Political Animal


September 21, 2011 1:45 PM ‘The underlying social contract’

By Steve Benen

This clip of Elizabeth Warren on the campaign trail in Massachusetts is making the rounds today, and for good reason. First-time candidates don’t usually articulate a progressive economic message quite this well. (via Thers)

For those who can’t watch clips online, Warren, after explaining some of the reasons for the nation’s deep fiscal hole, pointed to a more sensible approach to economic policy in general. “I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,’” she said. “No. There is nobody in this country who got rich on his own. Nobody.

“You built a factory out there? Good for you. But I want to be clear: you moved your goods to market on the roads the rest of us paid for; you hired workers the rest of us paid to educate; you were safe in your factory because of police forces and fire forces that the rest of us paid for. You didn’t have to worry that marauding bands would come and seize everything at your factory, and hire someone to protect against this, because of the work the rest of us did.

“Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it. But part of the underlying social contract is you take a hunk of that and pay forward for the next kid who comes along.”

I mention this for a few reasons. First, for those wondering why Warren has a strong base of supporters who adore her, this clip offers a big hint. Second, if there are lingering concerns about whether Warren could be an effective speaker on the stump, I think those questions are being answered.

And third, if more Democrats were able to make the case for the underlying social contract as effectively, our discourse would be vastly less mind-numbing.

Steve Benen is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly, joining the publication in August, 2008 as chief blogger for the Washington Monthly blog, Political Animal.


  • G.Kerby on September 21, 2011 1:53 PM:

    BRAVO !

  • Gummo on September 21, 2011 1:53 PM:

    It's way past time Democrats took on the myth of the self-made man.

    If so many of our Dem reps weren't bought and paid for, I'd expect to hear this repeated, retweeted and echoed 24/7 from every stump, pulpit and media outlet that a Dem could get their face on.

    Alas, I'm sure the Powers That Be are already working on how to shut her up and shut her down.

  • Ron Byers on September 21, 2011 1:55 PM:

    God I wish I could trade Claire McCaskill for Elizabeth Warren. She is great.

  • sick-n-effn-tired. on September 21, 2011 1:57 PM:

    Luntz-O-Gram Pending.....

  • TR on September 21, 2011 1:59 PM:

    Outstanding. More like her, please.

  • bcinaz on September 21, 2011 2:00 PM:

    Why is this such a hard message for so many Dems to articulate; it's as basic as "do unto others"

  • Bob M on September 21, 2011 2:02 PM:

    Too bad Obama didn't put her forward to Congress so she could now refer to all the jackass statements the GOP would have said.

  • jomo on September 21, 2011 2:03 PM:

    And you gained a customer base from the middle class that is an outcome of the social contract

  • c u n d gulag on September 21, 2011 2:08 PM:

    That sound you hear is Scott Browns knees knocking.

    What she just said should be required to be memorized by every Democrat in the country.

    Shared responsiblity.
    THAT is the platform, Schmucks!!!

  • Andrew on September 21, 2011 2:10 PM:

    AWESOME. More of this please.

  • Chief on September 21, 2011 2:15 PM:

    In my 70 + years, I have not seen anyone near aa intellectually brilliant as Elizabeth Warren, who could speak so clearly using everyday words.

  • Brenna on September 21, 2011 2:16 PM:

    I only wish she could be the new breed of politicians to come. Also, Daily Kos has a clip of her on Morning Joe today. Mark Halprin tried a gotcha question on her and she showed, effortlessly, how brilliant and knowledgable about all facets of gov't she really is. The sour look on his face as she answered the question is priceless.

  • MarkJ on September 21, 2011 2:18 PM:

    She's leaving out the factory workers themselves. Without them the factory doesn't produce. And if they don't produce more than they are paid, the factory owner goes bankrupt. Ergo, they help make the guy rich.

    This is what disturbs me the most about the whole "job creator" meme. Those productive employees are what make the the owner rich. But they always talk about those workers as though they are leeches, as though the magical job creator did it all by him or herself.

  • square1 on September 21, 2011 2:18 PM:

    Ideally, she would primary Obama in 2012. I will settle for joining the movement to draft Warren in 2016.

  • SYSPROG on September 21, 2011 2:26 PM:

    I adore her. Most of all for her COMMON SENSE. Scott Brown is already attacking her for not being a TRUE Mass. person...She's only been there 25 years teaching at Harvard...We have two pretty terrific women Senators out here but I must say I'd trade one of them for Warren!

  • Grumpy on September 21, 2011 2:29 PM:

    Yeah, but is she a Red Sox fan like she's supposed to be? 'Cause that's a deal-breaker.

  • Objective Dem on September 21, 2011 2:42 PM:

    And don't forget the patent laws that protect the self-made man's invention.

    And the laws and court system that enforce contract law and prevent him from being ripped off.

    And the supply of cheap energy secured by our military.

    And the basic research subsidized and performed by our government.

    And the sewer and water facility and lines paid for by everyone.

    Etc., Etc., Etc.

  • zeitgeist on September 21, 2011 2:50 PM:

    Dear other Democrats:

    See, that wasn't so hard, was it?



  • Trinity on September 21, 2011 2:54 PM:

    Sweet FSM, I love this woman.

  • Ray Waldren on September 21, 2011 3:05 PM:

    Just think if this woman becomes President in 2017 (January 20th), she can thank the Republicans and their Tea Party buddies for keeping her out of that consumer agency where she would have been relegated to obscurity.

  • Mitch on September 21, 2011 3:06 PM:

    Any chance of Elizabeth Warren in 2016? If so then she's already got my vote. :)

  • scott_m on September 21, 2011 3:06 PM:

    Must disagree with Grumpy--somebody who talks about economics the way she does, she can root for whoever she wants.

    Red Sox--sure Pats--uh, uh, sure.

  • Anon on September 21, 2011 3:31 PM:

    I think i just fell in love.

  • Roger the Cabin Boy on September 21, 2011 3:31 PM:

    Morning Joe put Elizabeth Warren up against Mark Halperin? Talk about contrasts.

    Warren for President 2016!

  • Rich on September 21, 2011 3:38 PM:

    She lays things out well--a sort of schoolmarmish version of Alan Grayson. I think she's had ample opportunities to learn You have to learn how to make things simple for Congresspeople and their staffs. I'd also imagine that she has encountered more than a few economic simpletons at Harvard, as well.

  • bdop4 on September 21, 2011 3:49 PM:

    Warren ALMOST makes me want to move to MA. I hope Dem leadership is taking notes.

  • exlibra on September 21, 2011 3:51 PM:

    Rich, @3:38PM, is right; she's had to express complex concepts simply because, even at Harvard, you get some people who need their intellectual morsels pre-chewed for them. And then she polished her skills while the Repubs in Congress harassed her; for them, information not only has to be pre-chewed but also pre-digested.

  • Sara on September 21, 2011 4:02 PM:

    Elizabeth Warren was my professor 20-odd years ago, and she was hands-down the most knowledgeable and effective debater I've ever had the pleasure (and sometimes misfortune) to engage with. But unlike some other great debaters (Anthony Weiner, for instance), she slays you with such intelligence, steel, charm and grace that most people come away liking her even if they disagree with her. I understand why her supporters adore her - she was hands-down the most important academic influence on who I am today. And even though some may dismiss her as a Harvard elite, I know that she earned those credentials the hard way and is an Okie at heart. She can resonate with people at all levels of sophistication.

  • 3reddogs on September 21, 2011 4:08 PM:

    She's everything I'd hoped Obama would be. (And if she ever decided to run for president I'd work my ass off for her.)

  • liam foote on September 21, 2011 4:15 PM:

    Ms. Warren is a treasure and will represent MA well. Many saw this star rising several months ago when she was attacked by GOP Reps in the House hearings and it became clear she would not be allowed to assume leadership of the consumer bureau.

    It is obviously now the time for the Rove-Koch machine to fund a torrent of slime and attack ads. One can't help but get the impression that it won't matter a bit.
    Welcome to the Senate, Ms. Warren, and a prominent place in the 2016 elections.

  • DAY on September 21, 2011 4:18 PM:

    "Common Sense"?
    Seems there is another lady- who ran for VP- that is a big fan of common sense. Except when one examines hers, it is more like "common NONsense". . .

    Say what you will about Harvard, Larry Summers, and the Ivy Elites, cream rises!

  • ErikaF on September 21, 2011 4:31 PM:

    This is what disturbs me the most about the whole "job creator" meme. Those productive employees are what make the the owner rich. But they always talk about those workers as though they are leeches, as though the magical job creator did it all by him or herself.

    Ever notice that folks that talk about the job creators view business as only the linear beginning of the cycle, rather than the connecting loop? They talk about the chickens, and forget that without the eggs, there aren't any more chickens. Ms. Warren is fantastic, and I wish so much that someone with only 1/10 of her intelligence and abilities represented me over the twits I have now.

  • Cha on September 21, 2011 4:33 PM:

    @ Bob M on September 21, 2011 2:02 PM:

    "Too bad Obama didn't put her forward to Congress so she could now refer to all the jackass statements the GOP would have said."

    Elizabeth Warren didn't want the job. And, she likes and respects our President..just like I do.

    We have Obama as President for which I am grateful and Elizabeth will be our next Senator from Massachusetts. The seat formerly held by Teddy Kennedy.

  • Not Anonymous on September 21, 2011 4:34 PM:

    2016 Baby!

  • squiggleslash on September 21, 2011 4:40 PM:

    It's great but remember that the last time someone sounded smart, rational, and like a great communicator, they turned out to be a complete jerk and a clone of the last guy when they finally got into office.

    There's no reason to suppose Warren isn't another Obama.

  • kanopsis on September 21, 2011 4:58 PM:

    What everyone above said... Warren for president in 2016!

    She definitely seems to have what it takes. I live in Tx, but I'm sending my money to Ma. I think everyone here should too. We need to do what we can to counter the Rove/Koch machine.

  • Dave on September 21, 2011 5:17 PM:

    Her statements all sound fantastic, from a populist standpoint. But in reality, it is simply misleading people from the original issue, which is what a clever politician does (Obama did it during his campaign). The real point however is that the "rich" still pay a greater proportion of taxes, and have higher rates, plain and simple.

    And yes, while these taxes should be going to things like roads, police, national defense, etc etc -- the public goods that maintain a free society and promote INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM to prosperity, instead they go to inefficient spending projects, bloated social welfare programs, and rampant waste, fraud and abuse. If spending was actually controlled, and the basic programs run efficiently, we wouldn't need to keep raising everyone's taxes, rich or poor.

    Side Note: I'm pretty sure the best workers that the best companies hire weren't educated by the taxpayer. They went to private schools and universities, or were brought over from other countries, because our public education system is a failure and consistently ranks as one of the lowest worldwide in essential subjects like Math and Science.

  • paul on September 21, 2011 5:20 PM:

    No wonder the democrats and republicans in Washington drummed her out. I'm glad she's running for Teddy Kennedy's seat.

  • shanti2 on September 21, 2011 5:35 PM:

    I am so pissed I don't live in MA anymore. I want to trade Warner and Webb for Ms Warren. I have 2 Senators who are basically worthless.

  • F.O. Vance Gray on September 21, 2011 6:46 PM:

    She makes a great case for paying taxes. Problem is, that's not the issue.

    Our hypothetical factory owner already pays property taxes to support the schools; sales taxes to support the police and fire department; gas taxes to support the highways; payroll taxes to support social security and Medicare; unemployment taxes to support the safety net; and income and capital gains taxes to support everything else.

    The question is, if the government wants more money, why should the factory owner bear that burden alone?

  • bubba on September 21, 2011 7:18 PM:

    As I said 2 days ago on this blog:

    bubba on September 19, 2011 2:17 PM:

    I will believe BHO will fight when he maintains the fight. We shall see.

    That said, these are very positive steps and measures. I only wish BHO would change the focus just a little bit. Focus instead on how most government spending on infrastructure, police and fire coverage, the military, corporate welfare, etc., etc., etc., disproportionately benefits the wealthy, and not the poor and lower economic classes. Those roads are primarily to allow commerce to occur, which disproportionately benefits the wealthy. Police and fire are primarily in place to protect those who own property, more importantly their property, which disproportionately benefits the wealthy. All US foregin activities (nonmilitary as well as military) are there to ensure many things, most of which is access to markets, consumers, and necessary raw materials and product, oil being a big one, which disproportionately benefits the wealthy. So it is simply not wrong and is abolutely right to ask those who benefit the most from these expenditures, the wealthy, to pay a bit more. Enough of this "shared sacrifice talk already

  • Doug on September 21, 2011 8:51 PM:

    Dave @ 5:17 PM -
    "...the 'rich' still pay a greater proportion of taxes, and have higher rates, plain and simple."
    Warren Buffet.
    "...while these taxes should be going to things like roads, police, national defense, etc. etc..."
    While we all agree on the necessity of the three items you listed, the amounts/percentages are where the debate actually is. Why, for example, is this country spending a sum equal to ALL other military spending on the planet? There are no references to any environmental, food or safety regulations. Are they an "etc."? If not, why not?
    "...the public goods that maintain a free society and promote INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM(sic) to prosperity..."
    You don't believe that education is a "public good"; a major, if not the greatest, component in maintaining a free society and promoting individual freedom? If you are, perhaps, referring to the "freedom" each of us has upon reaching maturity to make one's way in life, then I cmopletely fail to see your point. WHAT is preventing you from seeking prosperity; other than the current Republican/Teabagger economic policies, that is?
    "...inefficient spending projects..." Iraq? Medicare Part D?
    "...bloated social welfare programs..." As opposed to bloated CORPORATE welfare programs?
    "...and rampant waste, fraud and abuse." C'mon, admit it, you cut-and-pasted that, didn't you?
    What makes you think spending HASN'T been controlled? We're spending a smaller percentage of the GDP NOW, than in 1952. The same question applies to your reference to running basic programs efficiently. Just what, in your opinion, constitutes a "basic" program? Which of those aren't being efficiently run?
    "...we wouldn't need to keep raising everyone's taxes, rich or poor." The LAST increase in taxes was during the Clinton Administration. There have been NO tax increases during the Obama Administration. Closing loopholes so that income subject to a 35% rate is actually paid at a 35% rate is NOT a tax increase.
    "...because our public education system is a failure..." If our public education system IS a failure, then I would suggest we do something about it. Ensuring that there are sufficient teachers and that they're properly trained would be a start. Treating those teachers as the professionals they are would also help. Providing sufficient funds for buildings, equipment and textbooks might raise our standings, too. How about parents realizing their contribution to their child/ren's education doesn't end with seeing the kids off to school in the morning?
    Your un-sourced allegation about "the best workers that the best companies hire" being either privately educated or immigrants on work permits merely shows that you're biased AGAINST public education, but aren't competent to argue the validity of the point you ARE trying to make. However, IF you should wish to argue that ONLY private primary, secondary and universty-level educations are good enough to provide a competent work-force for "the best companies", I have to warn you - you'll lose.

  • Seould on September 21, 2011 8:54 PM:

    Like most of the rest of you, I'm immensely impressed with Professor Warren. She's highly intelligent, and even more important, highly articulate. She's too new to the scene to know about her legislative abilities, much less executive talents, but I would certainly give her a fair look in '16. Maybe...Cuomo-Warren. Sounds good to me.

  • rick on September 21, 2011 9:23 PM:

    Cuomo is an elephant in donkey clothing. Ask any school teacher in NY.

  • jac on September 21, 2011 9:37 PM:

    I'm so glad to see more people become aware of how brilliant, talented, articulate, and patriotic Ms. Warren is. She's a bright light in the dysfunctional mire of Washington, D.C. and the world of the Goldmann-Sachs elites running the financial branch of the U.S. government. She certainly can be a real challenge and much better alternative to the double-talking good ol' boys and gals in both parties as well as the trash talkers in the Tea Bag brigade....rock on, Elizabeth....

  • JEN on September 22, 2011 12:36 AM:

    This is an embarrassingly simplistic, grade-school level explanation of the social contract. Plus, it's another straw man; i.e., she implies the factory owner didn't also contribute to education, roads, etc. Only an audience of illiterates in basic economics would admire this presentation. "The rest of us" wouldn't have the salaries to pay taxes on if not for the factory owner. And the factory owner contributes far more to the social contract than "the rest of us" because he/she pays the property taxes, the cost of environmental and other regulatory compliance, and a higher percentage of his/her income than the workers do. If this is the best the progressives can come up with, they deserve to keep losing elections.

  • DaMav on September 22, 2011 2:34 AM:

    Warren sounds like another stinking Marxist. Yawn.

  • Sam on September 22, 2011 5:30 AM:

    What the liberal doctrinarians conveniently omit from their sermons is the fact that the without the entrepreneurs, i.e., the owners, financiers, capital venture investors, and stockholders, willing to risk their personal assets, there would be no jobs, hence; no income or profits to tax; hence no roads, schools or other infrastructure.

    Investors and entrepreneurs take the risk and do the work while the academics live "high off the hog" in their Ivory Towers without any real responsibilities, unless presuming to dictate a self indulgent "morality" calculated to spread the benefits without taking the risk, can be considered such.

  • HMDK on September 22, 2011 5:57 AM:

    Yeah, Sam, acedemics sure live luxuriant lifestyles! Wait, what the hell are you talking about, you utter liar/ignorant loon.

    And no one said you shouldn't benefit from business.
    Here's what Warren said: “Now look, you built a factory and it turned into something terrific, or a great idea? God bless. Keep a big hunk of it.".
    But realize, that taxes on the rich were much harder in, say, the 50's and america wasn't crippled. The rich and powerful have just about never paid LESS than they do now. You aren't a noble soul defending the rich from getting taxed oh-so-unfairly. You're an apologist for fucking over anyone below the upper-middle-class. You hate class war? Stop conducting it by kicking those lower than you in the teeth.

  • inhk on September 22, 2011 8:58 AM:

    All the protections and infrastructure Ms. Warren mentions are largely paid for by those who have the great ideas or innovate the great products. The problem is half of American who pay nothing also receive those same protections and access to that infrastructure.

  • Kenneth on September 22, 2011 9:00 AM:

    Britain has her Churchill when Hitler tried to raze London. America needs Elizabeth when he is sick to the core with failed capitalism.

  • Lex on September 22, 2011 10:11 AM:

    Bravo, Ms. Warren!

    Bonus: Massachusetts is a small enough state that she doesn't need to fly around it, and she can take the train from Boston to D.C.

    Upstart Democratic candidates and aviation are not a good mix.

  • Rob on September 22, 2011 12:17 PM:

    Could I get a copy of this social contract? I don't recall signing it.

  • HMDK on September 22, 2011 12:48 PM:

    Rob, then you should blame your parents for giving birth to you.

  • Jsmith on September 22, 2011 2:02 PM:

    Overlooked by the Democrats, and many here apparently, is that the rich (whatever that means, it varies from place to place) aren't arguing they should pay no taxes. Their argument is that a relatively small portion of the population is paying a hugely disproportionate share of the tax burden while being accused of not paying their share. It's BS. I'm not one of them, by the way, but I am a taxpayer rather than a tax recipient, and I sure as heck don't want to pay any more than I'm paying now (and yes, Elizabeth, I drive on the taxpayers' roads, too).

  • raz on September 22, 2011 2:25 PM:

    We already do pay taxes for the roads and infrastructure that helped support the business. Raising more taxes is absolutely ridiculous. I wouldn't mind paying more taxes if we had run out of money under an efficient government but that is not the case. Nobody can tell me that our government is well run and organized. Its chaos and some of the leaders are incompetent. The solution is not to continue to feed the government with our money. We need a better run government.

  • Ratt on September 22, 2011 4:35 PM:

    Please, keep this lady in MA, and not down heya in the South where all the Factories are coming. It's quite obvious she has never had to meet a payroll or run a private sector business. You see, after a Factory Owner pays all his/her Federal, State and Local Taxes, property taxes, Fire Marshall taxes, sewage taxes, utility taxes on gas, water and electricity, licensing fees, operating fees, NLB Fees, OSHA Fees, Enviromental Fees, Water Rights fees, Mineral Rights fees, Impact Studies fees, and all these fees and taxes are just on the Factory, after that, the Factory Owner has to pay for every employee their FICA, Disability, Unemployment Insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Healthcare, plus Vision and Dental Insurance and a Retirement Plan for every worker, and a decent take-home salary, if the Factory Owner clears a 3% - 7% profit margin they are doing good. Not to mention; let me tell you people out here that don't drive, or own a vehicle, or travel on the Interstate Highways when the Factory Owner ships those goods the trucks used for shipping are paying Federal, State and Local taxes when they purchase fuel, plus Interstate and Intrastate trucks pay road taxes, licensing fees, operating fees, milage fees (why do you think they have weigh stations every 50 miles) These fees and taxes, we are told by the Gov't, are used to pay for the roads, bridges, schools, firemen, policemen and the Military. Moreover; the Factory Owner puts people to work who inturn pay their Federal, State and Local payroll taxes which also pay for the roads, bridges, schools, firemen, policemen and the Military. Plus, these same employees spend their income in town and the businesses in town pay their Federal, State and Local Taxes for the same Gov't supplied services.

    You cannot keep taxing the Factory Owner, or the Rich to pay for Gov't Overspending they will simply take their money, close shop and go home. The Gov't put us in debt, not the Factory Owner or the Rich. It is very arrogant, suicidial and downright treasonous for the Ruling Elite to preach Class Warfare and that is exactly what Miss Warren and Obama are pushing. They want you lusting for the Richman's Gold, and if Liberals and Democrats keep pushing Class Warfare just watch the stock market drop. And, when all the money is gone and none of us have jobs and our society is down to the have and have-nots, I want you to remember this moment.

    And, don't get me started on Illegal Immigration, or the 45 Million on Food Stamps now, bet everyone of your behinds are voting Democrat, eh ?

  • Sprinklerman on September 22, 2011 5:19 PM:

    Go ahead keep her talking just like this. Her ideology is just what will show most Americans what you stand for.

    Where did the government first get the money to hire people to pave the roads, build the schools and educate the children, man the fire trucks, keep the peace, and provide security to the nation as a whole from madmen and others intent to do us harm? The government makes NOTHING! It must first take from the productive like the factory owners, so that it can do what according to the Constitution it is supposed to do.

    "I cannot lay my finger upon that article in the Constitituion that allows Congress to expend money collected from the citizens for the benevolence of others" James Madison.

    So go ahead and keep talking like this. You might be able to get the mush heads in MA, NY and CA to believe this tripe but leave me out of your collectivist dreams.

  • guest on September 22, 2011 5:30 PM:

    Historically we have been a nation that rewards people for their effort. That is why even our "poor" have an average income higher than European middle class and why we have had more "rich" people than any other nation. --- Anybody could get rich with the right ingenuity and effort in America. At least that's what a lot of people who continually breach our borders think. Many in SE Asia actually believe that America is built on a hill of gold. The truth is we have simply had more givers than takers in the past. That is rapidly changing.

  • tlm on September 22, 2011 6:50 PM:

    All just lovely, except she engages in the fallacy of the neglected aspect. What she neglects is that someone had to produce something for the government to tax before it could build the road anywhere. Were not the first factories built next to rivers because that it how the goods were transported? The owner of that factory was then taxed by the government. Later on the government became engaged in building the road. It was not always so. In the early days of the country, there were turnpikes. Literally, pikes that went across the road at toll stations. They were built by private citizens and companies who collected tolls. Even today, we see the proposed "privatizing" of interstates in places like Virginia.

    As said elsewhere on this blog or whatever it is, the government does not produce wealth; it only takes the wealth that the private sector produces. There is never a question that there must be taxes. The only question is how much and from whom.

    Ms. Warren represents Mr. Marx's thinking from 1860. The further error in her argument is that it ignores the disincentive effect on the private sector when the government takes too much. Thus, the famous statement from the Polish shipyard worker when Lech Walensa led them in the 80's: "We pretend to work, and they [the government] pretend to pay us." Net result: the economic disaster that was Poland.

    But,you say, we aren't talking about communism. Maybe, but the slope is very slippery. The Brits weren't communist before Thatcher, but the Rolling Stones still decamped to the south of France because their effective marginal tax rate was right around 105%. You could look it up. Every step you take toward more soaking the rich, the more numbers of them leave and take their productive power elsewhere. Read that famous liberal, Tom Friedman, in The Lexus and the Olive Tree. Even he will tell you that the "Electronic [financial] herd" will leave a country by noon if serious financial restrictions are placed on the private sector that morning. You could look it up.

  • jay on September 22, 2011 6:51 PM:

    Ummm so what? If a guy gets rich building a business using the public roads, the public schools, etc, good for him, because he was competing against other people WHO ALSO HAD ACCESS TO THE PUBLIC ROADS, PUBLIC SCHOOLS, PUBLIC XYZ.
    He deserves to keep his winnings. I support taxes, but no one deserves more than half what a person earned, period. Once you cross that line, and we are approaching it, you are effectively a majority salve to the state. Time for revolution at that point.

  • Marty on September 22, 2011 8:19 PM:

    1st of all, if the factory makes $1,000,000., it pays $350,000. in Fed Taxes, then in CA it pays about $100,000. in state taxes. Let's pretend that that is all the taxes that the company pays-it is not. The owner decides to not grow the business and instead bleed the company. He pays himself the old fashioned way, not the sleezy way that Buffet pays himself, while underpaying his personal secretary ($65,000.), while fighting to not pay one billion he owes in back taxes in court. Yes, the old fashioned way, he takes the remainder and gives himself a salary of $550,000. His personal fed tax, is $192,000. leaving him with $357,500. CA state tax 10% is $35,750. leaving him with $321,750. The guy now has $321,000. out of his original $1,000,000. and in some cities you also have a city tax on the business and on the personal income. The Obama administration, has been going on and on about anyone earning over $200,000. is an obviously evil person who doesn't pay his fair share. The average income in CA is almost $60,000. How much of the $260,000. difference do you vultures have to get before you are satisfied? Take it all and he will close the business, He can't sell it (it then has no value to anyone) and he will fire all the employees, and go get a job for $60,000. If he could run a business successfully then he could probably earn more than 60,000. He then only has to work 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and not worry about going out of business. He can then just screw off at work and whine about how he's not appreciated and the rich are not paying there fair share.

  • SnowDog on September 23, 2011 5:55 AM:

    Said the plantation owner to the slave, "You've lived on my land; you've eaten my food; you wear the clothes that I gave you. Therefore you're obligated to me, so get back to work."

  • bandit on September 23, 2011 7:01 AM:

    "She's highly intelligent, and even more important, highly articulate."

    "“I hear all this, you know, ‘Well, this is class warfare, this is whatever,’”

  • emcfillin on September 23, 2011 8:21 AM:

    Stevey boy...You and Ms. Warren have been educated into imbecility if you think this drivel is going to catch on and save your leftist democratic ideology. One thing about truth. It does not change. Just the shade of glasses you view it from. This was wrong before and it is wrong today and it will be wrong tomorrow. I started two business and I took the risk of total failure which under the presidency of the present moron in the white house almost happened. But what you forget is I, Get it...I... have always paid taxes into her cauldron of primordial socialist soup and so have all my employees. But you fail to mention that I pay excessively. What miniscule amount does she or you pay. I long for the past when I could address this drivel in the college classroom and make idiots of the misinformed and elitist like her.

  • emcfillin on September 23, 2011 8:25 AM:

    Stevey boy...You and Ms. Warren have been educated into imbecility if you think this drivel is going to catch on and save your leftist democratic ideology. One thing about truth. It does not change. Just the shade of glasses you view it from. This was wrong before and it is wrong today and it will be wrong tomorrow. I started two business and I took the risk of total failure which under the presidency of the present moron in the white house almost happened. But what you forget is I, Get it...I... have always paid taxes into her cauldron of primordial socialist soup and so have all my employees. But you fail to mention that I pay excessively. What miniscule amount does she or you pay. I long for the past when I could address this drivel in the college classroom and make idiots of the misinformed and elitist like her.

  • Saddened but not shocked on September 23, 2011 10:57 AM:

    Even Ayn Rand wouldn't have put such asinine drivel in the mouth of an antagonist in any of her novels.

    While the right did us all a depressing disservice by putting Palin forward as an example of acceptable qualifications for an elected official (and we now are witnessing a race to the bottom on the right with the god-squad idiots and the likes of the tea party), the vicious lurches the left have recently made are altogether more terrifying in that they are directed at the engine of our economy (and at a time when that engine is severely misfiring).

    Of particular interest is the inconsistency in this way of thinking. For years, the left was proposing strict "net neutrality" laws to prevent ISPs from charging high-traffic services (think Google and YouTube) for carrying traffic to their end users (who separately paid for their own internet connections). The ISPs argument was identical: "hey Google, you're making a ton of money off our pipes, pay your share or we'll block you (or slow you down)." A distasteful argument to say the least. The analogy of a factory benefiting from a public highway is even worse, however; gas and other transportation-specific taxes and tolls are paid by everyone (and at higher rates for heavy transport like trucks).

  • Saddened but not suprised on September 23, 2011 11:45 AM:

    Interesting to not that the detractors of Warren must use hateful speech to make their points.

    Fact: The wealthiest Americans are paying nearly the lowest taxes they have in 100 years.

    Fact: The trillion dollars in tax breaks to the rich have not turned into a job surplus in the country.

    Fact: Warren Buffet, by his own admission, pays a smaller percentage of taxes than his secretary.

    Fact: GE payed zero taxes while making record profits.

    How is asking someone who is enjoying all the benefits afforded to them by our society (and protected by our tax-funded services) to pay a fair share anything other than reasonable?

    If you have to resort to resort to attacking the speaker, then you have already lost the argument.

  • Daisy on September 23, 2011 12:02 PM:

    This woman is a pure socialist.
    I suggest that she put her money where her mouth is and re-distribute her own wealth. I'm sure she could get by with $100,000 per year. the rest she should just "pay forward" to those she thinks are in need.

    As far as those not paying taxes and using government services, she might want to look at the 47% who pay no federal income tax. They seem to be taking and using government services, but not contributing a cent towards paying for them.

  • Daisy on September 23, 2011 12:04 PM:

    I keep hearing liberals referring to the high tax rates of the 1950's as some sort of example that the "rich" aren't paying so much these days. I am curious how many actually paid those high 90% rates back in the day? As I recall, there were a whole lot of tax write offs then that have disappeared today. If you want to go back to much higher rates on the so called "rich", then we also need to see those write offs come back into play again.