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"Unexpectedly," Progressives Have Math Problems

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

Zerubbabel wrote: Fake President? Let's not be in denial he IS the president. Fake Energy? No, it is real. The manufacturing cost has decreased significantly. Depending on the location one can pay it off in 4 years or less and then enjoy a great deal of grid independence ... you know that great American ideal of rugged individualism? Just reading these posts makes me seriously wonder what is wrong with you people? I think many on the Right are so caught-up in the left/Right conflict that they can't think clearly. Sustainability is a sound principle that we should ALL embrace. - Solar: Fake Energy Provided by Fake President


Dear Comrade Zeru,

Sustainability as defined by progressives is truly one of the most idiotic ideas of all-time.

Do you think oil companies- with shareholders to answer to- are ever going to run out energy to sell? No. Some may go bankrupt but eventually more than a few will sell energy in a different form when those forms of energy become competitive.

You and the government don’t need to promote sustainability. Individuals and corporations know how to do that on their own. That’s why farmers plant crops every year, and foresters plant trees to replace the trees they cut down, and oil companies explore for more oil and mining companies mine for gold and other metals.

As to solar being a real energy form- and sustainable- the tape doesn’t lie. Despite massive government support for these companies, share prices are going down and companies are going bankrupt in record numbers.

People who use solar pay a premium to do so, usually because there is no existing infrastructure at their location. There are significant technical problems, like how to store energy for when the sun doesn’t shine, that have to be overcome before solar becomes a viable energy source. And that’s why solar still accounts for less than 1 percent of all electricity generated in the US.

We are thinking clearly. Clearly you are not.

Redneck48 wrote: We currently produce 50% or less of our own crude oil needs each year. There are currently more than 9 million Americans employed in the oil and gas industry. If we produced 100% of our own crude oil needs we could generate an additional 9 million or more new good paying jobs in the petroleum industry. We have the known, proved reserves to do so but Obama is blocking drilling and production. - Solar: Fake Energy Provided by Fake President

Dear Redneck,

All true.

I figure that if we were to use the resources in shale and heavy crude that we have in the US, we’d create about 10 million jobs and about $15 trillion in GDP over the next 10 years- just in oil alone. That means that we’d likely have a GDP growth somewhere in the double digits for about a ten year period. Unemployment would likely drop back down to under 4 percent in that scenario. And because we’d be producing more oil domestically, inflation would stay in check. 


They key to expanding our economy and getting our fiscal house in order is using all the carbon-based fuels that we have here at home rather than importing them.

You want to have an economy that expands rapidly? Then expand your carbon footprint.

ModMark wrote: Here in Western NY we have a large wind farm build high on a ridge. Good use of this land. The ridge is quite steep, useless for farming or industrial use. Of course the conservatives turn into greenies and complain about ruining the view. - Solar: Fake Energy Provided by Fake President

Dear Comrade Mark,

You know some people were created for a specific purpose in life. I once knew a guy and you could tell that he was made to be a rancher.

In that vein -and I hope you’ll take this in the spirit that it was intended, comrade- I think that you were chosen by God to be a wind-farmer.    

Doctor Roy wrote: Well average income really isn't the gauge to look at. I mean you, me and Bill Gates have an average income of about 3 billion dollars a year. Median family income is the true measure of how most Americans are doing. And that has been falling steadily since 2000. It is part of the systematic assault on the American Middle Class by the Political, Corporate and Bought Priesthood class and doesn't have anything to do with temporary recessions. It is a long term trend and proves that there is class warfare going on but only one side is actually waging it.- Obama Abuses Words as Clinton Abused Women

Dear Comrade Doctor (or Wrong-Again Roy),

As our own contributor Political Calculations has pointed out that income inequality is a mathematical myth.

Personal income distribution has remained about the same:

In fact, the Gini curve associated with the fine PIDs is a constant near 0.51 between 1960 and 2005 despite a significant increase in the GPI/GDP ratio and the portion of people with income during this period (see Figure 1). This is a crucial observation because of the famous discussion on the increasing inequality in the USA as presented by the Gini coefficient for households (US CB, 2000). Obviously, the increasing G for households reflects some changes in their composition, i.e. social processes, but not economic processes as defined by distribution of personal incomes.


To put this more plainly, it’s the composition of households on the lower end of the income scale that has changed rather than income generated itself.

If more and more families, for example, are single parent households, there is only one income that is counted toward household income rather than two.

Since the number of households is skewed toward the lower side of the income scale, they would necessarily be more affected by the change in composition of households in general.

For example, a husband and wife both make $46,000 per year so their household income is $92,000. But if they get divorced their household income is only $46,000. Income inequality? No. Social factors here are contributing to changing the method of accounting.     

We have already confirmed that there has been absolutely no meaningful change in the inequality of individual income earners in the years from 1994 through 2010. If income inequality in the U.S. was really driven by economic factors, this is where we would see it, because paychecks (or dividend checks, or checks for capital gains, etc.) are made out to individuals, not to families and not to households.  

Roy, liberals really should embrace science rather than abuse it for political purposes. You want to support income equality for households? Then support marriage. 

Peter906 wrote:  John has written a fine, if one-sided, article in the tradition of Orwell, who recognized the dangers of politicized language. But I don't understand how Kathy18 can ignore what John is saying and call Obama a communist at heart -- that seems to me a mis-use of communist. A communist (Soviet-style) wants government to own all industry. Yet when Obama, following Bush, bailed out the banks and the auto companies and AIG, he let them go private again -- that is the action of a capitalist, not a communist. Nor does Obama have a private army ..... I think we'd all do well to follow John's, and Orwell's, ideas here.- Obama Abuses Words as Clinton Abused Women

Dear Comrade Peter,

Obama is more of a corporatist than a communist; that is a fascist, at least in economic terms.

The government still holds GM and AIG by the shorthairs. They are the ones that decided to cramdown the private bondholders; they are the ones that decided to “forgive” the debt that GM and AIG could never repay.


The idea that either of those companies- or for that matter any bank under Dodd-Frank and the Community Reinvestment Act- is a private company is laughable. Any time that the government wants to wipe out those guys, all they have to do is send Dick Durbin to the well of the Senate. Or have a regulator decide that their balance sheet is weak.

Rick3767 wrote: Orwell also said; "There are some propositions so preposterous that one must be an intellectual to actually believe them." - Obama Abuses Words as Clinton Abused Women

Dear Rick,

We are full of intellectuals then.

Shubi wrote: Mod, don't you have anything better to do than post the same old stuff you always post about kerogen and production rate? The technology is going faster than you commies can keep up with the anti-energy spin. - An Anti-Energy Energy Policy

Dear Shubi,

Comrade Mark should stop playing junior geologist and let the people from the oil companies decide if they can make an economic case to produce oil from the Rocky Mountains.

The people I know in the petroleum industry would love to open up Green River.

This is what happened in the natural gas area: Private investment ten years ago led to the major finds and the technical advances that have seen natgas production rocket.

We should so the same in oil.  

Unrealistic wrote: John, agree as usual but a double secret ha huh, can't say I ever heard that before. If they don't know we're ha'ing them then what is the point of the ha? Personally I'm for constant chidisilation (I think I made that word up) of the wrong minded, ill intended, blind, self righteous, inexperienced, immature and generally stoopid lefties.- Why Obama is a Bad President- Obamacare Edition

Dear Unrealistic,

Double secret ha! is a concept derived from the movie Animal House, when Dean Wermer puts the fraternity on “double secret probation” because they are already on probation and he needs to use a phrase that even more ominous.

Bernanard83 wrote: A bit out of character for you John. I believe you are overly optimistic about the way Americans 'generally vote at election time'. The entire idea or concept of voting is being misinterpreted. Ballots don't have a 'for' or 'against' check box. Therefore it is not possible to vote 'against' anyone or vote anyone 'out'. The only option is to vote 'for' someone in preference to someone else. Voters end up voting 'for' the candidate that has promised them the most of what they want and hope to get. For some it is 'duty, honour, country'. For others it's 'ME', what's in it for me. We have raised a self-interested generation that puts themselves first and recent elections have reflected that condition. - Why Obama is a Bad President- Obamacare Edition


Dear Bernard,

Out of character? I don’t think so. I think voters over a period of time make the right choices. Ultimately elections are about truth. I believe that.

That what Lincoln meant when he talked about fooling some of the people, etc.

Beatingthelibsback wrote: Poor DOOM and GLOOM John....... Four more years john, And there is nothing you can do about it. - Why Obama is a Bad President- Obamacare Edition

Dear Comrade Beat,

Obama needed to be up by at least 7 points at this stage of the game to have a chance. Trust me when I tell you that the economy will get worse from here on out. The economy may expand the in the second half of the year, but it won’t happen soon enough to save  Obama from a well-deserved drubbing. A rolling average from Real Clear has Obama up about 2.4% over Romney who has been busy campaigning against his GOP rivals. It’s like Obama’s been playing basketball with the court all to himself and he’s only up by 2 points. 

Obama’s job approval ratings are pretty poor for an incumbent and consumer sentiment is slumping again.   

This is the third year in a row that the morons in the White House have claimed that the economy is finally gaining traction, only to have the economy slow down “unexpectedly.” Look for “unexpectedly” to make a come back from last year’s overuse by the MSM, as noticed by Hot Air.

Canetoad wrote: But John if you look at tax revenue as a percentage of GDP it will paint an entirely different picture. During the 30 year period from 1945 to 1965 for example, corporate tax as a percentage of GDP averaged 5.5% and personal income tax averaged around 7.5%. It was a period of rapid growth. During the past decade tax revenues by percentage of GDP have dropped to under 2% for corporations and around 6% for individuals. In effect the lowest tax rates in history thanks in part to the unfunded Bush tax cuts. The government can't pay existing obligations if you keep reducing revenues. Simple math! It is time for the cash engorged corporations to pay their fair share. -Obama's War on Women Continues with His War on Jobs

Dear Comrade Cane,

Did you and Doctor Roy take the same remedial math class?  

The Tax Policy Center says that individual taxes have never dropped below 6.3 percent of GDP since 2000. It would be mathematically impossible for the individual rate to be around 6 percent. Since TPC is a liberal think tank, I think you’d have trouble finding fault with their numbers.


I checked your math by accessing the historical numbers from White From 2000-2011, individual income taxes averaged 7.8 percent of GDP. From 1945 to 1965 taxes revenues averaged 7.5 of GDP according to the same tables. 

If you actually read what we write here at Townhall Finance, you’d know that we have covered this topic before pretty extensively.

The reason why individual income taxes remain the tax of choice for the government is because of the relatively small variation in collection no matter the economic circumstances for the country.

Once again please look at this article here from Political Calculations that we published at Townhall Finance that covers this topic in great detail. Despite various tax schemes since 1945, individual income tax revenue remains pretty constant.

As to corporate taxes, if you look at the table, it’s clear corporate tax revenues are a function of economic activity. The higher corporate profits are, the higher tax revenues are. During recessions, corporate tax collection goes down.

Liberals really don’t seem to understand this very basic concept. Corporate profit = good.

As an aside, if you guys aren’t reading some of the finance, investment and economic commentary on Townhall Finance, you are missing the boat.

We not only give you the low down on the politics of money, but we give you tools to profit from it.

How do you think I was able to write confidently on December 23rd 2011: “Market will rally as economy apparently expands through the 1st quarter. By the end of the 2nd quarter the market will reverse course as it becomes apparent that GDP is not expanding due to organic growth.” despite the fact that economists were talking about the recovery FINALLY gaining traction and the Second Coming being imminent?

It’s because I actually read all the articles we publish here.

You guys, but especially liberals, should do the same.     

Joe1CR: Ethics are slim and next to none in our congress today, as Maxine is guilty of ignoring rules 5 and 8 and the ethics committee for dereliction of their duty of not enforcing the code it passed in 1958.- For This Old Socialist, Maxine Waters, Socialism Starts at Home


Dear Joe,

Yes. As E.L. Godkin, Muckraker, once said about another Congressional investigating committee:  "All being corrupt together," he wrote of Congress in 1873, "what is the use of investigating each other?"

That’s it for this week.



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