Monday, August 20, 2012

More thoughts

  • Picking up on my comments in my prior post regarding Romney's 13.9% income tax tab in 2010, it's important to keep in mind that when many decry just how high tax rates are today (which is not true, but I digress), what percentage of the rich & wealthy actually pay anything close to the top tax bracket of 35%? In other words, after expensive, hired-gun CPAs take advantage of the many deductions and loopholes, what is the effective tax rate for the typical wealthy person? Warren Buffett made his secretary famous by stating publicly that she paid an effective tax rate twice as high as the one applying to him. Republicans love to whine about how the top 1% pay such high income tax rates and yet I suspect the reality is the effective tax rate -- which is all that matters since "effective" equates to what is actually paid -- is far, far below anything close to 35%. Remember this the next time you hear that incessant whining.

  • As I cited yesterday, regarding Romney's VP selection, Bruce Bartlett recently said, "It simply makes no sense for Romney to put Ryan on the ticket if only because he doesn't attract a single new vote to Romney that he didn't already have." And yet as I've been saying, I wouldn't be so sure about that Bruce. It's my view that the Romney campaign is not stupid (naive, tone-deaf, prone to unwise moves, yes, but not outright dumb) and given that, I believe they have internal data and polling showing even at this stage in the campaign that Romney has not yet "locked up" the GOP base, i.e. the die-hards, ultra-partisans and Tea Party types. I don't believe Romney made this selection out of redundancy (inferring stupidity) but rather that he was forced to make this move tactically because he had to, that he had no other choice. To a lesser extent, McCain was forced to do the same thanks to the degree to which the core of his party had drifted to the extreme right. In effect, the GOP base ended up making McCain unelectable by dictating a choice like Palin and also by pressuring him to remain extreme in all views and not tacking to the center to attract more moderate swing voters. We're seeing it happen again with Romney choosing Ryan, only this time around Romney is having even more trouble than McCain in winning over and nailing down the party base voters. Net net, a huge advantage to Obama.

  • For the record, I am a Newsweek subscriber and yet I've always felt Niall Ferguson was a wormy, untrustworthy flim-flam artist, one who perfectly fit with his GOP and right-wing bias. With that it's gratifying to see him get just-desert criticism for the crap he tried to pull in the magazine's recent cover story (click here, here, here and here, for starters). It's predictable that the mag would look to even the score with this anti-Obama cover feature after Mike Tomasky's prior cover story labeling Romney a wimp. But c'mon, does anyone fact check anymore?

  • I had to laugh when I learned that Paul Ryan comes from wealthy parents and his family business (road paving) has been and is very much reliant on government $$$.

  • Informative summary article in Sunday's Boston Globe, an excerpt:
    Obama derided Ryan’s proposal to transform Medicare into a voucher system that would pay seniors a fixed amount of money to buy medical insurance, which he said would cost them an additional $6,400 a year.

    "That doesn’t strengthen Medicare. That undoes the very guarantee of Medicare,” the president said Saturday. “That’s the core of the plan written by Congressman Ryan and endorsed by Governor Romney. . . . Their plan is for you to pay more so they can give another tax cut to millionaires and billionaires.”

    During his administration, Obama said, the only changes to Medicare benefits have been the addition of preventive services such as cancer screenings and wellness visits — “for free.”

    The Medicare savings contained in his health care act, a total of $716 billion over a decade, will be carved from waste, fraud, and insurance-company subsidies, he said.

    “Their plan would put Medicare on track to be ended as we know it,” Obama said. “It would be an entirely different plan, a plan in which you could not count on health care because it would have to be coming out of your pocket.”
  • 1 comment:

    Yih Lucy said...

    Good post. I was checking consistently this blog and I am impressed! Quite useful information specially the final component I care for such info much. I was looking for this distinct info for a pretty long time. Thank you and best of luck.
    barbie cooking games
    free music games