Stuart Carlson by Stuart Carlson

Stuart Carlson

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  1. ellenpardue

    ellenpardue said, almost 4 years ago

    Wonderful clarity.

  2. Darren Blair

    Darren Blair said, almost 4 years ago

    Back when Obama was first running in 2008, he was sold by his machine as, for all intents and purposes, being the Second Coming. A lot of people fell for it, and so now regard any criticism of Obama as tantamount to open racism.

  3. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    “I’m a Feminist and I am male.”

    Very interesting. I just looked that up on “” When I thought about it I realized I didn’t start out that way but I evolved (matured) into one myself. Their definition makes perfect sense and I believe in that myself. In my case it started in the late 60’s, along with so many other radical changes of the time…

  4. SABRSteve

    SABRSteve said, almost 4 years ago

    All I know is that the average conservative woman is more maternal than the average liberal woman.

  5. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, almost 4 years ago

    You must be smokin’ something good Doc.

    This article says:

    “To spend $3.8 trillion in one year (which is what happened in 2011) means the government spends at the rate of $434 million an hour, or more than $10 billion a day.” (comment mine)

    President Obama states that he expects an increase of 95 billion a year from the increase on taxes for the so called 1%.

    Do the math. That is funding for 9.5 days of government spending at the 2011 rate. BUT WAIT….Obama wants to increase spending and do away with the debt limit.

    But shoot, maybe you have some new math you’re working with…..LOL

  6. meetinthemiddle

    meetinthemiddle said, almost 4 years ago


    You’re right, raising the top tax bracket does not solve the problem. As the Simpson/Bowles commission said, it’s going to take quite a bit of “all of the above”

    But with tax revenue at lifetime lows compared to GDP and the top tax bracket less than half of what it was for most of the 20th century and the rich aggregating more wealth than any time since the Robber Baron era, there isn’t a good reason not to let the top brackets go up.

    In fact, I’d like to see capital gains go back to being regular income. To make it more fair, index the gains against inflation over the period held. But they are income.

    Anyone who worked in a .com company knows the relation between wealth and virtue is tenuous at best…

  7. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, almost 4 years ago


    Sure one must raise revenue but that is never the problem. One must also live within ones means. That means a budget. That means planning to spend only what you have. Our government has routinely spent well beyond it’s income for decades. The problem is spending not revenue.

    Today which group of taxpayers fund the government? Where does all the cash come from to pay the bills? Those making over 250K a year provide 97% of the income. What is “fair” about that?

    But yes, the top 1% could and should do more but not by giving more to a spend thrift government that is out of control. They should be hiring people to expand their business. More people with money means more need for goods. More need for goods means more people working to produce. More production means more tax revenue.

    But if you just give people money to spend who is it that is producing goods?

  8. meetinthemiddle

    meetinthemiddle said, almost 4 years ago


    You put a lot on the table there Bruce…

    I understand from a goods and services point of view, wealthy people consider the tax system unfair because they are paying more to use the same roads, sewers, police, fire, etc services than everyone else.

    But many taxation systems, from Adam Smith on down, have been built with a presumption of noblesse oblige – that the wealthy, by virtue of being wealthy, should pay more. When the income tax was instituted here around WWI, it was a wealthy-people-only tax. Of course, that still leaves open a lot of room for debate on what’s “fair”.

    As I said in my prior comment, I’ve known a number of people who made hundreds of millions in the .com era presiding over colossal failures, so my perception – especially of the professional executive class – is that their argument of having “earned” it or having “produced something of worth” is highly dubious. Given that I don’t have the conservative presumption that wealth = merit, obviously my threshold for what’s “fair” is considerably different.

    We are going to have to rein in spending growth, but it’s the two greatest proponents (and ironically by their failures, the greatest cautionary tales) of Supply Side Economics (Reagan and W) that are largely to blame for the crater we’ve made.

    To fill it in, we’ll have to raise revenues. We’ll have to close and give up deductions. We’ll have to cut programs. And we’ll have to be doing all of these things at the same time.

  9. mickey1339

    mickey1339 GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago


    “To fill it in, we’ll have to raise revenues. We’ll have to close and give up deductions. We’ll have to cut programs. And we’ll have to be doing all of these things at the same time.”

    No sarcasm intended, the problem is we keep looking at revenues increasing and spending cuts being kicked down the road, because “austerity doesn’t work.” Both parties have grown the size of government and spending required. So when we argue for infrastructure improvements we continually come up against “there’s no money, unless we add to the deficit spending.” (emphasis mine).
    Simpson – Bowles was great, but politically unpopular, and politicians immediately denigrated their efforts because democrats didn’t want to reform/cut entitlements and republicans didn’t want to cut defense. Stalemate. Get beyond that mentality and then maybe we have a chance.

    Lots of taxpayer groups and others have identified huge amounts funded each year in wasted programs and services by the government. We just need to somehow get beyond cutting spending in everyone elses programs but mine…

  10. meetinthemiddle

    meetinthemiddle said, almost 4 years ago


    No sarcasm inferred… Amen to all that, Mickey… I’ve often heard “compromise” defined as an agreement that makes no one happy, and to sort this out we’re all going to have to swallow things we don’t like. But that’s what it’s going to take to sort things out.

    The Simpson-Bowles formulae aren’t the only possible ones; there were other similar, slightly tweaked ones offered as well.

    The important point, as you point out, is that we’re all going to have our ox get a little gored to sort it out.

  11. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, almost 4 years ago


    " that the wealthy, by virtue of being wealthy, should pay more."

    Now you see the progressive tax rate that we have in this country does exactly that.

    this article says that those making more are to pay a larger percentage.

    Now you say that the top 1% have to many “loopholes”. OK what are they? A deduction for contributions to charity? Not a “loophole” but a legal deduction. A credit for using energy efficient vehicles or improvements to your home? Again,not a loophole but a legal deduction. A deduction for interest on your primary residence? nope, not a loophole.

    Yes wealthy people that invest or own corporations that employee the rest of us also employ lawyers to search the thousands of pages of tax law to take advantage of every LEGAL deduction allowed them.

    So change the tax code. Make it simple. Institute a “fair” tax where everyone pays “X” percent of income with no deductions. whatever. But do not demonize the ones that are successful because they use the law to their advantage.

    The best way to increase revenue is to increase the number of taxpayers. More people working and producing.

    And you are sadly mistaken. The crater we are in is dug by the fact that a politician can not and will not curtail spending on any and every project he deems necessary.

  12. meetinthemiddle

    meetinthemiddle said, almost 4 years ago


    Tomato, tom… damn, doesn’t work well in print.

    Many of the “not loopholes” you list are the sorts of things the House leader was talking about putting on the table, though he never offered many specifics. “Loophole” doesn’t mean “illegal”; in fact it usually refers to legal exemptions of dubious merit.

    Personally, I think many of them will have to be on the table as well as others. Not only should the mortgage deduction apply only to primary residences, but it should also be capped at, say $25,000. We can debate the societal imperative to support home ownership, but I think we can agree there’s no societal imperative to own multiple homes or McMansions. I support the charitable deduction, but putting a cap on that too, maybe. That one could use some debate.

    I think we could also tax capital gains as income, though indexed for inflation over the period held. My dad (an estate lawyer), says that in Canada they deal with capital gains by mandating a “wash sale” every X years so that the cost basis is never too stale.

    It’s mainly on the corporate level that we hear of exemptions and deductions that make even less sense.

    Yes, the tax code is long over do for an overhaul/simplification, and I wish our elected officials were adult enough to even start that conversation. Not going to happen in the next week though. And yes, I’m aware that a flat percentage of more is more than a percent of less, but still find a graduated tax system “fair” – and I say that as someone who’s been on the high end of the scale.

    But as I said with Mickey, we’re going to need “all of the above” to cover the gap.

    My comment about the crater was to emphasize the irony that

    a) the “fiscal conservatives” who championed trickle-down economics are still the ones who racked up most of the debt and left us on a bad trajectory; they only seem to care about fiscal conservatism when they’re not in the white house. After all, Dick Cheney was the one who said deficits don’t matter.

    b) say what you will about Obama’s socialist ways, but the deficit has come down substantially from where he inherited it. The Cato Institute issued a press release in the early 2000’s I believe saying that Bill Clinton was the best conservative president we’d ever had because under him the growth of the federal govt was the slowest it had been. Conversely, under W and R it was much higher.

  13. Bruce4671

    Bruce4671 said, almost 4 years ago

    hahahahha…to-may-to … yeah I get it.

    All of the above. Which politician do you have that has embraced true spending cuts????

    Please enlighten me on the “senseless” deductions. Make sure they are not part of the legal tax code now.

    but yes, a cap on deductions of 25K would be the only way to limit the reduction of tax liability to the wealthy since we low income/fixed income people usually are limited to the standard deductions anyway.

    Hope you are having a wonderful holy day.

  14. William Bednar

    William Bednar GoComics PRO Member said, almost 4 years ago

    Well, after we libs tax the rich into poverty the liberal Congress will pass a “help the 1%” subsidy bill. The money for that subsidy will come from taxing the next 1% lower down the money chain. Repeating the cycle as necessary.

  15. meetinthemiddle

    meetinthemiddle said, almost 4 years ago


    And a Merry Christmas, to you and yours Bruce… Quiet cloudy day here; I hope the weather’s kind to you where you are.

    Personally, I think the subsidies to the oil companies that have been hanging around for 100 years don’t make much sense. Neither do the subsidies to large corporate agriculture. Especially that clause in the 1949 Ag bill that will double milk prices if congress can’t pass an ag bill this year (

    There are a bunch of things like that I think we could find agreement on, but it takes time to comb them all out. A billion here, a billion there and pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

    I wouldn’t claim that Bill Clinton was motivated solely by cutting the budget, but he’s been the most committed to fiscal responsibility in the last 35 years – including modest tax increases to bring balance back.

    Clinton could have been obstreperous and vetoed a lot of things, but instead he compromised and in general things were put in better order.

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