Jay Reding.com

Franken’s Announcement

Al Franken has officially announced his run for Senate in 2008 and produced this video announcement:

As much as it pains me to say it, this was probably one of the better campaign announcements I’ve ever seen.

Franken’s not a dumb guy. He knows that the meticulously polished, scripted, and controlled campaign speeches that everyone else does won’t fly for him. So instead, he chose to be conversational, sounding like he’s just sitting down and explaining himself. The fact that it sounds so unscripted (and I’m presuming that it really is) helps sell Franken as a viable candidate.

Franken explains his liberalism in a way that’s conversational and appealing. If this is the only Al Franken we get during the campaign, Senator Coleman is going to have one hell of a job keeping his seat.

Franken’s big problem is that the Al Franken we see in this announcement is not the real Al Franken. As Ed Morrissey explains:

Despite being a Minnesota native, he seems far too obnoxious to gain a following in this state. People here talk about Minnesota Nice, where people remain pleasant and mind their manners even when they encounter unpleasantness. Franken is the opposite, attacking his political opponents in mean-spirited, schoolyard epithets. That might sell in New York, where Franken lived most of his adult life, although he seems a little too strong even for the Big Apple, but that kind of temperament will only appeal to the most hard-core, left-wing voters in this state.

Sooner or later, that Al Franken will come out. If the only side of him we see is the side he displays in this announcement, I’d give him good odds at winning. However, there’s a world of difference between sitting down in front of a camera and speaking and having to deal with the rough-and-tumble world of politics. Franken is an actor, he knows how to play a role, but politics is different than Saturday Night Live.

Still, I will give Franken this, his announcement was excellent. He and his advisors crafted a powerful message, and Franken made it work. It gives him the level of respectability that he needs to get his campaign off the ground. Ultimately, I don’t think it will be enough, but Franken has demonstrated that he has the ability to be a great communicator. In terms of political rhetoric, Franken just hit his first home run. It may not win him the game, but it certainly puts him off to a strong start.

19 responses to “Franken’s Announcement”

  1. Wright says:

    Sorry, I just don’t buy it. Franken said, “When Franni’s sisters were using them to go to college, Pell Grants paid for 90% of a college education. Today, they pay for 40%. And President Bush, with the help of his Republican allies in Congress, have (sic) even tried to privatize Social Security. You should have heard Franni when they tried to do that.”
    Is that a complaint?? The government pays for nearly half your college education, and that’s a complaint??? Why do Franni and her sisters think that they are entitled to any of other people’s hard-earned money to pay for their college educations? Then Franken repeats the liberal lie that Bush tried to privatize Social Security. An honest examination of Bush’s proposal – to allow a small portion of an individual’s Social Security taxes to be used, if that individual so desired, to fund a market based account that would be then owned by that taxpayer – would not lead to a characterization of trying to ‘privatize Social Security.’ But then, this isn’t about honest examinations or characterizations, is it? Franken, as likable as he tries to appear in his announcement video, is simply pushing more all government, all the time liberalism sprinkled with a little Lou Dobbs populism. A friendly demeanor doesn’t make that any less abhorrent.

  2. AllenS says:

    Mr. Reding,

    Before Franken runs against Coleman, he has to win the DFL endorsement. You need to ask yourself, can he beat Ciresi.

  3. Mark says:

    I’ve never known anybody whose Pell Grants paid for 40% of their tuition. They paid about 15% of mine.

    As for Franken’s chances, he’ll never be taken seriously outstate even if he remains as polished as he was in his candidacy announcement for the next 21 months. Can you imagine seeing this guy campaigning at a hog farm in Worthington? Mondale, by contrast, did very well against Coleman outstate, keeping the 2002 Senate race from being a blowout. Coleman is not a natural fit for outstate voters and the region is his weakest link to re-election. By nominating Franken, I have a hard time believing the DFL won’t manage to out-cityslicker Norm. But as good of a politician as Coleman is, I don’t see any Democratic challenger on the current candidacy radar capable of taking him down. If he faces Ciresi or McCollum, he’ll probably win by 2-3 points. If he faces Franken, it’d be more like 5 points.

  4. Eracus says:

    Well said, Mr. Wright. Like everyone else in the DFL, Al Franken believes that the purpose of government is to take away from each according to his ability and to give to each according to his needs. We call that “progressivism” these days, but it’s the basic tenet of Communism.

    Like Paul Wellstone, Al Franken is a Marxist. He believes the collective State has rights over the individual and it is the State that should decide who needs what and how much and who pays the bill. Nevermind that some pigs are more equal than others and those running the State are always first at the trough. Al Franken needs a job afterall. And cynic that he is, he obviously believes the same people he abandoned long ago and has been insulting for years, who nevertheless bought his paperback dreck and tuned in to his rancid radio show, are just dumb enough to send him lots of money for still even more bullshit and bile.

    Ceresi is the organ-grinder. Franken is just the monkey. His job is to pass the cup.

  5. Mark says:

    “We call that “progressivism” these days, but it’s the basic tenet of Communism.”

    As opposed to your affliction of “spoiled brat syndrome”. Here you are a successful businessman living up in God’s country in the wealthiest country in the world….yet here you are, equating a Democratic Party to the right of the Republican Party of a generation ago with “Communism”. You clearly have absolutely no comprehension of what real Communism is. I would advise that you spend fewer evenings exchanging paranoid conspiracy theories with the Bemidji Free People’s Militia and more evenings attending economics courses at Bemidji State University. They can give you an education about the real tenets of Marxism so that you will no longer have to make an ass of yourself on Internet blogs inaccurately defining the term and slanderously labelling non-Marxists as Marxists.

  6. Eracus says:

    While building the Communist utopia, Karl Marx popularized the slogan, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” What part of Al Franken’s “the government must provide the boots” metaphor do you not understand, Mark?

    The Minnesota DFL was founded on the coincidence of interests between the Democrat Party and the American Communist Party. Paul Wellstone was an avowed Marxist. He taught Marxist economics and philosophy at university and preached it on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Minnesota itself is a socialist state. That Marxist-Leninism is the foundation of today’s modern Democrat Party is common knowledge to anybody paying attention, Mark, because what else could “tax the rich” really mean, other than “from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs?”

    What do you suppose “universal healthcare” is really all about? And just why is it, exactly, that today’s modern Democrat Party, from Mondale to Clinton, has recognized and supported every totalitarian dictator from Arafat to Castro? Why has Jimmy Carter just published a book justifying Islamic terror against Israel? Why do you suppose the Democrat Party today is undermining U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East? Why are they betraying American armed forces on the battlefield, telegraphing their intention to accept defeat in Iraq, and projecting their willingness to accommodate Russian and Iranian hegemony throughout the Arabian Crescent? Because they care about the little guy?? Are you really so daft? Today’s modern Democrat Party is nothing more than the American face of communism. Call it “national socialism” if you want. It’s still communism.

    Once again, Mark, you have illustrated the unfathomable depth of your ignorance and presented yet another manifestation of your delusional thinking. You are braying like an dumb ass lost in the wilderness surrounded by things you know absolutely nothing about. You are enraged and unhinged. Get some help.

  7. Mark says:

    Eracus, you basically jump the shark in the first sentence of every debate. I’m sure you’re familiar with Godwin’s Law, where the first participant in a debate to equate his challenger to either Hitler or the Nazis loses the debate. The inference applies just as easily to the mental midgets on the right reduced to branding their political foes as “Marxists” or “Communists”. What’s so sad is that you, Eracus, much like most conservatives who operate on your debating level, always think a great witticism has been made every time you equate a member of the Democratic Party with communists. It’s kind of like the immature frat boy who finds himself the only one in the room laughing when he makes fart jokes that haven’t make anyone laugh since “You Can’t Do That On Television” went off the air 17 years ago. But given that you, an established businessman in Bemidji, are almost assuredly older than the frat boy making fart jokes, your infantile attempts to equate anyone to the left of George W. Bush as “Marxist” are actually much sadder.

    Please tell me what is inherently “Marxist” about “taxing the rich”. Most of the poorest people I know are smokers, and they are forced to foot the largest tax burden of any demographic in the country. Why would it be more ethical to tax poor-as-dirt smokers more than the rich when the latter group is much better positioned to pay the tab? Whatever your worldview may be in regards to “everybody’s taxes being too high”, your biggest grievance appears to be the fact that the demographic best poised to afford a higher rate of taxation is (or rather was) required to pay a higher tax rate. And I don’t know where you’ve been for the last 50 years, but in said time period, the top tax rate has fallen by about 70%. Will there ever be a point where the top tax rate will be microscopic enough for you to refrain from your hysterical cries of victimhood at the hands of the state?

    I also find it curious that you choose the state of Minnesota as your home and place of business. As you mentioned, this is a state with a history of socialism and continues to govern well to the left of center today. Why, Eracus, if Minnesota is the torture chamber of wealth persecution that you portray it as being, do you continue to live and do business here? Why aren’t you living the good life in all of those low-tax (or no-tax) states with minimal services that always hover near the bottom of every quality-of-life measurement? I know I’m the insane one here, but I gotta tell you…..for somebody who has been ground into dust by the oppressive socialist bootheel like you to continue living, working, and profitting in such a post-apocalyptic dystopia as Minnesota (the state always ranked as the most livable in the nation) has to be batshit NUTS!

  8. Eracus says:

    That’s just another delusional straw man argument, Mark. Unable to address the observable, objective facts of the matter, your only recourse is to retreat to labels and name-calling to have any response at all. Which, of course, is a misidirection and wholly beside the point. Meanwhile, any serious examination of Karl Marx’s Das Kapital and Communist Manifesto would illuminate what is today the basic economic and social philosophy of the modern Democrat Party. If you were to further examine the scholarship covering U.S. strategic relations since the 1950s, recently substantiated and confirmed in the Soviet archives themselves, you would also realize the extent to which, by communist design, the political, academic, communication, and government institutions of this country have been compromised. It is a matter of public record; you just don’t know your history because you’d much rather watch CNN and read Newsweek than do your own homework. You are misinformed and poorly educated, which is the reason for your delusions and misconceptions about the world we are living in, and which is, collectively, the true source of the Democrat Party’s political power. It’s not that you’re stupid; it’s just that you know so much that simply isn’t true.

    What is inherently Marxist about “taxing the rich” is “the rich” are always so subjectively defined. Recall that it is and has been the Democrat Party’s dominance in Congress that has produced this confiscatory system of progressive taxation. It is designed precisely to retard the financial achievement of the poor and middle-class, to maintain the divisions between rich and poor so as to continue the class warfare central to Democrat Party (and communist) politics. Why else would they tax every extra dollar earned by the poor and middle-class at a progressively higher rate, while providing themselves and their financial supporters the legal safe havens and accounting loopholes necessary to maintain their wealth??

    What you fail to understand is the 70% tax rate never produced the revenue you assume it did, but instead caused the capital flight that eventually destroyed the gold standard and undermined the American dollar. That’s what happens when every additional dollar earned is reduced to 30 cents through government taxation. That is why $100 of groceries in 1970 costs $520 today. It is not so much that prices are increasing but rather that your dollar is becoming increasingly more worthless with every passing day. This happens not by accident, Mark, but by design. It is the intended result of Democrat (Marxist) social and economic policy interfering with and corrupting the free market system upon which capitalism and the American Dream depends. Your party intends to destroy that system in the name of “peace, justice, and equality,” the three-legged stool of Marxist-Leninism, and they couldn’t care less about the poor and middle-class on their way to that utopian command economy. What matters is control of the resources and means of production and it is the Democrat Party that insists the collective State, and not individual free enterprise, is best suited to effect their distribution. Nevermind that this foreign and failed ideology has produced the greatest human suffering in the history of mankind — their primary objective is absolute political power.

    Why do you think the Democrat Party has spent more than a decade terrorizing the uneducated and misinformed about the “deadly threat” of second-hand smoke? Smoking has always been a health risk and everybody knew that, but second-hand smoke, while an annoyance, was never a political issue until Bill Clinton and the Democrat Party made it one to bludgeon the tobacco companies into submission, further divide the body politic, and finally to raise the tax on tobacco, i.e., to raise taxes on the poor and middle-class. Was it because they cared about the little guy, Mark? Or because that’s where the money was? Did not the tobacco wars also allow the State into the front door of every American business to regulate its environment? And now, today, isn’t regulating the environment by controlling human behavior and crushing individual liberties what “global warming” is really all about?

    Isn’t that Communism?

  9. Nicholas MacDonald says:

    Oooh, this is getting good… watching crazed fanatics of the left and right prove the bankrupcy of both their positions… Eracus seems to have a slight edge in this one, but I’ll have to dock some points for completely dodging Mark’s questions; Mark jumped a bit too quickly into invoking Godwin’s Law, so we’ll just rule this round a draw…

    ROUND 3, FIGHT!

    *runs off to make popcorn*

  10. Mark says:

    Eracus, only you could launch into a diatribe invoking the terms “Marxist”, “Leninist”, “communist”, or “socialist” 11 times in reference to the domestic Democratic Party….and then, with a straight face, accuse your debate challenger of having “no recourse but to retreat to labels and name-calling”. And this, of course, comes AFTER four consecutive posts of accusing me of being insane, unhinged, and delusional. The scary part is that you are apparently unaware of how many times per day you violate your own unwritten rules of debate etiquette.

    “The rich” are not subjectively defined at all. A hard income threshold is invariably set separating the top tax bracket from the second tax bracket. Those who earned $197,534 in 2006, for example, would not pay in the top bracket. Those who earned $202,465 would have a tiny portion of their income taxed within the top bracket. You’re gonna have to elaborate on your “subjectively defined” theory if you want anyone to pay attention to it at all. Launching some abstract molotov cocktail and then quickly changing the subject to how the Democrats “instigated the progressive tax system to retard financial achievement of the poor and middle class” (huh?!?!?) isn’t gonna cut it, big guy.

    The “secondhand smoke” distraction is one rare area of agreement between us, and I assign a great deal of blame to the Democratic Party (and the growing numbers of Republicans to since jump on board) for the pointless culture war being foisted upon us today as a consequence. But it wasn’t a Democrat who released last summer’s hyperbolic and fantastical Surgeon General’s report that disingenuously proclaimed secondhand smoke” to be “an even bigger threat than what we first believed”. Nor was it Bill Clinton who first sounded the secondhand smoke alarm….it’s was Reagan’s Attorney General C. Everett Koop. And what all of this has to do with any of the questions I asked you that went unanswered completely escapes me.

    Speaking of which…..why Eracus? Why do you live in one of the most “socialist” states in the nation when you harbor so much vicious hostility, resentment, and conspiratorial fear about the political leaders who surround you? Why, if the business and cultural climate of Minnesota (and America for that matter) is filled with confiscatory and predatory dungeonmasters, did you boast last summer of how you had just expanded your own successful business in northern Minnesota, adding new people to your payroll? For a guy who is so mercilessly shackled down by the fork-tongued beezlebubs whose life’s purpose is to persecute you, it sure seems like you are enjoying your share of success. I don’t know whether to recommend Lipitor, valium, or a more powerful psychotropic drug, but you’re a clearly a man who needs to be medicated before your festering rage causes you to burst.

  11. Eracus says:

    This is just more circular reasoning and a bunch of other bullshit, Mark. Alot of projection too, I might add. It’s also obvious you do not understand the tax policy of the country you are living in. That the relationship between second-hand smoke and the majority’s obligation to recognize and respect minority rights also escapes you therefore comes as no surprise. You are living in a fantasy world. You agree that it’s wrong to financially exploit the minority of people who use tobacco, but if it’s a minority of people who just happen to make alot of money, it’s perfectly okay to rob them blind. In your world, some minorities are just less equal than others, right? How convenient.

    What you fail to understand about tax policy is that it is the government that decides what is taxable income and what is not. And since you are apparently so egregiously ignorant of that fact it is pointless to attempt any further discussion with you because you would first have to be educated in the byzantine rules and regulations that determine your AGI and your income tax. You most likely do not pay an income tax, Mark, else we would not be having this discussion. Yours is a payroll tax. You have money deducted from your paycheck and receive a “refund” every year for filling out a form. You’re not even in the arena here under discussion and so obviously have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

    But here you are, nevertheless, armed with that complete vacuum of both knowledge and experience, having apparently read some crap on some lefty blog or magazine somewhere about “hard income thresholds” and “top tax brackets,” and you think –delusionally– that you can impress us with your firm grasp of how “the rich are not subjectively defined at all” — when of course they are because even your very examples of “hard income thresholds” and “top tax brackets” are themselves entirely arbitrary. Further, that the progressivity at the higher brackets is every bit as evident in the lower brackets seems to have also completely and conveniently escaped your attention.

    Because if you actually knew anything about tax policy at all, Mark, you would have to explain your party’s insistence on taxing at progressively higher rates every additional dollar earned whether it was earned by the poor, the middle-class, or the rich. Then you’d also have to explain why some people’s income is taxed more than once, why unearned income is treated differently from earned income, and why your party created the “Alternative Minimum Tax” currently raping the incomes of the rising middle-class and is steadfastly resistant to any effort at tax reform.

    So rather to avoid realizing and acknowledging any of the actual human consequences the Democrat Party’s Marxist-Leninist ideology has inflicted upon our society, you instead retire to your delusions of me as being someone full of “vicious hostility, resentment, and conspiratorial fear” and such other weak attempts at humor because you just don’t know what else to say. It’s your fantasy, Mark, so you can bury your head wherever you wish, but I live in Minnesota for the same reasons anybody else lives in Minnesota. I moved here as part of that demographic that is helping to change Minnesota. For some of us, it’s not about the money. All of which raises the more interesting question, Mark, of why, given your obvious socialist beliefs, did you leave this socialist paradise? The answer is to get paid more money by some other socialist State, right?

    I rest my case.

  12. Mark says:

    Hmmmm…..majority rights as it pertains to the overtaxed wealthy (even though the top tax rate has fallen by 70% in the last half century). Interesting concept. For all the rhetoric about class envy and victimhood directed at the left, your hysterically aggrieved rhetoric merely further validates my long-standing theory that the political right would be nothing without their victimhood complex. With a straight face, you are attaching the concept of “minority rights” to the richest people on the globe, implying that no amount of suffering in this world can compare to the suffering felt by the martyrs who, beyond monopolizing virtually every penny of national income gain in the past six years, have also been burdened with a top tax rate that has fallen from 39.5% to 35%, a dividend tax rate that has fallen by half, and an estate tax that (at least for the time being) is being phased out entirely.

    And sadly, your “victimhood of extravagant wealth” complex is far from unique in spoiled brat Republican circles. The people who most often declare themselves on the receiving end of merciless persecution in American society today tend to be pulling into 20,000-foot brick mansions inside their gated communities in Cadillacs or BMW’s. This is the most common demographic who, like you, is trapped in a persistent state of quaking, paranoid rage. Your doctor suggests adding Lipitor!!!

    And for a guy lecturing me about my ignorance on the tax burden of the wealthy, you sure are laughably clueless about the income tax burden faced by the peasantry (which is particularly alarming since you claim to a businessman who should be withholding the taxes from your own employees….you better hope the IRS isn’t reading this blog and see what an ignoramus they could reel in this tax season). I pay rather substantial income taxes, Eracus. Even when I was in Minnesota and earned $20,000 a year, my federal income tax burden was $1,500 in the year 2004….and that was AFTER receipt of my refund. Perhaps a little less attention to GOP talking points (which consistently and falsely infer that people who earn less than $26,000 per year pay NOTHING in federal income taxes) and more attention to actual federal income tax policy would do you (and your employees!) some good.

    And are you seriously trying to saddle the Alternative Minimum Tax on Democrats? It was Bush and the Republican Congress who, for the last six years, did nothing about it even though they knew it was a ticking time bomb. Yet today, it’s DEMOCRATS talking about cutting the AMT. C’mon now, Eracus, your battle scars are really starting to show if you allow yourself to fall that deep into a hole of illogical humiliation. But as someone who is rather enjoying mopping the floor up with you, I invite you to continue being just as impervious to facts and reason so I can keep the bloodbath flowing.

    Bringing change to Minnesota, huh? How’s that working for you so far? If the outcome of the 2006 election is representative of your idea of change, we need more of your kind in the Gopher State. :))

    Seriously, Eracus, do you spout this kind of irrational drivel publicly in Bemidji? I mean, outside of the log cabin where your militia holds its weekly meetings? If you’re not careful, you’re gonna end up in a padded room and receiving a shot of psychotropic drugs by a male nurse who looks like Dick Van Patten. There is literally nobody who is not out to get to you. The locally elected DFL leaders near Bemidji are persecuting you (burning down your ice house, no less!). The state DFL is hearkening back to its socialist origins to make your life miserable. The national Democratic Party has a plateful of institutionalized evil they’re trying to forcefeed you. And of course, the witless and ignorant American majority is bullying you into forfeiting your personal wealth and your business (yet you just expanded that very persecuted business last summer????). If you don’t seek help soon, I expect to read about some eccentric multi-millionaire in Bemidji using the vast wealth he didn’t share with his employees to add on endless rooms to his estate, hiding from all the “monsters” who refused to let him alone. At your current pace, there’s little doubt that future generations of elementary school readers will haunt their camping buddies with stories of the weird guy from the north woods and the depths he went out of paranoid fear of “Marxists”.

  13. Mark says:

    Oh, but you got one thing right. The “socialist” state I moved to gave me a much sweeter job than the “socialist” state I left. Only in the world of Eracus is that a bad thing.

  14. Eracus says:

    Thank you, Mark, for that splendid coda of still more incoherent, ignorant barking moonbatism. You are so enraged, so confused, and so ill-informed that you have accomplished nothing else here other than to present yet another clear illustration of your fantastic streams of consciousness that have no bearing on reality whatsoever. You have abolutely no idea what you are talking about and so obviously do not understand the issues under discussion that you are here now just desperately flailing about hoping that somehow by personally attacking me you might impress others with your otherwise exhausted and defeated argument.

    The reality is you have only soiled yourself some more. Again! And all you are here presenting now, in so much glorious detail, is the fact you are a blabbering idiot and a dim-witted fool who can not be taken seriously by anyone reading this blog. You don’t know your facts and you don’t know your history. You don’t even recognize, let alone understand, the founding principles of your own political persuasion. You’re just making stuff up as you go along hoping no one else will be any more informed than you are. That’s just another one of your delusions, Mark. You’re in the peanut gallery, not the arena, and anyone who’s done his homework knows it.

    It was the Democrat majority in both houses of Congress, for instance, that passed the Tax Reform Act of 1969, otherwise known as the Alternative Minimum Tax. After losing the White House, it was the Democrats’ fat little turd left on Nixon’s desk meant to shut down charitable trusts and foundations –you know, the non-profits and religious charities that typically help the poor and dispossessed. They did this to increase the tax base as the price for Nixon’s pursuing victory in Vietnam. The Democrat Party has since shouted down every attempt to repeal or modify the AMT, insisting that income tax rates must first be raised across the spectrum to off-set any revenues lost by reform of the AMT, or by any other revision of the Democrats’ historically confiscatory tax code. The Marxist slogan, “tax the rich,” is and has been everywhere very much in evidence for decades, then as now. Raising taxes to pay for welfare programs is fundamental to Democrat Party politics, as of course you very well know, Mark.

    That you are here nonetheless now suggesting that the Democrat Party is the party of middle-class tax cuts, that the Democrat Party is the party of tax reform, that the Democrat Party intends to restore and support faith-based institutions by revising the U.S. tax code, only further demonstrates beyond any reasonable shadow of a doubt the depth of stupidity your ignorance and desperation has driven you to argue. You are unhinged, Mark. You are traveling an alternative universe that is as laughable as it is assinine. You are exposed. Anyone reading this knows you yourself don’t even believe your own argument, that you are completely out of your depth in this discussion, and that you are nothing more than just another misinformed, poorly educated, barking moonbat braying like an ass in a wilderness you can neither identify nor understand. You need help.

    p.s. For the record, I applaud your success in embracing the free market and finding a better job for yourself and presumably a better condition for your family. It is your hypocrisy in condemning those of us who are attempting to do likewise that I hold in contempt. A minority is a minority, Mark. It has rights irrespective of whether or not the majority agrees with their point of view. It’s the difference between a democracy and mob rule. Think about it.

  15. Mark says:

    Eracus, whatever amount of blame you wish to assign the Democrats for the imposition of the Alternative Minimum Tax, the fact is that your party held control of every level of government for most of the last six years and did nothing about it. They didn’t even really talk about it, choosing to let their own voters (by a disproportionate number) in the upper-middle class be sacrificed on taxation altar and instead focus on lavishing more than a trillion dollars worth of tax giveaways to the long-suffering “victims driving Porsches” in your tax bracket (or at least, the only tax bracket that you care about). Meanwhile, it’s the Democrats in the current Congress with a formal proposal to reform the Alternative Minimum Tax. What a rush it’s gonna be when upper-middle class voters see the Democratic Party fighting to save them from the AMT while Bush vetoes the proposal because it could endanger their ability to make permanent income tax cuts and dividend tax cuts directed at people who earn much more than those affected by the AMT due to inflation.

    And Eracus, you’ve convinced me that you are in fact a “minority”…..and I propose you lead the charge for a modern-day civil rights movement the say way that previous generations of minority groups have “stuck it to the man”. You multi-millionaires have been taking it on the chin far too long……monopolizing more than 90% of the national income gain in the new millennium…..getting more than a trillion dollars worth of income tax cuts, dividend tax cuts, and estate tax repeals in the past six years….and having to put up with those dastardly and filthy peasants calling for the first increase in the minimum wage in nine years, which in two years, will get them slightly closer than they are today to the poverty line. I don’t know how you’ve been able to stand the misery and suffering the way you have thus far, but the time has come to correct the injustice. Rather than previous eras of revolutions where the pitchfork-wielding peasants charge the castles with pitchforks, you can instigate the first revolution where the aristocracy empties out of the castles to steal the pitchforks from the peasants. This can’t wait, Eracus. Your people are counting on you. There’s rumors of a growing buildup of nickels and dimes among your employees and other assorted blue-collar filth across the tracks. You better raid little Suzy’s piggy bank and claim it as your own now before it’s too late. As a persecuted minority, there is nobody more entitled to it than you, my dear victimized friend.

  16. Eracus says:

    It is such high piles of odorous moonbat droppings that define the breathtaking scope of your ignorance and stupidity, Mark: “What a rush it’s gonna be when upper-middle class voters see the Democratic Party fighting to save them from the AMT while Bush vetoes the proposal because it could endanger their ability to make permanent income tax cuts and dividend tax cuts directed at people who earn much more than those affected by the AMT due to inflation…” What in the name of Al Gore and Our Mother the Earth are you barking about here?? This is just utter nonsense, Mark. It makes no sense. Dude, put away the bong!

    First of all, every income earner in the nation is technically subject to the AMT. Most just don’t make enough to hit the threshold where it kicks in yet, or don’t own the type of assets with exposure to the AMT. Those who do qualify, pay the AMT. That’s just how it works, Mark. Nobody “earns much more than those affected by the AMT,” because the AMT affects everybody who earns beyond a certain limit. And that amount, by the way, is calculated using a highly complex and arbitrary formula that only a bunch of hippie-dippie, “stick-it-to-the-man,” psychedelic 1960s radical future moonbats could have come up with while on what must have been a particularly nasty madhatter of an acid trip.

    In 1969, the AMT affected maybe 200 people, probably less. Today, however, it affects nearly a third of everyone filing a U.S. income tax return. That’s millions of people. That’s because what was a relatively exorbitant income in the 70s, attainable only by a very enterprising few, is today a pretty typical upper middle-class income which is everywhere becoming more common. I’m sure you will agree this is a good thing. It’s no doubt why you moved away from Minnesota to make more money, pay less taxes, and become part of the rising middle-class, right?

    The problem is because of the expanded tax base and higher revenue generated by the AMT, the Democrat Party has consistently refused any and all attempts at reform just as they have blocked any and every attempt to reform Social Security. They are just not going to do it. They are not going to cut anybody’s taxes ever, Mark, never have and never will, because it is completely anathema to the basic economic tenet of Marxist-Leninism of using the tax system to “equalize” incomes between the rich and poor. That is the cornerstone of the Democrat Party platform, as you well know. That is the goal; that is the primary objective. That is what Democrats do. “Tax the rich,” remember?

    The GOP majorities were elected in a campaign to reduce the income, capital gains, and dividend taxes precisely because of the higher income taxes being generated by the AMT on the rising middle-class. Check out the electoral map again, Mark. As you so enjoy pointing out, there are an awful lot of us poor dumb red people who reject the socialist utopia of higher taxes and less individual liberty. Our incomes, stupid as we may be, nevertheless are rising. We realize that soon every taxpayer, rich and middle-class alike, will all be performing the standard income tax calculation together with the archaic, byzantine, unadjusted-for-30 years-of-inflation, AMT calculation, and then fork over whichever results in the highest possible income tax payable to the Federal government.

    Of course, the Democrats will always simplisticly argue it’s because of the GOP tax cuts that more people are faced with the AMT — so we just need to repeal the tax cuts and nevermind the AMT, right? But it is always the nature of Democrat politics to so avoid addressing the real problem by just blaming the other side. The happy Marxist-Leninist result for the Democrats, of course, would then be the desired rise in income taxes on the rich and middle-class, much less individual liberty for the people now so dispossessed, and finally more “equal income distribution” to better help finance the continual expansion of the ever more monolithic, expanding socialist State. That’s standard Marxist-Leninist economic theory, Mark, known as Communism, and it is the lodestar of today’s Democrat Party.

    What you don’t understand is that most of what rich people own are capital assets. They do not keep piles of cash in interest bearing accounts and they do not own billions of dividend bearing stock and securities (unless they’re Warren Buffet). They don’t own mutual funds, they own mutual fund companies. They own real estate and real property; they buy loss-leading restaurant and hotel chains and currency exchange hedge funds. They set up REITs and non-profits and collect fine art and antiques. They own big things that do not generate much income if they generate any income at all. Their profits, when they decide to take them, are sheltered in charitable trusts and philanthropic foundations that issue scholarships and build group homes for the mentally disabled. That’s why it doesn’t make any difference whatsover if you tax them at 39%, 59%, or 79%. 79% of zero is zero. Your party leadership understands this perfectly of course.

    It is exactly why the Democrat Party came up with the Alternative Minimum Tax in the first place, Mark. It is also why not one leading Democrat, not John Kerry, not Ted Kennedy, not Harry Reid, not Nancy Pelosi, not one of them ever, ever reveals their IRS income tax returns. It’s because that while they own millions and millions of dollars of hard capital assets, they DO NOT PAY INCOME TAXES, or at least only very little embarrassing paltry sums compared to their actual net worth. Who do you think enjoys the perpetual tax write-off for building the Kennedy Center, Mark?? The poor? The middle-class?? You? Me? The U.S. Government? Or the plethora of Kennedy trust funds and philanthropic organizations that shelter all those palacial estates, sailing yachts, and familial legal embarassments that for their opulence and extravagance rarely ever, ever see the light of day?? Why do you think Harry Reid is a Nevada land baron and Nancy Pelosi owns a California winery?? To help the poor and middle-class? Or for the capital tax write-offs?

    Meanwhile, you, you dummy, are forking over $1500 on a lousy $20,000 a year you humped a bucket to get and yet you’re still here steadfastly voting for the very political party that insists you are not taxed nearly enough. And you wonder why you can’t get ahead?? The irony, of course, is that you are so full of rage and hatred for anyone who disagrees with your point of view, enflamed as you are with a liberal moonbat hysteria driven daily by ever more strident liberal moonbat propaganda, that you can’t even tell who’s been on your side all along.

    Do you really not see your own inherent contradictions? Obviously not.

  17. Mark says:

    Eracus, Bush does not have the political capital to make permanent income and dividend tax cuts (roughly two-thirds of which go to the richest 5% of Americans) AND to roll back the AMT. That’s why he has done nothing about the AMT for the last six years despite a Congress sympathetic to his will. Bush wants to see more middle-class people fall into the AMT’s inflation trap, because if families making $80,000 per year see their tax burden rise via the AMT, it reduces the pressure on families making $800,000 per year to sacrifice a penny of the seemingly endless litany of tax giveaways that have been lavished on them in the same time period that Bush and the GOP Congress have done nothing about the AMT.

    As for your theory that it ultimately doesn’t matter what the tax rate is on upper-income Americans–because 79% of 0 is worth $0–it would seem the only logical solution is to admit defeat and eliminate all taxation. But then who would pay for South Dakota’s federal high fund freebies? And who would pay all those red-state cotton farmer cowboys their yearly subsidies? And who would fund the military whose wars Halliburton is profiteering from? And who would pay for the tax abatement and free sewer and water at Eracus’s business and every other “small businessman” who fancies himself a cowboy even as he attends every city council meeting to cash in on the latest round of giveaways?

    Eracus, I trust that by now you have gotten the ball rolling on this much-needed bourgeoise revolution…..to protect “minority rights”. I just watched the news and didn’t hear any headlines about victimized millionaires taking to the streets to take back what was rightfully theirs until it was stolen by the scheming masses of working-class America….so I can only assume this is still in the planning stages. Please don’t wait too long though! At the current pace of empowerment, America’s workers could lift their standard of living back to 1960’s levels by the year 3200 if something isn’t done!

  18. Eracus says:

    “That’s why he has done nothing about the AMT for the last six years despite a Congress sympathetic to his will.”

    That is just plain wrong, Mark. A “Congress sympathetic to his will??” Hardly. The Democrats are and have been in lockstep against tax reform of any kind –as they always are– and trying to line up the GOP on anything these days is like trying to herd cats across a river. Too many RINOs. Everything else you’ve said is just more evidence of your infantile and delusional thinking and not worth a response.