Monday, September 19, 2011

Quotes of the day

Republicans could fairly use the Solyndra flap to highlight Obama's corporatism -- if only they weren't guilty of the same sort of thing.--Timothy Carney

The "Buffett Rule" Is Based On Flawed, Anecdotal Evidence; National Data Show That "Super-Rich" Pay Avg. Tax Rates 2-3X Higher Than a Secretary.--Mark Perry

It speaks volumes that a so-called populist bid to increase marginal tax rates for millionaires has to be named for a billionaire.--Chris Lehmann

Statistics are like a bikini. What they present is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.--Aaron Levenstein

Obama’s debt-reduction plan: $3 trillion in savings, half from new tax revenue.--Zachary Goldfarb

Note to the editors: If you take money from one person, or a group of people, and give it to another person or group of people – first having passed it through the sticky hands of the bureaucracy – that is no sense any kind of “savings”. Deficit reduction it may be (and only will be if not used in the traditional way, i.e. to bankroll ever new unfunded entitlements) but it’s certainly not savings. Saving is virtuous, and occurs when an entity economizes by not spending. In ordinary usage, taking someone’s property from them and coloring that as “savings” would land you in jail for theft. (It’s not theft when governments do it because they have a monopoly on organized violence. This makes all the difference.)--Neptunus Lex

There are more than 100 million households in the United States; ranking them by income (using proper database tools) enables us to select any portion of them to define income groups. To cover a wide range of plausible definitions of “middle class,” I chose four possible definitions: the middle 20 percent, 40 percent, 60 percent, and 80 percent of households. In a similar manner, three possible definitions of “the rich” were selected: the top 5 percent, 10 percent, and 20 percent of households. (Interestingly, when survey respondents have been asked which income class they’d place themselves in, close to 80 percent have tended to place themselves somewhere in the middle class. In contrast, the various definitions used by social scientists indicate that the middle 40 to 60 percent is a more-defensible range. Hardly anyone thinks they are part of “the rich.”).  ... three of the four chosen definitions of “middle class” outperformed the overall economy. In other words, the middle class got at least its fair share of overall growth, and arguably more. Moreover, all four versions of “middle class” outperformed every definition of “rich”; in short, the gap between the rich and the middle class got smaller, not larger.  The middle class finally caught a break. Figuring it out took us longer than it should have, but at least we now know that the middle class has in fact been getting its fair share of whatever income growth has resulted from the work we put into the economy.  And that’s not just good news for the middle class, that’s good news for everybody. Why? Because we now know that, if past is prologue, the middle class should automatically get its fair share of future growth under current tax policy, as it did during the Bush years of the recent past—which means it shouldn’t be necessary to spend any of our limited time for national discourse on whether or how to redistribute the benefits of whatever growth our economy can muster. The time we’ll save by sidelining the redistribution argument and the class-warfare rhetoric can be much better spent on the overwhelmingly important problem of how to kick the economy into higher gear, back to robust growth rates approaching 4 percent or more. The debate about our economy can now focus freely on which policies are best in the long run for creating jobs, jobs, jobs.--Steve Conover

Kraft said maybe Bledsoe's most important game was the final one of his 1993 rookie season in which the Patriots topped the Dolphins, 33-27, in overtime -- a 36-yard pass from Bledsoe to Michael Timpson lifting New England to only its fifth win of the season. Kraft said it was that moment, in a raucous Foxboro Stadium, that convinced him to "overpay" by purchasing the team for a then-NFL record $175 million.  Without that moment, it's fair to wonder if Gillette Stadium and the Hall that Bledsoe and Morris were ushered into on Saturday would have ever existed.--Chris Forsberg

The impact [Drew] Bledsoe had on [the New England Patriots] can't be overstated. I believe his stamp on this franchise is still being felt today. When you walk into that facility, there is a sign on the door. One of the things it says is "put the team first." When it comes to the Patriots under Belichick, Bledsoe showed everyone what it meant to put the team first. His final year in New England, when Brady took over, the way that Bledsoe was unselfish and helped Brady start to become the quarterback he is now was the greatest example of a player putting the team first that I had ever seen. Drew moved on to Buffalo and Dallas, but I always remember the lesson he taught us on his way out of New England. Every time I walked in that door and saw that sign, I thought of Bledsoe and the example he set.--Tedy Bruschi

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