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Maybe Mitch Will Cry On The Senate Floor Again

December 2nd, 2010 · 17 Comments

It’s true. Mitch McConnell’s top dog – Billy Piper – is headed out for greener pastures. [Page One]

How much more of a panderer could he be? Can’t wait til the Ark Park discriminates in hiring on the basis of religion so we can then ask Steve Beshear WTF he’s thinking. Tax incentives for a religious institution. Ha. [H-L]

We can thank Papaw Steve Beshear for the national embarrassment this week. There’s plenty where this came from. [Wonkette]

Like this segment from Countdown on MSNBC last night. It’s only going to get worse. [Countdown]

Have you seen this hilarious new ark park cartoon by Marc Murphy? Funniest man alive. In Kentucky, I mean. [Fakebook]

A 28-foot Norway Spruce was delivered in Frankfort yesterday to serve as the Capitol Christmas tree. Guess the gullible mouthbreathers can’t freak out about how Papaw Beshear hates Christmas this year. [Press Release]

The Public Service Commission ordered the Magoffin County Water District to upgrade its supply sources. The PSC says it lacks a sufficient water supply to deal with drought or heavy usage. [Press Release (Warning: PDF Link)]

Sarah The Quitter Palin came to Lexington to sign a book she claims to have written. Rascal scooters came from miles around. [H-L]

Remember all those Mike Duncan text messages? He’s finally admitted that he’s considering another bid for the the chairmanship of the Republican National Committee. [Enquirer]

Wall Street got a blank check. Literally borrowing money from the Fed at 0.0078 percent interest. While two million Americans are losing unemployment benefits. [HuffPo]

Rosa Parks refused to sit in the back of the bus 55 years ago yesterday. [Politico]

Tags: Discrimination · Eastern Kentucky · Economy · Embarrassing · Flashback · Humor · Hypocrisy · Mike Duncan · Mitch McConnell · RNC · Spotted · Steve Beshear · Wasted Money

17 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Ed Marksberry // Dec 2, 2010 at 8:58 am

    The “Countdown” segment is a perfect example of some of the demagogues we have representing us in Washington. Please call or email your Congressman and tell them to get off their ass and do the right thing now! During my campaign I spoke heavily about the tax credit extension for those making over $250,000 and the cost of this credit. We have families today losing their unemployment benefits at the worst time of the year, while the Republican leaders mislead the public on being serious about reducing the debt. All citizens should be able to serve their country and should be honored for it.
    Yes to an extension of unemployment benefits!
    Yes to repealing “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”!
    No to borrowing $700,000,000 from China to extend the tax credit to those making over $250,000 a year!

  • 2 Laurie Spezzano // Dec 2, 2010 at 9:01 am

    Murphy should do a cartoon on the park devoted to “the history and pageantry of methamphetamine and Oxycontin” proposed in the editorial today. Let’s celebrate our Kentucky culture!

  • 3 Mark H (Not Hebert) // Dec 2, 2010 at 10:26 am

    This entire tax cut issue is nothing more than a wedge issue. The reality is that in real dollars, it really doesn’t impact anyone significantly, middle or upper class. The psychological impact is something different.

    The reality is that most small business owners feel under attack by this administration. They are being looked at to pay the freight for a greater and greater portion of America. Yes it’s 5% of the population, but that 5% pays 57% of the tax burden.

    The fact is that there is nothing that requires business owners to hire anyone. If they feel under attack or can’t predict their tax burden or anticipated business costs (Financial reform, health care reform, CO2 taxes in some form or another, etc.) they are going to sit on their hands, cut there expenses and wait it out until the picture becomes more clear.

    While I personally think allowing them all to expire wouldn’t be the worst thing the world, picking a single group out only adds to the perception that they are under additional attack (real or otherwise). Either extend them for everyone or revoke them for everyone.

    If we want to find the money somewhere, how about getting some of the money we lent over seas, to the UN or every outstretched hand that we give money to in hopes that they’ll like us better at the latest State Department cocktail party.

  • 4 Mark H (Not Hebert) // Dec 2, 2010 at 10:27 am

    cut their …..

  • 5 Wendell // Dec 2, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Ed it is not your money or the government’s money. It belongs to the people who earned it. Maybe just maybe if government would get out of the marketplace then business would start hiring people and there wouldn’t be any need for extending unemployment benefits. If this decade has taught us anything it should be that government spending does not translate into real economic growth.

  • 6 keatssycamore // Dec 2, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Mark H writes:

    “Yes it’s 5% of the population, but that 5% pays 57% of the tax burden.”

    I think what you really mean is “5% pays 57% of the federal income tax burden.” Which is important since federal income taxes are only about 42-47% of all federal revenue. Which would basically mean that the top 5% of yearly earners contribute, at most, about 25% of the federal government’s yearly revenue through their income taxes.

    Given that the top 5% of federal income tax payers earn upwards of $400,000 a year, it seems unsurprising that these folks are funding about 25% of the revenue. I do think there is some unfairness in the way we tax (for instance, I think wealth should be taxed more than work not the reverse and that every dollar however earned should be subject to social security taxes) but just as an abstract concept, asking the top 5% to fund 25% of the revenue doesn’t seem per se unreasonable. But I don’t know, maybe I’m missing something?

  • 7 michael kelley // Dec 2, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    Framing the >250K tax cut as a small business issue seems to be a crock. It is hard to believe the majority of small business owners are taking home that kind of bank. Remember, even the folks earning >250 would still enjoy the same break that the lower earners would get. Saying this would lower hiring and capital purchases is also a crock. Those business expenses are not post tax, they are pretax. Finally, we are deep in debt, is this really the time to be talking about any tax cuts that have not been off set by spending cuts??

  • 8 Monica // Dec 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

    Regarding the Ark Encounter Project:

    All of the YouTube videos, the press releases and newspaper articles accentuate the fact that this Ark Encounter stupidity is an “economic development project” and is a “for-profit” company. So, why, when I click on the Ark Encounter website, the first thing they ask for is a donation to help build the ark? I’m not seeing Aegon’s website asking for donations in lieu of their announced layoffs. They’re for-profit, too, no?

    The whole thing just keeps delivering vomit to my mouth.

    Oh, but wait!! B&P’s (?) question to the Governor: “Will there be dinosaurs on the ark?” I laughed out loud in an inappropriate setting when I heard that. (Darn those earbuds in a cubicle existence.) Thanks!

  • 9 Mark H (Not Hebert) // Dec 2, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Keats, since we we were discussing Federal income tax cuts, I wasn’t referring to total tax burden.

    Top 1% cutoff is $380,354 and pay 38.02%

    Top 5% cutoff is $159,619 and pay 58.72%

    The problem with taxing wealth instead of earnings, is that it impacts investment and fixed incomes. This is why a sales or national VAT tax is a far more equitable tax, than an income tax. This is what drives me crazy when I hear Buffet and the very wealthy state that the rich should pay more is a crock, because does have an income like we do. He has capital gains. Trust-funder’s pay very little, if any income tax.

    You just can’t have it both ways. If we tax the hell out of the wealthy and most economically productive class in our society, we then can’t bitch that they won’t hire anyone, put in a new pool, add onto their houses, or go out to eat as often. When the wealthy spend less, the lower classes are hurt the most. In other words, if the person making $250K is worried that their taxes are going to go up and as such, they decide to not to host a company Christmas party this year, the restaurant workers and bartenders missing out on that $250 night impacts them more than the loss to the owner of not having the event.

    Michael, you are correct that most small businesses do not make that “kind of bank,” but most that employ significant numbers of people do. The local guy with an vitamin sales or a grass cutting business doesn’t earn over $250K, but restaurants, construction general contractors, and physician offices do. In addition, if you have a spouse that works, the combined income can easily exceed that figure. So the impact should be assessed not by the number of small businesses affected, but rather the percentage of small businesses employing over 5 people which would be affected.

    As I noted, the real impact is overstated by both sides of the argument. The real issue at hand is more of a psychological one. Do those who are higher earners and business owners feel like expanding their businesses, spending money on goods and services, or are they going to feel under assault and pull back their spending and hiring? I would argue that extending or rescinding the cuts for “wealthy” would have greater impact in terms of confidence than actual monetary impact.

    Is the monetary savings by rescinding the tax cuts worth further alienating the “wealthy” and reducing their spending confidence? That is what Congress needs to decide.

  • 10 tbrauch // Dec 2, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    I don’t think the ark peoples will discriminate in hiring employees. Afterall, they had a porn actor play the role of Adam in their Adam & Eve film.

    @Monica: I haven’t listened to the B&P video, did the governor asnwer about the dinosaurs on the ark?

  • 11 keatssycamore // Dec 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Mark H,

    Oops, I read the 1% AGI # instead of the 5% AGI #. Thanks for correcting me. I should have written:

    Given that the top 5% have AGIs of upwards of $160,000 a year, it seems unsurprising that these folks are funding about 25% of the revenue.

    BTW, I don’t quite understand this paragraph of yours:

    “The problem with taxing wealth instead of earnings, is that it impacts investment and fixed incomes. This is why a sales or national VAT tax is a far more equitable tax, than an income tax. This is what drives me crazy when I hear Buffet and the very wealthy state that the rich should pay more is a crock, because does have an income like we do. He has capital gains. Trust-funder’s pay very little, if any income tax.”

    At the beginning of the paragraph you state that taxing wealth is problematic but by the end of the paragraph you’re pointing out how Warren Buffet’s wealth is protected from taxation.

    So while I think your point was/is that some type of universal consumption tax is more fair than today’s progressive income tax, I can’t see how that resolves your Warren Buffet issue as neither taxation option provides a real avenue to get at Warren Buffet’s (or even at your run-of-the-mill trustfunder’s wealth) wealth. But again, I’m probably missing something.

  • 12 Monica // Dec 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    @tbrauch: When the question was asked, the Governor just stared at the audience, for an uncomfortable amount of time without responding, then one of the AiG officials came to the podium and said, “You know what we believe and with that belief, yes, there will be dinosaurs on the ark.” The Governor stayed wide-eyed (and speechless) throughout that response. He did recover when the same official was talking about the plans for live animals in the park/ark and mentioned that there, in fact, would not be live dinosaurs among the livestock. But they would have ‘juvenile giraffes.’ The Governor over-laughed with that remark.

    Yes, vomit. Still.

  • 13 tbrauch // Dec 2, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    we then can’t bitch that they won’t hire anyone, put in a new pool,

    Oh, so under the current tax plans, companies, like Aegon, are going out of their way to hire employees?

    That’s funny, I thought under the current “don’t tax the rich” plan we were hovering around 10% unemployment. It looks like with tax breaks, the rich won’t hire people.

  • 14 Mark H (Not Hebert) // Dec 2, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    Aegon has been consolidating for years, but that’s fine, please explain to me how taxing the rich is going to translate into more employment?

    Please explain exactly how higher taxes on the wealthy is going to create jobs in the private sector.

  • 15 tbrauch // Dec 2, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    please explain to me how taxing the rich is going to translate into more employment

    Just as soon as you explain to me how the current tax cuts have helped create jobs in this time of growing unemployment.

    I’m not saying taxing the rich will create jobs. I’m saying that give them tax cuts sure as hell has NOT created jobs. Look at unemployment numbers since the Bush tax cuts went into effect. They haven’t been going down. So, your argument that the tax cuts create jobs is bullshit, at least based on empirical evidence.

  • 16 Bruce Maples // Dec 2, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Extending the tax cuts on the wealthiest 1% will cost $700 billion over ten years. Yet the Republicans are willing to add that to the deficit, yet voted down funding for school lunches.

    And note — ending the Bush tax giveaway to the very rich would return their tax rates to pre-Bush levels … in other words, the same tax rates that accompanied the economic expansion of the Clinton years. Those rates weren’t a problem then, and wouldn’t be a problem now.

  • 17 Mark H (Not Hebert) // Dec 2, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    The economic expansions of the 1990s and early 2000s were directly related to the dot.com and housing bubbles which created a tremendous amount paper wealth, which soon evaporated after the bubbles burst.

    Look, go ahead and play the class warfare card if it makes you feel better, but it is only going to result in the recovery taking longer. I will state yet again, that the extension of the tax cuts will not create a huge number of jobs because the real impact is very little.

    Rescinding them could however, could have a dramatic impact in that it will be a another perceived hit on the most economically productive class and they just are going to pull back economically.

    Also, we will see a massive sell-off in the market if the Capital Gains tax increases in Pelosi’s bill work their way through. Investors are going to cash out and take those gains at the lower rate.

    We need to stop looking for additional revenues and start looking at spending cuts across the board. The problem is that nobody wants to give up their pork while wanting someone else to pay for it.