The left can’t have it both ways

Today’s hysteria (oh, in addition to Graeme Zielinski’s moment where he jumped up on the couch and proclaimed himself king of the world) is courtesy yesterday’s campaign finance report filings. Did you know Governor Scott Walker is raising money?

Not only is he raising money, but the law allows him to do so without the usual campaign finance limits. So, in typical fashion, the left, represented by One Wisconsin Now (has there ever been such an ironic name for a group?) is pitching a fit that money is actually coming into Walker’s coffers. Here’s a portion of their press release:

“Walker is criss-crossing the country and taking unprecedented outside money,” said Ross. “Walker’s already sold out Wisconsin’s workers, students and seniors and who knows what he’s promising in return for these millions of dollars.”

So I’ll be a grown up about this. Uhem. You started it.

Seriously. The laws governing this matter were as clear for the left as they are for Walker. The recall triggered a field day for fundraising. That half of it is from out of state so far means (here, I’m helping with the spin) that this nation is fully aware of the importance behind the changes Walker has made in Wisconsin.

Rich people give money to influence politics. If the left doesn’t like it, they shouldn’t take donations over $100 from any one person. That would really put some integrity into your argument. But no, I’m sure if you looked at former Senator Russ Feingold’s statements you’d see big money. Maybe not this big because there limits apply, but big enough.

And so, you don’t get it both ways. You don’t get to trigger a recall and then complain that someone is raising money to defend it. You don’t get to collect signatures and then complain when someone wants them verified.

I guess it’s a good thing this is Wisconsin. The left can likely get some cheese with their whine.

What I want to dig into this afternoon (sorry, playing for a bit midday) is where the money’s been spent. Consultants and attorneys seem to do well, as do mailing houses.


  1. Keith Schmitz says:

    Don’t know Cindy if you setting a trap or falling into one, but here’s a bit of news. We on the left don’t hate rich people, just what some rich people do with their money.

    There are some people who did intelligent, energetic and creative things to amass their pile.

    Then we have those who were born into it (Kochs), married into it (Ron Johnson) or unfortunately like so many, destroyed rather than create jobs to get rich. These are the one’s who seem to fight to hardest to control our political system and control people like Scott Walker.

    We would love to not have to resort to money, but we are not crazy. There is not going to be mutual disarmament any time soon.

    However there is hope. People’s time can overcome rich predator money, as the Halperin race showed or lately, the people-powered recall movement against Scott Walker. Alas the second step will have to involve boatloads of money.

    Yeah its crappy that we have to accept money to play this game, but it cannot be argued that the left would rather not have to do this and the right wants to do nothing else but.

  2. Yes I always thought that Bob Perry was a true patriot and just cared about what was best for this country….I wonder if, like newt, he loves this country enough to screw his interns?

  3. Randy in Richmond says:

    I’m not sure I follow you. Who are some examples of people that “destroyed rather than create jobs to get rich”.

  4. Paul Ryan

  5. Randy in Richmond says:

    Jeff, are you answering Paul Ryan for Keith ? If so, exactly how did he destroy jobs that made him rich ?

  6. Have you seen the 1st congressional district since Paul ryan has been in office.

    How he has gotten rich, I am not sure but he has increased his wealth tremendously since being in office.

    I would study it but would probably need a shower after and lose my appetite.

  7. Keith: I’m disappointed that only you have the power to discern a person’s worth. I though we all had the right to do that for ourselves.

  8. Ha! The anti-spam was occupy. I guess some people just can’t win.
    To answer you question Mitt Romney.
    Bain was well known for buying a company, stripping it and selling it for a Profit!

  9. Randy in Richmond says:

    Buying a company that is floundering and perhaps ready to go out of business, and re-structuring it to be efficient and profitable creates far more jobs in the long run. You have no idea that this and other Bain initiatives caused a net loss of jobs. Just saying it doesn’t make it so.

  10. Randy in Richmond says:

    What specifically has Paul Ryan done to destroy jobs ?

  11. So Romney is a hero for downsizing companies and letting others rebuild or harvest the assets while collecting a nice fat check.
    There is also not a net gain just because you say so.

  12. Randy in Richmond says:

    If a company goes under all jobs are lost. If it’s bought and restructured many are not lost.

    I didn’t say being a good businessman makes one a hero.

  13. Randy in Richmond says:

    Isn’t it interesting, Cindy, how the left wants to define the “good” rich and what is the proper way for one to become so. If a long lost relative died and left any of them lots of money I suspect none would turn it down.

  14. randy have you not paid attention to Paul Ryans career? Or what the republicans did when they had complete control or even what they have done recently? have they done one thing that was good for the American worker?

  15. Randy,
    I was answering the question you posed regarding a person profiting from the loss of another’s job and citing an example of someone who did. I am not assigning a “good” or bad to the method of gaining riches. I know facts can be difficult to deal with but the just seem to hang around. Not that Mitt will be much of a political factor since the republican base will not support him fully and Obama has multiple avenues of attack to beat him in a general election.

  16. Randy in Richmond says:

    I sorta switched gears, sorry. It was Keith who defined what a “good” rich person is to be. But Republicans will support the candidate ABO.

  17. I’m quite sure that republicans will almost all vote ABO as you say however general elections are won with independents and moderates as the base of both parties will not waver. Romney probably has the best shot with moderates but it seems as though he will have a hard time getting through the primary process as the nominee with the lack of support he is getting from the right. Gingrich does not appeal to the middle either. While Obama polls poorly against a generic challenger he beats everyone with a name on the Republican side. Walker, Kasich, Scott,Haley and the gov of Michigan have awoken the left and have allienated many of those in the middle. It will be interesting to see how things unfold but I think McConnel and Boehner will see their obstructionist tendencies fail in their ultimate goal of making Obama one and done.

  18. Randy in Richmond says:

    So Jeff, there is absolutely no validation to your comment on Paul Ryan.

  19. The fact you cant name one thing he has done to help the american worker is all the validation i need. That and his record on jibs in his district.

  20. Keith Schmitz says:

    Randy in Richmond, I can’t believe you are even asking that question. There are any number of CEOs that have gotten obscenely wealthy sending jobs overseas. But it you want to be more specific, how about Walker’s poster boy, Chris Rebholz —

    Regarding Romney, should he make it to the big show, you bet his time at Bain will be scrutinized big time. Granted, there were no doubt successes that came out of reorganizations.

    But folks. In the process Romney got fabulously wealthy while many involved with the companies he played with had their lives up ended.

    It’s the same with the products being made overseas. Do the people who head up these companies have to be paid so damned much?

    Cindy thinks I’m being unfair to these people. Am I? When you consider the unemployment, profound set backs and in many cases the cut-off to health care since in this country it is based on employment so that a minority can make millions, how can that be justified.

    I am being really restrained here, but this ethos for lack of a better term is inappropriate, to say the least.

    Tell me how this set up is justified. Hate to ascribe a lot of outcomes to a single cause, but our country is being demolished so that we can cater to one group for no apparent positive outcomes to America as a whole.

    I invite you to dive in.

  21. Keith, I suppose it goes to my fundamental belief that insurance for health care coverage is a job perk and not a right.

    Hear me out.

    Thirty years ago would a doctor see you because you were ill? Even if you couldn’t pay right away? Of course he would. (Mostly he’s thirty years ago, don’t freak out.) The problem is a second business stepped in and put a barrier between you and your doctor. Do away with health insurance and you get healthcare back.

    Don’t be satisfied with the argument as it’s presented to you. See beyond. There’s a solution to this problem, but Obama blew it by trying to appease the industry that stepped between you and your doctor. Keep healthcare insurance as a benefit of employment, but detach that insurance from the rising cost of HEALTHCARE. Everyone wins.

  22. Randy in Richmond says:

    You are still wrong Keith. Those CEO’s that sent jobs overseas created jobs there–probably more than were lost here, including Rebholz.

  23. Randy,
    How are outsourced jobs a benefit to America? I mean seriously your arguments are too sad to be funny.

  24. Randy in Richmond says:

    Maybe you should follow the discussion. Keith made the statement that, “like so many, destroyed rather than create jobs to get rich” when referring to those with money. I asked for an example and one is yet to be provided. Where did anyone specify there had to be a benefit to America or the jobs had to be in a specific geographic location ? But to answer your question there is a benefit to millions of Americans from the tens of thousands of products we all purchase from countries around the world at far less prices than if they were made here.

  25. Keith Schmitz says:

    Randy, you must be jerking our chains because you can’t be this dense.

    !4,000 factories over the past 10 years have been closed due to outsourcing, including four in my small home town.

    On the other hand your ignorance of this issue explains an awful lot.

    I hope you are ready to be educated. Maybe you can pass it along to your friends.

  26. One has yet to be provided? serious?

    When someone closes a factory in the us and reopens one in china, they are not job creators they are traitors.

  27. “One has yet to be provided? serious?”

    Yeah serious Jeff.

    Corporations that outsource labor outside our borders are not destroying jobs. They’re transferring them. And, as Randy says, in many cases there is a net creation of jobs from outsourcing.

    If you’re trying to argue that American corporations are destroying American jobs by outsourcing labor, than well, no kidding. But you seem to think that there’s a net destruction of jobs when a corporation outsources labor and that’s typically not the case.

    The problem, Jeff and Keith, isn’t so much the outsourcing of jobs in at the micro level, it’s the economic climate that our government has created that has favored the exportation of labor (primarily manufacturing labor). And yes, this is primarily the Clinton adiminstration’s fault via a strong dollar policy that set the stage for the massive trade imbalances we see today.

    You can’t, and shouldn’t blame CEO’s, rich people, big bad corporations whatever for taking advantage of the trade imbalances our government has created.

    You want corporations to stop exporting jobs? Than tell the idiots in Washington to change their ways. Strongly encourage the PRC to stop manipulating it’s currency and, thus, exporting unemployment to the west. “Encourage” them promote domestic consumption instead of relying primarily on exports for domestic growth. If that doesn’t work, threaten outright tariffs on Chinese goods imported into this country. And, most of all, strategically devalue the dollar with expansionary fiscal policy so that currency manipulation by the counterparty becomes unbearable.

    In short, the problem runs a hell of a lot deeper than simply calling people traitors.

  28. Randy in Richmond says:

    “When someone closes a factory in the us and reopens one in china, they are not job creators they are traitors.”

    Gee Jeff, you just called President Obama a traitor. In December of last year he instituted a ban on drilling for oil along the Atlantic coast and the Gulf of Mexico off Florida. This is essentially the same as closing down the oil business in that large area of our country, costing potentially thousands of jobs.

    Previously Obama had financed the exploration of the huge offshore discovery in Brazil’s Tupi oil field with American dollars, thus outsourcing the jobs that could have been produced here plus the existing jobs he eliminated. Who do you think will get the jobs in Brazil that we are footing the bill for ?

    I find it shocking that a staunch liberal such as yourself would call our President a traitor.

  29. Hey Herr Strupp, you might appreciate this example, ja?

    Germany is providing jobs for their people and growing their economy while at the same time gavin regulations in place, providing health care and giving unions a seat at the corporate table.

    Plus you conveniently pass over the fact that CEOs in this country are obscenely compensated to the tune of 474 times what the average worker makes. I can see some jobs going overseas, but come on, these greedy bastards are seeing this as an opportunity to grossly enrich themselves to the detriment of the rest of us.

    Moddy’s, yes Moody’s, says that one million of these jobs aren’t coming back – So how is that equal?

    Further, you can bet the companies that are here are using the threat of sending jobs overseas to threaten and suppress wages over here.

    What magnifies the million jobs is that many of the factories being closed down are in small towns and are those places are in small towns. It is the height of despicable when GOP politicians state that people who are collecting unemployment are lazy when you consider what is happening all across America.

    The regulations and what ever else that corporate America and their enablers like to pin on Washington to fool the government haters are just excuses.

    And let’s talk about the ripple effect of suppressing wages on the overall economy, since over 60% is propelled by consumer spending. You can’t have consumer capitalism without them.

    What example close to home? It is no accident that when your wife’s employer (I am assuming she is Cathy) cut the purchasing power of 13% of the state’s workforce by an average of 8% to pay for benefits and retirement. Sweet irony since all along Walker has been taking credit for jobs early in his administration that were in the planning stage when Doyle held that office.

    Like I said, we could do this job exporting to an extent like Germany does (and don’t focus on Germany, this is an example of many countries) but this at the rate we are doing it it is at the expense of weakening this country.

    Your argument that jobs over there is equal to jobs over here is fine, if you neglect the fact that you are selling us out because I hate to sound selfish and all, but I want Americans working.

    If you think that 472 ratio has nothing to do with this, you might be successful of deluding yourself but not the rest of us.

    Tell me, what part of feudalism do you like?

    And Randy, you continue to impress us all. This “drill baby drill” chant is yet another cheer to roust the rubes. The oil industry is not drilling on all the leases they have right now.

    Sorry, I’d like you to feel you are a clever person, but on this one you are not.

  30. Not sure who Cathy is Keith.

    And I agree with most of your commentary actually.

  31. Randy in Richmond says:

    In Wisconsin the average worker makes right around $50,000. But I will use the Census Bureau’s average per capita salary of $27,000 to make my point. If you multiply $27,000 by 474 you get over 12 million dollars. There are lots of CEO’s who make more than this. But the great proportion of them make less–much less. The national average–considering most all CEO’s is around 213:1 If you cherrypick a business like Walmart with low average incomes the ratio is higher. Same for drugstore chains and retail. Not so for factory workers. For instance the ratio for Microsoft is 13:1, Citigroup is 17:1, and Dell is 13:1. The internet is full of ridiculously high ratios that are correct if you cherrypick the business but the real proof is in looking at the top 200 CEO compensations. The top 60 make equal to or over the 474 multiple based on average worker salaries of $27,000 and the remaining 120 make under the 474 multiple.

    But this next figure shoots the 474 multiple out of the water. There are approximately 18,000 businesses in the US that employ 500 people or more–nevermind the millions of companies that employ less.

    That means of all the 18,000 companies in the US that employ 500 or more people, 60 of them meet or excede the 474 multiple of employee pay vs CEO pay, and 17,940 do not. Put another way 0.33 % of companies with over 500 employees meet or exceed Keith’s 474 standard.

    And we all know the census figure of $27,000 is low relative to what most factory and union workers earn because it is a per-capita figure.

  32. Keith Schmitz says:

    And a ratio of 231 to one is acceptable?

  33. Keith, in capitalistic economy we don’t care. If you do care, move someplace that doesn’t practice capitalism.

  34. Randy in Richmond says:


  35. Brookfield Truth says:

    Keith – we are tired of your whoa is me attitude, take some personal accountability and move on. Unfortunately most of the recallers have the same attitude. This is not what made our country great.

  36. There is literature and there is pornography. What we have going on here is not capitalism and certainly isn’t democracy.

    Yeah, I love this system and country so much think I’ll hang around to fix it.

    Where have I not taken personal responsibility for anything, or is this something that gets routinely burped out in Brookfield when you disagree with someone in lieu of rational argument?

    Conservative Republicans — imagination at work.

  37. Representative republic, Keith. That’s what we have; not a democracy. And if you aren’t getting your way try to get people elected who think like you do. Oh, but if you aren’t successful? Deal with it. That means your thinking is in the minority.

    Now, we can disagree. That’s what this blog is built on – disagreement. But don’t think you can shame me into changing my thinking, because I’m not ashamed of it.

    Is there a chance you and those like you could find a way to articulate your dissatisfaction without saying I’m irrational?

  38. Actually we have a constitutionally limited democratic republic if you want to split hairs.

  39. Keith Schmitz says:

    My apologies if you think I meant you Cindy. You don’t strike me as irrational at all, but reasonable.

    Oh I forgot you live in Brookfield. Sorry. That comment I made about burping was meant for Brookfield “Truth.”

  40. the historical fact is that there will always be poor people living under the poverty level. the root causes are many, including being born disabled in any way that precludes you from the normal workplace; being born into a poor family on welfare or just poor; unable to compete in the jobforce; williing to sacrifice a good life for wealth; health issues from accident or disease; failure in business or family life, etc. etc. so what do we do to keep these people alive and well ?

  41. Keith Schmitz says:

    Granted, I am glad you are acknowledging the obligation of dealing with the poor. But having great masses of people poor doesn’t have to happen artificially either.

    I’m talking about people losing their jobs because some greedy son of a bitch closing down a factory and sending jobs overseas so he can make $25 million a year. We used to have a middle class in this country but thanks to these wide spread practices, it is perilously shrinking.

    That my friends is going to be the burden of nominating Mitt. People are getting really irritated and aware of those conditions and Mitt will be the poster boy for that group.

  42. You’re all over the place, Keith.

  43. Pop Quiz time capitalist tax cutters.
    In the past 70 years which President governed over the highest GDP growth rate and what was the tax rate on the highest income bracket?

    This should enlighten some of you regarding economic policy.

  44. Truth: Doesn’t mean anything. I know we like to play otherwise, but economic cycle has little to do with politics.

    (What is it with all this truth bs? Can’t any one use something that looks like a real name?)

  45. Cindy,
    How can yo say that the economic cycle has little to do with politics? I do not understand how you can harp on Obama’s economic policies saying that tax cuts on the highest bracket must be reduced even further and that the “job creators” should be rewarded with a nice tax cut to spur economic growth but then run away from a simple question that may open some people’s minds to the role taxes play in economic growth.

    (I prefer true anonymity on the internet. You never know what someone will do with little bits of information. As for BT I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Sorry for offending your sensibilities.)

  46. Keith Schmitz says:

    Doesn’t mean how good the macro numbers are for a cycle, how the average person does is what matters, especially in a country like ours that professes to believe in a strong middle class.

    It’s how this wealth is concentrated that matters. As Justice Brandeis put it, “either you can a democracy (sorry Cindy) or you can have concentrated wealth. You can’t have both.”

    And I agree Cindy. People should use their names. Might make them think about what they say or at least have the guts to stand behind it.

    I probably have lost at least one client who didn’t support my views. Oh well. I’m a citizen and one of your jobs as a citizen is to stand up for what you believe in, despite the occasional threats, some of which are actually amusing.

    Notice that my anti-spam word is “cake,” or what those in the predator capitalist class want us to eat.

  47. Randy in Richmond says:

    I take umbrage at your constantly calling those who support capitalism or have gained wealth ” predators, SOB’s, greedy bastards, rubes”, and other imputations.

    I strongly believe in the capitalist sysyem even as I recognize individuals will abuse and misuse it to the detriment of others. For every such person there are thousands of hard working entrepreneurs, assembly line workers, business people, clerks, laborers, and CEO’s that don’t abuse the system. You can certainly center your attention and energy on those you consider bad apples as you have chosen to do so, but don’t expect warm feelings and agreement from those akin to me, because it is the process and system in which we believe, and not necessarily the people driving the system. There are those of us who visit this site with profoundly different views on the economy and mostly we debate and offer opinions without using descriptions such as those attributed to you at the beginning of this comment.

  48. Ok. Fine. You win Truth. Why don’t you anonymously pop up a link to make your point instead of making us guess?

    BTW, I’ve never argued the taxes at the top need to be reduced more, only that they should not be increased. It doesn’t look like they will be increased, so the point is moot, but you can argue your little heart out.

    Keith: Inequality is a fundamental human reality. While we all have the same rights in this country, we don’t all have the same start. We aren’t all tall with blond hair and blue eyes. (I think I remember someone trying that and it not going over too well.) We aren’t all smart. We aren’t all rich.

    You can share the wealth, but then where will you stop? Equal is equal. I want to be three inches taller. Right now. I’m tired of dragging a step stool out to get to my upper cabinets. 🙂

    Please, study the history. The fundamental flaw of the system you admire is that humans, given the chance, are lazy creatures. Eventually no one works and the country has to start all over.

    PS guys – I make up the spam words and change them out when someone breaks through. I’m glad you seem to be enjoying them. “Cake” is one of my favorites.

  49. No body wants to “share the wealth” we just want people and corporations to pay their fair share. No amount fo right wing talking points will change that.

    The thing that just amazes me about 2011, is that we spent the first part of the year just amazed and appalled that we would even consider raising the taxes on the upper 1% by a measly 3%. Then once the upper 1% won that battle, we moved on to the next one. Cutting public employees pay by 12% and the same people were just appalled and amazed that public workers had the gall to work 50 hours a week and make $40 k a year.

    I always wonder if the right even listens to their own arguments and how they make any sense?

  50. And somehow a wealthy person’s “fair share” happens to be twice the percentage of yours. Nah. Fair share is a pseudo socialist term for sticking it to the rich in order to fund something you might want down the road for free. Healthcare, pension, I’ll let you put the wishlist together.

  51. again not even close….it depends on what they use. When I go to target and fill my cart i pay more than if I grab a couple things….

    i cant figure out why you keep shlling for the upper 1%, im quite sure your not in the club…..never understood that.

  52. Ahah. You finally reveal the fundamental flaw in your thinking. Your Target example is of consumption. Though you want a rich person to pay far more for the governmental goods and services consumed, the fact remains, that rich person does not consume nearly the governmental goods and services that one living from welfare would collect – that in fact a rich person subsidizes. Also in example, you assume a rich person drives the roads more than you do. They are arrested and imprisoned more than you. They send more children to school than you.

    You’ve simply confused consumption and payment. In taxing, they do not correspond as you demand. In fact, it is often quite the opposite.

    Now that you’ve shown your philosophical flaw quite clearly, I expect you to resort to the usual hatefulness and lies. Go on.

  53. Lets take my favorite example, the walton kids who did nothing whatsoever to become multi gazillionaires except pop out of the right random womb.

    Wal-mart employs hundreds of thousands of people, many on state aid, but lest forget that for a moment. They then have used the benefit of hundreds of thousands of public educations to gain their riches, including the roads to get to and from their stores and ship all of their products. Smedly Walton himself might not drive more than I(i am sure he doesnt) but he benefits far more from the public roads, etc… than I. Then you also have to take into effect that (the number i heard at one point was 80 something % of the cases in the courts are business suing people and other businesses) and they get a tremendous advantage and use out of our court system than I do. They also use a far more percentage of police/fire. etc… Then factor in the fact that its our great nation and the way we are set up in a somewhat capitalistic system that allows them to flourish like they do and their CONSUMPTION far exceeds yours and mine and randy’s and keith’s, etc… altogether. But hey as long as they dont have to pay more in taxes they can keep the swiss banks in business and spend enough to buy a few politicians and we are all good.

    Although that only works when they can get a portion of the country to be their mouth pieces and mislead the general public into thinking they are the victims.

  54. No, Jeff. Your favorite example was filling up your cart at Target. And then, as I predicted you became a hate-filled twit. It kind of helps my argument that you don’t make sense, either. Nor do you offer any proof in defense of your rant.

    I have never seen a rich person argue they are a victim. I think you are making that part up.

  55. Keith Schmitz says:

    Enjoying cake right now.

    Cindy, of course there is inequality, but there are also degrees of it and just acting like there is nothing we can do about it is futile and will lead to the destruction of this country.

    Despite what Paul Ryan said on ABC Sunday Morning, the ability in this country to move between classes is worse than it has been in nearly a century.

    And what does whether or not people wanting to work have to do with the present discussion, especially since it is not true. Bet you out of the 14 million unemployed, just about all of them wish that they had a job.

    Why? Because in this country a job defines you and without it, you have no dignity. People recognize this.

    Yeah, I’m sure you have shiftless brother-in-law somewhere, but are you telling me that the 400 Brokow who will be loosing their jobs want to sit around?

    I know the right is fond of floating this around to justify cutting unemployment, but it just isn’t true for most people and worse, it is cruel, especially given the fact that so many are out of work to enrich the few.

  56. Keith – are you deliberately missing my point? We SHOULDN’T do anything – as a government anyway – about inequality. We can and I think should offer help to those in need as we come across them.

    I missed the introduction of “people wanting to work” in the earlier discussion, but ok. If you believe “just about all” of the unemployed want to work that’s fine. I don’t believe that at all. Can that be fine, too? And it sure would be swell if you guys would offer some backup to your important arguments. Otherwise we’re just going to have to agree that you’re doing nothing more than expressing an opinion.

    Perhaps you can help define how the lowly housewife fits into your “no work, no dignity” scenario. I’m serious. It’s something I’ve struggled with over the years.

  57. what”proof” do you want Cindy? that the people that work at Wal mart took advantage of public education? That the people whose plants have closed all over WI would rather be working instead of NOt working and watching their home values drop before their very eyes?

  58. Articles, surveys, something more than your opinion that everyone thinks exactly as you do.

    You know you get to blame Bill Clinton for the housing bubble, right? You see, I know it’s very hard to understand, but when you promise something for nothing, people expect you to deliver. Granting loans to people who couldn’t qualify (and don’t blame the bankers – it was the government you love so much who wrote the rules for those loans) meant they couldn’t afford to pay them back.

  59. Cindy,
    Why do you feel that the unemployed would rather get $388/week than work. Could you live on that amount? I don’t think the right understands how little you can do with less than $1600/month. Go back to school….nope to expensive. Relocate to an area with better opportunities…nope too expensive. Become homeless … Sure but don’t expect anyone to help you out unless they happen to “come across” you in their super important wealthy suburban housewife life. I get it there is no compassion from the right because they think that everyone has equal access and if they were lucky enough to have succeeded then anyone can. You just have to be born into the right situation.

  60. Truth: 1) What I feel matters very little.
    2) How did you come up with $388/week? Link? And yes, if that’s all the income I had and no savings, I could live off that.
    3) You’re a mean-hearted person re: the housewife comment. It doesn’t matter who you are. You can help someone else.
    4) You’re making an enormous assumption when you say “there is not compassion from the right.” Can you prove that, or are you really saying, “I’m an unlucky loser and you have to make it up to me?”

  61. Randy in Richmond says:

    Much of this discussion began when Keith said this:

    “There are some people who did intelligent, energetic and creative things to amass their pile.

    Then we have those who were born into it (Kochs), married into it (Ron Johnson) or unfortunately like so many, destroyed rather than create jobs to get rich. These are the one’s who seem to fight to hardest to control our political system and control people like Scott Walker.”

    While I don’t agree with the statement it would have the same validity if he had said this:

    There are some people who did intelligent, energetic and creative things to amass their pile.

    Then we have those who were born into it ( Ted Kennedy, Dianne Feinstein, Jay Rockeller, Pat Stryker, Peter Lewis), married into it (John Kerry, ) or unfortunately like so many, destroyed rather than create jobs to get rich. These are the one’s who seem to fight to hardest to control our political system and control people like Jon Corzine.

    And Jeff chimes in with:

    “the walton kids who did nothing whatsoever to become multi gazillionaires except pop out of the right random womb”.

    He could have said the Kennedys or the Kohls among millions of others.

    This shows their arguments are agenda driven and not socially driven–which is fine as long as you don’t try to represent the latter.

    Let’s look at that. 46 % of all tax filers pay no Federal taxes. The top 10 % of earners pay 70 % of all income taxes collected. The top 1 % over 36 %.

    So Jeff, your roads and education argument has no merit whatsoever. And your shot in the dark that the wealthy use ” far more percentage of police fire, etc”–just provide a link for that. (Don’t use the TV show, Cops.) And speaking of links Jeff, could you provide one that shows public employees’ pay was cut 12 %. And remember, pay is defined as wages, salary, or stipend–not what one receives on their check. And a link is not ” i heard at one point or something”.

    And Keith, could you provide a link where “the right is fond of floating this around to justify cutting unemployment” when you refer to people ” who will be loosing (sic) their jobs want to sit around”. And what a sexist, stereotypical statement for a liberal to make that “Because in this country a job defines you and without it, you have no dignity.” You just lumped the retired, handicapped, homekeepers, unemployed, mentally impaired, and others into a group with no dignity. I know that at least 2 of the contributors on this site fall into one of those categories.

  62. @Cimdy

    1. You said that you think otherwise feel is a semantics mistake, but you can avoid the question if you like.
    2. Here is your precious link.

    As for being able to afford to live on that paltry amount lets look at some averages for where you live. (Brookfield)
    Average home selling price of 272000
    Using the average sale price with a 20% down payment and a 4.25% interest rate and a 1.25% property tax rate (too low) your mortgage alone would be

    Based on averages after paying for your shelter you would have less than $200 for all of your other expenses…Can you live on that?
    I’m going out on a limb here but I would guess not.
    3. Just calling a spade a spade. You said that you would help people you came across that needed it.
    4. Let the Uninsured Die.
    Not Paul but the audience on this one.

    If you need some more let me know

  63. Randy in Richmond says:

    She didn’t say where she would live. And maybe the house is paid for.

  64. Truth: I’m beginning to think what truly divides left and right isn’t ideology, it’s financial literacy.

    To wit: I didn’t say I could maintain my current lifestyle on $388 a week. I said I could live on it. No one, and I mean no one, owes you a $272,000 house in Brookfield with a 4.25% mortgage.

    This exchange, though very frustrating, has proven enlightening for those who will open their eyes.

  65. “46 % of all tax filers pay no Federal taxes. The top 10 % of earners pay 70 % of all income taxes collected. The top 1 % over 36 %.”

    You keep blindly repeating that data without acknowledging the real wage/income growth rates that exist between income levels. The top 10% of earners are paying 70% of all INCOME taxes because our government has created the economic environment in which they’re wage/income growth has grown disproportionally from the middle and lower classes. Top income levels are paying most of the taxes because they’re income/wealth growth has gone parabolic while the lower income levels have experienced no real wage/income growth in decades (while unemployment among this group has exploded).

    The biggest problem I have with today’s Republican Party is that they blatantly ignore income equality because accepting it would mean accepting that supply side economics was a failure and weakens their argument that our budget problems fall solely on entitlement expansion and the leaches who benefit from them. The Republican Party seems to think that the system, which has been rigged towards top income levels, has something to do with capitalism. In truth, these economic policies were nothing more than a government welfare program that transferred the fruits of productive labor up the food chain. Amazingly, the party is under the delusion that this never happened. Instead, the only way to a better America is through the dismantling of social programs that further the agendas of the same people who have benefitted from the government pillaging of the last 20 years. It’s a scam. These people are not working in your interests, middle class America.

  66. What if Republicans embrace income inequality? Kind of screws up your whine-fest, huh?

    You keep complaining about a rigged system, but Democrats had full, impenetrable control of the federal government for two years and didn’t even begin to touch it. Explain, please.

    Also, I find it interesting your final sentence implies middle-class America is dependent upon intact governmental social programs. So it’s safe to say your America, J. Strupp, demands the government manage the middle class. Let me know if I got that wrong.

  67. Keith Schmitz says:

    Cindy, how is it I would think housewives are not working? I totally agree that housewives work. In fact if their husband paid them for their work, many of them couldn’t afford their wives.

    BTW — it’s not so much that the government is managing the middle class, it is just they are managing to destroy it. Why else would big business want to own it so badly?

    As for whining in Wisconsin, click over to Boots and Sabers and tune in Sykes (“Charlie, beealch, I work hard for a living so I am tired of dos colored people….yada, yada, yada”). That’s whine country!

  68. No, I don’t do talk radio. And as I’ve mentioned, I don’t read much else. I guess I’m just lazy that way. I suppose that’s one reason Fairly Conservative is so popular. Group think will get you in trouble here.

    RE: the middle class, you have avoided my direct question as to why a dominant Democratic team didn’t take care of that.

    Thanks for saying housewives work. I’ve always felt it was a team.

  69. Randy in Richmond says:

    I’m not blindly using that statisic Strupp, I’m quoting HuffPo, one of scores of publications that provide the percentages. I understand your argument but that ain’t the way it is. The top 10 % are paying lots (never enough to many) of income taxes but they don’t decide how they are divvied around.

  70. “What if Republicans embrace income inequality? Kind of screws up your whine-fest, huh?”

    I guess it would. And I would stop whining because it would finally be out in the open.

    “Democrats had full, impenetrable control of the federal government for two years and didn’t even begin to touch it. Explain, please.”

    Sure. Because they’re part of the problem too. Obama in particular. Instead of cowering away from the income inequality issue, he should be embracing it. Right now Republicans can simply cry class warfare anytime this issue is brought forth. Democrats should be activily engaging in “class warfare”. Talk about the facts. Talk about income/wealth concentration at the top, real wage growth since the 80’s, cap. gains/dividend tax rates since the 80’s, who really benefits from the M.I.D., payroll vs. income tax liability and who pays what, whatever. Instead of focusing on welfare mom’s and food stamp scam artists, let’s talk about the folks making millions of dollars/year with an effective tax liability of less than 20% because of the system we’ve created for them. Let’s talk about offshoring, let’s talk about where repatriotiated corporate profits went the last time we gave American corporations a tax holiday.

    Instead, the Democratic Party is full of whimps and bought-and-paid for politicians.

    “…your final sentence implies middle-class America is dependent upon intact governmental social programs.”

    I wasn’t trying to imply dependence. The Republican Party is not interested social program reform, they’re interested in social program destruction. This runs contrary to the interests of lower and middle class America, who is beneficiary of these programs.

  71. “The top 10 % are paying lots (never enough to many) of income taxes…”

    “Lots” is a general term Randy. Top earners were the beneficiary of roughly two thirds of the total income gains during the last expansion 2000-07 while their tax liability was almost flat (about 24%) during that same time period.

    CBPP summary of a Piketty/Saez report:

    “…but they don’t decide how they are divvied around.”

    Come on Randy. Given what you know about campaign finance and lobbiests, do you really think rich people aren’t deciding how income taxes are divvied around in this country?

  72. J. Strupp. So everyone sucks but you? Not exactly the song to put forward if you want to effect change.

    You are barking up the wrong tree complaining here. I’m really fond of the idea of a flat tax with no deductions. And every time it’s proposed a bevy of lawyers and accountants shut it down, because it risks their livelihood. We’ve made a big mess of things, haven’t we?

    And you wrap with class warfare. If the middle and lower classes are the majority of voters, why isn’t your plan taking hold?

    BTW, in my opinion you nailed it in your second recent comment. Campaign finance reform – real reform – would change America in fundamental ways.

  73. Cindy,
    Last time I checked unemployment does not happen in a vacuum and you are usually not in the position to plan for it. My example relates to an assumption based on averages as to what your situation would be like if you were suddenly faced with living on unemployment insurance payments alone. I never said that anyone was entitled to a $272,000 home in Brookfield and wanted you to see where it is unreasonable to assume that people would rather continue to be unemployed than to work. The false premise that so many on the far right uphold that people are staying on unemployment by choice is by far the most detached from reality position that is constantly bandied about.

  74. No, you had me buying a new home in Brookfield to spend my money.

    The fact remains you make little sense in your arguments. They are passionate, I’ll give you that, but they descend into little more that pity parties.

    Let me tell you a little secret. While I might come across as hard hearted, I’m not. What I am is very financially literate. I don’t ever, ever live beyond my means. The only time I would be caught in the situation you described was about the first six months of my work life a long time ago. You see, I don’t do debt. I don’t do stuff I can’t afford. I don’t fake myself into believing I “deserve” something I haven’t worked to achieve. The same financial principles that guided me when I made $12,000 a year as a secretary for a construction company do so now.

    You always, always plan for unemployment. Hence my argument for financial literacy being the real divide.

    If you happen to be the unemployed one, I’m sorry. I’m sure it’s hard for you. But it looks like you have a high-speed internet connection, etc., so it can’t be that rough. If it’s not you, get over your omniscience. It’s annoying when you happily spew your opinion without a lick of proof. My eight-year-old nephew can do that, too.

    The bottom line is that we cannot afford longer unemployment benefits. It was never meant to provide an alternative to working. The only way the market will correct for the larger numbers of folks seeking employment is to remove the extended safety net. It is time to get it done.

  75. Cindy,
    What do you think will happen to the economy when the unemployment checks no longer show up? How many more businesses will be forced to cut labor costs from the lost demand?

    Here is a clue

    There are too many similarities.

  76. Cindy we finally agree completely on something:

    This exchange, though very frustrating, has proven enlightening for those who will open their eyes.

    Especially when you say this:

    The bottom line is that we cannot afford longer unemployment benefits. It was never meant to provide an alternative to working. The only way the market will correct for the larger numbers of folks seeking employment is to remove the extended safety net. It is time to get it done.

    Merry Christmas! God Bless Us everyone!

  77. TheTruth – Nah, we have Bernanke. 🙂

    Simpson – something tells me you are being nasty. Too bad it’s hard to know for sure. I am glad to a find a liberal who will actually wish me Merry Christmas, though, so I’ll do the same in reply. Merry Christmas, Jeff. God bless you, too.

  78. You want to cut the unemployed off cold turkey despite the fact that right now we have 5 people unemployed for every job that comes open and you think im being nasty? Like I said I actually like you and would love to sit down and have a beer or two sometime. although me saying that means wiggy might rip on you again. Sorry in advance.

    To be honest i use any version of Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Merry Holidays without even thinking about when or where i do that. Glad i used the right one with you.

  79. It’s not cold turkey, Jeff. The benefits that were previously allowed under the base law are still allowed.

    I always say Happy Christmas, myself.

  80. FWIW, I don’t think you suck Cindy! So you got that going for ya 😉

    I’ll make it short since it looks like we’re wrapping this one up:

    “The only way the market will correct for the larger numbers of folks seeking employment is to remove the extended safety net.”

    This assumes that there’s a mismatch between workers and job openings and not SHORTAGE of job openings. JOLTS data or job openings per unemployed American does not support this. In fact, there isn’t a “shread of proof” to support it anywhere. The line, “there are plenty of jobs out there but people are too lazy and don’t want to work for minimum wage ” is as wrong today as it was 3 years ago. I know it’s your opinion but it’s incorrect.

    “..we cannot afford longer unemployment benefits.”

    IMO, we can no longer afford chronically high unemployment. We need more job creation. Get folks back to work ASAP.