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Democratic Super PAC Buys Newtgingrich.com 630 630

netbuzz writes "The purchase of newtgingrich.com by a Democratic Super PAC — and the use of it to highlight Newt Gingrich's political weaknesses — is either amusing or a dirty trick, depending on your politics and your view of the Republican presidential hopeful. In either case, however, it is a cautionary tale about the importance of controlling your brand online, a task that is about to get more difficult for everyone thanks to the impending expansion of generic top-level domains."
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Democratic Super PAC Buys Newtgingrich.com

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  • Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by crdotson (224356) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:51AM (#38458688)

    I think it's a bit of a dirty trick regardless of your politics.

  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SJHillman (1966756) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38458718)
    I'd have to agree. If you go to Walmart.com, you expect it to be Walmart's site. Same with Microsoft.com, Sears.com or Chrysler.com. If a site is against it, you'd expect something more like walmartsucks.com or antiwalmart.com. It'd be sort of like finding some kind of trademark loophole where you could build a store, put Walmart's logo out front but then have the inside be expressly anti-walmart. If nothing else, it's deceptive.
  • Protect Your Name (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38458720)
    In this day and age it is the responsibility of a public person (or a company) to protect their name, which includes domain names. The fact that Mr Gingrich has been in politics for a long time and didn't bother to purchase the domain says a lot about his understanding of how some things work in this day and age.
  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38458722)

    Why didn't the guy who got paid millions from many companies because of his status as a public figure, not purchase it himself? Dirty, maybe... but again, Newt is the dumb one for not already purchasing this domain.

    We need our congressmen to be put to the test on all these issues, so they can make a good call when it comes time to vote about them.

  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:55AM (#38458724)
    Then why the fuck should I vote for you?
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:57AM (#38458738)
    "amusing or a dirty trick, depending on your politics??"

    I am not a fan for Newt Gingrich but this is a dirty trick.

    People who want to learn about the candidate will want to go to their web site to see their official stance on things. This is an attempt to keep the public misinformed by the opposition.

    Mr. Gingrich has a sorted political past, and if you go to the others web sites they will tell all about it. You really need to hear his side too for people to get a full picture of who you should be voting for.

    Lets all complain how stupid the voters are and they don't do their research, then in the same breath we reward and pat on the back members of your political beliefs their attempt to misdirect the public to only see their views.
  • It's both (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hellfire (86129) <deviladv@nOSPam.gmail.com> on Thursday December 22, 2011 @09:59AM (#38458766) Homepage

    It's sad what we have come to expect from politicians. On one hand, this is a dirty low down trick. On the other hand, Newt is a lying, cheating ass, so it couldn't happen to a nicer guy. But so are all the other Washington politicians, lobbyists and PAC executives, on both sides of the aisle. So on some primal level I get entertained when it happens to someone I don't like a lot, like when I'm watching professional wrestling or a soap opera. And this is where our government has degenerated to.

  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DataDiddler (1994180) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:00AM (#38458776)

    The purchase of newtgingrich.com by a Democratic Super PAC — and the use of it to highlight Newt Gingrich's political weaknesses — is either amusing or a dirty trick

    Can't it be both?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:00AM (#38458778)

    When a politician says he intends to pass Bill X, you expect him to pass Bill X. And yet these scumbags never do what they say.

    Why should anyone be in the least bit shocked that politicians are being dishonest?

    Have we really still not learned that as long as we maintain representative democracy, we will maintain corruption?

    Is nobody yet ready for trying something new?

  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:02AM (#38458800)

    I'd have to agree. If you go to Walmart.com, you expect it to be Walmart's site. Same with Microsoft.com, Sears.com or Chrysler.com. If a site is against it, you'd expect something more like walmartsucks.com or antiwalmart.com.

    Dick's Sporting Goods is not at dicks.com ;-)

    It'd be sort of like finding some kind of trademark loophole where you could build a store, put Walmart's logo out front but then have the inside be expressly anti-walmart. If nothing else, it's deceptive.

    Putting up a store under the walmart.com domain would probably be construed as trademark infringement. Putting up a reasons-not-to-shop-at-walmart site at walmart.com would just get Walmart's legal team to try to crush you like a bug. Putting up a factual page about Newt Gingrich at newtginggrich.com won't make Mr Gingrich happy, but legally they should be OK. As far as the deceptive nature of it, nothing in politics is transparent or honest anymore. It's not a surprise that either side would try something like this.

  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:04AM (#38458810)
    A political stance against big government control, isn't evil.
    Most politics are not based of evil, it is based on people thinking what is best.

    The Hard Noes republicans, who are against all sorts of government services such as welfare and unemployment, are not for it because they want to watch people suffer in poverty, but feel the government need to give them some tough love to get them off their butts and work for themselves.

    The Hard Noes democrats, who are all for massive government services and expenditures, are not for it because such costs could bankrupt the United States, but feel there is a set of services that all people in a wealthy country such as the United States should all get.
  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mischi_amnesiac (837989) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:11AM (#38458872) Homepage
    Yeah, and I really expected to find information regarding the white house when I went to whitehouse.com.
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:11AM (#38458880)
    Because real life has to compromise. In that though you should be a big supporter of those Tea Party Republicans who will vote down any tax raises. They are standing by their guns and sticking to their promises even though they are obviously bad for the United States.

    For the most part politicization have a list of things they really want, a list of nice to get, and a list they can take it or leave it.
    When they are compromising for a bill they will try to put it all out in the table (both sides) then they will slowly take out the lower priority items as the other side does the same, until you get a bill that both sides doesn't really want but it is better then nothing.

    The US Government isn't designed to run fast, it is designed to be slow and offer small solutions.
  • Re:Very fitting (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hatta (162192) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:21AM (#38458988) Journal

    Whatever conservativism means in modern America, Gingrich is it. He would describe himself as conservative, his allied would describe themselves as conservatives, and his opposition describes him as conservative. He lead the 1994 Republican revolution that put conservatives back in power in the US. If Gingrich isn't conservative, you're going to have to rewrite almost 20 years of political history. If your particular political persuasion isn't compatible with Gingrich's, you need to find a less overloaded term for it.

  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by F69631 (2421974) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:21AM (#38458994)

    Summarizing republicans as "against big government" is a bit misleading. It's more of a "Against big government, except where it pleases us, our sponsors or enforces our belief system". Or would you honestly say that republicans oppose farming subsidies or military spending? Or support limiting the federal government's ability to spy on its people? Or demand more secularization of the federal government?I think that republicans ideologically being against big government is a myth and instead they are for it or against it depending on what benefits them in each individual case. (And I want to be very clear here: I don't consider that approach to be a bad one. I just think it shouldn't be combined to "small government" rhetoric.)

    That said, I actually think that Newt is the best one republicans have to offer at the moment. He's not one of the craziest ones* and he has a lot more consistency than many other candidates. I do disagree with him in most issues but I think he's relatively respectable when it comes to acting as a politician.

  • Re:Waste of money (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jawnn (445279) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:22AM (#38458998)
    Mitt won't win either. Enough Mormon fearing fundies and tea-bag purists will not vote for him in a general election that he is pretty much unelectable as a Republican nominee. So Newt sells more books and our nation is spared another Republican president. Win-win.
  • by brusk (135896) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:22AM (#38459006)

    People who want to learn about the candidate will want to go to their web site to see their official stance on things. This is an attempt to keep the public misinformed by the opposition.

    You can still do that. It's at newt.org. And how does this use of the URL "misinform" anybody"? It redirects to media reports about him, organizations he has worked for, a public-service video he appeared in with Nancy Pelosi, etc. How is any of this "misinformation"? It's information he doesn't want to emphasize in his current campaign, sure, but that doesn't make it false or even deceptive.

  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:24AM (#38459020)
    You can point out whatever you like about a candidate, but don't try and deceive the voters by registering a domain name of your opponents name. That's a dirty trick, it should be called out for what it is, not spun away like this is politics as usual. And that's what everyone should be upset about: This is an attempt to deceive voters or at the very least prevent Newt from registering the domain he in any fairness has a right to.

    I would say the same thing if a Republican tried this. It's low down and dirty and is on the same level as having your opponents removed from the ballot on a technicality. If you can't stand without perpetrating fraud against voters then how honest can I expect you to be when you're elected and actually have a bit of power?
  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by makomk (752139) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:31AM (#38459106) Journal

    feel the government need to give them some tough love to get them off their butts and work for themselves

    This is being far too kind for them. They feel that the only reason that someone could be unemployed in the current economic climate is because they deserve to be - despite 10% unemployment or even higher in some areas, despite even minimum-wage jobs at McDonalds having dozens of applicants for each position, despite all the copious evidence that the work just isn't there.

    What's more, the reason they're so keen on this idea is not because they have a reasonable belief that it's true but because it justifies cutting taxes and spending in ways that benefit their wealthy friends and screw the poor. After all, so their reasoning goes, the only reason the poor aren't as wealthy as their rich friends is because they're lazy and don't deserve to be - never mind the fact that America has some of the worst class mobility in the world and that pretty much the only reason the rich are so much better off is because their parents were too, or just how much harder the poor have to work.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:33AM (#38459130) Homepage Journal

    Do you know what Corporate Welfare is?

    The Republicans are all for Big Government provided it benefit the rich.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:34AM (#38459138)

    even though they are obviously bad for the United

    In your less than informed opinion.

    Anyone who pays attention knows that we have to STOP the spending. The government takes in more as a percent of GNP that it has since WWII...1 in every 4 dollars. Our national debt now matches our GNP. It has to stop!

    And don't give any me bullshit about Bush. Obama makes Bush look like a tightwad.

  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kilfarsnar (561956) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:34AM (#38459140)
    This was my thought exactly. How did he not buy up all of the relevant domain names when he started his campaign (newtgingrich.com, newtgingrichsucks.com, newtgingrichblows.com, etc.)? That's just being smart! Not much of a candidate for the new millennium is he?
  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:44AM (#38459234) Journal

    My assumption was that he was talking about tax raises on the wealthy. You can balance a budget by taking in more money or cutting spending, and one party is okay with doing both, while the aforementioned tea party is not.

  • by Coolhand2120 (1001761) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:45AM (#38459250)
    Ever hear of a Google bomb? Reports of their demise is premature. Try typing in most any republican candidate and see what the first or second hits are. This is nothing but a transparent attempt to prevent people from seeing the real candidates message. It is desperate and dishonest. And it seem only democrats do it. You could chalk it up to a lack of technical skills on the RNC's part or you can chalk it up to a lack of morals on the DNC's part. I'd go with the latter.
  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:49AM (#38459290) Journal

    So if there were not any taxes at all on anyone, that would be a good thing? No police, No Garbage pick up, No military, No regulations on pollution. If thats the society you want to live in, then you are right, if not, then you'll have to admit that there is a level of taxation necessary to maintain the essential services. With that perspective, maybe we can have a thoughtful debate over the level of services we want and how to pay for them. As it is currently, we are not paying for them without massive borrowing on almost every governmental level ( depending on your local). As such, lowering taxes without cuts to the services we currently have would be a bad idea.

  • by Bill_the_Engineer (772575) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:50AM (#38459296)

    The government takes in more as a percent of GNP that it has since WWII

    Is that per capita or total amount? Since the tax rate is the lowest its has ever been since the IRS was formed, I have my doubts about your statement.

    And don't give any me bullshit about Bush. Obama makes Bush look like a tightwad.

    Bush got us into two global conflicts consisting of large troop deployments, large expenditures on tactical support, AND large amounts of money going to infrastructure in the name of "nation building". During which the Bush administration lower the tax rate on a (*cough* *cough*) temporary basis which is unprecedented in US history. Normally we would sell bonds earmarked for the cause or raise taxes to pay for the war effort.

    That my friend is no bullshit.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:50AM (#38459304)

    If your own selfish interests are more important than those of your country and your countrymen, there's not much point in arguing with you.

    Indeed. If you selfishly demand that the government should steal money from other people and give it to you, then you're part of the problem, not the solution.

    But I thought Gingrich was a Republican?

  • Representative democracy can be done right. The way the US is currently operating... isn't it. The problem is corruption, not the system. The system simply needs more checks to prevent the corruption in the first place.

    Start with making campaign finance taxpayer-funded and make campaign donations illegal. That alone would cause a shift in the sort of people who want to be politicians because it would remove a lot of the profit motive.

    The real problem is that in order to put these checks into place, we'd need our current, mostly corrupt politicians to agree to them.

  • Re:Dirty trick (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bws111 (1216812) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @10:53AM (#38459342)

    I think it makes the Democrats look scared. They have gone beyond pleading their own case (effective if you have a case worth pleading) and smearing the opposition (reviled, but effective), to actively trying to stop the opposition from getting their message out. Seems like this will make some excellent 'what are they so afraid of' campaign material.

    Furthermore, it seems utterly pointless. Who do they think is going to be positively (for them) swayed by this? Someone going to that site is either going to already be a supporter, or be looking for his stated position on things. Someone who is a supported may be looking to make a donation, etc, and will be temporarily slowed down and even more pissed at the Democrats. Someone trying to decide will be looking for his position on things, not some smear job (which he can find elsewhere if he wants), and will not think kindly of the tactic. Someone who is already against him will be looking for his own position on things to use against him, and the site is also useless for them. So, what's the point?

  • by Dr. Spork (142693) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:15AM (#38459570)
    It's very important that you understand that a PAC or this SuperPAC is not the same thing as the Democratic Party. In fact, they are legally barred from coordinating their activities. So even if you think this is a dirty move, it's not fair to blame the Democratic Party or any of its candidates for this. In fact, they can't even legally tell this SuperPAC to knock it off - that would be coordination, and it's not allowed. No, I think this is a stunt by some misguided well-wishers. Sadly, both parties seem to have more than their fair share of these. (BTW, every Democratic partisan I've ever met or heard of is praying to Santa Claus that Newt gets nominated. Something stinks about this whole story.),
  • Re:Waste of money (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mrchaotica (681592) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:22AM (#38459662)

    I think (in the general election) that what Romney loses in extremists he will more than make up for moderates (including moderate Democrats who voted for Obama last time).

    Of course, Huntsman would be an even better general election candidate, but he really is unelectable in the primary.

    Finally, keep in mind that Gingrich more-or-less invented the ultra-adversarial tactics that are causing the gridlock in D.C. that lots of citizens (including Republicans) are so pissed off about right now. Hopefully, folks keep that in mind on election day.

  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:22AM (#38459668) Journal

    The same could be argued against cutting Public Radio or the national endowment of the arts funding. Every cut you make will be a drop in the bucket. Every tax raised may also be a drop in the bucket. But, but collecting those drops into a bucket, it gets filled up.

    There isn't a good argument to not raise taxes on the higher income brackets. Just hand waving and mumbling about "job creators".

    Is it too much to really ask for compromise? Some Tax raises and some cuts?

  • by lambent (234167) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:28AM (#38459732)

    your scale here is way off. public radio and nea funding are ridiculously small drops. it's absurd to even talk about cutting their funding to help balance the budget.

    people really need to start talking about the biggest money suckholes of them all: defense, medicare, and social security.

    wasting your time talking about penny ante stuff like npr and the nea is pointless. you're missing the big picture, and will literally accomplish nothing trying to take care of this problem by going after the smallest budget items.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:37AM (#38459824) Homepage Journal

    Her very first impression of the United States upon her very first visit here was the appalling condition of our roads. I was surprised at this, as I had always figured our roads were just fine, but upon my next visit to her home in Nova Scotia, I just had to agree. I later lived in Canada for several years and just had to agree that the roads everywhere I went were in immaculate condition.

    Contrast this to the United States: in the October 1989 Loma Prieta quake, the top deck of the two-deck portion of Interstate 880 through Oakland collapsed onto the bottom deck, killing I think sixty-nine people. Some poor woman had her legs pinned under many tons of concrete. The only hope of saving her life was to use a power saw to cut both her legs off without the use of any anesthesia of any sort.

    More recently the bridge on an Interstate highway between Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota collapsed, killing I think eleven people in an incredibly cruel way by dropping their cars from a great height into a deep river.

    The authorized widely broadcast requests that anyone that had ever taken photos of that bridge turn them into the civil engineering authorities for their post-mortem. Careful examination found that some of the bolts in that bridge had been stretched noticably out of place as long as five years before!

    I mentioned this to a friend who is a Professional Engineer - that's the proper term for a Civil Engineer. The fact that people get killed when people like him screw up is the reason that it would be a criminal expense for him to even claim to be a Professional Engineer without the proper license.

    "That's impossible," he said. "Every bridge is inspected every two years."

    I don't doubt that bridge was inspected every two years, but nevertheless it did fall down and kill a bunch of people.

    If America were willing to tax itself enough to properly maintain its infrastructure, all those deaths and permanently crippling injuries just never would have happened.

    I vastly preferred living in Canada for the specific reason that the Canadians are only too happy to tax themselves to provide for the common good. I always told people that Canada was the way America should be, and could be, but isn't.

    I lost my immigration when Bonita divorced me. For quite a long time I wanted to return, and there are other ways I could still become a Canadian Landed Immigrant, and eventually a Canadian citizen.

    One reason I don't, and chose eventually to remain in the United States, is so that I could work towards someday putting a stop to damnfool ignorant people such as yourself who are driving my Mother Country into the ground.

  • by MichaelCrawford (610140) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:43AM (#38459894) Homepage Journal

    The Republicans damn well knew that subprime loans were being repackaged into derivatives, but did nothing to stop that nonsense because the big investment firms were making money hand over fist as a result.

    Do you have any concept of how many suicides have resulted directly from the subprime meltdown, or how many have died from exposure or from inadequately treated illnesses after having lost their jobs and homes?

    If I were to knock over a liquor store for a couple hundred dollars, I'd be spending time behind bars and because of the popularity of background checks today, I would forever find it difficult to get any sort of decent paying work or housing.

    But the people who caused the subprime crisis are still running the big investment firms. How many of them have been prosecuted? The closest one I can think of is Bernie Madoff, but that was for running a Ponzi Scheme, not for defrauding investors.

  • by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @11:54AM (#38460000)

    The only way raising taxes would work is to actually start having everyone pay income tax.

    Great! So let's start paying people a living wage and let the wealth trickle-up. Our economy was at it's strongest when our middle-class was at it's strongest, after all.

    Oh, wait, never mind, you meant let's squeeze more out of the people that are already struggling, didn't you? Yeah, good call. Then we can use the Michele Bachmann unemployment solution: dump the current minimum wage so that the "Job Creators" can move the sweatshops over here. It'll be great! No more unemployment, everyone can get a job for $2 an hour! And think of all the money the "Job Creators" will save not having to ship their crap over here from China! And once we get rid of those awful child labor laws, we finally can get back to the real American Dream of being put to work in grade school! Well, the poor kids, anyway, but who cares about them, right?

    The whole "everyone should pay something" idea sounds fair on paper but will accomplish jack fucking shit in terms of improving the state of our economy. The phrase "A rising tide lifts all boats" is absolutely true. But taking more money from the people that have the least to give, just so we can continue keeping tax breaks on the books for those that can most afford them, is more of that trickle-down Reaganomics horseshit that has done nothing but harm our country since that corporate shill took the oath of office in 1980.

    We're 30 years into this stupid fucking shit and the only times this country has done well financially was during the Dot Com boom, and as soon as that retard George W. Bush got elected they pissed all of the progress we made then right down the fucking drain so they could give rich people another fucking tax cut and continue the trickle down bullshit for another generation. Then, to make matters even worse, we get involved in a massive, nebulous war effort all over the middle east that costs us tens of billions of dollars a month to fund without raising taxes to pay for it at all.

    It's not taxes and regulations that are responsible for the unemployment rate, despite what you hear over and over and over again on conservative talk radio and Fox News. It's the lack of demand for the goods and services these companies put to market. These companies aren't hiring because they don't need to hire anyone, they're making just as many widgets as they need to meet demand. The rich assholes aren't buying them; no matter how large their bank account is, they still only need one widget, just like everyone else. People are trying to make it seem like making it cheaper for these "Job Creators" to operate is going to increase demand for their product...how? Seriously, how is that even fucking logical? When everyone is poor, who the hell is buying a new car? Or a new home? Or going on vacation? Or going out to eat? Or going to the movies?

  • by currently_awake (1248758) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:00PM (#38460064)
    In good times when you cut taxes on business they expand and hire more people, that's basic right wing (Republican) mantra and history mostly supports it. Unfortunately the rules change during a recession. In bad times when you give a corporation more money they put it in the bank. (just like you would.) Why? In good times they expand production so they can sell more. In bad times they have piles of unsold merchandise, and hiring more people to make more (unsold) merchandise is just throwing money away.
  • by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:09PM (#38460162)

    Is it too much to really ask for compromise? Some Tax raises and some cuts?

    I can understand the people who want to draw a line in the sand. Some people think that the government is too big, and that holding the line on taxes will starve the beast. I happen to think that tax reform is important, even if the total collected doesn't increase. I think the marginal rates could be held or even reduced if deductions were limited. Get rid of capital gains tax and corporate tax and just count capital gains and dividends as regular income. Programs like Social Security and Medicare should be made self-sufficient - no loaning money to the general fund and no borrowing from the general fund. You could handle recessions and such by basing everything off of 3 to 5-year moving averages... then any shortfall or surplus would be short-lived and manageable. Combine this with a complete freeze on federal spending until the economy catches up with the government and I think you might make the government's balance sheet healthy again.

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:22PM (#38460320) Homepage Journal

    Anyone who pays attention knows that we have to STOP the spending.

    The Iraq war ended last week, that's a lot of huge stopped spending right there. Not enough, but we should have not spent a penny on Iraq. Oh yeah, they're still spending money on the Bridge to Nowhere and other boondoggles. But you tea partiers insist that we pay for two wars, the bridge to nowhere, tax breaks for the rich, and grants to the oil companies rather than pay the medicare and Social Security that was contracted decades ago.

    The government takes in more as a percent of GNP that it has since WWII

    And the rich are paying lower taxes than any time since, which tells you who's being a freeloader. Isn't it about time those damned rich freeloaders started paying their fair share?

    And don't give any me bullshit about Bush

    Who started those two expensive wars? Who started those expensive acronym agencies like TSA, DHS, and FEMA? Who bailed out the "too big to fail" banks first?

    Who was the only President to ever leave office with fewer employed Americans than when he started? Who was Predident when the economy collapsed? You do realise that the defecit has grown so much faster under Obama because so much less tax revenue is being generated, because 10% of us are out of work and not paying taxes?

    Obama took over after the worst President in American history; Bush left the country a shambles. Considering the mess he was left to clean up, I don't think he's done that bad a job. All I'd fault Obama for is health care, not raising taxes on the rich, not insisting that oil subsidies stop, and caving in to the radical, hypocritical Republicans in the House.

  • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:38PM (#38460484)
    You really need to turn off Fox News once in a while. Just sayin...

    Bush DOUBLED our debt. DOUBLED it. While being handed a 'balanced budget'. Obama was handed a tanking economy and has only added 50% or so to the debt. Granted Bush's 'double' and Obama's 50% are actually fairly close in real numbers (4 trillion I think).

    Context matters. One person had a balanced budget and destroyed our financial outlook. Other was given an imploding economy and has halted that downslide and started back up if slowly. You guess who is who.
  • the US Government (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @12:57PM (#38460692)

    The US Government isn't designed to run fast, it is designed to be slow and offer small solutions.

    No, its not. The U.S. Government isn't the product of a design effort with a coherent objective. Its the product of centuries of individual compromises on specific issues between not merely diverse but -- from the outset -- radically opposed priorities.

    It was designed at the outset (of the Constitutional system) both to run fast and have strong central power (one of the main motives for revising the Articles of Confederation to produce the Constitution) and to be hamstrung and dependent on the States. There are features -- in the text of the Constitution (original and in amendments), in the statute law, in the case law, in the bodies of federal regulations and other binding executive acts -- that represent far extremes and every conceivable point in between, implemented on narrow issues over the whole history of the Republic, with little in the way of rationalization over time.

    To say that the US government is designed to do any one particular thing (other than be the US government) or to implement any one particular philosophy of the role, scale, or model of government is, well, fundamentally wrong and more misleading than useful.

  • by bondsbw (888959) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:04PM (#38460770)

    But how much money is the government entitled to? 25%? 50%? All? The amount that I specifically owe for government services I received?

    If they take all, I'll stop working.

    And before you take the highest percentage that will keep me working, consider this... dollar for dollar, is the government going to do more with the money? The government is well known for its bureaucracy, debt, and inefficiency. (Oblig xkcd [xkcd.com]. Look closely, right hand image... the amount of annual improper federal payments almost equals what it would cost to send every US child to university for free.)

  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:10PM (#38460830) Homepage Journal

    It depends on who you tax. Taxing the poor could possibly be the worst, since the poor live paycheck to paycheck (yes, most of the poor work. Those food stamps subsidize Wal Mart's and McDonald's profits by allowing them to underpay their workers) and spend every penny they earn. Money they don't have is money they don't spend, meaning money someone else doesn't earn.

    Raise middle class taxes and they will both spend less and save less, also harming the economy. That skipped haircut is a lost wage for the barber and lost revenue for the government.

    The rich? Taxing them more (to a certain point, of course) does nothing whatever to or for the economy. They won't spend less, so there is no loss of tax revenue. It won't affect their hiring -- nobody hires production workers unless they're selling more than they can produce, and nobody lays off production workers unless they can't sell all that they produce.

  • by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:21PM (#38460984)
    The only way we will balance the budget is through growth.

    Cutting spending reduces the amount of money circulating through the economy. The interest costs associated with that deficit spending are far less than say taking a Trillion dollars out of the economy. At some point people will stop lending us money but that point is decades away.

    We had a relatively balanced budget and a booming economy back in 2000. Then someone cut taxes and added 4 trillion to the debt.

    The system was relatively balanced and we would have been literally debt free by now had we left well enough alone. Would it have worked out that way in reality, obviously probably not. But the direction we were headed is a far sight better than what we got.
  • by KhabaLox (1906148) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:33PM (#38461126)

    If you declared a law that everything over 200k a person makes would go to the government it would be about 2 trillion dollars or enough to run the country for less then 2 months

    OK, there is a lot wrong with this statement. First of all, Federal outlays in the 2011 budget were $3.6 trillion [wikipedia.org], so the $2 trillion you cite would last 6.6 months.

    But the $2 trillion is wrong (the other way). Those earning over $200k made 17.5% of the total US income of $7.723 trillion [wikipedia.org], or $1.35 trillion. That amount of money would last us 4.5 months.

    But the most egregious part of your statement is the implicit assumption that taxing all of the income over $200K would replace every single other source of revenue for the federal government. No one is suggesting reducing the income tax rate for under $200k to 0%. Not only are those suggesting higher marginal rates for the very rich not suggesting lower marginal rates for the rest, they are also not proposing cutting non-income taxes and revenue.

    Federal income tax makes up about 45% of total Federal revenue. [taxpolicycenter.org] Payroll taxes make up the second biggest chunk of revenue at about 36% (perhaps lower with the current holiday), while corporate income tax (which some say should be higher) makes up 12%. These other sources would continue if we raised taxes on the rich.

    So, not only do you use inaccurate numbers to make your argument, you are arguing against a strawman.

    A sensible debate on this issue would reveal that we need to have a comprehensive approach to solve the deficit and debt problems we face. Cutting spending alone, or raising taxes alone, will not solve the issue. The combination of decreased tax revenue (due to the Bush tax cuts and the deregulation of the financial industry which directly led to the bank bailouts [increased spending] and recession [decreased revenue], and the increased spending due to the War on Terror (not only Iraq and Afghanistan, but also DHS) has out us in a fine mess, and we need to reverse course on both those fronts to climb out of the hole we are in.

  • by tbannist (230135) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:41PM (#38461222)

    Actually, I'm pretty sure it's not Bill's scale that's off but the Republican party's scale. The cuts he's talking about are the ones the Republicans like to proposed as an alternative to raising taxes. When you look at the number is becomes immediately obvious that they are not seriously trying to cut the budget but to use the deficit as an excuse to punish their "enemies". There are a disturbingly large percentage of the Republican base that think the U.S. spends billions on NPR and arts funding every year.

    Every year it gets harder to tell if the Republican candidates are trying to capitalize on that ignorance, are generating it, or both.

  • by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @01:47PM (#38461280)

    Oh, absolutely. But somehow, I don't expect that logical considerations are behind any opposition to whatever Obama wants to do these days. I mean, republican leaders managed to change their stance on lowering taxes from "it's good for the economy" when they argued for cuts to investment taxes and taxes on the rich to " it's an ineffective stimulus measure" when the democrats and Obama wanted to extend the current tax holiday.

  • by tbannist (230135) on Thursday December 22, 2011 @02:33PM (#38461890)

    The problem is that almost almost half of the people in the country think the other half doesn't work or pay taxes. The majority of the "half the people in the country" who don't pay net income tax don't pay net income tax because the people they work for don't pay them enough to both pay taxes and pay for food and shelter. The government could tax them, but then it would have to give the money back anyway so that they can continue living. Many of the working poor work long hours for little pay, often holding down several part time jobs and working more than 40 hours each week to try and make ends meet.

    Part of the problem is that the income for the bottom 75% of Americans has stagnated for more than 30 years. Often the working poor have seen their wages decrease relative to inflation so that each year food and shelter costs a greater percentage of their income. How can this be? Well, virtually all of the proceeds of progress have been accumulating in the hands of the richest Americans, they have increased their share of the country's wealth from about 20% in the mid-70s to almost 40% now. Meanwhile, the bottom 80% of Americans control around 8% of the total wealth of America.

    But you are free to choose to blame those who can't pay over those who won't pay, if you like.

"Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love." -- Albert Einstein