Kerry and Broaden The Base

While channel surfing I stumbled on the Super Committee hearings on C-Span. There was Mr. Kerry doing Q/A with a panel of selected specialists who were to give him the desired answers so that he could say “expert opinion” said to “do this”.

What was his question? ~”Is it not true that we could put revenue on the table without raising the tax rates by changes in the tax code? That we could do this by ‘broadening the base’?” He also mentioned the particular need for $1 Trillion of taxes. This got an affirmative answer, and Kerry gave a small smile/smirk that he almost managed to suppress.

My take on it? The Dimocrats want to raise taxes by $1 Trillion, but know the Republicrims won’t let them raise tax rates on Their Rich Friends. So… time to pull thick wool over voters eyes. Diddle the Tax Code so as to have folks pay $1 Trillion more, but keep the nominal tax rates the same. See, no “tax (rate) increase!”… So, time to set the “bullshit” flag on “Broaden The Base”. When you hear that phrase, you now know it means “increase taxes to the Feds by diddling the tax code”. And the fight will be over exactly who’s base gets ‘broadened’…

Lies, damn lies, statistics and then there are politicians.

There was more, basically in the same mold. “How can we tax and spend more while having a creative enough lie to fool the dupes?”

At this point I’m of the opinion that the best thing the SuperCommitted can do is fail to reach agreement and have blanket cuts kick in. It’s clear that any agreement reached will just be an agreement that both sides managed to rob a third party. IMHO, of course.

So “watch this space”. We have until Thanksgiving for this committee to grope each other before they decide to rape the taxpayers. With luck, they’ll get so involved with grappling each other that they can’t get a hand free to put in our pockets.

Don’t expect to see that “broaden the base” make it to the nightly news… Wonder if C-Span has a searchable archive?…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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17 Responses to Kerry and Broaden The Base

  1. C-SPAN just added a searchable archive, in fact, and I used it to dig up an old find earlier today that had been hidden for years. This link will get you to the search engine for that library as well:
    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/189350-1

    The target of this link is from 2005. Right after Katrina, the “Pro-Black Media Forum” was put together to decide what to do about the treatment of blacks in the news during Katrina.

    This panel went on for four hours. The consensus shared by essentially all speakers: A black person becoming successful in the United States was “selling out,” and you were “taking the white man’s dollar.” (Echoing Muhammad Ali not long after the boxer joined the Nation of Islam and changed his name from Cassius Clay.)

    Though this forum was televised, the speakers seemed unsubdued by this. Unlike Kerry’s proposed solution of essentially eating the rich, toward the end of this forum they were letting it hang out. They decided that the problem was white people, and the discussion turned to “figuring out how we gonna exterminate the white man off the face of the planet.” (At about 3:40 in the video.) Only a few people applauded this — but the camera later showed that there were only a few people in the audience. Apparently there were some holdouts, as the speaker’s next remark noted that not everyone applauded.

    Of course there are whack-jobs of all sorts and of all colors. This fellow was interesting, as he was a college professor and part of the education process for which unsuspecting parents paid tens of thousands of dollars. There are thousands like him teaching our children today.

    The host, right after this speaker, did not disavow those comments. Instead, he said (rather appreciatively) something like “you can get as black as you want, but you can’t get blacker than that!” (A couple of the words trailed off but the gist is clear.) Then he commented that the speaker would be a hard act to follow.

    Many days later, after this episode was pointed out, the media invented a disavowal of the comments, but it had never happened. And C-SPAN immediately pulled the tape offline so that this could not be checked (the only show thus pulled that day and the only one pulled two years later), but I’d already downloaded the entire four hours and had listened to it all. I still have the original, but this appears to match it. Perhaps they’ll pull it again, as I intend to point this out again.

    The rest of speakers in the program were back to complaining about how bad it is to become successful in the white man’s America.

    None of them, at any point in the four hours, wanted their listeners to become financially successful, or even to seek success and have it as a goal (though some of the speakers were obviously successful).

    Such is how we are programming young people today to be very foolish. This forum, and thousands of college classrooms in the same vein, has produced the “occupy” movement which I always associate with the indicator on a toilet stall. A pity that they don’t restrict themselves to such places.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  2. kuhnkat says:

    I wish i could disagree with either of you.

  3. H.R. says:

    Of course diddling with the tax code means carving out exceptions for those who made fortunes selling ketchup and pickles.

  4. Pascvaks says:

    (SarcOn) It’s easy to blame ‘the system’ or ‘the folks at the top’ for the way things are, but the the wicked little gremlin that’s really causing all the grief is that bozo in the mirror that I see at least twice a day who’s too stupid and lazy to get off his fat ass and get out there and kick some butt. I hate congress people and politial appointees and government leaches and lawyers as much as the next guy, but that bozo in the mirror takes the cake in my book. He’s the most *%^&$! @#$%$&@ @@%$^@! %^!@@% I’ve ever met. Next time anyone out there sees that guy in the mirror, tell him what I said, OK? (SarcOff)

    Tea anyone?

  5. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. In order to know what taxes you are going to have implemented after all this you have to know those “reforms” already applied in several smaller countries, as recommended by the World Bank. As an example, we have (Peru, S.A) apart from the conventional taxes, the V.A.T. (now at 18%) and a tax on fuels (more than 50%), so you will have them too. My guess is that in a few years all the world will have similar taxations, and all the reforms of the “Washington consensus”.(The concept and name of the Washington Consensus were first presented in 1989 by John Williamson, an economist from the Institute for International Economics, an international economic think tank based in Washington, D.C.
    The same which will be applied to Europe countries, beginning with Greece.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus

  6. Jason Calley says:

    I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but here in the United States, we no longer enjoy a limited Constitutional Republic. Those days are not just ending, they are over, finished. It is no longer possible — in my opinion — to do any substantive repair to the Federal system by working within the system. The people running the Federal Government (with one or two rare exceptions) refuse to be bound by law, by ethics, by custom and history, or by public censure. In addition, they control the electoral process. They will do what they wish to do.

    Am I exaggerating? Today, the Executive Branch claims (and exercises) the power to search without warrant, to jail without charges, to hold and torture without trial and to execute without conviction — all based on an unproven assertion that the person in question is some variety of “terrorist.”

    The old system is gone, and the new system does not allow peaceful change to be enforced by the populace. Sadly, we have reached this condition because most people in the US prefer tyranny over freedom. They will never admit this, but it is true nonetheless. After all, being free is dangerous and difficult, but being herded like cattle is simple.

    The present system will eventually eat itself and fall apart. What can’t go on forever, doesn’t.

  7. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Jason Calley (14:28:03) :
    I cannot speak for the rest of the world…
    But “they” can and do it. The goal: the “new world order” or “global governance”, and though it seems good, as to improve standards of living all over the world, will wipe out the individual replacing it by the “bee-hive” or “ant-hill”( all bees and ants buying in a Mall): A “Brave New World”.
    On the other hand, there is a natural order, a hierachic order, which replicates the universal order. ( But that´s a thing of the past! -before the american and French revolutions……or, perhaps, of the future, if the conspiring elites fail in their effort of “opitimizing” their markets and profits)

  8. P.G. Sharrow says:

    The “queen bee” does not direct hive activities. She just lays eggs. A bee hive is not an monarchy or oligarch. If she stops laying eggs the workers stop feeding her and create a replacement.
    A bee hive is a democracy where everyone does what they feel is necessary. No ruling class, no bureaucrats, all the non workers (drones) are kicked out in the fall to starve.
    Good example to follow.

    From an old bee keeper. pg

  9. @R. de Haan:

    As one commenter at that link pointed out, the writer could not demonstrate that the complete collapse of the financial system was either “positive” nor “necessary.” Many of the hedge fund instruments he complained of owe their origins to regulatory morass and the incentives thus created; changing those incentives would help that a lot.

    But changing the US to a country whose government spends within its means would have a larger, more positive impact — especially if the same unplugging of regulatory counter-incentives was involved.

    Much has changed since the last time we made massive cuts in federal spending. That was in the early 1920s, and it worked. Non-military expenditures dropped by 85% in five years (from about $520m to $80m), as part of an intentional plan to stave off a Great Depression. Military spending reduced by a similar percentage (this was the end of World War I) and we deeply cut tax rates for high-income earners.

    We don’t call that period the Great Depression as a result, we call it the Roaring Twenties. Since then, the game has been rigged to make it very difficult to do this budget-cutting again.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

  10. Matthew W says:

    H.R. (10:13:27) :

    Of course diddling with the tax code means carving out exceptions for those who made fortunes selling ketchup and pickle
    =====================================================
    You mean for the guy that married a woman that was widowed by the guy that made the fortune with pickles and catsup ??

  11. Jason Calley says:

    @ P.G. Sharrow Bee keeper? Yes, me too, some decades ago. Great hobby, and for some reason it always seems to attract theologians and philosophers. I have some home made Kenyan Top Bar hives in the back yard, but they are sitting empty at the moment. I may try my hand at filling them up next spring. Incredible little creatures, and smart in a way that seems almost mammalian.

    @ adolfogiurfa I think you are very much correct that “they” are doing their best to turn the masses of the world into domesticated animals, but in the end, I do not think that they will succeed. You bring up bees and ants, but maybe a better description is “digital serfs.” “They” would be Lords and we would be serfs. They would have one set of laws and we would have a very different set. I am optimistic that they will fail in the long run, primarily because of the word “digital” in “digital serf.” Information is now and has always been, a weapon, and while digital technology allows a higher level of top-down surveillance, it also promotes a much higher level of bottom-up so-called “susveilance.” Do a Youtube search on “police brutality” or “banking fraud” and see what turns up. You will find hundreds or thousands of links to videos of events that would never have been documented even a decade ago. And while the end user finds digital technology to be fairly simple, the invention and control of this technology is still very intellectually demanding. The Geeks are going to be in ultimate control of it for some time to come, and very bright, out-side-the-box thinkers will find a way to work around the authoritarians. I am not saying that the next half century is going to be comfortable, but I think that the individuals of the world will win when pitted against the collectivists and other tyrants.

    @ Keith DeHavelle Yes, all the Keynesians have forgotten (conveniently) the non-depression of 1921. A very similar thing happened at the end of World War Two. most people will tell you that WWII lifted America out of the Great Depression, but in fact, the living standard of the average person had not greatly improved during the war. Yes, people were employed, but the long hours they were working was not reflected in greater personal wealth. After all, while 10,000 bomber is a VERY good thing to have during a war, producing war materials does not directly make your home bigger, your auto more comfortable, or your food more plentiful — especially when consumer goods and food is being rationed. After the end of the war, most economists predicted major and prolonged economic disruption as the country attempted to re-integrate all the home coming soldiers and retooling of the factories. Luckily, the government cut its budget and allowed the free market to reallocate capital and labor. The result was a quickly finished shuffle of markets, followed by a huge and sustained boom in the standard of living.

    @ R. de Haan Great article at your link http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-collapse-our-corrupt-predatory-pathological-financial-system-necessary-and-positive Seriously, one of the best, and I was pleased to see that Dr. Mandelbrot’s analysis was mentioned. If I had to sum up my take on the article, it would be with something that my friends and I have discussed before: “There is no cure for a depression. The depression IS the cure!” There is no free lunch, there is no free capital, there is no benefit in saving businesses which have chosen to kill themselves.

  12. P.G. Sharrow says:

    @ Jason Calley; The FDR administration gathered power over everything. By the end of WW!! the US was a virtual dictatorship. Federal bureaucrats had control over all the economic activities. Luckily he died and his power base fell apart politically. The massive regulatory machinery that was created was shut down by the end of 1946 and the miracle of 1947 was the result. Unfortunately that massive progressive machine has been reconstructed and things are grinding to a halt. We have the best governance money can buy.
    Freedom brings prosperity for everyone. Controls are used to bring wealth and power to a few.
    We need to impoverish and emasculate the bureaucracy, Put real teeth in the Constitution, as a code of honor to defend it does not work with the political classes. Constitutional control over government is a good idea. Honor in enforcement is unworkable. The Supreme Court is a bad joke as they are a part of the federal government political system.

    The Net that covers the world is the game changer as to the control and dissemination of information. We need some kind of outside control on government that reacts, to force the political class back into the constitutional box. Bring the philosophy of more and more government control over everything to an end.
    “The government that governs least, governs best.” pg

  13. Pascvaks says:

    Wars have a way of “consolidating” power. The hard part is dismantleing power after the war. As the Cold War came on the very heels of WWII (some in Europe say it was just a continuation of the war), there was no post war dismantleing and we continued to consolidate power at the national level. Well, no matter, the Piper must be paid! If anyone thinks that now is not a great, wonderful, beautiful time to dismantle the Federal Government to pre-war levels, and give power back to the states and the people, well Children there just ain’t gonna be no better time than now. Many, in the Military Industrial Complex, say “NO! No! No! Don’t do it!”. I’m telling you, from the lowly bottom of the Greatest Pyramid ever built, “If we don’t do it now, we’re toast; it’s time to pay the Piper! Let’s roll up our sleaves, teighten our belts, clean house like there’s no tomorrow, and maybe, just maybe, the USofA will still exist as a Top Dog in a hundred years.” Unlike ‘Global Climate Change’, Political Change does happen over night and with big bangs and whimpers.

  14. Matthew W says:

    Sigh !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    “Republicrims won’t let them raise tax rates on Their Rich Friends”

  15. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Jason Calley: Yes. My guess is that the Mayans predicted their end :-) It´s only for them to enjoy their private armageddon.
    Usually when conspirers succeed, they do it the same as the cancer cells: They kill the body which sustains them.

  16. @Matthew W:

    I don’t know if you are reporting someone else’s comment, or echoing it yourself. While both parties have suffered from a certain degree of corrupting influence, the Democrats are the party of “Rich Friends.”

    Lay out an income spectrum, tag it politically, and it would look something like this:
    Unemployed—–Median–High—SuperRich
    DDDDDDDDDDRRRRRRRRRRRRRDD

    These represent the majority, I think, of people at the different income levels. The levels of political activity are different, too. For example, the foundations created by the super rich are almost entirely leftist in nature and in their activities. The far-left Ford Foundation gave 15 times more to liberal causes than the top three conservative foundations gave to theirs.

    It is old news that Barack Obama is the largest recipient of Wall Street donations in history. And the largest recipient of union cash in history as well; unions out-fund people like the Koch brothers and right-wing foundations by tens-to-one.

    In an analysis I did recently of corporations (not foundations), even corporations were not strongly conservative. Unions, of course, were massively slanted to the liberal side, giving 96% of their money to Democrats.

    This does not count the massive foundational left tilt.

    ===|==============/ Keith DeHavelle

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