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September 04, 2008

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">http://www.nysun.com/business/obama-capital-gains-tax-hike-would-hit-new-york/81902/"> Capital gains tax increases would certainly hurt retirees, not only those that have mutual funds and other equities, but if this causes a sell-off in the stock market and depresses future investments, it will mess up everybody with IRAs and 401ks as well.

Mr. Obama is proposing to raise taxes on capital gains and dividends by a staggering two-thirds, moving the rate up 10 percentage points to 25%

I was listening but not watching. Did McCain rend his garments and display his wounds to the crowd?

Sure enough, McCain said again tonight that
"True happiness comes from sacrificing for a cause greater than self-interest."

Does paying taxes count as a sacrifice?
Does clamoring for a tax cut NOT count as self-interest?

IOW, does McCain understand himself when he talks?

--TP

Thank you Hilzoy. I always enjoy your thoughtful, well-reasoned posts. Tonight however, I especially appreciate the (still measured) spark of righteous indignation.

Personally, I would have been throwing in more words like "shameless" and "disgraceful" and exclamation points to season my rant; your more civilized approach is good tonic.

i guess Von or FTP21 or whoever will be along any moment to explain why us liberals and/or democrats should be "very, very afraid" of John McCain's weak, unfocused, backwards-looking speech.

i feel the ten-pin syndrome coming on!

i guess Von or FTP21 or whoever will be along any moment to explain why us liberals and/or democrats should be "very, very afraid" of John McCain's weak, unfocused, backwards-looking speech.

If I were von, I'd be highly insulted by that. Respect is something von's more than deserves.

Now some other posters....

wrong. Obama will raise taxes on everyone except the $85k-$95k earners.

http://www.american.com/archive/2008/august-08-08/the-folly-of-obama2019s-tax-plan

Wow. Another drive by poster.

rob!: Be nice to Von, he really does have our best interests at heart. Sure he's wrong about lots of things, but he's wrong in good faith. (One of the reasons I enjoy ObWi so much is because our conservative commentators/posters do argue in good faith and don't just spout off.) We'll make a liberal out of him yet. ^.^

The other guy, however... I think he's a troll and not a very good one at that.

I agree with most points and certainly agree that McCain's distortions were numerous and offensive. I would like to note, however, that the Democrats can be just as guilty of contextual distortion. John McCain's "definition" of a rich person as one making $5 million per year was just a number he intentionally made high to evidence his (I believe poor) plan to cut taxes on all classes. He was stressing that a specific number cutoff didn't matter (and, indeed, correctly noted that his comment would be taken out of context). While I find his answer evasive, and disagree with the policy behind it, I think the Obama camp has distorted this and other comments while trying to claim fair play. Even if their distortions are smaller in quantity and severity, that is no excuse. Americans deserve better discourse.

a: that report is about raising marginal rates, not overall tax rates. I need to read it more closely, but I think the reason marginal rates go up more quickly under Obama's plan is that there are credits, e.g. child and education credits, that phase out at a certain point (as they should; who wants to pay for Bill Gates' kid's college education?) When this happens, marginal tax rates go up. But that doesn't mean that tax rates themselves go up, and the whole reason marginal rates go up is that taxes were lower to start with.

fair enough. apologies to Von.

I thought the speech was kinda boring, but I guess I see why some people thought it was okay.

It's seems to me that one unspoken consequence of McCain choosing Palin for VP, aside from the judgment issue, is that one of the other choices in picking a running mate is that the VP choice should not upstage the top of the ticket. As everyone is saying, "A Star Is Born", by picking Palin, McCain has energized the base, but not for the McCain candidacy, but for the Palin candidacy. Essentially, it seems to me that McCain while so blinded by wanting to beat Obama, chose a candidate, much like Obama, who has more charisma and oratory skills than he himself does. Even in his speech tonight, while you and others I guess loved many of the bipartisanship parts of the speech, it seemed to me that the delegates in the hall, were not as impressed or enthusiatic, until Palin showed up. Even during Cindy McCain's remarks, most of her lines fell flat, until she mentioned Gov Palin (I won't even get into how much less warmly Cindy McCain came off compared to Michelle Obama).

Anyway, I wouldn't be surprised if in time until the election in November to see Sara Palin talking to huge crowds, and McCain still struggling to find seat holders. Basically, McCain has released a monster flame in Sara Palin, which it seems to me has the potential not really blunt Obama's star power, but will completely engulf McCain's.

McCain seems to have a talent for ferreting out women with wealth and power advantages to reverse his fortunes and smooth his path.

Is there any particular name we attach to women who do that? Hmmm....

I must be getting really slow, Lee, because I have no idea what word you're hinting at.

Capital gains tax increases would certainly hurt retirees, not only those that have mutual funds and other equities, but if this causes a sell-off in the stock market and depresses future investments, it will mess up everybody with IRAs and 401ks as well.

retirees buying stocks? isn't the fundamental argument for stocks that in the long run they out-perform bonds?

but even if you're not old, if you are on a fixed income, stocks really aren't the place to put money you cannot afford to lose.

nor would we want them to be. it's great that in our society someone with a good idea (product or service) can persuade other people to invest even though conventional wisdom says don't.

so I'm (often) not empathetic when fixed-income retirees the sue their brokers, saying "we had no idea it was risky!"

sorry, Dave, that's bogus. tax 'em. they've got money to burn.

and here, here:

A servant, you might think, should not draw attention to himself, or insist on his own humility.

yea, it used to be.

and then came the unemployed NY actors taking jobs as waiters.

they made a damn spectacle out everything they did for you.

I blame that one on them.

but even if you're not old, if you are on a fixed income, stocks really aren't the place to put money you cannot afford to lose

Stocks are a good place to put your money when they are cheap. For fixed-income folks who don't own stocks and want to buy some, low stock prices are a good thing -- just like low house prices.

For people who are affluent enough to already own stocks and houses, the opposite is true, of course.

--TP

I found it weird that he said two or three times that people need to help each other, and need each others' help, yet he is determined to starve the government. Apparently, government is only an enemy, and the way to help people is to shrink it. Except, he's going to help people by serving in it. But, see, he's not like all the other politicians. Really he's not. Honest. You can trust him, because he was a POW and learned to help people. By cutting services.

Oh, except he's going to improve in unspecified ways how we do energy, education, job retraining, infrastructure, transport, and I think I left some out, but at the same time he shrinks government and cuts taxes. Not that he's divine or anything, no, he's too humble for that. And a servant. Did I mention that he was a POW? And a servant. Also, he believes in service. Humbly.

There's an old joke of my people:
A rich man is praying in synagogue at Yom Kippur, crying out to G-d that he is as dust, he is undeserving, he is worthless. A rival of his arrives, stands near him, and takes up the prayer, crying even louder that he is dust, undeserving, worthless. The rich man turns to the person next to him and sneers, "look who's calling himself worthless!"

Ladies and gentlemen, your humble servant, John McCain.

Regarding that reflexive Republican aversion to government-run programs: does McCain suppose that those of us covered by private health care never find bureaucrats standing between us and our doctors? He ought to get out more, talk to some of his good friends, the American people. Oiks.

The McCain biopic before he spoke strongly implied that McCain did not die in the fire on the Forestall because he had been chosen for a higher purpose, unlike the other 134 shmoes that G-d didn't have any further use for. By itself, it was disgusting, but combined with McCain claiming that he isn't the candidate who claims he is the chosen one, it is just stunning.

The Republican convention this year consisted of the fact that McCain was a POW, but they claim that Obama is the one who thinks the election is all about himself?

McCain seems to have a talent for ferreting out women with wealth and power advantages to reverse his fortunes and smooth his path.

Is there any particular name we attach to women who do that? Hmmm....

Posted by: Lee | September 05, 2008 at 01:15 AM

I must be getting really slow, Lee, because I have no idea what word you're hinting at.

Posted by: AndyK | September 05, 2008 at 01:22 AM

My guess is that he is hinting at "gold diggers" (apt for Alaska too) but using clumsy wording. Her could either mean "men" instead of "women" or intended to say "In women we would call that..." (and the Son of Cain is the male equivalent).
Another possible choice is that it was about women that allow themselves to be used that way (then the word could be "naive").

"McCain did not die in the fire on the Forestall"

That's "Forrestal," named after the first Secretary of Defense and former Navy Secretary, James Forrestal.

(Jeez, that conspiracy stuff, and alien stuff, in his Wikipedia entry is pathetic.)

He said Obama would raise taxes, when (just to repeat myself) Obama will raise taxes only on people making over $250,000 a year. Still, in that case, you can imagine a way in which you might make what he said out to be true, if you squint a bit: Obama will raise some taxes.

Meh. I'm not sure you have to squint that much. Certainly under Obama's tax plan the overall amount of revenue raised by the federal government via taxes will go up. Hence, Obama will "raise taxes." Obviously that doesn't necessarily mean Obama will raise taxes on you, which is of course the impression McCain wants to convey, but I don't think "Obama will raise taxes" is in any way misleading.

As for capital gains taxes, the likely short term effect of an Obama win in November will be a revenue gain as people will sell some of their portfolio in Nov/Dec/early Jan in anticipation that the rate will go up.

Speaking of which, does anyone have a link to Obama's tax plan? I can't seem to find it on his website.

"Obviously that doesn't necessarily mean Obama will raise taxes on you, which is of course the impression McCain wants to convey, but I don't think "Obama will raise taxes" is in any way misleading."

Taken out of context and put into the mouth of some generic human being, no, that statement is not misleading, although even in that situation it is incomplete.

Given, however, that McCain's intention in saying it is to convince people of something that is not true means that, when it's coming out of McCain's mouth, it is indeed misleading.

As is his professed love for getting rid of partisan rancor. The man who put a self-described pit bull with lipstick on the stage to spew hate and lies is not against rancor, nor is he actually doing anything to try to eliminate it from public life.

I'm a retiree and fortunately I have to think about how to lessen my capital gains, but I have to say my biggest concern is not the capital gains rate. Within limits I can control the timing and amount of those gains, lessening their impact, no matter if the rate goes up.

My much larger worry is that the government, by running these huge deficits, will devalue my now fixed assets and income by inflation. Not to mention create a tough business climate that will hurt the stock market, making gains a moot point.

It's sort of a pay me now or pay me later kind of choice, and I see my long-term interests better protected by paying now.

McCain focuses on character because that's all he has to run on.

Also, as several post-speech commentators noted last night, Independents wind up pulling the lever for the candidate whose character they embrace most.

Not mentioning the economy when millions are hurting, however, was weak.

Also: I think we underestimate the appeal of McCain's POW story and Palin's new-found status as America's hockey mom at our own peril.

btfb, you may be right, but what I've been hearing (yes, it's anecdata) and what I can testify to myself: Palin may come across to some as "America's hockey mom," but there are a lot of people for whom she comes across as "that mean girl in high school."

I suffered through a couple of poisonous b!tches in JH and HS, and my delicious cold-eaten revenge was being more successful than them after graduation. What can I say, I'm petty like that. Palin evokes the same feelings. I want to see her fail, because the snippy, self-righteous, condescending jabs in her speech Wednesday remind me of the hell I went through thanks to others she brings vividly to mind.

Palin may come across to some as "America's hockey mom," but there are a lot of people for whom she comes across as "that mean girl in high school."

I was thinking last night that I need to schedule an Election/Heathers double feature.

Anecdote of the day: I was just at my veterinarian's office in suburban Cleveland; while Cleveland and Cuyahoga county are strongly Democratic, there's a strong conservative streak throughout Northeast Ohio and the state generally. I overheard two of the women who work in the office talking; one started by saying, "Did you know the Republican vice-president candidate wants to ban all abortions? Say goodbye to Roe v. Wade, I guess, and so much for owning your own uterus." Both of them were very unhappy about the prospect of more restrictive abortion laws, if not outright bans.

The Republicans overestimate the appeal of a female anti-abortion candidate at their peril.

"Say goodbye to Roe v. Wade, I guess, and so much for owning your own uterus."

But they can own as many guns as they want.

farmgirl: All of this is so unscientific, of course, and I am trying to persevere as I work around a lot of Republicans and a fair share of right-leaning Independents here in Newark, Delaware -- unfortunately, the Dems here seem to hide in the closet.

Retirees don't have to worry about capital gains because a 401(k) isn't taxed as capital gains.

They're treated as ordinary income, which I'm sure DaveC knows.

At the end of his acceptance speech, McCain offered an implicit dig at Obama which was also to have highlighted McCain's own "alleged" humility (he used this line in the Lime Jello speech in June too):

"I'm not running for president because I think I'm blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save our country in its hour of need."

But earlier in his speech he says this:

"I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace."

Those two statements are completely at odds with each other. Someone who claims to know how the world works; claims to be the arbiter of what is good and what is evil; and claims they can secure world peace sure sounds like someone who has anointed himself not only to save his country, but the world.

Now that's presumption we can believe in!

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