Blur of City Traffic wallpaper – Conservatism Has No Remedies, Thus We Have Concern Trolling and Tax Myths

city lights, city at night, urban cityscape

Blur of City Traffic wallpaper


While I have seen Democratic bloggers do it, no one has taken to concern trolling like conservatives. For those who may have missed out on this phenomenon on the internet and in newspapers. Concern trolling has taken on several methods of fake concern. One type of trolling is to pretend to be a reasonable moderate or conservative who would just love find some common ground with Democrats if they would just…..basically just adopt every far Right position. Another type of concern trolling is the personal conflated with the political. This is where the troll states that the Democrat is question could be a better person if only they would give up some political point of view or adopt radical conservative positions. I might be giving some of the trolls too much credit in thinking that they are like friends who pull a prank and try to keep a straight face. The concern troll knows they are being pranksters and seem  barely able to hide their snickering. In that regard Karl Rove’s concern trolling for the Wall Street Journal are excellent. I can see a little snide smile creep into his writing, but he generally stays in character – if Democrats would only become proto-fascist like us everything would work out great. Over at one of the Big Conservatives With Keyboards sites Jeffrey Scott Shapiro combines some of the worse trolling with such thinly veiled unhinged hatred that it sets a new low. Or a new high is self delusion, since Jeff seems do proud of himself,  Why Barack Obama Must Overcome His ‘Oppositional Identity’

It’s hard for people to pinpoint exactly what it is they don’t like about President Barack Obama, but I think I can easily sum it up: his thinly veiled contempt for America, and his transparent resentment for the country he was elected to lead.

You’ll often hear people say, “He just hates America.”

But try this on for size: Barack Obama may just be our first “oppositional identity” president. What’s that mean?

I’d never heard the phrase oppositional identity before, because I don’t subscribe to collectivist identity theories. I believe–much like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.–that people should be recognized by their own individual actions, not those of their ancestors.

If finding concern trolling is like finding roadkill, Jeff’s addition of some twisted version of a sociological theory and quasi-intellectualism is like finding two road kills just a few feet apart. They both combine to create the kind of stench, moral emptiness and absence of logic that defines modern conservatism. jeff is hoping you’ll give him a pass on the unproven, unfounded and illogical premise that Obama hates America – he states it in the typical why does Sam beat his dog school of discussion. If you have to start off proving that Sam does indeed beat his dog hat could take up a lot of valuable time he could be using to send off some chain mail to the local paper. Jeffery is continuing the not very original Dinesh D’Souza/Gingrich attacks and the now frayed Kenyan anti-colonialism accusations. I would hope that all our president would be anti-colonialists – you know because of all the near genocide, misery and oppression caused by colonialism. When Democratic bloggers discuss the D’Souza-Gingrich remark we’re kind of assuming they know what colonialism is. Especially since it is closely related to how conservatives see American exceptionalism – the right to invade and impose their will on the native population.  Not the kind of exceptionalism most Americans are prone to, as is every native of every country. You’re born and raised some place and tend to think, even with its faults, that it is a pretty great place. Conservatives, as they tend to do with just about everything, take that native pride to extreme levels. They remind me of a lot of ultra nationalist authoritarian movements of the last hundred years. If the conservative movement decides to show the least interest in honesty and sincerity it should stop saying it is patriotic and use the term nationalist instead. The distinction is important because nationalist do not love democratic republics they love some perverse immoral ideas of what the country would be like if they could burn the Bill of Rights.

Barry Ritholtz on Causes of the Financial Crisis. This is a long read so I’ll just highlight my biggest take away,

Are you saying that just as Ben Bernanke admitted the Federal Reserve had caused the first Great Depression, this crisis can also be blamed on our central bank?

The world isn’t black and white. We can’t just say, “The butler did it.” There were many causes, lots of poor judgements. If you look in the centrefold of my book, Bailout Nation, we try to depict everything in a visual form. It’s a great infographic by Jess Bachman that shows all the different factors that came together to cause a big collapse. The Federal Reserve was a significant element. But if you want to do it chronologically, you may want to go back further into the history. The bailout of Chrysler in 1980 set the stage. The rescue of Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) in 1998 encouraged a lot of moral hazard. Then there was all the radical deregulation, the undoing of some of the post-Depression rules that had operated so successfully for 75 years to prevent a major meltdown. The undoing of Glass-Steagall didn’t cause the crisis, but it made it much worse. Then there was the Commodity Futures Monetization Act (CFMA) of 2000, which completely exempted derivatives from any oversight or regulation and removed all reserve requirements. These all built to set up a situation that was extremely dangerous. So maybe the fumes were already in the warehouse and Greenspan taking rates down to 1% was the spark that ignited the conflagration.

So what are the take-homes? What do we do now?

It’s really simple. Go back through the past 20 years of radical deregulation and overturn all the rules that were changed. You don’t need all this Dodd-Frank legislation. Just reinstate Glass-Steagall, overturn CFMA. Just undo everything that was done in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006, remembering that old expression: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

If we were having some great civil and honest debate about political ideologies, who stands for what and who wants what we’d have to get conservatives to take a long hard look in the mirror. They would have to piece together what they actually stand for. Small government is not one of those things. Just let the economy run itself, stand back, keep your foot off the regulation pedal. Everything will sort itself out. The winners will rise to the top based on the merit of what they do and the losers can eat dirt. Well, if you were part of the blue collar working class or the middle-class you did end up eating dirt. Greenspan, the conservative libertarian, was in no way being hands off when he manipulated interest rates and money supply.

The corporate tax ankle bone is connected to the employment rate knee bone. Thus corporate taxes can never be low enough, right? Reality Check: Effective U.S. Corporate Tax Rate Much Lower Than Most Other Developed Nations

This is constant refrain from Republicans, who then blame the supposedly high U.S. corporate tax rate for discouraging job creation. But as we’ve noted time and time again, while the U.S. has a high statutory corporate tax rate (meaning the rate on paper), U.S. corporations actually pay incredibly low taxes due to the ever-proliferating loopholes, credits, and deductions in the tax code and the use of overseas tax havens.

U.S. corporate taxes that were actually paid (the effective rate) fell to a 40 year low of 12.1 percent in fiscal year 2011, despite corporate profits rebounding to their pre-Great Recession heights. The U.S. both taxes its corporations less and raises less in revenue from corporate taxes than its foreign competitors:

Taxes across the board are lower now then when Bush 43 left office. If low taxes, corporate or otherwise created jobs we’d be at 3% unemployment.

Technology advances. What’s that called when a robot makes calls for another robot, Women hater Rick Santorum Records Robocall Supporting Scott Anti-American Workers Walker In Wisconsin Recall.

Perhaps overly optimistic, but still good news – Ignore GDP: This Is the Obscure Stat That Explains the Hot Recovery

Something odd has happened the past few months. The job numbers tell us the recovery is accelerating. The GDP numbers say it’s not. This discrepancy has confounded expectations because there’s usually a fairly stable relationship between the GDP and employment — economists call it Okun’s Law. The growth-and-jobs gap has since launched a thousand blog posts.

But it turns out there might not be a gap, after all. Today we received news that GDI grew at a gangbusters rate in the fourth quarter of 2011. Bye-bye, growth-and-jobs gap.


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