Monday, June 29, 2009

In case you weren't sure

Warren Buffett got a lot of attention in the last election cycle because he supported Barack Obama. Here's what he said about the amazingly dumb "cap and trade" legislation that narrowly passed the House on Friday:

WARREN BUFFETT, CEO, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY: I think if you get into the way it was written, it's a huge tax and there's no sense calling it anything else. I mean, it is a tax. So it -- and it's a fairly regressive tax.

And if you remember, Barack Obama said this, also documented at the link:

OBAMA: I can make a firm pledge: Under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase, not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes.


Change you can believe in.

16 comments:

W.B. Picklesworth said...

The funny thing about all of this is that Obama was a terrible liar, just awful. But so many people wanted to believe that they let it pass. "Obama's going to babysit for me on Friday nights? Excellent! He's got my vote." It was willful self-deception on a mass scale.

Also kind of funny is the fact that behind the soothing words he thinks we're all idiots. Remember the comment about bitter folks clinging to their guns and religion? He doesn't think that he'll be held responsible for the lies, that people will prefer the illusion. It will be interesting to see if this is true.

Mark Heuring said...

But so many people wanted to believe that they let it pass.

I've always believed that the lies that hurt us the most are the lies we tell ourselves.

He doesn't think that he'll be held responsible for the lies, that people will prefer the illusion. It will be interesting to see if this is true.

Oh, he will be held responsible eventually. It will take a while, but he'll be reaping a big-time whirlwind. And he won't be the only one.

my name is Amanda said...

Be careful about what is being referred to as a "tax." "The equivalent of a tax" does not a tax make. Or you can start calling out Pawlenty for ensuring that his "no tax hike" policy resulted in higher fees and higher school tuition for Minnesotans (and it did). I'm not saying I think cap and trade is a wonderful idea, with no problems at all - I had to familiaze myself with the specifics, so feel free to clarify where I didn't read that what specifically happening is a "TAX."

The entire Warren Buffett quote is not stated. Fine, call high prices being passed to consumers a "tax," but maybe also try for some consistency in doling out the ironic campaign slogans.

Night Writer said...

Blame it on the lies that killed us, blame it on the truth that ran us down, you can blame it all on me, Terry, it don't matter to me now..."

Oops, sorry, just channeling some classic rock there (quick - name the song and performer!).

I do wonder, however, just what Pres. Obama thinks his future wealth and income will be based upon? He doesn't have a wealthy background, apparently holds little real property, and is clearly no captain of industry. Sure, Simon & Schuster will probably give him a $20 million advance for the inevitable book, but if the full effects of his policies come to fruition that will probably just cover a weekend's worth of groceries and he'll have to push the money to Piggly-Wiggly in a wheelbarrow.

All Obama has is his image and while that can be propped up to some extent by the media and true believers, I don't think a lot of people were clamoring to land Herbert Hoover as a guest speaker, circa 1933.

Mark Heuring said...

Semantics are a fun game, Amanda. Having said that, if the government takes more money, it's a tax.

Pawlenty didn't raise taxes in his most recent machinations, but he is having another entity collect it. That's the distinction. But he's also given the other entity (for example cities and counties) the option of not collecting it, either. And generally that's the right way to go, in my view. I'd rather pay more taxes locally than sending money to Washington, because, at least theoretically, I'll have more say in how the money is spent. It's a hell of a lot easier for me to get a meeting with the Mayor of New Brighton than it is with Tim Pawlenty, to say nothing of Barack Obama.

I would agree that some of Pawlenty's "fees" from a few years back were indeed tax increases.

Mark Heuring said...

NW,

That would be "Backstreets," the great capper to side one (back when they had such things) of Born to Run.

And your analysis is spot-on, too. Obama doesn't understand how wealth is created. You can print more money, but that doesn't create more wealth. Ask a Zimbabwean.

Anonymous said...

You guys sound like you are speaking from experience. Where was all this insight during the last eight years? You know, back when "deficits don't matter", "we'll be greeted as liberators", "Mission Accomplished", "we can keep the expense of the war off the books, because this war is gonna pay for itself", "cutting taxes always raises revenue", etc. It seems to me that a lot of people on the other side of the aisle want to believe, too. It really is all about whose ox is being gored.

Rich

Mark Heuring said...

Where was all this insight during the last eight years? You know, back when "deficits don't matter", "we'll be greeted as liberators", "Mission Accomplished", "we can keep the expense of the war off the books, because this war is gonna pay for itself", "cutting taxes always raises revenue", etc.

I can only speak for me, Rich, but I didn't say most of those things, although there's ample evidence that cutting taxes does raise revenue, especially when the taxes that are cut are onerous. I sure the hell never said that the war would pay for itself.

It seems to me that a lot of people on the other side of the aisle want to believe, too. It really is all about whose ox is being gored.

Guess what, Rich? We're all getting gored on what's coming down the pike. Especially our kids and grandkids. And while you can rag on Republicans for not being consistent, certain national Democrats have never given a flying fig about any of these issues, either? Can you name one instance when someone like Waxman or Pelosi has ever credibly offered anything resembling fiscal restraint?

W.B. Picklesworth said...

Rich,

Wow, nice load of straw men there! Yup, all of my conservative buddies were sayin' those exact same things! And what's more, since we're such hypocrites about everything, that means criticizing the present administration for anything is out of bounds!

It's true that there are people on both sides who "fill in the blank." But since Democrats are the ones who are actually, you know, in charge of the legislative and executive branches of government, let's have a look at them for awhile.

BTW, if the Republicans do something while they're in the minority, criticize away! Have at 'em. But this whole "you can't criticize because you're not pure" argument is a load of hooey.

Anonymous said...

Just wait until you see what Cap & Trade will do to Northern States like Minnesota where the need to heat buildings and factories are going to be considered as part of the "Carbon Footprint"

Where does it end? Cap & Trade, Health Care, Economic Stimulus Packages, Card Check, the list goes on and on, and the best part is that we don't have to pay for it.

Someone needs to dust off the old Dan Akroyd skit where his pretends he's Jimmy Carter speaking about inflation. "Inflation is your friend."

By the way Amanda, at times, you show signs of intelligence, but your "that depends on what your definition of is is" analyis of taxes is beneath you, and it does not make you look very clever, unless of course you too are a liar.

Mark Heuring said...

Anon,

I remember that skit. That's about right.

Brad Carlson said...

The best spin was when Obama said "95% of Americans will see an income tax cut." Maybe. But whatever we save in income taxes will be more than swallowed up by the susbstantial increase in our utilities. So it's essentially a net loss.

Obama's campaign slogan could have easily been "We'll all be poor and miserably equally". That would have been more intellectually honest.

Gino said...

rich,
werent you in a fit when busg was spending a deficit?

to be fair, if you criticized bush's deficit, then you must really be screaming about obama's since its at least 5x what bush's was.

my name is Amanda said...

Oooh! Called out here, I am seeing.

By the way Amanda, at times, you show signs of intelligence, but your "that depends on what your definition of is is" analyis of taxes is beneath you, and it does not make you look very clever, unless of course you too are a liar.

"At times [I] show signs of intelligence" How generous!

Ms/Mr ANONYMOUS, can you possibly read what I write before responding to it? I am referring to the definition of "tax" as something that is collected by the government wherein commodities are not exchanged or services directly provided – income tax, sales tax – anything labeled tax that is regulated by the government. The cap and trade program is not being labeled a tax. The argument is that because the raised prices will be passed on to consumers then this is “in effect” a tax on working middle class individuals.

I was not entering into a semantic argument.

I also stated that “I'm not saying I think cap and trade is a wonderful idea, with no problems at all...” So please feel free to clarify exactly why I would be interested in lying about it.

Anyway, I was commenting in order to point out that this program was being criticized for being a tax by Republicans, in a state where the policy of the Republican governor caused the same effect – no raised taxes, but costs still went up for state citizens.

I also openly admitted to not being familiar with the specifics, and was interested in getting more information (and I did – thank you commenters!).

When someone comments that they aren’t familiar with the specifics of a program, and then refers to the dictionary definition of a word being discussed, WHILST contrasting the figurative definition, and you reply that they aren’t being clever and imply that they are attempting to twist words and lie, then that's just rude. (And that's beneath everyone.)

Mark Heuring said...

Amanda,

Good response. I thought about not posting the anonymous comment because of the "lying" business, but the rest of it had merit so I let it pass. And I figured you would be able to swat aside that statement.

Gino said...

"And I figured you would be able to swat aside that statement."

thats because at times she shows...
j/k,amanda.

we from the right view cap and trade as a tax because the $$ being 'traded' is actually transferred and controlled by the govt. that is a tax to us.

of course we could just use the leftist word for money seized by the govt as 'revenue'.
so, in a sense, we dont really file income taxes every april like most people mistakenly beleive, since we are actually filing with the revenue service, and not the federal tax board.

see? i just lowered everybody's taxes with a few punches of the keyboard. we are now likely among the lowest taxed people in the history of our nation.