Protecting Obama’s Right to Bear Arms

John Ransom
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Posted: May 12, 2013 12:01 AM

RyanM wrote: “Not since the poilus surrendered to Hitler in 45 days has an opponent backed up so much talk with so little fight."

Give me a break. The French took a million casualties during the 1940 campaign. They lost not from a lack of will to fight, but to incompetent commanders who saddled themselves with an obsolete doctrine. - GOP Fairy Tale: We Came, We Saw, We Surrendered

Dear Comrade Private Ryan,

Eh, the French lost 50,000-85,000 killed and about 120,000 wounded in the Battle of France, not even nearly close to the million you claim. A million and a half Frenchman surrendered, however, rather than fight. 

Actually, morale was a serious problem for the French in the Franco-Prussian War, World War I and World War II, hence the jokes, which have become commonplace, about French troops not wanting to fight.

But the “incompetent commanders who saddled themselves with an obsolete doctrine” sounds like the Democrats and their brand of socialism. It seems they have built in our economy an exact replica of the Maginot Line, kind of a Maginot economy: centrally-planned, static everywhere and too costly to complete.

Next time, for all that’s holy, please read the book. Don’t just look at the pictures.       

Dick4260 wrote: We have restrictions on automobiles --- licenses, inspections, traffic lights, even parking. They don't prevent accidents entirely, but what's such a big deal about putting restrictions on automatic weapons which are even more deadly? Almost everybody can own a car, but nobody's protesting the sensible restrictions that go with automobile use. I'm an army vet and a gun owner. Not all gun owners agree with the NRA.- Thanks for the Gun, Stupid

Dear Comrade Dick Numbered 4260,

More people die in auto accidents than in gun violence every year. Plus as our Constitution says "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Your argument seems to be that since we regulate something, we ought to regulate everything, which, sadly, is probably your point. Because it’s definitely the point of the politicians in power, especially liberals. "Because I said so" seems to be the argument liberals mostly make now.   

Stuart95 wote: Makes you wonder why the constant murder of young blacks by other young blacks in urban areas hardly merits a raised eyebrow from the Left and their flying monkeys in the MSM, but when 20 white kids are murdered, suddenly the Left and MSM can think of nothing else. If you hadn't heard that it is the Left that selflessly and constantly champions the minorities and that it is the Right that is hopelessly bigoted, you might draw the wrong conclusion. - Thanks for the Gun, Stupid

Dear Stuart,

The worst thing to happen to blacks in our history was slavery, and the second worst is the Democrat Party. As cities fall apart, crime rates rise, tell me when the Democrats will ever do anything about the high rate of incarceration of black males? Or the high rate of violence in black communities? Half of all murders happen in the African American community even though they make up only 12.5 percent of the population.

Despite what you read, the US lags much of Europe in violent crime.

Legal gun ownership makes for safety, not more violence as this article from our friend Dan Mitchell makes clear.

Canetoad wrote: Let's see, Corporate tax receipts as a share of profits are at their lowest rate in forty years. Somethings got to give and it shouldn't be the middle class.- World Begins to Heal with Taxes on Rich January 1st

Dear Comrade Mr. Toad,

Did I ever tell you how much I loved your Wild Ride at Disney when I was a kid?

I really did.

You are on to something here. Of course, you’re liberal and the fact that you have a point is accidental and unintentional.

But you have made an effective case why tax rates on corporations should be lower, rather than higher.

It’s true that corporate tax receipts as a percentage of GDP are smaller than they used to be. But the graph from ThinkProgress that you are likely talking about shows 2009 numbers. That was the height of the recession- fair enough- but then they go on to say that profits are at a record high today.

That’s not quite an apples to apples comparison; not even apples to bananas. It’s more like apples to onions. Profits for today can’t be compared to tax receipts for 2009.  

Now if you are talking about the report from February that’s shows corporate taxes at a 12.1 percent effective rate, that’s all Obama and the stimulus bill that he and the Democrats championed:

From Time Magazine:

The story is complicated, but the biggest factor in the recent collapse in corporate tax receipts appears to be a set of tax breaks built into recent stimulus efforts.

In 2010 and 2011, companies were allowed to deduct the full cost of the purchases of new equipment, while normally these costs would be expensed over several years. In 2012, this deduction will go down to 50% and be eliminated altogether thereafter, causing the effective tax rate to return to roughly the 25.6% average effective tax rate corporations paid since the late 1980s, according to CBO forecasts.

When conservatives accused Obama and the Democrats of using pork barrel politics with the stimulus, we weren’t kidding.  

"The fifth and most recent economic stimulus act impacting section 179 is H.R. 4853," says the IRS, "otherwise known as the 'Tax Relief Act of 2010'. This Act extended and expanded the Bonus Depreciation available to businesses spending more than $2 million on capital equipment to write-off 100% of the cost."

It was better known as the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, Job Creation Act."
And it was signed as the Democrats were set to give up the US House in December of 2010.

Still it shouldn’t surprise us, generally, that corporate tax receipts used to be higher. There were barriers to companies domiciled in the USA doing business overseas in the 1960s, like transportation costs, that don’t exist today.

We live in a globally-competitive world where persons and corporations can choose to relocate to countries where the tax rates are lower with very low costs to do so, comparatively speaking.

The solution is to offer a tax rates on paper that are competitive with what other countries offer. It is better that corporations find it easier to stay here, and pay a reasonable tax rate, then to relocate offshore and pay lower taxes.

And yes, tax reform should get rid of loopholes that benefit select groups.

That said, higher corporate tax receipts as a percentage of GDP doesn’t indicate relative health of an economy.

Italy and France are amongst the top ten in tax collection as a percentage of GDP, and they stink. Economically.        

UpwithRomney wrote: Here we see another example of conservatives refusing to acknowledge reality. If you look how far China has come economically, you cannot just dismiss what they are doing or how they are doing right.GE’s Immelt: The Damndest Scoundrel and the Damndest Fool

Dear Comrade Up,

And you just can’t dismiss that still peasants in the rural countryside in China make $3 a day, while metro-dwellers make $30,000 a year.

You guys cry “income inequality” here in the US and openly admire China, but come on?

Who are you trying to fool?

What you really admire is that China has a command economy that is run by a small group of elitists who are responsible to themselves only.

That’s Obama’s and the Democrats’ great dream, come true.     

Gungy wrote: What would Dean Rusk, an old style Democrat, who fought Communism all his life say if he was around today and saw it find a warm welcome on our shores? "The theory of communism can be summed up in one short sentence--Abolish all private property"--Karl Marx. That is what Immelt is calling for (excepting his property and that of our Communist overlords)."Communism is the death of the soul. It is the organization of total conformity - in short, of tyranny - and it is committed to making tyranny universal."--Adlai Stevenson. Would he be a Democrat today when Democrat Party and Communist Party have become nearly synonymous?

Ransom, what you didn't mention unless I missed it, is that GE pays NO taxes. In fact the government gives them money back. He is a scoundrel but not a fool. -GE’s Immelt: The Damndest Scoundrel and the Damndest Fool

Dear Gungy,

No, Stevenson would not be a Democrat, nor would Truman, nor would John Kennedy.

You didn’t miss in the article that GE pays no taxes: 1) I don’t care that they don’t pay taxes if they are doing it legally and 2) I can’t always say everything I want in every column. I have to stick to the topic at hand. That means I cut points for clarity that I would like to include. I mention this only because people often say “You forgot to mention….” Sometimes I forget, mostly though it’s deliberate.

After all, I have to keep something in reserve for you guys to post about.

And yes, Immelt is a fool. Guys invited to that banquet, like he’s been, usually end up footing the bill.        

Big_D_ wrote: With you all the way....up to your fixation with the dam Buckeyes. What's the point of mixing sports and college allegiances with important stuff like RTW?Hail, Hail Michigan

Dear D,

You might notice that I often employ humor in my column. Sometimes is has a moral and sometimes it’s just gratuitous.

The Hail, Hail Michigan title set it up perfectly.

And in the case of the University of Michigan, the humor is highly moral: You should always rag on a Wolverine if you get the chance.

My dad told me that the day before he died.

–Sniff-

I’ll never forget it.

Supercarp wrote:  It's true that unions have outlived a lot of their usefulness. They got too strong for their own good and contributed to their own demise. On the other hand, some company managers can't lead a company, yet are compensated so handsomely it's unbelievable. Management is removed from the workers in today’s companies in that they never worked alongside them; they got a business degree and went directly into management. I think this is the main reason for all the poor management there is in companies. They also don't care much about the safety of the workers; They are far removed from it. They follow the letter of the law, no more. - Hail, Hail Michigan

Dear Comrade Carp,

Some comments are so stupid that they need to stand on their own, like art for art’s sake, with no commentary from me.

Thanks. 

FletchforFreedom wrote: John, for once I am disappointed. You have been far too generous to unions. You failed to note that capitalism has been solely responsible for the improvement in compensation, worker safety and prosperity (including the end of child labor) - a trend dating back to the very beginning of the Industrial Revolution before unions could have had anything to do with it). Nor did you mention the Vedder & Gallaway study showing that unions have, conservatively, cost the US economy some $50 trillion that would otherwise have been available to do things like compensate workers. Unions are demonstrably an economic disaster. -Hail, Hail Michigan

Dear Fletch,

Duly noted. Please consider your comment as an amendment to my earlier column. You may now resume your JD Powers-level satisfaction with me.

MorganDog wrote: you have obviously never negotiated a contract with an employer. If you think that you could go to your boss and negotiate work terms and rules with them, you are sadly mistaken and not very well informed. He would eat you up and spit you out. You probably would leave the room making less money per year and with fewer,if any, benefits. The reason collective bargaining works is because of numbers. The more people you have bargaining, the easier it is to come to an agreement. A labor contract protects you from your employers' natural greed and firing you because he does not like you for whatever reason. - Hail, Hail Michigan

Dear Comrade Dog,

I negotiate a contract with my employer every day that I show up for work- which is every day.

Here’s the deal: I work hard and provide the best work product that I can. My employer pays me an agreed-upon amount on time.

If I don’t like it, I find another employer. If my employer doesn’t like me he finds another employee to replace me.

My employer is greedy- thank you employer because your greed keeps me employed. But I am greedy too. Thus all things are happy. In our mutual greed, we find success.

Ericynot wrote: I always figured that, if given enough time, Ransom would get around to the subject of glory holes :) - Finally, My Views on Gold

Dear Comrade Eric,

I’ve seen some really dumb comments, but this one is one of the dumbest. There are some comments that are so dumb that they deserve further mention, kind of like when a judge lectures a felon at the sentencing.

Look, I don’t mind potty humor- I’m immature so I kind of enjoy it. But humor has to have some relevance, otherwise it’s just crass and rude.

But I always figured that, if given enough time, you would get around to crass and rude.

Thanks.    

Thegoshdarnlibreal wrote: Using gold to support your diatribe against the left shows your readers to be dreamers and pie in the sky faithful who refuse to accept any responsibility for their condition because God did it all and who are we to challenge it. - Finally, My Views on Gold

Dear Comrade Gosh,

I know. I’m terrible.

I’m manipulating gold for my own petty partisan purposes.

Charge me with a hate crime. Or better yet, accuse me of not being patriotic.

Or here’s an idea: call me racist, or greedy. Tie me somehow to work for the Koch Brothers, or accuse me of profiting on an offshore deal.

Talk about how I’m just a rich, Wall Street Republican who manipulates gold and rhetoric to protect corporations and wage a war on women.

I think I have just about exhausted the current stable of Democrat talking points.

What have I missed?    

LoninPa wrote: Is Ransom saying that the Senate would never approve the tax bill that they already approved and sent to the house? I know it started out as a non-tax bill with the tax part amended on. But that hardly changes the fact that the Senate voted for it.

What Ransom, pretty much alone, seems to have missed is that the Democrats don't have to vote for a tax hike bill. The Republicans voted for one 12 years ago (extended by a compromise for two years) and it will go into effect in January. The Democrats only plan on passing tax cut bills. That is not so unpopular. - Obama: More Peas for You!

Dear Comrade Lon,

Getting past the argument that tax bills must originate in the House, technically speaking, you are still wrong. You’re wrong mostly because you’re a liberal. But the particulars of your argument aren’t good to you either.

If you think Democrats are going to be able to skate through on the argument that because they didn’t vote for anything and just let tax cuts expire that somehow they won’t have to own the resulting tax increases, then you don’t understand why the Democrats didn’t vote for Obama’s budget in February. No one’s escaping from this well no matter what the GOP does.  

Personally I hope the GOP moderates help pass the tax increase in the House. Increasing tax rates is bad policy and by passing them Obama will once again get his wish- and it won’t have any good effect economically. While it won’t hurt Obama particularly, it also won’t help his party.

OL1 wrote: John, Your first premise that Democrats figured that there was a good chance President Obama wasn't going to be re elected is foolish as you are. We always knew he would be re elected, because you never from day one presented a candidate or idea that was competitive. Using poles from the last century and stressing your own revised version of the constitution which only protects old white men (of which I am one). My small business will do just fine with OBAMACARE, me paying my fair share of taxes, and the President encouraging the United states to catch up and lead the world in renewable energy. Get out of your glums and be proud. This is going to be a great four years. - Obama: More Peas for You!

Dear Comrade OL,

Why do old, liberal white men have to let us know that they are old, liberal white men?

I don’t go around telling people, “You know, speaking as an almost middle-aged, white, conservative, fat guy….”

Would you take my arguments more seriously if I did?

The answer here is either: 1) Yes, you would take me more seriously, in which case that would just prove how dumb you are or; 2) No, you wouldn’t, in which case it would prove just how dumb you are.  

I’m anxious to know how much your small business pays in taxes now, speaking as an old, white, small business owner. How much will it pay under Obama’s newest proposals?

I’m guessing that neither your small business nor you will be affected by any of Obama’s tax-measures including Obamacare. But if you owned a company like Chili’s, where servers are going to lose employment hours and money, you might have a different perspective.

I’m glad that your old, male whiteness and small business will do just fine under Obamacare, but the 1,170 employees at Stryker Medical who just lost their jobs because of Obamacare aren’t as lucky as you.

Maybe we should have an old, liberal, white guy who-is-doing-just-fine tax to make it up to everyone else who isn’t doing just fine.         

Stan342 wrote: Why has the Republican party not focused like a laser beam on revenue . . . oh, by that I don't mean the Democrat doublespeak of revenue=taxes. No, I mean actual revenue, which has consistently gone up since forever. Except for a flat year and one dip, revenues have consistently risen for the last 12 years. So why the crying and writhing about revenues? Because, spending is out of control, and it is NOT just SSI and Medicare, revenue has kept up with that growth but not the rest of government spending. -Talking Tax Reform, Let’s Start with Cokie’s Uterus

Dear Brother Stan,

Even worse, as our friend Dan Mitchell from Cato points out, that by just cutting 5 percent from spending each year and raising “revenues” by 5 percent each year you could balance the budget in just 5 years.

Think of it as 5-5-5.

“Taxpayers will be happy to know the ‘balanced approach’ gets rid of red ink and also leaves enough room to make the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts permanent,” writes Mitchell who condemns both the GOP and the Democrats equally, even though he’s a really old, white guy. “Heck, there would be enough left-over revenue to enact additional tax cuts. After all, since we’re looking for balance, there’s no need to let revenues grow by 7 percent or 8 percent each year.”

Read more on Dan Mitchell and the dishonest budget math here

Nimh2 wrote: Iceland solved its bankster-caused "crisis by "bailing out" the average person while putting the blame where it rightly belonged--on the banksters. -Talking Tax Reform, Let’s Start with Cokie’s Uterus

Well let’s see if the Icelandic experiment pays off.

The country largely paid for the bailout of average folks by stiffing foreign creditors. That probably would have different implications for a country that has the world’s reserve currency.

Amongst other things, interest rates would have to rise. That has implications for a country like the US that has financed huge deficit spending for decades.

Interest rates in Iceland are 6 percent right now. If the US were looking at similar rates, interest on our debt would increase substantially.

Right now average interest on US government debt is around 2.8 percent. Debt financing cost around $454 billion in 2012.  If interest rates were to rise to 6 percent here, federal debt financing would climb to about $972 billion.

Debt would then account for 42 percent of federal revenues of $2.3 trillion with the government running deficits of $2.1 trillion or more.

Of course, all of that’s assuming that the rapid rise in interest rates and US default wouldn’t trigger a massive depression, which of course it would.

I say we don’t bailout anyone next time.

And there will be a next time.   

JasonQ42 wrote: It is important to recognize that corporations are themselves collectivist entities of precisely the kind that people like Ayn Rand warned could overwhelm the rights of individuals. One way to remedy this is to pass laws defining and supporting the rights of individuals to organize themeselves into a collective in order to achieve some measure of equality at the bargaining table. As a final point, ask yourself how many commercials on television are pro-labor as opposed to pro-corporate? Answer: 0% and basically 100%. As the paying customers of the media are their advertisers, with which side do you think the media allies itself?Who Owns You? Dems or Unions?

Dear Comrade Jason,

People in the US have the right here to organize themselves into groups. It’s called freedom of association. It predates unions.

Your casual use of the term “collective,” like it’s a good thing, is really odd.

Ok… I guess not so odd for a liberal.  

DoctorRoy wrote: Hey that's fine. If you want to end the defined pension take it to the collective bargaining table and negotiate. Don't tell a guy after he's worked for you for 40 years that sorry you are sol we can't honor our commitment. ?Who Owns You? Dems or Unions?

Dear Comrade Doctor,

Don’t tell a community that they can’t afford to hire cops because the politicians who were bankrolled by unions negotiated unsustainable union contracts. Instead go ask public employee pension plans to follow the same rules that private pension plans have to regarding rate of return assumptions.

I’m sorry that a guy who worked for 40 years now has to take a smaller retirement than pension actuaries, union bosses and politicians promised. In the real world we call that fraud.

People go to jail for it.

In liberal land the practice could land one the Democrat nomination for president or vice president.     

Canetoad wrote: If electric cars are not viable why are Nissan, BMW, Chevy, Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Volvo, Volkswagon, Audi, Mitsubishi, Peugeot, Renault and Lexus just to name a few car manufacturers all working to bring new models to the market. Can it be they know more than John Ransom and all his little cronies on TH.-Electric Cars: The Environmentally Friendly Way of Losing Money Since 2009

Dear Comrade Toad,

They do know more about electric cars than I do. And when they are profitable without my tax money going to subsidize them, I say “Bravo.”

But I don’t like public money going to a narrow set of people, like unionized automakers, who have a narrow agenda that never will benefit the public at large.

It’s not constitutional for the federal government to be involved in the manufacture of automobiles, except those vehicles for their own use. Additionally, the subsidies involved just distort the market.

I didn’t pen the Congressional Budget Office report that told us that federal subsidies for electric vehicles weren’t cost effective or likely to have an impact on foreign oil imports. Neither did any of my cronies here on Townhall Finance.      

ACPoints wrote: Not sure where the Volt numbers from this article come from. They don't seem credible or at the very least horribly out of date. If the $50,000 per vehicle loss is referring to the September Reuters article, that's half baked math for half baked thinkers. But if you do want to use that line of "reasoning" you need to decrease the "loss" every month as more vehicles are sold. As to the number sold, YTD stands at around 26,500. So by my math that's about $200 million in federal tax credits - based on what I think is the safe assumption that almost all the tax credits will be claimed. -Electric Cars: The Environmentally Friendly Way of Losing Money Since 2009

Dear Comrade AC,

Yes, I’m using the line of thinking that takes into account all of the capital costs involved in the Volt. From my perspective the Volt is in danger of being a failure. I think it’s likely that the Volt will never make any money. That’s why I’d continue to charge off the capital costs against sales. Heck I never would have gone into a business that requires a federal subsidy.

While you are right that every month that they sell more Volts you can reduce the loss of the Volt in terms of capital costs, you’re wrong overall because they have had to lower the price by $10,000 to get rid of inventory. Now that the price has been bumped back up to $40,000 sales have dipped again.

And make no mistake: This car is losing money even when discounting capital costs.   

Chevy has sold about a third of the number of cars this year so far than they touted- about 20,000. With a goal for 2012 of 60,000 units sold, one would have to consider the sales year a failure. You know? Unless you want to look at everything through an ideological prism rather than through economics. 

That’s it for this week,

V/r,

JR