Friday, April 13, 2012

Change You Can Believe In, As Long As You're Using Someone Else's Money............


Year Bidens' AGI   Bidens' Charitable Gifts   Average Gifts for Bidens' AGI 
1998$215,432$195$5,315
1999$219,797$120$5,559
2000$219,953$360$5,559
2001$220,712$360$5,559
2002$227,811$260$5,803
2003$231,375$260$5,803
2004$234,271$380$5,803
2005$321,379$380$8,015
2006$248,859$380$6,287
2007$319,853$995$8,015
2008$269,256$1,885$6,769
2009$330,000$4,820$8,269
2010$379,178$5,350$9,544
2011$379,035$5,540$9,544

Joe and Jill Biden just released their 2011 tax returns. They reported $379,035 in adjusted gross income (AGI) last year, on which they paid $87,900 in income taxes; and they deducted $5,540 for charitable gifts.  The table above shows the Bidens 14-year history of AGI and charitable gifts and the average charitable gifts for AGI amounts comparable to the Bidens, according to IRS data via Forbes.  

Now that Vice-President Biden's tax returns are coming under public scrutiny he's suddenly feeling a bit more charitable than the former, rather uncharitable Senator Joe Biden, whose tax returns probably received little attention, if they were even released at all.  For example, back in 1999, Senator and Jill Biden made more than $200,000 and donated only $195 to charity that year, or less than $4 per week.  That compares to average charitable giving of more than $5,000 for taxpayers reporting the same AGI as the Bidens that year.  On average, taxpayers making $215,000 donated 2.58% of their AGI to charity, compared to the Bidens, who donated only 1/10 of 1% of their income to charity in 1999.  

The Bidens are feeling a little more charitable of late, but are still giving far less than average, only $5,540 last year, compared to $9,544 on average for taxpayers in their income category.  But they're making progress.....

184 Comments:

At 4/14/2012 12:56 AM, Blogger OBloodyHell said...

... only because they're under scrutiny.

Let the Great Big 0 fail at re-election, The Great Carnac predicts that their donations will slide back to historical norms.

 
At 4/14/2012 1:56 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

this is silly - call it a tax if he has to make a donation. Donations by definition are optional, and I am not especially comfortable with this line of reasoning.

 
At 4/14/2012 2:01 AM, Blogger Ken said...

Unknown,

Biden and the dems always talk about how much they care about others and how much charitable the left is than the right. Hold them to their own standards and reveal them for the hypocrites they are.

 
At 4/14/2012 3:35 AM, Blogger juandos said...

Maybe Biden can't afford more charitable donations...

Maybe Biden has other, more important costs to consider first...

I mean someone or several someones have to be cranking out Biden's infamous one liners, right?...

 
At 4/14/2012 8:35 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

How do you know that where Biden spent the money he did not give to charity didn't help people out more than a tax-deductible charity donation would have? I am not so sure that giving money to charity and deducting it is any different than bragging about how much income tax you pay.

Personally, I work with an adult literacy group and donate blood at the Red Cross instead of giving to top-heavy charities. None of my “charity” shows up anywhere on my income tax return, so I guess I am cheap, too.

Are we also going to argue that corporate social responsibility is a better strategy than profit maximization and letting the share holders decide how to be charitable with corporate profits?
Arguing for paying more to charity is no different than supporting the Buffet Tax: a lot of hype with little substance.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:19 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

unknown,

I agree with you. However, a tax (involuntary donation) in the name of the "less fortunate" and "the common good" is exactly what Biden advocates because, ostensibly, he claims it's the right thing to do.

So, he won't do voluntarily that which he insists others do involuntarily.

I'm all for leaving donations voluntary. And taxes as well. But if you claim a deep belief in disgorging your wealth in the pursuit of others' interests, then you should either practice what you preach or you should be called out for the hypocrite that you are.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:22 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

"How do you know that where Biden spent the money he did not give to charity didn't help people out more than a tax-deductible charity donation would have?"

Walt, the man's a politician on the world's stage. Every time Michelle Obama so much as pets a kid on the head, she's in the headlines. What do you suppose the odds are they guy is helping out folks in ways that are not tax deductible and we don't know about it.

About zero.

Nobody knows about your non-deductible donations because, like most of us, you're a nobody in the world of celebrities.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:30 AM, Blogger The Grouch said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:31 AM, Blogger The Grouch said...

I personally don't care what Biden gives to charity, but when he gets all sanctimonious lecturing private citizens about selfishness and not contributing their fair share to the largest charitable organization in the world, the US government, he needs to set a better example than this.

 
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At 4/14/2012 10:04 AM, Blogger Che is dead said...

"I never had an interest in being a mayor 'cause that's a real job. You have to produce. That's why I was able to be a senator for 36 years." -- Vice President Joe Biden

“Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive ...” -- Vice President Joe Biden

"It happens to be, as Barack says, a three letter word jobs, J-O-B-S" -- Vice President Joe Biden

"I mean, you’ve got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy.” -- Joe Biden (referring to Barack Obama)"

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation. Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’ The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.” -- Vice President Joe Biden

"If bullshit were currency, Joe Biden would be a billionaire." -- George W Bush

 
At 4/14/2012 10:12 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks,

Many politicians would make more in the private sector than the public sector, so essentially they are donating their opportunity cost to serve us without taking an income tax deduction. Yeah, I know, that's kind of corny. But remember, we put them in there.

I have as much of a problem with complaining about too little spent on charity as too little paid in federal income taxes by the wealthy. I kind of like my 0% capital gains/qualified dividends because I worked and sacrificed in the past to earn it with taxed money.

 
At 4/14/2012 10:30 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt,

I know. Like Jesus, they're sacrificing their lives for us. It is mysterious, though, that most of them exit long careers as modestly paid public servants as multi-millionaires.

The vast majority of benefits of being public servants does not show up on tax returns.

Care to guess how much it costs taxpayers to run the fleet of private jets at their disposal for free? How about the bribes they get? What about the cushy, lifelong pension if they spend so much as one term as a congressman from nowhereville? And the political connections they make should they return to private life as cronies (which they do) are priceless. The list is too long for a blog comment.

Not all wealth shows up on a balance sheet or on your income tax statement and money is not the only currency.

I agree with your zero income tax and I think charity is private business. But, it is completely correct to address a man's charitable giving when that man advocates making YOUR charity de rigueur - a tax.

I also think prostitution should be legal and is private business besides. But when Eliot Spitzer actively and viciously goes after prostitution rings as an AG while frequenting prostitutes, then it is correct to skewer him.

It is never incorrect to publicly point out hypocrisy and it is particularly correct to loudly point it out about "public servants" who advocate violating your freedom (and have the power to do so) in the name of principles they hold only when they can dump the cost of those principles onto you.

 
At 4/14/2012 10:46 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Many politicians would make more in the private sector than the public sector, so essentially they are donating their opportunity cost to serve us without taking an income tax deduction"...

Seriously walt g, you really believe this?!?!

You're not talking about being a lobbyist, right?

I mean I'm sure there are a few who could make more in the private sector if they never had 'government service' in their resumes but the rest?!?!

 
At 4/14/2012 10:51 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Juandos,

If our public servants were sacrificing for the people, then why is there so much corruption in politics?

Why are so many politicians bought?

No.

Politicians monetize their power in ways that are not easily accounted for on a balance sheet.

 
At 4/14/2012 10:57 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks,

It would be nice to have politicans get elected from their actions instead of what they say, but are voters ready to elect the ones that do? I have my doubts.

I'm still much more concerned about Biden's boss' Buffet Tax proposal than his charitable donations or non-donations. My letter writing to my representatives will reflect that concern. I don't think they can handle more than one thing at a time, so I will focus my efforts on higher value-added legislation.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:00 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

One ride on the president's plane costs in excess of $100,000.

If he had to pay for it out of pocket, he'd have to make more than $100,000 before taxes.

Care to guess what the rent on the White House might cost?

Or what you pay for Nancy Pelosi's use of the private jet to shuttle her from D.C. to California? Or the vacations ("Fact Finding Missions") to exotic locations around the world?

What's the steep discount given to the Friends of Angelo Mozillo worth?

What's the ability to use congressional power to sic regulators on their crony's competitors worth?

How about keeping regulators off one's back as you run the largest Ponzi scheme in history for 30 years? I'm talking about Schumer and Madoff. You think Madoff's "campaign contributions" showed up on Schumer's Form 1040?

 
At 4/14/2012 11:05 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks: "Politicians monetize their power in ways that are not easily accounted for on a balance sheet."

The type of power you are speaking about is why I support labor unions because there is a lot of stuff they do that I don't like. We are a power-driven society comprised of two types of people: 1) those who have it, and 2) those who don't have it. Gotta get you some power if you don't want to be a have-not.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:10 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"If our public servants were sacrificing for the people, then why is there so much corruption in politics?

Why are so many politicians bought?
"...

Ding! Ding! Ding! Exactly methinks!...

BTW just how competent are politicos and bureaucrats in actually accomplishing something useful by real world standards?

I'm not making a blanket indictment of all people in all levels of local, state, and national government but I would have ask myself if I were in the position to hire someone, "What good could insert name here for my company since I'm not a crony capitalist?"

Would I want an Eric Holder as my lawyer?

 
At 4/14/2012 11:14 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Methinks,

"I mean I'm sure there are a few who could make more in the private sector if they never had 'government service' in their resumes but the rest?!?!"

Reminds me of Anthony Weiner fretting a few months ago that he couldn't resign because he didn't have any skills for the real world.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:16 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Let's not forget Obama's endless "I am my brother's keeper" line he likes to bludgeon us with. Meanwhile, his actual brother in Kenya lives in a mud hut earning around $20 a year.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:27 AM, Blogger Don Culo said...

It's disgusting that Joe Biden is a billionaire Vice President, and doesnt't donate millions every year to the poor and hungry Americans.

We need a Republican like Mitt Romney as president. Romney isn't a greedy billionaire like Joe Biden and Mitt can relate to the common working American.

I'm sure Mitt would give me the shirt off of his back....

Joe Biden is a greddy lying Billionaire !!!!!!

I'm glad this blog is exposing the excessive wealth of Joe Biden !!

 
At 4/14/2012 11:30 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt,

Politicians are always going to be looking out for themselves. Just like you and I.

We're not going to elect "better people. We just need to make sure that the people we do elect have little power to sell because they are all seeking to gain more power to monetize. At you expense, of course.

I don't think you're meant to be concerned about Biden's charitable giving. I think you're meant to acknowledge him for the hypocritical clown that he is, point and laugh and move on with your day.

But, as you bring it up, the Buffet tax is exactly what makes his charitable giving such hypocrisy.

Good luck with your letter writing campaign. I tried that during the Obamascare debacle and it didn't work.

I hate politics and politicians so much that I rarely pay attention to them. I certainly never tried to learn how it all works.

My friend's mother was a Connecticut state senator for a long time. She was one of the rare people (and you'll find them occasionally in local politics) who actually tried to do what was best for the state rather than for her. But then, she didn't have larger political ambitions and she didn't care to get rich through bribes. Although, it should be said, she was not donating any opportunity cost. She felt fully rewarded in her job and she didn't much care if she wasn't re-elected (that's the lack of larger political ambition at work).

Anyway, I got a great lesson in how politics works from my friend (his mother has passed). Politicians don't give a shit what you want. They want to be re-elected. At any cost. To you. SOME politicians are like my friend's mother, but they are the ones that never make it to the national stage because they are unwilling to do any horse trading and they are also not interested in the high stakes national politics game that requires you to do things that turn their stomach.

So, my campaign ended with the passage of Obamacare because Obama handed out unwilling Democrats offers they couldn't refuse. You offer one vote. You don't matter. My congressman in CT was on the chopping block and was losing the election. When that became clear, the polls were left open and rubbish bags with filled out "lost" ballots appeared in our district's most corrupt polls. Magically, these "lost" ballots were all for the losing Democrat.

Now, in CT, it was a Democrat. But, I'm sure this activity is not limited to Democrats.

I don't think the Buffet rule will pass, but if it does, I'll just shift more investment into excluded muni bonds, limit my taxable earnings to just below where the Buffet Rule kicks in and vacation the rest of the time. As I run my own business, I haven't had a vacation in over five years, so it's about time anyway.

Obama will have to find someone else to hose and he'll also have to find someone else to employ depend on me for such things. I'm just not willing to work just as hard for less.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:41 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

I have no problem with collective bargaining, per se, Walt.

I do have a problem with the current state of unions and laws governing unions. Particularly public unions. The preferential union laws have allowed them to become nothing short of state-sanctioned thugs.

I don't think a monopoly on labour works well for labour. I don't think that coercing the unwilling to join a union is good for labour and I don't think that using union dues to pay for politicians who then return the favour by enriching the union leaders (usually again at the expense of labour) is good for labour.

If you work for me and you join forces with a bunch of my other employees and you want to bargain with me collectively, it is your right. If other employees don't want to join the collective, it is their right and if I don't want to bargain with your collective, it is my right. It is your option to leave my employ.

Public unions are the worst. Public unions bargain not with those who are paying them, but with politicians they bribe to steal money from taxpayers the politicians have the power to rob.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Sean said...

I don't know about you guys, but I haven't always reported all my charity.

 
At 4/14/2012 11:53 AM, Blogger Sean said...

I don't know about you guys, but I haven't always reported all my charity.

 
At 4/14/2012 12:02 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Preferential treatment comes with power; there is no doubt about that. The question becomes, then, whether you have power or if you are powerless. Sometimes you have a choice in the matter, and sometimes you don't.

I'll leave the discussion of labor union short-comings to you all. I was a pain-in-the ass to a lot of union leaderships over the years. Like any good controversial debate, there are two sides to any position and the anti-union crowd does not need any help here.

 
At 4/14/2012 12:06 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Sean,

I used to do income taxes as a sideline job in the 1980s. Rest assured, for every dollar you did not report, someone else claimed it for you.

 
At 4/14/2012 12:19 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt, I'm not anti-union. I'm anti-coercion.

There's an ocean of difference between those two things.

You're framing the question ridiculously in terms of power.

It's ridiculous because rarely do both sides in any transaction enjoy a balance of power. Sellers do not enjoy a balance of power in a buyer's market no do buyers enjoy a balance of power in a seller's market.

And anyway, unions don't balance power between employees and employers. Under current law, they create a monopoly on labour that enriches the elite at the expense of everyone else. The dis-empower all labour that does not belong to the union. Ultimately, that's worst for labour and for consumers.

Unions empower Union leaders at the expense of their supposed constituents. I've seen it time and again. And you clearly know what I'm talking about.

Sure, some people benefit from the union, chief among them those for whom the union contract overcompensates them for their skills.

But, let's not kid ourselves that unions balance power between labour and employers.

Monopolies don't balance power.

 
At 4/14/2012 12:41 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks,

For whatever bad they may do, labor unions also give a powerful political voice to workers. The next time you see a Delphi salary retiree, ask him if he wishes he had belonged to a union. Wishing that politics would not affect our livelihood does not make it so. Power comes from money, education, and clout. Clout comes from many people with common needs and wants. My take is it is best to have all three power sources.

It's a myth that the hierarchies of unions are always on the same page. The membership on the plant floor has problems with the plant union leaders, the plant union leaders have problems with the regional union leaders, the regional union leaders have problems with the national leadership (Solidarity House), and we all disagree within our hierarchy. Despite the differences, you have to keep your eye on the big picture.

 
At 4/14/2012 1:19 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Many politicians would make more in the private sector than the public sector,

Walt, next time you make a joke, make it clear to the rest of us that it is a joke. You had me worried there for a second. I was trying to picture in what field could Anthony Weiner make more money than he was making in Congress.

 
At 4/14/2012 1:27 PM, Blogger AIG said...

For whatever bad they may do, labor unions also give a powerful political voice to workers. The next time you see a Delphi salary retiree, ask him if he wishes he had belonged to a union.

Unions certainly are good for the people that are in them. That's not the issue here Walt. The issue is, how do they affect everyone else who isn't in them, and how do they affect the companies which they "infect".

I've worked in 2 Union places so far (and hopefully never again): 1 was a factory where the Union ended up going on strike for ONE YEAR, and I ended up quitting the job because it was ridiculous. The second one, is Boeing where I work now (thankfully for only a few more months) which is the most wasteful and inefficient company I have ever seen. And I have seen companies in communist Eastern Europe. And in my professional opinion...95% of this inefficiency comes because of the structures and culture the Union creates.

 
At 4/14/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Yes, the story is the Biden's charitable activities, and not Romney's Cayman Island bank accounts.

 
At 4/14/2012 1:40 PM, Blogger arbitrage789 said...

Methinks @ 10:30 AM

Good post.

 
At 4/14/2012 1:43 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

AIG,

Unions can be a form of risk management for those who belong to one. When I buy insurance on my house, I don't necessarily consider the effect that will have on those whose house burns down without it. As I said before, unions could use some work, and so could our political system.

 
At 4/14/2012 2:06 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Vice President Joe Biden last year earned $20,900 in rental income from the Secret Service, which is paying him to host agents on his property so they can protect him...

LMAO!

 
At 4/14/2012 2:22 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Unions can be a form of risk management for those who belong to one. When I buy insurance on my house, I don't necessarily consider the effect that will have on those whose house burns down without it.

That is hardly the way Unions work. If you prevented your neighbors from living near you unless they paid you money in order not to burn down their house, that would be more descriptive of a Union :)

The problem with Unions is not the benefits they provide to their members. It is that those benefits are gained at the expense of non-members through a state-protected monopoly.

How many tens of billions of dollars of extra cost do Boeing Unions impose on the airline companies, and you the consumer, simply because of their refusal to allow Boeing to develop a more competitive business and technology strategy? Let me assure you, that it is many billions a year. But even this isn't a problem, if Boeing chooses to keep doing it. It's when the government steps in and prevents Boeing from stepping away from this...that we get into the extortion business.

 
At 4/14/2012 2:26 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Benjamin: Whatever Romney does with his money, after meeting his LEGAL obligations (and not those that the left thinks he has) to the government is his business. If he wants to stow his money under his mattress, that is his prerogative. No one is compelling Biden to charity. People are just pointing to his hypocrisy. Learn this subtle difference and maybe you will cease to be such a commie.

 
At 4/14/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt,

Your example is nonsense. When you buy insurance you do not prevent anyone else from insuring. When you buy insurance you also don't force your neighbour to buy it.

When a union creates a monopoly on labour, it does prevent that labour that does belong to the union from becoming employed. When a uniion takes over, labour that wishes NOT to be represented by the union is forced to join the union or at the very least pay the dues.

I have no doubt that people who received undeserved benefit courtesy of union thuggery (and in some cases thuggery resulting from the marriage of unions and politicians) absolutely benefit greatly from unions! Ask a policeman who can retire at 45 with full benefits plus disability and can start a whole new career with similar benefits in another government department run by a public union (let's not kid ourselves about who runs those places). Good Lord, the man is giddy with happiness at his windfall. And I don't blame him one bit for taking advantage of the riches laid out before him.

And give me a break about a political voice to workers. "The workers" are not some undifferentiated blob of "worker" who all subscribe to a single preference and each of them has plenty of representation as individuals in congress and in their local government.

The group that unions give political voice to are union leaders! No union benefits its constituents more than it benefits its leadership.

Your talk of power would sicken you if you stopped to think about it, Walt. "Power" is code for "thuggery".

Yes, I have no doubt if I had power over you, I'd benefit greatly. If I had power, I could use violent force to take what people won't readily give me.

And that is what unions seek to do. A sickening goal.

I don't even think you seek power, Walt. You don't strike me as a smarmy asshole.

Unions are just corporations. If we reject corporatism as we say we do, then we must reject political power for ALL corporations, including unions.

I've already made my favourable view of freedom to associate with a collective bargaining group known, so I won't repeat myself. But, political and legal favouritism is inconsistent with Rule of Law and liberty.

Despite preferential legal treatment, private sector unions are still subject to market forces. And it seems that workers increasingly rejected them. But, public sector unions cannot be reasonably restrained from using politicians to rob taxpayers.

Public unions are abusive and must be scrapped. Politicians cannot be relied upon to consider the public interest at the expense of their own.

 
At 4/14/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

arbitrage,

Thank you.

 
At 4/14/2012 2:57 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Methinks: Could not have said it better. Thank you, someone had to say all that!

 
At 4/14/2012 3:19 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Abir-

Great body btw.

Actually, I am of the libertarian bent.

I think Romney's Cayman island bank accounts will probably lose him the election. There is just no way a US President, or a wanna-be President, can maintain Cayman Island bank accounts.

Sure, it may legal (some parts of the tax code are so complex even CPAs disagree as to what is legal, and other issues are so grey zone they have to be resolved in tax court. George Bush sr. was caught on tax evasion, but always contended he was innocent).

But surely the purpose of Cayman Island bak accounts is to avoid US taxes. But he makes millions and wants to be President.

That dog is not going to hunt.

But go ahead and pick at Biden's charitable contributions.

BTW, Biden's son went to Iraq as a soldier.

Not one of Romney's five sons ever served a day in uniform, although Romney, a typical GOP warmonger, always blow-hards about the need for American force (and to show those punk Arab-monkey terrorists who is boss).

My man was Ron Paul, but by now you could probably tell that.

 
At 4/14/2012 3:33 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Benjamin: Thanks for the compliment. I am glad to learn you are a libertarian. Leaving aside the war stuff, let me contend that there is nothing wrong with Cayman island accounts as long as you have paid taxes on the income that you actually deposit in them. And there is nothing sinister either.. since these accounts are outside the US gubmint's jurisdiction, you just don't pay taxes on the interest. Tax avoidance is not the same as tax evasion. God knows, I will not pay a single dime to the government if I can. Romney has huge amounts of legal income, and the existence of off shore bank accounts is thus of no surprise and IMHO of no consequence to the election.

 
At 4/14/2012 4:51 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Abir,

Are you sure that the interest on the Cayman Islands accounts is not taxable by the United States government?

That is not my understanding.

Romney, as a U.S. citizen, is in the U.S. tax jurisdiction. The U.S. taxes its citizens on worldwide income regardless of where the citizen resides. Unless there's something special about the Cayman Islands, not reporting taxable interest income would be a felony. There's no ambiguity about that.

Benji,

Good to see that no matter how much the point of the Biden post is explained to you, you don't understand it.

I'm pretty sure you don't know about as much as about libertarians as the leftist Bill Maher, who also seems to think he's a libertarian. If you do, none of your posts have ever reflected it.

 
At 4/14/2012 4:57 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks,

In theory you are correct. Freedom and independence are emotive words you can't easily argue against. In reality, though, go to to a Delphi salary retiree.

I am aware of union problems and attempted intimidation, and I am probably the only one here who has ever called the FBI on an appointed union official. We worked it out between us when I had some power on my side :-)

You have to look at the big picture and decide if the pain is worth the gain, and for me, 2008 shows it was. I find many of the people who do not like labor unions and complain about them the loudest avail themselves of the same type of protections through tenure, employment contracts with lucrative discharge and due-process clauses, and laws for money and protection for their profession. We all seem to strive for job security even if it is only fleeting and artifical.

 
At 4/14/2012 5:07 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Benjamin,

As I understand it, some of Romney's money is held in the Cayman's; however, it is still reportable because he is a U.S. citizen, and any tax advantages are due to current U.S. tax code. Of course this can lose Romney votes just as the blame for the high gasoline cost can cost Obama votes. Both of these situations will probably impact the election more than Biden's charitable tax deductions will.

 
At 4/14/2012 5:24 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Not one of Romney's five sons ever served a day in uniform..."

Notice how Benji weakly tries to tease out some sort of Romney hypocrisy, but just can't see it when it comes to idiot Biden and his "tax the rich, feed the poor" phony shtick.


Benji will not allow anyone to criticize his boyfriend's trainwreck of a presidency without challenge.

 
At 4/14/2012 5:44 PM, Blogger Benjamin said...

Methinks-

You think of me as a leftie as I call it as i see it, and say the $1 trillion a year is wasted on defense, Homeland Security and the VA, or the USDA. But also HUD, Labor and sugar tariffs and ethanol.

In fact, the bulk of agency spending is GOP lard, and the bulk of entitlement spending is payoffs to D-party groups.

Yu have drawn erroneous conclusions.

 
At 4/14/2012 5:52 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt,

You have to look at the big picture and decide if the pain is worth the gain,...

Oh, the ends justify the means. I see.

Was the pain to the Negro slaves worth the gain to the White Slave owners?

Was the pain of the millions who were killed, tortured, starved and enslaved in the Gulag worth the industrialization gains of the Soviet Union?

there are obviously situations where exploitation, extortion and expropriation is fine, moral behaviour, right? Like maybe if it makes a Delphi retiree happy, for instance. And I should go to him to judge if it's worth it - just as I should go the white slave owners and the Soviet elite to ask them if the violence against others to benefit themselves was worth it.

Is there any atrocity I can't justify with that logic? I can't think of one. And without remorse. Sweet.

You have to break a few eggs to make an omlette, eh, Walt?

Only thing is....aren't the unions the ones endlessly harping on ending exploitation? Inconvenient

And, no, I do not view employment contracts entered into without coercion as equivalent to public union thuggery. Nor is tenure, though I disagree with the concept, anything like union violence. That you can't tell the difference between those two things and union monopoly power is disturbing.


Is that who you really are, Walt? Is it?

If it is, I guess I can save my wishy-washy but hard to argue with moral principle of liberty for someone who isn't perfectly comfortable justifying atrocities if the results of the atrocities benefit you or a people you favour.

 
At 4/14/2012 5:57 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

No, Benji, I don't think you're a lefty.

In all honesty, I'm sorry to say that based on what I read from you on this blog, I sincerely think you're a drooling idiot immune to logic and you're too confused to know what you are.

 
At 4/14/2012 6:02 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Freedom and independence are emotive words you can't easily argue against.

So are words like "insurance" and "benefit".

In reality, though, go to to a Delphi salary retiree.

Or you can come talk to me, or the other people who lost their jobs because of a Union. (or you can talk to the people who DIDN'T get a job because of a Union, but that's pretty hard to do)

 
At 4/14/2012 6:24 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Whatever, AIG.

You were collateral damage. A broken egg. The Delphi retiree got some sweet benefits and that justifies any wrong done to you.

The ends justify the means, bro.

 
At 4/14/2012 6:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks, AIG,

I'll agree to disagree and move on. I'll take an unbrella when it is raining out while other people are bitching that it's not fair and getting sopping wet.

As far as the discussion about Biden's tax return, have any of you looked at it? The Biden's are rather poor investmentwise for having a $300,000 + AGI. They paid an effective federal tax rate of 23% (28% counting state and FICA), and they got hit with the AMT, too. No wonder the Biden's didn't give any money away because they already spent it or gave it to Uncle Sam or Virginia.

Is there some type of blind trust for VPs where their wealth can be hidden until after their term in office or are they just poorer investors than a factory worker like me? ($2800 in interest for an entire year and no capital gains or dividends is laughable)

 
At 4/14/2012 7:36 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

I just did a cursory review of Obama's 2010 tax return. He paid 19% of his income in federal tax on his $800K income.

What struck me was the fact that he took deductions that he wants to deny to people making only $200K more. Indeed, I'm sure we'd find he did take those same deductions in previous years when is income was well over a million dollars a year (primarily from his book).

For instance, he wrote off $48K for "home mortgage interest," even though he LIVES in the White House. He wrote off his charitable contributions. Even even took foreign tax credits against his U.S. tax obligation -- something he rails against when corporations do it.

A real leader leads by example. He is free to pay another 11% to get his tax up to his desired 30% minimum for rich people. But he doesn't.

 
At 4/14/2012 7:40 PM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

Actually the Obama (and Biden) total income is FAR higher than the $800K Obama claimed.

He gets free lavish room and board -- should not that be imputed as income for tax purposes?

What about taxpayer-paid vacations? Should not that be treated as income as well?

Who pays for his gas, his clothing, his utilities, and all the other expenses that we common folk have to pony up for? And why are not such subsidies treated as income?

 
At 4/14/2012 8:12 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"Benjamin: Thanks for the compliment. I am glad to learn you are a libertarian"...

pseudo benny a libertarian?!?!

ROFLMAO!

He's also a brain surgeon and a rocket scientist in his spare time...

 
At 4/14/2012 9:00 PM, Blogger AIG said...

I'll take an unbrella when it is raining out while other people are bitching that it's not fair and getting sopping wet

Hmm. I can see that logic doesn't work here.

pseudo benny a libertarian?!?!

Well, to be fair, he is about as logical and comprehensible as your average "libertarian" of today. Often times I don't understand whether some of them are on the left or on the right of any issue, either.

 
At 4/14/2012 9:10 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Richard Rider,

How many people give more to charity than their effective federal tax rate of 20.5%? If Biden gets beat up about his donations this year, should Obama likewise be praised for his?

"The Obamas reported paying $162,074 in federal taxes. They donated $172,130, or 22% of their income, to 39 different charities. (Source: Forbes)

Your point about imputed income is well-taken. I have to pay tax on employer-paid life insurance over $50,000, and I don't get to live in the White House while I am paying it.

 
At 4/14/2012 10:29 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Methinks
You are right that the interest income is to be reported. However, if Romney opens a non-profit trust (maybe in his kids' name) and incorporates the same in the US, he would be subject to corporate taxes. He can avoid the same by incorporating in the Caymans. Now, I will admit I don't know the structure of Romney's investments, and nor is that any of my business. I am happy as long as the federal government is starving of income (as long as it does not put its definition of "fair" on my tax assessment).

 
At 4/14/2012 10:30 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Juandos,
In my defense, I am new to this forum, so take people at their word.

 
At 4/14/2012 10:50 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Abir,

Thank you for the explanation. I didn't know that.

Nothing makes me happier than people starving the beast.

 
At 4/15/2012 2:23 AM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

Walt G., Obama certainly DOES rate praise for his CURRENT charitable contributions. But clearly he has become generous only once he gained the limelight. Consider his charitable contributions since 2000:


Taxable Charity
Income
2011 496,376 172,130 34.7%
2010 1,340,207 245,075 18.3%
2009 4,980,858 329,100 6.6%
2008 2,346,051 172,050 7.3%
2007 3,671,425 240,370 6.5%
2006 826,962 60,307 7.3%
2005 1,542,698 77,315 5.0%
2004 170,219 2,500 1.5%
2003 205,025 3,400 1.7%
2002 230,402 1,050 0.5%
2001 250,444 1,470 0.6%
2000 215,016 2,350 1.1%

 
At 4/15/2012 2:26 AM, Blogger Richard Rider, Chair, San Diego Tax Fighters said...

Okay, the format is lousy in my "table" of Obama contributions. But one can figure it out. In 2001 Obama made a quarter million dollars of "taxable income" (after deductions and exemptions). He gave 0.6% to charity.

 
At 4/15/2012 3:02 AM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

All these facts give me a great idea for my dissertation. Thanks Dr. Perry, and all you guys!

 
At 4/15/2012 2:45 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"If bullshit were currency, Joe Biden would be a billionaire." -- George W Bush"

*Like*

 
At 4/15/2012 2:58 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "One ride on the president's plane costs in excess of $100,000."

Yes, and there's no discount for children.

But, seeing 8 million New Yorkers shit their pants? Priceless!

 
At 4/15/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"In my defense, I am new to this forum, so take people at their word"...

My apologies abir but the comment due to previous experiences of 'the benny' struck me at the time as really funny...

Again my apologies...

 
At 4/15/2012 3:10 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Sean: "I don't know about you guys, but I haven't always reported all my charity."

Most people don't, but if you're a lying scumbag like Biden, you probably don't do anything that's actually admirable, unless you get as much mileage out of it as possible.

 
At 4/15/2012 3:11 PM, Blogger juandos said...

Personally I think anytime anyone who draws a paycheck and sees federal deductions listed on it have already given more than enough to charity...

 
At 4/15/2012 3:25 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Yu have drawn erroneous conclusions."

Nope, there's pretty much a consensus about your politics, Bunny.

 
At 4/15/2012 3:38 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

R. Rider (name too long to repeat here): " Walt G., Obama certainly DOES rate praise for his CURRENT charitable contributions. But clearly he has become generous only once he gained the limelight. Consider his charitable contributions since 2000:"

And the point being made on this thread, Walt, is that Biden is too dumb to even do that.

 
At 4/15/2012 6:01 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

Is it really smart to give your money away or just popular?

Biden's alternative was Palin. Where does she fit on your "smart" meter?

 
At 4/15/2012 6:16 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Biden's alternative was Palin.

Why? Was Biden the only person still alive in the Democrat party so that Obama was compelled to either run by himself or choose Biden?

 
At 4/15/2012 6:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

It appears Obama's overall strategy was effective in 2008. I don't think the choice of a VP is usually a game breaker; however, in this case I am not so sure.

I doubt if 2012 will hinge on charitable donations or VP choices.

 
At 4/15/2012 6:57 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/15/2012 6:59 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

No worries, juandos. And Walt, any debates about the relative stupidities of Biden and Palin aside, I would prefer to be governed by even an absolute rock that would leave me alone rather than the uber-intelligent interventionist Obamanator, who obviously knows what is good for me better than I do.

 
At 4/15/2012 9:18 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Biden's alternative was Palin. Where does she fit on your "smart" meter?"


Well, I'm sure she'd never say the internet causes unemployment. She was smart enough to predict the utter disaster that would be an Obama administration.


So I'd say she's smarter than an Obama voter.

 
At 4/16/2012 7:00 AM, Blogger Moe said...

Exaclty the kind of meanningless drivel that does not move us forward - haven't we got bigger problesm???

 
At 4/16/2012 7:52 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Exaclty the kind of meanningless drivel that does not move us forward - haven't we got bigger problesm???"...

Heh! Who says this isn't forward motion?

Bigger immediate problems than Obama and or Biden?

I think not...

All problems are relative...

Try this problem on for size...

 
At 4/16/2012 8:50 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

" Donations by definition are optional, and I am not especially comfortable with this line of reasoning."

A gift is a gift, and I don; thtink this is anyones's business but his own.

On the other hand, there must be some optimum amount that leaves the maximum amount of money it the taxpayers hands. I would fault my accountant if he only told me that $x dollars in donations will minimize your tax bill.

A better answer would be, "Under your circumstances $y dollars will leave the mst total dollars in your pocket after taxes and donations. It could very well be that in his particular situation, his accountant has suggested the correct amounts for him.

To donate less than that amount would be financially stupid, but to donate more than that amount is entirely optional.

 
At 4/16/2012 9:01 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

"A real leader leads by example. He is free to pay another 11% to get his tax up to his desired 30% minimum for rich people. But he doesn't."


A real leader does not lead by being a financial fool, either. If he actually did as you suggest, you would be howling with laughter at him and calling hima financial clown.

Obama chooses to lead by suggesting the law be changed so that everyone at his level pays an equivalent amount.

If he actually chose to lead as you suggest, do you actually believe his Republican peers would follow his example? Or anyone, for that matter?

What is the point in suggesting a mode of leadership that is almost certain to fail?

 
At 4/16/2012 10:57 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"A real leader does not lead by being a financial fool, either. If he actually did as you suggest, you would be howling with laughter at him and calling hima financial clown"...

Well hydra except for what its costing us we would be howling with laughter and what financial clown Obama has proven time and again to be...

How many more adventures in venture socialism that result in epic failure does one need to see that Obama and his administration are clueless?

Or could it be a big money laundering scheme between Obama, our extorted tax dollars and his bundler pals?

 
At 4/16/2012 11:33 AM, Blogger Hydra said...

Point proven. No matter what Obama did, if he came up with the Ryan plan tomorrow, you could still not abide him.

 
At 4/16/2012 11:56 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"Point proven. No matter what Obama did, if he came up with the Ryan plan tomorrow, you could still not abide him"...

Good one hydra!

What makes you think that I think the Ryan plan is even worth considering after looking how much money that plan needs to work?

Did you even bother to look at the Ryan plan before you floated that comment hydra?

 
At 4/16/2012 1:09 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

So far as I know, no one has seriously promoted the Juandos plan.

The point of my remark remains the same, no matter what Obama does, it will be unacceptable to some.

It does not matter how much money the plan needs to work, so much as it matters what is gained for what is spent.


On average one day of morbidity costs the economy X dollars. Anything (we) can do to prevent that loss that costs less than x dollars is a bargain (we) should be eager to snap up. But if one policy can prevent morbidity for half the price of another policy then both economic and ethical logic suggest (we) use the less expensive policy first.

No one is willing to have that conversation because a) it amounts to putting a price on a day of health, b) it implies you are willing to let one person suffer for lack of a hundred dollars that you do not have because the hundred was spent on two lesser ailments at $50 apiece.

Setting such priorities is of no interest to those who think the money should not be spent anyway. For them, a waste of money through inaction is perfectly OK becasue they do not see ithis THEIR money being wasted.

 
At 4/16/2012 1:20 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"Who pays for his gas, his clothing, his utilities, and all the other expenses that we common folk have to pony up for? And why are not such subsidies treated as income?"

When it is for his personal use, he is supposed to pay for them. ?Since they are not subsidised they are not treated as income.





"....if the President wants a hamburger he has to buy it
himself. If he eats it on the way to an official meeting or shares it
with the President of China, it?s a business expense and WE pay pick
up the tab.

If he wants an umbrella because it?s raining he needs to buy it himself; but if he needs an umbrella because he's going to the
Amazon to meet with a pygmy witchdoctor about saving the rain forest from acid rain, it's a business expense and WE pay for that."

 
At 4/16/2012 1:22 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Is there some type of blind trust for VPs where their wealth can be hidden until after their term in office or are they just poorer investors than a factory worker like me? ($2800 in interest for an entire year and no capital gains or dividends is laughable).

================================

If his investments are in a nontaxable account his dividends and capital gains need not be reported.

 
At 4/16/2012 1:39 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks,

"Why? Was Biden the only person still alive in the Democrat party so that Obama was compelled to either run by himself or choose Biden?"

Biden may have been the only Democrat not aware that it would be political suicide to run on the ticket with Obama.

Or, he may have been served up as a sacrifice by his fellow senators.

Or, after a long carreer, he may have seen advantages to the additional Vice President retirement package.

Or, perhaps Obama wanted to divert attention from himself, when needed, in the form of a clown who would provide comic relief.

Who knows the minds of career politicians?

 
At 4/16/2012 1:41 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"If his investments are in a nontaxable account his dividends and capital gains need not be reported."

I would expect a 70-year-old lawyer who is a VP living rent-free, collecting SS, and a Senate pension along with a working wife who has a Ph.D. to have investments in a taxable account that throws off more money than picking up 80 returnable bottles a day with a 10 cent deposit :-)

 
At 4/16/2012 1:45 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

Biden is 70-years-old, collects SS, and he has a Senate pension. He also has a wife who works and he loves to golf and bullshit. There are many worse jobs than VP for all of that.

 
At 4/16/2012 1:49 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Frankly, I think Obama's tax-payer funded vacations are a good investment for America. The less he stays in Washington, the less damage he can do.

 
At 4/16/2012 2:06 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I doubt if 2012 will hinge on charitable donations or VP choices."

Well, I'm sure you're right about that. There is a long list of concerns that rank higher than that.

"Is it really smart to give your money away or just popular?"

It is really smart for career politicians to impress voters with their immense generosity and concern for humanity.

For private individuals it is neither smart nor unsmart, but a purely personal choice, without regard to the impression it might make on others. Decisions may be influenced by the tax status of a particular contribution.

"Biden's alternative was Palin. Where does she fit on your "smart" meter?"

No, I had no opportunity to choose a vice president. I was offered two major packages - Obama-Biden and McCain-Palin, neither of which gave me any hope for the future, although one of them frequently used the word in campaign speeches.

While it was, and still is, popular to bash Palin, I believe a major problem for her is her lack of fluency in clever and sophisticated political doublespeak.

 
At 4/16/2012 2:16 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Moe

"Exaclty the kind of meanningless drivel that does not move us forward - haven't we got bigger problesm???"

Like what? And, who is "we"? What could be more important than a discussions Biden's level of charitable contributions?

Apparently this blog owner and those who comment on this thread feel this is a worthy subject, or they would be discussing something else, perhaps even something you would approve of.

What would you like to discuss?

What exactly does "move us forward" mean?

 
At 4/16/2012 2:19 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Package, Ron H.? Yes, but one of the choices was over 70 with a history of health problems and the other one was in his 40s in great physical health. Looking strictly at the mortality probablities, which VP were we most likely to end up with as president?

 
At 4/16/2012 2:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"On the other hand, there must be some optimum amount that leaves the maximum amount of money it the taxpayers hands. I would fault my accountant if he only told me that $x dollars in donations will minimize your tax bill"

Do you want to minimize your tax bill, or maximize the amount of earnings you keep? They aren't the same thing.

To maximize your 'keepings', The optimum amount of charittable contribution is $0, unless you are taxed at a rate of 100%, in which case it makes no difference what amount you give to charity.

If you give $400 to charity and take a $100 tax deduction, you have $300 less than you would have if you had made no gift.

To minimize your tax bill, you need to contribute enough to reduce your taxable income to $0. But, that's not the same as maximizing your 'keepings'.

 
At 4/16/2012 3:04 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos: "Try this problem on for size..."

That is indeed a larger problem than Joe Biden's tax return. I don't know a lot of the details, but is Utoya Island for some reason a gun free zone? Sixty Nine people shot with no indication that anyone shot back?

 
At 4/16/2012 3:11 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"A gift is a gift, and I don; thtink this is anyones's business but his own."

For a private citizen, that's absolutely correct. For a public figure though, especially one that's as visible as Biden, these things are justifiably open to public scrutiny.

The same is true of John Kerry when he scolds others for minimizing their taxes.

Politicians can't afford to be hypocrites.

 
At 4/16/2012 3:24 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"If you give $400 to charity and take a $100 tax deduction, you have $300 less than you would have if you had made no gift."

Or you could give the entire $400 to charity and not claim it as a tax deduction. That would be the real "charitable" thing to do.

 
At 4/16/2012 3:32 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Package, Ron H.? Yes, but one of the choices was over 70 with a history of health problems and the other one was in his 40s in great physical health. Looking strictly at the mortality probablities, which VP were we most likely to end up with as president?"

That was one of the pluses for the McCain/Palin ticket. there was a greater chance of a single term presidency. The VP doesn't matter much to the remainder of a Presidential term. They are chosen, as nearly as I can tell, to attract some group of voters to vote for the package.

If strategists thought Palin would attract women voters, they were sadly mistaken. I've seldom seen such vitriol aimed at any one person in my life.

Although Palin lacked the political experience and savvy Biden has, that could be considered a plus. Knowing the game well doesn't instill confidence that a candidate will "promote the general welfare".

I keep forgetting that you believe might makes right. There are no absolute moral principles in your world. It's just a matter of who's the biggest thug.

 
At 4/16/2012 3:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Or you could give the entire $400 to charity and not claim it as a tax deduction. That would be the real "charitable" thing to do."

You consider giving the IRS $100 a charitable contribution?

Weird!

 
At 4/16/2012 3:44 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Frankly, I think Obama's tax-payer funded vacations are a good investment for America. The less he stays in Washington, the less damage he can do.

Plus, if he just stays on vacation, we can save money on the $100,000 to fly his dog, $100,000 to fly his wife and $100,000 to fly himself on separate planes back and forth from Martha's Vineyard.

That adds up.

 
At 4/16/2012 4:08 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

The IRS is us. If cheating on your taxes is wrong because it screws your fellow Americans, why wouldn't forgoing the deduction likewise benefit other taxpayers? Real charitable people don't give for publicity and tax write-offs.

For all we know, Biden might tip his needy caddy $100 and cut out the middle man. He doesn't seem to save his money, and he does like golf.

Palin's lack of experience scared me much more than Biden's gaffes. I'll take a foot-in-his-mouth Senator with over 30 years experience over Palin's couple of useless years as governor in Alaska if Iran decides to nuke us. I also have to question McCain's judgment for choosing her for VP in the first place.

 
At 4/16/2012 4:59 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

If Iran is going to nuke us, Walt, you're not going to be around to care what happens next.

 
At 4/16/2012 5:03 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Palin's lack of experience scared me much more than Biden's gaffes."

I'm always astounded by this question begging rhetoric that was employed endlessly throughout 2008 campaign.

The question it begs is of course: WHAT ABOUT OBAMA???!!!

Simply unbelievable.

 
At 4/16/2012 5:37 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

Obama supported the UAW and McCain supported the bankers in the Keating 5 scandal as a Senator. I made my choice. Are you a banker?

 
At 4/16/2012 5:46 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"Obama supported the UAW "

So suddenly the criteria changes, experience wasn't so important to Walt after all, even for the #1 position. Cronyism in Walt's favor is what swung his vote. The "Palin didn't have enough experience" line is just window dressing for the prime motivation.

Surprise.

"McCain supported the bankers in the Keating 5 scandal as a Senator."

The lead investigator absolved McCain of any wrongdoing, so that's just convenient bullshit for Walt who openly and unashamedly favors electing thugs to steal on his behalf.

 
At 4/16/2012 5:46 PM, Blogger Paul said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/16/2012 6:15 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

The lead investigator found nothing illegal by McCain but said he used "poor judgment." My personal McCain experts (friends who usually vote Republican) thought the Palin choice was poor judgment, too. Is there a pattern here?

Paul, I have multiple voting criteria; the word is plural. And, yes, part of my voting decision is based on those who support my causes just as I expect others to do the same. That is how our political system works. That does not mean if "your" guy is elected I won't try to change his mind with correspondence. I write to my representatives regularly: Do you?

 
At 4/16/2012 7:58 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt has no problem robbing people at gunpoint, Paul. So long as he gets someone else to hold the gun. Everybody does it, so it's okay, says Walt.

If everyone turned their neighbours into the KGB for an extra stick of butter, Walt would be cool with that too.

 
At 4/16/2012 8:00 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Yes Walt. Obamacare, UAW bailouts, "police acted stupidly", "Travyon would look like my son", etc., were excellent judgments. If you are a commie, admit it, don't hide it under the pretense of neutrality.

 
At 4/16/2012 8:01 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

We are a constitutional republic, Walt, not a democracy, just to prevent thugs from doing damage when they come to power.

 
At 4/16/2012 8:10 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

I'll be supporting Obama over Romney in the next election. Feel free to stop by the union hall and we will find something for you all to do.

Methinks, I am an NRA certified firearm instuctor. I can hold my own gun :)

 
At 4/16/2012 8:17 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Apparently, Walt, you can't.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:49 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt

"The IRS is us. If cheating on your taxes is wrong because it screws your fellow Americans, why wouldn't forgoing the deduction likewise benefit other taxpayers? Real charitable people don't give for publicity and tax write-offs."

The IRS is not us. Most government spending is for things I don't choose to spend money on, and I applaud anyone who can pay less taxes for any reason, including by cheating. If people refused to pay taxes, there wouldn't be much government spending.

To argue that fellow Americans are harmed if a person cheats on their taxes, is to argue that other victims of mugging are harmed If someone manages to escape being robbed, themselves.

You are just writing nonsense to avoid having to concede the points that politicians do thing to look good, and that while anyone can pay more taxes than they owe, including Buffett and you, few people do, and no, it doesn't help other taxpayers. Government spending exceeds tax revenue by a wide margin, remember? I seriously doubt that you ever pay more tax than you owe as an act of kindness to less fortunate taxpayers. Give me a break.

"For all we know, Biden might tip his needy caddy $100 and cut out the middle man. He doesn't seem to save his money, and he does like golf."

It's of no consequence how Biden spends his money, and his caddy isn't likely needy. The homeless guy living under the bridge who Biden sees every day on his way to the golf course? That might be another story.

"Palin's lack of experience scared me much more than Biden's gaffes. I'll take a foot-in-his-mouth Senator with over 30 years experience over Palin's couple of useless years as governor in Alaska..."

Yeah, I keep forgetting. The biggest thug for you.

"...if Iran decides to nuke us."

You're funny. If Iran decided to nuke us, there's nothing else to worry about, at least not who is President or VP.

"I also have to question McCain's judgment for choosing her for VP in the first place."

She is young, a counterweight to his advanced age. She is a woman, for those who were upset that Hillary lost. The hostility of women toward Palin was, I believe, completely unexpected by everyone doing the choosing.

 
At 4/17/2012 5:15 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Palin's lack of experience scared me much more than Biden's gaffes. I'll take a foot-in-his-mouth Senator with over 30 years experience over Palin's couple of useless years as governor in Alaska..."

But you voted for the Senator from Illinois with less than a couple of years of experience, who voted "present" a lot, and had no management experience at all!

That's the same guy with friends who were unrepentant domestic terrorists, a liberation theologist who called on God to "Damn America", and a corrupt Chicago businessman and convicted felon, currently serving prison time on 16 counts of corruption and fraud.

This is also the guy who not only voted against, but stood up to speak in opposition to a bill in the Illinois Senate that would have required medical personnel to provider assistance to babies who were aborted but appeared to be alive.

But hey, Palin scared you.

You need to find a better objection than inexperience. No one is buying that one, Walt.

 
At 4/17/2012 7:55 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"I seriously doubt that you ever pay more tax than you owe as an act of kindness to less fortunate taxpayers. Give me a break."

Ron H.,

I donate my time to various causes every week, and my wife is driving a cancer patient to Ann Arbor (an hour away) from our church at this very moment (using our gas and car). None of this will be deducted from our 2012 federal taxes. Trying to judge how "charitable" someone is from their federal tax deduction alone is ridiculous.

 
At 4/17/2012 7:56 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/17/2012 10:27 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

That's right, Ron H., a media whore politician could be driving around thousands of cancer patients and you don't know anything about it.

Seems likely, yes?

Note, the politician isn't parting with any of his cash, though. Yet, said politician is in favour of using government violence to rob you to force you to give to his favourite charities - UAW, Too Big To Fail Banks, Boeing, etc.

Just like the vast majority of his income (which comes in the form of taxpayer-funded personal consumption), this kind of charity doesn't make it onto the politician's IRS Form 1040.

Alas....the situation is way more complicated (and smarmy) than it would appear at first glance.

On a separate note, we should applaud Walt for his various acts of kindness and charity that he has repeatedly told us about and for which he claims, in this public comment section, he desires no recognition. Real charity is done silently, after all, and not for tax deductions or applause.

 
At 4/17/2012 10:43 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"My personal McCain experts (friends who usually vote Republican) thought the Palin choice was poor judgment."

But befriending unrepentant terrorists and slimy Chicago crooks like Tony Rezko, and sitting in Rev Wright's church for 20 years was excellent judgement.

Anyway, we already smoked out your prime motivation. All that high-minded "experience" stuff was just camouflage for your real desire to get a politician to dig into other peoples' pockets regardless of how much damage that same politician does to the country in the interim.

"Is there a pattern here?"

Yes.

 
At 4/17/2012 11:04 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Methinks,

"Yet, said politician is in favour of using government violence to rob you to force you to give to his favourite charities - UAW, Too Big To Fail Banks, Boeing, etc."

Walt told me that's how our political system is supposed to work. People should vote for their own benefit to plunder other people and organizations. Exactly what the founding fathers envisioned. And hey, it's not like this mentality has created any problems...

 
At 4/17/2012 11:07 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"I'll be supporting Obama over Romney in the next election."

I wonder what deficiencies Romney's VP pick will have that Walt will find troubling.

 
At 4/17/2012 11:17 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"I wonder what deficiencies Romney's VP pick will have that Walt will find troubling."

I find Romney's public non-support of the now vibrant U.S. auto industry reason enough to vote for Obama. I take it I can scratch all of your names off my list for Obama campaign volunteers.

 
At 4/17/2012 11:30 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Paul,

The ends justify the means, man. The ends justify the means.

You can wallow in excrement, for all I care - as long as we have a glorious and vibrant auto industry. Some pigs, Paul, are more equal than others.

 
At 4/17/2012 11:32 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

If it takes hauling your ass into a Gulag, Paul, or executing your entire family, so be it.

Walt says you have to look at the big picture, my friend.

And in the big picture, your pain (any amount of it) is totally worth his gain. To him.

 
At 4/17/2012 11:46 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"I find Romney's public non-support of the now vibrant U.S. auto industry reason enough to vote for Obama."

Yeah, "vibrant." It only took sticking the taxpayers with $40 billion of GM's liablities to create that vibrance.

 
At 4/17/2012 12:33 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

You can't assume the cost of doing nothing is $0 in a proper cost/benefit analysis.

 
At 4/17/2012 12:47 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"I'll be supporting Obama over Romney in the next election"...

Hmmm, Walt! Walt! Walt! This is so sad its hard to comprehend...

I wonder if United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts will do the same thing?

 
At 4/17/2012 12:56 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

Thank you, Walt.

I believe your statement is correct and succinct.

Whatever we (collectively or individually) do, or do not do, whatever follows will be better, or worse, an improvement, or not.


The question is whether we are smart enough to recognize an improvement (or a decline) in conditions, and alter our activities (beliefs) accordingly.


If you start off with the idea that only one dogmatic direction can lead to improvement and everyone else is wrong, then a) the odds you will get said improvements are stacked against you, and b) even if you are right, you will eventually overshoot, at which point any correction is constitutionally repugnant to you.


At present, we cannot even agree on what yardstick to use to try to measure improvements or declines.

 
At 4/17/2012 12:57 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

I believe a major problem for her is her lack of fluency in clever and sophisticated political doublespeak.


==============================

Yikes. let's have more political doublespeak to help clear things up.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Juandos,

I imagine Cecil Roberts will do what we all do whether we admit it or not: look at the whole picture and try to figure out if we are better off with him or the other guy in office.

BTW, I don't agree with many of Obama's ideas, and I write and call a lot to my government representatives to let them know what I think. I hope my fellow Carpe Diem bloggers do likewise whatever their position and level of support might be.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:13 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:16 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

You can't assume the cost of doing nothing is $0 in a proper cost/benefit analysis.

Sure I can, Walt. The cost of the loss of UAW's "vibrancy" to me is ZERO. It might even be an immediate (if not permanent) benefit as the previously grossly overpaid union guys are forced to accept less "vibrant" compensation more in line with the value they actually add.


The benefit of creative destruction to the economy as a whole is well known. Propping up overpaid bullies in order to keep the corpse of he United States auto industry marching is a drag on the entire economy.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:17 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

"On the other hand, there must be some optimum amount that leaves the maximum amount of money it the taxpayers hands. I would fault my accountant if he only told me that $x dollars in donations will minimize your tax bill"

Do you want to minimize your tax bill, or maximize the amount of earnings you keep? They aren't the same thing.

==================================

Isn't that exactly what I said?

I want my accountant to maximize the money I keep, not get me the lowest tax bill, unless that happens to lead to the same thing.

You agree then, that it is rational not to care about taxes, in this scenario. It is not who gives the most that matters. It is rational to give until the Total Cost is lowest, and after that giving is still a free choice.


I also want my legislators to (try to) maximize the money I keep, and not "necessarily" get me the lowest tax bill.

That is also rational, although you probably don't think so.

I want my legislators to work towards achieving the lowest Total Cost = Production Cost + External Costs, + Government Costs.


Can any legistive body achieve that? Is anyone or any group smart enough?

Probably not.

But why would I choose to believe instead that a totally randomized direction of activity actualized by millions of free individuals working on their own best interests (that is, against my interests and everyone elses, in a solely competitive environment), is going to somehow, eventually, result in lowest Total Cost?


All those millions will have little bits of data, that work for them in their local environment, but none of them will have collected all those bits into generally useful knowledge.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:26 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

The cost of the loss of UAW's "vibrancy" to me is ZERO. It might even be an immediate (if not permanent) benefit as the previously grossly overpaid union guys are forced to accept less "vibrant" compensation more in line with the value they actually add.

==================================

Oh cmon.

How much does a quarterback get paid if he plays without linemen, cheap linemen, or linemen who know they will eventually be rippled by their job and tossed on the scrap heap?

You are not really talking about the value added by line workers here. We know what the total value added of all the players works out to: it is called profit.

What you are talking about is whether you can get the same value added and pay a lower price for it, keeping the difference.

The key phrase here is "forced to accept less compensation".

This discussion is not about value added, but how the known value added is divided up.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:28 PM, Blogger Hydra said...

You can't assume the cost of doing nothing is $0 in a proper cost/benefit analysis.

Sure I can, Walt.

==================================

OK, you can make that assumption.

You will almost always be wrong when the results come in.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:29 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks,

Apparently, judging from your remarks, the UAW still has some work to do on their public image. I will be sure to pass your concerns on to the UAW leadership.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:30 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:41 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt: "I donate my time to various causes every week, and my wife is driving a cancer patient to Ann Arbor (an hour away) from our church at this very moment (using our gas and car). None of this will be deducted from our 2012 federal taxes. Trying to judge how "charitable" someone is from their federal tax deduction alone is ridiculous."

Then either you are a fool, too lazy to document your activities, or you really believe your own narrative that there's something dishonest about taking legitimate tax deductions.

You continue to evade the real issues.

No one cares how charitable a goofus like Biden is, but politicians often try to appear so, by actually claiming tax deductions for their contributions so the world will know that they are true saints. Biden doesn't even bother to give and claim for the PR value, and yet he favors spending other people's money on charity. That's known as hypocrisy, and is little admired.

Even fewer people than no one care how much extra income tax Walt G. pays, for whatever reason he does it.

You

 
At 4/17/2012 1:48 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

You know what might help their public image, Walt? Abandoning thuggery.


That would do wonders. You might want to pass that along. I'm sure they'll all be receptive to that.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Hydra,

I've often wondered if your word salads make sense inside your head.

 
At 4/17/2012 1:51 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Okay, I haven't often wondered. Only when I make the mistake of trying to decipher your "special code".

 
At 4/17/2012 1:56 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Methinks: "That's right, Ron H., a media whore politician could be driving around thousands of cancer patients and you don't know anything about it.

Seems likely, yes?
"

Makes sense to me. I'm sure that's it. :)

"On a separate note, we should applaud Walt for his various acts of kindness and charity that he has repeatedly told us about and for which he claims, in this public comment section, he desires no recognition. Real charity is done silently, after all, and not for tax deductions or applause."

LOL!

I'm sorry I didn't respond sooner, but I couldn't hear you over the roar of applause, and all those other comment section readers shouting: "Walt! Walt! Walt! Walt!..."

 
At 4/17/2012 1:59 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Walt,

"This discussion is not about value added, but how the known value added is divided up."

Yeah, we saw how Obama divided it up. You made out wonderfully, while the rest of us got to pick up the check.

"You can't assume the cost of doing nothing is $0 in a proper cost/benefit analysis."

So I guess we should just bail out every business that churns out crap products with overpaid workers and then fails. That's a sure recipe for economic success!

 
At 4/17/2012 2:05 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

I really don't care what Obama his VP and Romney and his eventual VP declare as charitable donations on their income tax returns. I am not swayed by that hype or Obama's challenge of Romney releasing his prior income tax returns.

I will continue to do what I have done for close to 40 years and vote for those who support me and find a way to work with or around those who win elections without my support. I’ll go out on a limb and say those who say they do otherwise are the real hypocrites.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:12 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Paul,

Each situation should be judged on its own merits. My opinion of TARP was that the auto loans will be a good value now or in the foreseeable future, even for you, and the Fannie and Freddie loans will not be.

I'll respect your opinion even if I don't agree with it. You are certainly not alone in your thinking, and I appreciate the second chance to prove you wrong even if you did not give us the support willingly.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:21 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I find Romney's public non-support of the now vibrant U.S. auto industry reason enough to vote for Obama. I take it I can scratch all of your names off my list for Obama campaign volunteers."

And I find that a mark in his favor, as a vibrant auto industry doesn't need any support, especially political support.

But that's not nearly enough to get him my support, as it's not clear what any of his other positions will be by election day. They seem to change frequently.

I recall being just as puzzled about one of the candidates in 2008, whose every speech was tailored for his then current audience, and was designed to get them on their feet cheering.

Obviously many other people saw something I didn't, or maybe DIDN'T see something I did see, as here he is, still with us.

No, don't scratch my name off that Obama supporter list!

When election day is near, I plan to post signs, pay for a billboard, plaster my car with stickers, and, with enough help, maybe even buy a spot for a TV ad.

I will be showing a picture of Obama and the caption -

Support 'The One'

Get out the vote on Nov 7

 
At 4/17/2012 2:22 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

I will continue to do what I have done for close to 40 years and vote for those who support me and find a way to work with or around those who win elections without my support. I’ll go out on a limb and say those who say they do otherwise are the real hypocrites.

The difference between the way we seek to advantage ourselves and the way you seek to find advantage, Walt, is that you seek to find ways to extort and expropriate to enrich yourself and the rest of us seek to find a way to produce something so valuable that people voluntarily part with their cash for it.

You seek to find ways around the restrictions on your violence against innocent individuals to enrich yourself and your mafia and the rest of us seek a way around violence against us to find ways to enrich ourselves by pleasing our fellow man.

So, you're right, we each seek advantage, but we are not hypocrites for not admitting to seeking, as you do, to violate others in pursuit of our own interests.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:23 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

I'm also planning to offer free rides to the polls on that day.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:31 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:34 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt

"You can't assume the cost of doing nothing is $0 in a proper cost/benefit analysis"

Nor can you assume losses of $350 bn and thousands of jobs as you have done.

That amount was as unlikely as $0.

And, in any case, there is no legitimate authority to spend taxpayer money on such an outrage.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:40 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks,
Obama’s opposition has certainly earned your support. I hope you work to advance his cause and yours as I will do to advance Obama’s and mine. Our political system might not be flawless; however, people in other countries die trying to copy it.

I also hope you seek professional help if you’re threatened by “thugs” imagined or otherwise from whatever source. Your obvious pent-up hate can injure your health and impact your quality of life.

 
At 4/17/2012 2:43 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

juandos

"I wonder if United Mine Workers of America President Cecil Roberts will do the same thing?"

OOOPS!

Sometimes I forget that there are still people who talk about CO2 with a straight face. :-)

 
At 4/17/2012 2:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Whatever we (collectively or individually) do, or do not do, whatever follows will be better, or worse, an improvement, or not.

Huh? What did he say?

 
At 4/17/2012 2:50 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,"Nor can you assume losses of $350 bn and thousands of jobs as you have done"

Those figures were supplied by a CAR report. CAR was cited recently as a source on this blog and is considered one of the leading auto industry experts. Of course, you should judge the reliability of any source yourself. Feel free to cite another source that contradicts the CAR report at any time.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:01 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You agree then, that it is rational not to care about taxes, in this scenario. It is not who gives the most that matters. It is rational to give until the Total Cost is lowest, and after that giving is still a free choice."

You misread, or misunderstood my comment, or you are once again having trouble with math.

The lowest total cost is at $0 charitable contribution. No one pays at a 100% tax rate, so every dollar given is more than the amount of the tax deduction taken.

$10 into the charity bucket allows $2 to be taken back out of the tax payment bucket = $8 total out.

"In this scenario" is Biden's lack of tax deductions for charitable giving, and a discussion of his apparent hypocricy.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:09 PM, Blogger Paul said...

Walt,

"Our political system might not be flawless; however, people in other countries die trying to copy it."

You think they're envious of the Obama/Walt politics of rape-thy-neighbor?

 
At 4/17/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

No, Walt. People in other countries are not dying to try to copy America's political system. They're dying to try to gain the freedom rapidly evaporating in the United States.

Not only are people in other countries not dying to adopt the political system here, they've also stopped trying to come here.

Your obvious pent-up hate can injure your health and impact your quality of life.

I don't get it. Why do thugs always take such offense when their unwitting victims object to being held up?

Perhaps you think robbing and pillaging is your birthright?

Hey, is this where you tell me about your gun skills again?

 
At 4/17/2012 3:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Yikes. let's have more political doublespeak to help clear things up."

Palin was and is perceived as a stupid, unqualified country bumpkin because she has trouble spewing the smooth, feel-good but meaningless bullshit that defines the verbalizations of a successful career politician or bureaucrat.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:19 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Is there some type of blind trust for VPs where their wealth can be hidden until after their term in office or are they just poorer investors than a factory worker like me? ($2800 in interest for an entire year and no capital gains or dividends is laughable)."

What's laughable is your lack of understanding of the political world.

 
At 4/17/2012 3:59 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Methinks, "Hey, is this where you tell me about your gun skills again?"

No, Methinks, this is where I would start sending your posts to the school counselor or the authorities if you were a student of mine. I think we can at least agree that any further discussion between us is pointless.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:07 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"But why would I choose to believe instead that a totally randomized direction of activity actualized by millions of free individuals working on their own best interests (that is, against my interests and everyone elses, in a solely competitive environment), is going to somehow, eventually, result in lowest Total Cost?"

And there, is your problem in a nutshell. You don't understand human nature, therefore you don't understand economics and markets. Read some Adam Smith on the subject of serving others by acting in your own interest.

It turns out, that rather than working AGAINST the interests of others, everyone must provide others with something they want and are willing to pay for, unless force is used, such as robbing people at gunpoint, or better yet, getting government to do it for them through the taxes and regulations you are so fond of.

"All those millions will have little bits of data, that work for them in their local environment, but none of them will have collected all those bits into generally useful knowledge."

And not only that, but no one CAN collect all that data into a useful set, and make use of it, as all attempts at central planning demonstrate.

Luckily, it's not necessary that anyone know all that stuff, because Mr. Smith's "invisible hand" takes care of it for us.

If you've never done so, check out Leonard Read's "I Pencil" as narrated by Milton Friedman.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:10 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"You can't assume the cost of doing nothing is $0 in a proper cost/benefit analysis.

Sure I can, Walt.

==================================

OK, you can make that assumption.

You will almost always be wrong when the results come in.
"

For better understanding of the comment, you should have read the entire thing, rather than stopping after 4 words.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I also want my legislators to (try to) maximize the money I keep, and not "necessarily" get me the lowest tax bill."

The only tools they have to maximize your "keepings" is to reduce the amount they take away from you in taxes and through regulations, but that can't be what you actually want, as you keep asking them to regulate you more.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:40 PM, Blogger Paul said...

"this is where I would start sending your posts to the school counselor or the authorities if you were a student of mine."

Huh, the authorities? For what?

If only we could call the authorities on union thugs who elect politicians to go out and rob the taxpayers. But I guess that's the cherished system of government we have now that Walt gets all choked up about.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:46 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"How much does a quarterback get paid if he plays without linemen, cheap linemen, or linemen who know they will eventually be rippled by their job and tossed on the scrap heap?"

Rippled by their job? You should reword that for readers who aren't as familiar with football as you are. I for one, don't know what that means.

I have a feeling, though, that even knowing wouldn't raise that comment to a level of being meaningful.

"You are not really talking about the value added by line workers here. We know what the total value added of all the players works out to: it is called profit.

What you are talking about is whether you can get the same value added and pay a lower price for it, keeping the difference.

The key phrase here is "forced to accept less compensation".

This discussion is not about value added, but how the known value added is divided up.
"

And yet another economics free comment by Hydra.

The "known value added" is only known after the fact. It is determined by customers, not automakers. On the other hand, the "known cost of inputs", including labor, ARE known ahead of time, and must be kept below the "unknown amount of total revenue", or a company won't stay in business long, unless they are GM or Chrysler.

If you believe that automakers can charge whatever price they want for their products, and can "reap" * whatever level of profit they want, why would they go to all the trouble of lowering line worker's pay, with all the pushback that causes, instead of just raising their prices to the desired level of profit? Wouldn't that be easier?

* Profits are always "reaped", never just earned. That would be too easy.

 
At 4/17/2012 4:58 PM, Blogger juandos said...

"BTW, I don't agree with many of Obama's ideas, and I write and call a lot to my government representatives to let them know what I think. I hope my fellow Carpe Diem bloggers do likewise whatever their position and level of support might be"...

Ahhh walt g, it seems to me that the Joe the plumber incident wasn't education enough for you regarding the Kenyan Kommie Klown...

Like I suggested to one abir maybe Thomas Edsall's blog posting in the New York Times will show you what you seem to be buying into...

Obama apparently has NO time for you or your concerns...

 
At 4/17/2012 5:00 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt

"BTW, I don't agree with many of Obama's ideas, and I write and call a lot to my government representatives to let them know what I think. I hope my fellow Carpe Diem bloggers do likewise whatever their position and level of support might be."

Yes, most of us write to your government representatives to let them know that the UAW line isn't the only viewpoint there is.

Mostly they respond with appreciative letters explaining that they are already aware, but as representatives, are required to reply to all of their constituents, even you.

"Apparently, judging from your remarks, the UAW still has some work to do on their public image. I will be sure to pass your concerns on to the UAW leadership."

Oh! You have no idea!

The protective cocoon of UAW culture you have spent your life in, has seemingly sheltered you from some of the realities of the wider world.

 
At 4/17/2012 5:28 PM, Blogger Methinks said...

Well, Walt, I mean words can't really stop violence, can they?

So, if you (as you do) subscribe to an ends justifies the means immorality and you justify every and any atrocity because it benefits you, I'm not really going to be able to guide you via discussion to abandon violence when you and your UAW mafia are holding the gun.

 
At 4/17/2012 6:09 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

Juandos: The blog seems almost prophetic. Let us hope the organizer in chief does not succeed in turning the US in the regulatory hell hole of Europe. I wanna be able to afford my sports car after I graduate and still be able to drive freely on TX highways without paying some sort of BS CO2 tax.
Walt: What you mean is you want your legislators to usurp as much money as possible from the productive sector of the economy and "fairly" redistribute it among useless union goons. And no country in their right mind would want Obama as their leader. Not even socialists like Chavez. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/dec/20/hugo-chavez-barack-obama-clown

 
At 4/17/2012 7:36 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt

"I will continue to do what I have done for close to 40 years and vote for those who support me and find a way to work with or around those who win elections without my support. I’ll go out on a limb and say those who say they do otherwise are the real hypocrites."

The sad part is that there's anyone in the mix that you can support.

 
At 4/17/2012 9:47 PM, Blogger Walt G. said...

"this is where I would start sending your posts to the school counselor or the authorities if you were a student of mine."

Pauls asks: "Huh, the authorities? For what?"

I use Carpe Diem as required reading in my college classes. I am not anonymous to my students, and I encourage lively debate over anything I write. I can't have gun talk along with heated dicusssion and still use this blog in my classroom over the recent college campus shootings. The lack of civilty here can be ignored or used as a bad example. The talk of violence can't.

Ron H.,

I would expect you to use your best judgement to decide who you should vote for. I will do the same.

 
At 4/18/2012 4:36 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Our political system might not be flawless; however, people in other countries die trying to copy it."

LOL

They are dying because your buddies are trying to force it down their throat, Walt, but that's a subject for a different thread.

 
At 4/18/2012 4:39 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"Those figures were supplied by a CAR report. CAR was cited recently as a source on this blog and is considered one of the leading auto industry experts. Of course, you should judge the reliability of any source yourself. Feel free to cite another source that contradicts the CAR report at any time."

Yes, you have pasted this comment in the past.

Get beyond that, Walt, it just ain't so.

 
At 4/18/2012 5:02 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt

"I also hope you seek professional help if you’re threatened by “thugs” imagined or otherwise from whatever source. Your obvious pent-up hate can injure your health and impact your quality of life."

There's no need to imagine thugs, they're real enough.

Of course your buddy and his Justice Dept. decided that interfering with voters wasn't worth prosecuting.

 
At 4/18/2012 5:05 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Paul

"Huh, the authorities? For what?

If only we could call the authorities on union thugs who elect politicians to go out and rob the taxpayers. But I guess that's the cherished system of government we have now that Walt gets all choked up about.
"

Well, for objecting to thugs, of course.

 
At 4/18/2012 6:01 AM, Blogger Ron H. said...

Walt

"I can't have gun talk along with heated dicusssion and still use this blog in my classroom over the recent college campus shootings. The lack of civilty here can be ignored or used as a bad example. The talk of violence can't."

It seems strange that you and or the school thinks your students aren't interested in discussing something as important as guns, and campus shootings. I would think they would all prefer to be armed considering how dangerous it is to have gun free zones.

 
At 4/18/2012 6:49 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt: Feel free to stop by the union hall and we will find something for you all to do.

Methinks, I am an NRA certified firearm instuctor. I can hold my own gun :)

Methinks: "Hey, is this where you tell me about your gun skills again?"

So, if you (as you do) subscribe to an ends justifies the means immorality and you justify every and any atrocity because it benefits you, I'm not really going to be able to guide you via discussion to abandon violence when you and your UAW mafia are holding the gun.

Walt:I use Carpe Diem as required reading in my college classes. I am not anonymous to my students, and I encourage lively debate over anything I write. I can't have gun talk along with heated dicusssion and still use this blog in my classroom over the recent college campus shootings.


Well, I feel better knowing that a confused sociopath is teaching college kids, don't y'all?

 
At 4/18/2012 8:08 AM, Blogger Walt G. said...

Ron H.,

An academic discussion about anything is fine. Rants and weapon discussions raise red flags that online college instructors have been trained to report and refrain from.

Thank you all of for your insights. I am sure the presidential election will be filled with many controversies for further discussion. I look forward to those discussions.

I can use the last few posts as examples of how discussions can often veer to personal attacks, and I am done with this thread.

 
At 4/18/2012 8:12 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt: Rants and weapon discussions raise red flags that online college instructors have been trained to report and refrain from.

Methinks: Walt has no problem robbing people at gunpoint, Paul. So long as he gets someone else to hold the gun. Everybody does it, so it's okay, says Walt.

Walt:I am an NRA certified firearm instuctor. I can hold my own gun :)

 
At 4/18/2012 8:13 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Walt, when are you turning yourself in?

 
At 4/18/2012 9:05 AM, Blogger Paul said...

"I can use the last few posts as examples of how discussions can often veer to personal attacks, and I am done with this thread."

Yes, you've clearly demonstrated your impeccable sense of ethics.

Hey Walt, I see a taxpayer with what appeared to be money in his pocket. Call in the goons!

 
At 4/18/2012 9:29 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 4/18/2012 9:30 AM, Blogger Methinks said...

Hey, Paul, taking issue with Walt's activities is equivalent to launching an unacceptable personal attack on Walt.

Walt's sociopathic justifications for using people for his own purposes are beyond reproach. As is his turning talk of metaphorical guns into reference to his actual, non-metaphorical gun skills.

If you, however, object to his support of pathological, extortionist policies, you are crazy and dangerous. You should be turned in to his community college's counselor for assessment and re-education. Just as it was in the Soviet state, objection to abuse by the state is evidence of insanity. Nay, proof of insanity.

Welcome to our brave new world, my friend.

 
At 4/18/2012 9:27 PM, Blogger Abir Mandal said...

If Walt was not such a liberal hippie, maybe he would have come to this battle of wits actually armed.

 

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