Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Thursday, June 05, 2008

John McCain Wants To Destroy America

OK, maybe that title is a bit of an exaggeration but there are enough people affiliated with this blog who know about California's woes to understand how devastating this proposal from John McCain is:

On McCain's website he has this statement: "John McCain believes it should require a 3/5 majority vote in Congress to raise taxes."

And this at a time when our deficit and debt problems are dragging our economy down the drain! When McCain said in the primaries that economics wasn't really his thing he wasn't kidding was he!

California already has a similar rule in place and the fiscal dysfunction that has hit that state is truly shameful given how many economic advantages the state naturally has.

Leaving aside the fact that the Senate, an institution one would think McCain had some passing familiarity with (he's been in the Senate for over 20 years!), already has a supermajoritarian requirement for everything (it's called the cloture rule), this is just stupid. Imposing such a rule at the national level would be an unmitigated disaster!

The real motive for this proposal is that the Republicans reckon on losing HUGE in the Congressional elections this fall. Only through imposing yet another supermajoritarian requirement can the Republicans maintain influence over policy.

Why would it be stupid? Because right now we have some of the lowest tax rates among any industrialized democracies and in our own modern history. If we set up institutions that lock those tax rates in place, we'll find it very difficult to pay for the war we're currently in not to mention the massive chorus of "I'm old! Gimme gimme gimme!" that we'll hear when the Baby Boomers retire.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thats exactly what I want to do, pay more taxes. Sweet!

Raised By Republicans said...

Whether you're paying a few more dollars a year in taxes or hundreds or thousands more a year because the interest rates on your credit card, car and home loans went up, the money comes from you.

You'd be better off with a healthy economy and a small marginal increase in taxes than with a tax cut (or tax freeze) and a fiscally out of whack government.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I hesitate to point it out and start a debate, but whatever. Until about 30-odd years ago, there was no standard supermajoritarian rule in the senate. Filibusters were rare, because they required actual filibustering. By the early 1970, a "gentlemens" filibuster had developed that pemritted people to say they were filibustering without, well, having to do it. The right to filibuster everything has been basically conceded by the Senate without sense or reason. I think the Senate should return to the path of permitting filibusters only when Senators are wlling to actually do it- to actually go on TV, read the phone book, piss in a jar, and make spectacles of themselves. There should be a fucking political cost to it, dammit, like there used to be. I think what happened, really, was that for curious reasons, the Senate became more politically salient, passing back and forth between the parties. It became the place where an opposing party could really make a stand. For several periods, the Senate was the only body held by the opposition. For other periods, it was just much closer, even tied. That encouraged development, I think, of a minority-protection mechanism, as both parties benefited from it in close succession. And, of course, no American political institution has a longer-term outlook than the US Senate.

USWest said...

RBR is right. Anyone who thinks a 3/5ths majority to change taxes is a good idea is nuts.

As for Anonymous, you will get taxed if you are under 50 even if McCain gets his way. Your payroll taxes will go up because someone has to pay for all those enjoying the retirement years that the rest of us will probably never see. i doubt McCain's plan covers anything but INCOME taxes. Or they will find new ways to hit you by designing nifty new ways to suck money from your back pocket . . taxing gas a bit more or lowering the income level (currently anything over $90K) that is free from Social security taxes. And you can forget about ever getting rid of the AMT that is now hitting middle class America hard.

What really needs to happen is that the income tax system has to be reformed that we go back to valuing labor and small investors rather than big investors and trust funds. And that means the money guys on Wall Street have to start paying their share.

What McCain is doing, is not only trying to protect Congresisonal Republicans, he is also protecting the very wealthy by suggesting current tax rates should remain.

USWest said...

RBR is right. Anyone who thinks a 3/5ths majority to change taxes is a good idea is nuts.

As for Anonymous, you will get taxed if you are under 50 even if McCain gets his way. Your payroll taxes will go up because someone has to pay for all those enjoying the retirement years that the rest of us will probably never see. i doubt McCain's plan covers anything but INCOME taxes. Or they will find new ways to hit you by designing nifty new ways to suck money from your back pocket . . taxing gas a bit more or lowering the income level (currently anything over $90K) that is free from Social security taxes. And you can forget about ever getting rid of the AMT that is now hitting middle class America hard.

What really needs to happen is that the income tax system has to be reformed that we go back to valuing labor and small investors rather than big investors and trust funds. And that means the money guys on Wall Street have to start paying their share.

What McCain is doing, is not only trying to protect Congresisonal Republicans, he is also protecting the very wealthy by suggesting current tax rates should remain.

Raised By Republicans said...

OK US west chant along with me:

Gen X Forever! Boomers Never!

(another reason to like Obama - he's a just a little too young to be squarely in the Baby Boomer culture group. He's between the Boomers and X'ers - sometimes called "Generation Jones").

The Law Talking Guy said...

I want to add, too, that the 3/5 vote requirement has other problems. It was actually part of House rules under the GOP. But what it really does is reduce flexibility. A plan to personal lower income taxes by 50% but raise the capital gains tax by 2% is a "tax raise" needing a 60% majority - even though it's really a tax cut! Such rules cause the revenue system to ossify. It is, of course, another big problem in CA.

USWest said...

I'm telling you, for the Democrats, this is going to be a dot.com, Gen X candidacy. People are starting to say what I have been saying for awhile now; it is one generation handing over to the next.

The tax system though has to be reformed along with tightening up investment, lending, and banking regulations. We have to go back to rewarding savings. And that means interest rates have to start going back up. This reminds me, Ben Bernanke hinted the other day that the dollar is in trouble and that the FED would resist reducing interest rates further.

I will also point out that I suspect we have a bubble forming in the commodities markets. Of course, no one of any importance will say that. The price of gas and food commodities like rice and wheat going up at the same time housing is deflating is not an accident. And China and India didn't start demanding more yesterday. They have been around in the market for several years. There is speculation in futures markets and Gold has be crazy high for a few years now. Prices hikes like we are seeing don't just happen over night due to natural market forces. Something or someone is driving that. Since there is nowhere left to turn for investors, they are going to what is left, commodities.

Raised By Republicans said...

"it is one generation handing over to the next."

That is so true! The women that backed Obama tended to be younger and/or better educated.

The black political leaders who backed Clinton tended to be older with ties to the traditional civil rights movement.

This is a new Democratic coalition. Obama - partly out of neccesity, partly out of design - is changing the electoral map for Presidential elections. The broad regional differences that have persisted since before the Civil War are slowly giving way to a more complicated Urban-Suburban-Rural divide.