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April 29, 2010

"I Think You've Made Enough Money"

I have a feeling this is going to be the "Read My Lips" of Barack Obama's Presidency:

We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned. I mean, I do think at a certain point you’ve made enough money. But, you know, part of the American way is, you know, you can just keep on making it if you’re providing a good product or providing good service.

But in a way I almost have more of a problem with this:

We don’t want people to stop, ah, fulfilling the core responsibilities of the financial system to help grow our economy.

When did it become the "core responsibility" of ANY business to "help grow our economy"?

In the America I grew up in, the economy grows when individual businesses - who are in business to make a profit for themselves and their shareholders, not to "grow the economy" - grow and prosper. Businesses have no duty to "help grow the economy". They don't work for the President of the United States, nor for their fellow citizens.

They work to provide for themselves and their families.

This president displays a stunning cluelessness regarding the incentives that motivate ordinary people. Explains a lot about health care reform, doesn't it?

Posted by Cassandra at April 29, 2010 03:58 PM

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Comments

This president displays a stunning cluelessness about everything except convincing a hard core of unicorn-believers that he's going to save the world.

Posted by: BillT at April 29, 2010 04:14 PM

The problem with the statement: "We’re not, we’re not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that’s fairly earned" is that, in the leftist world, there is no such thing as success that is "fairly earned". By definition, all income above a certain sustenance level is theft. (Unless, of course, you have the right connections within the Party.)

In Obama's world, there is no such thing as natural rights. There are only privileges granted by government, and those privileges can be taken away as the government sees fit.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 29, 2010 04:43 PM

This president displays a stunning cluelessness regarding the incentives that motivate ordinary people.

I disagree. Assume Mr Obama knows what he's doing and that he's doing it anyway. See what conclusions about his actions follow from this assumption.

A whole lot falls into place.

Eric Hines

Posted by: E Hines at April 29, 2010 06:18 PM

Where did this dim bulb gain his expertise on anything financial.
Obama is a disgrace. He is an imbecile.

Posted by: gus at April 29, 2010 06:30 PM

You could be right, Eric. I don't claim to have an inside track to what goes on inside his head.

I tend to see a lot of what Obama does as cynical politicking.

But I know so many people who honestly believe government ought to play a larger role in our lives that it doesn't seem improbable that Obama, at some level, actually thinks he's doing the right thing.

Posted by: Cassandra at April 29, 2010 06:32 PM

Interestingly, I do believe that, for whatever I'm doing, there is or will be a point that I believe I've "Made enough money."

The difference is that it's something I decide, based on what my needs are, based on what my time and expertise is worth, or any number of factors.

Even if I have made "enough" - my time and expertise have VALUE and while I may give freely of my time for friendship or charity, I won't give it away just because someone demands it.

Posted by: Darius at April 29, 2010 07:06 PM

Unfortunately, I think many politicians use that justification of "doing the right thing....for the people", to amass more power for the government and themselves.

It is utter cynicism to attribute everything the government does to obtaining and using power, but it also seems that Obama attributes everything done outside the sphere of government as theft, or a Hobbesian wilderness to be controlled by a paternalistic government. This is the typical view of Man by the left as espoused by Ayn Rand; a piece of meat running amuck that must be controlled. By whom? Blank out (other men that are just a flawed).

So I don't really think that Obama actually thinks he is "doing the right thing", but rather following a political philosophy to accumulate as much power as possible for its own sake, to prevent non-governmental citizens from having or using anything like the discretionary power that the Executive has.

As has been said by others, Obama openly exhibits many of the traits that were falsely projected on George Bush. Coincidence? You make the call.

It's what "they" would have done in Bush's place, and any other explanation doesn't fit in the closed logic of the intellectual universe of the left. The quaint notion that has existed since the founding of the Republic, "enlightened self-interest" is a non-starter for these people.
"From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs" is probably a more accurate description of their external logic.

"Spread the wealth around", remember that one?

"One ring to find them, one ring to rule them, one ring to bring them, and in the darkness bind them"
is probably a more apt way to describe their inner thoughts.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 29, 2010 07:16 PM

If you didn't get it "fairly earned," you got it:
a) fairly unearned
b) unfairly earned
c) unfairly unearned
b) unearnly faired
e) funny eared liar

Posted by: spd rdr at April 29, 2010 07:51 PM

As I recall from speaking with my liberal friends, the US Constitution says: "All rights and powers not explicitly granted by the federal government to the states or the people, is reserved exclusively for the federal government".

My only question then becomes, is the Constitution still a "living and breathing document" after you have killed it?

Posted by: a former european at April 29, 2010 08:04 PM

Read My Lips #_____
The good POTUS needs serial numbers for this material, as evidenced by the Obamaturism of the Day posts at HotAir.com.

Posted by: smitty at April 29, 2010 08:10 PM

Interestingly, I do believe that, for whatever I'm doing, there is or will be a point that I believe I've "Made enough money." [¶] The difference is that it's something I decide, based on what my needs are, based on what my time and expertise is worth, or any number of factors. [¶] Even if I have made "enough" - my time and expertise have VALUE and while I may give freely of my time for friendship or charity, I won't give it away just because someone demands it. Posted by: Darius at April 29, 2010 07:06 PM

Is it not possible that POTUS was trying to exhort us to look into our own hearts to see if there might not be a point where each of us could say the same thing and consider whether, having enough, we might consider sharing some of it with others??

I'm sure, OTOH, that none of us here would EVER want to do anything to discourage the brave, upstanding Wall Streeters like Madoff and Fabrice what's-iz-name from doing everything they can to pursue financial gain for themselves.

Posted by: I Call BS at April 29, 2010 08:20 PM

I'm sure the President, who made $5.5 million last year, has some special insight into the matter that may escape me. I doubt there will ever be a time when I have made 'enough' money, in the sense of being able to stop and rest on my laurels. Certainly in this economy of his, it's not likely to happen soon.

Posted by: Grim at April 29, 2010 08:32 PM

Funny, the Prez makes $5 million plus, his friends do quite well; Oprah makes more money than she could ever give away, and he is lecturing us about making enough money?

Bho, dude, don't bogart that joint, or the blow...you must be boo trippin' to be jivin' like that.

Posted by: kbob in katy, Republic of Texas at April 29, 2010 08:43 PM

I see Obama is doing his old skimming off the top trick again.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 08:47 PM

But Obama only has a small house!

Small house!

he can't be rich. He's like us poor in the hood!

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 08:48 PM

exhort

The word is extort.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 08:49 PM

How much money has Obama send his half brother in Africa again?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 08:49 PM

exhort The word is extort. Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 29, 2010 08:49 PM

If I didn't "know" you better, Ymar, I'd think you were trying to be witty.

= = = = =

ex·hort
Pronunciation: \ig-ˈzȯrt\
Function: verb
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French exorter, from Latin exhortari, from ex- + hortari to incite — more at yearn
Date: 15th century
transitive verb
: to incite by argument or advice : urge strongly
intransitive verb
: to give warnings or advice : make urgent appeals

— ex·hort·er noun

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exhort

Posted by: I Call BS at April 29, 2010 09:37 PM

Okay, I'll admit it...

I have made a concerted effort since the day he was elected to make sure my company doesn't make one additional "contribution" to the economy until he is out of office. I would rather live lean for a couple of years than have him take credit for any jobs or tax revenue I have produced.

Posted by: Sarah at April 29, 2010 11:24 PM

I don't want to say that we're "going Galt" but I can say that, as a family, we have sat down and decided what is enough for us, as a family, in terms of income - what we can and cannot live with. And it is significantly less than our peers, specifically because we have no desire to work ourselves to death in order to pay higher taxes and fund those who choose to mooch off the system.

We don't live to work. We work to live. Nothing more.

Posted by: HomefrontSix at April 30, 2010 02:15 AM

Extortion rackets are your people's specialty, IC. Why not be proud of it.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at April 30, 2010 10:46 AM

It's not for someone else to tell me when I've made "enough" and from now on should give it all away to the particular objects of charity he's decided on for me. The problem with Mr. Obama's attitude is not that he's wrong about charity, but that he's completely confused about who makes decisions for other people -- and it ain't him.

When he's decided that he has "enough," he can give away whatever he likes. Making yourself feel good by using other people's money to conduct charity is a dishonest thieving disgrace.

Posted by: Texan99 at April 30, 2010 10:58 AM

"Is it not possible that POTUS was trying to exhort us to look into our own hearts to see if there might not be a point where each of us could say the same thing and consider whether, having enough, we might consider sharing some of it with others??"

Depends. Has the POTUS made the effort to look into his own heart and do the same? I see no evidence of it. Has Al Gore done so? Nancy Pelosi? The two of them are among the wealthiest people in the U.S., and they made their wealth not by producing a good or service that people wanted, but by exploiting their government connections and setting themselves up as economic bridge trolls.

I wonder if it ever occurred to anyone that people like Bill Gates and Warren Buffet invest substantial sums of their wealth back into the economy. Whether it comes from putting money back into their own corporations, or buying the securities of other companies, the Gateses and Buffets are putting their money to work. Whereas, if the news stories today are to be believed, Al Gore is spending his money on luxury items for himself -- and items that he will rarely if ever actually use. Pure status symbols. Now, even that's not all bad, since someone got paid to build those McMansions. But the money could be better spent. If the Left hates people who live in McMansions, they must be absolutely aghast at people who have McMansions that they never actually use. But hey, if your name is Al Gore, it's all good.

I for one am absolutely sick and tired of being lectured about how I'm not doing enough for my fellow man, by people who sincerely (or cynically) believe that their power and status exempts them from having to do the same. Or, as Glenn Reynolds often says, "I'll believe it's a crisis when the people who keep telling me it's a crisis start acting like it's a crisis."

Posted by: Cousin Dave at April 30, 2010 11:11 AM

I don't necessarily have a problem with Obama having nor expressing an opinion on whether someone else has made enough money. I think he's dead wrong, but that's a different issue.

The problem is when he starts using the power of the state to impose his opinions on us against our will.

I'm sure, OTOH, that none of us here would EVER want to do anything to discourage the brave, upstanding Wall Streeters like Madoff and Fabrice what's-iz-name from doing everything they can to pursue financial gain for themselves.

Having fun with that strawman (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Who here has ever defended fraud? Madoff no more committed his fraud due to a lack of regulation than Ted Bundy committed his murders due to a lack of laws.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at April 30, 2010 11:12 AM

My husband's reaction: "At some point, Mr. President, you've grabbed enough power."

Posted by: Texan99 at April 30, 2010 11:53 AM

Assume Mr Obama knows what he's doing and that he's doing it anyway.

Actually, he's just doing what he knows he *wants* to do, which is a furpiece from actually knowing what you're doing.

He's a *Chicago* politician. The only way he knows how to get something done is through bluster and bribery.

Posted by: BillT at April 30, 2010 01:37 PM

Well Mr. Obama, I believe at this certain point you have *taken* enough of my money (and my kids money, and my grandkids money...). Therefore I am going to try my darnedest to get responsible caretakers of the nations checkbook elected, for the most part Republicans. This should give you a lot of free time starting in 2013 to write another book, play golf, and generally relax.

You're welcome.

Posted by: Georg Felis at April 30, 2010 06:38 PM

texan99..."At some point, Mr. President, you've grabbed enough power"

Benjamin Franklin said:

"There are two passions which have a powerful influence in the affairs of men. These are ambition and avarice–the love of power and the love of money. Separately, each of these has great force in prompting men to action; but, when united in view of the same object, they have, in many minds, the most violent effects"

What Obama & his friends seek to do is basically to combine the ladders from money-seeking and for power-seeking such that the only reliable way to great wealth will be through heavy involvement in the political process, in a way that furthers the interests of the powers that be.

Posted by: david foster at May 1, 2010 04:46 PM

Businesses have no duty to "help grow the economy". They don't work for the President of the United States, nor for their fellow citizens.

ICBS is surprised at the amorality of this statement, coming from one who finds fault with so much else in the world.

Posted by: I Call BS at May 1, 2010 08:35 PM

Feel free to enlighten us, ICBS, as to the precise nature of our moral duty to grow the economy.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 1, 2010 10:01 PM

Does Obie think George Soros has made enough money, yet?

Does Obie think George Soros has grown our economy, rather than trashing the economies of a couple of other countries?

Posted by: BillT at May 2, 2010 12:58 AM

Arbeit Macht Frei people.

Get with the program

Or else.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 2, 2010 11:19 AM

Who wants to bet that IC knows where what it means?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 2, 2010 11:20 AM

Given that he's retreated from the Everyman battle, maybe this challenge is too much for him.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 2, 2010 11:22 AM

Feel free to enlighten us, ICBS, as to the precise nature of our moral duty to grow the economy.

So ... I'm mistaken, and in fact none of us has any moral duty to do what we can to improve our country? That seems pretty amoral to me.

Posted by: ICBS at May 3, 2010 02:04 AM

You've obviously confused the motivation for starting a business with the motivation for donating some of the profits from that business to charity or the political party of your choice.

Obama and the Congers seem to feel they have no moral obligation to improve the country -- as opposed to advancing their political agenda -- and they were *hired* to do the job.

Posted by: BillT at May 3, 2010 08:13 AM

Your morality is relative. Isn't that the whole point of Leftism. To redistribute goods using morality designed for that goal.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 08:41 AM

I'm still waiting for you to describe the nature of the duty businesses have to grow the economy ICBS. Answering a question with a question doesn't cut it.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 08:49 AM

I suppose you could posit at least a legal duty, in this way:

A) A business may either make a profit or a loss.
B) If it makes a profit, it must pay taxes.
C) If it has a loss, it may avoid taxes; but it can only report a loss so many times before the IRS will stop regarding it as a business and disallow any further loss reports.

Therefore:

D) If a business does not meet its duty achieve adequate success to grow the tax base, it will no longer be regarded as a business. (It will be regarded as a hobby on which you may spend your after-tax money, not a source of a deductible loss from your pre-tax money.)

However, that appears to hold only for small business. Airlines, General Motors, and these Wall Street firms can lose as much as they like, as often as they like; they'll be bailed out.

Posted by: Grim at May 3, 2010 09:55 AM

Who is "you" and what is "your money", here?

Businesses have several forms of ownership: sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations and co-ops (which may be for profit or not for profit).

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 10:24 AM

You is the business owner. I don't know anything about corporate law, and don't claim to; I've always filed either as a small business owner or, on occasion, as an employee of a larger business.

In terms of small businesses that one owns, the government is prepared to regard it as a business capable of producing profit or loss only for a while. If it doesn't become profitable, they'll regard it as a hobby instead.

I'm not sure how incorporating a small business might change that, but it is clear that larger corporations (like GM) are treated according to very different rules.

Posted by: Grim at May 3, 2010 10:30 AM

I suppose you could construe a duty to 'grow the economy' into tax policy, but I think the purpose of the policy you cite is more to recognize that businesses generally exist in order to make a profit than that they exist to pay taxes.

Businesses don't really have a duty to make a profit either. But most businesses that don't make a profit don't stay in business. If you consistently fail to make a profit the government suspects that your "business" is a fraud: that it exists to provide a tax shelter for other income.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 3, 2010 11:10 AM

Right. So let's say you have a two-income family: a farmer whose wife owns a beauty shop, say.

The beauty shop is a luxury business; the local customers can cut their hair at home. When times are good, they pay for the beauty shop's services and the wife pays taxes on that income -- plus the taxes on the farm.

When times are bad, the wife takes a loss on her business, which shelters part of the family farm income. Fair enough: the family is legitimately losing money on the one venture, which cuts down on their total income.

After a couple of years of a recession (like this one!), the IRS says: "No, your hair-cutting 'business' is a hobby. We'll no longer accept that you're running it at a loss." So now, 100% of the farm income is taxed, and the family is forced to absorb the loss from the beauty shop (or close it).

So, in the third year of a recession like this one, the government effectively ups the tax burden on the farm. They take this extra tax money, and apply it to paying bailouts to the banks who own the mortgage on the farm.

Oh, and the people who caused the recession that destroyed the beauty shop business in the first place? That same group: the government and the banks.

This is why you have a populist uprising in America just now.

Posted by: Grim at May 3, 2010 12:23 PM

B) If it makes a profit, it must pay taxes.

That makes little sense. If the business made a profit, it ain't cause of government. It is cause of the people in the business that worked for it. if the business has to pay a tax, it should be payable to their workers, not the government who distributes it to Unions or Nancy Pelosi's campaign funds.

D) If a business does not meet its duty achieve adequate success to grow the tax base

That's telling given your view on duty-ethics, grim ; )

Airlines, General Motors, and these Wall Street firms can lose as much as they like, as often as they like; they'll be bailed out.

Got to keep the Democrat campaign funds well greased. It'll also help to motivate these companies to contribute even more. They know who their Sugar Daddy is now, Darou.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 12:40 PM

This is also why the Left is a failure in and of itself. Dick Cheney and people here could produce a more persuasive rebuttal of Bush and Republican policies than the Democrats could. Probably why Bush didn't listen to the Dems, except on domestic issues, which burned him and us.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 12:42 PM

This is why you have a populist uprising in America just now.

I think this popular uprising is also not as popular nor as desperate as it may seem.

Many people are still in the reserve, sitting on a fence. They don't know where the wind will blow and how it will affect them personally.

When people actually start dying is when something breaks. That's when people will become desperate.

A WACO or two could be absorbed. And even the countre-vengeance of Oklahoma, because conservative people sentenced and executed McVeigh in two years. As opposed to wannabe liberals on muslim terrorists.

However, now a days, if one or too many people die from government actions or from terrorist actions due to government negligence (or active support), things will become different. Then it won't be about moderate or peaceful reform, but about survival. Whereas many people could have sat back and diddled over economic injustice, their ability to do that in an actual war will not be the same.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 12:47 PM

Also, another thing that gets my goat is how the Left and their tools prosecuted the military son of the mother who was the one that got McVeigh's sentence.

So here we have a son who defends the US from external enemies charged with being unlawful because he ended up actually killing or attacking US enemies, and yet the Left still gets to use McVeigh as a strawman to attack their enemies.

This is not an enemy that you can defeat. Because these people don't give up until totally exterminated. The question isn't if they can be killed, the question is who are they going to sacrifice as human shields to prevent their total defeat.

The answer is probably "everybody".

Evil cannot be exterminated without the destruction of humanity or free will. The Left is doing a good job of manifesting Evil alright.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at May 3, 2010 12:55 PM

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