Friday, September 12, 2003

A parable about taxation

It obviously has an agenda, but that doesn't make it untrue.

The Problem With Raising Taxes on "the Rich"

(Link courtesy of Ipse Dixit.)

posted at 09:08 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Ellen Goodman on I-77

Stefan Sharansky posted a long entry (complete with pictures) on the demonstrations against I-77 (the "latte tax"), a tax so bad that even the knee-jerk liberals at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer came out against it. That doesn't stop Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman (whose columns appear in the rival Seattle Times) from championing it as a small step against the evil intentions of the GOP's anti-tax position, one that is going to leave all the elderly and the children to die. Her column is a laundry list of why cutting taxes is a bad thing, and she even manages to throw in some opposition to the end of the death tax (or as she prefers to call it, the Estate Tax). It has to be read to be believed.

posted at 08:03 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

In other Davis news...

...He is putting the state further in hock in order to appease his supporters in the state employee's union.

This Los Angeles Times article details how he has back-loaded concessions in order to lower the deficit for this budget. These two paragraphs tell us the damning details:

Under the contract proposal, workers would defer a 5% pay increase that they received this summer, but they would not lose any take-home pay because the state would cover employee contributions to the state pension fund. The state would make those payments over the next 15 years, a total of about $200 million plus interest at a rate that could be as high as 8.25%.

The 12 paid days off could be taken one a month, but most employees are expected to bank the days and cash them out when they retire, generally at higher pay. In addition, at a time when health care costs are rising sharply, the state agreed to pick up an increasing share of employees' health premiums for the next three years. That would translate into an increase of take-home pay effective Jan. 1.

Talk about selling our children into slavery. Even a Democratic official was upset:

Former state Controller Kathleen Connell, a Democrat, was more blunt: "It becomes a house of cards that will topple under its own weight in future years when all these payments, whether for bonds or employee benefits, come due," she said. "We have to get control over the runaway negotiations with some of these unions."

The piece also notes, further on, that the administration has backed down from a tougher stance this spring, after the unions started dumping massive amounts of cash into anti-recall committees. But, fear not, the governor's spokesperson assures us that there is no quid pro quo here; the governor is only doing what is best for the state. Yeah, right.

posted at 06:09 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

New LA Times Poll on Recall

This LA Times article on the most recent poll contains some interesting tidbits of info, but you have to dig through the paper's instinctive bias to find them. Despite the furious spinning from the Davis camp, half of the voters are planning to dump Davis and vote in somebody else.

Some of the more surprising numbers:

·Bustamante's negative numbers jumped from 29% to 50%, as more people have heard about his fundraising efforts from the Indian tribes and his ties to MEChA.

·McClintock may be stronger than first believed; only half of likely voters say he is more conservative than themselves. In addition, he has lower negatives than Bustamante, Schwarzenegger, and Davis, and mroe than half of the people surveyed believe that he is a straight shooter, even when they disagreed with him.

·Davis's numbers are edging up. Now, instead of an appalling 72% unfavorable rating, it is a dismal 63%. Nonetheless, he scores higher than any of his erstwhile replacements on the "best qualified" issue, with 35% of respondents choosing him. 25% chose McClintock, 20% Bustamante, and 1% Schwarzenegger.

·Bustamante does not have a chokehold on the Latino vote. While about half plan to vote for him, 29% back Schwarzenegger, and a suprising 13% plan to vote for McClintock. Considering that conservative Republicans are closely linked in voters' minds with Prop 187, that is a startling number for McClintock.

Read the whole thing. Remember that it is a Los Angeles Times poll, which have a history of liberal bias.

posted at 05:56 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 11, 2003


I've not posted for a few days. I will be posting again tomorrow, with my usual vitriol, but not today. Today is a day of rememberance, not partisan sniping or petty bickering. Remember those who died on 9/11, and those who have died ensuring that that will never occur again.

posted at 06:47 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 8, 2003

And another thing...

Tying in with the previous post (about John Edwards), can you imagine the outcry (and the chaos) if the big tobacco companies simply stopped selling their products in the United States, citing the endless stream of litigation from greedy lawyers and their ceaseless hounding of the industry? (Remember that RJ Reynolds owns Nabisco, and Phillip Morris owns Kraft, so they have another source of income to tide them over. the smaller companies would be SOL, however).

For those of you who ENJOY smoking, how would you feel towards the legal vultures? For those of you who need the nicotime fix, how would you feel about having to switch to gum or patches to satisfy your cravings?

Also, imagine the black market that would spring up for those who need their cigarette, or their dip, or pipe tobacco. If you think the market for marijuana is big, you ain't seen nothing. Cities and states that have extortionary taxes on cigarettes (Maryland, New York City) have seen a big drop in their revenue as people go elsewhere to buy smokes. Why pay $1.00/pack in Maryland when the tax is 2 cents/pack across the border in Virginia?

Remember, the trial lawyers will continue to look for targets. After they milk tobacco companies dry, they will turn to fast food, or alcohol, or soda producers. You may not smoke, or drink, or eat fast food, but eventually they will target something that you do like, and if you haven't resisited their previous efforts to regulate your lifestyle, they won't hesistate for a minute to steamroll your vice of choice if they have succeeded on all of their previous attempts. The time to draw the line is now, before they win any more.

posted at 09:24 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Adieu, John-boy

John Edwards (D-NC) has announced that he has decided to forego a senate campaign, focusing all of his energies and resources on winning the Presidential nomination in 2004, according to this Washington Post article.

He's toast. He won't be missed. The last thing this nation needs is another Southern Democrat lawyer as president, and in any case, Edwards is definitely second-tier. He's not as hapless as the bottom tier (Sharpton, Mosely-Braun, and Kucinich), but the big three (Kerry, Lieberman, and Dean) are leaving him in the dust, along with Graham and Gephardt.

Hopefully, he will be so throroughly humiliated that he will go back to plotting lawsuits against tobacco companies, which is where he made all of his money in the first place. I'm amazed that he won an election in North Carolina in the first place, considering the importance of tobacco in the state. Perhaps he read the tea leaves and realized that Richard Burr, the Republican challenger, was going to clean his clock.

posted at 08:56 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

Slapping down the anti-globos

Radley Balko's latest Tech Central Station article, Views of a Changing World", is a thorough and decisive refutation of 20 years of anti-globalization rhetoric. It seems that the only people who think globalization is a bad thing are the bourgeois North Americans and Western Europeans; everyone else thinks it's a great idea.

I'll not quote the whole article, but there are a few highlights I'd like to point out.

When asked if "Growing trade and business ties are good for their country," the number of respondents answering "very good" or "somewhat good" totaled 95% in Nigeria, 96% in Ivory Coast, and 95% in Uganda. In fact, the lowest favorable response in any African country came from Tanzania, still at 82%. The numbers were similar in Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

This alone is enough to refute the claims of the anbti-globos. Of course, they could argue that the respondents don't know what's good for them, but that line of reasoning is not likely to win them many converts.

Contrast that to world opinion of anti-globalization protesters. All ten African countries view the protesters who claim to speak for them with majority-negative opinions. In fact, in only two of ten African countries do positive views of them top 40%. In Asia, six of seven countries surveyed view them negatively, and only in the Philippines do positive views crack 25% (there, for some reason, they're liked by 54% of respondents). In Latin America, all eight countries have majority negative views of the anti-globalization movement, and in Eastern Europe, they don't crack 33% in any country. Anti-globalization protesters are viewed most positively in Western Europe and North America -- they very cultures they blame for the problems in the rest of the world.

Only one developing economy in the survey had a favorable view of anti-globalization protestors. Everywhere else, they are viewed with overwhelming skepticism and negativity.

There is a wealth of additional information in the article; read the whole thing.

posted at 08:16 AM | permalink | Comments (0)

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