T. Shields: One Republican's opinion

I struck a nerve among the liberal Democrats in my June 19 letter. Responses were name-calling and party-line allegations; no facts.

Fact: Democrats had full control of Congress, including all funding and taxes, from 2006 through 2010.

Opinion: The Democrats should have done the right thing and canceled the Bush tax cuts in order to pay for the war. They did nothing. Instead, they blamed George Bush for the debt increase from $8 trillion to the current $16 trillion. Scandalous, worthless mortgages were covered up by the Democratic Congress which fed into a downturn in the economy.

I am not wealthy, but I respect the wealthy people who have risked their fortunes and efforts to create businesses and thus create jobs, for which many people are thankful. The wealthy also are the major contributors to community charities, hospitals, museums, etc. They pay a large majority of the taxes in the U.S. They are also major donors to the Democrat Party. Is it wise to hold their wealth against them?

The Republican Party is not perfect, but it is clear that President Barack Obama has not done his job, and Mitt Romney has the integrity, experience and ability to get us out of the mess Obama created. Also, a change is needed in Congress.

Watch for candidates who are honest, clear-thinking and reliable people who have served Maine well. Electing them to Congress will give Maine quality representation. Some candiates' qualifications will not stand up to close scrutiny.

Thomas Shields, Auburn

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Comments

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ernst & Young, one of the

Ernst & Young, one of the largest tax service firms in the world, report that the Obama tax hike will shrink the economy and cost the U.S. 700,000 jobs.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/ernst-young-obama-tax-hike-will-shrink-eco...

JEAN FORD's picture

Wrong...the FACT is

Wrong...the FACT is Republicans did more fillibusters than have ever been done in the history of this country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

RONALD RIML's picture

Factoids????

Minister of Propaganda Shields wrote:

"Fact: Democrats had full control of Congress, including all funding and taxes, from 2006 through 2010."

- Hey Dude - Wake up and Smell the Filibuster......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ernst & Young, one of the

Ernst & Young, one of the largest tax service firms in the world, report that the Obama tax hike will shrink the economy and cost the U.S. 700,000 jobs.

http://washingtonexaminer.com/ernst-young-obama-tax-hike-will-shrink-eco...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ronald, Question: Did

Ronald,

Question:

Did Democrats introduce legislation to repeal the Bush Tax cuts during that time period?

The Republicans can only filibuster legislation, not your wishful thinking.

JEAN FORD's picture

They didn't have to

They didn't have to "introduce" legislation...they were supposed to expire at which point Republicans went crazy and high-jacked the President and the economy to get an extension.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Convenient excuse – this

Convenient excuse – this administration has lots of excuses.

JEAN FORD's picture

Convenient excuse??? Sorry,

Convenient excuse??? Sorry, didn't mean to confuse you with the facts!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Your opinion is not fact.

Your opinion is not fact.

JEAN FORD's picture

It is not my opinion that the

It is not my opinion that the taxes were to expire...IT IS A FACT!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Perhaps you lost the point of

Perhaps you lost the point of the original discussion – democrats not introducing legislation because republicans would filibuster.

BTW, this is an election year, so expect an extension on the tax cuts.

RONALD RIML's picture

It was a fact.

you chose to ignore it.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Ah, those grapes where

Ah, those grapes where probably sour anyway. Give me a break. Just think what ammunition the left would have if they did introduce good (oxymoron) legislation and it was, in fact, filibusted.

Anything else is just crying sour grapes. This is a really weak excuse.

RONALD RIML's picture

As you see - the GOP doesn't/didn't give a shidt for nuthin'

They would have filibustered the words of Christ on the Cross if they were brought to the floor.......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

If the Democrats proposed

If the Democrats proposed sensible legislation (almost got sick writing those words) that the GOP filibustered, then the Democrats could use that against the GOP in an election, couldn’t they.

Not some fantasy filibuster - Ah, those grapes are probably sour anyway

Outcomes matter, dreams don't.

JEAN FORD's picture

Since 2007, the Senate

Since 2007, the Senate Historical Office has shown, Democrats have had to end Republican filibusters more than 360 times, a historic record.

Mark - you should do some basic fact-checking - 360 FILIBUSTERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! by the Republicans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Again, your drifting off the

Again, your drifting off the original discussion, which was about the democrats’ reluctance to introduce legislation due to the fear of the filibuster.

Anyhow, there was not enough filibustering since ObummerCare passed. What happened there?

RONALD RIML's picture

Mark - "Senate GOP Pledges to Block All Bills"

Get a 'Dose of Reality', Mark

Senate GOP Pledges to Block All Bills Until Tax Cuts are Extended for All


Wall Street Pit

"By Mark Thoma Dec 1, 2010, 12:38 PM Author's Website

Republicans have decided to block all bills unless they get their way over extending tax cuts for the wealthy:

Senate GOP pledges to block all bills until tax dispute resolved, by Alan Silverleib, CNN: Senate Republicans promised Wednesday to block legislative action on every issue being considered by the lame-duck Congress until the dispute over extending the Bush-era tax cuts is resolved and an extension of current government funding is approved.

All 42 Senate Republicans signed a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada…

Democrats and Republicans disagree sharply over whether the current tax rates should be extended just for families earning $250,000 or under per year, or should be extended for everyone regardless of income. …

Reid blasted the GOP letter on the Senate floor Wednesday morning, calling it part of a “cynical” and transparent” Republican strategy to “obstruct” and “delay” legislative progress while blaming the Democrats for failing to effectively govern.

“Last month, the American people issued their verdict on the Democrat’s priorities,” replied Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky. …"

JEAN FORD's picture

Ronald, You are using logic

Ronald,

You are using logic and facts, an alien concept to the right-wingers.....

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Good thing I’m not one of

Good thing I’m not one of those people then – a right-winger.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

“"By Mark Thoma Dec 1, 2010,

“"By Mark Thoma Dec 1, 2010, 12:38 PM Author's Website”

Please go back and review the time period that Thomas quoted in his letter. You’re a bit dated on the information that you are presenting.

RONALD RIML's picture

You need to keep up, Mark - go back to your code...

"Fact: Democrats had full control of Congress, including all funding and taxes, from 2006 through 2010."

And this was in 2010

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Thomas presented a 4 year

Thomas presented a 4 year window, and you squabble over one month - insignificant.

RONALD RIML's picture

Mark - that's exactly the time period we ARE discussing

You better check your calender......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

A one month window... big

A one month window... big deal.

RONALD RIML's picture

You do so dislike

being hoist on you own petard. ;)

Joe Flanders's picture

Honest???

Romney and Honest should never be used in the same sentence.

JEAN FORD's picture

Know how to tell Romney's

Know how to tell Romney's lying? His lips are moving...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Well said Thomas! When Mitt

Well said Thomas!

When Mitt Romney becomes the 45th president, he will not whine and cry that it was the previous administrations fault, a very un-presidential behavior.

JEAN FORD's picture

He becomes President he will

He becomes President he will finish driving this economy into a depression. Hope you don't mind paying more taxes so the top 1% can enjoy an even larger tax break.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

First, your statement is

First, your statement is predicated on thinking the top 1% need to pay more in taxes, which at this point is just wallet envy.

Top 1% already pays enough.

JEAN FORD's picture

WRONG!!! The rich are paying

WRONG!!! The rich are paying less than they have in 50 years. The government and states are going broke and that cannot be fixed by cuts alone, you must have revenue increases as well. And how do you know they are paying enough? How many one percenters do you know and what exactly are they paying. I hope you have facts (i.e. proof) to back up your broad claim...

MARK GRAVEL's picture

This is well published data.

This is well published data. Go educate yourself - http://taxfoundation.org/article/summary-latest-federal-individual-incom...

RONALD RIML's picture

Yes - they are paying less.

Thank you.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The wealthy pay more taxes as

The wealthy pay more taxes as a percent and in absolute dollars than the lower 50% of all taxpayers. Both the data from the tax foundation and the data you presented show this.

That said, any push for higher taxes based on “paying” their fair share is predicated on a lie.

You’re welcome.

RONALD RIML's picture

I refer you to:

Table 8 - Average Tax Rate, 1980-2009 (Percent of AGI paid in income taxes)

In 1980, the top 5% paid 26.85% of AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) in Federal Income Taxes.

Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the definition of AGI, so data after 1986 (tax rate of 25.68% not strictly comparable)

In 2009 the average tax rate for the top 5% had lowered all the way to 20.46%

That's a tax cut for the wealthy since 1986 of 20%, So they're paying more taxes?? Only if they are earning a shidt pot more money!!!

Get a life, Mark - and quit trying to compare Scrooge to Bob Cratchit

MARK GRAVEL's picture

First, my assertion was that

First, my assertion was that the wealth pay more than the non-wealth, which holds true.

Second, the proper analysis must be done in inflation adjusted dollars. Just quoting rates is only part of the picture.
For example, I actually paid more federal taxes under the Bush tax cuts. How? due to a change in marginal tax brackets and qualified deceptions.

Talk about spin, my head is dizzy talking with you.

Learn now to stay on topic.

Let's just face it; you loath the rich and successful, why? That answer is as old as humans.

RONALD RIML's picture

Your head is dizzy

because of lack of oxygen.

I'm going out to mow now that the sea-breeze is up. Rich & successful pay for that - the sea breeze, that is. Eat yer heart out and live your life of deception.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Remember the rich always come

Remember the rich always come out on top. Always have, always will.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

P.S. Nice view from up here.

P.S. Nice view from up here.

RONALD RIML's picture

Not bad here either......

That's my 'red beech' tree lower center of photo. To right is mill pond right off 'Linekin Bay - Atlantic' - so we get either ocean breezes or river breezes. Book store's on first floor, we live on 2/3rd with views and deck over marina. Nice kayaking. Rough, but somebody's got to do it. I have absolutely nothing to be envious of...... That's your projection gig.....


MARK GRAVEL's picture

I'm happy that you can afford

I'm happy that you can afford this lifestyle - good for you.
You chose wisely in life.

RONALD RIML's picture

It was a matter of taking chances and having vision...

The house has sat empty for a number of years, and required a lot of work. It had been a boat-builders' house, and the old boatyard is now a marina. Admiral MacMillan's arctic exploration schooner "Bowdoin' had been built in my back-yard. The last owner of the house converted the 1st floor to business use, and the 2nd storey and attic to living quarters. He overpriced it, which the market wouldn't bear. We bought it 'right' - Required much upgrading over the years, but it is now 'complete' as it will be. We recently replaced our ten year old PT cruiser, and have a ten year old GMC Sonoma for trips to the dump - so aren't 'car people' Going to Europe next spring on a 'River Cruise' compliments of a nice book sale outfitting a 1%'ers library who sold his business for 600 Mil.

Life is good. You simply project 'envy and greed' on my part.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

This all sounds good. I’m

This all sounds good. I’m glad for you, and perhaps a bit envious. I really miss the Maine coast. Most of my time growing up was spent a bit South of you at Small Point. When I get to visit Maine, I always make it a point to travel from Freeport north to Boothbay hitting all the sites along the way. However, during my last visit I decided to travel South island hopping around Portland. I still prefer the Northern route 1 from Freeport.

That said, I support your property rights. However, now knowing more about you does put a different perspective on your cries for more taxes. Perhaps I should assume more envy, less greed.

My vaction is over, so I need to get back to my schedule.

RONALD RIML's picture

I surely found a bit of heaven.....

and have nothing to be envious about. You simply can't seem to get that through your head.

But back to work for you!!

And I should quit gabbing!!

Peace!!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Water front property is

Water front property is expensive. Looks like you're doing well on govenment pensions. I don't envy what you have and I don't. I just want you to keep your hands out of my pockets and I will return the favor in kind.

In fact, I know where your bookstore is located. I usually visit Boothbay every time I make it to Maine. Most of my time is spend in my villa at Small Point Beach.

RONALD RIML's picture

Who has waterfront???

Expensive??

This is Maine - not California

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Sorry my friend. Mil rate in

Sorry my friend. Mil rate in most Maine counties is more than I’m paying. Moreover, coastal property is taxed at a higher rate than inland property. That one I know for sure.

RONALD RIML's picture

Mil Rate

7.67

Yours???

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Slightly over 2.0 with annual

Slightly over 2.0 with annual increases capped. That said, property values are higher here I am, but my tax liability is overall less than people I know in Maine. Perhaps you included.

RONALD RIML's picture

Damn - I can't remember

what they were in Lew-ees-ton

But I'm on the hook for about 2,900 here.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Does that include adjustments

Does that include adjustments for the business portion of the property? How may sq. ft. is that if you don't mind?

RONALD RIML's picture

Facts, facts, facts.....

2901 sq ft, no adjustments. Permitted 'at home' business.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

here - where

here - where

RONALD RIML's picture

So I sold one book last week

that more than pays half a year's taxes.

What the problem??

RONALD RIML's picture

Always????

Luke 16:19-31

MARK GRAVEL's picture

You may think you can tear

You may think you can tear down the successful, but they alwasy float back to the top. There are produces and consumers. The key is to be a producer.

:-)

RONALD RIML's picture

There's some that

Work to live, and others live to work.

At 80 hours a week - you're a freakin' masochist......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

oops - producers

oops - producers

RONALD RIML's picture

Wealthy pay less of their income in taxes than before.....

As we spin deeper in debt, one does not go to a puddle to draw more water when there is a nearby lake of great abundance.

You, Mark - are a prime example of 'Figures don't lie - but liars figure'

MARK GRAVEL's picture

The only problem is your lake

The only problem is your lake of great abundance is a mirage, which is fueled by greed and envy.

The first and sensible step is to stop spending increases cold turkey.

RONALD RIML's picture

Greed and Envy

Do you lock you car and residence doors???

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Most of us do. That said, the

Most of us do. That said, the thief is not one trying to provide for his family; it is one who is lazy and thinks stealing is easier than working.

Civilization has and will always have those individuals.

Compared to world standards, there are very few poor in this country. Put your greed in perspective.

RONALD RIML's picture

So you've got greed and envy there.

No wonder you have such a mindset.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Remember, you need me, so

Remember, you need me, so don't be too greedy.

RONALD RIML's picture

And HP needed the Government

Do you still work for HP??

Uncle has bought scads of stuff from them......

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Let’s face it. It is my mind

Let’s face it. It is my mind set that drives wealth creation. Without that, who would you turn to? Ronald, without people like me, there would be no funds for police or national defense. Think about that the next time you receive your pension check.

The crux of the issue is establishing how much government should spend. Given the CGS, CIA, NIST have funds for lavish parties, then the government has enough revenues and should get no more – period.

Just say NO.

RONALD RIML's picture

Police??

So how much do you pay in property taxes?

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Now if I were of your mind

Now if I were of your mind set, I would harass you since I’m sure you have a good business write-off on our shorefront property.

There is nothing wrong with taking advantage of legal tax deductions. I just wish you were not a hypocrite about it. You attack the rich for their tax deductions while taking advantage of them – that my friend is a bit hypocritical.

RONALD RIML's picture

Not so....

I'm very gentle on 'Uncle' - and very realistic in my deductions.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

That is too much personal

That is too much personal information to post online.

RONALD RIML's picture

Typical 'Mark'

I nailed you on the facts - and all you have to fall back on is your tired old, 'Greed and Envy' canard.

Any originality you might have is long outpaced by your one-track psychological 'projection' -

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Humor me and answer the

Humor me and answer the question instead of avoiding it.

RONALD RIML's picture

You certainly waste a lot of time....

Back in the days of waiting for yards and yards of code to 'compile' that wasn't a sin...

But!!

Mark Wrenn's picture

wow

Holy cow! You were actually able to use "integrity" and Romney in the same sentence!

JEAN FORD's picture

But he was writing a piece of

But he was writing a piece of fiction...

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Try that with SCROTUS and you

Try that with SCROTUS and you repeatedly get a GONG!

MARK GRAVEL's picture

At least a nasty burning

At least a nasty burning itch.

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