January 5, 2014
Reduce Income Inequality; Shutdown Washington ...for 152 Days
1/5/2014 12:01:00 AM
Emberato wrote: What must I do to obtain Eternal Life?, the rich man asked."Keep the Commandments," Jesus said to the RICH Wall Street Broker."This I have done my whole life' replied the CEO of the world's largest bank. "Sell all that you have and give it to the Poor; then you can follow me." Yeshua HaMashiah COMMANDED. The man sadly departed; as he was VERY rich---and did not want to share through voluntarily giving... Catholic Capitalist Replies To The Pope
Dear Comrade Emberato,
Yes, except Jesus didn’t say that to a rich, Wall Street broker. He said it to the rich man.
As a priest pointed out to me a few weeks ago, whenever somebody goes by the name “rich man” in the bible, it doesn’t end well for him.
That’s because it denotes what is most important to the man.
But it’s not the quality that is most important to Jesus.
Jesus, being the Son of God, knew that while the rich man observed all the rites and rituals and commandments, his wealth was more important to him than anything.
There are plenty of people in the bible with whom God and Jesus are pleased and who are also rich.
Joseph of Arimathea is a notable example. Joseph provided the burial tomb for Jesus. King Solomon was reputed to be the richest- and wisest- of men in his time and he was most favored by God.
Proverbs 19:17 - He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the LORD; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.
1 Samuel 2:7 - The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich: he bringeth low, and lifteth up.
Proverbs 13:7- There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
Jose19601 wrote: John, as usual, you kinda miss the point. It's called "Social" security for a reason. You're paying into a pool to help your fellow citizens in what may be their time of need. Allowing everyone to simply invest their money in the stock market is what's known as "private investing" and there's no need for government in that. Catholic Capitalist Replies To The Pope
Dear Comrade Jose,
No. I have not missed the point.
The only point that I see in your comments is the one at the top of your head.
We don’t pay into a Social Security pool to help in people’s time of need. We pay into a pool to pay everyone who has paid into the pool previously.
It’s a scheme that doesn’t work. It doesn’t pay as you go, unless you raise taxes and cut benefits.
There are fewer workers paying more taxes to support more in benefits.
So basically what politicians are telling us is that though someone like me has worked since I was 15 years old, I won’t get the same benefits unless someone else pays higher taxes when I retire.
You’re right about this though: it’s “social” all right. But I’d like to remind you, so is syphilis.
Chipsmydog wrote: Well said, John.
"You must be Born Again." says Jesus Christ. To legislate morality without a change of heart is futile. The Pope tries to be the behavior coach to the world. Never a good plan. Why are you still a R.C., John? Why not champion Christianity and declare that the office of the Pope and the R.C. institution is founded on man centered lies? Martin Luther was right, and still is. Catholic Capitalist Replies To The Pope
Dear Apostate Chip,
Sam had a dog just like yours. He also had a son.
Look, I’m a member of the oldest surviving religious institution ever created. While you can quibble with a few things, you have to admire the longevity. When I go to an Eastern Catholic Church and celebrate Divine Liturgy, I’m celebrating, unchanged, a liturgy that is closest to the original Christian church.
I think Catholicism is one of the most dynamic of all Christian faiths. When others embraced abortion, Catholics condemned it.
They lead the fight about morality in the public square.
There is an old saying about the Catholic Church. When Protestants have differences of opinions they peel off and form a new church. Catholics stay and fight.
I very much admire all Christian faiths. I’m a Catholic, though, even if I quibble here and there with the Pope.
Bobmabel wrote: The biggest capitalists are the church organizations of Baptists & Catholics with their property they OWN in the USA earning them billions in the USA that they get TAX FREE. . Catholic Capitalist Replies To The Pope
Dear Comrade Bambi,
And you wonder why we call you comrade?
This is the same type of language that the Soviets deployed against the church in Russia in order to steal their property. They tied capitalism and religion together, and, just like Democrats, they used children to gain sympathy.
(Poster says: Cursed are Those Who Hypocritally Shield Themselves Behind Religion and Don't Save These Children with Church Gold)
While weather played some part in the Famine of 1921, the bigger role was played by the Soviet confiscation of grain, and mismanagement of railroads.
Guess who saved the day?
The dirty, terrible, Laissez-faire capitalists in the United States:
“In August 1922,” writes The American Experience, “a full five months after the initial shipments of corn were sent to Russia, American Relief Administration officials were still feeding almost 11 million Soviet citizens each day in 19,000 kitchens. By the end of the famine that fall, five million Russians had starved to death, but the toll would have been significantly higher without Hoover's unprecedented humanitarian commitment.”
This how I can be both a Catholic and a capitalist at the same time. It is also why I deplore socialism.
Face it: Capitalism Saves Lives!
Ken325 wrote: First of all, pointing to a tragedy and doing whatever you can to prevent it from happening again is NOT politicizing the tragedy. The gun control measures that were attempted after Sandy Hook were not political - they were attempting to prevent the next Sandy Hook. To the point of the article - this writer advocates that any shooter is justified if they "feel" they were threatened, no matter how unreasonable that belief. [No doubt the writer also feels Bush's pre-emptive strike against Iraq was justified too]. So, taking the author's opinion to its natural conclusion, we should all be armed and start shooting each other if we feel threatened by everyone's guns. Never Let The Dead of Sandy Hook Go To Waste, Or Rest In Peace
Dear Comrade Ken,
Gun control prevents people who have a legitimate right to defend themselves from having the opportunity to defend themselves. That right of self-defense is a natural right. It’s also enshrined in the constitution as our right to keep and bear arms in order to maintain our freedoms against a tyrannical government.
You might take a peek at my article published yesterday about crime in Chicago. Chicago has some of the toughest gun-control measures in the country, yet there are places where violent crimes are committed at 680 times the national average.
These are places where carrying a gun is only done by outlaws.
The truth is that while Sandy Hook gets all the pub, the real tragedy happens everyday where rich, white liberals never go for a photo op, like the East Garfield neighborhood in Chicago.
Mass shooting like Sandy Hook account for 1 percent of all murders.
“Yet mass killings account for just 1 percent of all murders nationally. Public massacres,” writes the Clarion-Ledger, “such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., last Dec. 14 or the rampage at a movie multiplex in Aurora, Colo., on July 20, 2012, account for one in six deaths by mass killing.”
Most of the rest are family murders.
But doing the math that means that the types of shootings like Sandy Hook account for only 0.17 percent of all murders.
“Economists John Lott and William Landes conducted a groundbreaking study in 1999,” writes John Fund in the National Review, “and found that a common theme of mass shootings is that they occur in places where guns are banned and killers know everyone will be unarmed, such as shopping malls and schools.”
In fact, Lott says that disarming the citizens makes them unable to protect themselves and that’s why mass shooting happen where guns are absent.
“With just one single exception,” says Lott, “the attack on congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson in 2011, every public shooting since at least 1950 in the U.S. in which more than three people have been killed has taken place where citizens are not allowed to carry guns.”
Witness please the Arapahoe High School shooting recently.
This is only a few miles from my home. The killer lived within two miles of me. I passed within a couple of blocks of his house every day I take my son to high school.
Yet, I don’t worry much. Because here in Colorado we take proactive steps to crime prevention. A police officer assigned to the high school was on the scene within 80 seconds from the time the gunman entered the building. The killer knew the officer was there and shot himself before the officer arrived.
Arapahoe, not coincidentally, is in the same district in which Columbine is.
They learned the lesson.
Imagine what a single guy—as the Arapahoe killer was-- with over 100 rounds of shotgun ammunition, three Molotov cocktails and a machete could do if no one had been there to prevent him?
You don’t have to. You only have to look at the Navy Yard shooting. 13 people died because –unaccountably—guns weren’t permitted in the Defense Department facility.
Way to go government. Disarm the soldiers and sailors.
Did that make them safer? Nope.
Which goes back to my original point: Why would a government use Sandy Hook to advocate gun policies that-- if people are being honest with themselves-- only make the citizenry more vulnerable?
John G.wrote: Ransom...You are a disgusting piece of human garbage. Latest evidence of this is your new article on using SANDY HOOK MASSACRE anniversary as a motivation for pushing weapons ownership, the NRA and gun manufacturer's agenda. Since you have no sense of shame, there is no use shaming you. Just want you to know that the public knows what a troll you are and how despicable your publication isNever Let The Dead of Sandy Hook Go To Waste, Or Rest In Peace
Dear Comrade G,
Let’s be clear about who used what.
It was president Obama who used the anniversary of Sandy Hook to promote anti-gun laws.
From Fox News and the Associated Press: “President Obama on Saturday led a national day of remembrance for the victims of the fatal Sandy Hook elementary school shootings while renewing his call for tighter gun control and more focus on mental-health care, on the anniversary of the tragic event.”
And if you are going to be upset with anyone for helping gun manufacturers, you should start with the president.
His anti-gun ballyhoo has done more to help sell guns in the United States than anything else.
The White House unintentionally is proving to be the best thing to happen to gun sales in decades.
In late April, Sturm Ruger (RGR) reported first-quarter results that exceeded targets. Net sales for the largest publicly traded gun manufacturer surged 39% to $155.9 million, compared to $112.3 million a year earlier.
The gun maker's earnings came in at $1.20 per share, up from 79 cents per share in the same period last year. Analysts on Wall Street were expecting earnings of $1.01 per share with revenue of $112.3 million, according to Thomson Reuters.
Doctor Roy wrote: My guess is that when the Republican Corporatists are in power their campaign contributors get the government contracts and tax breaks and they move into the two percent. Then when the Democratic Corporatists take control they get the contracts and breaks and they move back into the top two percent while their GOP counterparts fall slightly below. It's like a gigantic see-saw. Six of one half dozen of the other. Oh No! America Makes More Rich Than Ever Before
Dear Comrade Doctor,
Wow. You figured this all out by yourself?
This is why conservatives like me call the IRS tax code one of the most corrupt documents in the history of our Republic.
How do you suppose these “corporatists” favor their friends?
Every time you give the federal government power to regulate, you open up the ability to pick winners and losers in the economy.That means more money to lobby over.
You have often said that you’d like to get money out of politics. And I have often replied that the only way to do that is to get politics out of business.
Open your eyes, Doc. When you make the government all-powerful, you also make it all-corrupting.
Sandra wrote: It's true we cannot fix the problem by taxing the rich, however but people who are not wealthy are paying a horrible price and increasing the taxes on the wealthy would help. The folks at the bottom are getting tapped out. Not because they are lazy people either. A lot of people spend only a year or two receiving care and bust their butts to learn a skill to get a job, a different job, get well so they can work. I have worked in afdc and the people I saw weren't trying to use the system. I am not saying that people don't use the system and it's really really aggravating. I respect your opinion of Messrs.'Ryan and Cruz but I still really believe they are sociopaths and the welfare they are look out for is their own. I also appreciate the opportunity to have this conversation with you. Thank you. . Oh No! America Makes More Rich Than Ever Before
Then go tell your friend president Obama to stop taxing working people. He promised that tax increases would only affect households making $250,000 or more. And then at the first of the year, he increased taxes on every person who gets a paycheck in this country.
He’s also taxed the elderly for healthcare. He’s also taxed the working poor with regressive taxes on things like cigarettes.
Obama’s the sociopath. It’s possible that Ryan and Cruz are too. I don’t know them well enough to make a judgment.
My experience is that most politicians have some sort of a personality disorder and the farther you get in political life, the more pronounced it is.
But we’ve seen enough from Obama to say with a great degree of certainty that the man has little conscience.
I mean how can a guy like Obama look people in the eye after promising them they could keep their insurance? The rest of us-- the normal people who do all the working in this country—would be mortified if we made a public promise like that and then didn’t keep it, or even mean to keep it.
But Obama has no remorse at all.
That’s the very definition of a sociopath.
Don’t even get me started on Benghazi.
Jonsey wrote: John, Merry Christmas (God forbid, I should say Happy Holidays or Sarah P might have a heart attack). In your article, you forgot one thing: Paul Krugman won a Nobel prize for economics and you didn't. He is one smart gentleman. Do have a glorious Christmas and may your heart be softened may you speak of and about the President. Happy Christmas Eve. Maybe I'll say a prayer for you at Midnight Mass. – Who Made Krugman the Expert? Cronies Did
Dear Comrade Jones,
I don’t forget that Krugman has a Nobel prize. I discount the award to present value:
The sum of which equals BS.
You’re talking about the same anti-Semites who only awarded only ONE Nobel prize to Albert Einstein the greatest physicist ever; who gave Yasser Arafat, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore a Nobel prize and... a Nobel prize to Barack Obama?
Come on. Explain to me why Obama deserved a Nobel prize?
I still haven’t heard a credible explanation about how he earned that prize.
It seems more like he got one for making a cameo appearance as a black man in the government of the United States. Liberals have no shame that way.
If you told me he got an Academy award for best supporting actor, I’d believe it. But Nobel prize? Come on.
The Nobel prize thus has no meaning for me.
So, if you want to remind people that Krugman has a Nobel then go ahead.
This is what I know: Despite following Krugman’s recipe for economic success – more money, more money, more money—Obama’s produced an economy that is sending corporate profits up and job creation down.
There has never, ever been more money than there is today. Ever. The rate at which money travels through the system has never, ever been as slow. Ever.
Both the money supply and the money velocity is something that can be helped or hurt by government policy.
And despite this unprecedented money supply, regular folks aren’t benefiting.Rather the government is benefiting big time. Being located near enough to D.C. to know how much the city has swelled since the 1970s, it should be obvious to you who has benefited the most from increased government spending.
Assuming our GDP is somewhere around $16.5 trillion this year, government spending-to-GDP will come out at about 39 percent of GDP. From 1938 through 1944, the height of the New Deal AND the war effort, federal government spending was only 26.5 percent of GDP.
And what do we have for it?
“As of 2012, according to the most recent figures reported by the Census Bureau, median (midpoint) income for all U.S. households was $51,017,” writes Obama’s friends at FactCheck.org, “which was 4.9 percent lower (in inflation-adjusted dollars) than it was in 2008, the year before Obama took office…The number of persons living in poverty also worsened again in 2012, according to the most recent Census figures. As of last year, 46,496,000 persons lived in households with income below the official poverty line, an increase of nearly 6.7 million since 2008 and 249,000 since 2011. The total poverty rate remained unchanged in 2012 at 15 percent of the total U.S. population. So for the second straight year, the poverty rate was 1.8 points higher than it was in 2008.”
According to a report by Intrest.com, there is only one major city where the average household income is sufficient to buy a new car.
You guessed it: Washington, DC.
“According to the 2013 Car Affordability Study by Interest.com,” says CNBC via Yahoo Finance, “only in Washington could the typical household swing the payments, the median income there running $86,680 a year. At the other extreme, Tampa, Fla., was at the bottom of the 25 large cities included in the study, with a median household income of $43,832.”
Only the countries of Lichtenstein and Qatar enjoy higher per capita income than DC’s median income of $86,680 a year.
Or to put it another way: In order for Washington DC's median household income to equal the rest of the nation, the folks in our nation's capital would have to forfeit 152 days of pay on a 365 day calendar to catch up.
That would put them back to work on June 1st, 2014.
Thank goodness. All this time, I thought that the runaway federal spending was just fueling a sense of entitlement, privilege and contempt for us commoners amongst the people who run our government.
So whatever else Krugman knows about, he doesn’t know nothing about how an actual economy works.
Even he admits as much, although he doesn’t even realize it:
“On both the healthcare and inflation fronts,” Krugman wrote in early December “what you have to conclude is that there are a large number of people who find reality — the reality that governments are actually pretty good at providing health insurance, that fiat money can be a useful tool of economic management rather than the road to socialist disaster — just unacceptable. I think that in both cases it has to do with the underlying desire to see market outcomes as moral imperatives.”
If that’s the kind of result that wins you a Nobel prize, then I would discourage Nobel prizes.
I see it as the economic equivalent of peeing in the well from which you drink.
That said: I wouldn’t worry about Sarah Palin if I were you. She seems to be doing OK, without interfering at all in your life.
When you’re at church you can thank Jesus for being the reason for the season, and while you’re at it you can explain to him why you tell people happy holidays instead of Merry Christmas.
And since you’re a hypocritical Catholic, who thinks that he can preach to me about how Jesus was a socialist, let me tell you that I ALWAYS pray for you.
Every night I do.Every night.
There is no “maybe” for me.
Robert wrote: I wish you were gay. You send shivers up and down my leg. – How's "Tingle Down" Economics Working for You Comrade Chris Matthews?
Dear Comrade Robert,
Yeah, I have that effect on some people and certain breeds of dogs. I think it’s the bacon flavored toothpaste and cologne I wear.
Engineer wrote: Of all the quotes jesus, the savior, made, "Loving my neighbor as my self" poses the greatest difficulty. My "neighbors" are atheists, communists, muslims, pagans...the list goes on. None of the above mentioned groups desire to live in peace with me. Many, if not most, would enslave or tax or kill me without a moments hesitation. The Pope is like a "kept" woman, living in an Ivory tower. He is totally insulated from the realities of existance in this world. Jesus commanded [us] to "turn the other cheek". The purpose of which, I believe, is to prevent us from becoming too attached to this world. –
When I wrote to the Pope, it wasn’t out of any disrespect for his office, or a belief that he lives in an Ivory Tower. I’m a firm Catholic, Roman or otherwise.
We just have a disagreement about the best way to accomplish the goal of taking care of the greatest numbers of people.
I do not believe that capitalism is incompatible with charity. Nor do I think that capitalists and workers should see each other as the enemy. I think that in a true capitalist system, the workers, the customers and the shareholders all have to get rewarded in order for the system to survive.
Today, we live in an era where automation has allowed men to be freed from more mundane tasks. That gives us the ability to IMAGINE which is one of the things that free men do best.
We live in an age when people are better educated, less parochial, and have more choices.
My gripe is that the system the Pope seems to support is it is contrary to freedom. God gave us free will and lets us exercise it.
What is a government to demand more than that from it citizens?
If it’s good enough for God, it should be good enough for D.C.
Forcing people to work for the welfare of others isn’t the same as working to take care of others.
Dale wrote: In your writings I think, to the reader, you often confuse high income earners with the wealthy. And while there is some overlap for the most part they are two separate groups. – How's "Tingle Down" Economics Working for You Comrade Chris Matthews?
Dear Comrade Dale,
No, I don’t confuse the two. It’s just that when liberals write about these issues, they define the rich as anyone making more than $250,000 or more per year.
That’s because personal income is the single most important number for tax collectors. One reason why we have the income tax is because the government need to have a reliable source of it’s own income.
Imagine if we only taxed capital gains for example. What would happen to the government revenues if Wall Street had several years in a row of poor returns?
Income is a more reliable stream than other ways of taxing. That’s why governments LOVE income tax.
YouEvilLord wrote: Way to go, Ransom. Your eagerness to mock not just dissenters' views, but even their appearances makes you the epitome of professionalism.-- How's "Tingle Down" Economics Working for You Comrade Chris Matthews?
Dear Comrade Evil,
Hey now…Does this mean I’m getting a Nobel prize shortly?!?
Seriously. People have gotten Nobels for less
And by the by, I’m the dissenter in this scenario. Obama’s theories are being put to the test. They’re not working.
I find it somewhat strange that as Obama’s theories take us further and further down the road to ruin, I have to patiently explain to liberals what the alternatives are. Ah, duh.
That would be like a man with a couple of dandelions pulling out his whole lawn and then turning to me and saying: “What was my alternative?”
On the other hand, we have 300 years of history here in the United States that provides many working examples of an alternative to Barack Obama’s race-baiting, class-warfare, divide the sexes, spend money, spy, spy spy, coerce, control and manipulate politico-economic agenda.
Plus, I find it odd that someone who is a' fightin’ for the workingman would take a posed picture on a yacht, in a life jacket.
I have a rule I follow in life: You never, ever, ever miss the opportunity to make fun of people in life jackets.
So yeah, I’m not above making fun of people.
Nor am I above getting it back from people.
Jsingletary wrote: Ok, John. What does the v/r mean? -- How's "Tingle Down" Economics Working for You Comrade Chris Matthews?
V/r = Very Respectfully. It’s how an enlisted addresses superiors in correspondence.
Panton wrote: Ransom you imbecilic POS how dare you talk about the Purple Heart in a joking manner. How would you like to be confined to a wheelchair for over 40 years because you served your country patriotically. Of course your one of those idiots that cowers to your idol draft-dodger Ted Nugent. I said you are a POS, but better stuff gets flushed down my toilet than the likes of you. MORON!!— Ransom's Predictions for 2014
I’m not making fun of the Purple Heart. I’m making fun of Sec. John Kerry, whose claims of heroism are questioned by some-- I think with good reason.
There is no question that John Kerry was: 1) wounded three time and 2) never missed any duty as a result and 3) left combat duty after four months due to his three Purple Hearts. I understand that everyone was getting Purple Hearts as an early way out of combat duty. But then don’t campaign for president on it and salute the flag on stage saying, “reporting for duty” when nominated for president.
In my experience REAL heroes are reluctant to talk about their exploits.
Plus, Kerry was a foreign service brat, with acute political ambitions. He didn’t just end up Secretary of State by accident.
If his service and subsequent anti-war activities weren’t staged, then he manufactured a reasonably good facsimile of the young man on the make politically.
As to Nugent, great guitarist. That’s all I have on that topic.
Goldilocks wrote: [This space left intentionally blank]. —Ransom's Predictions for 2014
Optimista wrote: I was told once that Goldilocks is not a she.
So I thought she/he must be transgender but that was denied by Goldilocks.
Are there any other possibilities? -- Merry Christmas, Comrades
Don’t know, don’t care.
First, there will be little banning from me. I like having liberal dissenters.
But Goldi needs to stay on topic and stop writing comments that read like haikus.
Actually, haiku is more intelligible most of the time.
Ken6565 wrote: John, while the Catholic Church has indeed been front and center in the fight against abortion, Catholic laity have been, on the whole, less pro-life than evangelical and confessional Protestants. -- Merry Christmas, Comrades
Dear Comrade Ken,
I was defending the institution of the Church, not the parishioners.
The laity as you observe is a dicier proposition.
In 2012 Obama got 50 percent of the Catholic vote, while Romney got 48 percent. That’s not an overwhelming total. It actually makes me feel pretty good about the odds of getting back a majority of Catholics.
In 2004, Bush got 52 percent of the vote to John Kerry’s 47 percent. Kerry by the way is Catholic.
So if there is some secret Catholic handshake, John Kerry didn’t know about it. And Obama doesn’t have a lock on it.
One problem that outsiders seem to have is in understanding that Catholics are diverse voting block. There is no solid Catholic vote. It’s up for grabs.
But as the largest, single, religious voting block- with stated values more on the conservative side than liberal- it’s a block worth working.
Jim134 wrote: Why is Ransome concerned about some more dead black kids? He is not a liberal or a do gooder, so what is his political motive?-- Merry Christmas Chicago: Only 8 More Murders Left in 2013!
Dear Comrade 134,
I care because the difference between conservatives winning and losing, the difference between all men are created equal and some are more equal than others, the difference between plenty for all or poverty for the many, is in showing minority voters that the policies on the other side are crafted to enslave them, not liberate them.
I know. That makes you nervous. And it should.
Once every generation we have moment. This is ours.
And it’s our chance to turn it into a movement. http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/johnransom/2014/01/05/reduce-income-inequality-shutdown-washningtonfor-152-days-n1771995