John Ransom

As many already know, the Ransom Notes and Townhall Finance Worldwide HQ is moving to the West Coast this month to better serve our readership. Please bear with me, while we get moved.

Georgia Boy wrote: Actually, President Obama has not raised taxes on anybody, but I think he will raise taxes on the wealthiest (back to historic levels) when he gets his second term. That said, Ransom is just another Rat-wing speculation, pretty much full of bovine manure. -France’s “No Limit” Tax Perfect for Zero

Dear Comrade Boy Georgia,

You’re right about Obama wanting to bring taxes to historic levels, although like most liberals you don’t understand what you are saying. Still, rest assured, if you did understand what you said about taxes at historic levels, you’d be for that too.

And that’s really the problem with modern liberalism: It’s a creed with solutions designed to provide pre-determined outcomes. Now, if they could only find the problems in need of their solutions.

Faultroy wrote: It is unfortunate that Ransom is so blinded that he cannot see that it is neither Obama nor Hollande that is doing this. It is a percentile of people in the USA and France that is promoting this. Ransom forgets that France is a social democracy and the USA is a republican democracy. If you are going to blame anyone, blame the voters in their respective countries. What Mr. Ransom should be doing is railing against the people not those they elect to bidding. We should further ask Mr. Ransom to stop being a mouthpiece for the establishment Repubs. -France’s “No Limit” Tax Perfect for Zero



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Dear Comrade Faultroy,

I don’t even know where to start with you.

Oh, yes; Here it is: I’m not a mouthpiece for anyone, let alone establishment Republicans.

But I’ll play along for the sake of the entertainment value.

So you’d like for some entity to run a political campaign that blames voters?

“Vote for me, ‘cause you suck”?

Is that the idea?

Catchy bumper sticker, but isn’t that the campaign Carter ran in ’76 and Obama is resurrecting?

Ericynot wrote: As I understand Obama's tax proposals, they are to raise taxes on those making over $250,000 / year back to where they were before Bush lowed them in 2001 and 2003. The Bush tax cuts were sold to Congress as temporary measures, so why should they not be put back? That was the deal to begin with. Obama also wants to tax capital gains as ordinary income. That seems right to me, and almost all of my income is from capital gains. Income is income. Why should some of it be taxed at a different rate?

The real solution? Dump the income tax and move to the FairTax (on consumption). -France’s “No Limit” Tax Perfect for Zero

Dear Comrade Y,

Face facts Y: Democrats in Congress extended the tax cuts and Obama approved the extensions…twice.

You know why? Because it’s really hard to make the argument that you are concerned with bringing in more government revenue when your tax policy is designed to bring in less in the interest of “fairness.”

Under Bush government revenues by 2005 had recovered from 9/11 so at they approximated 2001 receipts. By 2007, government revenue was $200 billion higher than 2005. Under Obama, we are still below the government revenue receipts from 2001. What Bush did on tax policy brought more money into the system. Obama would do well to cut taxes, not raise them as he has.

Why do you American Socialists have such a big problem with others making a ton of money when it will actually provide you more government revenue to fund the programs for the poor people you say you care about?

How long do you think a government with economic policies that foster social outcomes at the expense of the economy as a whole, government revenues as a whole, the wealth of the nation as a whole, last?

I’d say the third week of January 2013.

Yulee wrote: Sir and I say that losely obama was handed this screwed up economy from one george bush who got our country into such extreme debt I don't know if you remember his huge credit card press conferance but the moment I saw that I knew what kind of mentality the bush years were going to be on sept 11 alcada blew up some real estate here in america so what does bush do go after alcada no he invades iraq and our grandchildern will still be paying for that but that's ok because patriotic company's like halaburtan ha ha made a huge profit back in ww1 or ww2 that company would have been called a war profiteer and the leaders tryed in coart and found guilty and punished at the same time the great leader mitt romney had a little company called bane interprizes who liqudaed so many little bussiness acros america and out sorced all those jobs to china and india etc that he destroyed the middle class so be a real reporter and tell the truth not the party line you big fat liar -Obama’s God Fails Him Again

Dear Comrade Yulee,

The period; capitalization; complete sentences; spell check. These and many other innovations have been brought to you over the last 7,000 years of literary history sponsored in part by Halliburton.

That said, lets get to the meat of your argument.

Fat? Yes, guilty.

Liar? Sure, in a Mark Twain sort of way.

More than that, I’ll let readers decide.

CRW wrote: I think most of the public is too dumb to appreciate the sarcasm in this article. I think that most people will take your words at face value and believe what you have said. Hence I feel this is a POOR way to get your message across. -Obama’s God Fails Him Again

Dear Comrade CRW,

I think that you need to get your own column and write things dumbly to appeal to the dumb people you want to reach. Hence, I feel that this is a GOOD way to get your message across.

Ootvos wrote: If the wealthy understand economics, why did the banking system collapse? Many wealthy persons are also crooks. It's the best way to get wealthy. Financier now means manipulator of other peoples' money. -Obama’s God Fails Him Again

Dear Comrade Ootvos,

Many poor people are also crooks. It’s one of the best ways to stay poor actually. But being poor or rich is incidental to being a criminal.

Wealthy people may be clients of the banking system, but then so are you.

By your logic, poor people understand economics better because they have never caused a banking system to collapse. Dogs aren’t criminals and have never caused a banking system to collapse. In your world, maybe we should just put dogs in charge of our money.

If you were arguing that maybe we should send more dogs to Congress, or make a Labrador Retriever president, you might have had me.

Jose wrote: All religions have done more harm than good. Wars have been fought solely on religious believes. My Rx.believe in god but have no church-religion. All religions endoctrinate and the main message is to fear god. Based on fear and punishment. -Obama’s God Fails Him Again

Dear Comrade Jose,

As a type of reader you annoy me more than any other.

Pick up a freakin’ book and read about the world around you.

I thought agnostics and atheists were supposed to be “fact” based people? Isn’t science your religion?

If you added up all the people who died from all the wars gone before, including religious wars, it wouldn’t come close to the horror that the atheistic, materialist regimes of the 20th Century produced.

So just in sheer numbers, you are in fact wrong.

231 million people died in the 20th Century from war and famine related to war, including civil war according to a study by Cornell. The total number of people who had lived on the earth by 1900 was 1.6 billion. To match the massacre from the 20th Century, all other populations in previous century would have had to sustain 14 percent fatalities from war.

Whole armies that go into battle don’t sustain 14 percent casualties.

Then there is the matter of religion’s contribution to peace and refinement of humanity.

From: Godless Morality? Why Judeo-Christianity Is Necessary for Human Rights:

Some prominent thinkers who are neither religious nor even politically conservative — most recently the German philosopher Jurgen Habermas, who is both an atheist and a leftist — have expressed the view that the values of individual rights, moral equality, and human dignity might not survive the decline of the Judeo-Christian cultural framework within which they first developed. And there are very good reasons for believing that there's an essential connection between those values and the framework in question — a connection that ought to lead even non-believers to hope for the revival of the religious traditions of Western civilization. A thoroughly secularized Europe will not long remain a free and civilized Europe.

Scott S wrote: Please explain exactly how Quantitative Easing prints more money. - Obama Owns These Oil Prices

Dear Comrade S,

Money isn’t printed anymore because most of it is just a digital entry in a computer.

But where does the Federal Reserve Bank get the money to buy back U.S. Treasuries?

Well they just create it out of thin air. And they can do that too. They are the reserve bank for the entire banking system:

From the BBC talking about the UK’s Central Bank, but the principle applies:

These days the Bank doesn't have to literally print money - it is all done electronically.

However, economists would still argue that QE is the same principle as printing money as it is a deliberate expansion of the central bank's balance sheet and the monetary base.

This is why you see the value of currencies for countries do this go down.

“The Fed ceased publishing M-3,” writes Shadowstats, “its broadest money supply measure, in March 2006. The SGS M-3 Continuation estimates current M-3 based on ongoing Fed reporting of M-3’s largest components (M-2, institutional money funds and partial large time deposits) and proprietary modeling of the balance.”

The chart records only the rate at which the money supply is GROWING, not the money supply. There was a very brief period in 2010 when they money supply actually contracted, but otherwise the printing presses have been active.

When the economy is growing sluggishly less than 2 percent and you are increasing the money supply by 10-20 percent, the value of your dollar will go down.

Yactsman388 wrote: 81% of the "speculators" are nothing but bettors at the crude casino never touching the oil, never intending to touch the oil. Taking physical delivery of the oil would create a major expense and problems they don't need. - Obama Owns These Oil Prices

Dear Comrade Boat Snob,

Here’s a fact that won’t penetrate your skull, but I say it for the benefit of others.

On every trade, including those of speculation, there is another person on the other side either buying or selling. The relative value that each of the counterparties put on a thing being bought or sold determines the price, not the mere fact that people are speculators.

Having said that, there is a high degree of speculation in the markets, especially for oil, gold and other assets.

You know who their banker is? Barack Obama.

Two reasons why we are seeing oil prices remain high even though demand is coming down: 1) Central banks under direction of politicians like Obama are printing more money and that causes prices of assets to go up and currency values go down; and 2) There is more money out there as money supply chasing a smaller pools of assets around like gold and oil, meaning prices will go up.

Either way, it’s Obama’s fault.

Everyononesfacts4usall wrote: Dropout rate is correct. This seems about average across the US for a district that has 87% of students at or below poverty rate. Never understood why people care where others send their kids to school. The interesting thing here is that teachers are more likely to send kids to public schools than others with the same financial status. This is something I know, but don't particularly care about but Ransom & Kevlar I think will. -You Can't Teach Liberals Anything

Dear Comrade 4,

33 percent of students fall at or below poverty in Chicago. Could you at least not just make up “facts”?

I care where public schools teachers send their kids because it’s their political machine- the union- that has turned public schools into crap machines.

This is how stupid these people are. The Chicago Teachers Union cries that “42 percent of Chicago’s elementary schools lack full funding for arts and music teachers,” says Thinkprogress.org. Maybe it’s me, but shouldn’t the CTU be more concerned that only 20 percent of students are proficient at math and reading?

Seriously, we’ve given public schools all the resources they need to teach our kids. If we left kids on their own in an empty classroom with books they’d probably produce a better outcome than what we are paying for.

Public schools in America need to start doing their job.

Dbrynes wrote: Lies. All lies. The CBO assumes the only difference, or benefit to electric engines is too save money on gas. But all else is NOT equal. All the other facts listed in this article were wrong as well. Apparently it is accepted in journalism to reference other articles or news even if the facts are wrong. This has happened repeatedly with the "losing $50k" on each Volt GM sells. This fact has already been debunked as that figure includes the fixed costs in production costs. The fixed costs were already spent. You don't keep losing that money on each sale of a car. - Even War and Rumors of War Can't Save Chevy Volt

Dear Comrade D,

Sure you keep losing your fixed costs. You lose your fixed costs until you recoup those costs. Duh. You have to see return on investment when you “invest” money into a new project like the Volt.

There are other products they could build with that money. Or here’s an idea: Maybe they could have paid the taxpayers back with the money?

No one would care if they were losing a little money if they could accomplish their own goals, or even tell the truth.

But they can’t do either.

For the Volt, they aren’t hitting their sales goals; they aren’t hitting their financial goals. They put out a press release telling us that sales for the Volt are at historic highs, yet neglect to mention that they have dropped the price 25 percent?

As a government program, the Volt will have to fit somewhere between Social Security and the US Post Office.

That said, the Volt would make an excellent, all-electric, US Postal stamp, collectors edition.

As a car though, it sucks.

Jerome41 wrote: Ransom is a joke. His beliefs have led to drug lords unleashing violence in Mexico and the U.S. He ignores growing support for legalizion of marijuana in the U.S. Recent polls show even majority support for outright legalization of marijuana. The fact is marijuana is very easily acquired on the black market by teens, because it is illegal. There is no regulation so drug dealers don't check I.D.s YOu want to continue a losing policy that costs us billions and destroys constitutional rights, than keep right on doing what Ransom says. If you say, enough, than he should be ignored. -Mile High Idea: Smoke Dope, Build Schools

Dear Comrade Jerome,

Sorry I don’t like pot. I have an aversion to substances that have links to mental illness.

I want the government out of the pot business and I want the sale of pot to have nothing to do with funding schools or anything to do with children.

You want to decriminalize marijuana, go ahead.

I won’t do it.

That’s it for this week.

V/r,

JR


John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.