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15201  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 17, 2011, 10:09:33 am
First, you now claim to only support a "carbon tax" as part of the more taxes.  I note that you have not stated how high the new (more) taxes would be.

If you want a look at a more concrete carbon tax proposal, take a look at the one I proposed and got passed back in 2007 when I was active in Atlasia.

It called for gradually phasing in a carbon tax that at the end of a 10 year period would be $50 per ton of emitted CO2, or in more consumer graspable terms that would be roughly $0.45 per gallon of gasoline, $0.05 per kWh of coal-fired electricity, or $0.025 per kWh of natural gas-fired electricity.

Your "greenhouse gases" fixation is laughable.  Of course your solution is "more taxes" rather than encouraging nuclear power.  So, your supposed concern is absurd, and your solution of more taxes is your answer to just about everything.

Oh, how do you propose encouraging nuclear power?  The simple fact is that nuclear power is not at present economically competitive with fossil fuel power.  The only two ways of bridging the cost difference by government action are to either subsidize nuclear power or to make fossil fuel electricity more costly.  I can't believe that you favor subsidies, and of the two methods to raise fossil fuel costs, a carbon tax is far simpler to implement than the ludicrous cap and trade scheme with its bureaucracy and questionable carbon offsets.

Finally, if you were to look at facts, the problem is that expenditures have increased dramatically over the past few years.  In 2000 (when the nation was relatively prosperous), federal government expenditures accounted for approximately 18% of the GDP, whereas today they account for approximately 25% of the GDP.  So, what we need is to cut spending, not have more and higher taxes, as you advocate.

Then cut the spending.  Despite your claims, I'm not opposed to spending cuts.  Indeed, I've proposed larger cuts here than you have because I've been willing to propose specific cuts in the big four segments of the budget. Even if the rest of the budget were zeroed out, we'd still have a deficit.  But if sufficient cuts cannot be made, then increasing tax revenue to close the deficit gap must be done, preferably by beginning with the elimination of tax loopholes and simplifying the tax code.
15202  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: which original series Star Trek character would the preceding poster be? on: August 16, 2011, 10:01:31 pm
Doctor Sevrin from the episode "The Way to Eden".

15203  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Major unrest in Libya - Gaddafi responds with brutal force on: August 16, 2011, 09:22:32 pm
The rebels are now willing to say that Qaddafi can stay in Libya unprosecuted if he steps down. 

Good old Gaddafi is too smart to believe anything these people say, Mikado.


No reason to prosecute a corpse opebo.  If Qaddafi stays in Libya without being in charge, it will not be long before he is killed.
15204  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 16, 2011, 08:16:12 pm
People that are debating Carl deserve a medal. It's such a dirty job that not even the Mexicans won't accept it, but I guess somebody has to do it

This is why Dave has anointed Ernest to be the forum's Sisyphus.  It keeps the rest of us sane.

"You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane."
15205  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 16, 2011, 08:06:55 pm
You have consistently ... supported more taxes and higher taxes.

Yada, yada, yada.

I presume by "more taxes" you mean "new additional taxes" and by "higher taxes" you mean "higher tax rates", for unless you don't intend both to mean increased tax revenue, it appears you need to visit the Department of Redundancy Department to renew your redundant license of redundancy.

The only new taxes I would support would be a carbon tax, with offsetting cuts in other taxes, as a superior way to deal with energy independence/greenhouse gases than the bureaucratic nightmare that cap and trade will be and replacement of the current corporate income tax system with one that taxes gross income instead of net income.  So while I do favor some new taxes, I favor them as replacements for the ones we already have.

If we keep our current tax structure as it is, I don't favor passing any law that would increase tax rates, just closing tax loopholes.  If you want to call the ending of "temporary tax cut" passed by the GOP in 2001 a tax hike, go ahead.  All starve the beast has done these past ten years is raise the deficit and debt. If it caused either party to show spending restraint, I don't see it.  Unless we cut spending, we must raise revenues.  Tax and spend is bad; but borrow and spend is worse.  Any serious spending cut must affect one or more of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, or Defense.  There isn't enough spending in the rest of government to solve the deficit gap.
15206  General Discussion / History / Re: Why did Dewey lose in 1948? on: August 16, 2011, 07:02:29 pm
Could Thurmond and Wallace have gotten enough votes for the election to go to the house?

Thurmond, no.  Without getting the backing of the state Democratic parties in more than just the four States he did get it, he couldn't have gotten any additional States for himself, and none of the other states he ran in were close enough to flip to Dewey without him doing much, much better than he did in 1948.  The closest state that Thurmond ran in but didn't win was Virginia but he would have had to have taken more than half again as many votes from Truman as he did to flip that State to Dewey.  (Thurmond did better in Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee than he did in Virginia, but Dewey did much worse.)  There is practically no realistic scenario that has Thurmond affecting the EV more than he actually did. (If by some odd fluke Thurmond gets on the Illinois ballot and Wallace doesn't, he might flip the State to Dewey, but Wallace could likely do that by himself, and I can't imagine any scenario under which Thurmond makes Illinois ballot and Wallace doesn't.)

However, Wallace could have.  If he'd been on the ballot in Illinois, that state would likely have flipped into the Dewey column, and then if he does better in either California or Ohio (but not both) he could flip one of those States into the Dewey column.  If he flips all three States to Dewey then Dewey gets 267 EV which is 1 more than the 266 EV needed to win in 1948.  With a difference of under 60,000 votes in those three key states, Dewey wins the EV, but not the PV.
15207  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 15, 2011, 08:23:02 pm
By the way, while it is possible you simply missed this, your non-response does leave the impression that you are ducking the issue.

Its also interesting to note that he makes an unfounded allegation of some supposed opposition on my part to closing industry-specific tax loopholes.  Cite please?

I was under the impression that you supported the Nyquist position that the debt-ceiling package contain only spending cuts and no increase in tax revenues via the closing of tax loopholes.  If you do support for eliminating tax loopholes then name some tax loopholes you support eliminating.  That would be much easier than trudging through your posts for something I'm doubtful I would find in your posting history.  All you need to do to prove me wrong is list any tax loopholes you've supported eliminating.

Or are you going to chicken out as you've done with spending cuts when you've said you support eliminating the deficit with spending cuts while at the same time refusing to specify which spending cuts you would make to get us even a tenth of the way to that goal.
15208  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 15, 2011, 08:20:01 pm
We do NOT need more 'guest workers' as there is already high unemployment in this country (particularly for those with limited job skills) as experience has shown us.  When a business is compelled to terminate a significant number of illegals, they are inundated with job applications from Americans seeking unemployment.

Yup, from Americans seeking unemployment checks, not from Americans seeking employment, as a number of the jobs are sufficiently physically demanding that getting American employees is difficult or even impossible, as the farmers of Georgia have found out to their distress.  Also many of those jobs are seasonal labor, not permanent jobs. They also offer little to no opportunity for advancement.  For seasonal physical labor, a guest worker program makes sense.

What is happening is that some employers prefer to hire illegals as they can intimidate them to ignore environment and safety laws, which they would have problems getting American workers to flout.

Here is one area we do agree on.  Solving the illegal immigration problem will require strict enforcement of employment laws.  Where we seem to differ is that you seem to think we need to focus on the employees, while I think we need to focus on the employers.  Unless we return to the days when we ignored civil rights, no employee-focused approach will work well enough to do much.
15209  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 15, 2011, 06:08:45 pm
I thoroughly reject your advocacy of amnesty.

Who said anything about amnesty?  What is is needed is a significant increase in the level of legal immigration, both permanent and guest worker (for the seasonal physical labor that it is unrealistic to expect permanent residents in a society as well off as our own to provide) so that we can satisfy our economy's demand for semi-skilled physical labor without having a permanent group of people who can never fully integrate into our society.

As far as amnesty is concerned, the most I would advocate is not penalizing adults for previous illegal immigration if they apply for legal immigration, and for giving those who came here as young minors illegally because their parents brought them the means to become legal.  But even that level of amnesty is not a necessary part of immigration reform.

Wholesale amnesty for illegals that would give them a head start on becoming legal is not something that should be considered.
15210  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 15, 2011, 05:23:15 pm
The very fact that so many people come here illegally is proof that our immigration system is broken.  Simply stepping up border enforcement will not solve the problem. Nor will a slight increase in legal immigration.  Any small increase in legal immigration will be filled mainly by skilled persons, but for the most part illegal immigration serves to meet an economic need for inexpensive semi-skilled physical labor that is not met by the legal workforce.  We can either revamp our immigration system to meet that need, or we can continue to have illegal immigrants.
15211  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 15, 2011, 05:00:22 pm
Through essentially fraudulent accounting, the American film industry has essentially made itself free from corporate (and individual) income taxes.

The film industry is hardly the only industry to do this.  That's one reason why I favor changing corporate income taxfrom a tax on net income to gross income.  It's a lot harder to pull off the accounting gimmicks.

By imposing what is essentially an excise tax (we have those on gasoline), we will getting revenue for the government which would not be achieved unde the income taxes.

Excise taxes are effectively a industry specific gross income tax.  Rather than targeting specific industries, taxes should be as broad as possible so as to spread their burden as evenly as possible and to cause the least disruption to the economy.

P.S. - FDR enforced anti-trust laws, including on the film industry (this was before WW 2).

While it happened after FDR, the anti-trust laws in a very real sense ended the golden age of Hollywood.  By forcing theatre chains to divest themselves of their studios, they altered the economics of film-making so that studios could no longer be in the business of nurturing talent.  Same thing happened when the TV networks were forced to largely divest their in-house production arms.
15212  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: A good "revenue enhancement" idea on: August 15, 2011, 04:47:37 pm
was I the only one to think CARL was going to propose a deportation tax on illegals?

I didn't.  I can't see CARL ever admitting that immigrants could ever be an economic benefit under any circumstances whatsoever.
15213  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Purgatory and Ghosts on: August 14, 2011, 09:46:50 pm
Traditional Jewish and Christian teachings would hold the modern fascination with the ghosts of the dead roaming around the earth for whatever reason is just a bunch of heathen mumbo jumbo.
15214  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: T-Paw is done on: August 14, 2011, 06:31:14 pm
I am surprised he quit.  He did respectably enough and came in first in the straw poll of the "establishment" candidates.  Only thing that makes sense is that some of major fundraisers must have set an Ames threshold for him to exceed to continue bothering and he didn't clear it.

I'd think most of his support goes to Perry for now.  As the new kid on the block, Perry is the candidate that it would make sense for the backstreet fundraisers to be insistent that T-Paw shut hs operation down.
15215  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll on: August 14, 2011, 06:23:55 pm

Let's give a round of applause to the Congressman from Michigan's performance.

Well, now we know what the sound of one hand clapping is.
15216  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll on: August 14, 2011, 10:46:14 am
I wasn't able to follow the vote that closely. I was checking for the results and recaps on my phone but that's about it. Ron Paul fans are shouting "conspiracy?" They truly have jumped the shark.

On another note, Ernest calling Santorum "Sanford" was amusing.  Tongue

My goof.  However, I will say that I think Sanford has a better chance at being elected President someday than Santorum does. Wink  As I said in my editted post above, Sanford should be considered a winner too since he didn't have to be at the Iowa State Fair.
15217  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Process / Re: Republicans need to change their nomination procedure on: August 14, 2011, 10:37:20 am
I fully understand the difference.  As I pointed out, there is nothing in the ruling of California Democratic Party v. Jones that touches upon open primaries. California Democratic Party v. Jones dealt narrowly with a specific topic, the blanket primary.  As such, then at most it would be of relevance to the question of whether voting in one party's presidential primary would preclude a voter being able to vote in a different party's primary for the other offices that was held on a different day but as part of the same campaign cycle.  (I.e., if despite being held on different dates, the two primaries should be considered as a single one.)

The question of whether States hold open or closed primaries is at present a political decision, not a judicial one.

However, since you brought up the case and the footnotes of California Democratic Party v. Jones discuss open primaries I looked at them to see if any tea leaves might be there to be read if a case involving the legality of the the open primary were brought.

Of course, there is a simple non-judicial way for the Republicans (or the Democrats) to close their nomination process.  Pay for it themselves instead of having the government subsidize it.  I'd be quite happy to get the government entirely out of the candidate nomination process, but I don't see either of the two major parties being willing to stop sucking from the government teat.
15218  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: Bachmann wins Iowa straw poll on: August 13, 2011, 11:24:34 pm
Winners: Sanford, Santorum, Cain
Losers: Romney, Huntsman

Bachmann needed to place first, which she did, but since that was expected of her, it doesn't really help her.

Paul did what he needed, but not what he wanted, so this was neutral for him as well.

Pawlenty could be classed as a slight loser given the gap between him and the top two, but the gap between him and the next two is enough for this event to be counted as neutral.  Problem is his campaign needs something better than neutral.

Santorum and Cain have to be considered the big winners.  If ether of them had done poorly, their campaigns would be toast now, instead they've done well enough to ensure that will not be folding before the caucuses this winter.

Perry would have needed to do better as a write-in for this to be considered a win, but he did well enough, tho he still has a tough path to the nomination starting so late.

Coming in behind Perry as a write-in can only be classed as a loss for Romney.

Gingrich remains stuck in the back, but his campaign has been doing so poorly of late, this can't be seen as hurting him. Zombies feel no pain.

Huntsman is the big loser as he did worse than McCain did four years ago and he should just throw in the towel now.  Yes, John McCain came back from a 10th place finish at Ames to win the nomination, but Huntsman does not have the name recognition McCain did, nor is the GOP in the mood for a moderate maverick type.

Despite my earlier gaff in using his name instead of Santorum's, I think Sanford has to be considered a winner as well.  Hiking the Appalachian Trail is more enjoyable than going to the Iowa State Fair. Tongue

In short, the top seven from Ames are your Republican contenders, no others need to be bothered with.
15219  General Politics / Economics / Re: Markets not happy on: August 13, 2011, 10:31:33 pm
I looked at the thread on the Iowa debate; it's 27 pages, but they are posted almost live, basically almost as the stuff is happening.  It gives some impression of what's happening, as it is happening. 

Even the most inane responses in that thread are at least providing some commentary that gives insight into what the poster is thinking.  All posting stock and gold index numbers does is increase your post count.
15220  Election Archive / 2012 Elections / Re: The Great Primary Calendar re-shuffle Megathread on: August 13, 2011, 10:30:55 pm
Here's my question to the RNC: Why can't Florida be the first primary in the country?  First, it is an important swing state, being the biggest one out there.  Second, it has a large Hispanic population, which is important because whoever the nominee is will need to have more of their support than McCain did in 2008.  Third, it is a big state, so it will test who has better fundraising power, an important trait for the general election.  And fourth, Iowa and New Hampshire have dominated the process for so long that their voters almost feel entitled.  Let's shake it up a bit.

Having small states go first does enable a wider variety of candidates to test the waters.  If they can attract attention there, they can leverage that into fundraising on a broader level.

However, if the RNC (or the DNC) wants to take back control of their nomination schedule they'll have to start organizing them themselves.  So long as the States are footing the bill, they'll be the ones deciding the schedule.
15221  General Politics / Economics / Re: Markets not happy on: August 12, 2011, 11:14:05 pm
How else are we am I suppose to follow this on a week of literally historic volatility, not to mention, the record high gold prices?  Seriously.

Fixed your post, and it's been pointed out several times how you can do so.  Indeed, you must be getting your numbers from such a place.  If you want to comment on the volatility, then comment on the volatility.  Simply spewing numbers without commentary is just spam.

15222  General Politics / Economics / Re: Markets not happy on: August 12, 2011, 08:06:15 pm
Posting about breaking events on the proper board is not spamming.  These things are poll numbers, except they are ongoing.

It's spam if no one else is interested in it.  Not only can what you have been spamming in this board be easily obtained elsewhere, it can obtained in much more useful forms including charts.  It would be different if you were to include some analysis of why the numbers are what they are each time you spew the numbers, but you don't.

These seven posts made in a period of less than 24 hours the other day are absolutely nothing but spam:

In some good news Dow Futures are only off 24.

Now Dow Futures up 85.  Smiley

Dow now up 145.

Well, Futures were up. 

Well back up, a bit, at 57.

Dow up 143.

Dow up just under 300.

If you were a new poster, you'd probably be halfway to being banned on suspicious of wanting to pad your post count by now.
15223  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Appeals Court rules part of Obamacare unconstitutional...... on: August 12, 2011, 07:51:49 pm

2)If the Supreme Court does review the constitutionality of the mandate, how will they rule?

I think it will be a 4-4-1 split, all conservatives objecting on the basis of the Commerce Clause, with Anthony Kennedy being the deciding vote.

What I want to know is what would happen if Kagan recuses herself and there is a 4-4 deadlock?

Then they keep holding it over for a rehearing until one of them dies, retires, or changes their mind.  This case is coming to the court with divergent opinions from different circuits.  A 4-4 deadlock is not an acceptable option.
15224  General Politics / Book Reviews and Discussion / Re: What Turtledove book should I get? on: August 12, 2011, 07:40:06 pm
Guns of the South in not a TL-191 book.  It has a different POD entirely.  I like the premise, but it buys into the Marble Man mythology of Robert E. Lee way too much for my taste.

However, both Guns of the South and the TL-191 series are more believable that Harry Harrison's Stars and Stripes trilogy.
Really?  I could never really get into TL-191 (they all feel like he was payed per word) but Guns of the South seemed like a natural predecessor.  I've never heard of Harry Harrison, but I guess he's not worth searching.

Harry Harrison has written some stuff worth reading, but Stars and Stripes ain't it.   The Guns of the South opens with a man in mottled clothing and with a strange accent coming into Lee's camp early in 1864 to show him a new rifle he says he can offer in quantity to the Confederacy.  He calls it the AK-47.
15225  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: This court is now is session on: August 12, 2011, 06:15:17 pm
Since we seem to get a new topic each time a lower court ruling happens, I've decided to sticky the topic concerning the constitutionality of the individual mandate and merged the most recent topic into it.

It'll stay stickied until the Supreme Court renders a ruling or the issue is rendered moot by a Republican clean sweep in 2012.
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