Richard Barnes

A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. – Thomas Jefferson


Entries in Democrats (109)


Tax em all Part 2 - Tax the rich

Every now and again there are comments made on articles that deserve to be broken down comment by comment and discussed in more detail.  A frequent commenter on this site going by the name "Troll" posted one such comment on another of my articles.

You can read the original article as well as all comments made to it HERE.

In Troll's comment he/she made 3 points I will address, the first is as follows.

In my original article I asked why we aren't seeing liberals in mass sending checks to the government offering up an additional 4% of their incomes since they claim so many people support such a tax increase.

Because that would be almost as stupid as this comment. We are all one big happy nation and thus we all need to chip in our fair share. Just because one is cheap and self centered does not absolve him from his responsibility.

For starters this statement assumes that anyone who feels government doesn't actually need more of our money and believes what they are taking already is mostly going to waste are in fact "cheap and self cenetered".  That's just silly.

But assuming you believe the government is 100% effective with what they take from us and truly needs more of our money this statement would be equal to having two people walking down the street and finding someone in true need of help who will die if they don't eat and turning to the person you are with and saying you refuse to give that person in need of help any money unless they also put some up as well.  Perhaps this explains why liberals give less over all to cherity.

If you are unwilling to give money toward something you believe in unless everyone else is also forced into giving at the point of a gun then it is you, not them, who are the truly selfish one.

But what I suspect of most liberals is even worse, they in fact don't want to give up any of their money which is why they always turn to chants of taxing the rich.  Rather then give of themselves for the things they believe in they would rather point a government gun at someone else's head and take their money by force.  They fool themselves into thinking its ok because that someone else is the "rich" so they wont miss the money.  Which brings us to the next point.

In response to my question of who determines who can "afford to pay" and what do they base it on our friend Troll posted this:

I think we can all agree that the guy who makes a million dollars a year can probably afford to kick in a little more. Those that don't think so are probably Republican.

This statement seems innocent at first glance but let's truly explore this.

For starters those earning more already pay more.  The higher your income the larger the percentage of it the government takes.

Let's assume that Troll took this into account and is arguing that those earning over $1 million should have their percent increased even more.  This raises the question of how much?

In the original article the amount of 4% was discussed.  For sake of argument let's use that and continue.

Based on 2009 tax returns there are only 253,413 people in this country earning over $1 million a year or 0.1 percent.

Of those earning over $1 million a year, they paid out a total of $726.9 billion in taxes.  Let's assume that a 4% tax increase would actually result in a direct 4% increase in what's collected.  We know this isn't the case because with every tax increase there are more people who seek shelters for their income thus hiding it from taxation resulting in less then expected increases it is for this reason we saw the amount collected increase under the Bush tax cuts instead of seeing it decrease, but we're in liberal fantasy land so we're ignoring that reality.

A 4% increase on millionaires would then result in the federal government collecting an additional $72.7 billion.  Hardly a drop in the bucket of the Trillion plus per year deficit we're currently running.

Since the average tax rate for the rich is 24.1% (taken from the article linked to above), let's assume any increase results in a directly proportional increase in tax revenue.  In order just to get our country out of deficit spending (2010 we hit $1.29 Trillion and 2011 looks to be even more) we would need to increase the tax rate on the "rich" (as defined be Troll as those earning $1 million a year or more) to at least 55% if not more.  More then half their income would be taken from them at the point of a gun and that assumes they would all sit back and allow it instead of shifting their incomes to less confiscatory systems.

As we take more and more money from the rich ask yourself what will happen to the companies they otherwise invested their money in?  What will become of the jobs they create? Remember, this isn't even to create new government jobs, this is what is required just to remain at the level of spending we have now.

Troll's last comment was in response to the following statement I made:

"[As] debt grows while the economy doesn't. Perhaps it's because too much of our money is already being wasted by the government. Perhaps because we as a society have grown to a point where we reward failure"

Maybe it's because corparate fatcats moved all of our jobs to other countries so they can make even more money. Maybe it's because all of the economic gains in this country have gone to one percent of the people while employee pay is down to the smallest share of the economy since the government began collecting wage and salary data.

When I read this I ask two things.  First of which is whether or not this claim is even true.

The first part would depend on the industry but I will agree with Troll that jobs are moving over seas.  IT jobs being a perfect example of this.

Why?  Because the US has out priced itself from the market and companies find it cheaper to hire overseas instead of here in the US.  If you were a business owner and had the option of hiring one computer programmer in America or being able to hire a team of five or more in India?  Getting more work done for the same price so the business can be more profitable is the goal of business in the first place.

Ask yourself, if you owned a business would you pay a higher price for something you can get cheaper?  Most wouldn't.  That's why stores like Wal-Mart do so well.  They deliver the same products as other stores at lower costs and people buy them.

As our Government forces companies to pay out more in minimum wage increases we see additional unskilled labor leave.  And to make up for the increased salaries in jobs they can't move, such as the clerk in the stores companies are left having to increase costs on the rest of us.

The 2nd part of Troll's claim is the old Democrat mantra that the rich are getting richer while the poor and middle class get poorer.

He/ she is correct in part, currently under Obama the rich are growing their incomes faster then the poor and middle class at a higher rate then ever before in recent history.  Under Bush II however the poor and middle class incomes increased faster then that of the rich.

Ok, given that Troll is correct and now under Obama the Rich are growing their incomes faster then the poor, the next question is what if anything should the government do about it.  Clearly Obama's policies aren't working because they are helping the rich while a record number of people now collect food stamps.  This goes back to something I've stated before, we reward failure in this country.  By giving people all they need in life by providing "free" (read at taken by force from someone else) food, housing and health care what then do people have to work for?  If you want to see people succeed give them motivation to work.


Tax em all

Remember ousted politician Deb Pignatelli?

She was the one who ran in Merrimack, knowing how big the toll issue was there then turned around after being elected giving the town the finger saying it wasn't "politically feasible" to eliminate the tolls she campaigned on ending.

This week I stumbled across a letter to the editor from her husband Michael Pignatelli worth some discussion.

High-income earners, as well as most Americans, overwhelmingly support a modest 4 percent tax increase on those who can pay.


Voters will choose America’s future next November. In the meantime, the debt grows. The economy doesn’t.

Before I dig into responding to this above sentiment I would like to stress that I do not hold Deb accountable for her husband's statements and vice versa but from her record it's clear they both think similarly.

That said, I have to wonder when I see statements like this why we aren't seeing liberals in mass sending checks to the government offering up an additional 4% of their incomes.  Why does it take the force of a gun to get them to pony up if as Michael states here so many people want to do this?

The next part that caught my attention was his statement that this 4% should be imposed on "those who can pay".  Who determines that and what do they base it on?  Clearly Mr. Pignatelli feels others know better then he what is best for his money.

I love the conclusion, that debt grows while the economy doesn't.  Perhaps it's because too much of our money is already being wasted by the government.  Perhaps because we as a society have grown to a point where we reward failure and people who sit home doing nothing feel entitled to the income of others that we have the problem of growing debt and a shrinking economy.

One only has to look at the statements from the occupy groups to see this.  They expect us to pay for their college, pay for their housing, and so on.  If everything in life was given to you then what incentive would you have to work hard?  For that matter what incentive would you have to work at all?



Cigarette Tax

I have to hand it to our friends over at Blue Hampshire, they sure know how to pick and choose facts for a story.

Take for instance the article found HERE, "What a surprise! Cigarette Tax revenues down!"

In their article they post this single quote from an article on WMUR:

"Administrative Services Commissioner Linda Hodgdon said Wednesday that revenues are $4 million below estimates. She said the biggest disappointment was the tobacco tax, which was $2.6 million behind projections for the month and now is $3.5 million behind for the year. The Legislature cut the tax 10 cents hoping to spur sales, but Hodgdon said sales are behind last year's numbers."
(From WMUR story below.)

The WMUR story can be read HERE.

Read the title Blue Hampshire gave to this article and read the quote posted very carefully before going on.

Let's start with the simple fact that less revenue equals less smokers.  Since smoking leads to health problems and more need for health care which puts a drain on the system for the rest of us I fail to see how anyone could see this as a bad thing.

But I go on...

If you go to the WMUR story you'll find this part conveniently left out of the Blue Hampshire version:

Despite the poor month, the state is still almost $11 million ahead of projections. Through October, the state has collected $498 million for the fiscal year that started July 1.

It turns out what our liberals friends are claiming is not true.  Cigarette revenue is down for a single month, over all it's up $11 over projections.  It's revenue as a whole (from all sources) that's down for the year.

One other factor to consider is that while Blue Hampshire is implying that somehow the cut in taxes is directly responsible for the loss in revenue if you look at other facts you'll see it isn't the case.  Any reasonable thinking person should question any claim that decreasing the price resulted in fewer sales (as pointed out in the article). Reality can be found in the version of the story posted by the Nashua Telegraph which shared this additional bit of information:

The state issued 55.7 million tax stamps for cigarette packs from this past June through October.

Over the same period last year, 57 million tax stamps were bought.

Tobacco sales have been going down steadily in New Hampshire and other states as fewer people smoke.

The state sold 71.5 million tax stamps during the five-month window five years ago.

So over all fewer people are smoking as evident by the salves over the past 5 years. If we want to look at true cause and effect then perhaps the smoking ban passed by Democrats in 2007 (4 years ago) should be considered as well for its impact on cigarette revenue.


Kneejerk Reactions to the Passing of SB 88

Never before have I seen so much kneejerking and factless emotion in political debate then with the veto override on the caste doctrine bill.

With the passage of SB 88 if someone pulls a weapon on you and puts you or your families lives in danger you can respond by shooting the criminal dead and no longer have to fear you'll be charged for defending yourself and your family as a result.

Leading up to the vote there were letters such as the one found HERE that claimed if citizens had the right to defend themselves the letter writer would be worried about going to the movies "that some lunatic might pull out a gun and start shooting because someone has cut in front of him in the ticket line and maybe spoken to him rudely" and that passing this law would turn NH into the "Wild West".  Of course if you read the bill you'd know that any lunatic pulling a gun out in a theater because someone spoke rude to them would be considered a criminal just as they are today, nothing changes in that aspect so if the writer is in fear of something like that this bill/ now law wont make them any safer.

Another article criticises Republicans (justly I might ad) for not making it publicly known they would be voting on the veto override that day, however the first letter above is evident that the public was aware such a vote was coming and the bill in question was public for anyone to read... even though it's clear that first letter writer never took the time to do so.  While I do believe Republicans should have been more open in the fact they were voting that day I will take that behavior over this:

'We have to pass the bill so you can see what's in it'- Pelosi March 10th, 2010

As I stated, everyone knew what was in SB 88 prior to its vote.  Can't say the same for Obama and Pelosi's health care plan. 

The kneejerk comments I found the most offensive however came in the article found HERE.

Comments made like the one about the theater and the wild west are somewhat excusable because they are members of the public but when elected officials and even the governor himself make equally uninformed or misleading comments there's no excuse.

“This bill is going to empower the wrong people,” said state Rep. David Campbell, D-Nashua. “What if we have a gang member from Lowell (Mass.) who comes to Nashua and decides that this park bench is what he’s going to defend?”

Rep. David Campbell either never read the bill or he's clearly making things up to make it sound worse.  I would recommend people actually read the bill found HERE before continuing.

In the bill it states:

If a person is convicted of a felony, an element of which is the possession, use or attempted use of a deadly weapon, and the deadly weapon is a firearm, such person may be sentenced to a maximum term of 20 years' imprisonment in lieu of any other sentence prescribed for the crime.

So that "gang member" would most likely not be legally allowed to have a gun in the first place, much less use it to defend a park bench.

The bill also states that you cannot use deadly force if:

with complete safety... Retreat from the encounter, except that he or she is not required to retreat if he or she is within his or her dwelling [or], its curtilage, or anywhere he or she has a right to be, and was not the initial aggressor

So again Rep. Campbell's example falls apart because in his example the gang member would be the initial aggressor.

And to continue...

nor is the use of deadly force justifiable when, with the purpose of causing death or serious bodily harm, the [actor] person has provoked the use of force against himself or herself in the same encounter

One more hole in Rep. Campbell's example, if the gang member draws first the law doesn't protect them nor does it justify their behavior.

And then there's Lynch's comment.

Lynch pointed to Florida, which has seen justifiable homicides triple in that state since it adopted a similar law in 2005.

Bolding added by me.

This statement is intentionally misleading and quite honestly if you cannot justify your position using the whole truth then it shows how weak it is.

The fact is that yes, justifiable homicides in FL went up as a result of passing a similar bill however homicides overall dropped by double digit percents and the states over all crime rate dropped to a 30 year low.  The fact that Lynch leaves those details out shows how weak his argument really is and how far he's willing to go to lie by omission to get his way politically instead of debating on honesty and the whole truth.

I guess that's just the way with Democrats, they rule by emotion and how they feel and have little care in the truth and facts.



Liberals Are Failing

Over at Blue Hampshire there is an article titled "A Look in the Mirror: We're Failing".  In it they point to a NY Times article discussing how this country over all has gotten worse over the past few years.

Blue Hampshire writes:

We are getting poorer. The American Dream is   - we hope - comatose, with family incomes falling for the first time since the Great Depression.

Mirrors and censuses "close the loop" of feedback for our political system. They bring us back to cold hard facts.

We're getting poorer. We've failed our children, who are moving back in with their parents - they would fall below the poverty line too, if they didn't.

These statements are based off the following facts as quoted in the NY Times:

Another 2.6 million people slipped into poverty in the United States last year


the number of Americans living below the official poverty line, 46.2 million people, was the highest number in the 52 years the bureau has been publishing figures on it.

And in new signs of distress among the middle class, median household incomes fell last year to levels last seen in 1996.


It was the first time since the Great Depression that median household income, adjusted for inflation, had not risen over such a long period, said Lawrence Katz, an economics professor at Harvard.


It is also fresh evidence that the disappointing economic recovery has done nothing for the country’s poorest citizens.


The report said the percentage of Americans living below the poverty line last year, 15.1 percent, was the highest level since 1993.


Overall, median household income adjusted for inflation declined by 2.3 percent in 2010 from the previous year, to $49,445.


Minorities were hit hardest. Blacks experienced the highest poverty rate, at 27 percent, up from 25 percent in 2009, and Hispanics rose to 26 percent from 25 percent. For whites, 9.9 percent lived in poverty, up from 9.4 percent in 2009.

The article also supplies two charts, the first showing the median household income by year, the 2nd showing the percent of people living below poverty level.  Both charts show dates of recessions as well.


 Important dates to consider when looking at either of the above charts are

2000 - the dot com bubble popped leaving a number of tech workers out of jobs.

2001 - we were hit on 9-11 with the worst terror attack in this countries history

Given those two facts alone one can understand the downturn starting around 2000 but with Bush and full Republican control that crisis was short lived and you can see both charts starting back in the right directions around 2004-2005.

2006 - Democrats won big in the elections taking control of both Congress and Senate

2008 - Obama wins the White House

Starting around 2006-2007 you can see things grew worse and have nose dived ever since with no sign of stopping.

Its hard for anyone to look at that evidence and blame anyone but the Democratic party.

That said however, it no longer matters who started it because we're now in it.  Our country is failing and Washington is short on answers.  The real question now is what should be done to fix it.

Obama last week got up in front of the country repeating the same tired rhetoric he's been saying from day one which clearly isn't working.  Our friends at Blue Hampshire state in their feedback "We know what to do to turn this around, we have the resources to turn this around, yet we refuse to choose to turn this around" but don't offer any details to those of who who don't know what they are claiming we refuse to do.  Is it raising taxes on those with money?  Is it doubling or tripling the size of government?

A Republican version of the jobs bill submitted this week offered a very simple but eloquent solution, eliminate corporate taxes on corporations actually manufacturing their products in this country.  Hard to argue that companies paying thousands, if not millions, wouldn't look to lessen costs by simply opening their factories over here.  It would save them shipping costs and with the tax cut it would save them in taxes.  The benefit to our country in turn would be two fold, one unemployment would go down since more people would be working... two with more people working more people would be able to pay income tax making up the lost revenue our federal government gave up to draw the jobs back in the first place.

Democrats solutions so far?  Tax and spend.

Maybe Obama was right in 2008, it is time for change!  Only this time let's try a change that works.