by that self control/effort and give those fruits to people who did not live with that discipline.

Mike Tyson had a fortune and lost it. Does Warren Buffet owe Mike something because Warren worked hard, saved, invested while Mike was out partying?

Laurie said...

blah blah blah I live in a 1500 sq ft house, our van has 200,000 miles on it and we leave our kids home to save $ when we go out of town on vacation once a year. (we took them with us on our vacations when they were little which were camping.)

besides that, my comments have mostly been focused on income. How did CEO's become so much smarter and hard working these past 50 years to justify increasing their pay from 20 times more than their employees to 350 times more than their employees. Are they paid so exorbitantly because they are thrifty? Also, I seem to remember the last 2 GOP presidential nominees owned about a dozen houses each. I think they are more representative of the wealthy life style. I know very few wealthy people but my cousin's husband has an 8 car garage for his car collection, his own plane to fly up to their lake home on Gull lake, and a houseboat on Lake Minnetonka for when they stay in town. They also have a mansion in town, which I have been to only once when the extended family was invited over when they first bought it.

btw, in an opinion survey Americans said the ideal CEO to employee pay ratio would be 7:1.

Laurie said...

also you sure do draw strange conclusions.

about "So do you truly believe that people who live below their means and invest the difference for their entire life time should have the same wealth as those who do not save and invest as diligently.

what I have in mind is more like- it is not right that The World’s 85 Richest people Are Now Worth as Much as 3.5 Billion poorest. Maybe they should pay some more taxes or something, like fund some vaccines for kids.

You seem to be arguing on behalf of the upper middle class while I am complaining about the rich and super rich.
Maybe you expect to be rich one day, but it seems unlikely to me.

John said...

Remember my favorite definition of rich...

"That person who has more money than me..."

So your concept is that the "super rich" should sell their stock and real estate to pay higher taxes so that it can be given to others. Please remember that as they sell, the prices will drop. Meaning the markets and our retirement funds will drop.

Just one of those pesky details. Many of these people are rich because of the assets they own, not the cash they hold.

John said...

Well let's put faces and names to those people. Forbes American Billionaires


jerrye92002 said...

"what I have in mind is more like- it is not right that The World’s 85 Richest people Are Now Worth as Much as 3.5 Billion poorest. Maybe they should pay some more taxes or something, like fund some vaccines for kids." -- Laurie

Pay more taxes? So that what? Need I point out again that Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, given the opportunity to pay a lot more in taxes, gave about half of their vast fortunes to charity-- the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-- instead. Are you really going to argue that rich people should waste their money on taxes, rather than charity, or that government does charity as well or better?

You see, that's the thing. Once a certain amount of wealth has been created, accumulated, and spent, the rich inevitably find the need to give some of it away to make themselves feel better. Rich conservatives do that, for example the Koch brothers. Rich liberals, OTOH, feel more comfortable having government give away somebody else's money rather than their own.

Laurie said...

if the CEO'a were taxed at a higher rate on their $12 million a year incomes they wouldn't need to sell any assets.

I'd label people who make more than a million $ a year as rich. That leaves a whole lot of people making much more than me who don't make the cut.

As for the wealthy giving their money away, we know of 2 of the super rich who do this, though Gates seem to make money faster than he can spend it, as he has remained or returned to the top of the list of the most wealthy.

John said...

What do you think they should pay?
50+ percent tax rate
3X Middle Class

jerrye92002 said...

The argument is whether or not rich people are more charitable than poor people, and it isn't arguable. Even rich liberals and skinflints like John Kerry, who gives only 1% or so as I recall, donate in amounts that exceed what most of us make in a year. Bill Gates donated $40 Billion of his fortune to his foundation, rather than pay taxes on it. And why wouldn't he?

Many times it has been proposed to eliminate the charitable deduction on income taxes and it is the charities that scream how much they will be hurt by such a move. Why would anybody want to harm charities, especially liberals who "care" so much?

John said...

What I find interesting is that some people think it is more productive to forcefully collect the money and give it to a bunch of meandering career bureaucrats.

Rather than have the brilliant creative people like Gates manage it.

Laurie said...

here is another link that supports my viewpoint that Income inequality’s sick joke: A rising tide only lifts luxury yachts

jerrye92002 said...

Laurie, that's a fascinating piece, thank you.

But it's backwards as to cause and effect! The research says that during times of slow economic growth, income inequality INCREASES, and that economic growth is the "rising tide" that "lifts all boats. Economic growth is driven by capital investments, made by rich people, but huge deficit spending by government reduces the capital available for investment, while high taxes, uncertainty and over-regulation discourage it. (Notice the constant complaints about rich people and corporations "sitting on" their cash?) George Will recently observed that, thanks to Obama policies "...95 percent of the wealth created in the last six years have gone to the dreaded top one percent."

Obama can decry income inequality all he wants, but he is directly responsible for it.

John said...

Powerline Will's Useful Reminder