From the Playbook

When things are not going well and you are a liberal, what do you do? As pointed out numerous times on this site you change the subject and blame someone else. Try to redirect the attention from your shortcomings to something else. So today we learn the White House is taking the interrogations of detainees from the CIA and turning them over to the FBI and it will all be controlled from the White House. Throw in some allegations about the Bush administration’s interrogations and hopefully no one will notice the disaster that the Obama White House has become. And maybe these pesky Americans who don’t want the government meddling in their healthcare will just go away. Also what you wanna bet the most visible President ever will keep an unusually low profile while on vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

This shift in policy follows the Census and other programs and duties being shifted to the White House for direct control. They’re hoping our healthcare will be next. You see, the elitest liberal mindset is that the people don’t know what’s good for themselves but they do, and now they have the power to act on it.


  1. J. Strupp says:

    “You see, the elitest liberal mindset is that the people don’t know what’s good for themselves….”

    Actually, most of them don’t. They think that they do, but they don’t.

    As one quick example, many people simply accept that cutting taxes for the top 1% of wage earners to levels not seen since the 1920’s has made the average Joe much better off since the idea came back into fashion in the 1980’s. What actually happened was a rather modest increase in average middle class wages in the last 25 years which was no doubt supplemented with easy access to credit that is now being stripped away from them.

    Yet, against all evidence, the idea of raising taxes on the top 1% even a couple of percentage points (back to the dark ages of 2001) draws wild condemnation and cries of socialism when a quick glance at history would show that we’ve taxed this same group of people at over 70% (rather than 35%) for the vast majority of the 20th century (late 1930’s to mid 1980’s). This same period of time saw some of the largest gains in middle class wage growth in our nation’s history.

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    Actually the ‘most of’ the average Americans you speak of could care less of what you write about above. You cherry pick an economic point that has nothing to do with my subject and nothing to do with my statement you quote. If you believe the American people don’t know what’s good for themselves, as you say, and that the government does, that makes you the socialist I’ve always suspected you were. I appreciate you finally admitting it.
    And the link you give is for an undocumented paper from maybe Berkeley or some other university. Again, it doesn’t matter as it has nothing to do with the subject.

  3. J. Strupp says:

    …then you can’t read.

    Last time I checked, most Americans were very much interested in the amount of their paycheck.

    The link was written by Emmanuel Saez. He is more than a reputable source. Sorry to bother you with info. that doesn’t come from clicking a blogroll. If I need to re-link my source so that is more apparent, then I will do so.

  4. JS – you missed a twist there. Americans are interested in what’s in there paychecks, but the elite leadership teams think they know best and should take as much as possible lest those poor Americans actually make their own decisions.

    Our taxes are already more progressive than many other countries – even socialist countries. You can give them all your money, though, if it will make you feel better. I’d prefer you keep your hands and opinion off mine.

  5. Randy in Richmond says:

    You’re right. I’m not in the 0.0001 percentile that can read a University Professor’s dissertation on theoretical or even empirical economics and really understand it.

  6. “Actually, most of them don’t. They think that they do, but they don’t. ”

    – Thank You for acknowledging the mindset.

    “…then you can’t read.”

    – This is why people are going to the town hall meetings. We must be unwashed and treated with disdain because the governing powers don’t think like they do. If the initial message doesn’t work, counter attack.

  7. The Lorax says:

    Elitist is cutting taxes for the top 1% of wage earners. Accusing the other side of not being smart enough to understand is what everyone does, no matter how “elite” or not.

  8. Randy in Richmond says:

    Please provide a link or quote where any conservative accused the American people of not being smart enough to understand what they want?
    Thank you.

  9. The Lorax says:

    This, from one of my favorite perpetrators:

    “I think the average American is undereducated and uninformed. Too many are immigrants who don’t care at all about our Constitution. Too many are inner city residents (read minorities) who only care about getting “freebies” and are envious of those who work hard and have more. I believe we have gone too far down the road to fascist socialism…” –Fairly Conservative commenter and Brookfield resident El Gato.

    I hear crap like that all the time from Democrats, Republicans, and everyone in between and on the fringes.

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    I was thinking of elected people or officials in a position of public power, not bloggers or the guy down the street. I guess I should have made that more clear.

  11. The Lorax says:

    I’m guessing you have a quote from Barney Frank or Maxine Waters that speaks to your point.

    In the interest of discussion, i’m going to put in idea forth. I’m not calling anyone names or trying to incite an argument:

    I wonder if, assuming you’re right, that it has something to do with the ”anti-intellectualism” of Republicans (party of no, party of no ideas, joe the plumber, death panels etc.) and the relative ”elitism” of Democrats.

    Aren’t there studies that find education and Democratic partisanship positively correlated?

  12. I think that’s a stretch, Lorax. I rather suspect it’s that Republicans market to the common level of education after years of being accused as elite. A swing of the pendulum.

    It’s amusing your string of identifiers (party of no, etc.) included Demospeak. Indoctrinated much?

  13. The Lorax says:

    Well, that’s basically what you just said in a different way.

    Indoctrinated? Not really. Talking point or not, it’s true.

  14. J. Strupp says:

    “I’m not in the 0.0001 percentile that can read a University Professor’s dissertation on theoretical or even empirical economics and really understand it.”

    That’s like winning the Nobel in economics only they give out the Clark Medal once every two years. I’d argue Saez’s work on this subject is a bit more than a dissertation.

    BTW, they teach this level of reading to college freshman.

  15. J. Strupp says:

    One other quick note Cindy,

    Does your comment regarding our progressive tax system include payroll taxes or are you just looking at income taxes? You get a much different story if you look at both together.

    Income inequality in this country has returned to pre-depression era levels. Some of it has to do with the de-unionization of America (among other things) but I would put most of the emphasis on the shift in tax policy favoring the top wage earners in this country over the last 25-30 years. Hey, I don’t have any problem with rich people taking advantage of the recent notion that tax cuts for the ultra wealthy makes everyone better off. I’d do the same thing if I made over $400,000/year. I do, however, have a problem with middle class Americans believing this nonsense and then advocating the status quo on tax policy in this country because they think they’ll be better off.

  16. The Lorax says:

    Yeah, I thought the reading was rather elementary…

  17. Randy in Richmond says:

    Let’s see. How many readers have commented on ” Striking it Richer, The Evaluation of Top Incomes in the United States” or “Individual Income Bottom and Top Bracket Rates” ? Lorax says it’s below him so he doesn’t count. Stimpy didn’t. Cindy can speak for herself.

    And Strupp. Don’t lecture me about what’s available to take in college. Your freshman reference is childish and immature.

  18. The Lorax says:

    I didn’t say it was below me. I said I could comprehend it. lol.

  19. Randy in Richmond says:

    Good.Then explain it to the rest of us. Start with figure 2.

  20. JS – re: income inequality – baloney. But that’s just my opinion. A lot of it has to do with an entire class of people who refuse to work and want free everything.

    I was working from here. I understood it to be income tax. You’ll have to articulate your payroll tax argument better if you want me to follow.

    In one case, payroll taxes, i.e., withholding is a prepayment of and included as total income tax. The other payroll tax is paid by the employer as a cost of doing business. It would seem your argument doesn’t hold, but I’m willing to listen.

  21. J. Strupp says:

    All I’m saying that the reading wasn’t difficult to understand. It is, in fact, the type of thing you read as a college freshman.

    Lighten up a bit.

  22. J. Strupp says:


    I believe the Tax Policy Center is focusing on income taxes only. Payroll taxes (a flat rate of 15.3% for people making under $70,000 I believe to cover, Medicare, Social Security, etc.) are not included in those stats. The vast majority of Americans pay more payroll taxes than income taxes and the burden trends higher the lower your total income level is.

    In terms of the payroll taxes paid by your employer, this cost is simply transfered back to the employee in the form of lower wages, higher prices or both. Different deal.

    …and I don’t disagree at all that we have a large segment of society that refuses to work. A segment that seems to be growing larger by the day.

  23. Social security and Medicare, while they’ve been driven into a hole, aren’t taxes as much as insurance. You get something back (theoretically) in a few years for having made that payment.

    Of the 15.3% you use it looks like half that is the employee burden, and half the employer’s.

    And it’s not people making under $70,000 – everyone is to pay up to $70,000.

    So yes, the article was on Income tax only, but that’s what is more progressive than other countries. Those paid less don’t have a higher share of the soc sec and medicare burden. Those are more like insurance payments than taxes since the employee gets something tangible in the end. (For now.)

  24. Randy in Richmond says:

    I have always considered any learned work or paper by a university professor to be a dissertation. It also refers specifically to a doctorial thesis. To be clear my use of the term in this case was the former as the link had no other identifying language. Numerous web sites refer to Saez’s link as a ‘paper’ or ‘study’. I have never questioned Saez’s qualifications. I guess that thing about gift of gab and the Blarney Stone doesn’t always hold true.

  25. J. Strupp says:

    You’re correct on the $70,000. I mis-spoke.

    I agree that our income tax system, alone, is progressive. And I don’t wish for the days of 90% income tax rates for the ultra rich to return either. My main issue has been with the notion that lower taxes for the rich (which are MUCH, MUCH lower than historical average) translate into prosperity for all. I don’t see it. For example, between 1945-80 the American middle class saw huge real wage, productivity gains all while top level income tax rates were around 70%.

    What I do see these days is very moderate real wage growth for the middle class worker while the upper class reaps double digit gains during time periods of relative prosperity. Income inequality in this country has been growing substantially in recent history and I’m of the opinion that it’s not just because of more welfare babies, lazy workers and/or cheap foreign labor. There’s something else going on.

    I also have a feeling that our growing income inequality is directly related with the growing political polarization in this country (hence the socialism paranoia these days) but that’s a subject for another day and I’ve already gone way off topic as it is and Randy’s gonna come through the monitor at me shortly……