What’s the Difference Between Libs in Politics and Libs in the Media?

Here’s a safe rule of thumb for all you civilians out there:  Whatever you hear from liberals in politics you will soon hear from liberals in the media.

So Barack Obama tells us that the trillions in his budget are “investments.”  And the next thing you hear from the so-called mainstream media is that all that spending represents  … wait for it … “investments.”  What a coincidence!

Now we learn that the president is about to unveil his plan to reduce the national debt and a key component of the plan is to raise taxes on “the rich.”  So what do we get from the lamestream media?

We get Evan Thomas, Newsweek’s resident thinker-in-chief, bemoaning Paul Ryan’s budget, saying, “He doesn’t deal with the revenue side at all,” adding, “We’re going to have to raise some taxes…”

Then we get my Fox News fellow analyst, Juan Williams, saying that Ryan is “not doing anything in terms of taxes.”  And, oh yeah, “The rich get off like scoundrels.”

And the BBC’s World News America anchor, Katty Kay, says, “There is this allergy amongst Republicans about saying, ‘you know what, we actually do have to deal with taxes too.’”

“Deal with taxes” in case you’re dense, means “raising taxes” — on “the rich.”

So, you see how it works.  President Obama and other liberal Democrats come up with an idea and before you know it, liberals in the media are parroting the very same ideas.

Interesting, isn’t it, how liberals who are always saying that Fox News anchors get their talking points straight from Republicans in Washington have no concern that it sure looks like their side is getting their talking points from liberal Democrats inside the Beltway.

By the way, none of these brilliant liberal pundits bothered to mention that the top one percent of American taxpayers — otherwise known as “the rich” —  pay about 40 percent of all federal income taxes.  And the top five percent, pay about 60 percent.  Or that the top 10 percent pay about 70 percent.

Question for my friend Juan Williams:  Please explain how the rich are getting off like scoundrels.  But you can’t really blame Juan for the cheap shot.  It’s just something he picked up from those wily liberals in politics.

I told you it was a safe rule of thumb.

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  • Terry Walbert

    It’s one thing for reporters to prostitute themselves to policians for money. What astonishes me is how willing Chris Matthews, Rachel Madow, et al. are willing to do it for free.

    Joseph Goebbels never had it so good.

  • Brendan Horn

    It could almost be argued that most liberals in the media and in politics have the exact same script writer. I do not know who is writing that script or how all liberals seem to have access to this script, but I know I can count on some inane argument repeated by many lemming liberals every few days. Obama ran on a campaign to tax the rich, still hasn’t done this, and seems to be hoping he can run on this issue again in 2012. The liberal media is hoping they can con the American people a second time. I hope the the American people are smarter than to fall for this demagoguery again.

  • David Hayes


    I challenge you to show your income tax statement. I will bet you money that you yourself don’t pay the same rate of tax that you believe wealthy people are paying. This is a common misconception that the right likes to put out there, with little regard for facts. Here’s an interesting piece on Warren Buffet’s challenge. He’ll pay $1 million to any Fortune 500 CEO who can show he pays the same rate of tax or higher than his secretary. So far, no one’s claimed that easy $1 million!

    Do you think that’s fair? That because wealthy multi-millionaires, as a group, pay the majority of collective taxes, they should enjoy a lower tax rate individually than their secretaries?


  • http://lillian-davis.blogspot.com/ Lily

    I honestly expected to see the shortest column in the history of editorial journalism. You ask the question What’s the Difference Between Libs in Politics and Libs in the Media? The answer to your question is quite simply, NONE.

    Also, I feel a bit slighted, I’ve never had you comment on any of my comments, at least I don’t think so. Sad day. =<

  • http://www.bigbureaucracy.com/ Ellie Velinska

    I wonder if the liberals are capable of noticing that you can’t invest if you are out of money. Obama is talking about China investing in education – they pay their bills and they have money left to invest. The US has $14 trillion dollar debt. Where is Obama getting the money to invest from? Americans did not have Department of Education when they went to the Moon – today they have the bureaucracy, but have no money to go the Moon.

    • Tim Ned

      Good points Ellie. And today we have one hundred thousand employed by the department of energy but we have no clear energy policy. Seems that the bigger our government gets, the less results we see.

  • Terry Walbert

    What is the purpose of taxation? Is it to fund the government or get people to do things that they otherwise wouldn’t do?

    I’d like to see taxes spread around at as low a rate as possible, with no loopholes or exemptions. I’d be happy to give up my mortgage interest exemption as part of the deal.

    The problem with this proposal is that politicians wouldn’t be able to offer tax exemptions to their contributors.

  • Bob Hadley

    “Then we get my Fox News fellow analyst, Juan Williams, saying that Ryan is ‘not doing anything in terms of taxes.’ And, oh yeah, ‘The rich get off like scoundrels.’”

    Bernie, First you say this in your column above, almost inviting the conclusion that Williams actually called the rich scoundrels. Then, on O’Reilly’s show, you actually accuse Williams of such name calling. Apparently, you are unaware that the phrase “made out like scoundrels” is an expression similar to “made out like bandits.” But didn’t you even do a double-take? I’ve watched Williams from when he hosted Crossfire on CNN. Even if you didn’t know he was simply making an expression (and I hope this is the case), didn’t you think it was out-of-character for him to call the rich scoundrels? And hopefully, Chris Wallace was also unaware of that expression when he made a point of Williams’ supposedly calling the rich names.

    When you make that statement, you’re building a strawman. You’re also providing cover for those who wish to avoid real issues.

    Williams’ point was that the wealthiest among us were not targeted in the budget cuts. He said that it was the middle and lower class who were absorbing the shock. Of course, your point is apparently that the wealthiest among us are already being hit disproportionally. Ergo, it’s time to target the less wealthy. Let’s stick to the real issues.

    But, let’s look at this from a different perspective. Because of our budgetary problems, this nation is sliding dangerously close to the abyss. Red lights are flashing. We don’t have the luxury of hugging ideology or of bickering about fairness. Everyone must sacrifice what they can without hurting the economy. Yes, as soon as the economy stabilizes, there must be serious budget cuts. But, these cuts must be coupled by revenue increases if we are to balance the budget AND begin making headway on our debt. The wealthiest 1% or 2% can have their marginal taxes raised by 3%. Or maybe the Bowles-Simspson idea of lowering the tax rates but plugging the loopholes is better.

    If President Ronald Reagan could swallow his rhetoric long enough to advocate and oversee “revenue enhancements” (as he termed it with his signature charm) why can’t his modern day followers do likewise? Yes, liberals must also get with the program.

    • Bernie Goldberg

      First, expressions have meaning. Words have meaning. Saying someone is making out like a scoundrel IS calling that person a scoundrel. Saying someone made out like a bandit, is saying he is (perhaps not literally) a bandit.

      A second point: You say the top tax earners will have their marginal taxes raised by 3 percent. Wrong! The difference between 35 percent and 39 percent is NOT 3 or 4 percent; it is 3 or 4 percentage POINTS. the difference, say, between 35 percent and 39 percent is 11.4 percent. Ask somebody to explain the math.

      • http://www.blurb.com/user/store/DanFarfan Dan Farfan

        I have a lot of respect for you and your work, but I can’t let this misrepresentation of the language go uncorrected for two reasons. 1) It’s an example of a failing that harms our national discourse greatly and often. 2) I want this to be a blog that people of all ages find entertaining, thought provoking and educational.

        The phrase “get off like scoundrels” is not calling someone a scoundrel unless only scoundrels “get off.” You’ve fallen into the language trap of believing that comparison is labeling. Someone will say or write, “I don’t care that Obama gives great speeches. Hitler did too.” and we suffer days of uproar that “someone called Obama Hitler.” No. Not at all.

        I believe you agree with me. Your own words in your post are evidence.
        “Saying someone is making out like a scoundrel IS calling that person a scoundrel. Saying someone made out like a bandit, is saying he is (perhaps not literally) a bandit.”

        Why did you think it necessary to place the parenthetical when referencing “bandit” and not “scoundrel”? You did it because the label “bandit” is clear, “thief”, whereas “scoundrel” is more subjective, “dishonorable.” Appropriately adding “not literally” is another way of indicating that comparison is not labeling. If a person can “not literally” mean bandit, then Juan can “not literally” mean scoundrel.

        “Made out like a bandit” doesn’t imply the person broke the law – just made a large profit.
        Bandits don’t actually just “make a large profit.” They steal it. There’s more to being a bandit than the large profit. That’s why comparison isn’t labeling. The same applies to the common comparison devices: simile and metaphor.

        “The rich get off like scoundrels.” doesn’t mean “the rich” are “dishonest or unscrupulous (people)” http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/scoundrel

        Juan made the prediction that a specific group would benefit from the Ryan as if they were.
        “As if” not meaning “is” isn’t a stretch. Surely, you don’t believe Juan was revealing or accusing “the rich” of dishonestly creating the Ryan plan.

        In my opinion, your poke at Juan’s statement is more like that of a partisan than a promoter of truth and clarity. (See there? I didn’t label you a partisan by comparing your statement to something a partisan would say. That would be silly, hysterical and without foundation. 😉

        We all, the whole country, need you to tirelessly debunk the hysterical folks of all stripes who make hay peddling the “comparison is labeling” fallacy, not emulate them.


      • Bob Hadley

        Yes Bernie, you put the 4 over the 35–4/35. Here, you have a point. But it’s under your hat.

        Your rationalization about expressions is beneath you. When I say that President Obama made out like a bandit late last year in his deal with the GOP, I am not suggesting that Obama is crooked or that he stole something.. The expression means that his “side” was the clear winner (fair and square) under the circumstances. You know this! The expression as a whole means something–i.e. that he got a much better deal than circumstsances warranted.

        If you cannot admit that you’re wrong, exercise your right to remain silent.

        • Paul Courtney

          My, you fellas seem to like wandering into the woods. Is the point that BG said Juan Williams said a name? (At least he didn’t call Juan a name AND fire him!) Did that really detract from his primary point, that the D White House and the “watchdog” media speak with one voice? For most of us, I daresay, no. For myself, he was criticizing Juan for reading off the same teleprompter. It was hardly a discourse killer. In fact, it could lead to further discussion, you could talk about the MSM being so brazen, they obviously don’t care how obvious they are when they follow in lockstep. You could wonder why the Times, networks etc. have no fear that any one in the brotherhood will turn, that is, NBC is confident CBS will not start a regular segment on the bias at NBC, and vice-versa. You could even approach incivility and say these folks are like the mafia, dumping the body and the gun at the police station door, not caring if the police know. We might even reach common ground, where we agree that the MSM should not act as the PR machine for a Republican administration. If ever.

        • Bernie Goldberg

          my final comment on the matter to all of the English usage experts:

          Let’s leave aside the “made out like a bandit” idiom, because I actually think you have a point.

          But on the “made out like a scoundrel” observation: Can we agree it’s no compliment? Can we agree that Juan did not mean that rich people were merely getting what in his view was a tax break — but that he was saying something more: that the perceived tax break was more than any decent person deserved? … that “only” paying at a 35 percent federal tax rate was … scoundrel-like? Is that a fair statement?

          • Bob Hadley

            No, I don’t think that’s a fair statement. Do you really think that Juan meant to say, or even actually said, that rich individuals are “scoundrel-like” because the feds didn’t increase their taxes? I think Juan would probably say that if anyone is scoundrel-like it is the GOP reps who did not target the rich for sacrifices. But, I doubt Juan would use such a strong word to describe those GOP reps. And is there any other statements Juan made that would corroborate your interpretation that the rich are indecent because the feds didn’t increase their taxes?

            Do you really think that Juan was saying that the rich were indecent because the feds didn’t target them for part of what he saw as a shared sacrifice? You are engaging in verbal gymnastics.

            Is “scoundrel” more derogatory than “bandit”? Admittedly, “scoundel” has a nastier ring to it. In addition, “made out like a bandit” is a more common expression than “made out like a scoundrel.” But aren’t all bandits scoundrels? Maybe not, if you like Robin Hood.

            To address a previous point you made, yes words typically mean things. I wish all the demagogues in politics (and i don’t consider you in this category) would remember this. But, in idioms, individual words shed much if not all their meanings. Part of the definition of an idiom is an expression that “cannot be be understood from the individual meanings of its elements [read “words”].”

            That said, I wish Juan had not used that expression. I winced the moment he used it. I knew that an over-zealous panelist and listeners more interested in releasing their venom than discussing real issues may well seize upon that Red Herring. I didn’t expect Chris Wallace to exploit it, though. If anything, Wallace should have said “got off like scoundrels is just an expression, right?” But that wouldn’t have been as good for ratings.

            If Charles Krauthammer had said “President Obama got off like a scoundrel” in his deal with congress late last year, what would you say?

            You may be denying unfairness because you don’t want to feel obligated to do another mea culpa on O’Reilly’s show.

            Probably everyone occasionally over-reacts and chases Red Herrings when their emotions are high. But, I think we all should use our gift of reflection to use those times to make ourselves better, especially those who have a large audience and following. There are real important problems out there that need careful attention.

  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com Wil Burns

    Bernie, The rich aren’t being asked to share any sacrifice. It’s all on the backs of the middle class.

    OH NO! We can’t tax the rich or our corporations, they already pay too much! Let’s tax the poor and the middle class more instead. Yeah yeah that’s the ticket!

    Let’s get rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits. But, don’t you dare attempt to tax the rich or cut defense!

    • EddieD_Boston

      The poor don’t pay income tax (or very little) because they get it back as a refund. In fact some even receive the earned income credit which increases their income (paid for by the rich).

      You really don’t get it do you?

      I also don’t remember any republican saying we need to get rid of these social programs you mention. Republicans have even advocated adjusting eligibility on need. Not bad for such evil people.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg


      The top one percent of wage earners pay about 40 percent of all federal income tax.
      The top five percent pay about 60 percent.
      The top 10 percent about 70 percent.

      The BOTTOM 50 percent pays almost no federal income tax.

      Does that really seem fair to you?

      • Farthingame

        A good point here. I think in another post you mention that the top one percent accounts for about 23 percent of total income, and mention here that they pay 40 percent in income. The questions you raise are good ones, but there are some other issues to consider. For example, it seems unfair that the bottom 50 percent don’t pay taxes, but I need to research what their income is. Because the tax system is staggered, isn’t it likely that the top 1 percent (or really, the top 50 percent) don’t really pay taxes attributable to the first $X or so they make – I mean, a guy whose tax rate is 35 percent doesn’t pay 35 percent of his income. There’s some portion he’s getting tax-free, right?

        And also, would you not agree that this statistic doesn’t account for other taxes? I think a better stat would be “proprortional contributions to the government spending pool,” A guy who makes $20K a year buying $100 worth of products pays the same sales tax on a millionaire buying those products, so that person is contributing proportionally more. All points to consider –

      • Cameron D. MacKay

        Bernie: The short answer, I suggest, is that it is not fair but income redistribution is not the answer. I suggest that serious consideration should be given to the abolition of the income tax system and have it replaced with a “fair tax” program as Huckabee and others have suggested. When GE Company is reported to have paid NO Income tax and the bottom 50% pays almost no federal income tax, surely it has to be conceded that a tax based on income is a broken system. Philosophically it makes no sense to punish people on some sort of sliding scale simply because they have created wealth when the public sector could be funded by a tax when I spend that money.

      • http://mediamatters.org/ Wil Burns

        Bernie, Have you noticed, in the current rules of discourse, $250,000 makes you poor when it comes to taxation and 50,000 makes you absurdly rich with respect to everything else. No, none of this makes any sense

        • T-Casz

          I think that the point that Farthingame made above – albeit a bit inartculately – is crucial. What Mr. Goldberg’s statistic does not take into account is the fact that in many cases, the “bottom 50 percent” who pay nothing – at least the working ones – are doing so pursuant to deductions, credits or exemptions, just as valid as any other. And everyone gets those same deductions, credits or exemptions – if not more – than those poor people. I think it’s disingenuous to cite that statistic without clarification.

          Let’s put it another way, equally as true as the statement above. “John Smith and Tom Jones each make $30,000 a year without paying a dime of taxes.” The fact that John Smith is a laborer and makes $30K a year and pays no taxes, and the fact that Tom Jones makes $100,000 a year but has a nice little house, a 401K, and maybe a capital loss or two doesn’t change the truth of that statement or the fairness of the taxability of that first $30K.

          What the statistic also conveniently ignores is the following, true (if conservatively estimated) statement: “Steve Johnson makes $1,300,000 a year and doesn’t pay a dime in taxes.” That, to me, is as valid as the above-cited examples and, as above, it shouldn’t matter that Steve is a Hedge Fund Manager who made $6.7 million and had deductions to exempt his first $1.3mm of income.

          Not saying one way is somehow morally better or worse. It just makes sense to consider the underlying data and facts.

        • EddieD_Boston

          $250,000 doesn’t make you a “millionaire” like democrats keep saying.

    • Henry

      Sounds like the rich bear the brunt to me. If it weren’t for the rich, we wouldn’t be able to continue funding Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and unemployment benefits, among other things. We should be thanking them!

      • Bon Harper

        Eddie – well said. “Thank you sir, may I have another.”

    • Norm

      This is for Bob Hadley:

      Bob, I’ve met people like you before: Clearly smart, but not nearly as insightful as you think you are.

      First, wasn’t it clear to you that Bernie was saying if the top 1 percent of wage earners pay about 40% of all federal income tax, and the top 10 percent pay about 70 percent, then how are they ANYTHING LIKE scoundrels? Repeat: ANYTHING AT ALL IN ANY WAY AT ALL LIKE SCOUNDRELS.

      That was his overriding point but you, like other smart people I’ve encountered, are determined to find one relatively small point that you think is either untrue or shaky, at best, and exploit it.

      Another thing I’ve noticed about some smart people is that they’re not nearly as introspective as they assume. I’m guessing that your concern over Bernie’s use of a phrase is really about your objection to the “rich not paying their fair share.” If you agreed with Bernie’s premise — that rich people pay more than their fair share — I have a feeling you wouldn’t be so concerned about how he used an idiom.

      You also say, Yes words have meanings but in idioms they lose some if not all of their meanings. So if I said, “There’s a n—-r in the wood pile” you would say, “Oh, the word n—-r really has no meaning here”? I doubt it. And if I said, “But I didn’t literally mean that, I was trying to make a point using that idiom as an analogy” — what? — you’d give me a pass?

      I don’t think so. There is nothing wrong with being a liberal (or conservative) in politics. But look inward and try to understand how your emotions — in this case your political emotions — have trumped your intellect.

      Finally, I go back to the beginning: Bernie was making a big point about how the rich pay a lot of money to the government and are in NO WAY scoundrels or, as I said earlier, ANYTHING like scoundrels. To dwell on some b.s. point about idioms strikes me as silly.

      • Bob Hadley

        You’re shooting in the dark. How’s that for an idiom?

        You’ve completely misunderstood my posts and apparently Bernie’s. Juan Williams used the idiom in question, not Bernie. I never said or suggested that the rich are scoundrels.

        I suggest you re-read the posts.

  • d-hand

    “This is old news . . .”

    old, yes. News, no.

    ” . . .but I guess what’s old is new again.”

    That works when applied to fashions that come and go and tend to be cyclical. It doesn’t work when applied to angry, unintelligent ramblings. Especially when the unintelligent rambler is referring to himself.

  • Sardo Noomspa

    Man, you guys have it easy. If a liberal says something that makes too much sense, you can rely upon the old “OH NO!!! ELITIST INTELLECTUAL!!!!” What, precisely, is wrong with intellectualism? Why must our elections and political discourse rely on a race to the bottom – to the dumbest. Why is it somehow preferable to reduce intelligent debate to soundbites like “Obamacare” and “Union Threat” and “Ground Zero mosque”? I just don’t understand. It’s not as if Washington, Madison, and Jefferson were tooling around in their medicaid-bought Rascal Scooters (with medicaid-bought oxygen tanks) holding up poorly-spelled signage at idiot rallies. They were intellectuals who believed in governance by the elite – not as in “snob” elite but as in “small group of people who understand what they’re talking about.”

    When you rely upon the morons to elect leaders, guess what kind of leaders you get?

    • Paul Courtney

      Include yourself in that small group? Or are you one of the morons who elected our current leader? As for the founders, who do you suppose gave ALL us morons the vote? As for liberals who make too much sense, a group so small as to be undetectable.

      • Sardo Noomspa

        Include yourself in that small group?

        Or are you one of the morons who elected our current leader?
        I decided that exercising the right to vote for one of two poor choices was better than making some self-righteous statement by not voting. Too important. Voted for Obama. Don’t regret it vis a vis McCain/Palin, but sure wish there were better choices.

        As for the founders, who do you suppose gave ALL us morons the vote?
        You’re right. Which is why I would never suggest that the right to vote should be compromised. That doesn’t mean that it’s right or noble to vote ignorantly just because you can vote without considering the issues. While it’s really easy to scream and yell and repeat catch-phrases you learn on Fox, I happen to believe that being an American carries with it some responsibility not to act as the lowest common denominator. Yes, you can vote without considering a single issue. Should you? No. If you can tell me with a straight face that you would have voted for McCain if he were labeled “Democrat” and Obama was labeled “Republican” but their positions were absolutely the same as they are now, then I doubt you’d be telling the truth.

        As for liberals who make too much sense, a group so small as to be undetectable.
        Not really what I said, but whatever.

    • Ron Kean

      It boils down to our reasoning ability as to which rally is the idiot rally and who are the morons. The German philosopher Kant was the first one to say that ‘reason’ is subjective. What’s reasonable or maybe intellectual to one isn’t to another.

      • Sardo Noomspa

        Actually, I think Kant believed that reason is the basis for morality, and that pure reason should be applied in order to arrive at a universal law or morality – acting in connection with the Categorical Imperative. I think that pure reason has to govern and is the means to determining morality. Obviously, we may disagree over this, but I know one thing – voluntarily and willfully abandoning reason and discourse in favor of soundbites and hatred gets us nowhere. I LOVE a good, reasoned argument with people I respect and I am often proved (or rather, compellingly convinced) wrong. I am a moderate who got that way be honing my thoughts and realizing that extremes are typically so ideological as to be unworkable. Getting screamed at by someone in an XXXL American Flag Sweatshirt about how Obama is communo-fascist Kenyan doesn’t really advance any dialog.,

        • Ron Kean

          I’m sure that we can agree that “Getting screamed at by someone in an XXXL American Flag Sweatshirt about how Obama is communo-fascist Kenyan” is an extreme caricature. Although people as diverse as Ann Coulter and Charles Johnson deride people who bring up the subject, I believe so-called ‘birthers’ are people who really just say, “huh?…why not?” If someone offered me a job for 200G’s a year, and I needed to show a BC with hand writing on it places and dates, I’d walk across town, stand in line all day long and pay big bucks to get it. Some state official says it’s there. Another hospital person says it’s good. Okay. I’m sorry. I still think something’s fishy.

          • Bob Hadley

            Here we go again! It seems that repetition leads to believing no matter how stupid the things you’re repeating is. And it is an example of what Haley Barbour once said: that, by the time the truth puts on its boots, a lie has traveled half way around the world.

            Obama posted a certified copy of his Certificate of Live Birth(CLB) on his website in 2008. The Hawaii CLB is THE legal and legitimate birth certificate in the State of Hawaii. Don’t take my word for it. Do your own independent investigation. I was born in Hawaii and got my passport with my CLB. I got my CLB by standing in line at the State of Hawaii Department of Health, vital statistics section, in Honolulu (on Punchbowl Street). I’ve never seen any other birth certificate of mine. I have certainly not seen my long form. I wonder who has among those born in Hawaii.

            The Hawaii CLB takes its info from the co-called long form, which is not open to the public and a copy of which will NOT be made available to even the subject person.. The birth information, recorded at the time of birth, of everyone born in Hawaii is kept is kept in binders in a Hawaii state building and can be viewed by the public. Until this month, only a handful of people had signed in to view the birth information, according to Hawaii’s Director of the Dept. of Health. Incidentally, the Director of the Dept. of Health has stated in a sworn statement that she has seen President Obama’s birth info and long form.

            Just because the publicity-happy and the gullible go around repeating that Obama has not produced a legitimate birth certificate, and just because ratings-craven media give them heavy air time, does not make these allegations true.

            Again, don’t take my word for it. Do you own investigation. It’s not that hard. I know you can do it. See what the Hawaii Revised Statutes says about the Certificate of Live Birth (and where and how the info thereon is obtained) and what Hawaii’s Department of Health’s regulations are concerning the so-called long form and the recorded birth information.

    • EddieD_Boston

      It sounds more intelligent when liberals reduce all debate to “racist”, “kill women” (too funny) and “starve the elderly”.

      But I’m a moron.

  • Granfalloon

    The top 10 percent pay 70 percent of the taxes in the country. Fine – I believe that’s correct. But don’t the top 10 percent own something like 73 percent of the wealth in the country? So, in general, doesn’t that mean they’re paying a disproportionately LOWER share of taxes, not higher? Seems to me they’re leaving out a key piece of information here, but I could be wrong.

    • http://www.bernardgoldberg.com/ Bernard Goldberg

      I wrote a piece last year called Thank God For Rich People … and in it I noted that the top one percent of wage earners account for 23.5 percent of all income. That’s a lot, I said, but it’s less than the almost 40 percent they pay in federal income tax. Sorry, I have no info at hand about the top 10 percent. Hope this helps.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    If the top 10 percent pay 70% of all the income tax, then the top 90 percent must pay at least 100% of all the income tax. So why am I paying income tax of my unemployment money? I’m not anywhere near the top ninety percent. There must be some mistake.

    • http://mediamatters.org/ Wil Burns

      Lets see here…The top 1% owns 43% of the financial wealth; the next 4% owns 29%. THE BOTTOM 80% SHARE ONLY 7% OF THE FINANCIAL WEALTH.

      This is not what a democracy looks like. The top 5% control 72% of all the financial wealth, and along with it, the vast majority of power. The republican meme of “what’s good for the rich is good for all of us” just is not true.


      • EddieD_Boston

        Redistridution of wealth is stupid b/c it creates a disincentive for bettering yourself on top of a give me culture. It doesn’t work. Never has and never will.

        • http://mediamatters.org/ Wil Burns

          Eddie, Of course we want the government to redistribute wealth. That’s what a progressive tax does and it is what we want it to do. The other option is the French Revolution.

          • EddieD_Boston

            France? You mean one of the European nations about to go bankrupt? It’s amazing liberals think we should be more like Europe when Europe is starting to understand they should be more like us.

  • Cameron D. MacKay

    Mr. Goldberg:
    While I do not think any rational person can dispute the veracity of your comments about the liberal press, the question arises: What should these so called “investigative journalists” and “intellectual elite” be talking about to the American Public?
    If in fact the media were the patriots they profess to be, it is my suggestion that they should be stating a few very obvious facts to the general public. Let me enumerate a few of the more obvious ones:
    1. The current financial problems in America are not a matter to be resolved by spouting liberal political talking points or conservative talking points. The current financial problems of America are a mathematical problem ….. and unless Americans are prepared to change the mathematics of their current deficits then the inexorable rules of mathematics will impose its own solution on America.
    2. Can America continue to sustain their current level of expenditure? Since it is obvious that the revenues of the Federal Government fall about a trillion dollars short of expenditures on an annual basis, mathematics (not politics) dictates that this is unsustainable.
    3. Is America currently competitive in this global economy? The answer is obviously no when you look at the current trade deficits that America is incurring.
    4. Is America in danger of losing its position as the superpower that leads and protects the free world? Unless America deals with the mathematical realities of its debts problems, it will not only be unable to maintain its military supremacy – it will have to compromise its foreign policy to accommodate the positions of its “bankers.”
    5. Can America resolve its problems by maintaining its current expenditures and “taxing the rich?” Contrary to much of the babbling of the media talking heads, this is not a “left/right issue.” Anyone who is familiar with the Laffer curve knows that by increasing the rate of taxation does not axiomatically result in an increase in tax dollars flowing into the public coffers. Secondly, America does not exist in isolation, it has to operate within a global economy whether it wants to or not. Therefore the question of tax increases gives rise to the following question: “If America increases its tax rate on corporations and the “rich” will it be competitive in a global economy? Canada (America’s largest trading partner) is currently having an election in which the governing Conservative Party is campaigning on the promise to reduce its corporate tax rate by 2% to a level of 15%. (Currently the polls show they have a 10+ point lead) That, I suggest, will make its corporate tax rate very attractive to American corporations. If Microsoft is willing to export jobs to India and other companies are willing to export jobs to China, does America think that they will hesitate to move their business to a country which has basically the same business culture, same commercial laws, same language, and similar democratic values, and has no restrictions on the flow of money back to Wall Street and is accustom to having American business invest in their country???
    6. One final point which the “intellectual elite” who have become the talking heads for the liberal media should possibly point out to their audiences. If a corporation makes a profit they can only do one of three things with those “sinful profits” (a) reinvest it in their business which produces jobs (b) save the money which adds value to their shares and in turn makes peoples pensions plans more secure, or (c) pay the moneys out in dividends which again injects money into the economy. If corporations make a profit they don’t actually go and bury that money in tobacco cans in the Grandmother’s garden.
    Essentially my point is that if the media would take it upon themselves to educate the general public on these elementary mathematical truths and spend less time being apologists for their favorite liberal politician, they might gain considerably more respect from the American public.

    • Jay Thompson

      Bravo! Well said.

    • http://mediamatters.org/ Wil Burns

      If a corporation makes a profit they can only do one of three things with those “sinful profits” (a) reinvest it in their business which produces jobs (b) save the money which adds value to their shares and in turn makes peoples pensions plans more secure, or (c) pay the moneys out in dividends which again injects money into the economy.

      Cameran, You forgot (d) give huge bonuses to the top people in the company!

      • Cameron D. MacKay

        Wil: Your point is well taken which raises the question how do such huge bonuses occur. The apologist argues that they occur by the company being very successful in the market. I am more inclined to the view that they occur in a market in which competition has been artificially been reduced. (Crony capitalism) I cannot speak with authority for America, but in Canada (which is my country) I have continuously argued for a strenthening of the Anti-Trust laws and the preservation of open competitive markets. If the market is open and that lucrative, others will enter that market thereby eliminating the possibility of a company having the profits to give the huge bonuses you have mentioned. Secondly, it would eliminate the”too big to fail” argument because there would be more players in that particular field.

  • EddieD_Boston

    Another thing…Rush has been playing his daily montage for 15+ years, which are sound bites from 10-15 commentators from the mainstream media about a particular topic in the news the day before. They all use the EXACT same words and phrases to describe/comment on the event/topic/issue. Like they all got together that morning and got on the same page.

    Then the Journolist (non) scandal was brought to light. I guess Rush was right about them after all.

    The amazing thing is none of the journalists were fired, which they should have been.

  • EddieD_Boston

    Another thing liberals don’t understand is the double taxation of corporations. The corporate tax is 35%, the highest in the industrialized world (or the second highest). Then the profit they net after taxes is either retained to invest back into the business or dispersed to the stockholders (the owners) in the form of dividends. Those dividends (from after tax net income) are taxed again at personal income tax rates which are anywhere from 15-34%, depending on the stockholder’s income bracket.
    Have you ever heard a chattering skull on CNN mention this?

    • Bruce A.

      Liberals don’t care about other peoples money. I rarely hear complaning about corporate taxes on the news, unless it is a conservative talking about growing jobs in the USA. Also, I never heard anyone in the mainstream media complaining about the scare tactics used by liberals. I never heard complaints about the senior citizens like my late grandmother who was always afraid Repubs. would cut off her social security & medicare, she was not alone many still echo the same fears. Where are the complaints?

    • Billingsley

      Our tax code taxes transfers, not individual fungible dollars. It’s not just “double taxation of corporations.” When you buy food at 7-11, it’s after tax income, and you pay sales tax, and the 7-11 earns the money and pays taxes, and then pays its shareholders, etc. There’s like triple or quadruple corporate tax there, right? Yeah, it’s a fun and easy talking point, it’s just shallow and pseudo-intellectual, i.e., perfect for the mainstream “conservatives.” My point is not that you’re incorrect, but that it’s a foolish way to pick and choose your arguments. Taxing transfers is fundamental to our tax code and has its flaws (I’m a corporate lawyer and a fiscal conservative), but the way to address its flaws is not by saying “Another thing liberals don’t understand is the double taxation of corporations.”

      And also, how is taxing the earnings (at the corporate level) and then taxing the individual’s receipt of dividends (at the shareholder level) the “double taxation of corporations.” The corporation doesn’t pay the shareholder’s income taxes. You mean the “double taxation of corporate dollars,” that’s fine, but it’s a fallacy to say that the corporations suffer at the hand of double taxation. Who, in your mind, should get the exemption? Should the corporation not be taxed on earnings? Or should the individual not be taxed on receipt of the dividend?

      I have never heard a “chattering skull on CNN” mention this because, for all the things they miss, this just isn’t one of them. It’s a silly talking point that wouldn’t stand up to any kind of serious scrutiny.

      • EddieD_Boston

        Shareholders are the owners of the corporation. Business Management 101.

        Oh, the pseudo-intellectual dig was a beauty. I went to a top 100 liberal arts college and have an MBA from a university in Boston. Plus, I teach business courses at a local community college.

        Maybe I’m the one whom knows what he’s talking about on this subject. You’re obviously not the one.

      • EddieD_Boston

        I think my point is pretty simple. Idiots constantly rant about corporations not paying taxes but profitable businesses pay taxes on profit TWICE. Dividends are not earnings like salary. They’re your share of the profit of the corporation’s earnings. They were already taxed.

        I understand though. You’re a lawyer and don’t know shit.

  • Meistergilly

    Unfortunately, it is political suicide to place the blame on taxation inequity where it truly belongs… with 1/2 the country that pays none. That represents a massive voting block vs much maligned small number of “rich” that carry them. No, the “middle class” is the only segment that is actually paying its fair share.

    • http://mediamatters.org/ Wil Burns

      Everyone pays taxes in one form or another, Didn’t you know this?

  • Ron Kean

    And what about the dearth of reporting on liberal threats, liberal civil disruption, and liberal hate speech? The media doesn’t just parrot the words of liberal leaders. It omits what is unflattering.

    This is old news but I guess what’s old is new again.

    • http://mediamatters.org/ Wil Burns

      Ron, There is a vast left-wing conspiracy in this country! It’s called the Constitution of the United States of America. Those liberals took the country away from an authoritarian monarchy, then they took slavery away from the slavers, then they took child labor away from the sweat shops, then they took the 80 hr work week away from the corporations, etc. etc. If that’s not a vast left-wing conspiracy I don’t know what is.

      • Ron Kean

        I think you don’t know what is.