Well said, Mr. Esenberg

Rick Esenberg of Shark and Shepard has a bit about last night’s debate between Republican Ron Johnson and Democrat Russ Feingold.

The whole thing is worth reading, but I love this line:

The villians are not every day people who work, but the looting class that wishes to control and profit from the work of others – to reap where they did not sow and to rule the innocent by making them criminals.

He was talking about Atlas Shrugged, but it translates very well to our current situation.

The looting class. Whether they control us by demanding a purchase of health care insurance you might not otherwise want or by insisting we care for the poor with free cell phones, the undeniable goal is to reap what someone else took the time to sow.


  1. “the looting class are criminals” ……..be carefuly before you ID a criminal. we do have laws, non-partisan, that prohibit such hate talk. recently slogans are popular to promote hatred. at this rate the haters will hate the haters. where have the gracious ideas like victory gardens and love thy neighbor gone ?

  2. We have a very different opinion of who’s looting who Cindy.

    And on a side note, can politicians stop citing Atlas Shrugged to score economic points please? It’s not even good fiction let alone a guide for economic policy.

  3. No, it’s not great fiction. But it is a really important book for its time. I know, many conservatives hold it high as the perfect statement on capitalism, but I’ve always seen it as more. It’s almost a Utopian statement, and I’ve always thought Utopia is dominated by the left.

    So, I see the government as looting the taxpayers. I mean crap, James Sensenbrenner hopped on a jet and took his lovely bride to feast in Copenhagen for a climate change summit and charged it to me. If that’s not looting, then the word shouldn’t exist.

    Just how would you describe it?

  4. Hey I agree with your Sensenbrenner assertion. No question about it.

    But i’m more concerned with how government has managed to loot middle and lower class America with taxation and deregulatory policies that have benefitted the upper class for more than 30 years. At no point in American history has wealth accumulation at the top end been so high yet we waste our time complaining about welfare babies and free cell phones. The deck has been stacked against middle and lower class Americans yet, ironically, any attempts to reverse this obvious disparity is met with cries of socialism and quotes from bad works of fiction.

    It’s a sad state of affairs and it’s only going to get worse, given our current political climate.

  5. I still don’t see how taxing the lower and middle class at a rate lower than the upper class is looting.

    You can argue deregulation helped the upper class, but it’s still not looting.

    If you don’t want people to make a lot of money, stop working for the people who make a lot of money. That would include government. Union bosses make a lot of money; don’t join a union. Bank presidents make a lot of money. Stop putting your money in a bank. Accountants make good money; stop buying anything from any company that uses an accountant.

    You have the power to change it without making a law. So change it.

  6. Randy in Richmond says:

    Do I understand that you advocate for climate change ? 🙂

  7. J. Strupp says:

    I don’t care who makes a lot of money. That wasn’t my point. And I wasn’t talking about just income tax rates either.

  8. Mr. Strupp, you are going to need to be specific. Otherwise it sounds like “if I’m not rich no one else gets to be rich, either.”

  9. The government allowing big business (GE, Exxon Mobil, etc.) to offshore profits and pay no Fed. income tax. The same folks who’s credit divisions are currently backstopped by Uncle Sam and who have benefitted from oil subsidies and government contracts. If that’s not outright looting then I don’t know what is. Uncle Sam’s tax policy which allows this crap makes Sensenbrenner look like a Boy Scout.

    The government collecting payroll taxes , primarily from lower and middle class Americans, to pay to Social Security and other social programs, cutting income taxes disproportionally to favor the upper class without offsetting this in the Fed. budget and then blaming the shortfall in social security and other social programs on poor people. And then eventually cutting those programs because poor people are leaches on society, not because we pissed their money away.

  10. Hey, your guy’s been in charge with the full force and security of a Dem House and a Dem Senate. Whine to him about subsidizing big oil.

    RE: payroll taxes. So you shouldn’t have to pay these even if you want to draw from the pool later? Any income bracket is taxed and paid back according to that bracket. Either you don’t understand how it works or you’re being a jerk.

    RE: Cutting income taxes. How does taxing higher incomes at higher tax rates support your argument that the upper class is unfairly advantaged? Perhaps you are unhappy that deductions are allowed. If that’s the case, see my response to your complaint about big oil.

    I do wonder JS – will you ever be happy or is pissing and moaning about how unfairly you are treated simply your favorite thing to do?

  11. J. Strupp says:

    “…Whine to him about subsidizing big oil.”

    He’s as responsible as anyone else. And I believe I was whining about our tax policies and not big oil’s exploitation of them.

    “So you shouldn’t have to pay these even if you want to draw from the pool later?”

    Yes. I never said otherwise. We’re talking past each other.

    “How does taxing higher incomes at higher tax rates support your argument that the upper class is unfairly advantaged?”

    Because the truth is in the pudding. Income levels of the top 1% have exploded in the past 30 years while the rest of the nation has shown modest growth (negative growth lately). This didn’t happen magically. The income explosion of top income levels directly relates to our change in taxation polices stemming from the 80’s. I’ve posted data regarding this here in the past and I don’t think that there’s any need to go into it again for everyone’s sake.

    Finally, I’m sorry you feel that my commentary on this issue is some sort of personal attack. As i’ve said before, I don’t care who makes what and what tax laws they take advantage of. It’s none of my business and I don’t care one way or another.

    And your wrong about one last thing: Reading your blog is my favorite thing to do. Pissing and moaning about how unfairly I’ve been treated is my second favorite thing.

  12. Ok, J. Strupp. You’ve redeemed yourself. 😉 As long as pissing and moaning is your second favorite thing.

    I am genuinely confused as to how you can think taxing the rich more is to their advantage, but I’m willing to wait until next week to explore the details.

  13. J. Strupp says: