I’ll ask the questions here…

In case you missed it, a video has been making the rounds of an exchange between state Senator Burke Harr and witness David Nabity at a hearing on the CIR bill before the Legislature’s Business and Labor Committee.

Harr was trying to nail Nabity on some point and…well… take a look:

Our first impression of this is (beyond, wow that was a a funny vid), Harr has spent too much time taking depositions, trying to get his opponent to commit to some embarrassing statement.

The whole “I get to ask the questions” argument is straight out of a depo. But the difference here is, instead of having six or seven people in the room, it was before the public and the press and anyone else who cared to listen.

Is “no questions” the rule for a witness? Probably. But Harr’s questions and follow-up made him sound like a bully when Nabity was giving a reasonable response. “Keep your answers short”? They weren’t sitting in a law office or a courtroom. It’s the people’s chamber. We get it Senator. You want him to answer your leading question the way you wrote it.

But for Harr to jump down the throat of a witness like that made him look uncertain about his positions while hiding behind his office. Some may say it made him look like something else.

“When you get elected you can ask the questions”?


Harr’s constituents probably have a few questions for him.


By the way, credit for production of that video goes to Jeremy Jensen of York, head of the local Tea Party group there.

We were impressed by the production value (particularly the intro) of a vid that he whipped together in a day. (He noted that he was inspired on the clips from “Groundhog Day” by the Separated at Birth on Leavenworth Street.)

Nice job. We are looking forward to more.


Senator Ben Nelson reportedly racked up a million bucks in fundraising for his (potential) Senate re-election campaign.

We say “reportedly” because we have yet to see the actual report.

But we found the spin that his campaign manager Paul Johnson was already putting on that million clams:

“The numbers indicate that Nebraskans and supporters across the country approve of Nelson’s ‘bipartisan approach’ in Congress.”

Oh, do they now? Huh.
Nebraskans…and supporters across the country.
Wonder how much of that cashe came from “across the country.”

Could be a very interesting report to pick apart.


And the good Senator said that he supports President Obama’s goal to make lots of cuts in the budget, but not the President’s goal to raise taxes.

See, except that the President’s plan doesn’t work (if it works at all) unless you also raise taxes.

So you are either in with the President’s plan to raise taxes, or you aren’t with the President.

So (OK, grip your armchairs because things are going to get crazy here) Senator Nelson is (SHOCK!) playing it both ways!

Nelson? On the fence???

Whoa. Take a seat. Deep breath…


And hey, if the weather keeps up, the Spring Game will be just like a late October game!
(Probably the first one to mention that, right?)

Go Huskers!


  1. Jessica Richter says:

    “I’m not trying to be adversarial with you, and I wish you wouldn’t take it that way.” What a crying baby, Senator Burke Harr! Get over yourself! You barely won your district, and now you’re most certainly going to get taken out in the next election.

  2. If They Don't Know says:

    If state senators do not have some knowlege of basic civility and good manners when they take office, perhaps Speaker Flood needs to establish a mandatory course for new senators on how to behave. Senator Harr’s arrogant treatment of Dave Nabity was despicable, and if state senators follow his lead, very few citizens will ever be willing to step forward to testify at legislative hearings. Then Nebraska’s “watchfulness of it’s citizens” will mean nothing.

    Senator “call me senator” Boxer, please meet arrogant and condescending Senator Burke Harr!!

  3. WTF says:

    Expect to hear “When you get elected you can ask the questions” a lot in the next campaign cycle. Any fledgling politicians should move into Harr’s district. Should be easy pickings.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Burke Harr is officious, rude and wrong. And the effect of what he did and does in the Unicameral is seriously wrong. My problem, here, however, is with the construction of this video. Why the Benny Hill music making light of what amounts to bad goverment and a rotten Senator?

    We call it the “Unicarnival”, we make fun of it, but there really is nothing funny about the dire effects it has on people’s lives and the damage people like Harr are doing to the state. But, I suppose, people laughed at Jack Benny and Charlie Chaplin playing Hitler until they found out what bad goverment came of that. Sure, Harr isn’t Hitler. But he isn’t funny either. H needs a real ick in the nuts not a chuckle at his antics.

  5. ttg says:

    If the Republicans find better candidates to run, then people won’t be forced to vote for Obamarama and Hardy Harr Harr.

  6. NE Voter says:

    It’s amusing listening to conservative crybabies caterwauling about “civility.” Dave Nabity is the personification of INCIVILITY. Why hasn’t any one called him out on that? LOL

    Burke Harr P’owned. Nabity at the hearing. Nabity likes to dish it out, but he sure can’t take it.

    Dave Nabity: The Mort Sullivan of the 21st Century.

  7. A real legislative observer says:

    It doesn’t matter how Nabity has ascted in other arenas..in this arena, a public hearing, Sen. Harr was completely out of line in his treatment. The leading questions, telling Nabity to answer “yes or no”, telling him to keep his answers short. This is not a courtroom, it is a public hearing. Nabity started by saying they prefer to eliminate the CIR, but that if this bill was going to be the one pushed, they would prefer to see two changes. He was very respectful. Thankfully, Sen. Smith recognized this and said so. He also apologized for the behavior of his colleagues. Then Sen. Harr tried to apologize…Harr KNEW he was in the wrong. If he didn’t, he wouldn’t have said a word after Smith’s admonishment.

    Part 2 of this whole fiasco is that they wasted 24 minutes with Nabity, thereby shutting out the other opponents. Nabity even said to Harr, at least twice, that he wanted to be done so other people had time to speak.

    Part 3 was the structure. They had proponents, neutral and then opponents. I attened hearings on a regular basis as part of my job, and it has NEVER been done that way. It has always been pro, oppose and then neutral.

    Was it planned? That way they could shorten opponents time? And let’s not get started on the 45 minutes the committee wasted by talking themselves. Public hearings are for the public, that 45 minutes should’ve been spent in executive session where the committees NORMALLY talk amongst themselves.

  8. Anonymous says:

    LMAO…Senator Harr made Nabity look like the ego maniac who can’t help himself. What happened to the Omaha Alliance’s new spokesperson, Chip Maxwell. That didn’t last too long, did it. Then, feeling the sting of the moment, what does Nabity do, he call’s the other bloviating know it all Becka and goes on his radio show. Couldn’t you hear the panting a la Clubber Lang from a Rocky movie.

  9. RWP says:

    When I’ve testified before legislative committees, I was given a chance to speak (Including by Ernie Chambers) and then questioned, in general courteously, including by Ernie Chambers.

    Burke Hare (intentional misspelling; google it) is a megalomaniac who needs his walking papers.

    Amazingly, his facebook page says “Burke Harr’s record of leadership demonstrates a commitment to respect, civility, and collegiality” ROFLMAO!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’m confused RWP… Are you comparing Burke Harr to a serial killer? That might be a bit of a stretch, even for you.

  11. slimshady says:

    A lot of my Democrat friends down at Barrett’s Bar think of Burke Harr as a rising star within the Democratic Party in NE along with Heath Mello and Amanda McGill. I honestly don’t know anything about him.

    Ben Nelson’s vote yesterday for Planned Parenthood? Does this mean, the pro-life cause is not as powerful as it once was in NE? Or will this certainly hurt Nelson down the road when he claims to be “pro-life” again.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why isn’t Bruning talking about his FEC report? Jessica Moenning is openly saying that Bruning can’t get his donors to max out.

  13. MacDaddy says:

    Representative Harr wasn’t rude or condescending. He sounded like someone who was trying to be rude or condescending but it just didn’t quite work. He was trying to be the hard hitting, game-changing politician who makes the opposition cower before him. Feel his hard-hitting wrath! Don’t mess with him! He is a person of importance! Don’t you know who he is?!?!?! Unfortunately, the big boy pants are still too big. I was embarrassed for him.

    Burk Harr – defender of the little people! A Legend! In his own mind.

  14. Rob says:

    From the Burke Harr for legislature facebook page: “Burke’s record of leadership demonstrates a commitment to respect, civility and collegiality.” In baseball, we call that a strikeout.

  15. Dennis says:

    Nabity and his supporters are whiny cry babies. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen! Right wingers get outraged over the strangest things.

  16. Mr.Mojo says:

    Geez, they only good thing in that video is the snoring. Harr and Nabity could go on the road as a sleep aid. I haven’t heard anything more sleep inducing since the last Johanns speech.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of the Harrless exchange this was a superb video and Jeremy Jensen needs to be commended for his creative work. It makes a very good point in a humorous way. Doesn’t appear that Dave had much of a chance to speak his rightful piece whether or not you agree with it. The frosh senator disgraced himself with disrespect for his employer.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Senator Fischer is by far the rudest and most arrogant state senator we have now. Her nickname is Queen Bee and she has the coat to prove it. It is amazing that the right wing does not see this.

  19. Kortezzi says:

    Dave Nabity is a rare breed – – a guy with a genuine desire to clean up government, a modest attitude, and no fear of the name-calling and vilification from the unions and the Left in general. It amazes me he keeps taking these punches without just saying: screw this, I’ve made my money, I’ve got better things to do. But he just doesn’t back down. And his enemies hate him for it.

    When the unions claim NABITY is the arrogant one, I keep listening to him on KFAB and other places, and just don’t hear any of that from him. I do hear the fury and desperation of the union bosses who are scared sh*tless of the calm, measured but relentless questions from Nabity, who understands the scam that’s been played on taxpayers. He’s the Ed Jaksha we need today and I’m glad he’s still out there.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Senator Deb must be polling better to get these attacks on a Burke Harr posting. Bruning’s trolls are busy today.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Burke is a smart, funny, and YOUNG guy. He will learn and not make that mistake again. I hear he is well thought of in the legislature, so just hang on and see what he does the rest of this year and next. See in 2012 there will be a huge shift in leadership.

    The Speaker, and chairs of; Natural Resources, Revenue, Transportation & Telecom, Banking & Finance, and APPROPRIATIONS will be empty. The vice chairs need to get re-elected, and there ins’t any real sense they are all even running!

    So who takes the reigns in 2012?

  22. RWP says:

    The real tragedy is the Nebraska GOP, which, with a vast supermajority in the Unicam, have let creatures like Harr and Lathrop run the show. Seriously, the current debacle has made me wonder if the Libertarian Party migh be a more effective alternative (and that’s digging really deep). I mean, kudos to the NE Dems, for making the most of tiny representation. But consider what kind of incompetence they were up against, to let this bill get this far, to stymie most of what conservatives were trying to accomplish, to even prevent the winner takes all bill from taking effect. And I sudder to think what will happen with redistricting. Probably two safe Dem seats by the time they’re done.

    The establishment of the Nebraska GOP is half RINOs and three quarter morons. And I’m being charitable.

  23. A Democrat says:

    RWP is probably right about the Nebraska GOP being half RINOs and three quarter morons. They still win because the Nebraska Democratic party is three quarters DINOs and 99.5% morons.

  24. RWP says:

    Continuing… I mean, look at us. Nebraska, the second reddest state in the US on paper, still has higher taxation than any bordering state, except Iowa. We have Brad Ashford, who would fit in well with the Progressive Democrat caucus in Congress, in a leadership position. A previous GOP chair ran the pro-Affirmative Action campaign in the 2008 election.

    The Nebraska GOP is in no sense a conservative party. Much of the time, they’re simply a conenient disguise for the state’s liberals.

  25. VeteranDemocrat says:

    I am proud to stand behind Senator Harr. He will continue to provide great leadership and representation for the voters in his district. Most of the right wing crazies that frequent this site wouldn’t know what a competent leader is if it slapped them in the face. Senator Harr, keep fighting for the working class individuals that help make this country great and know that, despite what the crazies on here say, that we will support you.

  26. Lil Mac says:

    It is indeed better to stand behind Senator Harr than under his jackboot. The same goes for any Republican or Democrat who acts so un-senatorial and tyrannical. But that doesn’t make them any less a dog, just as calling people “right wing crazies” doesn’t make your commentary any less vapid.

    If I call you “left wing crazy” does that make you want to repent of your politics? If not, then perhaps you should reconsider the usefulness of standing behind an attack dog and calling people who disagree with you “crazy”.

    Compare that to RWP 8:48 and A Democrat 9:12 who appear insightful. They seem to grasp the unique situation of Nebraska lacking political philosophical accountability. While Nebraskans are as diverse in thought as any other Americans, our state lawmakers are held to no philosophical fire or accountability, and we end up being led by a cult of personality rather than a constrained, balanced, accountable policy body. That is, after all, what happens when you rip political philosophy (party) and normal Constitution balance (bicameral) out of a state’s law making. The critical structures of governmental balance that made America great as a nation, Nebraskans have uniquely destroyed by creating a nonpartisan Unicameral. Within such awful pit, attack dogs flourish to the delight of those who would have us governed by political dog bating instead of policy debating.

    RWP and A Dem scratch down toward the deep, structural, misgovernment of Nebraska. It shows in their disgust with both parties not holding, or being able to hold, their own members accountable to political principles. The result is unprincipled government. And that seems to delight you and enough other Nebraskans that our dog pit of a unicameral shall continue as such.

  27. Susan Smith says:

    Great video depicting how Nebraska’s “JUDAS COMMITTEE” bullys and denigrates citizens who OPPOSE the Socialist mentality of six of the Judas Committee members. Excellent job. Now what conservative senators need to do is to let their constituents know that phone calls and emails are needed to help get them on the committees. Until then, the same old, same old Socialist senators will continue to hold the majority on these committees.

  28. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Judas? Hey, way to keep it civil, Susan.
    I have lived amongst Communists and Socialists, and believe me, the members of Nebraska’s Unicameral that adhere to the Democratic party are hardly Socialists. The kind of over-the-top finger-pointing and name-calling that you use isn’t even appropriate for the sandbox.
    Please explain, Susan, how it is that a majority of the committees are held by members of the minority party. Do you suppose any of it has to do with their abilities? I’m sure it is much easier to believe that it is due to some nefarious conspiracy.

  29. GeosUser says:

    The “minority party” and RINOs work hard to get on and lead the legislative committees so they can exert more influence than their numbers would dictate. They know what the real game is and they play it well. It also helps that a significant percentage of them are lawyers and they have an educated understanding of the arcane rules and procedures of the body.
    IMHO, lawyers are by default members of the judicial branch of government (due to membership in the bar which controls the practice of law) and if they choose to seek an elective office in either the executive or legislative branch should be required to surrender their license to practice law. They can then regain their license after serving in an elective office by once again passing the bar exam and applying to be readmitted to the bar.
    As for your having “lived amongst Communists and Socialists”, I’m amazed you ever left your brethren to return and spread their “gospel” here amongst the unbelievers.

  30. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I hate to say it GeosUser, but your point about the attorneys has some merit.

    As for having lived amongst Communists and Socialists, I found that they weren’t the boogey-men you and your brethren would have us believe. Actually, your average lefty in Italy was a pretty darned nice person – one that genuinely cared about his fellow citizen and worked to ensure that everyone got a fair shake from the government. I must point out that some of their leadership, such as then Prime Minister, Bettino Craxi, were rotten to the core, just as some of our Democrats, and some of your Republicans are as crooked as a dog’s back leg. Then there was the Christian Democrat (Italy’s counterpart of our Republicans), Giulio Andreotti. He turned out to be a Mafia Don.
    You may not like it that some of us Americans don’t share your knee-jerk, right-wing ideology, but we’re here to stay and we have just as much right to be here as you do. If nothing else, I just HAD to come back so that I could be a pain-in-the-ass to those like you.

  31. GeosUser says:

    My comment about your returning to the USA was maybe just a little tongue-in-cheek 😉
    Having a current/former Mafia “Don” as a leader might not be all bad…being a whiskey runner during Prohibition certainly helped add considerably to a certain family fortune and some “la famiglia” connections in Chicago maybe helped get one President elected last century…LOL! Rumors, nothing but rumors.

  32. Anonymous says:

    GeoUser are you talking about the 1960 election? Take away the Illinois electoral vote and it looks like JFK still wins. But then did you forget about the southern part of that state was stolen for Nixon,. Or the entire state of Ohio and Kentucky that was rumored to be stolen for Nixon. Just rumors of course and have nothing to do with how bad of leadership the GOP gives the state of Nebraska today.

  33. Anonymous says:

    So, you are saying that in 1960, the Republicans were crooked but Kennedy beat Nixon because the Democrats were better at being crooked?

  34. CIR cus says:

    And now the NSEA is making noise with regards to CIR reform. Gee, just give the Governor more credibility dumass’. Betcha the Gov comes out swinging this next week or so and a whole lot of amendments get put up on the board. Sen’s Fulton and McCoy are going to tee off on the current amendment. By the end of the ordeal it won’t look anything like the POS is is now.

    Maybe the NSEA will finaly get it’s hat haned to them?

  35. TexasAnnie says:

    Yawn, Lil Mac! RWP has written nothing insightful above. The Democrats and the Republicans ARE THE SAME, particularly in Nebraska, and that fact has been known for quite some time. Just look at your tax policy there (and most places in the USA but not TEXAS), add to that your ‘sanctity of life’ hypocrisy, and you have considered enough to realize that Nebraskans lack philosophical accountability because they lack reliable political axioms. Y’all don’t have any sense of fundamental egality, which undergirds liberty. True Libertarians (capital ‘L’) understand that one’s freedom necessarily evokes freedom for everyone else. But in the dog eat dog world you inhabit up there, it’s all about making the rich and powerful more rich and more powerful. Just keep paying your taxes to subsidize your corporations; Nebraskans are good at that; suckers…

  36. Anonymous says:

    Shades of LBJ, Texas is fueled by oil and the webfooted progeny of unholy unions, Yall.

    Nebraskans are bizarre politically. But they make up for it by not being from Texas.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous 7:14 you better read read the post. It sounds like that JFK was clean and and did not need any help. But that Nixon had plenty of help and still lost. Maybe that is why he went over the edge in 72 with Watergate. But who really cares. .

  38. TA D'er says:

    TA- While Texas has some pretty good things going for it, there are also some not so good issues. It has been said Texas is looking an income tax to shore up their needs. Seems there are a LOT of individuals using state dollars and not paying into the system. If I recall there are more than a few Big Corporations in Texas too. Don’t get to upity on your high horse because pride cometh before the fall.

    Sure Nebraska has warts and all, but it is the home of 1.8 million people, it is the cross roads of America, and if you don’t like it then just leave us alone. You remind me of a third grade boy who has a crush on a classmate. Always teasing, poking, and being rude yet really wanting her attention. Your fixation is very flattering, but just get over it and go one your way. I’m sure there is something in Texas that requires your UNDIVIDED attention.

  39. Omaha Independent says:

    Hey Susan,
    We have term limits. In eight years you won’t recognize a single committee person. Have a great day.

  40. Omaha Independent says:

    I really do think Texas Annie is wrong. We have several reliable political axioms in Nebraska.
    -Education is bad. It makes people more liberal. Don’t fund it.
    -The rights of unborn children must be protected at all costs. Once they’re born, they’re on their own.
    -Funding for sewers and roads should be done by homeowners, not corporations
    -Omaha is not *really* part of Nebraska. It’s full of Democrats and gang members
    -When in doubt, build a stadium or arena!

  41. What's the difference? says:

    Democrats and gang members…..what’s the difference? Rounding up homeless people and bussing and paying them to vote for you…..gang activity or Democrat activity? You decide.

  42. Anonymous says:

    It’s interesting how the baby killing is okay by libs, and then they throw the sanctity of life thing at Right to Life people. Let’s see, the baby didnt break any law, those sentenced to death have. Hmm not to difficult to figure out the issue is about how some people make a choice to kill others in the most terrible manner and are sentenced to death by a jury etc. Yet an unborn child is condemed with no trial, no attorney, just an executioner. Liberal abortionists always try to blur the lines and misdirect the conversation. You just have to face it, you support the murder of innocent children.

  43. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Anonymous 10:02,
    Go tell your sob story to the children in Baghdad that were rendered asunder by the high explosive delivered to their homes by our cruise missiles and unmanned aircraft. If you supported George W. Bush’s unnecessary war in Iraq, then YOU are an accomplice to murder.

  44. TexasAnnie says:

    Touche’ Omaha Independent!

    @10:14 am today: Sure, I’ll leave y’all alone. Just as soon as you apologize for USING me as MEANS to your ENDS. That’s immoral, you know…

    @10:02 pm today: Who said anything about aborting fetuses? I was thinking of those you killed (by proxy representation out of Lincoln) at BSDC in 2010!

  45. Anonymous says:

    What is Texas Annie, a professional victim? Hasn’t she worn out that Nebraska abused me argument by now? At least she’s affecting a southern twang from her new home. Oh that would be Texas right? Any tax credits to big corporations down there? Doubt it, otherwise TA wouldn’t live there.

  46. Macdaddy says:

    “If you supported George W. Bush’s unnecessary war in Iraq, then YOU are an accomplice to murder.” Says the man who was just the other day hoping somebody’s daughter got raped.

  47. Macdaddy says:

    Anon 7:22: There are plenty of corporate tax breaks in Texas, but the exact amount and which companies get how much is hidden because they give tax refunds, which is private information. But I’m sure Texas Annie is cool with that because she doesn’t pay state income taxes. In other words, she got the price she was looking for.

  48. Poolside In VA says:

    Dave Nabity is the Jane Kleeb of the Republican Party.

    If it had been her acting that way towards a Republican senator everyone here would be crying foul about violating protocol and general decorum.

  49. A long way says:

    to Poolside in Va: Wow….you really had to take a long and twisted thought process to come up with that logic! Just like Jane Kleeb, it is easy to spot a carpetbagger. Keep your thoughts about Nebraska politics in VA.

  50. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Just keepin’ y’all HONEST, Macdiddly. We can’t have you falling off of those high rocking-horses your mommy lets you ride.

  51. The Pip says:

    I have testified at a few hearings, and attended quite a few others, and both parties were quite civil and polite to all attendees. It was a little irritating the Senators were reading the notes on the bills, and background work, and Adrian Smith was reading Mad Magazine. Who knew he was reading a career advanced placement periodical at the time?

  52. Grundle King says:


    My “ends” would be swimming in a pool full of cash with a bunch of beautiful women. As that has not happened yet, I fail to see how you were a “means” to anything. As such, I owe you no apology.

    Now, my “ends” may not be moral by other people’s standards, but as Democrats continue to demonstrate in their death penalty v. abortion incongruence, morals are all relative to the beholder.

  53. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Taint King, some of us enjoy being incongruent; It beats incontinence. I’d appreciate it if the BIG government that you Republicans pretend to hate would keep its big, fat nose out my incongruity and quit trying to dictate morality … at least not until it acquires some morality of its own.

  54. Nebraska Repub says:

    I hate to say this but Jane Kleeb is different than Dave Nabity. Jane did win an election! Those poor kids in hastings..I’d hate to see what they get in their lunch every day

  55. Grundle King says:

    Brian, while my name is not actually “Grundle King” (***shock***), I prefer you address me as such. In my mind, the word “taint” implies something dirty…and I keep mine squeaky clean. If you took offense to the manner in which I addressed Annie, then there’s two things I’d like to point out…

    1. If you took offense at how I addressed someone who is, most likely, a total stranger to you, then grow some thicker skin; and
    2. The name I used fits. I find it highly annoying that someone with almost no ties to this state continues to piss and moan about how they were “used”. Yeah, I felt used by an ex-girlfriend once, too. I didn’t dwell on it for years, complaining at every chance I got. I moved on. Annie needs to try that. The idea that total strangers somehow “owe” her anything more than a swift kick in the rear is childish and laughable.

    BTW, incontinence is underrated…the flip-side would be over-continence, which often results in someone being completely full of ‘it’.

  56. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Well, let’s see, TA Int, Annie was replying to your post as TA D’er, and you replied, referring to her as “Texas Annoy.” Therefore, you shouldn’t have any problems with those of us that play the “name game.” It’s all in good fun. Try not to get peeled so quickly next time, TA D’er.

  57. Grundle King says:

    Yes, I know I poked fun at her name, and my response to your name-game tricks was meant to be sarcastic. The rest of my response was meant to convey the notion that you and TexasAnnie are 2 different people (AFAIK), and if she has a problem with my tomfoolery, she can address it herself. She doesn’t need you to play hero and defend her honor.

    BTW, I didn’t post under TA D’er. My initial comment was simply addressing her comment that Nebraska taxpayers somehow owe her something. She said she’d leave “y’all” (Nebraskans) alone after we apologize. When she directs her ire at the general Nebraska populace, she shouldn’t be surprised if a few people respond.

  58. Brian T. Osborn says:

    Some people think that I post here too frequently. Yet, that person that goes by “Anonymous” must post at least twice as much as I do … and you know that whatever they have to say must have just that much more gravitas.

  59. Anonymous says:

    TA Der is just a play on the mindless twit who thinks anybody on here gives a large rodent’s rectum about what TA has to say. It wasn’t about rising to the bait TA presents, just saying. BTO- your thoughts are at times pretty damn good, then you push it just a bit too far. Oh well it’s all in fun right.

    I get so tired of those who complain about corporations and tax breaks. You have no clue, think how corporate tax rates are among the highest in the world. Then think about the 50% of the legal citizens who DONT PAY any income tax! Now if these individuals would pay some tax, and a few politicians would pay theirs too, coupled with dialing welfare back to about 16-20 weeks. Then we could perhaps get the country healthy again. Maybe if they had a policy about only being able to vote if you paid taxes, that would help to.

  60. Go Back says:

    SS, before you deliver us, I hope everyone goes back and views the video one more time. The arrogance of the young state senator is sublimely disgusting!

  61. Oracle says:

    I wish posters here would do their own research instead of just repeating right-wing tripe that is either misleading or 100% wrong. The Google is a wonderful resource, so use it! Case in point is Anon 9:36. When one looks at the effective tax rate (what’s actually paid) instead of the statutory rate, our corporate tax rate is among the lowest of all industrialized countries. This is due to all of the available deductions, exemptions, deferrals, etc…Only Russia, France and the U.K. have a lower rate. And last time I looked, income tax was one of many taxes I paid. If you look at actual numbers instead of opening your brain to the crap found on various right-wing networks you’d find that when all taxes are considered we effectively have a flat tax rate. Oh well, why let reality get in the way of a “good” argument.

  62. RWP says:

    Oracle isn’t much of an oracle. According to Markle and Shackleford (NBER, 2011) effective tax rates for US domestic corporations are 23% and for US multinationals 28%. Multinationals are higher because they are often dual taxed; the US is one of the few countries that taxes based on worldwide income. Japan is higher; Australia, Bermuda, Canada, the Caymans, France, Germany, India, Malaysia, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, and the UK are all lower.

    And I quote: “Our principal findings include: The domiciliary location of a multinational company
    substantially affects its worldwide tax liability. Japanese multinationals consistently face the
    highest ETRs. American multinationals face among the next highest ETRs.”

    That’s an actual, you know, research paper by a couple of credentialed economists at Dartmouth and UNC Chapel Hill respectively.

    Oracle should spend less time ranting rabidly about right wingers and more time doing research.

  63. Uncle Wiggily says:

    “If you look at actual numbers … you’d find that when all taxes are considered we effectively have a flat tax rate.”

    Can anyone here, either Dem, Pubbie, lefty, rightie, prog-trog, neocon, or left-handed Rosicrucian, defend, justify, explicate or otherwise illuminate this sentence for me??!!? How in the hairy-legged hell do you get from the beginning of this statement to the end and still keep your sanity, much less a straight face?

    What sort of ideological alchemy is required to allow one to weave all the taxes, fees, and other sorts of legal plunder which are forced upon us into a tapestry that turns out to be really just a “flat tax”. I am gob-stopped.

    With this kind of mindless prattle passing for political understanding, is it any wonder this country is circling the drain?

  64. Macdaddy says:

    RWP, Pricewaterhouse released a study this month that pegged the effective tax rate for the US at 27.7% while the EU is at 21.9% and China is at 21.5%. The US was 6th highest, although I don’t think Morocco should really count.

  65. Macdaddy says:

    Oracle, the effective federal tax rate on income for the top 20% is 26% while for the bottom 20%, it’s 1%. For payroll taxes, the rate for the bottom 20% is 8.4% while for the top 20%, it’s 5.7%. Throw in sales tax and property tax and you still can’t get anywhere close to a flat tax rate across income levels.

    I did all that with Google and I got it from that radical right-wing Brookings Institute.

  66. RWP says:

    Macdaddy: that seems to bear out what Markle and Shackelford said (They didn’t consider Morocco :-)).

    UW: if you consider all taxes as a percentage of income, the US has a progressive tax system. The bottom 10th pays about 18% of its income in taxes; the top tenth slightly over 30%

    In France, in contrast, the bottom tenth pays ~57% of its income in taxes; the top tenth about 35%.

    It is better for everyone in America, but it’s, relatively speaking, far better to be poor here.

  67. Oracle says:

    Typical RWP discussion. Change the parameters, and you can win every time. The topic was “effective US corporate tax rate is low compared to other industrialized countries” NOT “multinational tax rates”. The study I quoted was by the World Bank. Their is also some question about the Markle and Shackelford study in that it did not include private and closely held companies. Their study did show that effective corporate rates in the U.S. had declined significantly.

    UW, RWP conveniently cherry-picked data to “prove” our overall tax system is progressive. Looking at all federal, state and local taxes, once one gets to the 40th percentile the effective tax rate is essentially flat (within 5%). A progressive tax system would not tax at the same rate for those in the top 60% of income. In fact the top 1% pays a lower effective overall rate than the 95 – 98 percentile does.

  68. Ben Nelson 2 says:

    “Three years ago, Sen. Deb Fischer of Valentine spoke adamantly against utilizing state sales tax revenue to pay for building roads. On Tuesday, she took to the floor of the Nebraska Legislature to support her compromise proposal to earmark 1/4th of a cent of the state sales tax — about $70 million a year — for new highway construction.”- OWH today

    She must have learned politics from Ben Nelson

  69. Don Kuhns says:

    Let’s see the unedited version of the video. This silly thing doesn’t even measure up to lying scumbag Breitbart’s standards.

  70. RWP says:

    You didn’t cite any study, Oracle. You can find mine by googling the authors. I suggest you do that.

    Markle and Shackelford looked at both domestic-only and multinational corporations. You shouldn’t try to bluff your way through a discussion of their paper if you haven’t read it. Markle and Shackelford found that corporate taxes everywhere had declined, not just the US’s. And again I quote:

    “To summarize, despite steady global declines in ETRs, the rank order of countries has
    remained remarkably constant over time… The U.S. ETR has
    declined at the average rate, keeping it among the highest taxed countries and substantially
    trailing only those in Japan.”

    Any more quibbles, half-truths and prevarications to share with the class?

  71. RWP says:

    ….but, in fact, if one looks at the World Bank 2009 Estimated Average Tax Rate for corporations, contrary to what Oracle claims, the US is third highest among all OECD countries, trailing only Japan and New Zealand and Japan only slightly. The US EATR is 27.6%, compared with the OECD average excluding the US of 15.9%.

    So it appears Oracle is pulling his statistics out of somewhere dark and stinky. You can find real World Bank numbers at doingbusiness.org

  72. Oracle says:

    Okay, on the Paying Taxes 2009 pdf on doingbusiness.org, page 23, you can see the chart where I found the comparison of effective and statutory corporate tax rates for G8 and BRIC countries. The U.S. effective rate is lower than Germany, Canada, India, China, Brazil, Japan and Italy.

    RWP, you didn’t address the absence of private companies in the Markle and Shackelford study. You also never addressed my response on progressive taxation. Franklly, unlike you, I have a full time private sector job that I should be giving more attention to instead of pointing out fallacies in your posts, and defending mine against your cherry-picking. I love how my tax dollars goes toward your time on this blog instead of “educating” students. I guess your PHD justifies your arrogance.

  73. RWP says:

    You’re comparing apples and oranges here, Oracle. Read Appendix 2. What the graph shows is the total tax rate, including labor taxes, etc., for a hypothetical corporation. That is different from the effective average corporate tax; it includes employer contributions to FICA or the equivalent, etc.. Yeah, it’s expensive to employ people in Germany and Italy. That’s a different issue.

    Private companies don’t have to make their financial records available. But unless you have some grounds for showing that private companies are treated differentially between the US and other countries, the point is irrelevant.

    Your attempt to attack me personally for having the effrontery to challenge your specious assumptions is noted. Sorry, guy, when I’m not in class, I make my own hours. College professors don’t work on a time clock. Deal with it.

  74. Cigar Smoker says:

    The funny thing with numbers is that they are always capable of being spun one way or another to prove or disprove whatever you want. I believe the economists who say tax cuts dont pay for themselves (meaning when 1 billion dollars in taxes are cut, it doesn’t spur 1 billion dollars in additional revenue coming in to the government). And there are many Republican economists who say the exact same thing. If you cut 1 billion dollars in taxes you need to cut 1 billion in spending, once upon a time, ages and ages ago, there was something called pay-go. We should try that again.

  75. RWP says:

    Oh, and Oracle, your point about progressive taxation is wrong. Total tax divided by income, plotted againt income decile, is a pretty good straight line upwards in the US. The graph is on my blog, if you dig down about six months.

    Very few of the claims you post are actually correct. That’s a consequence of embracing the delusory belief system called liberalism. Try abandoning your tinted goggles, and just read the data objectively.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Deb Fischer is the State Senator who slapped the best the Democratic party has to offer like red headed step children.

    Watch out Jon Bruning!

  77. Grundle King says:

    Isn’t the best the Democrats have to offer in Nebraska like the hottest fat chick at a frat party? Sure, the thought crosses your mind…but you never seriously consider it.

  78. Oracle says:

    RWP, you are wrong on both counts. The text right next to the chart I referred to specifically refers to “corporate income tax”, not total tax rate. I’m sure that you read it, but decided to obfuscate the discussion by pointing to the appendix which has nothing to do with the chart I cited. Par for the course.

    As far as your blog’s graph “proving” that our tax system is progressive, surely you jest. For one who likes to back up arguments with academic studies, you don’t even bother to cite the source of your graph. My kid could have drawn it. And you only compare the U.S. to France. Talk about cherry picking.

    The only reason I waste my time responding to your posts is that I am hopefully warning other readers to not consider you an authority in economic matters. I’m assuming you have a good grasp of chemistry, but that doesn’t necessarily carry over to other fields.

  79. RWP says:

    You just can’t leave the personal stuff out of it, can you, Oracle? OK, let’s get personal. You can look me up. I have 35 years experience reading technical and quantitative data. You are just some schmo who won’t reveal his own name.

    And you really can’t read technical data very well. It specifically says in the text that addresses Figure 2.7 ‘see Appendix 2 for an explanation of the calculation’. But any fool could see that it can’t possibly be showing simply the effective corporate income tax, because the effective tax rate for the top 5 countries is substantially HIGHER than the statutory corporate income tax rate.

  80. RWP says:

    Oh, and the source for the data on who pays taxes in the US, is Casey Mulligan, Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. The graph is on the NY Times economix blog of Dec 1 2010. My bad for not including a link. I will fix that.

  81. Oracle says:

    RWP, you may have the ability to read technical data in your field of Chemistry very well, but that doesn’t necessarily carry over to other fields outside your skill set. I’ve worked for small and medium sized businesses for 40 years. Being in the IT field, I work closely with our CFO, and I’ve had several accounting classes including Financial accounting at the grad level. But none of this is even required to debunk your claim.

    At the end of Appendix 2 the section entitled “Effective tax rates for current corporate income tax” explains the methodology used in the computation. It flat out states that “CORPORATE INCOME TAXES BORNE ELEMENT of the total tax rate” (not total tax rate as you keep insisting) as a percentage of profit before tax. The following sentence defines “profit before tax” as actually profits less all borne taxes (those the company actually pays, not just collects from employees) other than corporate income taxes. Simply put the percentage is (corporate income taxes paid) / (profits less taxes other than income taxes).

    Now it is not that unusual or impossible to have an effective tax rate higher than the statutory rate. It depends on what the statutory rate is based on. It may not allow certain expenses to be deducted, thus increasing taxable profits resulting in a higher effective rate.

    I try not to get personal, but the “ivory tower condescension” that you exude is very annoying. It’s moved beyond confidence to arrogance. You also often try to extrapolate your chemistry expertise into other fields in which your knowledge is suspect. Work on these issues, and I’ll try to not be so “personal”.

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