Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Tax on Life

You are missing the point.

It no longer matters who the President is, or who controls Congress, or even whether Obamacare is repealed or not. All of that is immaterial, less than meaningless because what happened in the Supreme Court of the United States had nothing to do with health care, nothing to do with Republicans vs Democrats, or conservatives vs liberals. All of that mess was just a sideshow, a distraction to keep us from seeing what was really going on.

Chief Justice approved the individual mandate, in effect, by saying that it was obvious that the federal government had taxing authority over the inaction of individuals.

Let that sink in for a moment.

A conservative Supreme Court Justice, the Chief Justice, young and likely to preside over the course for a couple of decades, just ruled that the federal government has the authority under the Constitution to levy a tax on people who are not engaged in any activity other than breathing.

Can you hear me now?

Until today, taxation was dependent on economic activity. You had to buy, sell, trade, invest, or transfer wealth in order to be taxed. Or in the case of user fees, another form of taxation, you had to use something, a park, a road, a facility, a resource, or something. In effect, you had to have a transfer of value in order to be charged a tax.

Not anymore. Now you can incur a tax liability just sitting in a chair breathing.

The Supreme Court just said that you owe the federal government money because your heart beats, and they granted the IRS the full force of law to collect.

Are you starting to understand why Obamacare is small potatoes? Don't get me wrong, it's bad, but this is much worse.

  • Participate in community service, or pay a penalty tax.
  • Buy a car from GM or pay a penalty tax.
  • Buy from a government approved list of suppliers or pay a penalty tax.
  • Buy something you don't believe you need, or pay a penalty tax.
  • Support these approved charities, or pay a penalty tax.

This is now the world we live in, where the federal government has the authority under the Constitution, as interpreted by the Supreme Court, to tax you if you don't do what they want.

And if you think these taxes would never pass, well, you probably never expected Obamacare to pass either. Never underestimate the greed of the people. Pitched properly, every one of the above taxes could pass easily.

And this is the law of the land, thanks to the opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Tell me again how we are free.

Posted by Rich
Politics • (0) CommentsPermalink

Monday, June 18, 2012

PolitiFact Tennessee Doubles Down on stupid

Yesterday, I wrote about Bartholomew Sullivan's rating of Marsha Blackburn as "Mostly False," based on her slight exaggeration of the number of medical equipment jobs in Tennessee. In that post, I wrote:
Sullivan is a hack whose sole purpose is to advance a liberal agenda, and since Zack McMillan, the editor of PolitiFact Tennessee continues to publish his pieces, he is guilty as well.

Apparently, Zack was insulted by my suggestion that all he could do was edit crap, and wanted to show that he could write crap as well.

Today's PolitiFact Tennessee article regards The Tennessee Democratic Party's claim that Mitt Romney said we don't need more police, more firefighters and more teachers. Here's Zack's conclusion:
The Tennessee Democratic Party says Mitt Romney has said "we don't need 'more firemen, more policemen, more teachers.' "

That's a slight exaggeration of Romney's remarks -- he was responding to Obama's comments on them, not outlining his own specific policy against them. Still, that's pretty close to what Romney said. We rate the claim Mostly True.

So, an exaggeration one way is Mostly False, but the other way is Mostly True.

The word is 'bias' and PolitiFact Tennessee, reeks of it.

I'm just amazed that the folks at the KNS aren't embarrassed that they continue to publish this garbage. Are there any real journalists left in the shed on the hill? I know they fired most of them in the last purge, but surely one or two survive?

Maybe in the Sports department?

Posted by Rich
NewsPolitiFact Check • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, June 17, 2012

More PolitiFarce from Tennessee

Check this out.

Marsha Blackburn makes the following statement:
"In my congressional district, we have about 10,000 individuals that are employed in the medical device industry," Blackburn said. "We have estimates from the Manhattan Institute that 1,000 of those jobs will be lost if this tax stays on the books."

PolitiFact looks up the study by the Manhattan Institute and finds:

"Table 11 on page 21 of the report indicates that in Tennessee 1,023 of 9,179 jobs would be lost statewide assuming a 2.3 percent excise tax and a 10 percent shift in production offshore."

So guess what rating is applied?

Mostly False.


Their justification? (other than the obvious, that Blackburn is a conservative woman in government) Blackburn misspoke when she said the jobs were in her district when she meant statewide, and she exaggerated when she claimed "about 10,000" instead of saying 9,000.

One thing that is obvious is that neither Bartholomew Sullivan nor Zack McMillan, the writer and editor respectively, mastered basic math skills, because if they had, they would have realized that Blackburn's rounding actually created a more favorable result than does the correct numbers.

A loss of 1000 jobs out of 10,000 is a 10% loss. 1,000/10,000*100=10%
A loss of 1023 jobs out of 9,179 is an 11% loss. 1023/9,179*100=11.145%

Here's what is ironic. Sullivan makes a big deal over Blackburn's 10% inflation of the number of jobs in the state, but doesn't even notice that her inflation of the numbers reduce the percentage of jobs lost by an identical 10%.

Apparently, 10% only matters when it's against you.

The bias is mathematically evident. Sullivan is a hack whose sole purpose is to advance a liberal agenda, and since Zack McMillan, the editor of PolitiFact Tennessee continues to publish his pieces, he is guilty as well.

In a sane universe where truth in labeling exists, any column using the word "Fact" in its title would rate Blackburn's statement as "Mostly True," down checking her for mistakenly saying her district rather than state. Only in today's media, where Orwellian doublespeak is the order of the day would a factually accurate claim be rated as false because it is politically inconvenient. Welcome to the 2012 election, where facts don't matter as much as how you can spin them.

Posted by Rich
NewsPolitiFact Check • (1) CommentsPermalink

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