Monday, December 31, 2007

Soap Opera Politics Vol 1, Issue 2

Both sides are slinging the mud now! Here is what I am seeing:

Dem Frontrunners:
John Edwards: The "love child" rumor has died down on the Blogs. The Nat´l Enquirer (N.E.) has taken this story off its front page. My guess is the so called witnesses were not reliable and the threat of lawsuits have scared off the N.E.
Obama: The ANTIs are posting some ugly rumors about Obama´s loyalty to America. First, it was his middle name, then the lie that he did not put his hand on his heart during the Pledge. Now they are yammering about his church being an "African" "Black Only" church with no loyalties to America. Good thing all of this rhetoric is falling on deaf ears!
Hillary: It has been somewhat quiet. News of Bill eating more and spending lots of time in diners. I still say I think the Republicans want Hillary to be the Candidate. I think they think they have the best shot of beating her.
. CNN & MSNBC are reporting all 3 Dem candidates are in a dead-heat!

Republican Front Runners:
Huckabee: The ANTIs hate "The Huckster" or "Schmuckabee" (their pet names for him). They are angry at Gilchrist for endorsing him. They call his Immigration plan "resurrection of the flawed touch-back" process.
Both PRO and ANTI bloggers are making fun of "Huck" for his missteps regarding the Bhutto assassination. They reported he didn´t know much about geography (now what countries border Pakistan?) or their religions (who is the majority, Sunni or Shia?) and Huck saying we should be worried about Pakistanis coming over the Mexican border. With all sides ganging up on him, I think it is just a matter of time for him now. He may get a few votes in Iowa, but after that, its over!
Romney: Besides all of the Flip Flopper and Mormon talk, some PRO bloggers in the blogosphere are reporting Mitt´s Dad George was born in Mexico. (Some ANTI sites are trying to squelch this rumor, even though it is a fact). George was born in a Mormon colony on Mexican soil that his parents had fled to for sanctuary. "In the 1880s, as a precondition to granting Utah statehood, the United States government enacted laws to put a stop to the Mormon practice of polygamy. Those who continued to practice this principle were forced underground as federal marshals roamed the territory searching (massive sweeps - deja vu all over again!) for "polygs." In response, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints looked for safe places to send its members; many found refuge across the border in Mexico." For now, all of this talk is under the radar, but you can be sure, if Mitt becomes the GOP candidate, it will be one of the headlines.
Guiliani: Affair, Divorce, Marriage, Funds, Unethical Business Practices, Shady Friends, ANTIs hate his past stance on Immigration, plus he dressed like a girl. He has it all, most of it old news, but still very relevant! Word is Giuliani's entire campaign is predicated on chaos lasting until late January, when he thinks he can clobber his rivals in Florida
McCain: McClatchy is saying Giuliani (5%) is the big loser in the polls while McCain remains steady at 13% . However, there is so much hatred for McCain on the ANTI sites that I don´t see him as a viable GOP candidate.
Ron Paul: Even though, as I reported on my blog, Ron Paul made an idiot out of himself on "Meet the Press" and he is far behind in the polls (a mere 5% - GOP candidates), the facts are, he has raised LOTS of Money and his followers are very loyal. He has ANTI followers, Republicans, Dems and Independents. Many pretty wacky. Given the fact that the top three candidates are all skating on thin ice, it is still anybody´s game.

. Time Magazine, CNN and MSNBC are reporting the GOP may select NONE OF THE ABOVE!

Come the Convention, will NEW GOP Candidate be considered?
. Billionaire Mayor Bloomberg ?
. Jeb Bush?
. Lou Dobbs?
. Pat Buchanan?

There are those that believe:
"The Antichrist as the leader of the Beast alliance of nations will exist just before Christ's return and he will promote himself as a savior of humanity, but he will have his own deceptive good news message for humanity."

or as CNN Reports:
The End of the World on December 21, 2012

21 comments:

Ian said...

Increasingly, Mike Huckabee is what leadership looks like. He's an adroit public speaker, and he communicates his message in life-like, cogent terms, with compelling examples like the story he told (at the Ames Straw Poll) of what his then-11-yo daughter entered into the "Comments" section of a Visitors Book after visiting the Yad Vashem holocaust museum: “Why didn't somebody do something?” Very effective.

Huckabee is all about calling his listeners to "do something," to awaken them to their own empowerment, and summon them to action in order that "Main Street," and not "Wall Street," will prevail in guarding the values and beliefs upon which the Republic was founded.

Huckabee puts his listeners at ease, and reassures them, articulating clear concepts in a natural, easy style (no doubt something well-cultivated as a pastor). He’s not as “mechanically-scripted” as Romney, nor angry or demanding, like a Ron Paul, and his large brown eyes, peering through a humble demeanor, draw a striking contrast to a unconvincing, tired-looking Thompson. One can easily imagine sitting comfortably with Mike over a cup of coffee at the Main Street Cafe.

Most importantly, perhaps, Huckabee is ONE with the FairTax grassroots movement. While many - like Romney, and others, who are invested in the current income tax system - seek to demagog the well-researched FairTax plan, its acceptance in the professional / academic community continues to grow. Renown economist Laurence Kotlikoff believes that failure to enact the FairTax - choosing instead to try to "flatten" what he deems to be a non-flattenable income tax system - will eventuate into an irrevocable economic meltdown because of the hidden aspects of the current system that make political accountability impossible.

Romney's recent WEAK response to FairTax questioning on “This Week with Geo. Stephanopoulos” drew a sharper contrast between Huckabee and all other presidential front-runners who will not embrace it. Huckabee understands that what's wrong with the income tax can't be fixed with "a tap of the hammer, nor a twist of the screwdriver." That his opponents cling to the destructive Tax Code, the IRS, preserving political power of granting tax favors at continued cost to - and misery of - American families, invigorates his campaign's raison d'etre.

Of the FairTax, Huckabee asserts that it's...

• SIMPLE, easy to understand
• EFFICIENT, inexpensive to comply with and doesn't cause less-than-optimal business decisions for tax minimization purposes
• FAIR, FLAT, and FAMILY FRIENDLY, loophole-free, and everyone pays their share
• LOW TAX RATE is achieved by broad base with no exclusions
• PREDICTABLE, doesn't change, so financial planning is possible
• UNINTRUSIVE, doesn't intrude into our personal affairs or limit our liberty
• VISIBLE, not hidden from the public in tax-inflated prices or otherwise
• PRODUCTIVE, rewards - rather than penalizes - work and productivity


A detailed benefits analysis of the plan (from The FairTax Book) explains Huckabee's ardent advocacy:

For INDIVIDUALS:
• No more tax on income - make as much as you wish
• FairTax is paid on retail goods and services when purchased new, not used

• You receive your full paycheck - no more deductions
• Every household receives a monthly amount, or "prebate"
• "Prebate" is "advance tax payback" for monthly consumption to poverty level
• FairTax ensures poverty protection, being less regressive than income tax
• Increased household income preserves real purchasing power against any higher prices

• Reduction of pre-FairTaxed retail prices (due to reduced costs; increased competition)
• 29.9% mark-up yields 23% FairTax portion of new price tags
• FairTax portion of new prices reveal true cost of gov't to consumers

• FairTax is captured on illicit forms of income, when spent
• Parasitic income tax filing industry eliminated
• No double taxation on goods and services
No more IRS or FILING OF INCOME TAX returns
• Savings is bolstered with reduction of interest rates


For BUSINESSES:
• Corporate income and payroll taxes revoked under FairTax
• Business compensated for collecting tax at "cash register"
• No more tax-related lawyers, lobbyists on company payrolls
No more embedded (hidden) income/payroll taxes in prices
• Reduced costs. Competition - not tax policy - drives prices
• Off-shore "tax haven" headquarters can now return to U.S
No more "favors" from politicians at expense of taxpayers
• Resources go to R&D and study of competition - not taxes
• Global "free (and equitable) trade" becomes possible for currently-disadvanted U.S. exports
• U.S. exports increase their share of foreign markets


For the COUNTRY:
• 7% - 13% economic growth projected in the first year of the FairTax
Jobs return to the U.S.
• Foreign corporations "set up shop" in the U.S.
• Tax system trends are corrected to "enlarge the pie"
• Larger economic "pie," means thinner tax rate "slices"
• Initial 23% portion of price is pressured downward as "pie" increases
No more "closed door" tax deals by politicians and business
• FairTax sets new global standard. Other countries will follow


Passionately supporting FairTax, Huckabee understands that, if elected President, Congress will have to present the bill for his signature. His call to action goes beyond his candidacy: Main Street will have to demand that their legislators deliver the bill.

(Permission is granted to reproduce, in whole or part. - Ian)

patriot said...

Although his FAIR TAX idea sounds good, there are other issues that I don't agree with Huckabee on. Therefore I can't with good conscience vote for him.

Dee said...

Ian,
Personally I do not have a problem with your guy Mike. If you want to help him, then you have to come up with a method to minimize the damage the ANTIS are causing for your candidate. They also hate Gilchrist. That is part of the soap opera drama associated with this election and your candidate.
Gheen even went to Iowa to rally crowds AGAINST your candidate.

On Alipac against MH:
alipac´s reasons to stop huckabee and gilchrist

More On Alipac against MH:
Alipac and Immigration Watchdog

ultima said...

I think saying the fair tax is well-researched vastly overstates the case. While I am no partisan for the present system which needs to be vastly simplified so that every taxpayer can do his or her own taxes, the Fair Tax people have yet to explain how it will be fair to the following:

1. Municipal bond holders who accepted a lower rate of interest because the interest in nontaxable.
2. Veterans, police, firemen, etc. living on small tax free disability pensions.
3. Holders of investments based on funds that have already been taxed at they time they were earned and invested as opposed to the current earnings on those investments.
4. The fair tax is touted to replace social security taxes and other payroll taxes. That would mean that those no longer in the workforce would be taxed again for social security, etc.

Basically all of these folks would be heavily penalized by the so-called Fair Tax. There are some possibilities for avoiding this unfairness such as re-issuing all municipal bonds at the taxable rate; raising disability pay the amount necessary to offset the incremental sales tax implicit in the fair tax; finding a way to exempt previously taxed funds from the fair tax and refund any part of the fair tax that relates to payroll taxes for those already retired. No so simple, and currently not a part of the plan.

Huckabee does have some appeal but he is being two faced on immigration (the ridiculous touch back scheme) and is known for his hand extended for gifts while governor. NO THANKS.

ultima said...

"the story he told (at the Ames Straw Poll) of what his then-11-yo daughter entered into the "Comments" section of a Visitors Book after visiting the Yad Vashem holocaust museum: “Why didn't somebody do something?”

So does that mean he plans to make her Secretary of State? What does this story really mean in terms of his credentials?

ultima said...

"You receive your full paycheck - no more deductions"

What about retired folks who have already paid social security, unemployment and other payroll taxes? Does the Fair Tax force them to pay these taxes again even though they are no longer earning a wage? This is a major flaw in the fair tax -- double taxation for many.

ultima said...

" PRODUCTIVE, rewards - rather than penalizes - work and productivity"

You have succumbed to the Fair Tax propaganda. A tax is a tax no matter when you pay it. The more you work so you can spend, the more tax you pay just as the more you earn, the more tax you pay under the present system.

I like the flat tax gross simplification much better.

Ian said...

Ultima, Here's a good argument for choosing FairTax over a flat tax (which has been advocated by ardent FairTax naysayer, Bruce Bartlett):

(Paraphrased) Reply by Dan R Mastromarco (LL.M., Taxation, Georgetown, principal in the Argus Group, adjunct professor at the University of Maryland, International Management Program, and research consultant to Americans for Fair Taxation - FairTax.org) to:

"A National Sales Tax Doesn’t Add Up" by Bruce Bartlett, December 29, 1999

Many engaged in true tax reform find Bartlett-type attacks exasperating, if not embarrassing. I'd like to convey perspective of both flat taxers and sales taxers who believe that such attacks are counterproductive, but first provide some political history by which to frame said perspectives.

For years Conservatives have posited that a VAT is bad policy (when liberals were discussing it), fearing it would become additional to an income tax (it was called a "money machine"). Circa 1980, conservative intellectuals touted Hall-Rabushka "subtraction method"[ H-R ] VAT which taxed business value added at the business side and labor value added at the labor side. Unlike European VATs (identical in scope), H-R became favorite of Dick Armey and Steve Forbes. It eliminated steeply progressive tax rates and tax on savings. Because of the prior VAT criticisms, H-R was packaged as the "flat tax" and is sold as an income tax to this day, rather than the VAT that its DNA characterizes it as being.

Some conservative commentators have called for the repeal of the 16th Amendment and for the adoption of the flat tax, (despite the fact that it is styled as a direct tax and could not be adopted with such repeal). Mr. Bartlett has called the national sales tax [ie, the FairTax] a VAT (which it isn't), castigated VATs as evil, and has said that sales taxes have become VATs in Europe (which they didn't). In the next breath, he "throws his arms around" the flat tax (which is a VAT). He quotes Bill Gale that the [FairTax] would have to be imposed at 60 percent, but glaringly fails to recognize that if the two bases are the same, he would have to impose that rate for the flat tax to be revenue neutral. In truth, all economists know that the two plans differ NOT in economic effect or base, but in administration.

An income tax taxes savings and investment multiple times. Both flat tax and FairTax are neutral as to savings and investment, tax income only once, and are both consumption taxes. Both are single rate taxes, have nearly the same base, and would improve the U.S. standard of living. Neither redistributes wealth.

While some have even suggested that hey are the same plans under different names, the flat tax taxes value added at each stage in the production process, but the FairTax prefers to tax it when it is added up at the end and eliminate the need to make everyone a taxpayer and collector.

Substantive commonalities between the flat tax and FairTax doesn't mean that there are NO key political and policy distinctions that could be exploited in pitting one against the other. If FairTax supporters wanted to retaliate in response to the Bartlett-type critique, they would have much material with which to honestly do so:

• The flat tax will make small firms and farmers pay the tax even if they have no profit
• The flat tax is opposed by many small business groups
• The flat taxers implicitly support big government by disguising even more of the overall tax burden as the current law
• The flat tax has been kicking around for nearly 20 years
• The flat tax makes everyone a taxpayer and collector, while the FairTax exempts 115 million filers [2000 figure] from ever having to deal with the IRS
• The flat tax is regressive, but the FairTax would enable everyone to keep his full paycheck.
• The flat tax has not only stalled, it has lost public and Congressional support.
• The FairTax is instantly understood, while even some proponents of the flat tax don’t understand it
• There are no transition rules developed for the flat tax and they would be very difficult to craft
• The flat tax taxes exports and relieves imports from tax
• The flat tax confuses tax reform with temporary tax reduction and makes both twice as hard
• The flat tax retains the entire income tax apparatus which erodes as quickly as you can say, “tax bill”


FairTaxers could advance these truthful points without resorting to bigotry associated with a cultic religious organization. However, for the most part, FairTax supporters have chosen not to attack the flat tax, but rather accentuate the commonalities between the plans - despite the above-noted differences. The reason is that, in the battle for tax reform, the real enemy is our current system.

Income tax advocates look down upon the articles of Bruce Bartlett with smug chortling, as Bruce is doing their work for them. The IRS and the liberals who want an income tax to ensure (1) taxes can be raised without the American people knowing it, and (2) wealth can be redistributed from the middle class to the poor, do not even need to fight us - we're killing ourselves!

Perhaps Mr. Bartlett believes that the flat tax will help elect Republicans, effect tax reform, and provide tax cuts; however, the real effect of his criticism is to divide conservatives, to delay serious national consideration of tax reform, and to fertilize the roots of the income tax.

( Source - Addit'l at FairTax.org Whitepaper - May republish in whole or part. - Ian)

patriot said...

Here goes dee with her melodramatic soap opera talk. There is nothing different about the mud slinging in the Huckabee campaign then any other political campaign going on.

You talk about the anti's attacking Huckabee while forgetting how the pro's attacked Tancredo. It's politics the way it has always been. Nothing new or melodramatic about it.

Dee said...

Pat, The soap opera is that Huckabee is on YOUR SIDE! Yet your own fellow ANTIs attack him!
Actually, I think Huck is better than most on your side, but it is still your side.

Dee said...

Regarding the Fair Tax, Mother Jones website ripped it apart. Us Boomers are not for it. We hope there will be some SS left since we will be getting there too. We want to be finished paying payroll taxes, period!

Dee said...

Here is what they said on Mother Jones about Fair Tax

Dee said...

The concept behind the fair tax is simple: abolish all federal income taxes and replace them with a national consumption (a.k.a. sales) tax that states will collect and forward to the federal government.

So why should we Boomers, who have paid taxes all of our lives, be subject to increased Sales Taxes? Shouldn´t we get major discounts if this happens?

Ian said...

One hopes that the Huckabee campaign will counter Romney attacks by pointing out how, at Bain Capital, Mr. Romney used offshore corporations (and continues to) in order to avoid U.S. taxation, and he fee-milked acquired businesses before firing workers and taking them into bankruptcy, to amass his great $250,000,000 wealth.

So, when you compare how Mr. Huckabee's visionary FairTax advocacy compares to Romney's interest in the current tax system, it's pretty easy to see who will lead us out of tax slavery - the $265 billion annual tax code compliance costs representing 5 billion wasted hours, annually.

patriot said...

dee, Huckabee is not on our side! He is a flipflopper and he is pro-illegal. He is on YOUR side!

Dee said...

Pat,
I doubt Huck or Gilchrist would agree with you.

patriot said...

I won't speak for Gilchrist (not a candidate anyway) but I know Huckabee's track record. It ain't pretty. One cannot deny what is on record.

ultima said...

"Ultima, Here's a good argument for choosing FairTax over a flat tax"

He doesn't address the four issues I raised. Until that happens an informed public will never go for the fair tax. Sounds like both the fair tax and the flat tax need additional work. The biggest hurdle will be the tax industry lobby as well as some other special interest groups. So that means they need to get crackin' on solutions for the folks affected by the issues I raised. The baby boomers are not going to be happy to pay 23-30% on their retirement investments that have already been taxed nor are they going to be happy about paying the equivalent of payroll taxes throughout their lives rather than just the years in which they were actively employed. I believe there may be solutions but no one has offered them to my knowledge.

The flat tax like the fair tax exempts a certain amount of income for everyone to relieve the burden of lower income folks. I admit that this may sustain a large IRS department but I don't see how it could be anything like what we have today if the flat tax form for everyone is one page or postcard sized.

Anonymous said...

Let's discuss how the change to taxes would impact people who pick crops for low wages

Dee, when you picked crops, how much were you paid per hour ?

patriot said...

anon, are you for real? Crop pickers and other agricultural workers only make up 2% of the nation's workforce. Who cares?

Dee said...

Anon, Didn´t you ask this before?
As I said, back when I picked Cherries, we were paid 50 cents a lug. It took 2 full back breaking pails to fill a lug.
Families earned a living because whole families worked, morning to night.

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