Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 15, 2011 8:38PM

My Advice to Republican Presidential Candidates

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Remember the Tea Party? That force of sweeping outrage that brushed a whole new Congress into power? It seems that every time I turn on the television (or, come on, glance at Google News), there's some burning hot talking point espoused by Republican presidential candidates that would successfully enflame their indigination. 

For relentless months, candidates have flaunted their spirituality, disparaged (or tried to) President Obama's foreign policies, tacitly embraced anti-gay sentiment, practically screamed their stance against raising taxes, pledged their dedication to cutting spending, government, and regulation, generally frothed about the mouth when immigration comes up (except for Gingrich) and even advocated for more wars in the Middle East. 

Great, these candidates are just what  Tea Partiers wanted. But... what about everyone else? 

The biggest problem with almost every platform and belief that Republican Presidential Candidates stand for is that they are, for the first time, slipping into the minority.  

Let me first concede that it won't be impossible to win the Presidency by going against these tenets, but that window is narrowing. Quickly. By 2050, white Americans are going to be in the minority. Sooner than later, the party that has always aligned itself with the loud and proud anti-immigration groups will be scrambling to shift gears and throw extremists who were once bobbing buoys of boisterous beliefs back overboard.
 
Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove are worried about this and have started a slow backstroke, but other candidates aren't following suit. They're still concerned about primaries - understandably - but my advice to Republican Presidential Candidates would be to ignore the Tea Party altogether. 
 
Who else are Tea Partiers going to vote for? Candidates should be manipulating the disillusioned Obama supporters, who voted for fantasy and got reality, and now feel cheated by the pragmatic, fallible,  middle-of-the-aisle, inexperienced commander-in-chief, healthcare reform be damned. 
 
I suspect that candidates are saving the inevitable hosing of their previous Ultra Right remarks for the actual race against Obama. Suddenly, all of the things said to court the Tea Party will be watered down into a thin broth of *fingers crossed* actual issues of taxing, spending, and the economy (as to the taxing, I'm not holding my breath for Republicans to see the light, not as long as Grover Norquist holds any sway on Capitol Hill).
 
It's a funny thing when a segment of your party base is driving you into an inescapable corner, but it will be tragic in the real election. I know that the Chosen Candidate will immedaitely start blurring extreme views with moderate ones, but... politicians seem to still have trouble realizing that we have YouTube now.  
 
The real question is: When President Obama is re-elected, will Republicans finally realize that their short-term interest in their base is actually killing them in the long run?  

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I think a resounding defeat, and having to sit on the curb in the cold, contemplating their new powerlessness as the direct consequence of catering to hatred, espousing gross economic inequality, continuing to worship St. Ronald of Reagan, and St. Grover of Norquist by refusing to do the obvious necessary thing of rolling back the Bush tax cuts, and genuflecting at the altar of religious extremism, might be a really good learning experience for the current GOP. A truly motivational experience for reinventing themselves as reasonable people who don't think compromise and negotiation are bad ways to arrive at a solution everyone can live with. I really hoped they get it in 2012. I thought they got it in 2008. The thing I most fault the newly elected Obama for is his insistence on being "bipartisan" when he would have done better to take the energy and good will he had along with the huge Dem majority he also had and use that opportunity to get as much of his agenda through Congress as possible. He learned the hard way that he can't do anything to make the Republicans happy.

rated
As far as anti-gay sentiment, I have to disagree that some on the right only "tacitly" embrace it, especially after seeing Rick Perry's video on you tube. He is very open about his disapproval of gays, yet he is a G0d-fearing Christian. Go figure.
As it stands, the top 1% of reported incomes pay 37% of all income taxes. The top 5% pays 59% of all income taxes. The top 10% pays over 70% of all income taxes; and the top 50% pay 98% of all income taxes.

The rich already pay the vast majority of all income taxes. Relative to these taxes, one half of the country appears to support the other half.

Under these conditions, to whom will the human members of our national government feel most beholden? Yet, you want the rich to pay more taxes?

Doesn't anything strike you odd about the logic you seem to be employing here? Or, do you just feel entitled to live off of others?

Moreover, do you REALLY want Congress to legislate your morality, or our morality? Do you want our executive branch to go around enforcing such statutes? Do you want the judicial branch rendering opinions on our moral values?

I may gather my moral values from my adherence to a religious belief. However, feel free to gather yours from a crystal, pyramid, a rock pile marking a "vortex location", or the quiet contemplation of your own navel. Go to where ever you want for such guidance; but you're an idiot if you want government to do it for you, especially when the First Amendment says it must not.

I am not surprised this kind of thinking attracted the attention of the editor. However, let's chat about your claims and your prediction after the election.
The problem with any GOP "establishment" effort to curb the deep and shared idiocy of the GOP base voters is it's all a pile of fraud and ignorance, top to bottom, elites to base.

Getting rid of Beck on Fox was one of those GOP "intelligentsia" moves to dial back the ever-descending ideological stupidity of the doomed-to-embracing-failure whackjob Republican Party.

It's nice that such an ideologue has commented here, defending obviously failed and destructive tax policy by reading from the simpleton's script, providing you with a handy example. It's never about what works with these slogan-chanters, it's always about a whiny defense of what doesn't.
@UncleChri: I like your facts, despite the inevitable (conditional) name-calling. Here's a breakdown of my opinion:

1) Yes, I think that the top 1%, who own 42% of the national wealth in our country, should pay a little more. Americans who have benefited from the United States should invest into programs that help others achieve happiness, don't you think? Education, healthcare, technology, jobs... what you may see as handouts and reckless spending, I see as worthwhile investment that will create the future. Or maybe the wealthy could buy a fourth house, instead.

Your defense of the rich echoes a common sentiment in this country today:

The United States was founded as a capitalist country, but now capitalism is founding us. People equate money with not just happiness, but self-worth AND the worth of others. Cash has become the American nationality, and Americans have all become become their own country.

2) I'm not sure what you're referring to when you talk about Congress legislating morality, but since you say that you're guided by religion, I'll assume that religion is guiding you to be intolerant of unions between homosexuals.

So, yes, I agree - Congress, along with all other forms of government, should not be able to legislate morality, if we're defining morality as a consensual relationship or marriage between two adults. By your own argument, we should allow everyone to pursue the consensual union that makes them happiest.

If you think that I was talking about banning the video of Rick Perry, please re-read the post.
people who continue to believe that backing any political party is in their personal interest are an endangered species.
Blucey,

Thanks for the response.

========

Your claim that the top 1% own 42% of the wealth corresponds closely with a study done by a University of California professor. In that same study, nearly 30 years ago (1983), the wealthiest 1% owned 42.9% of the wealth.

In fact, this figure really hasn’t changed much at all over the course of nearly three decades. Its range during this period lies between 47% (from 1995 through 1998) and 39.7% (in 2001).

We are close to the middle of that range today. Stunning, eh?

During that entire time, the next lower 19% of our population usually possessed more financial wealth than did the top 1%, thereby begging the argument that spreading tax increases over the top 20% would have greatly reduced the amount by which tax rates needed to be raised on any smaller group.

Couple all that with the fact that the wealthiest have done nothing but pay a larger portion of income tax over this same period. The increases appear monotonic in each of the following cases:

In 1983, the highest 1% income earners paid 20.32% of all income taxes. They now pay approximately 40% of all income taxes.

For the upper 5%, these tax shares were 37.26% in 1983 and increased to 60% today.

For the upper 10%, these tax shares were 49.71% in 1983 and increased to over 70% today.

In this context, where the percentage of wealth held by the richest has remaind relatively constant over 30 years, but where their share of income taxes has increased dramatically, your claim that the rich aren’t paying their fair share, or that they aren’t paying enough, defies common sense. It seems an argument unleavened by either information or logic.

Spare me the rejoinder of the disparity of the rich and the poor before you go read the links.

http://www2.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

Further, these data seem to support my contention of the absurdity of arguing that the rich should pay more, since, with this shift in the tax burden has come this rising tide of complaints (mostly justified) about the wealthy being ever more favored in Washington. This is truly a “DUH!!” moment, where I cannot fathom the silliness of Left insisting that the Tax Code be made ever more progressive while whining that the national government is kowtowing more to those at the upper end who are paying ever greater portions of the bills.

=========

With respect to my other point about your posting, frankly, I don’t care if you marry a gerbil. If this is something tolerated under your system of values and beliefs, then go for it. I won't even insist that love or the intent to procreate be involved.

My point was, and remains, that Congress shouldn’t care either; and shouldn’t legislate in any mmanner regarding your (or my) morality in this, or any other, area where no great national interest is at stake. I am confident that your marriage to a gerbil will not destroy this country, in and of itself.

The same goes for any branch of our national government interfering by legislation, regulation, or opinions on abortion (full or partial), euthanasia, marriage, inter- or intra-gender sex, inter- or intra-specie sex, miscegenation, Affirmative Action, or any of a host of other moral issues where (again) no great interest of our nation is at stake.

I am convinced that Congress takes these issues on mostly to insure its members are reelected. I suspect there is not a great concern even for the social engineering involved, much less the welfare of any particular group, outside of their ability to get to the polls.

You wouldn’t even bring this up were it not your belief that some great national interest was at stake regarding these issues. However, the marital benefits for which you advocate are those (mostly) associated with our huge welfare state, themselves a creation of Congress. However, if you want to discuss those benefits that are not creations of Congress, or how national laws regarding homicide (for example) differ from those moral issues enumerated above, then I am here for you.

==============

My belief is that I intended no other comment on your posting, other than the tangential reference to your prediction of our next president. I have no knowledge of any Rick Perry video that might closely relate to your posting.

I apologize for any offense I may have given. You appear young; and perhaps us old folks should follow the analysis of those two Frenchmen who claimed that if you aren’t liberal while young, then you have no heart.
Blucey - I doubt seriously the GOP candidates are interested in your advice any more than you are truly interested in
Blucey - I doubt seriously the GOP candidates are interested in your advice any more than you are truly interested in help them win.

I looked at all the web sites you referenced.
Just now 53% support gay marriage. That is hardly a huge majority. (BTW don't assume I have an issue with it).
56% want higher taxes - again not a huge majority with 70% of Dems and only 35% of Feps.

All these are narrow majorities and I don't see the math that says GOPs should/need to support all these positions to win. It seems clear to me to do so to the extent you are suggesting would surely make them losers.
For example, 53% support gay marriage. What makes you think there are even a few votes to be gained by a GOP fo supporting it?
Same for the tax question with 56% total and only 38% of GOP and 70% of Dem.
Same for all the others. Where is the gain even if they came out in full support on all these issues? That would just mean that Obama and the GOP person would look a lot alike.
Both parties' strategy is to keep all the base and get the middle. I don't see how you advice would help the GOP.
The math just isn't there.
Blucey - "Americans who have benefited from the United States... "
Maybe you should think of them as "Americans who have benefited the United States".
At 23 have you created any significant number of jobs or paid any significant Fed. income tax?
You see, I do not hate the wealthy and, btw, you are targeting more than just the wealthy. $250K is doing very nice and maybe call them rich but not wealthy. $250K might buy you a house and an investment in 3 rentals but it wont buy you a McMansion and 3 vacation homes for personal use.

The point I am making is this. I haven't created any jobs.
There are a few reasons that I have had a good paying career of 25+ years.

1 - I was gifted with the talent to be an good engineer
2 - I appreciate that gift and never took it for granted. I put it to good use, got an education at a small college I promise you never head of if you are not from the deep south.
3 - I worked my ass off in school and non stop my whole career. Being talented at what I do was not good enough. Long hours were a requirement. An implied agreement without a union contract.

Now point 1 was lucky for me.
2 and 3 were my choice influenced by the work ethic of my parents who were marginally poor by today's standards.

But the most important reason I have had the career I have is a man. His name is Thomas Watson Sr. If you know who he is, I am surprised. If not, google him.

People like Watson, Ford, Gates, Jobs, etc etc etc benefited me. Not the other way around. You see, I haven't created one job for anyone unless you count a sometimes maid and sometimes yard person. Yes, I earned my pay, but I depended on the fruits of Mr. Watson my whole career.

The 1% or 5% pay more than a "little more" already. It would be easy for me to support taxing > $259K. I will never be affected by it. So why not? Well why not is because I don't feel I have the moral authority to do so. Many people pay no tax and use their vote to make others do so without a second thought. I have paid a good deal of tax in my life and I do not easily use my vote to tax others if I won't tax myself.
I think Mr. Watson would be perfectly within reason to say to me
"I gave you a job and a more than average lifestyle, you pay the extra taxes."

You think the 5% owe. The fact is there are many, many people under 250K but above, say 150K, that have more than enough. There are at least a couple 100K of them that work just for Mr. Watson.

I would also mention that I am also a decent guitarist. And I struggled hard with the decison to be an engineer or a musician.
I may love music slightly more but I understand it way less than math and science. I also do not believe that I had a moral authority to decide on music which would have led to me being a non tax payer and a taker from the guy just like me who became the engineer.

Here is a link for you to listen to.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkebmhTQN-4

You are only 23 and have a lot to learn. You also happen to be 23 at a bad time. So was I. The economy sucked and my first home loan was 13%. Guess who became Pres the year before I got out of college? And what the top tax rate was. You weren't alive then.
Things may seem bleak for you now, but that is all you have seen as an adult. That does not mean the instant fix you want by raising taxes on the rich will work. Nor is it necessarily necessary. It is a subject of endless debate.

I guess I should be in favor of higher taxes and stimulus spending. It will put the pain off until later. That wound be great. My retirement would be what I expected and not in jeopardy and your starting career would be better also.

But the piper must be paid sooner or later. The pain has been put on you and delayed be every administration since the day you were born. I don't want to pay for it any more than you. So let's just put if off some more. 30T , 45T. Your kids or your grand kids. Who is going to pay?

If you think there is a magical solution that renders an answer of "Nobody" , I think you are wrong.
Uncle Chri--

While it is true that the rich pay those shares of the federal income tax, that represents only part of the total tax burden. State, local, medicare and social security taxes make up the rest. The fact that the social security and medicare taxes stop above 100+K, is part of the reason why Warren Buffet's paycheck is taxed at a lower rate than his secretary. In all states except Vermont, the poor pay more state and local tax than the rich.

The share of income earned by the wealthiest has also increased, which makes increases in percentage of taxes paid less impressive.

When considering how to get us out of the deficit, total tax burden counts for a lot more than just the federal income tax and certainly when considering how to make medicare and social security more secure we should look at the percentage of social security and medicare tax paid by the rich, which is low, low, low.

I didn't get your moral reasoning. Since currently, we have laws for affirmative action and against gay marriage, was your argument for the gov't's hands off was meant to say that it should not pass any laws that change the status quo on either? Or are you saying that laws regarding either of these matters should be ended and people be free to do as they choose?
@Cole:
You're making an excellent argument for more rate categories. There's a huge difference between a highly paid engineer making $250K/year as an employee and someone making $25M/year.

And for simplifying the tax code. The guy making $25oK has some investments, but the bulk of his income is salary. The guy making 25M$/year has far more ability to structure his income to minimize his tax burden. If the income tax rates goes up, he'll shift his income to capital gains.
Blucey, I've seen Republicans all my life, and one thing they are famous for is canalization. The moment they find something that seems to get attention, voters and support, they chew it to shreds, even if it's obviously in shreds. The Teabaggers are a prime example; the old guys in their tricorner hats have disappeared, but the Republican candidates are still acting as if they're still out there.

It would be nice if there were still moderate Republicans, but they've been consistently cut back and purged since the days of Nelson Rockefeller. I don't think there's enough DNA left to reconstruct the species. Which is a pity, because there are some places Obama deserves to be challenged, but only from the left or his approximate political position, not from the rabid right wing.
Malusinka,

You bring up a point where truth has been spun into myth, again. Perhaps it is relevant to Blucey’s post to discuss it.

It is true that Warren Buffet authored a memorandum claiming that he should be taxed more . . . He cites, in support of this, the fact that his personal income tax rate is less than that of his secretary’s.

This is likely true since the Tax Code has always honored those who invest (i.e., risk) capital in our free enterprise system, which Warren does BIG time, with a lower tax rate on capital gains than those who do not take such risks and simply snuggle in the warm nests of those who employ them.

However, Berkshire Hathaway directly employed an astounding 260,519 people during 2010. This doesn’t count the employees at Coca Cola or any of the other companies in which Berkshire Hathaway is simply a stockholder. This only counts the entities for which Berkshire Hathaway is the sole owner/holder/provider.

Warren owns about a third of the voting interest in Berkshire Hathaway and about a fourth of the economic interest in ‘his’ company. Just for grins, let’s take the lower figure. It is actually the appropriate one for the point about to be made.

Mr. Buffet’s economic ownership in Berkshire Hathaway burdens the return of his investment and his gains with the equivalent of a single employer’s share of FICA taxes for 65,130 employees. Further, for these same 65,000 employees, Mr. Buffet’s profits and gains on his ownership of Berkshire Hathaway are also reduced by government takings for FUTA, State Unemployment Benefits, Workmen’s Compensation Premiums, and a whole host of other taxes you haven’t bothered to mention and which Buffet didn’t include in his letter to President Obama.

Just to keep this mathematical, Buffet’s share of FICA for these 65,000 employees is equal to the aggregate of theirs. This is a federal taking increased, to a point, in direct proportion to the amount earned by the employee. I suspect few at Berkshire Hathaway are employed at the minimum wage.

Further, all State and Federal laws of which I am aware disallow any portion of FUTA, State Unemployment, and Workmen’s Compensation to be withheld from an employee’s compensation. Hence, Mr. Buffet's share of these bills is 100% of what is owed.

Now, that’s a LOT of taxes Mr. Buffet pays beyond those due on his personal return. If his shares in Berkshire Hathaway weren’t burdened with these other taxes, you would have a point. However, the truth is that they are, so you don’t.
Malusinka - Just to note I am not any near 250K. More like half.
Maybe there should be more brackets. Not only for the rich but for those that pay zero. I don't accept the argument of local taxes. That is the fault of state and local gov. I don't think it is fair decide who pays the fed. burden because local gov is also out of control. Example. My city recently wanted to extend an already very adequate hike and bike trail system by selling bonds. Given the economy and needs why is the city concerned with that rather then feeding/housing the poor. And the main supporters of this is lower middle to middle income doing OK liberals that shop at whole foods.
It mystifies me that these people care about their green/healthy conveniences above the poor. The poor could care less about a new trail and my guess is that they may believe that it is the likes of me that is voting for this stuff. They don't believe liberals with money would do this to them.

And this 250K number as representing the middle class is confusing. In the past, ever since I started working at a 1982 salary and even now I would have been consider well above middle class. And I consider myself so. But Obama coined this notion that 250K is middle income. Obama's promise to the 250K was a number way to high for practicality but great for a campaign.
It is in my opinion it is the reason that Health Care had to become a mandate. It should have been a tax but his promise of who NOT to tax was way to high. I also think that if Dems get back full control Obama would quickly revise down the 250K number as he has no more reelections to worry about.
Chris is hilarious. Buffet doesn't pay a dime in employee payroll taxes, the employees pay both sides of the ledger. Payroll tax costs are always an element of labor cost, so it adds no burden to employer costs at all. It would take a true victim of reality disassociation to say payroll costs are paid by the employer when each employee is a profit-generating investment, supplying labor, payroll tax costs and profit to the employer.

So, Buffet pays zero employee taxes and a percentage number of his own income preceded by many zeroes to the right of the decimal point as payroll tax.

Then Chris' emotional, irrelevant-to-true function argument makes the laughable assumption that all retained earnings are investment capital. It's like he's reading from a 7th grade economics textbook with cartoons showing a symbiotic, circular and balanced cycling of labor, employer, profit and reinvestment -- except Chris sees it running in reverse and being more like a drain than a cycle, the lucky duck employee being the true beneficiary of the employer's generosity.

All of it, in Chris fashion, having nothing to do with function within a wider field of essential variables, including--
-- the reality of income taxes being too low to cover the expenses income taxes are assessed to cover
-- the inability of an economy to function with dysfunctional wealth distribution
--the toxic reality of dysfunctional distribution actually working against the concept of productive investment by draining consumer wealth to the point productive investment is useless, leaving only destructive rent-seeking speculation, which exacerbates the situation by draining more consumer wealth, making productive investment less likely, and so on. A race to the bottom, which is where America finds itself today.

Chris, you never have a point if we properly consider a point being relevant. You have an act--the same dumbed-down argument that uses 50 words to replace 3 and attempts to sound analytical when it's nothing but stunted-thinking emotional drivel. The humor comes with you pompously assuming your economically myopic "single variable" script-reading is anything but laughable.
Paul - "the reality of income taxes being too low to cover the expenses income taxes are assessed to cover".

And this is also true.

The expenses are too high to be covered by the taxes that are assessed.

Thus the need for a balanced budget requirement and no phony guess work accounting. People can debate forever what are the right expenses and who should pay the taxes, but deeper and deeper debt will destroy this country.
Thus it seems to me that everyone should support a balanced budget (small deficits at times excepted as well as excesses at times).

As for Buffet, I notice that whatever his intentions and ideological views are, he gave 31B to charity. Not the gov.
And I have heard certain congressman saying lately that they give the money saved by the Bush cuts to charity. For some reason they see no good reason to make the gov. their charity. And if I am correct, one of the New England states allows for people to pay a previously higher tax rate if they like. Apparently few or none do. I think it is MA.
What does that tell you?

I can't speak for you but I have heard statements like yours from many other people. It makes me feel that that until every social program imaginable is fully funded to everyone's satisfaction, more taxes are justified.
What is hear is that any and all expense considerations come first and that the raising of taxes is the forgone conclusion to cover said expenses.

How's about setting tax rates, then living within that budget.
For example. why do property taxes go up with the value of the property. If a given amount of taxes are being collected today, why is that need magically increased tomorrow just because a house is worth more? That indicates to me that gov does not want a given amount of tax. They just want a percentage period. Same for Fed. income tax. They don't want an amount. They want a percentage that increases with my pay just because. The only tax I can think of that has a limit or end point so to speak is FICA. And many want that limit gone.
When is enough, enough? Never from what I can tell.
Amen, and pass the biscuits, please.
the tea party seems to be a figment of the Corporations imagination. but brought to life, svengali-like....
ps thats quite an elite list of favorites that youve got there! great taste I must say! :p
The Anointed , Christian approved righteous one … real Baptist pastor says so!

There he stands, if not stately and more than lean, surely of clear-eyed views, here atop the very hill of his Republic, presently reviewing the encamped enemy-ally to the south – now, please understand that our modern day Marlboro man, here with the light weight mettle of a post George W heft, he of the vision overlooking the cost and human value, damn the rent. Body, soul be underspent: Who the Hell needs all this here education – long as our ‘Boys ‘n Horns roll with pride, be just fine.
Sir, he’d summon energies, What was I saying there? Been off somewhere, guess. And then, he’d have his waking nightmare fresh still, these stark good looks peering into his very soul: Do you want this handsome man looking at you? Not that the Governor treads on homophobic precipices or is lost with deep perplexities of such preoccupations, whether real or imagined.
He’d now blankly gaze down his hill, the ready labor force soon to be patted on its collective head, while his ready right hand, on the lever to hit the juice, be it to cook those climbing his fence – or readily found guilty, whether true or not!
In his well- considered opinion, a president needn’t know the specific leanings of Libya or Liberia – same damn kind, right? Don’t have to be an expert, Hell no … Long as I get mine work, whether foreign, Federal or feigned. Get it off the truck and in the trough. Hell, yeah. Thank you Dear Lord for the Oil Depletion Allowance: Texas don’t mean Taxes - let them Blue ball states foot all of that for the rest of them out there …
"be scrambling to shift gears and throw extremists who were once bobbing buoys of boisterous beliefs back overboard."

Not bad although the alliteration is spackled on a bit heavily.

I'm torn as to whether your adjective clause modifying "extremists" is restrictive or non-restrictive. If you intend to refer to all extremists, you should set off the clause with commas. I mention this only because you obviously take your writing seriously. I would also disagree that your skills are "questionable at best."

Your point about the political inutility of pleasing those constituencies that have no realistic alternative is well taken. Too bad Obama doesn't understand it sufficiently to stop jeopardizing the country in the cause of placating environmental extremists.

Good advice is always helpful; however, the greatest asset of the Republicans is Barack Obama, who has quickly and conclusively established himself as an incompetent, corrupt, and cowardly "leader." There are many who would vote for anyone from Donald Trump to Donald Duck to defeat him.

Good luck on your voyage from youthful liberal to mature conservative.
Mr. O'Rourke,

A few things:

"Buffet doesn't pay a dime in employee payroll taxes, the employees pay both sides of the ledger. Payroll tax costs are always an element of labor cost, so it adds no burden to employer costs at all."

Yes!

"It would take a true victim of reality disassociation to say payroll costs are paid by the employer when each employee is a profit-generating investment, supplying labor, payroll tax costs and profit to the employer."

You lost me there. Isn't paying the same thing as investing?

"So, Buffet pays zero employee taxes and a percentage number of his own income preceded by many zeroes to the right of the decimal point as payroll tax."

Didn't you already cover this point when you said: "Buffet doesn't pay a dime in employee payroll taxes"...?

"Then Chris' emotional, irrelevant-to-true function argument makes the laughable assumption that all retained earnings are investment capital. It's like he's reading from a 7th grade economics textbook with cartoons showing a symbiotic, circular and balanced cycling of labor, employer, profit and reinvestment -- except Chris sees it running in reverse and being more like a drain than a cycle, the lucky duck employee being the true beneficiary of the employer's generosity."

For someone criticizing another's emotional writing, the above paragraph sure is fraught with its own share of emotion.

Since when are earnings not used to invest?

"All of it, in Chris fashion, having nothing to do with function within a wider field of essential variables, including--
-- the reality of income taxes being too low to cover the expenses income taxes are assessed to cover"

Income tax is an expense. The snake should eat its own tail to stave off hunger?

"-- the inability of an economy to function with dysfunctional wealth distribution"

Dysfunctional wealth distribution became the norm when the corporations took over the federal government.

"--the toxic reality of dysfunctional distribution actually working against the concept of productive investment by draining consumer wealth to the point productive investment is useless, leaving only destructive rent-seeking speculation, which exacerbates the situation by draining more consumer wealth, making productive investment less likely, and so on. A race to the bottom, which is where America finds itself today."

Over-long way of saying "dysfunctional distribution of wealth makes consumers poorer, and productive investment scarcer."

Consumers attain wealth if their overhead is reduced.

"Chris, you never have a point if we properly consider a point being relevant. You have an act--the same dumbed-down argument that uses 50 words to replace 3 and attempts to sound analytical when it's nothing but stunted-thinking emotional drivel. The humor comes with you pompously assuming your economically myopic "single variable" script-reading is anything but laughable."

Again, criticizing another's method of reasoning by engaging in the same: using 50 words where a half-dozen might do.

Why not strip the above to its meaning? Example:

"Chris your economic arguments are myopic."

The surplus of descriptors comes across as emotional instead of rational.
I want to thank everyone for responding, it's been really interesting, eye-opening, even, to hear the side of some fairly articulate conservatives. I respect that everyone managed to keep the conversation fairly dignified. That's the whole point of blogs, anyway, to foster healthy debate that used to be commonplace. Exchanges of ideas, compromises on others... ah, I imagine that those were the days.

That said, there are too many issues here for me to which I can respond properly, and it sparked inspiration for another blog post that will sync up nicely with all of this. Thanks again -- I hope to continue the conversation in my next post on Thursday.
"politicians seem to still have trouble realizing that we have YouTube now."

Nailed it! I even know grandmas in their 70s that are quite skilled in the art of YouTube.