Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Victor David Hanson's 5 Modest Recommendations For PSBO

Victor David Hanson maintains in his article The Great Divider just that -- PSBO is quite not the great "uniter" just the opposite actually. He writes:

"...in his nascent career in the Senate, he had already compiled the most
partisan record of any Democratic Senator. He had attended religiously one of
the most racially divisive and extremist churches in the country. His Chicago
friends were not moderates. His campaigns for state legislature, the House and
the Senate were hard-ball, no-prisoner affairs of personal destruction, even by
Chicago standards. Campaign references to reparations, gun- and bible-clingers,
and Rev. Wright’s wisdom were not words of healing.
In short, while the rhetoric was often inspirational, I found no real reason then—or now—to believe that Barack Obama wishes to be a uniter. And nothing in his first five weeks ofgovernance has disabused me of that first tough impression."

He offers 5 recommendations that PSBO would do well to adopt if he is really interested in bring the country together

1. Forget Talk Radio-"...both you and your staff have zeroed in on Rush Limbaugh by name. But Presidential candidates and elected Presidents must seem above the fray, and not descend into tit-for-tat with media celebrities. There is a reason why even your closest associates have ceased calling you Barack and now quite properly address you as “Mr. President”—and it is not due to your persistence in demonizing talk radio."

2. Forget George Bush-"We got the message already that he is near satanic, you angelic....in your first address to the nation, you went out swinging: “As for our common defense, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.” But President Bush never set up such a Manichean either/or situation, as you yourself must accept, when you embraced his protocols on FISA, the Patriotic Act, the Bush-Petraeus Iraq withdrawal plan, and kept rendition, and so far have not quite closed Guantanamo.to transfer wealth to the wealthy instead of an opportunity to invest in our future. . .Regulations were gutted for the sake of a quick profit at the expense of a healthy market.”

But Mr. President, deficits arose from out-of-control spending, inasmuch as the Bush tax cuts resulted in increased revenue. It is fair to fault the past eight years of profligate spending, but when you engage in such demagoguery, the American people can detect your subtext: “I won’t criticize Bush’s spending because I found it not enough and will trump it; I will criticize his tax cuts, since I want to make the wealthier pay for my even greater borrowing.”

Cutting taxes on everyone who pays them is not transferring wealth, unless you believe that one’s own income belongs to the government in the first place. Under Bush, nearly 50% of the tax filers for the first time paid no income tax at all—hardly a transfer of wealth.

As far as “gutting” regulations go, I don’t think you wish to go there—given the careers of Franklin Rains, a disgraced Jim Johnson (of your recent hire), Barney Frank, and Chris Dodd, who not only really did gut regulations that were at the center of the financial meltdown, but profited from such complicit laxity.

3.Drop the messianic style- "The campaign is over. The Victory Column and Parthenon facades belong to last summer. Remember, it’s hard finding elites to serve in government that are not tainted. You yourself discovered that depressing fact when you nominated tax-dodgers and lobbyists to your own cabinet. Not only did you have far more trouble on such ethical fronts than did Bush in his first month of nominations, but you suffered the additional wage of hypocrisy after adopting the prophetic rhetoric about your own virtue. 2012 will come soon enough without vero possumus at every turn."

4. Enough of the evil “rich” - "We’ve heard now about the proverbial jets, parties, and ‘they want us to eat cake’ rhetoric that is approaching the sloganeering of the French Revolution. No one likes a Bernie Madoff, or supports AIG and Citicorp execs wanting federal subsidies to cover their lavish lifestyles.

But a little humility is in order: the problem is not just Richard Fuld at a bankrupt Lehman Brothers, but also Clintonites like Robert Rubin at Citicorp, and liberals at Freddie and Fannie who took millions while destroying the financial integrity of hallowed institutions.

You are our President; so, please, begin seeing greed as an equal opportunity vice that infects liberal and conservatives alike—and anyone else with all too human frailties. If anything, the liberal egalitarian suffers the additional wage of hypocrisy for engaging in Rangelesque schemes or Robert Rubin ‘me-first’ bonuses—in the same manner conservatives do when caught with women or drugs after boasting of the need for old-time morality."

5. Stop the dissimulation. "Your plan might work for a while given the incineration of trillions in stock and home equity and the need for replacement cash, but its revenue-raising component is not just aimed at the miniscule number of “rich”, which you imply to the American people are flying the skies of America in private jets while being unpatriotic in avoiding taxes and violating regulations.

In fact, for your plan to succeed, you must go after the upper, upper middle-class, those making between $250,000 and $600,000 who are restaurant owners, home builders, labor contactors, architects, surgeons, engineers, hospital executives, college administrators, Ivy-League law professors, and many dentists.

These households are wealthy, yes; but they don’t own or even fly on $50 million private jets or host private Super Bowl parties. Their income is all reported, and with such good salaries come high insurance and, in the case of business, constant reinvestment and expensive inventories. They are not greedy, but the bulwark of the United States’ productive classes who in aggregate pay over 40% of the collective income taxes, and provide most of the jobs in the country. Under your plan many in these high-tax states will pay nearly 70% of their incomes in FICA, Medicare, federal income, and state income taxes. Why gratuitously mislead the American people that those for whom you will lift FICA ceilings or up their IRS bites to 40% are in any way synonymous with the super-rich? Remember the very, very wealthy voted overwhelmingly in your favor precisely because their riches gave them immunity from high taxes, and in many cases they were far removed from the everyday risk and worry of owning a hardware store or trying to keep together a family-owned construction firm. George Clooney is a world away from a paving contractor, just as making $400,000 a year on call 24/7 is not quite making $40 million investing or $2 million for a cameo."

So please no more intellectual dishonesty, Mr. President. Those in great numbers who will pay your higher taxes are not really the rarer Warren Buffets, Bill Gateses, Diane Feinsteins, Teresa Heinz Kerrys, Sean Penns, George Soroses, Oprah Winfreys, or Tiger Woodses, whose mega-wealth really does result in private jet rides, and yet exempts them from worries that increased taxes might wreck their small businesses.


s said...

Only 2% of households earn over $250,000 a year - so yes they are rare. They're also the ones who have benefited from the phony "investor class" economy that ballooned at the expense of workers whose wages have barely doubled in 30 years. They took the money out of businesses AND they took the FICA tax surplus. Of course they need to pay now and if it sounds like a French Revolution - well then maybe that's why Republicans in this country disparage the "French". What they really mean is the people should stay poor and the best way to keep them poor is convince them they're "French" if they ever stand up for themselves.

uptownsteve said...

When are you righties going to get it?

You had eight years and you totally screwed up!

You think Obama and the majority of Americans who elected him are going to listen to you?

brotherkomrade said...

Wait...what's the problem again?

"As I'm sure everyone here is aware, Obama's budget proposal has been greeted with anger and outrage in corporate boardrooms and in luxury penthouses all across America. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, for example, described Obama's budget as "the most redistributionist in modern history."

Ha ha, I love this quote. You can find where it came from here
The perfect article to counter CBW's post!

Conservative Black Woman said...

Thank you BK for proving the point... Socialistworkers.org? But, I will not rush to judgment I will read the article at my earliest opportunity because I find this ideology of yours facinating.

Constructive Feedback said...


With all due respect - You are asking that Obama and the Democrats to dispense of their main calling card.

SERIOUSLY - have you heard any Democrats JUSTIFY their action plan using the INTRINSIC benefits contained within it?

Even Barney Frank sets up a justification for this outrageous budget by making the case that the "Republicans were irresponsible for 6 years". (Note they don't talk about the past 2 years when they had total control over both houses.

Sad to say - it is going to take an economic collapse before BOTH PARTIES see that this is not Monopoly money but instead must be backed by a CREDIBLE process in order to inspire confidence.

Constructive Feedback said...

[quote]You had eight years and you totally screwed up![/quote]


Over the past 8 years how many inmates have died while in the custody of the Prince Georges County jail?

OR, let me ask - DO YOU EVEN CARE?
The administration IS of the right color and party so that you trust what they say DESPITE the SAME RESULTS.

(Note to everyone else - as passionate as Steve pretends to be about "Black Issues" his ideological and partisan BIGOTRY has him more fearful to make any waves against the people in power who he favors.


uptownsteve said...

Oh you pathetic buckdancing Tom.

You don't give two craps about inmates anywhere..

You just look for any opportunity to bash black political leadership and show massa how much you love him.

-suitepotato- said...

BO won't make those changes easily. Bill Clinton wasn't nearly that far to the left when he took the White House, as his days that far left were largely a decade plus earlier and he'd had time to mature. Also, he was through a combination of circumstance and luck left as the undisputed head of the left unless you want to include Hillary.

He thus could afford to continue maturing, learning, and changing. He adopted some conservative policies and not because he was playing a cynical game although there was some of that involved, but because he had no one nipping at his heels.

BO has a pack of rabid chihuahuas chasing him down right down. In his mind if he trips, they will mow him down. If he runs faster, he makes himself ahead. If he backtracks and goes conservative, it would be to dive into them smothered in ketchup. Between Hillary, Dean, the Kennedyites, and the rest of the liberal faction would-be leaders he has a lot of perceived peer pressure to keep escalating.

Any changes he makes to be less liberal will only be cynical half-measures and he will learn nothing from them. He displays to me the sort of ego and attitude I see in middle level managers and civil service administrators. He's the sort who has an overarching fear of being passed by in the back of his mind, who cannot afford to be thought wrong, who has to be in charge.

He ran fuzzy centrist with a media portraying him as right of Clinton, and dove hard left in a socialist blitzkrieg. His gambit has been played and the pressure is on to stick with it. He won't learn or change any time soon especially with the farthest loopiest leftists chasing at his heels right now ready to follow him to nirvana or to take his place.

JMK said...

"Only 2% of households earn over $250,000 a year - so yes they are rare. They're also the ones who have benefited from the phony "investor class" economy that ballooned at the expense of workers whose wages have barely doubled in 30 years." (S)

That is entirely and completely untrue.

FACT: investors don't earn "income" from their investments, they earn "Capital Gains" which are taxed at a much lower, flat rate, which is necessary to stimulate further investment (risk of capital).

The income disparity is virtually ENTIRELY the result of differing costs of living throughout the country.

The overwhelming bulk (upwards of 95% of those earning over $250,000/year) tend to live in high cost of living areas, like NYC, San Francisco, the Metro D.C. area, L.A, etc.).

In NYC $123,000/year is exactly equivalent to $60,000/year in Houston TX. or Atlanta, GA.

The "Investor Class" isn't hit by increasing income taxes.

Those who are, are those "suckers" who work for a living in those high cost-of-living areas. Two cops in NYC = > $250K/year, so do two Corrections Officers (with OT), so does an Accountant (CPA) and a school teacher.

So do small business owners, who produce upwards of 80% of the jobs in America!

Hey! I'm ALL for giving tax breaks to those living in low cost-of-living States like North Dakota, Arkansas, Wyoming and Montana...those folks work HARD and under some rough conditions.

I just don't like the ide aof further punsihing those folks living in far more expensive, not to mention less picturesque places, like NYC, San Fran, etc.