To follow up on Tim's post below: One complaint conservatives often make about American tax rates is that the corporate rate is so high (35 percent) that it prevents investment and destroys jobs. Liberals counter that 35 percent may be the nominal rate, but once corporations are done exploiting all the loopholes, they don't pay anything near that. In fact, many don't pay anything at all. Let's take General Electric -- they made $10.3 billion in profits in 2009, and how much did they pay in taxes? Nothing. Or rather, you paid them -- they got a $1.1 billion rebate from the IRS.
The young'uns among our readers may not remember, but a few years back there was this show called The West Wing, in which a president who was not only a liberal intellectual -- a Nobel Prize-winning economist at that -- but also extraordinarily eloquent, principled, and politically savvy, went about pursuing liberal goals and meeting crises with aplomb. It was a liberal fantasy, since President Bartlett was everything we wanted a president to be. And in one series of episodes, Bartlett actually went after his opponent for re-election for being a simpleton who advocated simplistic solutions to complex problems. Here's a sample:
The media news of the morning is that NPR gave Juan Williams the boot after some comments he made during an appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor":
The move came after Mr. Williams, who is also a Fox News political analyst, appeared on the "The O'Reilly Factor" on Monday. On the show, the host, Bill O’Reilly, asked him to respond to the notion that the United States was facing a "Muslim dilemma." Mr. O’Reilly said, "The cold truth is that in the world today jihad, aided and abetted by some Muslim nations, is the biggest threat on the planet."
Today's New York Times has an interesting story about a periodic meeting conservative über-donor David Koch organizes, where he and other masters of the universe plan how to advance the cause of "freedom," i.e. remove themselves from the burden of paying taxes and obeying regulations on things like the environment and worker safety:
A secretive network of Republican donors is heading to the Palm Springs area for a long weekend in January, but it will not be to relax after a hard-fought election — it will be to plan for the next one.