Saturday, July 29, 2006
Excerpt From William F Buckley, copyright United Press Sydicate.
The charge that only the rich were the beneficiaries of the tax cuts? Rove answers: "If this were true, then logic tells you that the percentage of federal income taxes paid by the wealthy would be falling after the tax cuts." That did not happen: The top 1 percent of the nation's earners, those making more than $317,000 per year, saw their share of the nation's income tax go up (by 1.5 percent), not down. The top 3 percent (making more than $200,000) paid a 5 percent larger share of taxes. Rove quoted a finding of The Wall Street Journal: "For every 100 Americans today, the wealthiest three are paying taxes equivalent to the other 97 combined." (Emphasis mine)
Here's a link to the full article.
Friday, July 28, 2006
Then, please, read my comments below:
Dear Prof Kiesling:
As a traveling salesman with an economics degree, one of the hardest things to listen to (and keep the ole trap shut) on the rental-car shuttle bus is the price of gas...what people pay for self-service, and what they have to pay the greedy Hertz-Avis-National monopoly (ok, oligopoly, but that's lost on them). Folks DO have choices in price; look at $3.19 for self-serve in Wisconsin, vs $6.00 if Hertz fills the tank for you. This would seem to be the easiest example of how competition could drive pricing down...but NOOOOOO. It's all about greed on the part of Pick-a-Rental, right?
In fact, people make a conscious choice to be LAZY and/or let the employer pick up the price differential in the gas from the rental-car company. "What do I care? It's not coming out of MY pocket." Here is where the old example of employer-paid health insurance comes into play. If your company pays the insurance premium, and you only have a small deductible, what incentive do you have to ask about the price of the MRI when you've only strained your knee? Similarly, what incentives are there for rental companies to lower the price of gas if people pay the going rate, and the employer gets stuck with the bill? I would argue that it is not the oil companies or the rental firms that are being uncompetitive; it's the CFO and Sales VP that approve of the expense who are the real enemies of competition.
Oh well, have to run to turn in the rental car and catch a flight. $6.35 here...but, not my problem...
Meanwhile, back at Camp Inelastic...
Texan in Wisconsin
HAT TIP: National Review Online and Knowledge Problem
Saturday, July 22, 2006
From the New York Times:
WASHINGTON, July 21 — The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon,American officials said Friday.
The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.Just...freaking...unbelievable. We sell munitions to a democratically-elected government that is DEFENDING itself. And the NYT equates that sale with the Iranians supplying a TERRORIST group with weapons that are used to kill and frighten civilians. The Times tries to soften it with the word "appearance". Ptui.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
From the Associated Press, as seen on the Fox News web site:
WASHINGTON — The House, citing the nation's religious origins, voted Wednesday to protect the Pledge of Allegiance from federal judges who might try to stop schoolchildren and others from reciting it because of the phrase "under God."
The legislation, a priority of social conservatives, passed 260-167. It now goes to the Senate where its future is uncertain.
"We should not and cannot rewrite history to ignore our spiritual heritage," said Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn. "It surrounds us. It cries out for our country to honor God."
Opponents said the legislation, which would bar federal courts from ruling on the constitutional validity of the pledge, would undercut judicial independence and would deny access to federal courts to religious minorities seeking to defend their rights.
"We are making an all-out assault on the constitution of the United States which, thank God, will fail," said Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
Colin Powell Visits Hospital After Falling Ill at Restaurant
ASPEN, Colo. — Former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell was briefly hospitalized early Friday after falling ill at a restaurant where he was dining with former President Clinton and others, police said.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
The point is, as you so well stated, the tax cuts help the economy by putting more money into our pockets...and the money doesn't stay there! We spend it. Good for the economy as measured by GDP, jobs, real estate prices (nudge, nudge, wink, wink) etc.
Now look at what the NYTimes says about the announcement today here. Are they on the same planet as the US economy?
Hat tip: NRO and Richmond Times-Dispatch
Today's report from the president shows that GDP is up, tax dollars collected IS UP, spending is lower than expected (by quite a lot) and the budget deficit is lower relative to GDP. The biggest misconception is that tax breaks only benefit the rich. But the more money there is in the hands of the people, the more we all benefit. Even lower wage earners who pay less taxes (and reap smaller gains) because often times their jobs depend on higher wage earners willingness and ability to spend and reinvest. The biggest problem we face isn't the inability of our leaders to understand this, it's the peoples patience with letting such a system work. It takes time for that money to work it's way through the system, years in fact. But given the opportunity it does and this has been shown more than once. That being said, we still need to control our spending and watch the budget deficit but as long as our debt-income ratio is improving and we manage that deficit the economy will be in good shape. Even with oil at $75 a barrell.. but that is another story.
Point is, whether you like him or not, the presidents economic policy was right and will continue to be. Make those tax cuts permanent and let's get on with business...
Thursday, July 06, 2006
In the early 80's, one of my best friends from college married Ken Lay's daughter. The wedding was in Houston, and we had quite a time. This is the one (and only) time that I met Mr. Lay. We were invited to play golf at his country club, and, as I was in the wedding, I spent much of that week in the kitchen at the Lay's home. Mr. and Mrs. Lay were gracious hosts, and could not have been more down-to-earth, engaging, funny, and just plain tickled that their daughter was getting married and that so many would come to celebrate that happy occasion. I recall that I bought them a hedge trimmer as a gag wedding gift -- what do you get for the couple that has everything?
The rehearsal dinner was hosted at the Lay's home, and we enjoyed a gourmet dinner around the pool. I gave the first toast to the couple, and recall wading into the pool while doing so (I was a bit of a joker back then). The happy parents were enjoying themselves, beaming with pride, and were themselves enjoyable.
Now, I have not again seen the Lay's since that wedding, and my buddy was ultimately divorced from the daughter (he's passed away, now, as well. R.I.P. BOBBY). I accept the jury's decision in the case...I wasn't there, didn't hear the evidence, and they did.
What I will say is this: no deceased person (with the exception of mass murderers and child abusers) deserves the bile and pure hatred that is written into Mr. Allen's article. To state that Mr. Lay cheated the hangman is one thing (tasteless, to be sure). But to say that he deserved the potential abuse in prison that is described in this rag is beyond the pale. Good God, man, have you no manners? Your mother would slap you for the pure rudeness of your words. Heaven help you if Florence King ever got within arm's reach of you. If you had uttered them, your mouth would be washed out with soap. I'd supply the soap.
Let's recall that a wife and family have lost a father...and I witnessed what a kind, gentle, and loving man he was. For the sake of his family, let's say a prayer.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Monday, July 03, 2006
Gen. Robert E. Lee: “It appears that we appointed all of our worst generals to command the armies and we appointed all our best generals to edit the newspapers. I mean, I found by reading a newspaper that these editor generals saw all the defects plainly from the start but didn’t tell me until it was too late. I’m willing to yield my place to these generals and I’ll do my best for the cause by editing a newspaper.”
I have been sitting here for a day listening to both sides on this issue of whether or not what the New York Times did was right or wrong in printing the recent story on international bank transactions and whether the Supreme Court went too far in allowing the GITMO detainees and others the same rights as US citizens.
Here is how I feel about both of these issues. I am not asking you to agree or disagree with me….this is just how I feel.
WHAT THE HELL IS THE MATTER WITH THE NEW YORK TIMES AND THE SUPREME COURT ?????????????????
ARE THEY NUTS?
Ok, now that I have that off my chest, let me tell you why I feel as I do. First and foremost we have men and women on the front lines fighting to help keep the world safe from the likes of Al Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden and those of like mind. Why would the New York Times journalists want to endanger these soldiers further? A question I would like to ask the editor of the New York Times is, “How many people who are employed by the New York Times have a son, daughter, brother, sister, father, mother fighting in
On the issue of Security for the
Let’s say this is the early 1940’s and WWII is raging on in
I think the Federal government should claim eminent domain on the New York Times building, saying they need the property for a top secret program. Oh, by the way, I am sure
Now for the Supreme Court (man do I have a headache): if I understand what happened the other day, the Supreme Court just gave away our constitutional rights to every citizen of the world. Did the Justices forget who is paying their salaries, benefits, retirement, office expenses, etc, etc, etc? Did they forget that their letterhead reads “U.S. Supreme Court?” For those of you on the bench at the Supreme Court office building the key letters here are “U.S.”, which stand for United States, NOT United World. That would be “U.W.” Always glad to help out those who don’t get it.
Let’s go back to WWII and reference what the Supreme Court just did. We (the
For those of you that sit on the Supreme Court answer me one question: where in our Constitution or laws does it say that we the people of the United States must give away our rights to every Tom, Dick or Harry or for that matter every Saddam, Osama or GITMO detainee?
Those rights rightfully belong to us, those who have obtained legal status in this country by birth or through immigration and application. Has the Supreme Court now declared Eminent domain on our constitutional rights? To those of you that sit on the bench of the highest court in this nation, I would appreciate you remembering where you are and who you represent.
Now back to the New York Times, please note that in writing this editorial I only exercised my Constitutional right of Free Speech. I did NOT divulge any government secrets.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Defenders of the New York Times, the L.A. Times and the leakers who outed the Terrorist Financing Tracking Program say that the newspaper stories didn't tell the terrorists anything new. But there is a big difference between knowing that we're trying to follow money trails, and knowing how we do it. In that context, this interview with the commander of Israel's Air Force, Maj.-Gen. Eliezer Shkedy, which appeared in today's Jerusalem Post, is interesting. It's a long interview that covers current events in Gaza along with other topics. But these comments are especially relevant to the controversy over our newspapers' unwillingness to keep a secret:
Every three months we try to develop an additional capability. The [terrorists] are behaving in a certain way? How do we need to grapple with that? But I can't go into details. This war is so complex. They are always trying to figure out what we're doing; they adapt to it. I would love to be able to tell the people of Israel what we are doing new to protect them. They'd be proud to hear it. But the moment I make something public, the other side will adapt. So telling the public actually harms my efforts to protect the public.
Liberals stubbornly refuse to acknowledge what is really a very obvious point.
Thanks to reader Joel Goldberg.