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(That's 9% Income Tax, 9% Sales Tax, 9% Corporate VAT)
October 20, 2011 1:11 PM   Subscribe

Effect of Herman Cain's proposed "9-9-9" tax reform plan on average household tax liability. Cain is leading the field of GOP Presidential candidates in polls of Iowa, South Carolina and Florida. Previously 1 2
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (283 comments total) 18 users marked this as a favorite

 
Plus if you turn it upside down, it's the Mark of the Beast. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
posted by mek at 1:13 PM on October 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


As mek may be aware, Michelle Bachmann raised that point at a recent debate.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:15 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


This was how the chart was sent to me earlier today.
posted by empath at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2011 [58 favorites]


9 Pizzas, 9 Toppings, just 9 Dollars.
posted by empath at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


NEIN! NEIN! NEIN!
posted by zarq at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2011 [25 favorites]


I refuse to believe I'm not being trolled by reality.
posted by The Whelk at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2011 [45 favorites]


That's German for "No, No, No."
posted by Floydd at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


empath: "This was how the chart was sent to me earlier today."

That cat's like 9 feet long.
posted by zarq at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sales tax is regressive, film at 11.
posted by jcreigh at 1:18 PM on October 20, 2011


A few years ago, it was Steve Forbes running for president and proposing a tax change that would benefit him substantially. Now it's Herman Cain. They're just more obvious about subverting government for personal benefit.
posted by theora55 at 1:18 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


My screen's too small; I am the 99%.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:18 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Curse you zarq!!
posted by Floydd at 1:18 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cain has denied that his tax plan was inspired by Sim City 4: he gets all his inspiration from Pokémon.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:19 PM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's all academic, anyway. The special interests, lawyers and accounts will prevent this from happening.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:19 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hey, maybe we'll finally get arcologies!
posted by kmz at 1:19 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The problem with this analysis is that it is wrong. Stop mixing apples and oranges.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:20 PM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


According to Business Week, 9-9-9 is just step one. His "real" plan -- the "Fair Tax Plan" -- comes after 9-9-9.
posted by sardonyx at 1:20 PM on October 20, 2011


While I don't follow the Republican struggle for power, Cain does feel like a current popular pick, with no real substance. Bachmann was exciting for a while, then it was Perry. And there was an amusing matched set of polls on CNN a few weeks back, where people were asked to choose one of the current GOP hopefuls, then (another group?) were asked to pit each GOP possible vs Obama, and Cain wasn't the #1 pick vs Obama, even though he was #1 in the GOP free-for-all.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:20 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that should be immediately obvious to anyone with an understanding of our current tax system. My favorite bit of Cain-logic is when he argued that poorer people would adjust their spending to buy more used items. How, exactly, does one purchase used food? Used gasoline?

And no one is talking about Phase 2 at all. I think it's new.
posted by muddgirl at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Oh man I remember Forbes' presidential run, the man always looked like he had a bomb attached to his testicles rigged to explode at any minute.
posted by The Whelk at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


Alan Keyes has to be kicking himself right now for not getting in this year.
posted by empath at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


His "real" plan -- the "Fair Tax Plan" -- comes after 9-9-9.

The "1000" Plan - 100% Tax on Sharia, 0% Tax on Freedoms
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:22 PM on October 20, 2011


That cat's like 9 feet long.

And it's got 9 lives.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:23 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I still see Bachmann taking the candidacy. She appeals to too many aspects of the Republican base, and everybody else has some kind of dealbreaker. Cain's too black, Romney's too mormon and passed socialized health care.
posted by kafziel at 1:23 PM on October 20, 2011


That's German for "No, No, No."

And no one who speaks german could be an evil man.
posted by nomisxid at 1:23 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm denying that my tax plan was inspired by the French Revolution.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:23 PM on October 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Also, I think this is the worst slate of candidates ever fielded for a major party presidential primary.

If the GOP had any shame, they'd just fold up. The only ones that are even remotely qualified to be president are Huntsman and Romney.
posted by empath at 1:24 PM on October 20, 2011 [17 favorites]


my mom thinks this plan is good.
rich people spend more money, so they'll pay more taxes.

my mind explodes at that point. anything i try to say or show to the contrary is "propaganda" by "politicians".

that frightens me because i know there are so many other people who seem reasonable but will go vote for something like this.

she doesn't like any of the other republican candidates except this guy.

i don't even know how to discuss this rationally.
posted by sio42 at 1:24 PM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


I still see Bachmann taking the candidacy. She appeals to too many aspects of the Republican base, and everybody else has some kind of dealbreaker.

You're forgetting Bachmann's clear dealbreaker to conservative primary voters: She doesn't have a penis.
posted by muddgirl at 1:24 PM on October 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


I still see Bachmann taking the candidacy.

I am sorry, but there is absolutely no way this is happening. Have you been following this stuff closely? I do not mean that in a condescending or snarky way, but if you have been, then I have no idea how you arrived at this conclusion.
posted by joe lisboa at 1:25 PM on October 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


The problem with the chart is it is wrong. It does not account for the low income earner's deduction which I am sure will have to be included in the plan. It does not include the Mortgage interest deduction nor the State income and or State sales tax deduction, or the gas tax deduction that some companies can claim, or the fuel savings deductions for adding insulation to your house, or the ... all of which will be negotiated by Senators and Congressmen before anything like this could pass.. You see the problem with a flat tax is it will never be a flat tax.
posted by Gungho at 1:26 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't you guys realize? His 9-9-9 plan was just a joke. It isn't a serious plan. It's just a joke.
posted by crunchland at 1:26 PM on October 20, 2011 [9 favorites]


Cain should tag Palin as his running mate, so they can just cut the Mc and '08 off all those leftover bumperstickers.

But that's probably too environmentally friendly for the GOP...
posted by Sys Rq at 1:26 PM on October 20, 2011 [15 favorites]


9 Pizzas, 9 Toppings, just 9 Dollars.

That's the best fucking plan ever; I'm definitely voting for this Cain fellow. Also, it's a great economic stimulus because with that much pizza, I'm going to need a ton of beer.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:26 PM on October 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


You've got to start to wonder at this point if Cain, Perry, Bacchman, et al. are smiply an attempt to make Romney look sane and grounded by comparison.
posted by schmod at 1:26 PM on October 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


In all seriousness, my understanding of the Cain campaign is that it was basically a promotional tour to sell books and his motivational speaking gigs. He was in no way planning on running an actual campaign.
posted by empath at 1:27 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


muddgirl: "You're forgetting Bachmann's clear dealbreaker to conservative primary voters: She doesn't have a penis."

I guarantee you that if she won the nomination, they'd put an elder statesman in as Vice, the same way they did with Cheney and Bush. The unspoken message would be, "Don't worry. She'll just be a figurehead. The Vice President will hold the reins while she handles light typing, answers the phone and gets her hair and nails done."
posted by zarq at 1:27 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "losers" of this primary will be rewarded with gigs on Fox News, speaking opportunities at $40k a pop, and eternal glory in the hoary hall of the G.O.P. headquarters. You win just for showing up and sticking to script. Sorry Huntsman and Paul.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:28 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bulgaroktonos: " That's the best fucking plan ever; I'm definitely voting for this Cain fellow. Also, it's a great economic stimulus because with that much pizza, I'm going to need a ton of beer."

Have you eaten Godfather's Pizza? That shit is worse than Dominos.
posted by zarq at 1:28 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't you guys realize? His 9-9-9 plan was just a joke. It isn't a serious plan. It's just a joke.

Oh, like his candidacy then?
posted by Floydd at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2011


You see the problem with a flat tax is it will never be a flat tax.

We're not discussing a hypothetical future bill. We're discussing the 9-9-9 plan as laid out by GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain.

I guarantee you that if she won the nomination, they'd put an elder statesman in as Vice, the same way they did with Cheney and Bush.

Sure, but she can't win. There's a reason voters were so desperate to embrace Perry - he looked exactly like Bachmann with one tiny exception.
posted by muddgirl at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


THE FEDERAL RESERVE CAUSES INFLATION! END THE FED!

HERMAN CAIN WANTS TO RAISE THE PRICE OF EVERYTHING BY 9 PERCENT! ELECT HERMAN CAIN!
posted by timdicator at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Overton Candidates?
posted by MikeKD at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


How, exactly, does one purchase used food? Used gasoline?

It's actually a plank of the Republican party to rain down as much used food and gasoline on the country as possible.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:29 PM on October 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


Bachmann is pretty much toast, her momentum in Iowa is gone and predictably, she couldn't help herself from saying crazy shit.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:30 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I imagine that Martin Luther King would have been astonished that an smart, accomplished black man would be permitted to rise to the presidency in 2008. More astonished still that the Republican frontrunner three years later would be a black, willfully ignorant sleazebag
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:30 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


sio42: i don't even know how to discuss this rationally.

Does she file her own taxes? Does she file exemptions? Does she like them? Why? Do other people get more exemptions that she does? Does she feel that's fair to the poor and underprivileged?

Exemptions are good things, when offered reasonably, worded clearly, and applied evenly. The problem is when major corporations can hire tax wizards who find / lobby for loopholes, resulting in zero corporate taxes.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:30 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


the same way they did with Cheney and Bush. --- I don't remember there being any statesmen in the Bush administration. Who did they pick?
posted by crunchland at 1:31 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't you guys realize? His 9-9-9 plan was just a joke. It isn't a serious plan. It's just a joke.

Keep saying that about these insane assholes, a lot of people took that position with the abortion stuff but you know what, they were being serious.

Liberal/progessive/Dems/newspeakwordforNottheTeaParty types should really listen to what these protofacists say, they're not smart enough to bullshit you, this is what they really want to pass.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:31 PM on October 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


Godfather's pizza was GOOD because it was dripping with cheese oil and had more garlic than a garlic pizza with double garlic heavy on the garlic and if the box of garlic fell off the shelf and landed on the pizza well don't worry too much about it. I mean yeah it tasted great but even better was that meetings after a Godfather's lunch were really really short.
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:32 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


You're forgetting Bachmann's clear dealbreaker to conservative primary voters: She doesn't have a penis.

You're forgetting Palin. The right wing is fine with women who know their place and embrace their anti-woman policy.
posted by kafziel at 1:32 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is there any explanation of how they arrived at these numbers, or are we just supposed to take them on faith? I don't believe that anyone knows what the "average household tax liability" would be. The sales tax and VAT (which is what the "business tax" seems to be) would cause people to buy less, so they'd pay lower dollar amounts in taxes than you'd think if you assumed everything else would stay the same. The dramatically altered income tax could also affect people's behavior (not to mention the elimination of all other federal taxes and tax deductions).

Bruce Bartlett, a former economic advisor for Reagan and the first Bush, has a more informative analysis:
the Cain plan would increase the budget deficit without doing anything to stimulate demand, because rich people can already spend as much as they want and are unlikely to spend more even if their taxes are abolished.

The poor and the middle class might increase their spending if they could keep more of their earnings, but they will unquestionably pay more under Phase 2 of the Cain plan. With no tax on capital gains, the rich would pay almost nothing, while elimination of all deductions and credits, as well as imposition of a national sales tax, must necessarily raise taxes on everyone else, especially those not now paying income taxes.

At a minimum, the Cain plan is a distributional monstrosity. The poor would pay more while the rich would have their taxes cut, with no guarantee that economic growth will increase and good reason to believe that the budget deficit will increase.
The conservative National Review has opposed the plan in part because of the excessive burden it would place on the poor. This concern was also voiced by Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich in the last debate, and Mitt Romney expressed concern that the middle class would pay higher taxes.
posted by John Cohen at 1:32 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


empath: "In all seriousness, my understanding of the Cain campaign is that it was basically a promotional tour to sell books and his motivational speaking gigs. He was in no way planning on running an actual campaign."

Also, the 9 PM slot on a major fair and balanced news network.

Not sure where I heard this joke previously, but it's not mine.

And it's not really a "joke" as it is the truth. Cain entered this race with less interest in actual governing than Sarah Palin on her worst/best day. The Palin Road to Fame Through Presidential Campaigning looks really fucking attractive to these people who have no interest in governing or government which is why the race is still so chockablock full of loons. Fox is (relatively) struggling in the ratings and everybody thinks they might be the savior. These people are much more interested in being the next Glenn Beck than they are the next President of the United States.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


T.D. Strange does not watch TDS, apparently. Weird.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Keep saying that about these insane assholes --- I'm guessing you haven't been paying attention to the news this week.
posted by crunchland at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2011


Why doesn't this come up more often? Working "Video" Here
posted by lordaych at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't recall which article I was reading (or even where I read it) but this piece covers some of the same ground. Essentially it was saying Cain has failed to register with certain caucuses (or states -- I don't recall the specifics) and he was still raking it in for giving speeches.

"Cain is making money, alright. Bloomberg News reported on Oct. 17 that his campaign paid more than $65,000 to his personal publishing company to buy copies of his books and pamphlets. In an interview before his address to the Arizona GOP, he told me that he continues to give motivational speeches to corporations at $25,000 a pop even as he campaigns for President. “I’m still doing paid speeches,” he confirmed. “But I have not raised my prices. This economy’s on life support, so I’m very mindful of those companies that would like to have me come and speak. But I’m not gonna take advantage of my newfound popularity just to put more dollars in my pocket.” Even so, Cain estimates that he has earned $250,000 this year through his speeches."

Add that to the book deals and other sales opportunities, I think it's pretty obvious that Cain sees this campaign as a profit-making opportunity.
posted by sardonyx at 1:34 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


This graph is stupid because by giving gross sums in dollars, rather than a percentage, it makes it look like the effect of the tax is vastly biased towards benefiting the rich, and also makes the scale inconvenient.

If you had a tax reform that was midly progressive, you could do exactly the same thing but upside down to make it look like an extreme attempt to soak the rich.

Now, the plan probably is regressive and biased towards benefiting the rich, but that graph doesn't actually tell me that.

For me, the most disturbing thing about Herman Cain is that he says so many insane things, but the main focus of attacks on him is his only sane thing: his recognition that tax rates for many will have to rise.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:34 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


People say "Herman Cain is just joking about x" because Cain specifcally said his idea about an electrified fence on the US border was just a joke... And then the next day said it wasn't a joke.
posted by drezdn at 1:34 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't you guys realize? His 9-9-9 plan was just a joke. It isn't a serious plan. It's just a joke.

Keep saying that about these insane assholes, a lot of people took that position with the abortion stuff but you know what, they were being serious.

Yeah, but didn't you know Cain is pro-choice?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:35 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


you don't go to godfather's for the pizza - you go for the video games and looney toons.
posted by nadawi at 1:36 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're forgetting Palin. The right wing is fine with women who know their place and embrace their anti-woman policy.

Palin, who has never been elected to the presidency or the vice-presidency?

Remember that every famous candidate polls best right before they announce their campaign. Since Palin has never announced a presidential campaign, she's clearly the most electable evar.
posted by muddgirl at 1:36 PM on October 20, 2011


The conservative National Review has opposed the plan in part because of the excessive burden it would place on the poor.

When the NR is worried about the effects your plan have on the poor, you know your plan isn't very good.
posted by drezdn at 1:36 PM on October 20, 2011 [23 favorites]


Also note that I'm talking about GOP primary voters. Palin wasn't announced as the VP candidate until the general election, which is a completely different voting population.
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2011


You see the problem with a flat tax is it will never be a flat tax.

They never are. A real flat tax would involve everyone paying the same amount of money, not the same percentage.

Now that is an idea that really *is* untouchable. Not even the republicans are insane enough to go there.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:37 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as Palin running (or anyone else), is it true that candidates for primaries need to register by the end of October?
posted by drezdn at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2011


The Daily Show has almost lost me as a regular viewer between Jon's painfully forced "But the left does it too!-ism" and thier terrible website which randomly jumps ahead 5-8mins in the show for no apparent reason.

Get it together Comedy Central, else I'll keep missing the thrust of Teahadist snark comments on the internet.
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


This plan is crazy. It might work in Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan, but not America.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:38 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Add that to the book deals and other opportunities, I think it's pretty obvious that Obama sees this campaign as a profit-making opportunity.

There, fixed that for you.

I can't believe the level of naievete that pervades this thread. For the commenter up there that believes that the 999 plan would pass as is, without Congress mucking it up for special interests, well I have a Bridge for sale...
posted by Gungho at 1:39 PM on October 20, 2011


his recognition that tax rates for many will have to rise.

But his way of doing it is the worst possible way in a time of economic distress. By adding on a 9% federal sales tax to state sales tax, you'll discourage buying of things (and note that Cain doesn't mention allowing for not taxing things). So while savings may go up, the big driver of the economy, buying, will go down. Or, people will find ways to buy things without paying the tax (black markets would spring up).
posted by drezdn at 1:40 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


For me, the most disturbing thing about Herman Cain is that he says so many insane things, but the main focus of attacks on him is his only sane thing: his recognition that tax rates for many will have to rise.

Nonsense. Cain's plan would massively reduce Federal revenues, despite raising taxes on the middle class. Don't pretend this guy is a hard-bitten economic pragmatist. He wants to funnel money from the middle class to the rich, pure and simple.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 1:41 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


from the santorum (hehe) link - "You cannot be both personally against abortion while condoning it"

sure you can. and you should. it's the same idea as free speech - "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
posted by nadawi at 1:41 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


It might work in Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan

Does Cain stutter? And if he does (or anyone does), can we please not make fun of him for it?
posted by drezdn at 1:41 PM on October 20, 2011


This chart sums to 101.1%... ?

Please note that criticism of the chart does not equal support of HC999.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:41 PM on October 20, 2011


For the commenter up there that believes that the 999 plan would pass as is, without Congress mucking it up for special interests, well I have a Bridge for sale...

Can you use names? Or are you looking for a windmill to tilt at?

By your logic, since Cain will never, ever be elected President, we don't have to discuss his plan at all.
posted by muddgirl at 1:42 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're forgetting Bachmann's clear dealbreaker to conservative primary voters: She doesn't have a penis.

47% of the country more or less voted for Palin.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:42 PM on October 20, 2011


"Let's say your income tax burden is 30 percent. In fact, let's say it's 27, so it's easily divisible by 9."
"OK."
"And you live in Washington state, where sales tax hovers around 10 percent. Heck, let's just say that it's 9 percent. Remember, we like nines."
"Got it."
"So, your tax burden is really 36 percent. Unless you don't buy anything at all."
"Yes, because 27 + 9 = 36. And I buy stuff. All the time."
"I'm lowering your income tax to 9 percent."
"Whoo! Then my total burden is only 18. It's like I'm getting a raise!"
"But I'm slapping you with a 9 percent sales tax."
"Oh. But OK, that's still 27. It's still lower."
"And then I'm taxing every business at 9 percent."
"Oh."
"Wanna know what they're going to do?"
"Raise prices by 9 percent?"
"Good. So, you're back at 36 percent."
"Bummer."
"I know, right? Want some pizza?"
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:42 PM on October 20, 2011 [21 favorites]


Don't worry, he also has a plan to help the poor. He is just keeping it a secret now so that you attack him for his current plan. Bwa hah ha! You fell right into the trap.
posted by procrastination at 1:43 PM on October 20, 2011


You're forgetting Bachmann's clear dealbreaker to conservative primary voters: She doesn't have a penis.

How do you know?
posted by goethean at 1:43 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Didn't the Beatles put out a song about this on The White Album?
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2011


Even so, Cain estimates that he has earned $250,000 this year through his speeches.

How is that not flat-out bribery?
posted by empath at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Vice President will hold the reins while she handles light typing, answers the phone and gets her hair and nails done."
posted by zarq at 1:27 PM on October 20 [+] [!]

A little compassion please. Have you any idea how long it takes to apply artificial eyelashes?
(Actually, neither do I. I was given some a while ago, but when I got one on, I started laughing so hard I could not continue. However, Hallowe'en is coming...)
posted by Cranberry at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2011


47% of the country more or less voted for Palin.

Again, I am speaking of GOP primary voters. Palin has never campaigned in a national GOP primary, and my guess is that she doesn't want to.

How do you know?

My apologies. The difference between Bachmann and Perry is that Bachmann presents as female, and GOP primary voters, at this time, are desperately looking for an acceptable male-presenting alternative.
posted by muddgirl at 1:45 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I know everybody is hitting the better target, which is that a flat tax on income will screw over lower and middle class earners and give very-high wager earners and investor-income earners a huge cut.

But, seriously, how in the world does a 9% federal sales tax do anything for anybody? I'll be paying around 18% in Los Angeles County for anything I purchase. How does this make sense in a conservative worldview, where the federal government is imposing sales taxes out of nowhere? How in the world can teapartiers even think that this is a good idea? This is blatantly a brand new tax!! Your fast food meal of $10.80 will now be $11.70. Your 99 cent cheeseburger will no longer be $1.08, it'll be $1.17. Your $2,000 TV will no longer be $2,170, it'll be $2,350.
posted by jabberjaw at 1:46 PM on October 20, 2011


"And then I'm taxing every business at 9 percent."
"Oh."
"Wanna know what they're going to do?"
"Raise prices by 9 percent?"


Given how margins work, they'll raise prices closer to 18%. You're now paying 45%. Have some pizza.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:46 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


This 9-9-9 stuff is so fucked up. Did you see the comment on BoingBoing where someone ran the numbers? This will raise taxes anywhere from 5-20% for most everyone in the US, and in the end it will cause a budget deficit of 1 trillion dollars, essentially handed over to the top 0.1-1%.

Cain is also bankrolled by the billionaire Koch Brothers.

Forbes, the last person to want a flat tax was also a billionaire. There's a reason why Cain is pushing for it now.
posted by mathowie at 1:47 PM on October 20, 2011 [25 favorites]


I know that this is a joke, I'm just not yet sure who it is on.
posted by benito.strauss at 1:47 PM on October 20, 2011


jabberjaw - his logic is that, since they're cutting a bunch of other taxes, the price of goods will go down more than 9%.
posted by muddgirl at 1:48 PM on October 20, 2011


Sys Rq: Cain should tag Palin as his running mate, so they can just cut the Mc and '08 off all those leftover bumperstickers.

Or recombine...

Cain McCain 2012!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:48 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


It might work in Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan

Does Cain stutter? And if he does (or anyone does), can we please not make fun of him for it?


Seriously? If so, see here.
posted by mrnutty at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Does Cain stutter? And if he does (or anyone does), can we please not make fun of him for it?

He doesn't stutter, as far as I know. He does, however, harbor a grudge against those dirty Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stanians.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2011


Sales tax is regressive, film at 11.

News flash:

You do realize that across most of "socialist" Europe, there is a VAT (value added tax) from 17% to 25%. The VAT is a sales tax paid at every step of the value chain. Businesses pay it when they buy goods and services and paid by consumers when they buy goods and services.

I find it really odd that only amongst American "progressives" is a national sales tax considered "regressive" and a bad idea.

But than again, real progressives understand that taxation is a method of generating revenue and not a means of punishment.
posted by three blind mice at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2011


In all seriousness, I think Cain just figured that it was better to have a strategy than none at all, like many of his opponents, and his managers didn't actually run the numbers, just like they figured none of us would.
posted by crunchland at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Alan Keyes has to be kicking himself right now for not getting in this year.

Except we've already seen Obama vs. Keyes fought, and the result was Senator Obama.

You see the problem with a flat tax is it will never be a flat tax.

Also, it would be terribly wrong. 9% of your income hurts a lot more if you make $5,000 a year than if you make $5,000,000, because the cost of the basics of life are roughly constant.

Not all of the examples you mention are even bad ideas! One of the primary tools the government has to try to produce behavioral change is financial. It's right that the government can give you tax breaks for insulating your home, dammit. If you take that away, it'd increase the pressure on government to pass laws to the same effect, replacing soft power with hard power, and oh the howling that would be heard of that happened.
posted by JHarris at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Would I be right in saying that all these stupid ass candidates gaining any traction is simply a factor of how much everyone hates Mitt Romney?
posted by Artw at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Also, yes, I see now the Alan Keyes thing from upthread is a joke. I seem to be a humorous bastard today. Sigh.)
posted by JHarris at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2011


Trust me, Gungho, I'm cynical about politicians of all stripes. I'm just no so naïve as to believe that everybody running has exactly the same motive. Some prefer the attention and the spotlight (I think Palin is a prime example of this). Some actually want to win, just to get their hands on the power a public office can give them. I'll even admit there is likely a handful who actually want to do good, although I suspect they're as rare as hens' teeth.

While I don't doubt Cain would enjoy the power, he strikes me as somebody who is happy with the attention and the spotlight and who wouldn't be broken-hearted if he didn't win the nomination. As others have said up-thread, just the publicity from this campaign alone should boost him into a regular spot on Fox or provide him with an even greater range of better-paying speaking opportunities.
posted by sardonyx at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2011


(Humorless. Goddammit.)
posted by JHarris at 1:51 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why doesn't this come up more often? Working "Video" Here

What. The. Fuck.
posted by odinsdream at 1:52 PM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


I find it really odd that only amongst American "progressives" is a national sales tax considered "regressive" and a bad idea.

It's a fucking bad idea if you want to lower the national income tax to support it. Our income tax is much lower than Europe's.
posted by JHarris at 1:53 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


How does this make sense in a conservative worldview, where the federal government is imposing sales taxes out of nowhere?

/puts on my conservative hat

It's a use tax. You control what you pay, because you control what you buy. If you wanna buy a new car, you gotta pay. But no one's forcing you to buy a new car.

That's an oversimplification, but you get the picture. Conservatives like individualism, agency and control.

Except for that whole gay marriage thing, but that's another thread.

Contrast that with an income tax, where you have lesser agency -- your wages are garnished right off the top, before you even see a dime. In fact, it's illegal to pay your income tax in an annual lump sum (without undergoing some complicated shenanigans), because the government needs a steady stream of income, not an annual payment. Also, the government makes money each year holding your refund for you, until you file a return.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:53 PM on October 20, 2011


For the commenter up there that believes that the 999 plan would pass as is, without Congress mucking it up for special interests, well I have a Bridge for sale...

You stole it, didn't you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:53 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I think by this point, we've found just about every way possible to monetize our political systems, and campaigning is no exception. Lots of folks just get into running for office for the money and other perks now. It's really almost mawkishly sad.
posted by saulgoodman at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Income cap, people.

If someone can't scrape by on, say, a hundred million dollars, tough shit for them.

Salary caps will follow, and hey presto, the proles get some of the leftovers. Problem solved.

You're welcome!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:54 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hope Cain gets the nomination mainly because I figure that the specter of TWO black guys running for president will cause plenty of racists to throw their hads up in surrender/leave the country/keel over with heart attacks.

Other than that he's fucking screwball.
posted by jonmc at 1:56 PM on October 20, 2011 [14 favorites]


The day Herman Cain receives the GOP nomination is the day I literally eat my shoes.

In all seriousness, my understanding of the Cain campaign is that it was basically a promotional tour to sell books and his motivational speaking gigs. He was in no way planning on running an actual campaign.

Isn't this true for ALL campaigns now?

The right wing is fine with women who know their place and embrace their anti-woman policy.

There is a minimum level of attractiveness, and they we know now that high heels are an absolute requirement. Wifely submission too.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:56 PM on October 20, 2011


> My favorite bit of Cain-logic is when he argued that poorer people would adjust their spending to buy more used items.

So he's stealing ideas from David "Dented Cans Of Tuna" Tsubouchi now?
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:56 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


"9-9-9 / the number of the Cain / S-a-cri-fice / the beleaguered middle class"
posted by KokuRyu at 1:57 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


He doesn't stutter...

I stand corrected. I had seen a few comments with the same tone and got the wrong impression because I didn't know their source.
posted by drezdn at 2:01 PM on October 20, 2011


Again, I am speaking of GOP primary voters. Palin has never campaigned in a national GOP primary, and my guess is that she doesn't want to.

I guess your assumption is predicated on the fact that there hasn't been a Republican woman running for office before. But in a post-Palin world, GOP primary voters would probably have less of an issue with Bachmann that you argue. She's a white, fundamentalist Christian who hits almost all of the Republican talking points with ease. The penis factor is probably not much of issue, if voters think she can beat Obama.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:02 PM on October 20, 2011


How, exactly, does one purchase used food?

Here's an instructional video.
posted by Kadin2048 at 2:03 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


It might work in Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan

Does Cain stutter? And if he does (or anyone does), can we please not make fun of him for it?


Can we please not misinterpret other commenters?

I didn't write the first comment, but it wasn't a reference to Cain stuttering. (I've never noticed him stuttering, and I've watched every debate.) It was a reference to a specific comment Cain made where, I believe, he jokingly mangled the name of Uzbekistan to send a message that he's not concerned with whether he knows anything about "insigificant countries." Just like John McCain wasn't stuttering when he said: "Bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb Iran." He was joking.
posted by John Cohen at 2:04 PM on October 20, 2011


This "tax the poor, spare the rich" mentality (which flat taxes accomplish quite nicely) has been festering in the GOP for awhile now, it's just become more explicit. There's an overt Randian narrative of the poor as a shiftless, lazy "moocher class" of "takers" that's sucking the life out of "job creators," that we should "broaden the tax base" before ever considering the "class warfare" of raising rates on billionaires, and that the poor aren't really poor because they have such luxuries as refrigerators and air conditioning.

It was laid out quite clearly in this pair of Daily Show segments:

Warren Buffet vs. Wealthy Conservatives

The Poor's Free Ride Is Over

Come for the "Warren Buffet is a socialist," stay for the "poor people are animals."
posted by Rhaomi at 2:04 PM on October 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


I like how he said there's a part he's keeping secret that will make it work for poor people.

Can you imagine if Nancy Pelosi said there was a part of the healthcare bill that everyone would like but she's not allowed to tell people about? People don't trust policy they don't think they're able to fully analyze. It's not the new iPhone.

Of course, this assumes Cain actually wanted to do this from the start. I think he really just is realizing that the 999 plan sells well at first glance (three low-sounding taxes replacing a convoluted system!), but won't stand up to scrutiny, so it needs to be seriously tweaked.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:04 PM on October 20, 2011


I guess your assumption is predicated on the fact that there hasn't been a Republican woman running for office before. But in a post-Palin world, GOP primary voters would probably have less of an issue with Bachmann that you argue.

I can see what you're saying, but at the same time this primary hasn't played out that way at all. The simple question is: If Bachmann is the darling of the conservative GOP (the main population which votes in the GOP primary), why isn't she polling better? Why is the conservative branch of the GOP desperately searching for an ideologically-pure candidate to support? Bachmann is about as ideologically pure as they're going to get, plus she's pretty and charming to boot. So why isn't she doing better?
posted by muddgirl at 2:07 PM on October 20, 2011



Would I be right in saying that all these stupid ass candidates gaining any traction is simply a factor of how much everyone hates Mitt Romney?


It seems like Mitt is to the Republicans like Kerry was in 2004, few are excited about him, but he'll probably get the nomination. The race to beat Romney seems like it's actually a battle between to huge factions in the Republican party. Romney represents the traditional Republican party, most of the other candidates represent the farther right tea part views.

Personally, I hope (as a lefty) Romney gets the nomination, because at least, if Obama were to lose to him, Romney seems like a reasonable person. His flip flopping, to me, shows that there's a chance he won't just do whatever the right wants him to do.
posted by drezdn at 2:07 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


This graph is stupid because by giving gross sums in dollars, rather than a percentage, it makes it look like the effect of the tax is vastly biased towards benefiting the rich....

No, the tax BEING vastly biased towards benefiting the rich is what makes it look like the effect of the tax is vastly biased towards benefiting the rich.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:09 PM on October 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


three blind mice: "...You do realize that across most of "socialist" Europe, there is a VAT (value added tax) from 17% to 25%. The VAT is a sales tax paid at every step of the value chain. Businesses pay it when they buy goods and services and paid by consumers when they buy goods and services.

I find it really odd that only amongst American "progressives" is a national sales tax considered "regressive" and a bad idea...
"

Not an economist, but my understanding is that most VATs (including those of Europe) have some kind of provision to give a portion (or all) of the tax paid back to people with lower income levels. For instance, here in Canada people in the lowest tax brackets get GST rebate checks on a quarterly basis. That way the burden of the VAT falls more squarely on those with a higher income, who can more readily afford it. Cain's proposal (I think) has no such provision.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:11 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


his recognition that tax rates for many will have to rise.

Actually, according to the Bruce Bartlett article I linked above, tax revenues would decrease under 9/9/9. So I don't think fiscal responsibility is what's driving Cain.

Rather, Cain seems to be motivated by sheer numerology and sloganing. The numbers are the same and it sounds good, so the plan must be good. Cain explained his reasoning: “If 10% is good enough for God, then 9% should be just fine for the Federal Government.”
posted by John Cohen at 2:13 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Bachmann is often saying what the conservatives want to hear, but she has a bad filter, saying many things that are too extreme for even most conservatives. It might be her sex that's losing her votes, but I think it's more likely that it's her inability to not put her foot in her mouth.

She also peaked to early, becoming a front runner so early, that once she lost that status it's hard for her to regain any momentum.

Perry repeated right wing talking points, but has killed himself in the debates by not being quick enough on his feet.

Cain is good at repeating right wing talking points but laughs off the crazier bits. He may be polling well, but the money isn't coming in to back it up.
posted by drezdn at 2:14 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


> Plus if you turn it upside down, it's the Mark of the Beast. WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

And it's red all the way down!!!
posted by mmrtnt at 2:16 PM on October 20, 2011


So why isn't she doing better?

Money, probably. Romney and Perry are pretty flush, which makes it easier to go the long haul. I'm not saying you're wrong, but I just think Palin's numbers in 2008 suggest that gender is perhaps less of an issue now than it was in races past.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:18 PM on October 20, 2011


The day Herman Cain receives the GOP nomination is the day I literally eat my shoes.
I know who I'm voting for!
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:20 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The plan is so plain silly that I won't discuss it. It has been taken apart by competent economists and accountants. My comment is an aside. I note that after the most recent debate, all the chatter was on Romney versus Perry, as though Cain were not even a contender any longer... Why so?
posted by Postroad at 2:21 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a weird world where"demonstrable insanity" isn't even near to being a credible answer to that question.
posted by Artw at 2:22 PM on October 20, 2011


My favourite thing to do with this thread is to wait for nine new comments before reading further.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:23 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


It might be her sex that's losing her votes, but I think it's more likely that it's her inability to not put her foot in her mouth.

Isn't it most likely that it's both? That female candidates are going to be held to a higher standard, so minor gaffes like historical errors are reported and remembered more often than gaffes made by their colleagues? I guess it's possible that no one remember's Perry's 16th century Revolutionary War gaffe that happened last week because he's already a has-been.
posted by muddgirl at 2:23 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I almost think that all the rest of the Republican candidates are just in it to make it seem like a real race and make Romney look rational in comparison. I can't see the nomination going to anyone but Mitt.
posted by octothorpe at 2:23 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I find it really odd that only amongst American "progressives" is a national sales tax considered "regressive" and a bad idea.

All consumption taxes are regressive, this is not a matter of opinion, but of mathematics.
posted by atrazine at 2:24 PM on October 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


as though Cain were not even a contender any longer... Why so?

Because, among other things, Cain does not even have minimal campaign infrastructure in place in key primary/caucus states. His really, really is a glamorized book tour that accidentally has delivered him (temporary) front runner status. He does not have the money or the ground game in place to actually deliver votes when they count.

I could well be wrong, but I would be astonished if the present enthusiasm (as much as it amounts to an implicit protest vote against Romney) for Cain translates into caucus and primary victories when and where they count.

Money still matters and that is why most folks are looking at this as a two-man race (Perry v. Romney) with Romney still the odds-on favorite to get the nod.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:25 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


The problem with the theory that the conservative GOP wouldn't vote for a woman even if she was the ideal candidate is that it hasn't been tested yet. No such woman has run.

I don't give the conservative values wing of the GOP much credit, but I believe that if there was a female standard bearer who could carry the flag and not sound like a moron, they would line up behind her.

There are plenty of people who are anti-Democratic party who don't care about the reality of the general election and would vote for the nasty, anti-Dem flavor of the week, no questions asked, male or female, maybe even non-white.

However, those who tend to be involved with the caucusing and primaries -- who are not necessarily the same as the loudest nutbags -- also realize that this is the real world and that, while you don't have to be a genius to get the nomination, you can't seem less informed than Palin. Which is how Bachmann seemed when the spotlight was on her.

(And the reason I don't think this is a male/female thing is because Rick Perry isn't polling as well as expected either after wilting the same way in the bright lights; he's slightly higher because he has the money and the machine behind him, and perhaps that's a gendered thing.... but I don't think it's necessarily about the voters.))

never used baby shoes: "My favourite thing to do with this thread is to wait for nine new comments before reading further."

Likewise, I was very pleased that my earlier comment, by pure luck, posted at 3:33 my time.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:25 PM on October 20, 2011


I think this is turning into an election more about voting against the other party. Neither side seems that enthused about their own candidate(s).

I mean, the Tea Party/GOP like Cain now, but eventually, they'll have to choose somebody independents will like. Cain's inexperience is starting to show, as he tries to avoid giving specific policy stances, and his tax plan is ridiculousness with a catchy name. I know it would never pass as is, but the fact he would even propose such a plan is looking quite callous. I predict that we might see Santorum get some time in the sun (eww) until the Tea Party realizes that a social conservative is not a good idea at the moment, what with roughly 50% of Americans being for gay marriage, and most people really wanting polticians to focus on jobs. I think we're bound to see Romney win, and then see Democrats voting against Romney and Republicans voting against Obama.

This type of election seems like a good case for Alternative Voting. That way, Tea Partiers could have their first choices be their favorite third partier (maybe a bunch of write-ins for Ron Paul), and Democrats frustrated with Obama who want to send a message but not give Romney a better chance could vote for Nader or whatever other third party they like.
posted by mccarty.tim at 2:27 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've found one fun argument for deflating the American conservative "replace income tax by sales tax" crowd : Any national sales tax isn't might lower income taxes over the short term, but longer term our taxation rates are largely psychological. You might find that people who don't feel rich balk at paying 30% income tax. Yet, once their paying 9% VAT and 9% income tax they'll permit that VAT and income tax to rise to 25% and 30% again, respectively.

I personally feel our taxes should be consolidated as a VAT with a rate that's progressive in corporate size, i.e. larger companies pay more VAT. I'd hope such a tax might penalize monopolies. Inheritance tax and income tax must still exist to prevent creating a monied aristocracy, but only for the upper income brackets, maybe 1%, maybe 20%, whatever.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:29 PM on October 20, 2011


What particular merit is there to Michele Bachmann that it's surprising that she's not polling well, so we have to resort to sexism as an explanation? Yes she's very conservative, but so is Rick Santorum, who's consistently polled worse than Bachmann. Santorum has more experience in political office (and his experience was higher-ranking than Bachmann's: Senate rather than House). He probably started out with better name recognition than Bachmann. They've both done pretty well in most of the debates, so that isn't it. Bachmann and Santorum are doing poorly because there are always candidates who do poorly.

Why did Bachmann surge and then fall? I don't know, but the same thing happened with Perry, and he isn't a woman. Candidates are exciting when they're brand-new, but often they can't sustain this appeal. If the Republican party were so overwhelmingly sexist, Bachmann wouldn't have even had a rise in the first place. I'm sure there are some Republicans who won't vote for her because of her gender, but there are others who will vote for her because of her gender.

There's also no general rule that the Republicans end up nominating the most conservative candidate. For all the talk about how much Republicans crave a die-hard conservative, they often end up nominating someone who's perceived as relatively moderate, like McCain or Dole.
posted by John Cohen at 2:30 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


No matter the tax plan, you will get screwed.
posted by amazingstill at 2:31 PM on October 20, 2011


I personally feel our taxes should be consolidated as a VAT with a rate that's progressive in corporate size, i.e. larger companies pay more VAT

Progressive corporate taxes are pretty much impossible by the way, which is why nobody uses them.
It works on natural persons because, they can't split themselves into tiny little pieces to receive all their income in the lowest tax band. Corporate entities can and will do that.
posted by atrazine at 2:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I find it really odd that only amongst American "progressives" is a national sales tax considered "regressive" and a bad idea.

A national VAT is regressive. There's not any serious debate about that fact.

You can mitigate it some by providing rebates to lower-income people to counteract the fact that basically 100% of their income is subject to VAT.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 2:35 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


The problem with the theory that the conservative GOP wouldn't vote for a woman even if she was the ideal candidate is that it hasn't been tested yet. No such woman has run.

I never said that the conservative GOP wouldn't vote for an ideal woman candidate. I said that Michelle Bachmann would never be elected by current Primary GOP voters, even though she is about as ideal as Perry, who is a national front-runner when looking at financials.

When given the choice between a perfect female candidate and an imperfect male candidate, your guess is as good as mine. But that's not the situation here - the situation here is comparing an imperfect female candidate to imperfect male candidates.

He probably started out with better name recognition than Bachmann.

He started out with incredibly negative name recognition.

they often end up nominating someone who's perceived as relatively moderate, like McCain or Dole

Even in the case of McCain, his moderate appearance was crafted for the general election. I'm a bit too young to discuss Dole. Any candidate who's nominated, except for maybe Romney or (unlikely) Huntsman is going to take a swing to the center at some point.
posted by muddgirl at 2:38 PM on October 20, 2011


zarq: "empath: "This was how the chart was sent to me earlier today."

That cat's like 9 feet long.
"

NINE THOUSAND!
posted by symbioid at 2:38 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


I hope after Cain collapses Paul gets a chance to be the main not-Romney for a few weeks, he deserves his turn.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:41 PM on October 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Has Gingrich had his turn yet? That will be very entertaining.
posted by muddgirl at 2:43 PM on October 20, 2011


This graph is stupid because by giving gross sums in dollars, rather than a percentage, it makes it look like the effect of the tax is vastly biased towards benefiting the rich, and also makes the scale inconvenient.

Okay, here's a percentage version based on the original Tax Policy Center data. The overall result is the same: the richer you are the better (or at least less badly) you do under the 999 plan, but only the top 20% and above actually benefit.
posted by jedicus at 2:51 PM on October 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's pretty weird that there's bipartisan horror at a VAT but some grudging support for a retail sales tax, which is to the best of my knowledge an outdated, idiotic version of the same. I suppose there is a trade off in that the government needs more information to administer a VAT, but it's logical, somewhat self-enforcing, and to the best of my knowledge has basically won the day in every country in the world aside from the US. Just call it the Right to Consume Tax and be done with it.
posted by ~ at 2:59 PM on October 20, 2011


Has Gingrich had his turn yet? That will be very entertaining.

Maybe the race should be just him and Romney. Newt vs. Mitt. Sounds like a kids video game.
posted by jonmc at 3:09 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The guy is on a fucking book tour, he never had any intention to win the presidency. He doesn't even have a real campaign organization. The only reason he's doing well now is because he is charismatic and the media gets better ratings when they bring him on.
posted by jonclegg at 3:09 PM on October 20, 2011


Can we please not misinterpret other commenters?

Sir, I too am prone to misinterpreting other commenters, and I would hope that you so-called "progressives" on Metafilter would at least try to foster a more welcoming and inclusive environment to people like us. You, sir, are mocking misinterpretation from your privileged position of being "in on the joke." Unpack your correctly-intepreted backpack.
posted by Hoopo at 3:10 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


President Romney.

You've got 15 months to get used to the idea. You can start now.
posted by Trurl at 3:11 PM on October 20, 2011


You're forgetting the Mormon thing, Trurl. We can only handle one first lady at a time.
posted by jonmc at 3:12 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


But than again, real progressives understand that taxation is a method of generating revenue and not a means of punishment.

A consumption tax is meant to deter consumption (and it does—for example, research on alcohol consumption in Europe shows association between decreased drinking and higher taxation). And Europe's economic and social situation is wildly different from that of the United States. For one, we don't have a public health system like that of European nations, and so a regressive VAT-like tax would hit poor people even harder.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:16 PM on October 20, 2011


We can only handle one first lady at a time.

I guess that takes care of Gingrich. hi-yo
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:20 PM on October 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


Okay, here's a percentage version based on the original Tax Policy Center data. The overall result is the same: the richer you are the better (or at least less badly) you do under the 999 plan, but only the top 20% and above actually benefit.

That does definitely still make the same point over who the winners and losers are. But the original graph conveys that also while also driving home that it will cost the government a big pile of money.
posted by aubilenon at 3:24 PM on October 20, 2011


President Romney.

You've got 15 months to get used to the idea. You can start now.


Never happen. The fundamentalists won't vote for a non-Christian, and to them a Mormon isn't Christian. The teabaggers won't vote for someone who passed socialized health care. He's getting headlines, but I'd put money down that he won't get the nomination.
posted by kafziel at 3:24 PM on October 20, 2011


Has Gingrich had his turn yet?

Seriously, who else is left? Rick Santorum, FFS?

Expect to hear increasing talk about how "smart" Newt is...
posted by Trurl at 3:26 PM on October 20, 2011


I'd put money down that [Romney] won't get the nomination.

You can if you want to. (Link is to Intrade, which current has Romney taking the nomination at 66.2%)
posted by jcreigh at 3:29 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Pretty sure whoever the American perople can get even moderatly enthused about will win. Whether it's deserved or not that's not going to be Obama, or any Democrat for that mater.

Even running against Mitt Romney would be a challenge - though he doesn't have the more visible charged up supporters of the more insane candidates he does have the backing of a well organised and politically active cult. Obama has... well, some pissed off hippies who are going to vote against him out of spite, and modertae support from some moderately moderate americans who are still wondering where the fuck all the bubble money went.
posted by Artw at 3:31 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Link is to Intrade, which current has Romney taking the nomination at 66.2%)

I have a hard time believing that the people out there in Flyover Country who would actually be voting for Romney or Perry have ever heard of Intrade. Therefore, this statistic comes with a massive grain of salt.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:33 PM on October 20, 2011


President Romney.

You've got 15 months to get the vote out for President Obama. You can start now.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:35 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Romney gets the nomination, I think it's ultimately going to come down to whether the hard-core bible-thumpin' Christians' hate-on for Obama is strong enough to overcome their unwillingness to vote for a cultist.
posted by chimaera at 3:35 PM on October 20, 2011


The forces that produced a Kerry will produce a Romney.

And the Republicans can hold their noses as well as Democrats. They'll vote for the nominee. Period.

So it will come down to independents - who will be invited to consider if they're better off than they were four years ago.

What do you suppose they'll say?
posted by Trurl at 3:37 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Don't you guys realize? His 9-9-9 plan was just a joke. It isn't a serious plan. It's just a joke.

I would love to hear Public Enemy's "911 is a Joke" rerecorded as "9-9-9 is a Joke," with clips of the Republican candidates eviscerating it from the debate the other night in place of Flava Flav's contributions. Especially anything Perry said to Cain that started with "Brother."
posted by Joey Michaels at 3:37 PM on October 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


Sure, but she can't win. There's a reason voters were so desperate to embrace Perry - he looked exactly like Bachmann with one tiny exception.

Heh, heh. I see what you did there muddgirl.
posted by notreally at 3:40 PM on October 20, 2011


What do you suppose they'll say?

I dunno, but as a citizen who (presumably) actually cares about who occupies the White House for the next four years, you have plenty of opportunities to influence the discourse. And not just in a pox-on-both-houses cynical sideline-sitting kinda way.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:40 PM on October 20, 2011


The penis factor is probably not much of issue, if voters think she can beat Obama.

Does not one follow the other? A lot of people think she can't beat Obama b/c she is a woman.

Now, the plan probably is regressive and biased towards benefiting the rich, but that graph doesn't actually tell me that.

You're not reading it correctly.

Even so, Cain estimates that he has earned $250,000 this year through his speeches.

How is that not flat-out bribery?


Huh? He was paid for his services, i.e. speaking. If he makes no promises for additional retribution, how is it bribery? How is it any different than any other job?

My comment is an aside. I note that after the most recent debate, all the chatter was on Romney versus Perry, as though Cain were not even a contender any longer... Why so?

Fear of a black Republican. Honestly, I bet that is the #1 reason no one takes him seriously. I can name J.C. Watts and Alan Keyes. Keyes is nutty, and Watts seems like an extreme outlier.

Never happen. The fundamentalists won't vote for a non-Christian, and to them a Mormon isn't Christian. The teabaggers won't vote for someone who passed socialized health care. He's getting headlines, but I'd put money down that he won't get the nomination.

Romney probably can't beat Obama, but he can win the nomination, if only because the rest of the field is so weak. It's Romney or Perry. This is the GOP. They took McCain, remember?

You've got 15 months to get the vote out for President Obama. You can start now.

Eh, Obama, Romney, what's the difference.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:40 PM on October 20, 2011


So it will come down to independents

Well, I suppose everyone will need a laugh by that point.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on October 20, 2011


I have a hard time believing that the people out there in Flyover Country who would actually be voting for Romney or Perry have ever heard of Intrade. Therefore, this statistic comes with a massive grain of salt.

YEP. JUST A BUNCH OF IDIOTS OUT HERE IN FLYOVER COUNTRY BANGING OUT COMMENTS ON OUR AOL-ENABLED WEBTV TRYING TO FIGURE OUT MAGNETS AND SHIT. YOUR MARKETS THINGER IS REALLY CONFUSING.

Sometimes my Heartlands Are Stupid box overflows and I have to dump it out. This was one of those times. Don't take it personally. Yes, I live with a lot of politically stupid people. No, this stupidity is not universal. Many are quite internet savvy.
posted by Fezboy! at 3:41 PM on October 20, 2011 [16 favorites]


President Romney
President Obama

Neither of these sounds particularly appealing.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:42 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fezboy is right - We should really incorportae the fact that most of the rest of America is pretty stupid too into our modelling.
posted by Artw at 3:42 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whatever you do, don't vote for Randall Flagg's '9 and 19' plan
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I find it disheartening that the Republicans have already co-opted the race by starting their circus so early. 4 weeks (or whatever) of back-to-back debates, and last night's catfight is the lead story even on Morning Edition.
posted by phrits at 3:44 PM on October 20, 2011


And South Carolina is decades away from voting for a Black Man as POTUS. On the billboards down that way, "socialist" is just an alternate spelling for the N-word.
posted by phrits at 3:45 PM on October 20, 2011


Eh, Obama, Romney, what's the difference.

Neither of these sounds particularly appealing.

For a second I almost gave MetaFilter the benefit of the doubt on Obama Derangement Syndrome. You guys never cease to amaze. Albeit, predictably.

A-meh-ze.
posted by joe lisboa at 3:45 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry my politics are too liberal for your liking, joe.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:48 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


The American left wing, the most awesomely pathetic people on the planet. They live only for defeat.
posted by Artw at 3:48 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I find it disheartening that the Republicans have already co-opted the race by starting their circus so early. 4 weeks (or whatever) of back-to-back debates, and last night's catfight is the lead story even on Morning Edition.

Obama started his campaign on May 2, 2011. If he were smart, he'd save some cash and just run that original ad over and over.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:48 PM on October 20, 2011


The American left wing, the most awesomely pathetic people on the planet. They live only for defeat.

- The Democratic Party. (P.S. Join us!) lol.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:50 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


You've got 15 months to get the vote out for President Obama. You can start now.

No, thank you. I'm tired of getting punched in the face by him and his supporters.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm just looking forward to hearing the candidates attack each other's health care plans.
posted by Trurl at 3:52 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, somehow the head of a crappy pizza chain somehow seems just about right for America. You take, basically, the idea of a wonderful item (pizza/democracy) sprinkle heavily with all sorts of delicious things (toppings/diverse population), bake and somehow the result is disappointing (Godfathers/America).
posted by edgeways at 3:52 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


entropicamericana: "President Romney
President Obama

Neither of these sounds particularly appealing.
"

None of the above isn't a choice though. You're going to get one of the two.
posted by octothorpe at 3:53 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


None of the above isn't a choice though. You're going to get one of the two.

Probably, but if more people pick a third party, the Democrats may one day have to finally sit up and take notice. Holding your nose and voting Democrat doesn't communicate anything to them about you holding your nose. They just don't care. You were just another sucker who kept them in power, as far as they are concerned.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:56 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


Just so long as you know that your moment of petty triumph is likely going to lead to a whole bunch of suck for everyone else.
posted by Artw at 3:57 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


None of the above isn't a choice though. You're going to get one of the two.

Don't blame me, I voted for Kodos.
posted by entropicamericana at 3:57 PM on October 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


your moment of petty triumph

Someone pissed off the wrong hippies...
posted by Trurl at 3:59 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have a hard time believing that the people out there in Flyover Country who would actually be voting for Romney or Perry have ever heard of Intrade. Therefore, this statistic comes with a massive grain of salt.

Intrade isn't voting; it's gambling by people who think they have it figured out. As was pointed out, there's plenty of money to be taken if you're sure.

President Romney
President Obama


Relevant seeming tidbit from Team of Rivals, a quote from the Montgomery Daily Mail regarding the upcoming election of 1860: "Now what difference is it to the people whether Lincoln or Douglas should be elected? The same ends are sought by each, and we do not see any reason to choose between them."
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:00 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Neither of these sounds particularly appealing. --- Welcome to Presidential politics. It's always been this way.

I mean, you don't think anyone actually wanted to vote for John Kerry, do you?
posted by crunchland at 4:02 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably, but if more people pick a third party, the Democrats may one day have to finally sit up and take notice. Holding your nose and voting Democrat doesn't communicate anything to them about you holding your nose.

If the same people voted in primaries it'd be a big deal. Some vote numbers from recent IL elections:And that was a hotly contested primary in a very organized state.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:05 PM on October 20, 2011


Same old tired arguments, same people, different names. I think this is the last political thread I'll read here.
posted by edgeways at 4:05 PM on October 20, 2011


Intrade isn't voting; it's gambling by people who think they have it figured out. As was pointed out, there's plenty of money to be taken if you're sure.

You're missing the point. Intrade is gambling on how people will vote. In other words, it's the Internet-savvy saying what they think the non-Internet savvy will do.

And if you really knew what they'd do ... why are you sitting here gambling on the Internet when you could be making a fortune selling things to them. ;-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:05 PM on October 20, 2011


I mean, tea-party republicans are in congress because they won primaries in safe districts, not by conspiracy. That's how you shift power.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:07 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Probably, but if more people pick a third party, the Democrats may one day have to finally sit up and take notice.

You mean like in '68, '80, '92, '96, 2000 and 2004?
posted by octothorpe at 4:08 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


And if you really knew what they'd do ... why are you sitting here gambling on the Internet when you could be making a fortune selling things to them. ;-)

Which of those two can I do in my underwear?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:09 PM on October 20, 2011


In other words, it's the Internet-savvy saying what they think the non-Internet savvy will do.

It's not like this is some alien species. I think intrade goes on crazy bends, but most people putting largish money into it do some research. Again, if you think they're wrong take their money.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 4:09 PM on October 20, 2011


It would be really cool to see an analysis of past InTrade settlements. What percentage people got right and by what margin, etc.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 4:12 PM on October 20, 2011


Same old tired arguments, same people, different names. I think this is the last political thread I'll read here.

At Daily Kos, they tag this kind of thing GBCW - for "Goodbye Cruel World".

Maybe try the Ron Paul message boards. That should offer some fresh perspectives.
posted by Trurl at 4:15 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


To the liberals who intend to stay home or vote third party: Please, I implore you, turn out to the Democratic Primaries and Caucuses and vote against Obama. Your voice will be heard. After that, turn out at the general election and vote for the only realistic alternative to the pulsating mass of evil that is the modern Republican Party. Supporting the least bad option when other options are exhausted, in order to avert catastrophe, is the most principled stand you can take here.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 4:20 PM on October 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


Intrade should hire the people from the OKCupid blog.
posted by box at 4:21 PM on October 20, 2011


Supporting the least bad option when other options are exhausted, in order to avert catastrophe, is the most principled stand you can take here.

You're talking to people who were actually upset about DADT getting repealled because it was done in too Obama-y a manner, I don't think you're getting much traction with that one.
posted by Artw at 4:24 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably, but if more people pick a third party

So, basically, if more people thought like you think, things would work out. It's funny how that works.

To the liberals who intend to stay home or vote third party: Please, I implore you, turn out to the Democratic Primaries and Caucuses and vote against Obama.

Hey, I like Obama. He's probably the only reason I'm still not drifting around as an independent. The only person I would vote for president other than Obama is me.

Speaking of which, you think with the Internet, there'd be some way to hack the presidential ballot system and get enough money, signatures, or both to get maybe at least a hundred Americans on the ballot for an election, just to screw with the parties.
posted by FJT at 4:30 PM on October 20, 2011


President Romney.

You've got 15 months to get used to the idea. You can start now.


This assumes that Republicans can get fired up about Romney. They can't. You know this, so why are pushing this garbage? A lot of Repubs are going to stay home, especially the Tea Party. Sure, they'll play to the cameras for attention, but they'll make the calculation about keeping in Obama in office as the boogieman as they try to cement more power on the local levels.

Hippies hitting each other and blaming Obama for that. The rest of the base will sigh and vote the ticket.

Independents will sigh and break for Obama, 'cause Romney is too Wall Street and you can tell it by looking at or listening to him. People may be pissed with Obama, but they're not putting Wall Street in the driver's seat.

Either that or the Tea Party launches a third party candidate and then it doesn't matter if Obama is fucking a live boy and dead girl in the same room, the prize is his.

I'm on the list for plastic ware and drinks. You'll be bringing the "Dammit I'm right" cake, as usual? See you then.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:39 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Independents will sigh and break for Obama, 'cause Romney is too Wall Street...

Have you a Plan B?
posted by Trurl at 4:42 PM on October 20, 2011


Well, you can bring a salad, but everyone does enjoy eating your cake.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:42 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


You've got 15 months to get the vote out for President Obama. You can start now.

No, thank you. I'm tired of getting punched in the face by him and his supporters.


I'm pretty sure that if and when the Republicans take the White House, you'll still be getting the fist. It'll just be going somewhere even less comfortable.

This election is going to be a battle between Romney and Obama, and will be decided on the grounds of which side manages to convince itself that the outcome doesn't really matter. Enough social conservatives and fundamentalists are turned off by Romney, Obama will win. Enough Leftists take the Third Party/conscientious abstention road, Romney will win. I do wonder who the running mate on the Republican side will be, though. Cain or Bachmann might make it into that slot in an attempt to showcase party diversity, or Perry might climb on board as a sop to the Right Wing bone-chewers.
posted by AdamCSnider at 4:44 PM on October 20, 2011


The standard of living for Americans has fallen longer and more steeply over the past three years than at any time since the US government began recording it five decades ago. - Christian Science Monitor

Might become a factor.
posted by Trurl at 4:52 PM on October 20, 2011


Santorum has more experience in political office (and his experience was higher-ranking than Bachmann's: Senate rather than House). He probably started out with better name recognition than Bachmann.

Santorum has been out of office for 5 years, and probably everyone would have forgotten about him by now if it weren't for Dan Savage - that's pretty much his sole source of name recognition at this point. Meanwhile, Bachmann has not only been around for the last 5 years, she's been doing her best at making splashes in the media. Being adopted as a favorite of the Tea Party has given her a nationwide presence outside of her own constituents that I don't think Santorum ever had.
posted by naoko at 4:54 PM on October 20, 2011


Yep, that's bound to 'cause people to elect a businessman.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:54 PM on October 20, 2011


Well, that'll pretty much translate into a defeat for the incumbent, I do wonder what happens in a few years when the election of T. Party McCutsy fails to magically make everything better.
posted by Artw at 4:57 PM on October 20, 2011


what happens in a few years

They'll throw out the bums to elect the bums they threw out the last time to elect the bums they threw out the time before that...
posted by Trurl at 5:00 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


your moment of petty triumph

Your tone-deaf contempt for those who voted for Obama in 2008 so far appears to be part of a genius campaign strategy, so congratulations on doing your part to help him lose.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:05 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does that even make sense?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:12 PM on October 20, 2011


So there is a real conservative argument for using sales taxes instead of income taxes -- basically, income tax discourages people from working more hours and earning more money, while sales tax doesn't. That's the major reason Europe and Canada rely on VAT (which is a form of sales tax).
Also sales taxes are not necessarily regressive, if you include a big rebate for poor families like Europe and Canada do.

But yeah, Cain's plan is idiotic. It's both very regressive and it doesn't actually raise enough money to run the country.
posted by miyabo at 5:15 PM on October 20, 2011


You're forgetting the Mormon thing, Trurl. We can only handle one first lady at a time.
posted by jonmc


Yeah, just wait til Ol' Mittens gets the famous Bill Clinton question, "boxers or briefs," if you know what I mean. We haven't even begun to see the demonization of Mormonism that is sure to follow as Perry gets desperate. Betcha. Think Bush in South Carolina and John McCain's black lovechild or whatever they had deniable lackeys say for them. Perry's always been that kind of politician. And Bachmann may jump into the fray as well to help.

I actually do believe that the average Teabagger voter does have a problem with a woman in office, even if they will flirt with the idea. Most of their winners have been male. Their biggest failures have been women (O'Donnell, Angle, Palin, and soon Bachmann will join the party). I think the GOP has failed to notice that what works for Fox News does not necessarily look "presidential" to the average Fox News viewer. I also think we have yet to see what we surely shall: Hillary Clinton out working reasonably hard for Obama in the final stretch.

The lot of them are just a plain old embarrassment to the country. We can only hope they tear each other to shreds over the coming months.

And it turns out today that Marco Rubio has been consistently misleading people about his family story. His parents arrived more than 2 years before Castro even came back to Cuba. Gotta hurt down at RNC headquarters.
posted by spitbull at 5:22 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nonsense. Cain's plan would massively reduce Federal revenues, despite raising taxes on the middle class. Don't pretend this guy is a hard-bitten economic pragmatist. He wants to funnel money from the middle class to the rich, pure and simple

If someone wants to do that, it's one of his handlers. Cain is just not that smart. I know this because I listened to his radio show when I lived in Atlanta. His basic thought process, for any problem facing the country, is the following: During one show he claimed that a public option would force private insurance and hospitals to disappear, because no one could compete with the government. (Yes, really.) And then he claimed costs would go up. So I called in.

I said that Germany has a public option, pays less per person than we do, and also has about 15 or 20% of the population that still chooses to pay extra for private insurance. He said, "What's your point?"

He really believes that removing government from a problem will make it better. He thinks that bureaucracy and corruption only exist inside of government, because in the free market, their competition will outperform them and put them out of business. His understanding of bad outcomes goes as far as delivering someone a bad pizza.

And for this reason, Cain is extremely dangerous. He's very like-able, and his proposals make sense as long as you don't think them through. He is electable, but he's too gullible to be trusted with the Presidency. He'll surround himself with libertarians and hawks, and if you think Iraq and Afghanistan are hard to pay for now, wait until we're fighting an actual army in Iran with zero capital gains tax.
posted by deanklear at 5:37 PM on October 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


The idea that income tax prevents people from working seems pretty much entirely unsupported to me. Who do you know that is like, well, shit, if I work any more this year I'll have to pay more tax. Time to stop working.

For anyone who works full time, it almost can't be an issue. I have to work 40 hours a week. There is no case were paying more taxes will cause me to have less money. I will pay more tax per dollar of raise I get, but I'll get more too. For anyone who works part time, and doesn't have enough money, the utility of having enough money is greater than the fact that you make less additional money for each additional hour worked (if that's even true - a lot of low income part time workers pay little tax if any at all)

So who does that leave to worry about whether to work more? The people who work part time but have enough money to live off?


Meanwhile, if an income tax stops people from working, then sales tax stops them from spending. Which might be good for them, but we've decided it's bad for our country.
posted by RustyBrooks at 5:38 PM on October 20, 2011


Like Steve Forbes, Cain doesn't have much of a chance. But the more people who learn about Cain's 9-9-9 policy, the more it hurts Perry's chances, perhaps, whose own push for a flat tax scheme makes him look like a bit more of a Wall Street stooge, by association.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:41 PM on October 20, 2011


boxers or briefs

I wish Anderson Cooper had, with respectful sincerity, asked Romney during the debate if he believes temple garments can protect him from harm - and, if so, would that influence his decisions as Commander in Chief.

I think it's a fair question.
posted by Trurl at 5:44 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


@ Blazecock

Probably, but if more people pick a third party, the Democrats may one day have to finally sit up and take notice. Holding your nose and voting Democrat doesn't communicate anything to them about you holding your nose. They just don't care. You were just another sucker who kept them in power, as far as they are concerned.

What? That worked out great for everyone in 2000 didn't it?

The idea is to get republicans to stop holding THEIR nose and vote their best interests.
posted by Max Power at 5:52 PM on October 20, 2011


I wish there was more emphasis on Cain's previous statement that people are unemployed because they're lazy, and could have jobs if they only tried.
posted by inigo2 at 5:53 PM on October 20, 2011


Does that even make sense?

As I understand it what is being said is that hippies are being driven to their genius plan of electing republicans to "show us all" in some way by critisism of that very plan, and that if we agreed that it was a good plan they would be less commited to it. No, it does not make sense.

Now, if I thought being nice about the stupid hippy plan would deliver some kind of election victory I might, but it wouldn't, so why bother?
posted by Artw at 5:56 PM on October 20, 2011


Does that even make sense?

No, Artw's smug disdain doesn't make sense, if the goal is to convince people that voting for an often right-leaning incumbent makes sense.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:06 PM on October 20, 2011


h-i-p-p-i-e. The other one is about people with big bones.
posted by crunchland at 6:14 PM on October 20, 2011


They'll throw out the bums to elect the bums they threw out the last time to elect the bums they threw out the time before that...

You mean they'll vote back in the same bums who tanked the whole fucking economy and have spent the last three goddamn years doing everything in their fucking power to make sure it stays good and fucked until the next election comes around just because they are petty and hateful wastes of humanity that should have been ejected from polite society back when they lied through their teeth about virtually everything that happened for eight years and set the stage for our collapse?

Yeah. No thanks. That's not happening.
posted by saulgoodman at 6:15 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


deanklear - that is EXACTLY what i'm up against when i talk to my mom.

i don't even know how to answer. and there are obviously so many people who believe him and agree with his line of thinking.

i realize that it's more about trying to get people to get out to vote who will NOT vote for him (or any of the Rs), but so many of those people are so disillusioned by obama that they don't want to vote him either.

it just seems like either side has to resort to "see how bad it will be if THAT GUY wins?" in order to motivate their respective voters. and that just sucks.

reason just goes out the window when campaigns might hinge on stuff like that DMV/IV line. that is SO like something my mom would say. and my mind goes blank.
posted by sio42 at 6:16 PM on October 20, 2011


Now, if I thought being nice about the stupid hippy plan would deliver some kind of election victory I might, but it wouldn't, so why bother?

You sound well rid of us. Cheer up.
posted by Trurl at 6:23 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously, the only viable third option is Ron Paul. Think about it: dismantle the fed, and end all foreign involvement. He's got two big pieces of the hippie agenda covered. He might be convinced on marijuana too, if he sees the principled argument clearly. You might get enough to deny Romney (or maybe Obama) the election if you got the disaffected Paulites from the GOP electorate with the disgruntled progressives from the left. Even more so a Paul/Sanders or Paul/Kucinich ticket, amirite? (Dennis is going to need a job, too.) Gotta be at least 20% there, though, enough to deny either major party winner a plurality. Means swallowing some repugnant bullshit for both sides, but comedy gold, for sure.
posted by spitbull at 6:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm...
posted by Artw at 6:57 PM on October 20, 2011


No, Artw's smug disdain doesn't make sense, if the goal is to convince people that voting for an often right-leaning incumbent makes sense.

I don't want to speak for Artw, but I'm certainly not under the impression that a) the hard anti-Obama Left crowd is open to convincing on this point or b) that they're the people we have to worry about convincing in order to get Obama re-elected. That's not meant as a jab - you seriously think Obama's not worth coming out for, fine, I disagree, but you should put your vote where your conscience dictates.

But let's not pretend that anything written on a political thread in the Blue here is directed primarily at vote-getting for next November, shall we? I've seen very little over the past couple of years to suggest that the lines are likely to shift much between now and then.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:00 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Think about it: dismantle the fed, and end all foreign involvement. He's got two big pieces of the hippie agenda covered.

I must hang with different hippies. Is eliminating the Federal Reserve really a serious talking point among any significant group on the Left?
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:02 PM on October 20, 2011


Your 99 cent cheeseburger will no longer be $1.08, it'll be $1.17.

In my state, a 99 cent cheeseburger costs 99 cents.
It is held as an article of faith among a lot of residents (liberal and conservative) that any sales tax proposal (even a small one) is but a first step to a much larger sales tax.

I think the hardest thing Cain will have to overcome is the belief that a 9 percent tax will become a "temporary" 10.5%, then 12%, etc.
Hell, if I were his opponents I'd be pointing to every sales tax under the sun that started as a 1% tax and trended up. You could probably makes yourself an awesome Ross Perot style hockey stick graph, even.
posted by madajb at 7:06 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


What's the Paul/Kucinich ticket's position on abortion?
posted by box at 7:11 PM on October 20, 2011


That's not meant as a jab - you seriously think Obama's not worth coming out for, fine, I disagree, but you should put your vote where your conscience dictates.

What bothers my conscience more is the constant, smug, near-astroturfing that says people shouldn't get to exercise their franchise. It's always the same silly, hyperbolic Obama-or-Death scenario that gets trotted out here so often that it would otherwise get laughed out of the room on pretty much any other community forum, regardless of its political leanings. It's always the same damn bullies pushing Obama, too. If you think the guy is worth voting for, fine, but let's stop condemning people who disagree as the enemy, when we were the ones who helped elect him in the first damn place.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:13 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's always the same silly, hyperbolic Obama-or-Death scenario that gets trotted out here so often that it would otherwise get laughed out of the room on pretty much any other community forum, regardless of its political leanings.

To some of us, Obama-or-Perry/Bachmann/Cain/Romney (which appear, on reviewing the thread, to be the actual choices being looked at) are frightening enough. And if you could link to whoever's saying people shouldn't be allowed to vote (I presume that's what you mean with "exercise the franchise), I'd appreciate it.

There's a lot of smug going around in these political threads. Seen some of it from your end of things, as well. And the "same damn" people seem to generally show up to explain how Obama's worthless and we're all two-party stooges for voting for him, as well - I don't see how people being consistent in putting their views forward is a problem, even if they aren't polite about it.

If you're going to complain about hyperbole, it might be wise to avoid it yourself. Glass houses and all of that.

And now I'm going to quit giving your post this obsessive picking-over treatment and get some sleep. Maybe tomorrow I'll wake up and Ron Paul will have announced Dennis Kucinich as his running mate, and I can die of acute paradigm shift.
posted by AdamCSnider at 7:33 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Supporting the least bad option when other options are exhausted, in order to avert catastrophe, is the most principled stand you can take here.

No, the most principled stand you can take is to go down to Zuccotti Park and refuse to leave until there's an option that is actually good for the country and not just electing another 'least bad'.

...Oh wait, you mean the most principled stand you can take "here", as in, sitting at your computer someplace warm and dry. Yeah, you're probably right.
posted by mstokes650 at 7:36 PM on October 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, is that what they're doing down at Zuccotti Park? I'm glad to hear they finally picked something.
posted by crunchland at 7:42 PM on October 20, 2011


Well, it's warm but not dry.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 PM on October 20, 2011


Wait a minute! Am I in some Rip van Winkle scenario? Am I on some mind-altering drug too subtle to notice? When I was a kid, the Republican Party was the low-tax party. And now the GOP front runner is proposing a tax scheme that will raise taxes on at least 80% of the public? And he's the GOP frontrunner?!? It's like the entire political system is on an acid trip, and I'm the only "guide" in the room.
posted by jonp72 at 7:45 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


And if you could link to whoever's saying people shouldn't be allowed to vote (I presume that's what you mean with "exercise the franchise), I'd appreciate it.

How about all the examples in this thread of those who says you need to vote for Obama-Or-Else, because the alternative is Death, or Misery, or Being Frightened. And that goes for you, too.

If you're going to complain about hyperbole, it might be wise to avoid it yourself. Glass houses and all of that.

Don't turn things around. I wasn't the one saying we need to be frightened if everyone doesn't vote your way. That's just a plainly silly thing to say. This country has survived far, far worse than a centrist like Romney, and if Obama can't beat someone like him, that's not the fault of people who have a conscience.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:51 PM on October 20, 2011


Institutional power is a very tricky thing. Too tricky for any one man to overcome alone. But I'm done having this debate. If you still can't see what's plainly in front of your eyes, then--well, you must just have to see things your way, and I must just have to see them mine. I think we both basically want the same things from our political systems and for our society, so I think its sad and depressing that you sometimes seem just as enthusiastic about demonstrating the extent of your disagreement with others who see things more or less the way I do as with people I think we could both agree are completely and utterly wrong, if not even actively evil. Either way. It's not up to whoever the next president is to save us anyway. And he couldn't if he tried. We're just at the start of a very long, very difficult road.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:04 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


that's not the fault of people who have a conscience

I believe that the implication that we don't have a conscience is the part that those of us who are still going to vote for Obama find so insulting.
posted by naoko at 8:11 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I must hang with different hippies. Is eliminating the Federal Reserve really a serious talking point among any significant group on the Left?

Absolutely. There is a contingent of end the fed folks at OWS, or there was when I was last there.

But I was only kidding, really, sorry. A Ron Paul presidency would mark the end of the republic. But what a weird end.
posted by spitbull at 8:17 PM on October 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Our electoral system is stupid and outdated. It requires you to vote for the less-bad option in many cases. This sucks, it's dumb, and everyone hates it, but that's how it currently works and it's not likely to change.

If you want a minor candidate to win, campaign for him, caucus for him, vote in primaries for him, donate to him. But actually voting for him is really and truly throwing your vote away. Acknowledging this fact doesn't mean I "don't have a conscience," it just means I'm capable of compromising when the system as it exists is not as I wish it to be.
posted by miyabo at 8:18 PM on October 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


What's the Paul/Kucinich ticket's position on abortion?

When the aliens come over the border in flying saucers, there won't be any more.
posted by spitbull at 8:19 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


When I was a kid, the Republican Party was the low-tax party. And now the GOP front runner is proposing a tax scheme that will raise taxes on at least 80% of the public? And he's the GOP frontrunner?!? It's like the entire political system is on an acid trip,

Well what happened is that for years the Republicans were demanding tax cuts for the wealthiest and for businesses and during the Bush years they got what they wanted. They were so successful, in fact, that the Federal Budget is taking a beating and rather than cut any of their beloved pork barrel projects or Defense spending, or Homeland Security or Immigration Control or any of the other Republican-approved budget-busters so dear to their stone-cold hearts, they have had to start thinking about where the money is going to come from. So expect to hear more about those "lazy, free-loaders who aren't paying their share."

I swear these days the Republican ideal would be to cut all spending on safety nets, education, and regulating agencies while increasing the budget for war, business subsidies, and surveillance on private citizens-- all to be paid for by the 99% of us who have no voice in government.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:38 PM on October 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


When the aliens come over the border in flying saucers, there won't be any more.

But there will be plenty of miniature American flags.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:03 PM on October 20, 2011


At Daily Kos, they tag this kind of thing GBCW - for "Goodbye Cruel World".

Yes? and? It's not terribly Orange around here.
posted by edgeways at 11:33 PM on October 20, 2011


Cain does feel like a current popular pick

I first read that as "current popular prick". I think I like it that way better.
posted by parrot_person at 2:24 AM on October 21, 2011


The Norwegian tax data was released today (it's public, so everyone can see everyone else's taxable income and capital). This article (Norwegian) revealed that the three highest earners in the country were also the three biggest tax payers.

I think much of the explanation of our stable, peaceful society is right there.
posted by Harald74 at 3:47 AM on October 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yes? and?

Oh, still here?

Well, let me tell you, if you thought the arguments were repetitive back when you complained about it, it only gets worse this late in a thread.
posted by Trurl at 6:31 AM on October 21, 2011


President Romney.

You've got 15 months to get used to the idea. You can start now.
Never happen. The fundamentalists won't vote for a non-Christian, and to them a Mormon isn't Christian. The teabaggers won't vote for someone who passed socialized health care. He's getting headlines, but I'd put money down that he won't get the nomination.

I see that you are still in Stage 1: Denial. Don't worry! Fifteen months is a long time!
posted by indubitable at 6:34 AM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


People who say Evangelicals won't vote for a Mormon forget that a good percentage of that voting block are convinced that Obama is A) for subsidized abortion, B) A Muslim, C) A socialist, or D) Some combination of the above.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:19 AM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


mccarty.tim: "People who say Evangelicals won't vote for a Mormon forget that a good percentage of that voting block are convinced that Obama is A) for subsidized abortion, B) A Muslim, C) A socialist, or D) Some combination of the above."

Because of the Massachusetts health care insurance reform law, Romney is also a socialist in their eyes.
posted by zarq at 7:48 AM on October 21, 2011


I can't envision a scenario in which a Paul/Sanders ticket actually could happen. I'll take my Bernie straight, thanks, no Ron for me.
posted by wintermind at 7:50 AM on October 21, 2011


For all the faults of 9-9-9 you have to appreciate any plan that cuts through the reams of complex tax code that has evolved over the years. I'm not convinced that anyone can cut that knot but I'm encouraged to see someone trying.
posted by dgran at 8:28 AM on October 21, 2011


Well you get 9% tax rate, then you lobby to get business deductions reinstated and voila.
posted by Talez at 8:31 AM on October 21, 2011


MetaFilter: Same old tired arguments, same people, different names.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:44 AM on October 21, 2011


Just so long as you know that your moment of petty triumph is likely going to lead to a whole bunch of suck for everyone else.

Define your "whole bunch of suck." To me, the bigger of the biggest bunch of suck in the past few decades have been

* Real War
* NAFTA
* Drug War

I mostly blame Bush II for #1, but the Dems haven't helped much. I blame BC for #2, and nobody knows what to do. Neither party gives a shit about #3.

Sure, sure, citizens united. Blah blah.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:48 AM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I believe that the implication that we don't have a conscience is the part that those of us who are still going to vote for Obama find so insulting.

It's pretty insulting that that's the derived implication, but then I should expect that when I read the same people in these threads browbeat everyone else over and over and over again that we should, and I quote, "Hold our noses", and vote along the party line. Whatever else you choose to call it, that's not voting your conscience.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:59 AM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Obama's Jobs Plan Is Blocked Again By Senate Republicans
For the second time in 10 days, the Senate on Thursday rejected Democratic efforts to take up a jobs bill championed by President Obama.

The vote to advance the bill was 50 to 50. Democrats needed 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster.

This time, the bill was narrowed to provide $35 billion to state and local governments to prevent layoffs of teachers, police officers and firefighters. To offset the cost, the bill would impose a surtax of 0.5 percent, starting in 2013, on income in excess of $1 million.
The Senate is broken.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:59 AM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


For all the faults of 9-9-9 you have to appreciate any plan that cuts through the reams of complex tax code that has evolved over the years.

It seems to me the only complex parts of the tax code are those that allow people to take non-standard deductions and credits in order to reduce their taxes. If you're willing to just take the standard deduction it's pretty simple. Simplifying taxes while increasing them offers no advantages for the average citizen: you can already choose to pay higher, simpler taxes.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:06 AM on October 21, 2011


For all the faults of 9-9-9 you have to appreciate any plan that cuts through the reams of complex tax code that has evolved over the years.

Except that this morning Cain announced that there would be special deductions for low income families and business that set up shop in designated (poor) communities. Here we go...
posted by Gungho at 6:16 AM on October 22, 2011


For all the faults of 9-9-9 you have to appreciate any plan that cuts through the reams of complex tax code that has evolved over the years.

What? No, you don't. You wouldn't appreciate a brain surgeon throwing out decades of experience and knowledge and coming at you with a icepick because it's "less complex".

It's very odd that people have this blindspot with regards to the functioning of government. They expect that, for some crazy reason, running an entire goddamn society should not be complex. Complexity is accepted in most other areas of life - building your house is complex. Planning a road expansion is complex. Growing food is complex. And yet, when we talk about funding the system that lets millions of people live relatively peaceful lives together, all the sudden complexity is a bad word.
posted by odinsdream at 12:19 PM on October 22, 2011


when we talk about funding the system that lets millions of people live relatively peaceful lives together, all the sudden complexity is a bad word

There's a big difference between necessary complexity (e.g. heart surgery) and obfuscation.

The complexities in the tax and legal systems seem designed (or have evolved) to give huge advantages to those who can afford experts to navigate the complexity.

Run the 2010 AMT worksheet. Tell me that's not unnecessarily complicated, and please explain why that level of complication is necessary.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:34 AM on October 23, 2011


There are definitely problems with the tax code, but scrapping it for flat-tax shit is not the solution, and such proposals shouldn't be hailed just because they lack complexity.
posted by odinsdream at 12:34 PM on October 23, 2011


A number of worksheets are crazy-seeming to make them as linear as possible. You aren't supposed to think; you're supposed to mechanically do exactly what each line says.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 1:01 PM on October 23, 2011


It's pretty insulting that that's the derived implication

Could you maybe clarify how you meant it then? I'm not really understanding how else it could be interpreted, and your follow-up didn't really help.

Personally, I believe that there are are people of conscience or whatever in the "hold your nose" crowd, in the third party voters, and in the people staying at home, and that it's a question of what your chosen strategy for social change is more than of whether you're a good person.
posted by naoko at 9:55 PM on October 23, 2011


There are definitely problems with the tax code, but scrapping it for flat-tax shit is not the solution, and such proposals shouldn't be hailed just because they lack complexity.

Well, no duh, but proponents of progressive taxation might ignore the appeal of the flat tax at their peril.

Another huge appeal of a flat tax is that it ensures that rich people will have to pay some amount of income taxes at all, or at least (supposedly) the same percentage as the poor.

Right now, there's a common conception that rich people don't pay any taxes because they can write off so many deductions, and I don't think the conception is that ridiculous. (Anecdotal, but I was once forced to intern with a financial advisor who claimed to make seven figures but pay no incomes taxes (that year) because of real-estate investments. Sure, he could have lost a lot, but I think it was mostly the property shifting as described in the reddit link above ...)

The belief that everyone should pay a fair share is a strong one, and the current law allows effective tax rates that are ridiculously low for some people with lots of income. A flat tax would ensure those people

So yeah, I realize a flat-tax is regressive and harmful, and budgetarily nonsensical to boot, but again, I think progressives might ignore its appeal at their own expense.

"this is where I like to bring up Subpart F income" ...

Can anyone really argue that the current U.S. tax system is not enormously complicated and very favorable to those who can (or can afford to pay someone to) navigate it?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:07 AM on October 24, 2011


Yes the tax system is complicated, but I don't understand how a flat tax would be that much simpler. Most of the complexity isn't things like deductions, it's defining what counts as income, expenses, and capital gains.

Think about why real estate investment allows you to avoid taxes. First, there's depreciation; property depreciates over 27.5 years (defined in the tax code), which puts a serious dent in your tax bill every year. Then, you have considerable flexibility with expenses; if you're going to make a taxable profit one year, you can simply renovate part of your property, which counts as an expense and reduces your profit to zero. Finally, although you're supposed to pay capital gains on real estate investments, most investors avoid this indefinitely by swapping properties (which isn't a taxable transaction). Real estate investors routinely delay profit-taking until they die, which means their children can inherit millions of dollars worth of property and pay very little tax on it.

If you think that's complicated, think about a public corporation. If they're doing well, they can invest in a new product line, write off assets, give bonuses to the executives, move work offshore, or even buy another company -- all of which provide value to the shareholders but don't count as a taxable profit.

So there's a lot of complexity in the tax code. But saying something simple like "just tax 9% of profits" doesn't really help the situation at all, because it doesn't define what counts as profit. The IRS still has to have thousands of pages of regulations describing exactly which transactions count as taxable for every conceivable industry, and business can still come up with crazy workarounds for those regulations.
posted by miyabo at 9:38 AM on October 24, 2011


@GroverNorquist : "Today's cheerful thought: November 2012 there are 23 D Senate seats up for election, only 10 Rs. GOP takes Senate."
posted by crunchland at 4:06 PM on October 24, 2011


The incentive behind GOP obstructionism

At first blush, it’s tempting to think congressional Republicans are simply out of their minds to kill jobs bills during a jobs crisis. It seems insane — Americans are desperate for Congress to act; Americans overwhelmingly support bills like the one considered by the Senate last night; and yet GOP officials seem wholly unconcerned. Aren’t they afraid of a backlash?

Well, no, probably not. The reason probably has something to do with voters like Dale Bartholomew.

Now, my point is not to pick on one random voter quoted in an Associated Press article. He’s very likely a well-intentioned guy who’s simply frustrated with what’s going on in Washington. I certainly don’t blame him for that.

Consider, though, the significance of a quote like this one.
“If Romney and Obama were going head to head at this point in time I would probably move to Romney,” said Dale Bartholomew, 58, a manufacturing equipment salesman from Marengo, Ill. Bartholomew said he agrees with Obama’s proposed economic remedies and said partisan divisions have blocked the president’s initiatives.

But, he added: “His inability to rally the political forces, if you will, to accomplish his goal is what disappoints me.”
Got that? This private citizen agrees with Obama, but is inclined to vote for Romney anyway — even though Romney would move the country in the other direction — because the president hasn’t been able to “rally the political forces” to act sensibly in Washington.

That is heartbreaking, but it’s important — Republicans have an incentive, not only to hold the country back on purpose, but also to block every good idea, even the ones they agree with, because they assume voters will end up blaming the president in the end. And here’s a quote from a guy who makes it seem as if the GOP’s assumptions are correct.

posted by Artw at 4:27 PM on October 24, 2011 [3 favorites]


New Herman Cain ad. The most shocking part about it, aside from the low production values, is that Herman Cain actually has a chief of staff.
posted by crunchland at 7:45 PM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


That actually seems sort of odd to me. It's more typical that a campaign has a campaign manager and an elected official has a chief of staff, although other arrangements are not unheard of.

I don't even know what to make of that ad though. First I thought it was a joke, and then I was struck by how boring that guy is, and then holy crap he started smoking and then the music and omg wtf is going on here?
posted by naoko at 9:11 PM on October 24, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, since there's no "I'm Herman Cain, and I endorsed this message" at the end, it means that it was never meant to be put out over the airwaves. I think it's strictly a youtube ad.
posted by crunchland at 6:47 AM on October 25, 2011


omglol. what's with the literally blowing of smoke in my face? is that a tea party dog whistle?
posted by mrgrimm at 9:55 AM on October 25, 2011


According to TPM, Mark Block, the guy in the video, is a political operative with ties to the Koch brothers, and is an unapologetic smoker.
posted by crunchland at 10:09 AM on October 25, 2011


As per usual, the YouTube comments set me straight.

"For those of you confused, he's smoking a cigarette because he's fortunate enough to live in the greatest nation on earth where he's free to do so."
posted by mrgrimm at 10:13 AM on October 25, 2011


So... bringing smoking back is part of the GOP agenda?
posted by Artw at 10:16 AM on October 25, 2011


I dunno. I wouldn't read to much into it. Herman Cain is succeeding in spite of himself. I don't get the impression that he or any of his staff are really being that calculating.
posted by crunchland at 10:19 AM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]


Clearly, in the words of the commercial, Cain is running a new type of campaign. His seems to be the first to use Camp as a specific part of his strategy.
posted by drezdn at 12:47 PM on October 25, 2011


And yet, when we talk about funding the system that lets millions of people live relatively peaceful lives together, all the sudden complexity is a bad word.

The complexity of the tax code is largely a product of competing special interests and the cause du jour when the law was last amended. The myriad of exceptions to the rule are a drain and some make very good sense, but the tax code is an accretion of rules and now and again we do ourselves a service to start fresh. I realize that 9/9/9 is regressive and this is enough to make not endorse it, but I still think that reduced complexity is a noble (and uncommon) goal for public policy.
posted by dgran at 2:34 PM on October 25, 2011


Theoretically I don't have a problem with reduced complexity, but practically, in the US it is a smokescreen for drastically lowering taxes and tax revenue.

Back in the 70s we had tax reform which closed a lot of loopholes while dramatically cutting the tax rate (fine). Since then, the loopholes have apparently crept back in but the tax rate has not significantly increased, and actually I think it has decreased over most of the tax base. So when politicians talk about "tax reform" and cutting out the loopholes while simultaneously cutting the tax rate, they're not starting from a place where the tax rates are particularly onerous.
posted by muddgirl at 2:48 PM on October 25, 2011


What bothers my conscience more is the constant, smug, near-astroturfing that says people shouldn't get to exercise their franchise.

Wow. This comment is in direct response to someone who actually explicitly affirmed the right of people to exercise their franchise by voting their conscience.

Also, it's made by one of the last people on metafilter who has any business lecturing others "constant" persistence on a topic that interests or concerns them.

Carry on, I suppose.
posted by namespan at 10:30 AM on November 10, 2011


It's always the same damn bullies pushing Obama, too. If you think the guy is worth voting for, fine, but let's stop condemning people who disagree as the enemy, when we were the ones who helped elect him in the first damn place.

Oh, and sure, sure. Let's stop condemning people who disagree as the enemy. Let's just call them bullies instead, right?
posted by namespan at 10:34 AM on November 10, 2011


They should ask him to do the math on 9x9x9 and see how long it takes him to do it.
posted by harrgt44 at 11:37 AM on November 10, 2011


(Washington) DC reboot
posted by Artw at 5:23 PM on November 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


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