Friday, November 19, 2010

Wisdom and insight- The best of the week. 11/15/10

I did not write that man is inherently evil. I wrote that he is not basically good. And, yes, that does make the world sad. So do disease, earthquakes, death and all the unjust suffering in the world. But sad facts remain facts. A distinguishing characteristic of liberals and leftists, … is their aversion to acknowledging sad facts. – Dennis Prager

In 1920, when the top tax rate was 73 percent, for people making over $100,000 a year, the federal government collected just over $700 million in income taxes — and 30 percent of that was paid by people making over $100,000. After a series of tax cuts brought the top rate down to 24 percent, the federal government collected more than a billion dollars in income-tax revenue — and people making over $100,000 a year now paid 65 percent of the taxes.-Thomas Sowell

People behave differently when tax rates are high as compared with when they are low. With low tax rates, they take their money out of tax shelters and put it to work in the economy, benefiting themselves, the economy, and government, which collects more money in taxes because incomes rise. High tax rates that very few people are actually paying because of tax shelters do not bring in as much revenue as lower tax rates that people are paying.- Thomas Sowel

l Nothing raises the ire of cynical liberals more than a happy-go-lucky, totally unburdened, freethinking and self-assured conservative woman who has everything she wants and then some. And without anyone's help…Liberalism, after all, needs to imagine an unhappy populace. Passing sweeping entitlement programs and convincing voters that big government is the answer only works if people are frustrated with their stations in life.-S.E. Cupp

If we truly want our Constitution back, Charlie Rangel needs to be impeached for “high crimes and Misdemeanors,” not given a slap on the wrist. -Dean Kalahar

The nation's founders would be horrified by today's congressional spending that consumes 25 percent of our GDP. Contrast that to the years 1787 to the 1920s when federal government spending never exceeded 4 percent of our GDP except in wartime.- Walter Williams

Can a bi-partisan Balanced Budget Amendment pass? It almost did already. Aug. 4, 1982, by a vote of 69 to 31 in the Senate, two more than the two-thirds vote required for approval of a constitutional amendment. The Senate vote was bipartisan: 47 Republicans, 21 Democrats and 1 Independent voted for the amendment. In the House of Representatives by way of a discharge petition the vote was 236 to 187, it did not meet the two-thirds required by Article V of the Constitution. The House vote was again bipartisan: 167 Republicans, 69 Democrats. Source: Walter Williams

On the question as to what % of GDP should the federal government spend, Walter Williams said: “if 10 percent is good enough for the Baptist Church, it ought to be good enough for Congress.”

Obviously, some of the central bank's governors have been encouraged by Congress to think of themselves as more than mere bankers - as wizards of social control, even regulating society's reservoirs of self-esteem.-George Will

(Paul) Ryan, incoming chairman of the House Budget Committee, says the Fed thinks it can adroitly "put the cruise missile through the goal posts." But how adroit can Fed management of the economy be? No complex economy can be both managed and efficient, meaning dynamic. To think otherwise is what Friedrich Hayek called "the fatal conceit." That conceit can be fatal to the Fed's independence.-George Will

Does anyone find it alarming that for the first time in the nine-year war, the U.S. military is deploying heavily armored battle tanks to Afghanistan? Did you not assume tanks were being used- IN A WAR!-Dean Kalahar

G.M. will never buy back and sell off all of the shares that Uncle Sam owns because it has a stronger incentive to keep them in the game – and know they will always get bailed out- with a large enough holding to protect themselves from ever having to really compete. By the way, the government lost $9 billion of taxpayers’ original investment on Thursdays’ partial stock sale. Fell like a tycoon now? -Dean Kalahar

John Tyner, cleverly armed with an iPhone to give YouTube immortality to the encounter, took exception to the TSA guard about to give him the benefit of Homeland Security’s newest brainstorm — the upgraded, full-palm, up-the-groin, all-body pat-down. In a stroke, the young man ascended to myth, or at least the next edition of Bartlett’s, warning the agent not to “touch my junk.” Not quite the 18th-century elegance of “Don’t Tread on Me,” but the age of Twitter has a different cadence from the age of the musket. What the modern battle cry lacks in archaic charm, it makes up for in full-body syllabic punch. Don’t touch my junk is the anthem of the modern man, the Tea Party patriot, the late-life libertarian, the midterm-election voter. –Charles Krauthammer

Last week the Food and Drug Administration announced that it will soon require tobacco warning labels to be much bigger and more graphic…The proposed warnings include one containing an image of a man smoking through a tracheotomy hole in his throat; another depicting a body with a large scar running down the chest; and another showing a man who appears to be suffering a heart attack. Others have images of a corpse in a coffin and one with a toe tag in a morgue, diseased lungs and mouths, and a mother blowing smoke into a baby’s face. Apparently the theory behind such fulsome antismoking propaganda is that while everyone knows tobacco is unhealthy, some people need to have their noses rubbed in that fact as pungently and unpleasantly as possible. But when did it become the job of the federal government to treat American adults the way mothers and fathers treat children? ..There will always be some people who smoke, just as there will always be some people who drive recklessly or overeat or drink to excess. Should the manufacturer’s sticker on every new car be required to include images of horrible collisions and mangled motorists? Should packages of high-calorie junk food depict rolls of flabby cellulite or a patient undergoing bypass surgery? Should beer and wine bottles be covered with grisly pictures of ruined livers or passed-out drunks?..There always seem to be good reasons for giving them (government) just a little more authority, for agreeing to surrender just a few more personal choices, for letting yourself be treated just a bit more condescendingly. But it comes at a price. Smoking is unhealthy, no question about it. The loss of freedom and self-respect is more hazardous by far.-Jeff Jacoby

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