Tom Harkin claims America’s problem is its “misallocation of wealth”

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On Thursday, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) made a rather astonishing statement: The U.S. doesn’t have a spending problem, it has a “misallocation of wealth” problem.

Really, Tom?

Here’s are the Democrat Senator’s exact words:

“I think, first of all, I want to disagree with those who say we have a spending problem.  Everybody keeps saying we have a spending problem.  And they are talking about that like there’s an assumption that somehow we as a nation are broke. We can’t afford these things any longer, we’re too broke to invest in education and housing and things like that. 

Well, look at this way:  We’re the richest nation in the history of the world. We are now the richest nation in the world.  We have the highest per capita income of any major nation.  That kind of begs the question, doesn’t it?  If we’re so rich, why are we so broke?  Is it a spending problem?

No.  It’s because we have a misallocation of capital.  A misallocation of wealth. All of this wealth that’s been built up by hard-working Americans has been accumulated into fewer and fewer hands all the time.”

“A misallocation of wealth…so in other words, there are people that people in his position know should not have wealth because it’s been ‘misallocated’,” Glenn said.

“A misallocation means that somebody is out there allocating the wealth.  Nobody’s allocating the wealth,” Glenn emphasized.  “People are going out there and earning it, either through their talent in sports, in their talent in business.  They might be a drug dealer, they might be a dancer, they ‑‑ whatever.  They might just be a speculator.  They might be a wildcatter.  But their wealth isn’t allocated unless you’re a Kennedy.  It wasn’t allocated to you.  You went out and earned it.”

Harkin’s big point seemed to be that because people in America have the highest per capita income, we’re the richest nation in the world. Unfortunately, one does not mean the other when your government spends itself into oblivion. Glenn explained you’re not really “rich” if you make a lot of money and are buried in debt.

“How are we the richest nation in the world?” Glenn asked.  “For him to say that we don’t have a spending problem, but a misallocation of wealth… Who’s allocating the wealth, Tom?  Who decides who’s rich and who’s poor?” 

“These guys are out of control, are truly, truly out of control.”

  • landofaahs

    I agree in part.  Too much wealth is going to govt. to support lazy welfare slugs, cronyism companies and organizations who could not otherwise operate in profitable businesses.
    The federal govt. is an evil beast that needs to be starved.  

  • Anonymous

    Spread the Wealth Around , apparently, means take wealth from the political dissent (republican or independent supporters ,etc) and Allocate the wealth to Leftist firms , groups , organizations , etc. (whoever supports the progressive democrat party, in this case).

    (Note: references include spending , new oppressive health & finance bills 2010, agencies,etc).

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    We do not  have an ‘misallocation of the wealth’ problem.

    What we have is a group of professional politicians and a President who are socialists and communists; who see American as needing to be punished for her success, and they are determined to ensure it occurs.

    Remember, communists and socialists only hold that the leaders should be rich and all others dirt poor – its spread the misery, not the wealth.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    That I will agree with, well put.

  • http://www.artinphoenix.com/gallery/grimm snowleopard (cat folk gallery)

    We have a government that lives in perpetual denial – at one time we called that insanity and put them in facilities for treatment. Now we just reelect them year after year.

  • Anonymous

    unequal distribution of wealth is a problem, ours isn’t at the stage where you need the government to intervene to redistribute it like in many developing countries.

  • Draxx

    If we did not have the Welfare System for people to mooch off of, people would not stay in a despondent situation their whole lives.  They would need to Move to a place where they could be Productive and Self Sufficient, the Inner City Slums Have Grown Under the Welfare System (Not Decreased In Size).  People lose their Honor & Integrity when they are given too many handouts, mainly because of their own guilty feelings of inadequacy make it difficult to take things in a Worthless Manner!  Plus, if they Choose Not to Move to a more productive enviroment, that is Their Fault Not Mine (so why should I support someone else’s lazy ass kids)…

    People will still help people when the Government Runs Out of Money!  They would have continued to help more if the Fed Gov’t didn’t mess things up!  Shit happens, I have Lived Rich and I have Lived Poor, and most of the things that went wrong were because of MY Own Actions (not someone else or the government).  But, one thing I can say for sure and honestly, This Administration is making it Much More Difficult to be Successful Because They Are Taking Too Much From Someone That Does Not Have Enough To Share With Them… I would rather share my dinner and older clothes to help people get through a rough time in their lives!  This way I could be a decent human being instead of a Slave to the Fed Gov’t System…

  • Draxx

    I don’t like the term “Unequal” because in reality it is “Unfair” Distribution of Wealth, the only people who should decide how to spend/distribute their wealth is the Person Earning It…

    And the last people that should even get to touch that wealth is the Federal Government!!!  If gov’t officials were really in it for the Greater Good, then they would not ask for such Exorbidant Wages and would work in Political Positions Free of Charge While their Own Businesses Paid Their Way!  I don’t need anyone to pay my way, or take what I earn and waste it senselessly…

  • landofaahs

    Harkinb has a misallocation of his brains too.  He has too much of his up his arse.

  • landofaahs

    Harkin got rich of the game of politics and you can bet he’s evading taxes everywhere he can.  It is typical of LSOS like him.

  • http://youtu.be/R7MC2wu49Cw Sam Fisher

    Amen!

  • http://youtu.be/R7MC2wu49Cw Sam Fisher

    So if Tom Harkin was in AA meeting he would say in a slur “I am not an alcoholic you are minster group leader.”

  • http://youtu.be/R7MC2wu49Cw Sam Fisher

    We are screwed we got morons running this country. 

  • Anonymous

    Glenn’s right. These fools are never going to be happy until we are all equal…equally poor, that is. If we are the richest nation on earth, then why do our poor need to stay on welfare generation after generation after generation? There is no progress with poverty because the government programs currently in existence are designed to punish those who attempt to make it out of poverty and keep them poor and dependent. Why attempt to rise above your situation in life when you are constantly told that there is no opportunity for you and the government will take care of you? Why work when you can make more money by doing nothing and having no self restraint? If we are so evil as to steal money from the poor, as we are constantly hearing, then why has the constant, nearly logarithmic application of liberal, progressive principles resulted in only more poverty? The government is the most inefficient, unproductive, worthless and untrustworthy steward of public monies, yet what is always the answer to a liberal? More of the same, only altering one variable-MORE money, MORE inefficiency, LESS oversight of the spending of governmental funds. If the government were subjected to independent evaluation, they would never be able to pass the most basic of tests of fiscal policies. And somehow, we are supposed to believe that economic principles that would result in nothing more than financial ruin and irresponsibility for the citizens is exactly what we need as a nation in order to obtain fiscal prosperity. If it weren’t so pathetic and evil, it would be comical.

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a misallocation of wealth.  It appears more to be a misallocation of intelligence.

  • Guest

    First of all, maldistribution is worse than it’s been since the first Gilded Age. Next, we do not have a spending problem; that’s a right-wing canard. The government has a revenue problem.

    Luckily, Beck’s aging, geriatric followers will die off soon, and Beck will be blind (unless he was lying about his vision too). Then America can move toward a more perfect union without fringe wackos like Beck and his gullible, extremist followers whining because we’re not moving backward toward the first Gilded Age when plutocrats ruled the White House.

  • Shane

    Harkin is a Commie rat bastard. It’s not the government’s job to redistrubute wealth. The rich are going to leave our country if Obama raises taxes again.

  • Anonymous

    Money is misallocated BY the government. If the government would stay out of the market, resources would be allocated in the fairest and most efficient way possible through the laws of supply and demand.

  • Guest

    Under your theory, all rick people left the US when the top marginal tax rates were 91%.

    Didn’t happen, and they thrived in the US.  Got any more dumb assertions to make?

    Beck is dangerous because he dumbs people like you down. Talk like this about Harkin in public, and you’ll be declared the village idiot.  That’s the real effect Beck has on gullible reactionaries…like you.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    Sounds like he wants to nationalize the wealth and redistribute it for the good of the people and the nation. A role model of perfection. Very idealistic, very noble in fiction, but unachievable in non-fiction in this time and place.  A perfect world needs perfect people who are able to live perfect lives and all willing to sacrifice for the greater good without exception. Well, I wish. It sounds like how some people discribes Heaven. The world I live in isn’t Heaven. Heaven comes after death. Heaven is found in the mind and in the heart or not at all. Not enough of us can do it let alone live it. We are not perfect and until we are – redistribution of wealth through government or force can not be achieved even in a democracy. God bless the United States of America and her citizens. And I pray we will be as kind and charitable as we can be in a free society.     

  • Anonymous

    The one reason this idiot talks that way is because he’s in Washington and hasn’t got a clue what a hard-working individual does to acquire wealth. America was built up on successful workers who worked hard and payed taxes to Washington all their lives. Sure, there are wealthy people who take advantage of loop holes in the Washington tax system, just like most bench warmers in government.  Ask Harkin what he makes each year, how much he spends on perks and what coverage he gets and it will be nowhere near what the average taxpayer makes and pays taxes for HIS freeloading. America needs to reduce the benchwarmers in Washington by a big margin and restrict terms of service to eight years maximum. Only then the government will find that they can balance budgets and set an example for Americans everywhere.

  • Anonymous

    There are only 3 ways to obtain wealth.  Earn it, inherit it, or steal it.  Which of these ways is Harkin promoting?

  • Anonymous

    THAT is the dumbest diatribe I’ve heard in a long time, guest. How much of your “wealth” are you willing to gove up to the government, or are you one who just lives off the government?

  • Anonymous

    What do you mean by perfect union?  Do you mean that every single solitary citizen’s duty is to agree with what Democrats have to say?  Because I think that’s exactly what you mean.  It’s utopian crap like this that’s extremist.  The Gilded age reflected the non-resourcefully inept South was envious of the resourceful North and decided that it was the North’s duty to pay the South’s debt off with THEIR PERSONALLY EARNED INCOME!  
    Have you ever read Atlas Shrugged?  I recall when the politician entered the wealthy entrepreneur Henry Rearden’s office and attempted to persuade him that it was in his best interest to sell his Rearden Steel company to the government.
    Rearden refused and the politicians asked why, to which Rearden replied, “This company is MINE!  Do you have any concept of that?”

  • Jesustheonlyway

    It’s amazing how these fools believe their own lies.

  • Anonymous

    Retard! Recall this moron!

  • greywolfrs

    You are one dumb M F er, vicki tiffany.

  • greywolfrs

    What a no information idiot. Hey stupid, the government brings in about 2.4 trillion per year. They spend 3.6 trillion per year. That would be a spending problem. That does not even take into account all the things the Feds spend money on that is NOT within their power. You really need to read the Constitution, because you are dumber than a bag of hammers, vicki tiffany.

  • greywolfrs

    He lives off the government, that is vicki tiffany. He’s hiding, like the coward he is.

  • greywolfrs

    Misallocation of wealth, what a joke. That’s right, all the people who go out and create wealth should just give it all to the government. How dare people want to keep the money they earn. Don’t those people realize that the government is better at spending their money than they are? Don’t they realize that they NEED the government to tell them what to do? Don’t they realize that dolts like Harkin and Obamao know what is best for them?

  • http://www.absoluteintensity.com dennis reilly

    When will Harkin allocate his wealth to the poor people. He’s a big wind bag that lives the high life doing nothing

  • Sargonarhes

    There is a misallocation of wealth, and it’s those idiots in office that are making more than they are worth and not putting out a good product. In fact they’re not putting out anything, not even useful as fertilizer. 

  • Anonymous

    As someone earlier put it very succinctly:

    “…the only people who should decide how to spend/distribute their wealth is the Person Earning It…”

    What is so hard to understand about that?
    This is AMERICA, not Russia or Cuba or China!
    WE earn our wealth and WE decide what to do with it.

  • Anonymous

    What is really tragic is that IOWA used to rate as one of the HIGHEST-RANKING IN EDUCATION (brains, literacy, smarts, call it what you will).

    WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?

  • Bela Lugosi

    upto I saw the draft four $4767, I accept that…my… best friend woz actualey taking home money in there spare time on their apple laptop.. there friends cousin had bean doing this for only about 16 months and a short time ago took care of the dept on their home and purchased a top of the range Alfa Romeo. go to, pie21.ℂom

  • Anonymous

    Actaually it is true, but not for the exused portions of the society that is being ‘blamed’. The blame lays squarely in the paradigm of modern Banking Models and thereby the Primary Dealers to the Federal Reserve by way of them having become a leech on that said ‘wealth’.
    With 20% of GDP based in debt servicing, (and there is never enough to satisfy the Fiat Currency Printers), it is not the bulk of the 2% ‘Wealthy that are to blame… but blaming them does take the eye off the ball.
    America was not designed in its funtions as a market place for Life Liberty and Freedom for all, to pay higher taxation than what the country was designed to be an escape from. Blaming the ‘wealthy’ is not a solution, blaming the underlying mechanism is a start towards solutions.

  • Anonymous

     Maybe it is just me. Does anyone else find offensive the entire concept of someone deciding that wealth that I have accumulated being left in my control is somehow being mis-allocated?

    OK, make the case for me. What will you do with the money you take from me? Study more Chinese hookers? make another shrimp treadmill? “invest” in yet another green energy company (You are 35 for 0 failures ($7B) and counting). I know, another multi-million dollar vacation for the liar in chief, I’m just so hoping he can break 100 in golf this season. How about Obamaphones so even more drug deals can be made for free? Maybe Pelosi needs two jets to get back and forth to California.

    What might I do with the money? Maybe invest it in the private sector. Maybe buy something for my kids. Maybe take a vacation myself and work on MY golf swing. Maybe save it for, oh, say, a pending economic collapse. Call me crazy. Maybe do something for ME, I earned it!

    There is just no end to the good progressives can do if we will only give them all of our money. And when that is gone? I’m sorry, I shouldn’t ask.

    With the path we are on, there will shortly not be enough money on the planet to fund this government. Is that a spending problem, or an allocation problem? Are you gonna take George Obama’s $25 / year income to work your good ways? I think not. Then what?

    So if it is going to end anyway, perhaps we should think just a little about how we want it to proceed. We are on the path to a big crash, a REALLY REALLY big global crash. People are gonna die, lots of them, maybe me. Because this has not happened within your lifetime does not mean it can’t happen. History was written so you could learn from it, please read some. Think – the Watts riots on a planetary scale.

    Your government is betting on a collapse and buying 5 bullets for every person in America. But WE need to give up our guns in the name of safety. Governments have killed more people than all the mass murderers in history combined. I would feel safer at a NRA concealed carry convention than I do now driving on the freeway. I would rather airline passengers were armed. But that is just me.

    Freedom and free enterprise is not the natural state of man. Despots and misery is. Millions have died for the gift of freedom we have been given. Freedom is mighty hard, and mighty bloody to get back when it is gone.

    I would say we have a mis-allocation of representation. There is at least one progressive legislator too many in congress, and I’ll bet we can find a whole lot more. McCarthy was just ahead of his time.

    To borrow from the eco-freaks: Sustainable Government First!

    And, in the immortal words of Ted Nugent, Get out of my life and leave us alone!

  • Anonymous

          i am tirde of Washingtons Politications getting my money  just had my taxes done i am paying 2300 dollers more this year than last yaar on a little less income. my house has been paid for 10 yrs my cars all paid for my wife works i work two jobs some times 3 to get out of debt and stay out of debt.. a lady down the road is in section 8 houseing food stamps free  phone and no in ,

  • Anonymous

    Senator Harkin is quite correct, and Glenn, unsurprisingly, badly misconstrues what is being said.

    America’s enormous and increasing wealth disparity has negative economic consequences, specifically, it contributes to the reduced demand that’s a major cause of our sluggish economy.  Supply and demand must be in balance for an economic system to function  efficiently.  When too much wealth has accumulated at the top, as is the case now, the system is not in balance and cannot make efficient use of existing capital.  Put simply, we have plenty of money to invest in things that make stuff, but not enough folks with the money to buy stuff.

    One needn’t infer a moral argument to make the above observation, and it has nothing to do with anyone allocating wealth.  From a practical perspective, America’s wealth imbalance cannot be ignored because it affects us all.  Any economic system, especially one as multifaceted, powerful and sophisticated as ours, must be constantly adjusted for efficiency.  Our mechanisms for adjustment are tax policy, trade policy, legal policy, monetary policy, regulatory policy, etc.  All these are valid, in fact, necessary, functions of government.  We witnessed what can happen when government abnegates its role and allows the market and its too-clever marketeers/manipulators to function without reasonable and sufficient oversight – the global economy overheated and almost collapsed.  The financialization of the economy is a fairly recent phenomenon, and we are still figuring out how to best manage it.  Problem is, those with the gold have been making many of the rules, which allows them to keep more of the gold.

    Check out how much of the wealth created in the last few decades has gone to the very top, and consider how that, over time, will affect the purchasing power of the vast majority of the population.  Misallocation has consequences, as Senator Harkin points out..

    Note how Glenn sticks opinions in Senator Harkin’s mouth.  Typical demagoguery, folks.  

  • Anonymous

    You’re wrong.  The Gilded Age had little to do with North vs. South (where did you get that nonsense?)  It reflected the unmediated effects of early industrialization fed by new resources and a huge supply of willing labor, largely in the form of immigrants.  It was an age of excess that was brought under better control by government action.  Left to their own devices, the Robber Barons would not have willingly yielded power.  Human nature doesn’t work that way.

    As to “Atlas Shrugged,” this is a fantasy, Bert.  It’s a work of fiction.  Which means it never happened.  The fact that you use it in support of your opinion is very revealing.  

    BTW, have you read about who Ayn Rand (nee Alyssa Rosenbaum) was?  Atheist, amoral narcissist, mean-spirited Svengali, truly a vile human being, not to mention a bad writer.  Check it out.  You might want to reconsider any fondness for her ideas.

  • http://www.facebook.com/william.vining.3 William Vining

    What this website has is a nut problem. How do you expect to clearly discuss the issuse when you spew a bunch of drivel?

  • Guest

    Most corporate chiefs legally steal their wealth by underpaying people like you and me. Our wages have been stagnating while they make more and more.

    It’s impressive how Beck gets people to act in HIS self interest and against your own. 

    He’s a wizard of propaganda, and puts Joseph Goebbels to shame.

    Biggest example: the truth does not live at the Blaze. Repeating that lie over and over gets those ignorant enough to miss the lies to believe it.

    BTW, taxes are the price of civilization.

  • Marie

     Okay then, moron, go ahead and clearly discuss the issues.

    But no, you’re not smart enough to clearly discuss the issues, and you know that we’ll all see through your Marxist propaganda BS, so that’s why you come here and blather about us not understanding the issues.

    There isn’t enough money on Earth to pay off this country’s debt.  Glenn laid it out clearly for you.  Either offer an intelligent rebuttal or shut the hell up.

  • Marie

     At the end of the day, all that wealth at the top is not YOURS.  It is not yours, nor does it belong to the government or the public.  That is something you and Harkin don’t seem to understand.

    Maybe these wealthy people would be more inclined to invest if the environment was good for investment.  Clearly, it is not.

    As Glenn asked, who is allocating the wealth?  People earn it.  Wealth shouldn’t be allocated to anyone by anyone.  It is earned, and if some random rich person doesn’t want to invest or toss it down a black hole, that’s their right.

  • Marie

     You  must be one of those morons who think burger flippers should earn $20 an hour.

    No.  Taxes are not the price of civilization – taxes are supposed to pay for the basic functions of government.

    Whatever your job is, it is not worth whatever you think you should be making.  Furthermore, it’s not up to you – it’s up to whatever your employer thinks your skills and labor are worth. 

    Employers are not just paying for the actual physical labor (which can include sitting at a desk, working on a computer) – they are also paying for the skills and knowledge you have.  For example, it doesn’t take much time, effort and intelligence to learn how to flip burgers or work a cash register – that’s why those jobs are minimum wage jobs.  A doctor, on the other hand, must go to a four year college/university and medical school on top of that.  That’s almost a decade of education that results in a vast wealth of knowledge and skills for that particular position.  That’s why doctors earn more.

    Leftist idiots like you are too stupid to realize that.  You whine and cry about having to work in a cubicle or behind a cash register and sit there and think that you should be making $50 an hour simply because the company you work for is worth billions.  The total gross revenue that a given corporation makes does not all go into the pockets of the executives running the company (yeah, by the way, let’s see you run Starbucks or Microsoft for a year, and see how well you do – I bet you’d run either one straight into the ground because guess what – not everyone is cut out to be a CEO).  Most of the revenues they make go right back into the company, and not just for employees’ salaries – it also goes to the maintenance of offices/warehouses/factories, equipment, promotional materials and the manufacture of the actual goods for sale, if any. 

    This “misallocation of wealth” is pure, steaming BS.  The government does not own nor does it have the right to any of that money.  The government exists by the people’s consent, therefore, if we don’t want to fund certain parts of it, we shouldn’t have to.

    The government is not an omnipotent, all-powerful entity.

  • Marie

     Wow, you’re the biggest liar I’ve ever had the misfortune to meet.

    You’re an absolute idiot who doesn’t deserve to live. 

  • Marie

     The government does not have a revenue problem, because the government has no right to the people’s wealth.  They DO have a spending problem because they are spending more than they take in.

    It’s really quite simple – if one suddenly finds that one cannot afford to pay for everything one wants to pay for, one STARTS CUTTING THINGS OUT.

    For example, when I lost my job, I found that I could no longer pay for a music subscription.  I didn’t insist that someone pay for my music subscription – I simply cancelled it.  I don’t understand why the US government cannot do the same.

  • Marie

     All your (idiotic) opinion, of course.  An asinine opinion I will not heed.

    Ayn Rand was not perfect, but her novel Atlas Shrugged is spot on.  The people who actually PRODUCE are getting sick and tired of carrying water for you lazy bums.

  • Anonymous

    I can 100% guarantee, based on your mindless crap, that you don’t have the patience to read a book as long as Atlas Shrugged. I am well aware of the fact that Ayn Rand was an atheist. It drives lefties nuts that an atheist had an economically coherent view. Being a rich person who doesn’t feel like paying exorbitant taxes doesn’t make you a robber baron.
    Let me state something for the record. I have no obligation to make you believe what I say. I’m so fucking appalled by how you feel that I’m totally convinced that the only way you can do the world a favor is by jumping off of a cliff. Don’t have a good night.

  • Anonymous

    unequal means the distribution is skewed. this creates inefficiencies in the economy (a main reason one of the things emphasized in developing countries is improving their gini coefficient).

  • Anonymous

    The BIGGEST “corporate (T)hiefs” are the BANKS who are enjoying the use of our hard-earned MONEY at next-to-zero interest (while raking in plenty of our dollars on mortgage interest). It’s almost as if the THUGS-THAT-BE are trying go force us back into that wonky Stock Market, where our life savings are pretty much guaranteed to evaporate. There should be a LAW against such USERY as .01 and .10 interest and the like! Either pay a fair return on people’s deposits, or get out of the MONEY-business!

    Oh, and America: GET THE HELL OFF FACEBOOK AND TEACH THAT GREEDY, ARROGANT PUNK SCHMUCKER-BERG A LESSON. !!

    http://www.againstcronycapitalism.org/2013/02/not-only-will-facebook-pay-no-0-taxes-for-2012-it-will-actually-get-a-refund-for-429-million/

  • Anonymous

     refreshing to see someone with an understanding of economics.

  • Anonymous

     unequal wealth distribution leads to inefficiencies in the economy and hinders growth.

  • Anonymous

    Baloney. You totally disregard the OBVIOUS facts that:
     (1) UNEMPLOYMENT is preventing many many people from being the consumers they would be if they had income, and
    (2) the increasingly OFFENSIVE (TO US TAXPAYERS) HANDOUTS from Federal programs to TAKERS ((WHO-NEVER-HAVE-PRODUCED (ANYTHING BUT MORE MOUTHS FOR TAXPAYERS TO FEED)-AND-NEVER-WILL)) IS MONEY DOWN THE FRIGGIN’ TUBES.

  • Anonymous

    What Commie-crap. This is STILL America, land of the free and home of CAPITALISM. Wealth redistribution is some crap straight out of DR. ZHIVAGO.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bill.burckhard Bill Burckhard

    @ William - you obviously cannot help it, but let me be the first to thank you for making your point by example.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_4HAW7OERGSC7VZM72V7IGDJ3B4 Sharmane

    These people hold to the Marxist theory:  from each according to his ability to each according to his need…   Who keeps voting in these absolute anti-American communists time and time again, that is the real question?   We will never get true term limits, but we the people can see to it that there are term limits by voting out just about every arrogant, inbred, incompetent, corrupt incumbent next election.  Will the American people awaken from their slumber and do this? 

  • Anonymous

     ”We’re the richest nation in the history of the world. We are now the
    richest nation in the world.  We have the highest per capita income of
    any major nation.  That kind of begs the question, doesn’t it?  If we’re
    so rich, why are we so broke?”
    Herein lies the problem. Harkin, the politician, is talking about we the American people, the workers, the producers, but business owners, and yes, as a nation, we the people are rich. The problem is, Harkin is associating what the people have earned, with what he thinks the government deserves. The government has the same attitude as the non-producing welfare recipients: What is yours is mine. If government was at the size and scope as the Constitution sets forth, we would not be having this discussion, because government would not be full of money and power-hungry leeches, it would be full of representatives of us. There would be, in that case, no spending problems nor revenue problems, because they wouldn’t need all that much to run things like the military, the courts…well, that would be about it. I know I sound like a broken record, but until we start electing representatives of the people, and not people trying to promote a destructive political ideology, (and I speak of both sides of the aisle currently) we will never recover from this devastating direction we are no headed. Until enough of the takers realize they will never prosper as long as they keep voting for the givers, (stealers from us) they will never see a more prosperous and productive life. They don’t realize that the more that is taken from the producers, the less they will be inclined to share with the rest of us through jobs, business products and services, and a general prosperity in the country. Unemployment will continue to stagnate or decline, with every new handout scheme that comes from DC, and those who do the least and need the most, will have an empty well to draw from.
    With a nation of well over 300 million people, you would think that a couple dozen patriots, constitutionalists, and/or libertarians could be found who are eloquent, sincere, above reproach, and stable.
    The pressure that is on us is tremendous, given the horrible bias in the media, and the cronyism that is Washington, DC. We need people who are not only able to deliver the message, but can actually be elected to office. I’m tired of seeing kooky witches, Alaska governors, and the handful of other questionable personalities that seem to catch the spotlight. I’m not saying those people don’t have the proper philosophy, but we need squeaky-clean candidates who can pass muster in an election campaign. I know they are out there, but we haven’t found very many yet. We need more, and we need to be able to get the message out better.

  • Anonymous

     Does anyone notice that at the same time he was berating the big business and big banking, Obama was giving them billions of dollars to bail them out? The hypocrisy is not only obvious, but it is the only transparency that has actually come out of this administration. I find it laughable that the left and their government-media complex trashes big banks and corporations, but finds it fine to bail them out. Are the American people really that blind or stupid? I fear the obvious answer.

  • silentnomore

    Somehow I read quite the opposite of your “review” of another lifer (Harkin) in Washington…you state our “system” constantly needs adjustments for efficiency…while your said adjustments are all forms of taxation/regulation and control from the government. The only controls needed are that of a free society and economy where supply & demand will take care of prices and control.The major problem that kicked off the economic collapse was the governments interference into said market with it’s requirement of allowing more & more unworthy citizens (credit/earned income) of purchasing a house.
    Harkin & cronies have to figure out how to keep feeding the “beast”  with less contributors (tax payers). This is a problem on both sides of the aisle and we need to demand a simple flat tax that anyone can file on their own. We need term limits along with pay/benefit cuts so that “they” can’t make a career out of staying in Washington.
    All we need is the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Oh and for common sense folks in IA to vote Harkin out!

  • silentnomore

    Refreshing?..hmm.government’s interference by bailouts to it’s fav banks & corps. and requiring less worthy borrowers to get loans from Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae.were major reasons for the mess we are in. The government has the same problem that you and I would have if we spend more than we made.
    Once ”our” credit has been overextended and we can’t make the payments we go into foreclosure & bankrupcy. The only difference is that the government can print more $$ which devalues our dollar value and the same results will happen only at a slower rate. The “finacialization of the economy” is not a fairly recent phenonomen if you’ve ever read about the collapse of Rome and many eastern Europe countries. Moral collapse, corruption (economic & political), deficit spending, were the groundwork for the final days of many before us and any that don’t heed the lessons of the past. What’s the old saying “those that don’t heed the past are doomed to repeat it?…we are well on our way…gonna go buy another box of ammo & plant some more veggies…

  • Anonymous

    i never promoted any of those actions.
    and all of that does not change the negative consequences of having unequal distribution of wealth on the economy

  • Anonymous

    Marie, the argument is not over whose money it is; everyone owns what they own, but we all pay taxes as well. This is the price of civilization, as you yourself unwittingly admit (in another post) when you say taxes are for basic government functions. What are basic government functions if not the foundation of civilization? (I would say “necessary” govt. functions.) Then, who decides which functions are basic and/or necessary? We all do, through participatory democracy. Through elected representatives, we choose the level of govt services we want and then address the issue of how to provide them. Since this process involves a few hundred million flawed human beings, it’s naturally messy and inefficient – once again, this is the price of living with other people. But glorious as well, and it’s the world we live in. You might think we’ve recently made foolish choices as a nation, and I might disagree, but we can’t even agree to disagree if you cannot understand and respect both the wonders and the limitations of our system.

  • Anonymous

    You don’t have to hide yourself, Gadamer. We all know who the lying moron behind the “Guest” moniker is. Yet another example of your towering stupidity, arrogance and pathetically low intelligence.

  • Anonymous

    1) re Unemployment. Quite right, which is why I point out that wealthy disparity increases market inefficiency, leading to more unemployment.
    2) I didn’t mention govt payments to ne’er-do-wells because it’s not a major driver of economic inefficiency. Also, it’s not really money down the tubes. From an economic standpoint, it may even have a larger multiplier effect than money that flows to the top. In any case, the dregs of the earth are a fact of life; the virtuous always have to shoulder a bit more than their share when they can.
    “Us taxpayers”? Do you think you speak for a majority?

  • Anonymous

    No, neither of you understands the tiniest shred of economic theory, especially if it meant that you would actually have to live the way that you are oh, so willing to impose on everyone else. You ascribe to Keynsian economic theory, not Smith theory. Obviously, neither of you own businesses. If a business ran the way the federal government does, it would go belly up in less than 6 months. How, exactly, as a business owner am I supposed to employ workers when the government thieves piously remove my ability to use those very real resources to hire employees, expand business (resulting in more jobs and opportunity and higher wages) and invest in the retirement and savings of those people? Keynsian theory is the same as communist theory in its belief that there are only two classes of people: the rich and the poor. In their world, there is a limited set of resources and wealth that cannot be expanded, innovated or increased. In your world, if one person is a hard worker, takes the very real risk of forming a business and employing others, and is successful, they are also evil and guilty of theft because they have taken more of the limited “pie” than their workers. Therefore, Kensyian theory holds that the only way to correct this injustice is to take the “stolen” income and redistribute the largesse of the evildoer to those from whom it was wrongfully stolen. In fact, that economic train wreck holds that the majority of those who have higher incomes than the poor did not get there through hard work, ingenuity and sacrifice, but rather through inheritance and theft. Nothing could be further from the truth. That economic theory DOES NOT WORK in real world applications. Period. You can make up all the phony charts and theories you want, but the fact of the matter is that, when you demonize those who have risen from poverty through the application of Adam Smith’s economic principles, FEWER people are employed at higher wages, FEWER people are participating in the economy and MORE people are paying income taxes. Why can’t you jackasses get that?! Seriously, you believe that when I, as a business owner, have my taxes raised, that somehow or another, I’m supposed to just keep spending money on employees while bankrupting my family? If I’m taking home less, it means that I can’t afford to invest in new equipment (leading to increases in work force and wages in the industries that supply that equipment), higher wages and benefits for my employees and myself. In what some of us call the real world, it doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. It’s simple addition and subtraction. I grew up FAR below the poverty level. I spent my childhood wondering if I would ever be able to improve my plight in life, but I had hope. I worked multiple jobs to support myself, my wife and my children while I spent twelve years in school. I went into debt to a level that most people will never see in their entire lives. Yet, now, I’m no longer an illustration of the American dream, I’m just evil and selfish. Thank God for generous people like you who are MORE than happy to reach into the pockets of those who actually produce in order to cure us of our evil ways. How good of you to ensure that the poor whom you claim I oppress won’t have to work. After all, in your world, I did not build my business-the government did by educating my workers for free and building the roads that allow them to come to work for me (never mind that nagging little fact that the poor did not pay for those things, I did, through even more taxes); you know…the vile slave owner who oppresses my employees. In your world, raising my taxes will yield the OBVIOUS result of higher employment and more reinvestment. In your world, I should be willing to pay every one of the few employees I have not had to lay off more than I bring home for my family. What the hell is wrong with you? Who believes this moronic drivel you so easily try to pass off as intellect? Here’s a challenge, all you liberal/progressive/inbred Jeds; PLEASE…put your theories to work. Go out and spend 2/3 more money than you bring in in a month. According to your theory, not only is this not a commendable economic move, but will result in more income for everyone. At what point does common sense enter your thought processes? How many months/years do you think you could sustain yourself like this? Experience tells me that it would last for approximately 3 months. Then, the creditors start calling and your so-called “wealth” will no longer exist as they begin to circle like vultures that settle on the carrion that used to be your life, pecking away until there is nothing left but bones. Yet, this is what you expect me to do, as if, somehow, my years of education, starvation and sacrifice are somehow contemptible compared to your “noble” ideas. Your theories are pure foolish drivel. You KNOW that this kind of behavior is unsustainable, yet, you claim to believe the opposite. What does that make you? According to your Lord and Savior, Obama Christ, you are compassionate…just like him. Unfortunately, for those of us who actually work for a living and have risked our families financial security in order to invest in businesses that also support the financial security of our employees, your beliefs have very real consequences…not theoretical…REAL. I used to employ more than 100 people in my various businesses. Not anymore. Your real world applications of tired, worthless socialist/communist/liberal/progressive ideals means that I have had to lay off 1/2 of my work force. I know, I know…somehow, I should just trust that the government knows better about how to run my business than I do, and God knows that the billions of dollars taken out of the economy that have been redistributed to people like you are OBVIOUSLY much better spent and those that I have had to lay off are the result of my greed. Thanks so much for curing me of that. Too bad that my employees and my businesses have to pay the price for your stupidity. Too bad that the charitable institutions that I gave to are no longer operational because of your ideas. After all, the government utilizes resources SO much better than those morally bankrupt fools, right? But you’ll never change no matter how many real world situations you see. You think you’re something special and that your ideas haven’t been tried, literally, to death? Grow up. You and Tom Harkin care nothing about what actually happens when those ideas are implemented. You’ll just make up some more lies, including those you’ve bought into. You don’t care about the very real consequences of your ideas. You’re just too stupid, blind and uncaring to worry about something as trivial as the fact that higher taxes results in job LOSS, not gains. Why worry? You’re right, so you don’t have to worry about those pesky little facts. Morons.

  • Anonymous

    Bert, you can’t guarantee anything you don’t know, and you don’t know me.

    Re the rest of your post: Ayn Rand’s atheism is less meaningful to the Left than to the Right; you’d have a hard time making a case that her economic views were coherent; no one is claiming that wealthy people are the same as Robber Barons. Speaking of coherent…

    Bert, your obligations are not at issue. Since you’re appalled by my views and find them a threat to the world, I think you would do well to learn more about the world. My views are pretty mainstream. Mostly, I favor public policies that have been tried before and shown to work. I appreciate most people, whether or not they share my opinions, and this helps me feel good most days and nights. I’m not easily appalled.

  • Anonymous

    You do know, don’t you, that smugly repeating the same thing over and over again doesn’t make you right? Never mind…you’re a liberal. You don’t have the intellectual depth to understand what I’m saying. Proceed…

  • Anonymous

    Very well stated.

  • Anonymous

    You really are never going to stop repeating the same thing are you? Unequal distribution between rich and poor is a fact of life. The only “tweaking” that the government needs to take care of is leveling the playing field, thus allowing a shot at success for everyone. What you and all socialists want is a guaranteed outcome. This leads to exactly what we have now. Those who will never work, who wantonly reproduce takers who, generation after generation see no viable reason why they should progress further than their entitlement programs will take them. After all, if entitlements pay more than a minimum wage job, why get a job? Okay, go ahead and say it…”…all of that does not change the negative consequences of having unequal distribution of wealth….”. You just never get tired of it, do you?

  • Anonymous

    Unfortunately for you, though, stealing from one person and giving it to another is NOT virtuous. What does the thief sacrifice from their own pockets? Nothing. You are not virtuous because you are liberal. You are not virtuous when you are unwilling to pony up yourself. Claiming that governmental redistribution cheats are minimal demonstrates shameful ignorance. Here’s a challenge for you; show me ONE government program for poverty that has been successful and efficient. If this were the case, we wouldn’t need them anymore, correct? But here’s the rub of it that you just can’t seem to grasp…we call these programs ENTITLEMENTS. What is an entitlement? Not a stopgap, temporary measure with an achievable goal, it is an endless payment program. Those who are entitled are not temporarily entitled, it is usually a lifetime proposition and is most often passed on to subsequent generations. Prove me wrong. Which entitlement program has succeeded in eradicating poverty? Which government program has moved beyond “entitlement”? Which government program’s budget has shrunk after successfully employing redistribution as a means of ending poverty and increasing self-reliance? No more theories. Cold, hard, repeatable fact. But here’s a hint for you…those facts do not exist. We simply keep doing the same thing over and over again. The only variable that changes with you people is the seeking of more and more income redistributed into the hands of those who will never contribute to the economy. The federal government is neither compassionate nor goal oriented. They reward failure, lack of character and work ethic and plain laziness while reinforcing selfishness, divisiveness, class envy and pseudo compassion. If the goal of government is to use these programs to end poverty, then why, generation after generation, do those dependent on others continue to increase? Your way does not improve people’s lives, it is demeaning and paternalistic. So have at it. Let’s hear about the “success” of Robin Hood (I mean the government) at achieving increased wealth. Good luck with that. But please, no matter what you discover, keep your liberal “principles” burning bright. No need to let petty truth get in the way of fact. You’re just like Obama. During the 2008 run for the presidency, he was asked by Charlie Gibson during a debate whether he would raise the capital gains tax. Gibson (an abject liberal) pointed out that each time that this tax was raised, the economy contracted and LESS tax was collected because this pool of money is what businesses use to expand and invest in employees. He rightfully pointed out that, if the tax were being raised in order to collect more money that could then be used to fund social programs, but it had the opposite effect, then it seems that doing so would harm the economy and individuals because of reduced employment, manufacturing (due to decreased equipment expenditures) and economic stability. He then asked Obama if, knowing all of this, he would STILL raise the capital gains tax. Obama said absolutely he would. Stunned, Gibson asked him why. Obama replied that he would do it in the spirit of what is FAIR. That, in a nutshell, is your belief system. A theory that harms, rather than helps workers, business and the poor, but that is still implemented on “principle”. So, as I said, good luck with that. You have your baseless mantras…and an economic theory devoid of fact or morality.

  • Anonymous

    Income inequality is greater now than it’s ever been in the post-WWII era. The highest paid CEOs–even post-2008–make more than 400 percent what the average worker makes. Middle- and working-class wages have stagnated since the 1980s, with a little bump in the 1990s. Some families were–and have been–able to make up the difference, but that usually requires two breadwinners and–what really exploded in the last thirty years, among many other things? credit card usage. Without going on at too much length, our current fiscal problems stem from the broader processes of globalization and the financialization of the economy. Our country does not have enough good jobs for enough people to make a living wage and in turn (re)contribute to the economy. 

    As for a more immediate response to wealth distribution. GB, as usual, totally oversimplifies complex processes. Our tax system, for example, distributes wealth, and therefore tweaking it (cutting loopholes, giving exemptions here, giving exemptions there,) is distributing and “redistributing” wealth–that four-letter word for the Tea Party type. Defense Contracts? The U.S. govt takes our tax dollars and then hires private companies and pays them millions and billions to make weapons, to rebuild cities and countries it bombs, etc. Regardlss of how you feel about that, it’s wealth redistribution–from you to Uncle Sam to Halliburton Executives who invest it with Goldman Sachs who in turn develop complex algorithms that generates more wealth but not of the kind that creates jobs (at least in this country)–or “trickles down,” as neoliberals like to say. Of course, this is not absolute and total, and these are just two examples of something much larger and byzantine. But you just can’t have a global economy without a global labor pool. Sure, maybe our standards of living are inflated and we’ve become much more entitled than previous eras, but there’s no living on $1/day and a cup of tea and a biscuit. 

    It’s much more than a national thing at this point. People like Draxx (below) just want to scapegoat. Are you really blaming poor people? Do you all really think it’s govt handouts sapping initiative? That all those unemployed college grads, all of those phds working at starbucks are lazy bums? Single moms with children? How do they work and raise there kid? Retirees, the disabled and the infirm, wounded vets (whom we do not do enough)? 

    Landofaahs, you make a valid point, the fed govt sucks. But it is because too much money is funneled upward, not downward. From poor to upper middle class, that’s who gets squeezed. But that’s because banks and biz own our govt, not because it’s inherently bad. 

  • Anonymous

    Holding views that are shared by the majority does not make those views correct, especially when the majority of the voting public is voting not with knowledge, but less understanding than a 4th grader. That is nothing to be proud of. It is simply principle based on those who have discovered that they can vote themselves “candy” from the common treasury and the productive nature of others. No matter how many people are “mainstream”, it does not mean that it their beliefs are factual, moral or correct. A billion people believing that 2+2=8 doesn’t mean that we can now suspend the laws of physics. It simply means that a billion people are wrong.

  • Anonymous

    i’m not a liberal, and to my knowledge i never said the same thing twice in response to the same person.
    i’m a libertarian, just b/c i don’t think the government should do certain things doesn’t change the facts about the problems with having a bad gini coefficient

  • Anonymous

    I am not a Keynesian, monetarily Keynes had some good observations though his fiscal policy proposals have been shown to be poor. I think Humes cycle theory is probably the best (in good times have a surplus so you can spend in recession). Adam Smith’s theory has been proven largely incorrect due to false assumptions about the elasticity of labor and full employment (Freidman adjusted the theory to account for these false assumptions which is where rational expectations theory comes from, same conclusions different reasoning. He was still largely wrong on monetary policy, but that’s b/c the velocity of money was uncharacteristically stable during the time he was studying)(also interesting is the large influence Adam Smith’s invisible hand theory had on Marx by applying Smith’s invisible hand materialism to Hegel’s dialectic theory) (Adam Smith’s theory of moral sentiments would probably also change many opinions about him).
    There is in fact a limited set of resources, economics is about efficiently distributing scarce resources.

    You make a lot of false assumptions based on one statement about my political leanings. I’m a libertarian. I’m just saying there are severe economic consequences(not to mention externalities such as unrest, release of the hormone oxycontin (the Economist has some good articles on topic, while not necessarily agreeing with me are still interesting and well written)etc) to having too unequal distribution of wealth .

  • Anonymous

    of course i would just reply to this with the same thing.
    i’m not promoting anything you suggested i was.
    you are in fact responding to false assumptions and not any actual statement i have made.

  • Anonymous

    A Gini coefficient is a strange way for someone who considers themselves libertarian to calculate societal economic inequality and recommend governmental action to correct that inequality. Unfortunately, the coefficient is dependent upon nations equally and accurately reporting specific numbers for specific economic indicators. This statistical calculation was thought up by leftists at the United Nations as yet another ploy to portray the US as unfair, bullying and evil. The same type of statistical drivel is utilized by the UN to calculate infantile survival rates and medical quality. According to the United Nations, a baby born in most third world nations is more likely to survive than those born in the United States. Iran and Cuba have lower infant mortality indices than the US. So why aren’t most people in the world rushing to those nations to give birth? Because, everyone who can think understands that Chile, Ecuador, Iran, Cuba, and most third world toilets lie about embarrassing statistics. They inflate infant survival rates because the truth is that 1) they have no idea because they aren’t exactly geniuses at tracking this stuff and 2) they will never tell the truth when their ideology could be exposed to negative scrutiny. In other words, this is a completely meaningless load of drivel and automatically assuming that the federal government’s methodology of redistribution of wealth is an answer is reasoning devoid of fact or thought. Here’s a fact for you. During all those years in which the Gini index indicates more and more “economic unfairness”, the federal government was increasing both real dollars and percentage spending on social programs, including increasing the number and intrusiveness of these types of programs. Statistically, that yields a direct, positive correlation coefficient that completely refutes your reasoning based on nothing but solid numbers. It indicates that if things were truly “fair”, we should decrease governmental wealth redistribution, NOT continue along the same lines. You are no libertarian. You may believe this, but libertarians do not turn to increased governmental confiscation as a unifying theory. By the way, that was the THIRD time you mentioned a Gini coefficient, so apparently, you think that if you say the same thing to multiple people it doesn’t count. Interesting theory, but again, you don’t get it. You are not basing this on fact, you are basing it on flawed ideology and numbers that are more extrapolation and conjecture than true measurement. I neither trust nor care about the opinion of a third world thug government as to whether or not the US system is “fair”. Governmental theft is neither efficient nor moral. It matters not at all if the world is fair according to your way of thinking, but it is akin to throwing only a match on a gasoline soaked pyre vs using a flame thrower. Neither one is the answer, and neither one remotely remedies “unfairness”.

  • Anonymous

    Of course any economic data requires accurate reporting (which given some of the data reported from developing countries terrifying to think about what the truth might be), but the U.S. accurately reports data, so you can use it to analyze our situation.
    I’m not suggesting or promoting any government programs (though functioning public education I think would solve multiple problems despite the long gestation period), I’m just saying vilifying people for suggesting income inequality is a problem is wrong b/c it very well can be on a number of levels, some of these solutions should be attacked, but ignoring a problem b/c most of the solutions suggested are crap does not fix the problem.

  • Anonymous

    You saying it doesn’t make it true, no matter how many times you say it. My “assumptions” about your political leanings are based on your statements and what you advocate, NOT assumptions about someone I don’t know. No matter your claim of libertarian political leanings, your chosen remedy is the same as the liberals. No matter how you say it, no matter how you try to obfuscate what you are saying through pseudo intellectualism from Wikipedia, your chosen recommendation is not the same as libertarians. It is exactly congruent to leftists/progressives. I don’t care what you call yourself. You are defined by action and your recommended action is not in line with conservative or libertarian thought. And yes, it IS Keynsian to assume that an infusion of governmental money through the act of redistribution and spending in the private sector. Of course there are problems with embracing everything that Adam Smith advocates because Adam Smith did not live in a day and age in which the markets would be altered at the speed of light. This does not, however, negate the fact that his ideas have more fully benefited the world than any other economic methodology, mainly because it acknowledges human nature and embraces man’s tendencies to force markets to pull all participants up. Of course there will always be those who are left behind because, guess what!? We aren’t all equal. No other economic theory though fully utilizes those differences. Regardless, if you advocate liberal/progressive goals, you’re a liberal. I’m not making assumptions, you keep saying exactly what I’m telling you. Evidence clearly reveals, however, that the government is the worst vehicle for economic progress that we could possibly choose. They are only supposed to level the playing field and ensure fairness. But what you are advocating is the same thing that all socialists advocate-guaranteed outcome. Therefore, if you believe this, that’s not a libertarian belief, it is progressivist and liberal.

  • Anonymous

    in any of these i have not promoted a single solution, whether government or otherwise (except education in my most recent reply) to the problem.
    I do think more fairness is a good thing, both economically and morally. I don’t think that taking and giving is an effective way to achieve this goal, but instead the focus should be on developing better human capital (I recognize that this alone will not fix much, but is the main ingredient to any viable economic plan).

  • Anonymous

    Ok, Edward, you’re not making any sense. The Gini coefficient is 100% dependent on the probity of the numbers used in the calculation. Therefore, just because the US is reporting accurately, because the statistic is a COMPARISON, it is ridiculous to assume that because one nation’s numbers are accurate, the coefficient is the same. HUH?! I don’t know where you studied, but that kind of reasoning would have begun with me being laughed out of the room in my PhD program as a start, and as an end, had I continued with that assumption, I would have been dismissed. The only assumption that can be made about the coefficient is that it is completely artificial and a useless piece of garbage because there is no way to compensate for the degree of dishonesty through controls because the dishonesty can only be accurately known if the reporting nation chooses to reveal the inaccuracy. If you believe that the coefficient can be accurate without true numbers and variable control, then we’re not in the same ballpark. That’s why the coefficient is so rarely quoted. There is simply no way to calculate that. Additionally, within the statistical universe for the US, the assumption has to be made that numerical reporting is accurate and equal between administrations. We know that this is not the case. For example, Obama is the first president to ignore the pool of job seekers who have become so discouraged that they have simply given up. According to HIS statisticians, that is success. Therefore, we don’t have accurate numbers or assumptions with which to discuss fairness vs. unfairness of the economy in the US using this approach. It’s too dependent on immeasurable variables that cannot be accurately measured.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, but you don’t make any sense. Your definition of “fair” is not mine. Mine is not the guy down the street, so who gets to decide what is “fair”. My children learned a long time ago that the fastest way to experience a disproportionate amount of chore time was to say to my wife and I, “That’s not fair”. We cannot ensure fairness and your claims ascribe WAY too much power to outsiders to satisfy what is, at best, a nebulous concept. Only the individual can overcome the unique obstacles that stand in their path, but also, only those individuals can determine their own fate and happiness and it has little to do with what someone else does for them or to them. We cannot ensure “fair”. We cannot manipulate a system that would guarantee outcomes without unfairly removing what one person has earned and giving it to those who have NOT earned it. Not everyone can achieve at the top. This is not bad, it simply IS. Some careers are valued more than others. Some skills require more self motivation and determination than others. We simply cannot change this fact and the fact that there are some who will always remain at the bottom does not mean that this is a bad thing. No one is keeping them there. I know. I have been at both ends of the spectrum and everything in between. I KNOW what works because I looked at my life and my family heritage and I realized that the only way that I could change what, at the time, seemed like inevitable fate, was to control my own destiny. We live in a country where that is possible and frankly, I’m sick and tired of people who think we should “equalize” more. The fact that I am capable of hard work, and I was blessed with more intelligence than others is a fact. It is a fact that there are those who are more blessed at those things than I am and they rightfully are rewarded at a higher level than I am and I do not begrudge them one penny. I laud them for their efforts. I could stand here and whine about how unfair it is that I’m not making as much money as they do or that God did not bless me with the talents of another person, but, in the end, if I stand there waiting for someone else to do it for me, I will rise, as the Peter Principle states, only to the highest level of my incompetence. Incompetence can only be shifted through determination, hard work, endurance, recognition and development of the individual talents I have been given to the fullest extent possible, and then, choosing to live within my means. That is the definition of happiness, not someone telling me that it’s not fair that I don’t possess what someone else has. And frankly, everything I’ve heard you say results in little more than practiced helplessness and a never ending dissatisfaction with my lot in life. THAT is the practical application of the differences in our beliefs. You go right ahead and put your ideas into practice and see just how far it takes you. I’ve already put the “rubber on the road” of my beliefs and I have proven that it works. Every individual that wishes to be successful has to figure out for THEMSELVES what happiness in their case, consists of. If I had allowed someone else to make certain that everything was “fair”, the only thing that I would have achieved is being as poor as everyone who thinks that way. I know the world isn’t fair. If it were, we would all be equal…equally poor. Unfortunately, you can’t make elevate someone by debasing another person. This is exactly what you are proposing, though, and it is exactly what liberals and progressives believe to their very core-that there is no such thing as self determination or happiness except that defined by others. I feel sorry for you and all who embrace the endless night that is the practice of lifelong hopelessness. My fate is my own and that same choice is up to everyone who lives in this wonderful country. But please, spend your life bemoaning how unfair life is. I’ll take that situation and use it to define who I am and what I am. I’ve already done it. I’m nowhere near as rich as I could be, but I have learned to use what I have and do what I can and to acknowledge that it is the possibilities that make life so rich. It disgusts me to see so many people so willing to turn over all chance at happiness and control of their own lives for whatever paltry scraps society is willing to offer them in exchange for a vote for a candidate who, in exchange for power, commits state sponsored theft. We are at a tipping point in this country in which more people are willing to trade slavery in exchange for a claim laid on the property of others. We simply cannot continue to take and take and take as the appetite of the masses is INSATIABLE and never ending. There is simply no way to ensure fairness or prosperity enough. We have given away far more than we possess and have entered an economic phase in which our debts are becoming logarithmic in comparison to GDP. This is not feasible. It is unsustainable and no one is entitled to that which does not exist and has not been earned. Until we relearn these basic principles, we are destined for demise, and deservedly so, as this is willful choice. It will not just “happen” to us, we are choosing it.

  • Anonymous

    i agree with you.
    i was simply responding originally to “is unequal (not any sort of unequal, but extreme inequality. equality is impossible) allocation of wealth a bad thing?” which my answer is it can be and I did not think it was right to rip Harkin for seeing that problem.
    My statement that it was refreshing to see somebody who understood economics while most people don’t, and while I disagreed with the guy on a lot of stuff he at least knew about what he was talking about. My thoughts on him were, to loosely borrow Christopher Hitchens’ words from Letters to a Young Contrarian, it is not what you think that matters but why you think it (or how you think in general).
    I disagree with the idea that we live in a country where it is possible (in the sense that everything is fine with regards to opportunity). We live in a country where it is more possible than any other I can think of but should be better (public education and the extreme impacts the socio-economic status you are born into can have on chances of success (to use the modern idea of attaining wealth as success) being my main focus on what should be better).

  • Anonymous

    Quite right. The majority can easily hold views that are false or contrary to its own best interests. My point to Bert was that he is apparently very easily appalled. But you haven’t supported your assertion that the majority’s views are wrong in this instance, only that such a thing is possible. It’s worthless to make such sweeping, tendentious and condemnatory pronouncements (e.g. about the level of public understanding of issues or voting for goodies) without a great deal of information to back it up.

  • Anonymous

    so you’ve read atlas shrugged then? yeah didn’t think so

  • landofaahs

    That’s because he’s a liar like most all democrats. As long as they pay him off with campaign contributions it seems O.K. What some short-sighted businessmen don’t realize is that eventually the little dick tater becomes strong enough to steal it back. It’s typical of the ghetto thug Chicago mindset.

  • Anonymous

    You misunderstand
    economics and human nature at the most fundamental level.

    Your faith in the
    inviolability of supply & demand is misplaced, and your statement about the
    cause of the financial crisis of 2008 is more than merely off the mark – it’s
    actually backwards.  The crisis was caused
    by markets left to run amok, largely as a result of government policy
    promulgated by people who believed in the inviolability of markets, as you
    do.  Do some reading up on the subject, from a variety of sources.  .

    Our economic system, like our political system, is a man-made construct, subject to all the
    frailties and shortcomings of human nature:  greed, ambition, dishonesty, moral and
    intellectual blindness, unbridled lust for power.  No less than government, our economy needs a
    well-designed and carefully implemented system of checks and balances.  To say otherwise is utopianism, pure and
    simple. 

    These checks and balances
    are the adjustments I noted.  Without
    them, the resulting anarchy will quickly bring down an economic system as
    surely as it will a civilization without laws or government.  

  • Anonymous

    As a liberal, I prefer to base public policy on what works best overall.  Fairness is a vague notion; tax policy should be based on practical considerations.  In this regard, it’s the Right today that suffers from a devotion to ideological purity uber alles, no matter the cost to our economy.  The answer to every economic problem for the Right is:  lower taxes for rich people!    How’d that work under W Bush?  How did the tax increases work  under Clinton?  If downward redistribution is the cause of so many ills, why are we in our current delicate state when the past 30 years has seen a redistribution…upwards?   Do you hold that capital that accumulates at the very top is used as efficiently as capital that goes into the pockets of folks lower down the economic ladder?  

    Do you think the vastly increased power of a very small group of people at the very top is good for our political process, for democracy?

  • Anonymous

    And yet, you still haven’t risen to the challenge. You’ve already chosen your methodology. It’s the same methodology the leftists of this country always come up with. Tax the populace to death, spend into oblivion; yet, not one program has ever come close to yielding what it claims to accomplish. So again…come up with a successful government program that has achieved its stated goal. You know as well as I do that no matter how much you talk, you can’t do it. Your side has had its way whether the presidency was owned by the right or the left, yet no program is ever enough because the philosophy of the left never changes and there is never a rational meter of how well the program functions. But, please, continue to talk. Your snide little comments are amusing for all the lack of substance you are willing to present.

  • Anonymous

    Please… is this “home rules”? You ask, I must answer; I ask, you may ignore?

    I can address your questions. Can you do the same for me?

  • Anonymous

    Do you?

  • silentnomore

    thanks for your comments…but think I do understand economics and human nature, having had several successful businesses over the years, and still see it differently…
    basically believing less government & regulations are better than an ever increasing growth of the governmental agencies that are hindering our national recovery. I don’t believe in the inviolability of said markets as you said. I don’t think markets, banks, etc. are too big to fall and should be left to die or survive own their own merits and answerable to share holders, and private owners. I’ll leave you with a couple of Churchill quotes;

    “It is a socialist idea that making profits is a vice; I consider the real vice is making losses”

    “It has been said that Democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time”

  • Anonymous

    I didn’t make any claims about speaking for others, as you did. It wouldn’t occur to me to voice such an abstract, unverifiable assertion.

    But since you ask – the relationship between my views on tax policy and those of the majority of taxpayers would depend on the specific policy in question. The majority of voters, at least, seems to favor higher taxes on the wealthy, as I do.

  • Anonymous

    You really can’t do it, can you? You just tried to change the subject. The truth is that liberals cannot let go of the same, tired methods they have always turned to as answers. Redistribution of wealth has never worked. Not once; not in any of the nations where it has been tried. You cannot make people equally rich. You can only make them equally poor through forced “generosity”. But hey, I’ve never seen a liberal who thought that facts and history had anything to do with the subject at hand, only the words mattered to them. Looks like you’re no different.

  • Anonymous

    You sound like a pompous bs-er. You think a statement like “the majority of voters seems to favor higher taxes on the wealthy” is NOT speaking for others? The majority of voters do NOT favor higher taxes on anybody, UNLESS THEY’VE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY A LEFTIST MEDIA-in which case who in hell cares what they “think”? Go away. Your Libbische crap is not needed or wanted here.

  • Anonymous

    Pompous vs. confident, that’s subjective, but it’s not b.s. if it’s based on good evidence. The recent election, along with polls consistently showing support for higher taxes on the wealthy, strongly indicates that I’m not speaking for others; they’ve spoken for themselves. Apparently, that’s hard for you to hear. I’d gladly address the nonsensical remark about brainwashing by the media, but it’s a broad, important topic, and I don’t think you’d appreciate my efforts (but let me know if I’m wrong about that). I don’t know what Libbische means, btw. Lastly, are you aware of how preposterous it is to order someone away from a public discussion forum? (talk about speaking for others…that’s a winner in the category!) Did you think this is a private club? Disqus provides the opportunity to engage with people of all types, including/especially those outside your comfort zone. Conformity and agreement are not the best use of it. If you don’t enjoy my posts, don’t engage.

  • Anonymous

    I can’t make you stop shouting and start listening, but that’s all it would take to answer your questions. Redistribution is what all taxes do. Our nation’s economic woes are largely a result of redistribution in the wrong direction (that was Harkin’s point) – from poor and middle-class working folks to an uber-rich wealthy elite. This is a result of the disastrous Supply-Side tax policies that began with Reagan, were put into high gear by Bush II and have been supported by a relentless Republican noise and electoral machine, assisted by all the familiar villains: Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Fox News, et al. Social Security, Medicare, Food Stamps, Welfare – all these programs provide great benefit to our country. What kind of twisted logic could define their success as the elimination of poverty? Their effects are incremental, by design, their flaws, limitations and inefficiencies as unavoidable as any consequence of human imperfectability. Throw out the baby with the bathwater?

    Now, how about addressing the elephant in the room (pun intended)? Taxes were raised in 1993 under Clinton, and every single Republican/conservative/supply side adherent declared it would lead to stagnation at best and more likely to ruin. The opposite happened, didn’t it? The economy boomed, and the deficit was tamed. Then the wealthy were given enormous tax decreases under Bush. My side of the argument said this would throw us back into a structural deficit and lead to greater income inequality, which would in turn unbalance the supply & demand equation. Who was right? The results of our national experiment with different tax theories should be over. Your side lost, very badly. It’s perverse that the Right hasn’t learned its lesson and continues to attack as if it were somehow vindicated instead of humiliated.
    The basics of supply and demand cannot be altered. There is excessive wealth at the top, as a direct result of Right-wing policies that benefit the very few at the expense of everyone else. This money cannot be used as productively as it would be if it were in the pockets of the middle class. Like it was in the Clinton economy. Like it was during the entire post-WWII boom. With supply and demand unbalanced, our economy limps along. The Right’s failure to submit, not to the Left, but to reality, is what’s causing our troubles today.

  • Anonymous

    So anyone disagreeing with you is “shouting”? Good to know. Our nation’s economic woes are not the result of increased tax burdens on the rich, middle class or anyone. There is no nation in history that has ever taxed themselves into prosperity. It just doesn’t work that way. The “elephant in the room” as you call the 1993 tax increases is deceptive. Taxes being raised did not raise the economic climate in 1993. Clinton raised taxes at a time that was just after the tech stock boom of the 1990′s. The effect of his tax hikes was not felt until the tech stock crash, at which point we entered a recession. The Bush tax cuts stimulated the economy following 9/11. The effect was real, and even Barack Obama admitted this by continuing to sign them into law for an additional two years midway through his first term. Yet, now that he can’t be touched, all of those tax savings are now gone. You are simplifying the situation far too much. The fact of the matter is that you seem like the people that I have known who have only experienced a university background without ever having put any of their theories to the test in real life.

    Social Security, food stamps, Medicare, welfare, all theoretically should help people to move beyond poverty and into some form of prosperity. But this is not the case at all. You claim that stating that they have not worked is unthinkable because their effects are incremental. That is wrong on so many levels I hardly know where to start. At what point have we tried these programs enough to obtain usable data that, considered in the sterile environment of ONLY outcome and effect, will show SOME benefit that matches the intended nature of the programs? The ONLY variable that has changed over time is more money redistributed from one citizen to another, more programs, less oversight, fewer requirements. We have miles of paper, billions of numbers and breakdowns on the effectiveness of these programs in light of the money spent to carry them out. Every single study shows that not only has poverty been unaffected by these programs, it has grown. This is in light of the fact that the poor can access in excess of more than $80,000 in benefits per year. Additionally, the number of people accessing government programs has grown, with corruption rampant at every level. For example, it is illegal for non-citizens to access government programs, yet, nearly all of the more than 12,000,000 illegal aliens in this country receives government benefits that cost both state and federal systems hundreds of billions of dollars.
    You have a serious misunderstanding of the basics of supply and demand or are simply applying these principles in error. Continuing on about George Bush. Bush stimulated the economy by decreasing taxes on both businesses and individuals, which added tax income into the coffers because of the additional economic activity. Again, Clinton’s tax increases did NOT result in the economic boom of the 1990′s, they rode that boom until it could no longer be sustained. Bush made a massive mistake, however, in his addition of Medicare Part D prescription coverage. The immediate effect of that fiasco threw a program that was fiscally solvent more than 50 years into the future into immediate chaos. We are nearly at the insolvency point because of the massive burden that this program added to the tax system. This was unneeded. You keep harping about how there is too much wealth at the top. Well, the people who own the top are, by and large, those over 65 years old. The largest growing demographic in this country are seniors over 80 years old. The largest lobby group in the world is the AARP. This program completely destabilized taxation policy by initiating fatal insolvency with no time for a fix. Currently, this problem still looms over us because of the lobbying efforts of the AARP.

    Your contention that redistributing income from upper incomes to those with little or no income is good economic policy has no basis in fact. The Clinton tax increases cannot be linked to economic prosperity or else it would have continued indefinitely. That didn’t happen and the economic “boom” was certainly long over by the end of the Clinton presidency. The facts are that raising taxes results in LESS governmental income, not more. Even the god of liberalism, Barack Obama, knows this. When he was running for president in 2008, Charlie Gibson (an abject liberal, but honest) asked him during a debate about the capital gains tax. Obama’s plan called for raising this from 15% to as much as 70%. Gibson rightly corrected Obama’s characterization of this tax as a “sin tax” or a “millionaire’s tax” as anyone who owns stock in this country that makes a profit from that investment, is subject to capital gains taxation. Those that would be most affected? The elderly who depend on their savings and investments to fund their retirements. He then went on to point out that every time the capital gains tax was raised, FEWER taxes were collected. He then asked Obama if, knowing these things, he would still raise this tax. Obama’s replied that he would, because that is what is fair. That, in a nutshell, is why I have a problem with liberal economic policy. It is based on what feels good, is fully committed to stay the course no matter the real results, and tries to characterize any opposition to doing business this way as immoral and the result of greed.

    Supply and demand does not work the way that you are claiming. If that were the case, then why not take 100% of what certain people make? At what point does your side admit that there is nothing in the coffers to spend? Why is it that you think that government is an efficient and honest steward of a sum of money that is outrageous? Why does it cost 300% more for government to do the same thing that someone in the private sector does and why is it all right with liberals that government workers make 70% more than their private sector counterparts with less than 1/2 the productivity and nearly zero oversight?

    Now it’s your turn. If you can’t answer the questions that I posed, at least have the courage to say it. The challenge still stands…show me one single government social program that has successfully achieved its stated purpose. You need to do a little more studying on economic principles. They simply don’t work the way that you seem to think that they do and you are misusing some very basic terms that were never applied to what you are claiming. Your world may be very simple, but it is also nothing more than failed theory. Here’s one last challenge for you, though. I want to know how much more YOU, in real dollars are willing to pay per year to the government so that they can give it to the poor. And please don’t tell me that you don’t make as much money as the rich. You ARE rich to some in this country and certainly to most of the rest of the world, so give us a number. By the way, I’ve also never had a liberal answer me on that one, either, without stating that they are talking about the top earners paying more, and I’m not anticipating that you will be any different, but maybe I’ll hear something different this time.

  • Anonymous

    With appreciation for your effort and for having generally maintained civility, and in view of my time limitations, it wouldn’t make for effective argumentation to address each of your points in turn, because despite any evidence I present to the contrary, your arguments all have the same basic logical flaws. Let me deconstruct a single sentence that I think typifies this. You write: “The fact of the matter is that you seem like the people that I have known who have only experienced a university background without ever having put any of their theories to the test in real life.”

    Read that carefully. Your “fact” exists only in your imagination. It’s an associated image you created and judged for yourself, with no outside criteria, which you posit and apparently think I should consider valid . What’s especially revealing is how confidently you proceed from imagination to conclusion. You seem unaware of the illogical progression you make from fantasy to (your) reality. Do you see this, now that it’s been pointed out?

    In (real) fact: I’ve worked only in private industry, for companies large, small and medium, never in academia, been a boss, owner, laborer, with and against unions, had both success and failure, struggled to put two very bright kids through college. Now that you know this, do you find my opinion more valid? You shouldn’t. My C.V. is irrelevant to the argument.

    Your opinions and your style of argumentation, like most Right-wing dogma today, reflect this fundamentally flawed logic; you mistake personal and group sensibility for fact. And, when you select facts, you choose those that validate opinions that feel right to you. You’re hardly alone, most people do this. It’s human nature. Warm, fuzzy certitude is much more comfortable than a cold, gnawing sense of doubt. But certitude tells you much less about the world. In fact, when issues are complex, it more often misleads.

    Your understanding of taxation and economics fits this pattern. It’s Right-wing Propaganda 101, tendentiously reconstructing reality to paint an imaginary picture that many people apparently want to believe in. It’s bunk. If you really want a blow-by-blow on any part of this, let me know, but here’s a book that spells it all out nicely: The Big Con: Crackpot Economics and the Fleecing of America by Jon Chait. And the huge disparity in the allocation of wealth has very negative economic consequences. Why? Because when there is too much concentration of wealth at the top, our system becomes unbalanced.

    Balance, this is the key to a healthy democracy, my friend. A healthy economy needs a balance of supply and demand. A healthy polity needs a balance of interests and power among the many, disparate groups. Humans are given to extremes, especially in groups, and government must mitigate against this natural tendency towards consolidation of wealth and power. Public policy in a nation as powerful and successful as ours, and with such a strong legal foundation, is largely a matter of continual adjustments to maintain healthy balance. That’s one of the tenets of traditional conservatism. Sadly, today’s Republican party, in thrall to the Right-wing, has lost its way and become so unrepentantly radical that it no longer understands this. It doesn’t understand American civilization – or any civilization, for that matter. They see a world in their imagination – as you saw me in yours – that’s based far more on what they feel should be than what is. This is why you don’t appreciate or understand the need for social programs. Neither I nor most anyone wants to support ne’er-do-wells. But it’s a fact of life that we’re stuck having to deal with other people’s messy problems. I don’t believe in pissing into the wind.

    The Right disparages academics and believes that the media is biased against it. It’s reality and the way of the world that’s biased against the Right-wing. This is why the Right-wing today must deceive in order to maintain political power. It’s like the story of the would-be marksman who shot first and then painted a bulls-eye around each bullet hole. He didn’t know how to shoot, but it looked impressive to anyone who didn’t know the real story. This is today’s Right. Con artists, charlatans, foolish true believers and a lot of good, ordinary people who, through custom, culture or personal need, can’t help but follow along. If you value knowledge over comfort, you’ll do yourself a favor by looking into it. Let me know if I can help.

  • Anonymous

    It is a waste of both of our time to continue this discussion, so this will be my last reply to you. You make far more generalizations than I do, including your very snide attempts to brand “right wingers” as anti-academic. Don’t make the assumption that I don’t know the academic world. I’m a physician and I hold a PhD in molecular biology. I KNOW the academic world far better than you appear to. Academia is an artificial environment in which the very real issues facing those who don’t share that world are generally trivialized and dismissed. Thank you for clarifying for me that you’re NOT an academic.

    The problem facing the left is that the facts are NOT on your side. Redistribution of wealth is a socialist fallacy that has never worked, no matter where it has been tried, because, inevitably, the only way to force people to sacrifice self interest and the welfare of their own families in favor of those they do not know, is through fascist methodology. Hundreds of millions of human beings have lost their lives to their own governments under socialism, yet, this is always the very first preference of the left. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Johg Il and on and on and on. Hitler’s party was named the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Socialism enforced through fascist violence. The “cultural revolution” of the People’s Republic of China, the Soviet Socialist Republic under Stalin, all of these required the centralization of power in the hands of the state, the destruction of academia in order to destroy any possibility of opposition with most being executed or shipped to gulags and “reeducation” camps…this is the mark of socialism. The so-called “cause” of the leftists is not based on history, fact OR balance, as human beings will not act against their own family’s self interest without state intervention through legal means that codify and promote class envy and hatred in order to prevail.
    You, and all leftists, seem to be under the impression that wealth is fixed, that resources cannot be expanded and that there is no possibility for lower classes to improve their lot in life. There is no fixed concentration of wealth in the hands of the very few, as there are no social barriers preventing those who have the talent, the will and the work ethic to find a niche in the economy in which they offer those assets to the other participants in the economy. I am an example of this. Until my generation, not a single person in my father’s family had ever completed high school and they certainly did not share in economic growth. Most of the people that I know that have become successful did not grow up as members of some privileged class. They earned what they have accomplished based on the character traits I listed above. I, and those people did not become successful because of some government program that pulled us out of poverty.
    Here’s reality: no one would make the sacrifices necessary to accomplish economic success if they weren’t doing it for their own and their family’s welfare. Altruism begins at home. Socialism takes on human nature and believes that it is evil for human beings to be more interested in the welfare of their own family than the faceless members of the state. It starts with a massive flaw that is augmented and perpetuated through class envy. If you were honest, you would examine your own motives. I’ve never met a liberal who thought that THEY should be paying much, much more in taxes. I’ve never met a liberal who honestly believed that they were part of the problem. I’ve never yet met a liberal who would forego deductions on their taxes in order to more directly contribute to the funds available to the government for programs for the poor, no matter how wealthy. You are no different. You consider yourself compassionate because you want to take someone else’s money and give it away. Being a thief does not make you altruistic; it just means you’re a thief.

    You haven’t answered a single question I posed to you, yet you accuse me of dealing in generalities. Why can’t you name a government program that has accomplished what it purports to “set right”? They answer to that is one we both know. You can’t because such a program does not exist. You can’t present a single shred of evidence showing that the government’s methodology is both efficient and efficacious, just that is SHOULD be. You think you know history, yet your economic claims were completely incorrect regarding the correlation between the Clinton tax hikes and the tech stock crash. Apparently, him riding the coattails of the economic wave while it was positive was related to the tax hikes, but the economic crash was not. You can’t seem to explain at all, how it’s possible for a business to expand and hire more workers is somehow augmented by increased tax expense. Can you spend more when you are taking home less? If you aren’t capable of that, then why would you believe that anyone else can?
    Liberalism IS generalities. It IS denial of fact, and revision of history. It certainly is not the answer for the poor because we have done nothing but give and give and give to the poor, yet the answer you fools always have for the problem is to do the exact same thing over and over again, throwing more and more money at a social problem that has not been, and cannot be changed by the government. If it could be, then why hasn’t it happened? And last, I still would like a hardcore number from you as to how much more YOU are willing to give the government to do YOUR part. If you’re truly successful, then what are you willing to do besides steal from the person who makes one dollar more than you do? Will you commit to not taking tax deductions? If not, WHY? Don’t you believe your philosophy, or is it only for everyone else? I already know the answer to all of these questions and I know why you haven’t truthfully answered a single question. I do know you very much like to talk, but you have no more substance than any other liberal. So, if, as you very smugly and snidely said to me, need help figuring it out…Go somewhere else. Perhaps you can use some of those tax dollars you want everyone else to pay to purchase a clue.