A (Temporarily) Lost Debate

We certainly haven’t convinced a majority of our fellow Americans on this basic issue:

…Sixty percent in this ABC News/Washington Post poll support raising taxes on incomes more than $250,000 a year, long a popular option overall, but also a divisive one: While 73 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents are in favor, far fewer Republicans, 39 percent, agree…

…Sixty-seven percent in this poll…oppose another suggestion, raising the Medicare eligibility age from 65 to 67.  And on this idea, strong opposition surpasses strong support by more than 3-1, 49 to 14 percent…

So, at the end of the day, a solid majority are in favor of raising taxes on “the rich” while an even more solid majority are opposed to the basic, common-sense idea of raising the age of Medicare eligibility in order to preserve the Medicare system.  People are in favor of something which won’t help and opposed to something which would.  Whatever else we did in 2012, we utterly failed to make a dent on the issue of fiscal reform of the United States government.

I think our failure on taxes is that our absolute opposition to all tax increases has painted us in to a corner where Democrats (aided by the by-lined Democrats in the MSM) can label us as extreme.  To be sure, opposing tax increases has been, is and will remain a key GOP principal because we know that you can never feed the Big Government beast enough.  No matter how much money you give to it, it will be blown through and more demanded.  We’d have a $6 trillion a year budget if we hadn’t held the line on taxes all these years.  But one must not allow rigidity to overcome good sense – we should have seen four or more years ago that as long as there are people with more money than they know what to do with the Democrats would be able to successfully campaign on an “make the rich pay their fair share” slogan.  That most of these super-rich are liberals and that Democrat tax proposals will hit the super-rich lightly, if at all, is irrelevant: we handed them an issue and ideological rigidity against tax increases prevented us from a counter-offensive which can preserve low marginal rates (vital, as we know, for economic growth).  This is the genesis of my “wealth tax” proposal – a tax aimed at the very richest and not at productive capital, but at money just squirreled away in tax shelters of various types.  Had we come out with a wealth tax for the 2012 campaign it would have been us attacking Democrats and deflecting their attack on us – at worst, it would have been a wash and it may have worked out to our credit…and we’d be in a much stronger position right now to fight for lower marginal rates to be maintained.

Our failure on entitlement reform stems from the failure on taxes – as a party which has been successfully painted as defending low taxes for the rich, any and all reasonable reforms of entitlements can be (and have been) cast by the Democrats as a callous disregard for the poor and middle class by a party which is only interested in defending low taxes for the rich.  Yes, I know this isn’t true, at all – but it is how we’ve been painted and it is something we must change if we are to succeed.  Remember, Obama won’t be President forever – eventually we will be back in power.  When we get there if we haven’t convinced a majority of Americans to back us on entitlement reform then there’s no point in winning.  If we don’t reform entitlements then even if we some how manage to avoid fiscal collapse in the next five years or so then we are still absolutely stuck with the fact that entitlements will soon eat up almost all government revenues.  That is unsustainable.  But we can’t offer ourselves as reformers of entitlements until the people trust us as defenders of the poor and the middle class.  That we already are (no greater enemy of the poor and middle class than a tax hiking, entitlement expanding liberal who pretends there is no crisis), but the people don’t know it – don’t understand it; don’t buy it.

To get the people firmly on our side we have to be seen as firmly on their side.  To be sure, it is almost certain that things will just get worse and worse as Obama’s 2nd term unfolds.  Nothing which was wrong in 2008 has been fixed and nothing will be fixed as long as Obama is President – he’s apparently unaware of the problems or just doesn’t care about them.  Whatever the case, the problems won’t be solved.  But it won’t be enough for us to just be “not the Democrats”…we have to be seen as something which will change the course from the Democrats and in a manner which is easily understood as helping the poor and middle class.  This, in turn, requires a ruthless turning away from big business, from those who have, and a relentless pointing out of the plight of the poor and the middle class and a relentless education of the same that it is the Democrats who have, on purpose, done all this to them.  My “wealth tax” proposal is one method.  Another is to go gangbusters, once again, for school choice.  Yet another is to point out that Uncle Sam can use Medicare money to help people take care of their old folks rather than shoving them off – at twice the cost – to sub-standard nursing homes (and telling oldsters and their kids that we’re going to keep them at home will resonate as more and more people get old).  On and on like that – show them that we are not for the rich, that we are for the poor and the middle class…that we will get them better results without taking anything away (do not campaign against “free stuff” – in time, with rational economic policies, less and less free stuff will be needed until we reach a tipping point where only a tiny minority is getting free stuff…but if you go out there and complain about the free stuff then all you do is automatically alienate everyone who is getting free stuff…including those who would rather not but just don’t see any other way: really, we have to stop being the Stupid Party and learn how to play a long game).

Its either become the party of the people, or perish. Our choice.  We’ll see what we decide.

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52 thoughts on “A (Temporarily) Lost Debate

  1. dbschmidt November 28, 2012 / 10:20 pm

    Did not have to read though all of it to determine that pain is the equalizer. When you feel the pain–you will finally realize what you have wrought upon yourself. Enjoy Liberals. Same to the “Palestinians” They don’t exist as a real people (read history) and should be bombed out of existence. Maybe not so quite nasty but the same has to happen to the Liberals / Progressives. Make them choose a side of the equation.

    • dbschmidt November 28, 2012 / 10:30 pm

      BTW, before you all start to whine–please bring facts from 1967 Israel border wars, the ability to stay or go within Israel borders, plus anything else that is fact you deem worth consideration.

      • M. Noonan November 28, 2012 / 11:26 pm

        For a party about to be thrown in to the dustbin we seem to be doing pretty well – control far more States than the Democrats do, hold the House and have an even money shot at taking the Senate in 2014…

    • M. Noonan November 28, 2012 / 11:24 pm

      DB,

      The pain will be there – I want us to be able to take full advantage of it.

  2. thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 November 28, 2012 / 10:54 pm

    “low marginal rates (vital, as we know, for economic growth)”

    As you’ve been told before, that is untrue. If you want to do better in this debate, you could start by sticking with facts and rejecting spin that makes you feel good.

    • M. Noonan November 28, 2012 / 11:24 pm

      Do you think a tax increase on gasoline would decrease gasoline consumption?

      • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 November 29, 2012 / 11:25 am

        Do you have any facts to cite, Mark?

      • M. Noonan November 29, 2012 / 11:15 pm

        Do you think a tax increase on gasoline would decrease gasoline consumption?

      • thetruthshallsetyoufree2012 November 30, 2012 / 11:53 pm

        That would be a no, then. Well, if you ever find some facts to cite, please go for it.

  3. Retired Spook November 28, 2012 / 11:40 pm

    It does appear the Republicans in Congress may be growing a set and drawing a line in the sand — FINALLY. The President appealed to Americans today to contact their Congressmen and Senators and put pressure on them to cave on the fiscal cliff. Instead, I’ve contacted my Senators and Congressman and told them to let the country go off the cliff; that I’m prepared to accept whatever happens to me as a result. the longer we draw this out, the worse the pain is going to be, and I sense that the GOP leadership is finally starting to realize that.

    • M. Noonan November 29, 2012 / 12:09 am

      I am pleased that the GOP is starting to actually fight sensibly – mostly at the moment by pointing out that Obama hasn’t produced a plan, balanced or otherwise.

      The advantage is still with ‘Bams and his Democrats – with Reid’s hammer lock on the Senate, there’s not much the GOP can do…but if we can at least show willing to compromise and then let the chips fall where they may, we’ll be ok…and we’ll come out winners if we can insert in to the debate a clear affirmation of our concern for the poor and middle class.

      • Norma Stitz November 29, 2012 / 1:55 pm

        I don’t know, Mr. Noonan, but every “compromise” we offer the liberals gets turned into “capitulation” by the press.

        Now, more than ever, stand firm. No new taxes.

    • dbschmidt November 29, 2012 / 12:47 pm

      I see this morning that they Libs want to see if the Repubs will fall for the old ‘Raise taxes now–Cuts later’ BS.

      • The Return of Rathaven November 29, 2012 / 1:10 pm

        db,

        What do you mean “If the Republicans will fall for it?

        Charlie Brown-Lucy Van Pelt-Football?

      • Norma Stitz November 29, 2012 / 1:58 pm

        I agree with Mr.(?) Rathaven. There’s a history of “when” and not “if” started by President GHW Bush that MUST be overcome.

        Say it with me now: no new taxes!

  4. Retired Spook November 29, 2012 / 12:41 am

    We all know that the only way the Dems can continue to win the debate is to eventually achieve some results that people applaud. And we also know that, for the last 4 years Obama’s policies haven’t achieved desirable results, and likely won’t in the next 4 years. So our task is two fold: continue to point out in as constructive a way as possible how and why his policies are failing; and offering our own ideas as plausible alternatives. And then sit back and have a little faith that THIS TIME IT WILL NOT BE DIFFERENT. The odds are certainly in our favor.

    • J. R. Babcock (@JRBabcock) November 29, 2012 / 11:36 am

      We all know that the only way the Dems can continue to win the debate is to eventually achieve some results that people applaud

      Actually, that’s not entirely true. As long as this situation exists, the debate is largely irrelevant, and whether or not Obama’s policies result in anything positive is also largely irrelevant.

  5. bardolf2 November 29, 2012 / 12:22 pm

    Mark Noonan doesn’t understand, sitting in a comfortable cubicle in the middle of corporate America that the poorest people are the most cheated by raising the retirement age of medicare to 65 since their life expectancy is the least. Also, any Bush supporter should be wary of lecturing others on the solvency of a plan that was enlarged for Bush votes with the prescription plan.

    How about the GOP coming forward and saying that they want to undo the largesse of the Bush era? Utter hypocrisy.

    As for taxes on those 250,000 and more that again is just a return to previous rates when the economy was running better i.e. under Clinton. That maybe why the dope on the street is institutionally in favor of them. I prefer Mark’s plan to actually force the rich to invest or lose their wealth but it is a little on the commie side for most people.

    • Retired Spook November 29, 2012 / 12:57 pm

      Dolf,

      Well, here is the letter I sent to Speaker Boehner, my Congressman, Marlin Stutzman and my two Senators, Richard Lugar and Dan Coats:

      Dear Speaker Boehner,

      The Associate Press Headline on my Internet home page this morning is:

      PANICKING CONGRESS AND WHITE HOUSE FEAR GRIM FUTURE

      As you approach upcoming votes on the so-called fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling, I hope you’ll consider allowing our economy a much-needed reset by allowing sequestration, allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire and by voting against another debt ceiling increase. Such action might cause short term damage to Republicans, but, in the long run I believe it will save the country from a collapse so enormous that we might not recover from it for generations. My wife and I are not concerned for ourselves; we’re prepared to weather any storm and bear any burden. But we owe it to our children and grandchildren to not leave them holding the proverbial bag.

      I have also sent this letter to my Congressman, Marlin Stutzman, as well as my Senators, Richard Lugar and Dan Coats.

      Regards,

      Retired Spook

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 8:30 pm

      baldork
      how about a national sales tax……..EVERYBODY pays, EVERYBODY pays the same rate?…………

      the poor purchase little = pay little
      the rich purchase much = pay much

      but ALL pay into the system.

    • M. Noonan November 29, 2012 / 11:18 pm

      bardolf,

      The poorest people are also those who take the largest share in direct, cash benefits from government over the course of their lives. Something has to give somewhere and we know that even if we confiscated all wealth over a million dollars, it wouldn’t do the trick.

  6. bardolf2 November 29, 2012 / 12:22 pm

    Same to the “Palestinians” They don’t exist as a real people (read history) and should be bombed out of existence. -DB

    If I read history from a hundred years ago then DB doesn’t exist as a real person. That’s utter nonsense of course but adding the un-Christian phrase ‘bombed out of existence’ is pretty disgusting.

    B4V has way too high a tolerance for genocide and saying certain peoples should be wiped out.

    • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 29, 2012 / 1:06 pm

      people” / “person” What’s the difference? Right ‘dolf?

      They’re not a “people

      He’s not yet a “person

      Close enough.

      Do you ever win an argument? Ever?

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:00 pm

      WHO ARE THE PALESTINIANS?
      WHAT & WHERE is PALESTINE?

      Please Note: The terms B.C. (Before Christ or Before the Christian Era) and A.D.(“Anno Domini” Latin for “In the Year of Our Lord”) have been replaced with B.C.E (Before Common, or Christian, Era) and C.E. (Common, or Christian, Era) so as to respect all visitors to this site. The terms are interchangeable and both are based upon the Gregorian Calendar.

      These and other questions will be addressed more fully as you go through this website. However, there is a preliminary historical fact that must be established now. There has never been a civilization or a nation referred to as “Palestine” and the very notion of a “Palestinian Arab nation” having ancient attachments to the Holy Land going back to time immemorial is one of the biggest hoaxes ever perpetrated upon the world! There is not, nor has there ever been, a distinct “Palestinian” culture or language. Further, there has never been a Palestinian state governed BY Arab Palestinians in history, nor was there ever a serious Arab-Palestinian national movement until 1964… three years BEFORE the Arabs of “Palestine” lost the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War (which the Arabs started). Even the so-called leader of the “Palestinian” people, Yasser Arafat, is EGYPTIAN! In short, the so-called Arab “Palestinians” are a manufactured people…a people with no history and no authenticity… whose sole purpose for existence is to destroy the Jewish State!

      Israel first became a nation in 1312 B.C.E., two thousand years before the rise of Islam! Seven hundred and twenty-six years later in 586 B.C.E. these first ancient Jews in the Land of Israel [Judea] were overrun and Israel’s First Jewish Temple (on Jerusalem’s Old City Temple Mount) was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of ancient Babylon. Many of the Jews were killed or expelled; however many were allowed to remain. These Jews along with their progeny and other Jews who would resettle over the next 500 years, rebuilt the Nation of Israel and also a Second Temple in Jerusalem upon the Temple Mount. Thus the claim that Jews suddenly appeared fifty years ago right after the Holocaust and drove out the Arabs is preposterous!

      http://www.masada2000.org/geography.html

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:04 pm

      baldork

      “B4V has way too high a tolerance for genocide and saying certain peoples should be wiped out.

      B4V NEVER said or embraced “genocide”.
      A individual poster did,
      I happen to agree, when a group of muslim cutthroats bomb, murder, relentlessly attack, a soverign state for over 40 years THAT is WAR and in WAR you annihilate the enemy.
      see Dresden and Hiroshima, the palis deserve NO LESS!

  7. Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 29, 2012 / 1:00 pm

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

    Sad that the libiots need to link to NBC cover stories instead of the actual report from the Congressional Research Service report … oh wait, they pulled the report from their website, damn. But, NBC does a terrific job of giving a Readers’ Digest version of the report; “in other words ~ “ Wrong words … but other words nonetheless.

    As has already been pointed out (by economists; you know the mythical beings ‘dolf doesn’t believe in) the “study” focused on one marginal rate, and capital gains while ignoring all other extemporaneous events; 1945, end of war and reduction of government spending, 1984, end of recession, 1960, Cold War Spending etc. etc. etc. also ignoring the other marginal rates, additional governmental programs, wars, peace, European/Asian economic influences and people living from day-to-day.

    Also, the “report” begins with the conclusion that income disparity is the cause and the result of the lowering of marginal tax rates. Mark is correct that the forces pressing on the economy are larger than simply the top rate (the gas tax is a good example Mark, nice touch, too bad the libiot didn’t understand it and couldn’t answer).

    Libtards are so very fond of citing that in spite of the wholesale mess the Obama Economy has proven to be, it would have been much worse had we not engaged in Obanomics. Yet they run from that definition when economists ~like those @ Von Missus Institute ~point out that had the top marginal rates not moved synchronously with the other rates and other factors, the growth demonstrated would have been a contraction instead.

    As to the asinine, “Let’s raise the rates to the same as it was during the xxx Administration, because we had growth then and we don’t now. Fine, deal, simply reset the spending to that level and I’ll agree. That includes the Medicare Rx Bill which we all railed against and all favor rescinding. Eliminate all the social programs instituted since xxx was in office, eliminate all the offices, czars, study committees, Blue Ribbon Panels, bailouts, SCHIP, stimulus spending and all other governmental vote-buying pork programs. Also eliminate all the redundant regulation, idiot-laws and start some serious Tort reform. If the government leeches did that they’d have no path to re-election so it won’t happen.

    • Retired Spook November 29, 2012 / 2:02 pm

      Fine, deal, simply reset the spending to that level and I’ll agree.

      Count, they wouldn’t even have to go back to 2000 spending levels, just to 2000 spending policies and adjust those policies for the published rate of inflation. Of course we can’t undo the two wars since 2000, but Iraq is over, and Shitholistan will be shortly.

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 29, 2012 / 2:53 pm

        Good point Spook. Remember that Wars are off budget. So if the Budget is reset, allowing for inflation and adding in necessary increases reflective of technology and need, the savings will be more than enough.

        But, we know that revenue to the government skyrocketed after the Reagan tax rate changes, and the corporate tax restructuring, but once the drunken sailors in congress saw that inflow they began working on outpacing it with unnecessary outflow.

        We could say [Democrats] spend money like drunken sailors, but that would be unfair to drunken sailors. It would be unfair, because the sailors are spending their own money. RR

      • Retired Spook November 29, 2012 / 4:03 pm

        but once the drunken sailors in congress saw that inflow they began working on outpacing it with unnecessary outflow.

        Same “deal” back then too: address taxes up front, but spending cuts later. Fool me once……………….

      • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:13 pm

        count I have some GREAT drunken sailor stories…….in Tijuana…
        O M G

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 29, 2012 / 8:25 pm

        Neo, At Caesar’s?

        I spent many a happy evening with my face stuck to that linoleum floor.

        Ever seen the inside of the jail in Ensenada? They love deck-apes there. First Class Treatment, there they actually have mattresses on the floor.

        Much better than that dump on Avenida Revolución in TJ, where you have to find a drunk Mexican to sleep on.

        Ah, good times!

      • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 8:54 pm

        it was the blue……something, and down stairs……..donkeys, women and sailors all on the stage at the same time. WHEW….is about all I can say.
        and NO I got never arrested in TJ, SD, LA but had many good times in all, especially Glendale.

    • M. Noonan November 29, 2012 / 11:19 pm

      Heck, I’ll take spending levels, plus 20%!, of the last Bush year…we’d have a surplus…

  8. mitchethekid November 29, 2012 / 6:07 pm

    Guess you poor babies couldn’t take my comments about Mark’s age of the earth. His is based on theocracy. Mine on science. His is based on belief. Mine on empiricism. That’s why I am being moderated. Can’t let an alternative POV in, can you Mr. Moderator? Have to control the narrative. As if your efforts will change reality. This blog is run by hypocrites and i dare you to allow my comments to be posted. I haven’t used foul language and I haven’t made any derogatory comments about anyone’s character, have I?? And yet you continue. Good luck in changing the world!

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:08 pm

      bmitchakid

      That’s why I am being moderated. Can’t let an alternative POV in, can you Mr. Moderator? Have to control the narrative. As if your efforts will change reality.

      Not really, we are sick of azzahola trolls.

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:10 pm

      bmitch

      His is based on theocracy. Mine on science

      YEAH like the “VACUUM UNDER” the wings of an aircraft……..we know ALL about your BS……..”science” .

      NEXT??

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:11 pm

      poor little LONGfellow is sooooo abused by B4V…sniff boo hoo

      • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:28 pm

        Fast food workers demand $15 per hour salaries…

        Good then my per hour service rates will go from $75.00 PH to $150.00 PH and I’ll pack my own lunch.

        good luk wit dat DUMMIES!!

      • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:30 pm

        YET

        Feds spend $100k teaching teen girls ‘condom negotiation’… Will president be in Hawaii when nation goes over ‘fiscal cliff’?

        Obamas plan 20-day, $4 million vacation…

        there are no tanks in front of the white hut (pointing at it) WHY?

      • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:33 pm

        ONLY in AmeriKa

        Man who claimed Parkinson’s drug turned him into ‘gay sex addict’ wins $250,000 settlement…

        bwany? is dat U?

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 8:07 pm

      Heh Heh Heh…….

      I haven’t made any derogatory comments about anyone’s character, have I?

      “Neo.
      You are an awful person.

      How I would love to engage you

      face to face confrontation.

      You are everything that is dysfunctional

      and until you exist no more,

      . You are the most reprehensible

      You’re an old man

      idiot

      with a 2nd grade education.

      You need to be beaten with a stick.”

      • The Return of Rathaven November 29, 2012 / 8:16 pm

        neo,

        We’re all just pleased he’s dealing so well with his anger issues.

      • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 8:19 pm

        ROR

        yeah, poor lil bomber boy I tells ya,
        he and JFnK, seared into his mamory 🙂

      • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 8:33 pm

        ROR

        bmitck is sounding more like sir william wallace (aka sirwillyswanker) every day…

    • tiredoflibbs November 29, 2012 / 9:41 pm

      Again, mitchie there must be some inablility within you that you cannot understand the simple printed word.

      We have told you on several occasions that if you post more the ONE LINK that you post AUTOMATICALLY goes into moderation and await approval.

      Perhaps if you were not so quick to enter the whining stage you would understand this.

      “I haven’t made any derogatory comments about anyone’s character..”

      Well it is either whining or lying with mitchie.

      Now post your SINGLE LINK again….. remember SINGLE LINK. If you have more than one, then post a second one and stop the incessant whining. If I wanted to hear that noise, I would go visit my teenage niece and her friends.

      Sheesh.

  9. mitchethekid November 29, 2012 / 7:46 pm

    Neo. You are an awful person who should not be allowed to post on this bog. How I would love to engage you in both conversation and face to face confrontation. You are everything that is dysfunctional with the extreme right and until you exist no more, the right will never be able to find it’s way into the mainstream of America. You are the most reprehensible of all that post here. You’re an old man idiot with a 2nd grade education. You need to be beaten with a stick.

    • neocon01 November 29, 2012 / 7:48 pm

      Camon DOWN TROLL….LOL

      • Count d'Haricots (@Count_dHaricots) November 29, 2012 / 8:50 pm

        Mitchie, Seriously?

        Do you know why it’s a bad idea to honk and yell at cars when they cut you off?

        Because after you make an jerk of yourself threatening an anonymous figure inside a vehicle, the car might stop and someone the size and temperament of neo might just get out and thump your sorry ass.

    • neocon01 November 30, 2012 / 8:48 am

      Midol? LOL

    • tiredoflibbs December 3, 2012 / 6:45 pm

      Enough with the whining!

      mitchie, please look into HRT. Obviously your hormones are out of balance.

      Pamparin might work also.

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