In the Supercommittee’s failure, a stark 2012 election

There has been a lot of ink spilled over the failure of the congressional “supercommittee” to find a path toward systemic, long-term deficit reduction.

After digging through the various accounts of what went wrong, it strikes me that the collapse of the effort boils down to a fairly simple ideological difference over taxes.

Republicans put forward a series of proposals which would have effectively locked in the pattern of taxation established by President George W. Bush, one that reduced the tax burden on America’s wealthiest citizens.

Yes, the plan developed by Sen. Pat Toomey would have boosted revenue somewhat by closing high-end tax loopholes, but the concept essentially institutionalized the notion that capital gains taxes and estate taxes should remain low or nonexistent.

Ultimately, the Toomey plan would have placed the largest burden of deficit reduction on America’s middle and lower classes, not by raising their taxes so much, but by cutting the programs, public sector jobs and services that many families rely upon.

After some early uncertainty, meanwhile, Democrats appear to have solidified their stance around the notion that America’s wealthiest citizens need to contribute significantly more to Federal revenues, both to pay for government programs and cut the deficit.

They hope to return the nation to upper-end taxation rates more in line with those seen during the Clinton years.

Yes, President Barack Obama put Social Security, Medicare and other entitlements on the table for negotiated cuts.  But the real core of the Democratic plan appears to be to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012.

The good news here is that this ideological log-jam gives us exactly what democracies need in an election season:  a clear choice.

Voters who believe that income tax rates on upper-wage earners are too high and that further tax hikes will stifle investment, innovation and job creation in the middle of a painful economic slump, have a party that shares that conviction whole-heartedly.

Voters, meanwhile, who believe that the Bush-era tax cuts were a major give-away to the wealthy, contributing mightily to dangerous national deficits at a time when the US faced two wars and historic economic challenges at home — well, they have a party that shares their views.

My sense is that Republicans and Democrats feel pretty comfortable marching under these banners over the next twelve months.

Both sides think they have a winning ideology, one that will capture the hearts and hopes of the American people.

What do you think?  Do either of these approaches fit your sense of where America needs to go?

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60 Comments on “In the Supercommittee’s failure, a stark 2012 election”

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  1. My attitude hasn’t changed. I believe that those who benefit disproportionally from our system should contribute disproportionally to maintaining it. That includes me. I have made slightly more than average in my life and have paid more than average part of my income in taxes. That’s okay by me. If one takes seriously the notion which this is somehow a “Christian Nation” that would be the path we’d take. Ironically, I don’t believe this is or should be a Christian Nation and those who think it is/should be, don’t think the rich should have to contribute a greater part of wealth to maintain the common good. If you can come up with a way to explain that logical disconnect, I ‘d love to hear it.

  2. Two Cents says:

    “Voters who believe that income tax rates on upper-wage earners are too high and that further tax hikes will stifle investment, innovation and job creation in the middle of a painful economic slump, have a party that shares that conviction whole-heartedly.”

    “Democratic plan appears to be to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire at the end of 2012.”

    If the Bush era tax rules are in effect currently, then where is all this unbridled innovation and job creation it is supposed to be nurturing?

    Has all common sense evaporated from the subjucated, or have we been beaten down, or dumbed down, to the point they will continue to bend over and take it.

  3. Two Cents says:

    as i see it the logical disconnect you ask about lives in a statement I’ve heard on the job site when i was very young. One of the old timers said to me “son, whose face is it you shave in the morning. Charity begins at home.”

    I’m positive the man was a Christian, love thy neighbor, do unto others kind of guy…
    up to that illusive line everyone draws. It’s the point at which an individual decides it’s “survivor rules”. That’s the B.S. of the whole “christian” dogma.

    After the tsunami in Japan, i was watching NHK tv and there was a scene at a grocery store, whose owner with the lack of electricity decided to just open up, and offer EVERYTHING on the shelves, free for the taking. I watch as Everyone, young, old, children, self regulated them selves. They where in an orderly line, took one orange, one loaf of bread, two bottles of water, and so on. Some people handed items to others who could not reach the shelf.
    Not one push, shove, selfish hoarding instance did i see on the 15 min news story. I know Japan has embraced Christianity, so it was not some Zen, Bhuddist, Shinto, mystic land of the East mind set.

    Lets see if that happens in this Country, heck Brooklyn, when the perverbial you know what hits the fan.

  4. Pete Klein says:

    Practice what you preach is an old saying and very apt with reference to the above comments of which I totally agree.
    But even if one isn’t a Christian, there is the morality of being human. Deep down, we know we need others to survive and if we need others, others need us. None of us were born of our own accord and none of us grew up without being dependent upon our parents and others.
    The idea of “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps” is such a complete fantasy. Sure, you do have to work to get where you would like to get. But no one gets anywhere without the help of others. Without all of the “little people,” not one rich person would ever be rich. And for some (think of people like Donald Trump and George Bush Jr.) it is fair to ask if they would ever have become wealthy without all the money, educational breaks and connections provided by their parents.
    Yes, there are some who rise to the top from “humble beginnings” but even they, if they are honest, will admit there were others who helped them along the way.

  5. oa says:

    Two Cents said: “I know Japan has embraced Christianity, so it was not some Zen, Bhuddist, Shinto, mystic land of the East mind set.”
    Great comment overall, TC, but I think you’re confusing Japan with another country. Over 70% of Japanese regularly tell pollsters they practice no religion at all, and a 2001 survey said 64% don’t believe in God.

  6. Two Cents says:

    oa, Japanese are basically all Shinto by default. This from my wife, and
    in-laws. In home shrines pay respect to deceased family. 1000’s of shrines throughout country are packed daily for prayers, baths, meditations, etc. .
    Tokyo being very different, the countryside is all about the shrines, and are part of daily life. Sunday is not set aside as the day of worship, simply it is done everyday, and often in the home. Travel to any shrine and there are festivals, ceremonies, and if out of the subburbs, mushroom hunts, burdock picking and fiddle head gatherings. They are respected like our National Parks.
    They didn’t need Christians or God to tell them what was right.
    Everything has a soul and is to be respected. Nature is their God.
    After WWII they were more than happy to convert if it’s what made Americans happy.
    I’m not a believer in polls. People say what they think at any given instance, and in the next instance, it can be different.
    When my in-laws’ relatives visit, trips to NYC churches take top priority over shopping trips, no matter how well the yen is doing, of course i wait outside to prevent the ceiling from falling on our heads.
    My small family experiences are not indicitive of the entire Nation, but i belive what i see, and what they tell me first hand over what i may read.
    I nmay have to dissagree a little with you here.

  7. oa says:

    OK. I was just talking about the part where you say Japan “embraced Christianity.” Maybe I’m reading it wrong, but your second comment seems to say something different than your first comment. No need to go on with this, I may have misread it.

  8. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Brian M., I think you succinctly stated the choice the voters will face. Unfortunately elections always seem to be hijacked by side issues…gay marriage, abortion, Swift Boat stuff.

    We are easily bamboozled at election time then later try to justify our gullibility by believing idiotic stuff like Obama is a Muslim born in Kenya, or Hillary is an assassin, or that George Bush is a Texas cowboy.

  9. Mervel says:

    If they(congress) let ALL of the Bush Tax cuts expire at the end of 2012 they will not only be raising taxes on the wealthy but on a host of middle income Americans. This will be a huge mistake for the Democrats if that indeed happens in that way.

    The Republican line is going to be, don’t believe them they are not going to raise taxes on the wealthy they are going to raise them on you; America. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire would drive home that point.

    But I disagree with both of these groups you need to cut social security, medicare and medicaid and we need to raise some taxes and lower others.

    None of this is going to happen though I hope people realize right? The Democrats are not actually going to significantly raise taxes on the wealthy in any meaningful way(look at how the sham-banking banking reform that was a give away to their wall street buddies); and the Republicans will never cut spending on anything meaningful (with the possible exception of kicking some of poor in the teeth with some cuts to small anti-poverty programs).

    This is all a mute point there is no real choice there is no true choice because both groups are not going to do any of these things. The super committee is just the start. When we can’t sell our bonds anymore at reasonable rates then we will be forced to cut.

  10. George Nagle says:

    Brian says that the voters’ choice is between two views of taxation. It is, but, as I expect Brian would also say, more than that it is about the appropriate role of government.

    Voters will have a choice if they understand what is at stake.

    Elizabeth Warren speaks clearly and forcefully to this issue. Unless others do, unless Obama does, the cacophony of the campaign will obscure it.

    If the Democrats define the terms of the national debate their candidates, if elected, will have a mandate. Otherwise they won’t.

  11. Pete Klein says:

    I don’t have a problem with letting the Bush tax cuts expire for all income groups.
    When it comes to cutting the budget, I would like to see the elimination of the ATF, DEA and ICE. The FBI and the CIA should be more than enough crime fighting agencies. There are probably other agencies that can and should be scrapped.
    We should also stop supplying military arms to any and all countries. If a foreign country wants to arm itself, it should build its own arms.
    In terms of retirement, anyone should be allowed to retire when ever they want (read quit) but not be entitled to collect a pension until they are 65. Same should apply to paid health care and I do include elected officials on both counts and for all government workers be they federal, state, county. city or town.
    In the areas of health care and education, both should be investigated. Both seem to have been given a pass to raise prices as often and as much as they feel like it.

  12. Peter Hahn says:

    The idea that letting the Bush tax cuts expire will result in higher taxes for everybody is simply wrong. It will mean higher income taxes for many people, but there are lots of other taxes that will otherwise have to be raised. (Property taxes, sales taxes etc.) The GOP platform is lower government services and higher total tax burden for low and middle income people, with a correspondingly lower total tax burden for upper income people.

    The GOP suggest that somehow this will result in more jobs or greater wealth for everybody. This is magical thinking.

  13. Peter Hahn says:

    The real issue is whether or not we want to continue social security and medicare as government-run services where the wealthy pay in a lot more than they get back, or whether we want to “privatize” them and make all the benefits equal to what the individual puts in.

  14. PNElba says:

    The so-called “super committee failed because members of one party have given their word to Grover Norquist that they will not raise taxes …. ever. If they break their word to Grover, he will see to it that they do not get elected and we all know that getting re-elected is what it is all about. Staying in office is one sure way to become wealthy if you are not already.

    But the “raise no taxes on anyone party” does believe that Obama’s payroll tax holiday must end next month. That appears to be a tax cut that does nothing to increase the number of jobs. Afterall, it mainly affects all those deadbeats who “pay no taxes”.

    The 2010 median individual income in the USA was $26364. Somehow, Republicans have convinced a majority of voters that they must sacrifice their SS and medicare benefits so that the wealthy can get even more tax cuts (to create jobs).

    Polls show that a majority of Americans think the wealthy should pay more income taxes. The poll doesn’t make sense to me, however, because close to 50% of voters support Republicans in elections. The very people that want to cut income taxes on the wealthy and cut SS and Medicare benefits to pay for the tax cuts.

    Color me confused.

  15. Mervel says:

    Peter no just factually the Bush tax cuts are providing tax cuts to a whole bunch of middle income people plus of course they really helped very high income people. If they let the cuts expire they should only have them expire on the very wealthy and I think they have talked about that. But it would be a huge mistake for the Democrats to raise taxes on middle class voters just in time for the elections. It plays into everything the Republicans have been saying about what is really going to happen what the real motives of the elitist democrats are.

    But today in my mind the budget debates are becoming a demogoging issue, it is just talk and emotion, neither party has the will to actually raise taxes or cut spending and it won’t happen in my opinion. The American people like government debt and will not support any candidate who actually cuts the real debt; which will require true austerity sacrifice. You can’t just tax the very wealthy we also have to really cut medicare/medicaid/social security and Defense. No one wants to do that when we have the option of just continued borrowing. True deficit cutting can only really happen during periods of economic growth and we don’t have that now.

  16. Peter Hahn says:

    Mervel – my point is that there are income taxes and many other taxes. If you lower income taxes and inheritance taxes – the ones that affect the wealthy, then you are forced to raise property taxes, sales taxes, real estate taxes, license fees and every other conceivable fee to partially make up the difference. (The rest is either more debt or reduced services).

    Raising any taxes right now would be a mistake for the economy, and no one wants to do that. They are talking about raising them to take effect in a few years when we are better in a position to pay back our debts.

  17. Pete Klein says:

    It is amazing that Grover Norquist so easily controls the Republican part. They jump like puppets and by doing so make themselves look as though they are wooden heads with out brain or spine.
    Why would anyone vote for a puppet?

  18. JDM says:

    “Voters who believe that income tax rates on upper-wage earners are too high”

    This would include the tax breaks that municipalities give to lure corporations into their jurisdictions.

    This would include tax breaks Nancy Peloci gives to corporations in her district.

    This would include tax breaks Obama gives to get people to buy his cars, green energy, and health care.

    Gee. I guess everywhere you turn, tax breaks spurs on economic growth.

  19. JDM says:

    I guess we also need to be reminded that the “Bush Tax Cuts” was a title change, only. No taxes were cut.

    If you changed the title of “A Tale of Two Cities” to “Moby Dick”, the book is not about a whale. Sorry.

    Obama extended “Bush era tax cuts”. That means he did not raise taxes. He did not cut them, either.

    In order to have the economic stimulus effect of cutting taxes, you first must cut taxes.

  20. Mervel says:

    Peter no you are not forced to do that. The US Gov simply have to borrow more and that is what the Federal government will do until it cannot do it anymore.

    The local taxes you mention are not balanced against federal spending and income. Property taxes, sales taxes, fees etc, are all state and local taxes which must be balanced against state and local revenue.

  21. wj says:


    Extremism in defense of propaganda is, in fact, a vice.

    The talking points you’re parroting were written and voiced by someone who made a lot of money for saying ridiculous things with little or no relation to reality.

    I wonder how you – or anyone else – could possibly benefit from repeating them.

  22. Walker says:

    JDM says “Gee. I guess everywhere you turn, tax breaks spurs on economic growth.”

    Funny the economy is in such a hole then. Maybe tax breaks aren’t enough. Maybe the stimulus wasn’t big enough. Maybe we need to spend MORE, not less. Maybe we need to seriously raise taxes on the rich, and on corporations.

    But no, you want to just keep on cutting taxes, even though trickle-down voodoonomics has gotten us nowhere for forty years now.

  23. JDM says:

    Walker: “But no, you want to just keep on cutting taxes”

    keep on cutting taxes? Where?

  24. JDM says:

    Walker: “Funny the economy is in such a hole then. ”

    Good observation.

    Why is that, after three years of Obama getting all his policies in place.

    He got $800 trillion in stimulus. He got Obamacare.

    What is becoming apparent is that we have one of most inept presidents in the past 100 years.

    He is so bad, all he can do is whine about his $400billion borrow-and-spend bill that isn’t getting passed. Waaaaa. It is sad.

  25. Two Cents says:

    Bottom line- you have to get revenue from where the money exists.
    what’s that saying about blood and stones?

    The “wealthy” have the money, that’s where it has to come from, if it doesn’t manifest itself through trickle down then it’s up to the Government to persuade it from them. When the wealthy and the people in Government are one in the same, well you’re asking them to cannabalize themselves.
    Ain’t gonna happen. Everyone feels their need is greater.
    Trickle down will not work untill the “source” of the money feels confident that the money is from their disposable income pile. Right now there is very little money earmarked as disposable across any class.
    If that sounds too radical, i’m afraid that’s where we are at regardless.

  26. JDM says:

    two cents: “The “wealthy” have the money”

    The wealthy “earned” the money.

    You want money? Go out and earn it!

  27. JDM says:

    No one is begrudging anyone the ability to be wealthy.

    The wealthy know how to do it.

    You, too, can be wealthy.

    Here’s how. Work hard. Improve yourself with education and training. Work hard. Improve yourself with education and training. Work…

  28. PNElba says:


    Are you telling all of us lower and middle class workers that we are lazy? That American workers are not productive enough? If only we worked harder, we too could be wealthy? What would you be posting if President Obama said what you are saying?

    I’m curious. Just how much does a wealthy person earn?

    Are you wealthy? No? I guess you aren’t working hard enough then. Yes? Please help us out. Tell us how you became wealthy.

  29. myown says:

    JDM – How quickly we forget. The greatest financial collapse and economic decline since the Great Depression occurred on Bush’s watch (as did 9/11). Talk about incompetence with consequences. Obama inherited the disaster and too readily compromised with Republicans on the stimulus package. As a result it was mostly in the form of useless tax cuts and grossly insufficient.

    You must be drinking too much of that Koch brothers Kool-Aid propaganda. Today the best way to become wealthy in the US is to start wealthy. Upward social/economic mobility is less available in the US than in many so-called socialist countries in Europe.

  30. JDM says:

    PNElba: “Are you telling all of us lower and middle class workers that we are lazy?”

    Absolutely not. It is our own responsibility to seek our own wealth.

    If one is happy with being “middle class”, more power to them. They are not lazy.

    If one desires “more” wealth, then there is a way to achieve it, and I answered how.

    Why do you presume I am not wealthy?

    Are you wealthy?

    myown: “Obama inherited the disaster and too readily compromised”

    So, it is Obama’s fault.

    Three years into his administration, it’s unbecoming of a leader to blame his predecessor. It’s a sign of ineptness.

  31. PNElba says:


    “Why do you presume I am not wealthy?”

    Where did I presume that? I asked a question.

    “Are you wealthy?”

    I guess it depends on how you define wealth. I asked you to do so and you didn’t.

    “If one desires “more” wealth, then there is a way to achieve it, and I answered how.”

    No you didn’t – you said work harder.

    Ok, let’s say I work in a grocery store. Let’s say I’m the beverage manager. How does working harder make me wealthy? Let’s say I work my way up to manager of the whole store. Does that make me wealthy like someone who works on Wall St?

    Let’s face, you can put in 80 hour weeks for your working lifetime and not become wealthy. If it were otherwise, we would have a lot more wealthy people in this country.

  32. Paul says:

    The choice is clear:

    Continue with the grid lock and misery.


    Move on with a new administration.

    I sure as heck don’t want to spend another 4 years having these same kind of silly debates over a few hundred million bucks as the markets tumble. But if folks want more of this than they can do that as well.

  33. If Clapton is God, Warren Haynes is Jesus says:

    I think we need a new Congress far more than a new administration. It’s the Congress that’s mostly out to lunch with regard to undertaking their constitutional duties. And when they’re not out to lunch, a large portion of both bodies spends their time playing the obstructionist game rather than trying to move the country forward.

    For all Obama’s faults, he’s at least performing most of his job duties. The same can’t be said about our do nothing/obstructionist Congress.

  34. Paul says:

    Clapton, I agree that Congress is out to lunch. But I think they are having lunch with the president. The fastest way to end the gridlock is to elect a better leader. The president gave it his best college try, and has accomplished a few things, it just hasn’t worked out for the country.

  35. PNElba says:

    Paul, please explain how to lead those that refuse to follow. How do you lead a group whose only goal is to see that you are no longer their leader? There are no silly debates in the Senate. Anything worth debating is fillibustered by the Republicans.

    The problem we have is that one party refuses to compromise on anything.

    JDM seems to think that President Obama has had 3 years of getting all his policies in place. In the real world that just isn’t an evidence-based statement.

    Let’s say we get a Republican-led government that has control of all three branches of Congress. I wonder how much whining there would be in the media if Democrats use the same tactics that are being used, blatantly I might add, against them now.

  36. Two Cents says:

    don’t want your money or anyone elses, i earn my money and i fully understand the dynamics of how to get it.
    Never said the wealthy did not earn the money either. Just said the wealthy have the money, so if as an intelligent person, one was looking for a source, i’d start with the wealthy. Just like when i want ice, i don’t open the oven, and when i want to read tale of two cities, i don’t open moby dick.
    If they feel persecuted there are many other Countries where they can live cheaper, possibly be “charged” less for their good fortune.

    On a simpler level, i was just stating where the money is– if the Government needs it. It ain’t in the middle classes’ pocket. And i resent having to foot any more of the bill for bennefits i don’t receive.
    Don’t want the wealthy’s money–just want the Government to get what they want from them, because simply, they have it.
    It’s a simple fact that seems to be ignored.

    Touched a raw nerve did I?

  37. JDM says:

    PNElba: “Ok, let’s say I work in a grocery store. Let’s say I’m the beverage manager.”

    If you are not happy making what a beverage manager makes, there are ways to improve yourself, reinvent yourself, and do something that rewards you according to your desires. It does take effort, however.

    Two Cents: “i was just stating where the money is– if the Government needs it.”

    The government doesn’t “need” more money. They take more than enough, already, and write blank checks for the rest, and hand the bill to our children to the third generation.

    That must stop.

  38. PNElba says:


    Who said the grocery store manager is unhappy. Maybe she loves her job. She’s working 60 hour weeks and is not getting wealthy. I don’t understand. She is working as hard as she can and is not wealthy. I thought hard work made you wealthy. I’m still confused.

  39. JDM says:

    “Who said the grocery store manager is unhappy…. She’s working 60 hour weeks and is not getting wealthy.”

    PNElba: indirectly, you are equating happiness and wealth. I can’t speak to that.

  40. JDM says:

    The principle is this. We live in a country where we are (currently, anyway) free to choose any profession we want.

    We are not limited by anything, other than our own desire, to seek any lot that our talent and ambition will take us.

    This lady, in our hypothetical, can seek to improve her wealth by any means her ambition, and desire for happiness, will take her. Maybe she is happy with her wage. Fine. Maybe she can find a better paying situation and still find happiness.

    The point is that she is free to do as she chooses.

  41. Walker says:

    JDM, if you really think that with absolutely nothing more than hard work, your average store clerk can make it into the one percent (that’s $350,000 per year), then you really have been drinking Koch Cola.

    And I’ll grant you that the government has been spending a lot of money that it shouldn’t: we should rein in military waste, especially the private contractors, and agribiz and oil company and other industrial subsidies (read “corporate welfare”). And it should start saving big-time by negotiating drug prices.

    But the real reason for taxing the rich more goes beyond the Willie Horton principal. The rich are the chief beneficiaries of government. How much do you think your average Walmart worker benefits from the Fed? From industrial subsidies? From our military adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan? From our bases all over the world? From scores of government programs that benefit big business? Etc., etc., etc. Let ’em pay their fair share.

  42. Two Cents says:

    “The government doesn’t “need” more money. They take more than enough, already, and write blank checks for the rest, and hand the bill to our children to the third generation.

    That must stop.”

    oh, we cetainly agree there brother.

    And when the Government perceives that need regardless, the money that it eventually costs the taxpayers gets “trickled” right to the same people that are perceiced as the 1%. It’s no doubt a pyramid scheme, but what i don’t hear anyone mention is that the pyramid is upside down.
    It’s not a pyramid, it’s a funnell, right into to few pockets.

  43. Two Cents says:

    “This lady, in our hypothetical, can seek to improve her wealth by any means her ambition, and desire for happiness, will take her. Maybe she is happy with her wage. Fine. Maybe she can find a better paying situation and still find happiness.

    The point is that she is free to do as she chooses.”

    Nothing happens in a vaccuum. The person that chooses to live a smaller life, should also be able to do so by a continually rising bar.

    At some point it is the responsibility of a country to elevate the stardard of living at the bottom as well, it’s not socialist to judge a thing by it’s LOWEST common denominator. it’s common sense reality.

    Government is suppossed to make sure we are at all of are best, or what is it neede for. It’s to group people to gether as one, not to isolate and stratify.
    If they can’t do that, what are they good for?

  44. JDM says:

    “Government is suppossed to make sure we are at all of are best”


    Show me some documentation on that.

  45. PNElba says:


    Sorry, but you just don’t seem to think very clearly, even on your own positions. You said you can become wealthy by hard work. I gave an example of someone who works very hard but does not become wealthy. Are you now saying that hard work doesn’t necessarily make you wealthy? I’m still confused with your position here.

    At 8:22 AM I asked you to define what wealthy is. You still haven’t done so. Maybe we have very different ideas about what makes one wealthy.

  46. JDM says:


    You are the one who thinks that middle class is not wealthy. That is why I questioned why you thought I wasn’t. I see that you were asking me. I am wealthy.

    My definition of wealth has to do with contentment and prosperity, not merely prosperity. It is achieved through effort.

    I realize that in this kind of forum, you can always create a hypothetical that I cannot answer.

    Therefore, I shifted my point to one of freedom. That you cannot shift out from under me.

    Anyone, in any hypothetical, is free to seek the utmost that their talent and ability will take them to. Doesn’t mean that they will achieve it.

    This is my answer to Two Cents as well. We are free to the pursuit, and not the guarantee of happiness.

    If you think government can guarantee happiness, you will be disappointed.

  47. Two Cents says:

    miss-spelling aside, excuse me :)
    I don”t know if it’s anywhere in writting.
    I don’t need it to be.
    Flat out- to me that’s what”s inherently implied in the whole darn experiment.
    They are our “Founding Fathers”
    Not our stepmother’s second husbands.

  48. Two Cents says:

    I don’t think the Government can generate happiness.
    I just don’t want their foot on one’s head while one attempts to lets say- tread water at a depth of personal circumstance or personal choice, or for them to consistantly and incrimentally raise the level of the water for the bennefit of another person’s boat.
    It doesn’t feel like our pool if they keep messing with the water in it.

  49. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Thank God the IRS no longer uses the contentment/prosperity tax table. It was very difficult to calculate your taxes that way.

  50. Mervel says:

    Didn’t Bhutan used to measure that? Seriously. They had some sort of happiness or contentment measure that they used in addition to GDP.

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