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The letter writer makes several errors: 1)Confuses Scrooge's voluntary change in heart with government force. 2) Assumes that raising tax rates will help those "at risk", when history shows that raising tax rates does not necessarily translate into more government revenue and more government revenue does not translate into actual help. hajkar - What would be enough? Can you define that? Is it when there is nobody else "in need"? With over 30 years of government sponsored poverty fighting programs, why do we still have roughly the same percentage of the population "in need"?
Toggle Commented Dec 22, 2010 on Scrooge lives in U.S. at Unfettered Letters
David - Germany's government also took a pass on distorting their housing market with "spreading the dream of home ownership" nonsense.
Toggle Commented Dec 15, 2010 on German capitalism at Unfettered Letters
Toggle Commented Dec 10, 2010 on Troubled U.S. schools at Unfettered Letters
"It makes sense to increase the nation’s energy efficiency to reduce greenhouse gases." I have nothing against energy efficiency, but it's a mistake to believe it reduces greenhouse gas emissions. It could reduce emissions if we improved efficiency while holding energy use constant. But we don't. We take the efficiency as a gain in our standard of living by finding ways to use more of it. If we build fuel efficient cars, we drive more miles by choosing to live further from work and taking more car trips. With cheap electricity we build big homes with central air and more large screen TVs. It's called Jevons Paradox. Nothing wrong with that, it's just worth knowing so we don't delude ourselves into believing something that isn't true.
Toggle Commented Dec 5, 2010 on Energy efficiency at Unfettered Letters
"I feel that Obama is one of the few patriots in Washington, D.C., who is looking out for the good of the people." He may very well be trying to look out for the good of the people, but that doesn't mean he's succeeding. One of the key problems with politics is that folks like Lorraine judge their favorite politicians on their intentions rather than their results. Personally, I'm starting to like his results. He has encouraged a good many people to think deeply about what it is we want our government doing and why. While we were all too busy a few years ago to give this much thought, we let our politicians (both sides) grow the size and reach government to incredulous proportions.
ggbridge - Is disrespect for presidents new with Obama? No. The issues you list are unresolvable noise. If you like to add to that, great. If you are interested in moving out of the noise, why not ask questions and learn? If I were you I might ask, what are the ideas and policies that tea partiers oppose and why? That way you might be able to assess and address whether the grounds on which folks oppose Obama's agenda have merit and be able to give them reasons why they might be wrong. At the very least, you'll gain a better understanding of where your opposition is coming from.
Naomi - Here's a suggestion that might improve your life a considerable amount: don't grant others so much power over you.
Toggle Commented Dec 2, 2010 on Blasting television at Unfettered Letters
Kevin - Gee, that's a new one. I respectfully request that you consider that it might be his ideas and his belief in role of government that tea partiers don't like. Given that the tea party is made up of people with libertarian (little i) sensibilities, I imagine that most tea partiers would agree with the writings of Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Star Parker, who are considered to be among the best conservative/libertarian writers today. It would stand to reason that their status within the tea party community would be difficult to attain if your accusation were correct. For this holiday season, I leave you with one suggestion. Read Sowell's "Intellectuals and Society", "Basic Economics" or "Conflict of Visions". If you do, you may thank me in a decade or two.
ggbridge - If you'd like to remove the power of Mo's legislature to change state laws enacted by vote of the people, you're free to go through the process to attempt to amend the Mo's constitution to remove this power. You may not like that the legislature has this power, but it does.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2010 on Prop B should stand at Unfettered Letters
Actually ggbridge, lawmakers express role as defined by Missouri's Constitution (and by the dictionary) is to make law. According to Missouri's Constitution, state law can be changed by the Missouri legislature and by the vote of the people and both can change the laws made by the other. That's a check and balance and it's easily remedied if you feel the lawmakers are not serving your interest by voting for someone who will serve your interest.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on Prop B should stand at Unfettered Letters
Hi Casady - Thanks. Likewise. I think the e-tax has contributed to the under assessment of property values and bloating the budget. I also think it has made KC voters less likely to hold elected officials accountable for mismanagement. If KC citizens bore the full cost of the KC budget, they might elect different officials.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on Earnings tax overkill at Unfettered Letters
Janelle - You seem to be confusing your wants with the needs of the many.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on Meeting needs of many at Unfettered Letters
Chris - Both the people and the legislature have the power to change state law in Missouri based on the Missouri Constitution.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on Prop B should stand at Unfettered Letters
Gary - Great point. I agree. Wild Man - I'm certain you've seen this behavior, but have probably not recognized it. It's basic economics. Folks respond to incentives. It applies to taxes as well as other things that effect how much we take home from our marginal earnings. For example, I know people who have turned down straight overtime pay because they'd take home 40 cents on the incremental dollar due to their marginal tax bracket (+ SS and state/local taxes) and they felt that wasn't worth giving up their leisure time (opportunity cost). With opportunity cost, the incremental taxes do not have to completely offset the incremental revenue to influence someone's decision-making. It only has to make that revenue less valuable to the person in comparison with other options, like spending time with the family. Opportunity cost is the reason that, I'm guessing here, you don't have a job to earn more dollars for all of your waking hours. Intentional or not, you decided that the extra dollars you'd earn in some of those waking hours wasn't worth what you'd have to give up to earn those dollars.
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on Deficit reduction at Unfettered Letters
The question I wish folks would ask of the earnings tax supporters is how many other cities manage to get by without it. I expect one answer might be, "Big cities need to do so much more." Next question: What exactly and why? On a per capita basis, what do the metro cities spend more money on than other cities? Sports complexes? Bar districts? Why must the city provide these? Another possible answer, "so many people use city services part of the time and live outside the city limits." Do they not buy things while in the city limits to contribute through sales tax? Do they not patronize businesses that do pay property taxes?
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2010 on Earnings tax overkill at Unfettered Letters
"Not sure why people believe they can get a tax break for the wealthiest one percent but don't think that the middle class is going to have to pay for it" -Brandon For the same reason Maria believes mortgage interest deduction encourages folks to buy bigger homes than they need: incentives matter. Raise taxes on anyone, including the wealthiest 1% (which happens to be a much bigger chunk of the economy than 1%), and you reduce the incentive for economic activity and that could result in less tax revenue and less prosperity for everyone.
Toggle Commented Nov 29, 2010 on Deficit reduction at Unfettered Letters
"I'm not convinced the anti-community center movement is just about voicing displeasure or expressing themselves. There seems to be a concerted effort to force the backers to reconsider the position of the community center." That you're not convinced is not a convincing argument. What means of force are they proposing?
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2010 on Terrorists can’t win at Unfettered Letters
'Jill the winner of the award for the classic liberal move of "making up something the oppositions believes" and then arguing against it.'-Zeno That's correct. That's a straw man and it is a logical fallacy, which means bad reasoning. I count four straw men in her letter. If I were a letters Editor, I would send this back to Jill asking her to either cite sources to support her characterization of the opposition or to remove the straw men and address the real issue. The world would be a better place without fallacy. If Jill were ever interested in discussing the real motivations and views of tea partiers, I'm sure they'd be willing to engage.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2010 on Tea party rally at Unfettered Letters
"I cant just say dont build it because of someones feelings." -JM Nobody is saying 'don't build it'. Those expressing displeasure are asking them to consider building it elsewhere out of respect, much like those who asked the law firm on the Plaza to change their approach. The law firm listened and changed their approach. If you don't think that's a reasonable request, great. That's your freedom. But, I hope you were consistent and were just as ambivalent regarding the law firm building on the Plaza.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2010 on Terrorists can’t win at Unfettered Letters
"Please don’t tell me that we should ignore and deny the rights of innocent individuals or groups just because some of their religion or race acted badly." You missed a key freedom we have as Americans, the freedom to express ourselves. If you disagree with them, then state the reasons for your disagreement. Using a false argument that they are seeking to rob folks of their freedoms is not convincing.
Toggle Commented Sep 8, 2010 on Terrorists can’t win at Unfettered Letters
"He [Reagan] did start the war on the middle class..." If he started a war on the middle class, I'd love to know where all of the mcmansions came from over the past 25 years.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2010 on Reagan effect at Unfettered Letters
I wouldn't mind paying the earnings tax if I got to vote for Mayor and representation on the City Council along with my fellow non-resident KC workers.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2010 on KC earnings tax at Unfettered Letters
"The attack on the effort to officially establish the mosque in New York is clearly an attack on the Constitution." -Jerry Bartlett That's not correct. It's been awhile since I've seen someone confuse the limits the Constitution places on government power with limits placed on individuals. It would be correct if someone wanted the Federal government to prevent it. Free citizens can have an opinion and let that opinion be known in any number of peaceful ways.
Toggle Commented Aug 24, 2010 on Mosque debate at Unfettered Letters
"They do not mention that these bureaucrats will be freer and probably more inclined to judge based on compassion than insurance company employees" As evidenced by how bureaucrats judge on compassion in everything else? Your kidding yourself if you don't believe this is going to set up another system of haves and have nots. Bureaucrats will use all sorts of criteria and corruption will be rampant.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2010 on Lingering attack ads at Unfettered Letters
"In fact, the opposite has proven to be true, as evidenced by the 1990 and 1993 tax increases which helped erase the deficit in the 90s (without plunging us into a depression as the GOP kept predicting)." -Jim The conservative side: "Proponents of tax increases often reference the Clinton 1993 tax increase and the subsequent period of economic growth as evidence that deficit reduction through tax hikes is a pro-growth policy. What these proponents ignore, however, is that the tax increases occurred at a time when the economy was recovering from recession and strong growth was to be expected. They also ignore that the real acceleration in the economy began in 1997, when economic growth should have cooled. This acceleration in growth coincided with a powerful pro-growth tax cut. The evidence is persuasive that the tax increase probably slowed the economy compared to the growth it would have achieved and that the subsequent tax cuts of 1997, not the tax increases, were the source of the acceleration in real growth in the latter half of the decade. Astaxes are now above their historical average as a share of the economy, and are rising, Congress should look to enact additional tax relief to keep the economy strong." From: "Reagan raised taxes many more times than he cut them."-Jim You are playing word games. How many times somebody did something isn't important. The net effect is. What was the net effect of all the changes as President, an increase in tax rates or a decrease in tax rates?
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2010 on Reagan effect at Unfettered Letters