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Monday, December 24, 2007

Morning News

posted by on December 24 at 8:48 AM

Pakistan: Musharraf government uses billions in U.S. anti-terrorist funds for its own unrelated political ends.

Credit Card Debt: American credit card debt surges in past year.

Blackwater: U.S. ignored warnings about using private security firms in Iraq.

Huckabee: Wants to abolish income tax and replace it with a 23% national sales tax.

Ron Paul: The maverick Republican won’t rule out a 3rd Party run.

Reverse Shoplifting: DIY artists and political activists sneak their own products and messages onto the shelves.

Abstinence Only Money: Feds cut funding to Washington state thanks to accurate sex ed bill.

Political Donations: Local corporations reverse course, prioritize Democrats over Republicans.

RSS icon Comments


hey huckabee - that's fucking CRAZY.

Posted by max solomon | December 24, 2007 8:57 AM

I keep forgetting that most of my country probably likes Huckabee. Fuck.

Posted by Mr. Poe | December 24, 2007 9:05 AM

The national sales tax plan will never, ever happen, because it will require congresspeople to either (1) cut Social Security benefits or (2) raise the tax burden on most of their constituency in a very visible way. Very few in Congress will be willing to deal with the repercussions of either.

The reason Huckabee can tout this plan is that he knows that, as president, he'd be able to blame Congress when it failed.

Posted by tsm | December 24, 2007 9:16 AM

Don't dismiss Huckabee. We earlier dismissed Reagan and GW Bush -- see how that worked out.

"Recent history suggests that to win the presidency, you have to be a white male from the South or West, preferably with experience as a governor. That description fits only one candidate in the race -- Mike Huckabee. So by examining the portents of history, we find that he's the only person who can possibly be elected next year."
see realclear

Posted by unPC | December 24, 2007 10:14 AM

If you watched Tim Russert this weekend the race is very close if Hillary is tne nominee and Huckabee is her opponent. And the ONE thing we should have learned from the last two Presidential races is that the Republicans do not need a clear majority; they only need it close enough to flip a few votes from selected voting machines in "swing states". That is all they need.

Oh and Rove is still a factor and if he starts to work with Huckabee we are all fucked. Rove being out of the spotlight just makes it easier for him to work his dark magic in the dark.

Posted by Just Me | December 24, 2007 11:03 AM

@5 - How did Rove's "dark magic" fare in 2006?

Posted by tsm | December 24, 2007 12:18 PM

tsm, you're right that the national sales tax will fail, but it will not fail for the reasons you list. No, it will fail because it is fair, equitable, and makes perfect sense. That's the kiss of death in Washington.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 24, 2007 12:26 PM

@6, yeah, just keep thinking that he is done for good, just keep telling yourself that. And while you are at it you may want to believe that there are unicorns and cities made of candy corn too.

Posted by Just Me | December 24, 2007 12:39 PM

Re: 23% national sales tax

Well, there's the small matter that eliminating all income taxes and implementing a national sales tax would instantly create a black market for every conceivable product and service for sale in the United States, and that would push the US Government into insolvency almost instantly.

At this point, I say let's do it. Christ almighty, this country is fucking crazy.

Posted by Original Andrew | December 24, 2007 3:03 PM

@ 7

" 23% tax..Fair and equitable..."

For those who can shit $50 bills at will, maybe.
For the rest who have to work for their money, maybe not so much fair and equitable.

It's a tax on everything, including food, prescription drugs, dentist visits, the whole ball of wax.

Huckabee is as marshmallow inside as he looks outside.

Posted by sceptic | December 24, 2007 3:44 PM

@8 - Karl Rove is just another hack political operative. He is not some inevitable force of nature capable of demolishing everything in his path. But believe whatever makes you feel better.

Posted by tsm | December 24, 2007 4:27 PM

@7 - The only way a national sales tax qualifies as "fair" is if you believe that the utility of money is strictly linear - i.e. that a 5% raise in income affects your quality of life as much as a 5% raise would affect Bill Gates. And if you actually believe that ... then, well, you're beyond help.

Posted by tsm | December 24, 2007 4:29 PM

OK, for the sake of argument, I probably do shit fifties compared to some people. But that still doesn't justify the fact that I pay more income tax than Bill Gates does. You're already paying that 23% folks - up front - unless you own Microsoft, Boeing, GM, Exxon, etc., etc.

Posted by Fifty-Two-Eighty | December 24, 2007 4:50 PM


Yeah, you're right. Because just like all the people below the poverty level, Bill Gates spends all of his money buying groceries, gas, and other necessities and not investing or saving any of it.

Make no mistake that the main people backing the "fair" tax are the same ones trying to get rid of the "death" tax.
Rich people who would rather buy lawyers, accountants, and legislators to cheat their way out of paying taxes rather than just paying them.

Sane, responsible people call them what they are: Sales taxes and Estate taxes, respectively.

Posted by Mike of Renton | December 24, 2007 5:51 PM

hey wait about huckabee...

Be aware that according to FairTax, everyone is reimbursed by the amount of taxes they should have spent on necessities. Even if they don't spend that much, so for poor people it's a net income. Allegedly it makes it a progressive tax, which you can read about on wikipedia.

The real reason it's a terrible idea is that whole black market thing mentioned @9.

Posted by john | December 24, 2007 11:52 PM


How is it a progressive tax on obscenely wealthy people who don't come close to spending all of their annual income? It sounds like a progressive tax for the very poor, a regressive tax for the very rich, and a huge burden on the middle class.

The only way to ensure that the rich are paying their fair share is to levy a heavy marginal tax rate, with no deductions.

Posted by keshmeshi | December 25, 2007 1:13 AM

I hope the Democratic nominee does not try to debate Huckabee by talking about nonlinear utility curves, or even why his plan won't work.

I want them to have a big-vision plan of their own.

What we have here in the Huckabee Fair Tax plan is not an economics plan. Itís not any kind of ďplan.Ē

Itís a scam: a rip off power/$$ grab by the rich and the special interests, hurting working families.

Achieved through a pack of lies. The Huckster plan, we should call it.

Like all GOP plans. Why? Because they're evil and bad people who will lie and hurt America Ė hurting you -- and make us weaker as a nation, for their special private gain.

[Corporate fascism, thy name is Huckabee! You come bearing a Bible and bushel baskets of "prebate" checks.]

The real problem is we are talking about the right wing tax reform/tax relief plan, because there is no big-vision Democratic plan. Revoking Bush tax cuts is a tiny step in the right direction, not a plan for real change.

Why aren't Democrats talking about changing the whole system, to relieve working people of tax burdens, and help America face its security and global competition challenges? Why don't they argue we need to all pull together as a team, through removing special tax privileges, and spreading the burdens more equitably on those who can carry them better?

Thatís the way to fight this Huckster Plan. Itís not enough to just talk about hope, change, or experience. You have to tell people what you are going to do, define us and define them, and start the fight now.

For America.

Posted by unPC | December 25, 2007 9:12 AM

The corporate Republicans are the real power in the party, not the evangelicals. Giuliani is finished, and Romney can't win a general election, so the corporate candidate might be, believe it or not, John McCain.

Posted by Portland Web Designer | December 25, 2007 9:59 AM

Don't forget about Mike Bloomberg. He's much more likely to be a spoiler than Ron Paul.

Posted by SEO | December 25, 2007 10:01 AM

If Bloomberg runs look for a cross -- hell a bleeding crucifix -- in EVERY Republican TV ad.....

Posted by unPC | December 25, 2007 12:13 PM

Fairtax purports to be "fair" because they'll send a check to every single American every month.

It practically invites fraud. And then it'll be used as an excuse to cut back and/or eliminate it.

Posted by Aexia | December 26, 2007 9:08 AM

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