The Morning Grumpy – 1/24/2012

24 Jan

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy…Republican Debate edition!

1. For Pete’s sake!

Not only could Mitt not have illegals working for him because he was running for office, he also couldn’t keep his Swiss bank account open. He closed it in 2010 after an adviser told him it would be “embarrassing“. According to his just released 203 page 2010 tax return, Mitt paid an effective tax rate of 13.9% on a total of $45.2MM in income over the years of 2010-2011.

The attacks on him in the primary should settle down as under all competing tax proposals from the other candidates, Mitt would pay less and would even pay zip, zero, zilch under Newt Gingrich’s plan. However, President Obama would have a field day with this if Romney were to become the Republican nominee. Thank you, #Occupy!

[blackbirdpie url=”!/thinkprogress/status/161656957768445953″%5D

By the way, Mitt Romney’s version of a middle class tax cut plan? It doesn’t really cut taxes for the middle class, but it sure gives a truckload of cuts to guys like him.

2. Jay Rosen and his brief theory of the Republican Party 2012.

A Brief Theory of the Republican Party: 2012

In so far as a political party in the United States can “decide” anything, the party decided not to have the fight it needed to have between reality-based Republicans and the other kind. And so it is having that fight now, during the 2012 election season, but in disguised form. The results are messy and confusing.

In an election when Newt Gingrich can claim, with a straight face, that he is an “outsider”, it has become clear that this is a party filled with people who can say anything and not worry about the consequences.

3. Last night at the Florida Republican Presidential Debate, Rick Santorum pledged war against Iran as the potential of a nuclear armed “theocratic government” was simply not acceptable. Of course, the irony is lost on Mr. Santorum that his pledge to make Abraham’s law part of our central legislative identity just makes us a different kind of theocracy. Reminds me of this old image…

4. Meanwhile, back at Sanity Ranch, Bill Moyers interviews Reagan’s Budget Director David Stockman about crony capitalism and the entitled class of Wall Street financiers.

Sayeth Mr. Stockman:

We have neither capitalism nor democracy. We have crony capitalism.

Yes, Reagan’s budget director. We’re through the looking glass.

5. If you have a minute, take Bill Moyers’s financial crisis IQ quiz. If you don’t score a 100% on this quiz, go do some reading.

Fact Of The Day: Think this Presidential campaign is the nastiest ever? Has anyone published print material accusing another candidate’s Mother of being a whore? No? Well, John Quincy Adams did just that to Andrew Jackson in 1828.

Quote Of The Day: “If a government or a people is to progress, its goal must ever be a little beyond its reach.” – Robert F. Wagner

Song Of The Day: “Shade and Honey” by Sparklehorse

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV

Email me links, tips, story ideas: chrissmithbuffalo[@]

18 Responses to “The Morning Grumpy – 1/24/2012”

  1. Ray at 9:10 am #

    Don’t forget that our own Grover Cleveland was beset by charges of fathering illegitimate children, producing a late 19th century chant during his re-election bid that rivals even “frothy mix” for its time:

    Ma, ma, where’s my pa? Gone to the White House, ha ha ha!

  2. Brian Castner at 9:56 am #

    2. Parties don’t resolve internal conflict when its convenient for pundits (or even the party). They resolve it during elections, when they see who wins. The Half Empty Democrat says “look at the clowns the Republicans have put up.” The Half Full Sane Republican says “look at what a good job we’re doing eliminating the truly scary options (Bachmann, Perry) pretty quickly.” Extreme Conservative Republicans are mad their candidates are gone, and the remaining few aren’t too pretty. But primaries exist to sort these things out. Dare I say the system is working.

  3. Michael Rebmann at 10:03 am #

    Disclaimer: I am not a supporter of Romney. According to the figures here, Romney paid over $6,000,000 in income tax for the years cited. There is no way I can equate that to being less than his fair share.

    • Alan Bedenko at 10:19 am #

      If someone earning $60,000 pays 30-ish% in federal income taxes (i.e., $20,000), you cannot sit here and tell me that paying $6MM on $21.7MM of income is his “fair share”.

      $20k to someone making $60k is a lot of money – much more, and much more important – than someone getting to keep $16 million of his $21.7MM. Poor Mitt. He had to get a G4 instead of a G6.

  4. King Kong at 10:04 am #

    For your next morning grumpy, a progressive Christian who believes more in faith than in the ‘religious’ political interests of people like Rick Santorum.

    • Chris Smith at 10:57 am #

      Yeah, I’ve seen that video. It’s like saying I love apples, but I hate fruit.

  5. Michael Rebmann at 11:24 am #

    The effective tax rate on a person earning $60,000, married with 2 children claiming the standard deduction, is 3.65% or $2,190.00. A single person, with no dependents, would pay 14.58% or $8750,00.

    • Alan Bedenko at 2:40 pm #

      Then maybe Romney should give all his money away and get a $60k job. Seems like a better deal, what with the looters taking a whopping 13% of his income for redistributive purposes every year.

  6. Michael Rebmann at 11:26 am #

    Here’s the link for the tax rate calculator –

  7. Bbill at 11:31 am #

    Maybe millionaires and billionaires should be taxed at an effective zero rate. They are, after all, “job creators” and clearly our betters. Galt!

    • Chris Smith at 11:36 am #

      Not only does Romney get a huge break on taxes after he earns the money, he often relies upon the government to absorb legacy costs in business so he can make huge chunks of money that get taxed at minimal rates. America!

      What’s more, a federal government insurance agency had to pony up $44 million to bail out the company’s underfunded pension plan. Nevertheless, Bain profited on the deal, receiving $12 million on its $8 million initial investment and at least $4.5 million in consulting fees.

  8. Michael Rebmann at 11:46 am #

    Of course, I have a huge problem with ANY business receiving any type of subsidy, tax break, etc.

  9. Bbill at 12:47 pm #

    This morning Newt insisted that the GOP debates continue to feature that Jerry Springer / Morton Downey Jr. chair-throwing, booing-the-golden-rule element (or he’ll take his ball and go home) that gives the right wing its special je ne sais quoi:

    At least he’s in favor of putting his party’s mentality out there for all to see. You can watch his uncensored remarks here.

  10. saltecks at 2:14 pm #

    in quoting the effective tax rate you are omitting regressive taxes like sales tax, Excise tax, Gas tax etc., Which all must pay regardless of Income,and which skew the bottom line.

  11. Jim at 2:25 pm #

    “accusing…Mother of being a whore” – Bedenko, you have presidential precedent for your slurs!

    • Alan Bedenko at 2:37 pm #

      Hey, Jim. I have no clue what you’re talking about.

  12. money out the window at 2:38 pm #

    Keep slanting the conversation and bitching about it buddy.
    Fair and balanced.
    Even better complain why there is only one major paper in the WNY region, can’t for the life of me figure out why this one hasn’t grown into a daily with a large readership.

  13. Bbill at 2:41 pm #

    It’s good to see the two core GOP constituencies (plutocrats vs. mouthbreathers) finally engaging in their “civil” war. Too bad their meltdown didn’t occur prior to the 2000 election; we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in today.

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