Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 16, 2011

A TEST ON TAXES.... President Obama unveiled his debt-reduction plan this week, and as expected, included modest tax increases on the wealthy as a way to improve the nation's finances.

A few hours later, the Republican National Committee sent out a fundraising email to its supporters. The subject line read, "Confiscator-in-Chief." RNC Chairman Reince Priebus proceeded to tell prospective donors:

"The Confiscator-in-Chief is at it again -- right in time for Tax Day.

"Today, President Obama proposed trillions in new taxes to bankroll the liberal Democrats' big government policies at a time when our economy is still struggling, gas prices are soaring and unemployment is still alarmingly high. [...]

"The tax hikes President Obama wants will only fuel Washington's addiction to spending rather than help curb it. More importantly, they will hurt one of the strongest engines of growth and job creation in our economy: small businesses. And they will harm middle class families by taking more money from their pockets at a time when Americans need every dime to cover their expenses."

As a substantive matter, Priebus is engaged in a little something known as "lying." The White House plan intends to increase revenues to address the budget shortfall -- a problem Republicans created and like to pretend they care about -- doesn't hurt small businesses and wouldn't touch middle class families. The RNC deceives its donors, counting on the adage, "A fool and his money are soon parted." And for all I know, there are just enough suckers among rank-and-file Republicans for this to work.

The question, though, is whether the pitch will work on a larger scale.

For quite a while, the effort from the right has been to make tax increases a new third rail in American politics. The idea of bringing in additional revenue to help finance a modern government is simply supposed to be impossible, and it's been a largely successful campaign -- income tax rates have only shrunk over the last two decades, despite massive deficits.

The question now is whether Americans are finally ready to tolerate at least some tax increases on some people (in this case, those making more than $250,000).

President Obama joked in his big speech the other day, "Most of us, regardless of party affiliation, believe that we should have a strong military and a strong defense. Most Americans believe we should invest in education and medical research. Most Americans think we should protect commitments like Social Security and Medicare. And without even looking at a poll, my finely honed political instincts tell me that almost nobody believes they should be paying higher taxes."

And so, the nation faces something of a test. We know the GOP experiment of counting on economic growth through massive tax breaks -- the entire Bush-era -- failed miserably. We also know the U.S. has some of the lowest tax rates in the world, and the lowest tax burdens domestically in more than a half-century.

Are Americans finally ready for a sensible change? There's certainly some evidence for it. The most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll asked Americans the best way to reduce the deficit. The Republican mantra -- the focus must be on spending cuts, and nothing else -- received 31% backing. A combination of cuts and tax increases, the agenda recommended by President Obama, was preferred by a 64% majority.

Just as importantly, are Republicans ready to be responsible? As recently as 20 years ago, the Reagan-Bush Republicans recognized that occasionally raising taxes was necessary. That's obviously changed, by the Washington Post reported this week that at least some GOP officials recognize that any kind of fiscal solution is going to have to include additional revenue, whether the party likes it or not.

As the RNC letter shows, there's a lingering immaturity that still dominates Republican thought. Shrieking, "He's going to raise taxes!" is intended to be the equivalent of "Boo!" Indeed, it's not just the RNC -- the most common Republican response to the president's debt-reduction plan was to emphasize Obama's vision of asking more of the wealthy, as if that alone were some sort of conversation-ender.

And maybe there's something to this strategy. The president's numbers in daily tracking polls this week have been ugly, coinciding with a bunch of headlines that read, "Obama wants to raise taxes." I don't know if one caused the other, but I wouldn't be too surprised.

But it's a debate worth having, and I'm glad Obama is showing responsible leadership on this. If Democrats engage in this discussion from a defensive crouch, they'll lose. If they take the fight to Republicans, and force the GOP to prioritize unpopular breaks for the rich above all else, the public is likely to respond positively.

Steve Benen 11:35 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (47)

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If you notice the media elite is filled with people making more than $250,000. Virtually everybody you see on TV news would see his or her taxes increase under the Obama plan. The pretty faces in the electronic media elite don't want to see their taxes increase. Is there any wonder that actual poll results are never reported or even acknowledged.

Posted by: Ron Byers on April 16, 2011 at 11:46 AM | PERMALINK

"But it's a debate worth having,"

Unfortunately, Steve, in this current political climate a 'debate' ( a discussion conducted by educated, informed parties on opposite sides of an issue) is not possible.

Today we are having a third grade school yard discussion:
"Your mother wears combat boots."
"I know you are, but what am I?"

Posted by: DAY on April 16, 2011 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

It is always amazing how these folks boldly trumpet their greed and reject that they have any societal obligations. The highest marginal tax rate on wages should be 50% or more. Consider that the wealthy do not pay high rates for capital gains or dividends, they are gradually escaping the estate tax (while middle class families inherit less and less from their parents) and even with wages being taxed, they and their employers pay no Social Security above $107,000.

Yet they want more and more money. They deserve it they say. Because they are special, they are the privileged class.

Posted by: Mudge on April 16, 2011 at 11:49 AM | PERMALINK

One of the great ironies of our near future is that the Republican-created panic over our debt is very likely to be the thing that makes tax increases seem not only like a good idea but actually essential. When a crisis is created, there is often more than one solution.

Posted by: jon on April 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM | PERMALINK

In local government, if somebody came in and said, "I'll lower your taxes!" and proposed a budget that closed the public library on Sundays, took the city down to once a week trash pickup, eliminated 4th of July fireworks, and fired 50 police and 75 firefighters, they'd show the idiot the door.
The Republicans have just given America the best lesson possible in why higher taxes might not be bad.It's all the more ironic because it's a bogus lesson: If they came in with a budget that announced tearily that we're going to have to retire two aircraft carrier groups, the F-22, and the Star Wars programthatdoesn'twork, the reaction might be 'uh-huh. Thought so. Keep cuttin'.' But by going after the stuff folks use first, suddenly it makes folks think that spending isn't the godawful thing it was thought to be.

Posted by: pbg on April 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

What I have never seen mentioned, let alone emphasized, is that the rich not only got the same tax breaks as everyone else in the lower brackets, but they got their own tax break besides. It has to be hammered into people that the rich are getting special treatment with the Bush tax break extension. They should only get as much as everyone else, not more.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on April 16, 2011 at 12:00 PM | PERMALINK

If I'm not mistaken, I think 'Reince Priebus' means full diaper in Scandanavian.

Hey Reince, you stupid lying putz, where's all the money and jobs you Republicans have been promising would trickle down for the last 30+ years?

Ask yourself this America:

Are you better of now than you were 30 years ago?

Posted by: c u n d gulag on April 16, 2011 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think they ought to add Ayn Rand's portrait to Mount Rushmore. Her ideas are setting the terms of the national debate more than those of the other worthies portrayed there.

RE Mt Rushmore: A Southern congressman was denouncing FDR as a Communist this week. By next month he'll have probably got round to Lincoln.

Posted by: davidp on April 16, 2011 at 12:03 PM | PERMALINK

So let's get this straight: a vast majority of Americans want to raise the taxes on the rich, preserve their own tax cut, want to maintain medicare and medicaid, want social security left alone, and that is exactly what Obama is proposing, yet THE POLLS SHOW HIS POPULARITY GOING DOWN ? This should tell exactly the truth about the nature of who makes these polls, and how they are reported: lies.

Posted by: stormskies on April 16, 2011 at 12:11 PM | PERMALINK

If you take all the vowels out of Reince Priebus' name, you get RNC PR BS. 'Nuff said.

Posted by: Athena on April 16, 2011 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK


If you take all the vowels out of Reince Priebus' name, you get RNC PR BS. 'Nuff said.

That's brilliant. It's even better than the fact that an anagram for "Spiro Agnew" is "Grow a penis." (I believe Dick Cavett gets credit for that one.)

Posted by: navamske on April 16, 2011 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

Every time they lie,evry time they bullshit and every time they obfuscate someone has to simply say prove it or whats the reference for that. In the case of lower taxes could anyone just please show me a reference that lends any credence to the claim that it produces jobs and stimulates the overall economy and not just for the rich. It certainly hasn't seemed to work whatsoever in the last 10 years.

Posted by: Gandalf on April 16, 2011 at 12:36 PM | PERMALINK

In his speech last Wednesday, President Obama was educating the American people and the Republican Party.
Most importantly, he started out by explaining how we got here after the surplus left by the Clinton administration.

He explained how tax dollars are spent and focused on many misconceptions about where that money goes. He explained his vision for America. He described the Ryan plan and his own. The comparison could not be more stark. He said we were at a fork in the road. The American people need the facts so they can decide which way they want to go.

A few day later, the White House has introduced a tool that gives the American people a Tax Payer Receipt. If you want to know where your federal tax dollars are being spent you can find out here:


Posted by: Ladyhawke on April 16, 2011 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

wouldn't touch middle class families

No one ever asks the Republicans "the middle of what class?"

I'm pretty sure when they say "middle class" they mean those in the middle of $1million and $1billion.

Posted by: martin on April 16, 2011 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans are the deadbeat dads of American politics. They simply don't want to pay, ever.

Dem message should be pretty clear: roll back Bush era tax giveaways to the rich and reform corporate welfare.

Posted by: Mac on April 16, 2011 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

The majority of the American public is for fair tax policies!

A brave political soul would attempt to simplify a presentation that would show the inherent lack of fairness that exists today, how the Republican plan would exacerbate such unfairness, and how her/his plan would make equitable adjustments to achieve tax fairness, and provide for a continuing commitment to old-age, tragedy borne poverty and other related entitlement programs!

We're ready for it! After all, its been a stint in the 80s (81-91), another in the first eight aught years (01-09), where we were told the trickle down theory of macro-economics would bring us prosperity, only to realize at the end of each stint when our nation was in great debt, and the upward flow of wealth saw no second in our nation's history, we didn't get the trickle down, but instead we've gotten the tinkle on!

Hey politicos, we are beginning to realize as you've been telling us it's just raining all these years, you've been actually pissing on our backs! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on April 16, 2011 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Several points need to be made:

1) The Ryan approach is going to replace Social Security with 5 cans of catfood, and to replace Medicare with a box of colored bandaids.

2) The rich are making huge money.

3) Superrich hedge fund pigs pay lower taxes than I do.

Restore fairness by raising taxes on the rich.

Posted by: POed Lib on April 16, 2011 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

And while we're at it, let's drive a stake through the heart of their other favorite line: those at the top pay 70 per cent of the taxes and deadbeats at the bottom pay nothing. Yeah, that's because those at the top make 90 per cent of the income! And the average, bottom-level worker (aka deadbeat to Republicans) pays a far bigger percentage of her income in payroll and sales taxes than the "masters of the universe."

It's time to retire the Republican "Heads, I win, tails, you lose" philosophy of government.

Posted by: dalloway on April 16, 2011 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans start from the assumption that the taxes paid by the wealthy are a kind of largesse, not an obligation on their part, and if they decide they are tired of helping out the peasants, the serfs, the peons slaving for them, they have that right.

I mean, having a job means you have a master, right? Getting wages is something they deign to give you, when in reality you ought to be working for them for nothing but perhaps your keep.

After all, that would be the "right" way for the world to operate.

Posted by: jjm on April 16, 2011 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

The higher earners have had tax breaks for 10 years.

In those 10 years, jobs disappeared, wages lost ground.

Where were these benevolent job creators in the last 10 years as their own bank accounts have grown at the public's expense?

Posted by: jcricket on April 16, 2011 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

It is a very effective strategy.
I have been hearing it all my life in one form or another.
Black people spend all their money on their cars while their houses go to ruin.
Ex wives spend all the child support on themselves instead of their children.
Mexicans send their money home to Mexico and they are lazy.
Native Americans spend all their money on booze.
These people spend all their money on "bling".
Those people spend all their money on what they should not instead of what they should.
Those people don't work hard for their money like "we" do.
Obama wants your money so he can spend it on "his" people instead of "our" people.

They do it because it works. The American public has been conditioned to respond emotionally to this undeserving wastrel argument. That is why it works.

Posted by: thebewilderness on April 16, 2011 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever happened to equating the payment of your fair share of taxes as your patriotic duty? For Christ sake we're fighting three wars right now! It's time for the rich to start kicking in.

Posted by: plane on April 16, 2011 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans don't know how jobs are created. The flunkies in office now are there because they had tons of money behind their candidacies, not because they have any kind of intellect demonstrated in the private sector.

These people don't know the first thing about how an economy moves, what acts as a catalyst for active growth, or how many moving parts are required at a minimum to ensure a strong foundation.

No. These jackasses only know how to game a system in their own favor for their greatest immediate gain, regardless if the country on the whole is worse off. This is the continuation of philosophy of the Texas Idiot. Just as he left all his mayhem off-budget, these jackasses are pretending the damage their policies cause won't exist.

The only way we will be able to get more jobs created in our economy will be to invest in fields that support the fulfillment of more demand.

Increasing assets on a rich person's balance sheet doesn't create jobs. Investing in rebuilding stronger infrastructure and new energy technologies will. Even keeping the old and disabled from falling into abject hopeless poverty keeps money circulating into local economies as basic needs are met.

No, The Republicans don't know shit about jobs or economies. But they do know how to rob a treasury for their own gain and the gain of their cronies.

The fact that they got into office by campaigning on Jobs, Jobs, Jobs -- but have been after a tax break agenda since day one proves it.

Posted by: jcricket on April 16, 2011 at 2:25 PM | PERMALINK

The next time a Republican says he wants a "fair" tax system, tell him "Ok, first we treat ALL income equally." Watch them squeal after that one.

Posted by: martin on April 16, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

the focus must be on spending cuts, and nothing else -- received 31% backing. A combination of cuts and tax increases, the agenda recommended by President Obama, was preferred by a 64% majority.

So goes the overton window...----->

That poll leaves only 5% with "just increase taxes" or "I have no opinion, let me get back to Jery Springer" as possible answers.

@ Athena.
That. Is. Awesome!

Posted by: AndThenThere'sThat on April 16, 2011 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK
As a substantive matter, Priebus is engaged in a little something known as "lying."

Thank you for calling a shovel of..., a shovel of...
instead of some making up either or BS.

One question.
Why the "Squirm" quotes" ?

Posted by: cwolf on April 16, 2011 at 3:10 PM | PERMALINK

The $250,000 number comes from the repub-baggers...Not our President..

They are selling it like crazy but not many other than their base are buying! TOO much history of lying..Buyers remorse transfers to all rhetoric spew from them As of January 2011!Where are the jobs, repubs!

Where are the jobs, repubs? Where are the job? 100 days and not one JOBS BILL!

Posted by: jlt on April 16, 2011 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans in Texas are refusing to use our Economic Stabilization Fund known as the Rainy Day Fund to fund Texas schools and are slashing public employee benefits and possibly giving pink slips (R.I.F.)lay off to tens of thousands of teachers as well as cutting important social programs. For more on this you can Google, Red Dirt & Sand or go to

Posted by: Kenneth D. Franks on April 16, 2011 at 5:17 PM | PERMALINK

I think they ought to add Ayn Rand's portrait to Mount Rushmore. Her ideas are setting the terms of the national debate more than those of the other worthies portrayed there.

That would be interesting, especially seeing as how she was an unapologetic atheist who called Christianity a "kindergarten for Communism". In fact, her "rational self-interest" philosophy represents the antithesis of Christ's message, which by my reading is all about helping the less fortunate, and as I recall one of the pillars of his morality is the whole idea of sacrifice. The mental gymnastics these people must go through to convince themselves of the righteousness of their world view must awesome to behold.

Posted by: DelCapslock on April 16, 2011 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Yesterday, David Gergen (think it was with Anderson Cooper)likening the Dems' sharp-tongued critique of Ryan to the Republicans linking the Health Reform Bill to "Death Panels". He added the Dems were rightly outraged and he now is outraged at the so called ad hominem attacks on Ryan. He said this all looking very grave.

What a lame, fallacious analogy. Grr....

Yes, Steve--I too sure hope the Dems don't fall for this sort of stuff and then shrink down into defensive posturing. It's a different ball game now.

Posted by: Oh, those Dems are so mean on April 16, 2011 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

Republican "economic policy" consists of borrowing trillions and giving it to the rich. It's that simple.

Posted by: Tom Marney on April 16, 2011 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

Just caught an article reporting that Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, California's lone "Tea party" success in last fall's state election said recently: "We've got a .50-caliber with cross-hairs and..we're going to pick off two or three of them using this issue", referring to CA state govt. as having betrayed the public with job-killing regulations and crushing taxes. He's the full on package deal role model for all politicians: nicknamed "The Shredder" after bashing a piggy bank with a hammer video went viral on YouTube. Doesn't believe in global warming, and..well, you get the picture.

David Gergen, where are you and your outrage with all of this?

Posted by: "The Shredder" Tim Donnelly threatens with a .50 caliber and cross-hairs aiming at CA legislature on April 16, 2011 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

Kudos especially to Martin and Athena for such valuable new memes in this thread.

The thing I don't get is how our political discourse ignores the most obvious no-brainer in capitalism, which is that a thriving middle class will benefit ALL classes economically. If the rich would relax their sphincters on taxes, they would come out ahead in the end, and the lower class would benefit as well. ONLY the middle class can lead the way to an ever-more-healthening economy.

But as for the opposite, the current protracted assault on the middle class, it stuns me that the people so allegedly afraid of socialism are doing so much to invite the revolution, sooner rather than later.

Posted by: jTh on April 16, 2011 at 5:45 PM | PERMALINK

No company or "job creators" ever based hiring more employees on the amount of taxes they pay. Employees by and large are tax deductible expenses.

And all this lying about what comprises "small businesses" should be based on revenue generated as the largest percentage classified as small bus. actually have profits of over $40-50mil. annually.

Republicans lie about everything and are incapable of running government that is not destructive to government. It's insulting to listen to any of them.

"When Republicans speak of “small businesses,” they are referring to the companies that file under the individual tax code. But not all of them are what most Americans would consider small businesses — and not all of them are that small, either. In fact, a report by the Joint Committee on Taxation — the nonpartisan congressional entity that ‘scores” tax legislation — found that the number of tax returns by so-called “flow-through entities” has soared in recent years...."

check out more in this article

It sheds light on the title "small business", and the tax code. Higher taxes have historically raised the employment rate as profits are put back into the company rather than paying higher personal income tax. As business expands more labor is needed.

Posted by: bjobotts on April 16, 2011 at 6:07 PM | PERMALINK

The thing that is NEVER mentioned about taxes are loopholes and deductions. That's why the rich pay do little percentage wise. If you start with 35%, that gets discounted, almost exclusively for the wealthy, to 10% or less.

Big, big difference for these tax rates they like to bitch about.

Posted by: MsJoanne on April 16, 2011 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Paul Ryan is said to require his staff to read the entire corpus of Ayn Rand's novels and "philosophical" tracts regularly, and he publicly attributes his entrance into "public service" to his veneration for her.

Rand is also said to be a major inspiration for the brothers Koch.

Democrats, from President Obama on down, should regularly hammer away at the Randian roots of the libertarian ideology espoused by Ryan, the Kochs, and no doubt Ron and Rand Paul. Make sure that this atheistic, buck-worshipping, pseudo-Nietzchean, Russian-born, weird and randy (pun intended) hater of Christianity gets identified, especially among the fundamentalist Christians who make up the Tea Party stormtroopers, as the ultimate source of contemporary right-wing economics and social policy.

The right wants to call Obama a socialist, a Marxist, a fascist, a Kenyan anti-imperialist? OK, counterattack with Ayn Rand--and keep it up until the mass media starts to pick up on it. Make sure all those fundamentalist preachers who spout Tea Party crap know where the GOP is getting its gospel. Make sure Ryan has to defend publicly his debt to old Ayn Rand--since she's his intellectual guru, he should do so with pride and confidence.

The more the American public learns about Ayn's weirdness and her contempt for Christianity, the better. She started to stink back in the Sixties, as people started finding out the answer to the question--so often chalked on campus sidewalks by her dupes--"Who is John Galt?" The fact that now she's coming back from the grave in the guise of Paul Ryan and Paul father-and-son means that the public needs to be made acquainted with her stench all over again.

Posted by: James Miller on April 16, 2011 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

"A combination of cuts and tax increases...was preferred by a 64% majority...The president's numbers in daily trackiong polls this week have been ugly..." Steve Benen.

I have little doubt that the former contributed to the latter, but then nobody likes to hear bad news and, too often, the initial rancor is directed against the bearer and not the cause.
There's 18 months before the next election and that's plenty of time to build a coalition against the Republican/Teabagger "no tax increases - EVER" ideology.
We need to remain focused on letting the GWB tax cuts for the rich expire, as that cuts the deficit by at least 50%. Continued Defense cuts can be made, but I'm not certain if they should be cuts so much as "not spending"; ie, do we REALLY need 16 (18?) aircraft carriers? At $5 BILLION plus a vessel? Savings are savings, whether right now or ten years from now. I'm unfamiliar what else can, politically, be cut from the Defense budget, so down-sizing may be the simplest and easiest way to go.
Further on, once the economy has improved, there may be a need for further increases and THAT would be the time to replace a marginal rate on higher incomes (over $5 million?). Any further tax increases would have to raise ALL rates. Perhaps for every 1% increase on the upper bracket, a corresponding .05% increase for the others?
Whatever, it's good that President Obama is starting the conversation about tax increases NOW. It gives the voters 18 months to decide which they prefer: higher taxes on the rich or working until they drop because HC insurance is unaffordable.
Somehow, I think they'll go for the former...

Posted by: Doug on April 16, 2011 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

I just came across a great quote, summarizing (and anticipating in criticism by some decades) the "philosophy" of Ayn Rand: "complete freedom for the individual...turned out in practice to mean perfect freedom for the strong to wrong the weak". Guess who?

Theodore Roosevelt

Posted by: jrosen on April 16, 2011 at 8:07 PM | PERMALINK

Joanne, that's much more than the zero percent "the working poor" pay.

I say, if taxes go up, raise them for EVERYONE. Then we'll quickly see how quickly people overwhelmingly support spending cuts.

Posted by: Concerned on April 16, 2011 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

Ayn Rand's books are economic pornography. Many people masturbate to them with the "invisible hand" of the market.

Posted by: Athena on April 16, 2011 at 8:14 PM | PERMALINK

I'm sure many Republicans would also call paying employees anything at all is "confiscation"--robbing the barons of their full profit entitlements. Alas, slavery, we hardly knew ye.

Posted by: Jack H. on April 16, 2011 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

"Joanne, that's much more than the zero percent "the working poor" pay."

Bullshit. The working poor pay social security taxes, sales taxes, gas taxes and through their rent, property taxes.

Smarter trolls, please.

Posted by: Joel on April 16, 2011 at 8:29 PM | PERMALINK

"The president's numbers in daily tracking polls this week have been ugly,"

Surely some of this from Democrats who feel he's being rolled on the shutdown, budget deals, etc.?

Posted by: bob h on April 17, 2011 at 6:53 AM | PERMALINK

Joel, this discussion was about income taxes. Stick with the context, please.

Posted by: Concerned on April 17, 2011 at 9:03 AM | PERMALINK

Here's a defense of Obama, versus what the author considers excessive criticism from his own base:

Concerned-troll, you narrowness demands are suspicious. If someone suggests that certain people pay less or more etc, it's game to bring up related triangulations.

Posted by: neil b on April 17, 2011 at 9:32 AM | PERMALINK

"...RNC Chairman Reince Priebus..."

What a name. Maybe his parents came up with it while playing Scrabble at the country club after three pitchers of martinis. And where is this cat's birth certificate.

Posted by: max on April 17, 2011 at 9:58 AM | PERMALINK

Just for the record in this dying thread: many of her Republican admirers are even worse than Rand. It may be hard to believe anyone, even her own Ayn-al retentive sycophants, can be worse - but Rand did at least recognize that the finance sector wasn't really (mostly) productive, and gave credit to working people per se as deserving a fair shake, no cheating, etc.

Posted by: neil b on April 17, 2011 at 10:34 AM | PERMALINK
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