Mike Kueber's Blog

October 22, 2017

A double standard

John Hagee, a minister in San Antonio, is often criticized as a hypocrite and fraud for living in a Dominion mansion while preaching so-called prosperity theology. Yet Gregg Popovich, a San Antonio coaching icon, is revered as a great man for preaching justice and equality while also living in a Dominion mansion. Why the double standard?

Advertisements

August 4, 2017

A response to Jane Elliott’s “brilliant question.”

Filed under: Culture,Facebook,Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 12:19 am
Tags: , ,

 

White audience left speechless by brilliant question about race.”  That is the title of a You Tube video by Jane Elliott that is shared ad nauseum on Facebook. The other ubiquitous, nausea-inducing video on Facebook has Jeff Daniels explaining in “Newsroom” why American is not the greatest country in the world.

In her short video, anti-racism activist Jane Elliott says, “I want every white person in this room who would be happy to be treated as this society in general treats our black citizens. If you as a white person would be happy to receive the same treatment that our black citizens do in this society, please stand.”

When no one in the audience stands, Elliott asserts that fact as proof that the audience knows how badly society treats blacks, and then she asks why the audience is so willing to accept the mistreatment of blacks.

Yesterday on Facebook, the Elliott video was thrown in my face while I was discussing one of the issues of the day. No, it wasn’t the Trump initiatives on reduced legal immigration or “intentional race-based discrimination” in college admissions. Rather, it concerned a police dust-up with an entitled white kid who refused the officer’s instruction to get out of his Ford Mustang.

My Facebook friend Patricia Spencer Potyka posted a lengthy video of the encounter, and George Thompson, Sr. made the first comment:

  • Thompson – If this driver had not been Caucasian there would have been no discourse: he would have been shot to death. Period.
  • Potyka – Not condoning the driver’s non-compliance initially, but he’s just a kid –scared kid.

At that point, I entered the fray:

  • Kueber – “not condoning noncompliance, but….” “If the driver had not been caucasian… would have been shot to death.” Remember Sandra Flake, the African-American who thought she had a right to stay in her car? She didn’t get shot, but did get arrested. The moral of this story is that when a police officer instructs you to get out of the car, the stupidest thing is to tell the officer that you have the right to stay in your car. Noncompliance is not an option. Yes, this guy is a scared kid, but not too scared to defy a cop while demanding to call his dad. An obvious case of affluenza.
  • Thompson – Ms. Flake, the African-featured woman you alluded to, was arrested, taken to the police station and murdered. Those who are afflicted by President Twitterdumb are not recipients of anodyne jollity. Please reconsider the video, (supra: “A WHITE AUDIENCE IS LEFT SPEECHLESS”) Evil is not funny.
  • Kueber – Mr. Thompson, everyone on Facebook is familiar with Jane Elliot’s silly video. The audience is speechless because the question is ridiculous on multiple levels. Perhaps you could summarize what you gleaned from viewing it.
  • Thompson – And yet you, Mr. Kueber , are apparently at a loss to enunciate even one basis to substantiate the “levels” corroborating your postulate of Ms. Elliot’s question as fatuous? Without such rejoinder, why should anyone entertain your apparent delusions?
  • Kueber – George — #1 – it would be presumptuous for a white person to think he knows how it feels to be treated as a black person in American society. Unless that person is author John Griffin (Black Like Me) or NAACP’s Rachel Dolezal, who is white, but identifies as a black. #2 – American society profiles everybody based on their life experiences with individuals of that type – age, sex, job, home, appearance, manners, accent, religion, politics, etc. That does not make them bigots.  In the abstract you may want to treat everybody as an individual, but it is impossible to ignore your life experiences. #3 – what sort of person would admit to preferring the life of someone else? Certainly not someone listening to Ms. Elliott speak. If Ms. Elliott were to ask a roomful of female feminists to stand if they would be happy to be treated as society treats men, I think the vast majority of them would remain seated.

George Thompson, Sr. appears to have tricked me. He responded to my question with another question, and I fell for his challenge with a lengthy, detailed response while he faded away like the drive-by media. With my response drafted, however, I will have a ready answer the next time someone asks me if I would be happy to be treated as a black person is treated.

Just as I am ready when someone asks if America is the greatest country in the world, in which case I play the Thompson trick and ask them to identify one that is greater 😉

November 7, 2016

78258 and walking the walk

Filed under: Aphorism,Issues,Philosophy,Politics,Uncategorized — Mike Kueber @ 5:15 am
Tags: , ,

One day after yoga practice at Lifetime Fitness I was talking to a couple of progressives about diversity.  One was Anglo, the other Asian/Mexican.  As progressives, they were very proud of San Antonio’s diversity.  I mentioned to them that San Antonio may be diverse, but it was also one of the most socio-economically segregated cities in America.

Although my statement surprised them, they seemed to accept it, and we moved on.  But when I got home, I decided to confirm my accuracy.  A quick google search took me to the news item that I had based my statement on.  According to a March 2016 editorial in the San Antonio Express-News:

  • Overall, San Antonio is middle of the road for big cities when it comes to prosperity and distress. But where we stand out is in our segregation and inequality. We lead the nation when it comes to the extreme differences between our more prosperous neighborhoods and our most distressed neighborhoods. Put another way, our prosperity is not at all shared among the city’s residents. We are the least equal city in the country.
  • Case in point: ZIP code 78207, our poorest. The index highlights this ZIP code and compares it with 78258, on the North Side, and our most prosperous ZIP code. In 78207, nearly half of the adults don’t have a high school diploma. Nearly 60 percent of adults are not working. Unemployment is up. Income is far below the state’s median level. The poverty rate is stuck at 42 percent.
  • In 78258, only 2 percent of residents don’t have a high school diploma. Two-thirds of adults are working. Incomes are way above the state’s median income level. Employment is zooming. The poverty rate is 4 percent.  “These communities look like two different countries,” said Steve Glickman of the Economic Innovation Group.

I forwarded the editorial to my two friends and then pointed out the ultimate irony – they both lived in 78258.  So, although they advocate for diversity and integration, they live lives of homogeneity and segregation.  Sort of like public-school advocates who send their children to private schools.  Or carbon-fuel opponents who consume prodigious amounts of fuel.  And it’s not just progressives.  There are all sorts of conservatives who don’t walk the walk.

This reminds me of another yoga teaching about changing myself and that will change the world. Or as Gandhi said, “You must be the change you want to see in the world… As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

November 3, 2016

The revival of protests, but preferably for Progressive causes

Filed under: Issues,Politics,Uncategorized — Mike Kueber @ 6:30 pm
Tags: , ,

Protesting is enjoying a renaissance in America.  Many of my Facebook friends (but not my North Dakota friends) are being drawn into the Indian protest of the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota.  Although it is hard to discern any valid reason for the protest (no endangered water or violated sacred lands), any self-respecting progressive is going to be attracted to a fight between good-guy victims (Indians) and the bad-guy thugs (Cowboys/oil companies).  When the peaceful protests were ignored by the media, the protesters complained that the media had been co-opted by evil capitalists.  And when the protests turned illegal (trespassing and vandalism), the arrested protesters charged police brutality.  All pretty standard stuff from the 60s.

But even before the Cowboys vs. Indians protest, America was roiled by the Black Lives Matter protest.  Now I have no disagreement with the BLM protest.  Reasonable minds can disagree about whether there is a significant problem in America with the police treatment of black suspects.  Personally, I think the problem is usually with the black suspects, but the perspective of others is that the problem is usually police bias or brutality.  My response to the BLM protesters would not be “All Lives Matter,” but rather that I don’t believe your assertion that the police are acting as if Black Lives Don’t Matter.

The main controversy with the BLM is the form of protest.  And I’m not referring to the hijacking of a Bernie Sanders speech.  If he is such a namby-pamby to allow that, he has no business being president.  I’m referring to the Colin Kaepernick conduct during the national anthem at NFL games.  Clearly, Americans have the right to sit or kneel during the national anthem; the question is whether an employer should allow an employee to engage in a protest while on the job.

Most employers would not allow employees to engage in a protest while working, especially if the protest is controversial.  But the NFL is not “most employers.”  More than 70% of its players are black, so they are especially sympathetic to the BLM cause, even though most of its fans are not black or sympathetic.  That is one of the reasons, imo, that NFL ratings are dropping dramatically this year.

Similarly, most of the NBA’s players are black, so we can expect the NBA to take a similar stand.  Last week, a woman scheduled to sing the national anthem at a Sixer game appeared wearing an “We Matter” t-shirt, and a team underling apparently made a spontaneous battlefield decision to bench her and find a replacement singer.  After the game, several players complained about this treatment of the prospective protester, and the Sixer management concluded that the underling had been wrong and the prospective protester had been wronged, so she they apologized to her and invited her back for another anthem, apparently with their approval to protest however she wants.  I suspect the fans won’t welcome her as warmly as the Sixers do.

Another example of the Progressives flexing their politically-correct muscles occurred yesterday with the University of Wisconsin.   During last week’s football game, a fan caused great uproar by appearing in an Obama mask with prison garb and a noose hanging around his neck.  The University when it learned of the protest, seemed to act responsibly, just like the Sixer underling.  The University stated the following after the game:

  • UW Athletics’ policy regarding admission into the stadium with a costume stipulates that no one may be wearing a mask upon entering the facility. Once inside, it is permissible to wear a mask. The costume, while repugnant AND COUNTER TO THE VALUES OF THE UNIVERSITY AND ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT, was an exercise of the individual’s right to free speech. The university also exercised its rights by asking the individual to remove the offensive parts of the costume.”

But Progressives were not satisfied and lodged a formal complaint with the University, and on Wednesday, the University crawfished, with AD Barry Alvarez announcing:

  • I am deeply troubled by the incident from last Saturday’s game, and I am sorry for the harm it caused.  I am determined that nothing like this will happen again. I appreciated the opportunity to meet with a number of community leaders and students this afternoon to discuss our stadium policies. Our plan, before our next home football game, is to have a revised policy in place. Our department is committed to working collaboratively to make our stadium a great and safe place for fans to watch a football game.”

I look forward to reading how a public university (unlike a private professional team) accommodates the right of fans to protest while simultaneously making a stadium a “great place to watch a football game.”  Are they going to ban masks because Obama masks are racist, at least when joined with prison garb?  (Nooses are another matter.)

It seems that protesting for progressive causes can be a part of the game, but protesting for conservative causes requires that the rules be changed.

 

A fresh look at political correctness

Filed under: Culture,Issues,Politics,Uncategorized — Mike Kueber @ 3:07 am
Tags:

I’ve probably written in this blog a dozen times about political correctness.  The concept drives me crazy.  At various times I have described it, for purposes of progressive politics, as either treating a false statement as true (creating college diversity is intended to improve the learning environment for the other students) or a true statement as false (a victim might have some responsibility for provoking an assault).

A recent column in the Washington Post by Barton Swaim took another tack on describing political correctness and it probably better explains why the concept so frustrates me.  According to Swaim:

  • Political correctness, if I could venture my own admittedly rather clinical definition, involves the prohibition of common expressions and habits on the grounds that someone in our pluralistic society may be offended by them. It reduces political life to an array of signs and symbols deemed good or bad according to their tendency either to include or exclude aggrieved or marginalized people from common life.
  • PC was born of a generous impulse, maybe — it’s good and right to avoid giving offense, when you can. But it has long been a blight and a menace. It obliges us to think constantly about a few topics — topics having mainly to do with racial and sexual identities, but other sorts of identities as well — even as it makes it impossible for us to speak openly and honestly about those same topics. You must consider every facet of life in light of racial sensitivities, sexual politics or some kind of cultural imperialism; but you’d better not talk openly about any of these things unless you’re prepared to negotiate their exquisite complexities and unless you’re up to date on all the latest banned phrases.

Swaim makes two great insights:

  1. Political correctness is focused on taking care of the aggrieved or marginalized – e.g., women, minorities, disabled, gay, etc.
  2. Political correctness discourages us from speaking opening because it is almost impossible to keep up with the latest sensitivities.

Just last week, I read a post from a Facebook friend who was livid because she had been invited to some sort of Housewife networking event.  Little did I know how outdated, and offensive, this term had become.  Stay-at-home mom was OK; housewife certainly was not.

A few months ago, I got into a heated argument on Facebook over a sports column chastising a variety of Olympic reporters for being sexists.  I questioned whether any of the reporting deserved such strong condemnation, and suggested the author might be a femi-nazi.  Whoa, several feminist friends suggested angrily to me that femi-nazi was almost as bad as the n-word and should never be used in civil conversation.  I told them the sexist charge should not be thrown around casually either.  All of this seemed to me like political correctness gone awry.

On a brighter note, however, I once was discussing schooling with a mother of an autistic kid and I stupidly asked if he attended normal classes.  That was another no-no.  Fortunately, she was not part of the PC police and she gently taught me that the correct description was “mainstream classes.”

Unlike the Olympic brouhaha, I appreciated the autism encounter.  Not only did I learn something that made sense, but the person taught me in such a way that didn’t discourage further free speech.

 

 

 

 

October 6, 2015

Pop honors John Carlos

Filed under: Culture,Issues,Media,Politics,Sports — Mike Kueber @ 10:09 pm
Tags: , , ,

The past two editions of the Express-News have contained articles concerning the Spurs’ Gregg (Pop) Popovich honoring John Carlos by giving him the opportunity to speak to the Spurs players at their training facility. For those of you who don’t recall Carlos, he and running mate Tommie Smith disrupted a medal ceremony in the 1968 Olympics by standing with heads down and black-gloved fists up (and shoes off) during the playing of our National Anthem. They asserted that their protest was to show support for the black-power movement. Their conduct resulted in them being kicked off the American Olympic team.

In the first article, Dan McCarney reported that Pop brought Carlos in to create a cultural opportunity for the team:

  • Bringing in a guest speaker of such stature is about what you’d expect from Popovich, who makes a concerted effort to push his players to expand their attention beyond the basketball court.

Shooting guard Danny Green seemed to appreciate the gesture:

  • We got a chance to interact with a legend. He paved the way for us. For us young guys, learning the history of where we came from is important. It was important to Pop. He felt the need to share it to us.

Huh? In what sense did John Carlos pave the way for Danny Green? Black athletes were already well established in 1968. Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell, et al.

I responded to McCarney’s article with the following online comment:

  • As Vince Lombardi famously said, “What the hell is going on out there?” Carlos’s claim to fame is a notorious attempt to politicize the medal-ceremony at the Olympics. By all accounts, that tactic has been thoroughly discredited and would be met by even more ugly reactions today. So why does Pop glorify the guy? Pop’s hubris is beginning to annoy.

Not surprisingly, my comment was not well received. One of the paper’s most prolific commenters weighed-in as follows:

  • Idiot. Hundreds of Mexican students protesting the extravagant spending by the government in the midst of staggering poverty and oppression were killed and arrested. The order to shoot and arrest came from a totally corrupt government and is well known as the Massacre at Tatelolci (plaza de las tres cultural) and those of us who witnessed the athlete’s expression of solidarity know the truth. All you are is a right wing mouthpiece who has no clue.

I thought that would be the end of the matter, but the newspaper decided to double-down on the matter by publishing a similar article the next day. In this article reporter Mike Monroe reported that the Spurs’ interaction with “civil rights icon John Carlos … continues to resonate with the team.” He also provided Pop’s explanation for the visit – “It’s just an effort to honor somebody who deserves to be honored, and to let our team know the world is bigger than basketball.”

Monroe provided two new examples of the continuing resonation:

  1. Starting forward Kawhi Leonard said Carlos’s talk to the team will be an inspiration throughout the season. “He’s an icon to America. Him coming in here and saying how much he likes your team, you get an enjoyment in your heart and want to keep fighting and make him proud.”
  2. Guard-forward Kyle Anderson was left with an indelible impression. “That was awesome, a great experience. For Pop to actually bring him in and give us a chance to interact with him and ask him questions and learn from him was great. That really meant a lot to us. I felt a lot of pride. When he did what he did he had people in 2015 in mind. He had his kids in mind; he had his grandkids in mind; the future in his mind.”

Do these basketball players know what Carlos did? Although Carlos was only known to me for his outrageous medal-ceremony protest, I decided to consult with Wikipedia to learn if he did anything else noteworthy. Wikipedia reported nothing of significance in Carlos’s life since the medal ceremony other than being kicked off the Olympic team, receiving death threats, failing to catch on in professional football, and writing a memoir.

I commented on Monroe’s article as follows:

  • Carlos’s memoirist complains that the sports world has long treated this medal-stand protestor as a toxic element for attempting to politicize black athletes. Are the Spurs attempting to revive this utterly, comprehensively repudiated concept? Some have suggested that the hiring of Hammon was a political statement; perhaps this is Political Statement #2 from Pop and the Spurs.

Not surprisingly, a guy name Alonso disagreed:

  • You complainers are missing the point. Coach Pop knew his players would like meeting him and he was right. The politics of the Spurs coach and players should not have any impact on whether we root for them on the court. At least it doesn’t for grownups anyway.

I responded to Alonso:

  • The politics of the Spurs coach and players don’t have an impact if they keep those views to themselves. But if they want to start preaching to us, see what happened to the Dixie Chicks. Incidentally, Pop said he wanted to honor Carlos, but nowhere have I seen exactly what he is to be honored for. Disrupting a medal ceremony?

‘nuff said.

 

 

April 4, 2015

Diversity in the Final Four

Filed under: Culture,Issues,Law/justice,Media,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 9:00 pm
Tags: , ,

A couple of days ago, USA Today published an article captioned, “Wisconsin doesn’t hide from ‘white guys’ reputation.”  In the article, the writer attempted to explain why the Wisconsin basketball team has four white starters while the other three Final Four teams have none. The suggested explanations:

  1. The system
  2. The demographics of Wisconsin
  3. The university

Of these, only the first makes any sense. There are a plethora of examples that reveal that the composition of a nationally competitive sports team has minimal connection with the demographics of a state or the university.  But the system at Wisconsin is considered to be a slow-down game with a heavy emphasis on fundamentals, and white basketball players seems to be more successful is that system as opposed to up-tempo playground basketball.

Regardless of the reason Wisconsin has four white starters, I think it is just as interesting that the other three Final Four are non-diverse in the other direction – i.e., all black starters – and I made the following comment on my Facebook account:

  • According to USA Today, the starters on the basketball teams in tonight’s Final Four are among the least diverse in all of major-college basketball. Good thing for these teams that they were selected on the basis of merit instead of political correctness. Contrary to current propaganda, I suspect that diversity creates challenges that these teams have decided to avoid.

As part of the progressive propaganda, Americans are continually bombarded with messages explaining that diversity makes businesses and organizations more effective because of the varying viewpoints and perspectives. While there is something to be said for that position, I’ve always suspected that it was driven by political correctness instead of hard analysis of the countervailing friction that is caused by diversity.

Increasing diversity is inevitable and, therefore, something that we all need to learn to manage, but let’s not lie about it.

 

February 11, 2015

Scott Walker – future president?

Filed under: Issues,People,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 6:29 pm
Tags:

About a year ago, I blogged about Wisconsin governor Scott Walker’s new book, called Unintimidated. In my blog I suggested that, although Walker appears competent, he comes across as simple-minded and lacking in charisma. Since that time, Walker’s presidential prospects have improved, and he is widely considered to be the leading Republican contender along with Jeb Bush.

As a leading conservative contender, you might that the liberal press would start attacking him, and you would be correct. Today’s Washington Post contained a long expose on Walker’s college and early post-college years. Two items that I found most interesting were:

  1. Walker never earned a degree and was apparently a mediocre student. Through the years, I’ve notice that politicians rarely release their college transcripts, and I assume this reluctance is based on poor performance in college. Why do people who do well in politics often fail to have the skillset needed to do well in college?
  2. Walker was a campus politician. Politicians often claim to be interested in public service (Walker does), but their history reveals that they pursue political positions, not because of public service (what possible public service is involved in student government?), but because it satisfies their ego. Although I try to avoid voting for politicians who start their career in high school or college, it is not easy to find candidates who didn’t start that early.

January 26, 2015

Kristof on empathy and moral superiority

Filed under: Issues,Law/justice,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 7:14 pm
Tags: , , ,

Bill O’Reilly likes to dismiss NY Times columnist Nicholas Kristof as typical of a far-left, Pollyannaish ideologue. Kristof’s column yesterday, titled “Where’s the Empathy,” provides strong support for O’Reilly’s position.

The thesis of Kristof’s column is that Americans, especially rich Americans, feel no empathy for the struggles of his high-school friend who recently “died at age 54 of multiple organ failure, but in a deeper sense he died of inequality and a lack of good jobs.” America killed Kevin Green.

Kristof concluded his column with the following:

  • I have trouble diagnosing just what went wrong in that odyssey from sleek distance runner to his death at 54, but the lack of good jobs was central to it. Sure, Kevin made mistakes, but his dad had opportunities for good jobs that Kevin never had. So, Kevin Green, R.I.P. You were a good man — hardworking and always on the lookout for someone to help — yet you were overturned by riptides of inequality. Those who would judge you don’t have a clue. They could use a dose of your own empathy.”

Fortunately for his readers, Kristof provided a bit of Kevin Green’s life story in his column, and I suspect most readers will not have as much trouble diagnosing factors that were actually within Green’s ability to control:

  • Work life. Although Green’s dad, despite being illiterate with a third-grade education, was able to make a decent living as a union worker, those jobs have gone away. Millions of sons and daughters of union employees have learned that they must acquire news skills and more education to remain in the middle class. Kevin didn’t learn this and so when his union job went away, he fell out of the middle class.
  • Personal life.He fell in love and had twin boys that he doted on. But because he and his girlfriend struggled financially, they never married.” Huh? Financial struggles might prevent someone from having kids, but I don’t see what that has to do with getting married. “Soon afterward, his girlfriend moved out, took the kids and asked for child support. The loss of his girlfriend, kids and job was a huge blow.” According to Keven’s younger brother, he developed self-esteem issues. Well, yes, that seems appropriate. “Kevin’s weight ballooned to 350 pounds, and he developed diabetes and had a couple of heart attacks. He grew marijuana and self-medicated with it, Clayton says, and was arrested for drug offenses.”

Eventually, Green qualified for some sort of disability, but even his younger brother conceded that the desperately needed monthly disability “also hurt him because he might have looked harder for a job if he hadn’t been getting those checks.” (That reminds me of Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s admonition that, “The issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it but what it costs those who receive it.”)

With respect to the welfare, which was really what prompted this column, Kristof said, “Yet it’s absurd to think that people like Kevin are somehow living it up. After child support deductions, he was living on about $180 a month plus food stamps and a small income from selling home-grown pot.” Kristof supported his assertion of “somehow living it up” by referring to a Pew poll that found that “wealthy Americans mostly agree that poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.”

Not surprisingly, readers who actually take the hyperlink to the poll will find that Kristof mischaracterized it. Actually, the poll separates respondents into five cohorts based, not on their wealth, but on their financial security – i.e., whether they have savings and checking accounts, a credit card, and retirement savings and don’t have credit problems or receive welfare.

The respondents were asked two related questions:

  1. Poor people today have it easy because they can get government benefits without doing anything in return.
  2. Poor people have hard lives because the government benefits don’t go far enough to help them life decently.

So, essentially, the choice is between having it easy because things are handed to them (which Green’s brother mentioned) and having it hard because they can’t live decently. There is nothing about living it up.

And when you look at the poll’s percentages, the numbers don’t show a great divide in America based on financial security. The percentages who agree with the two statements are as follows, from most financially secure to least:

  1. 54%, 57%, 47%, 39%, 29%
  2. 36%, 36%, 45%, 54%, 67%

Surely, more people who are not financially secure (i.e., more dependent on government benefits) would be expected to think benefits should be more generous while more of those who are financially secure would share Moynihan’s concern about the negative effect of dependency on welfare.

But Kristof and his ilk prefer to characterize Moynihan’s concern as a lack of empathy. To them, big-spending progressives are morally superior to conservatives, despite all evidence to the contrary.

It’s hard to argue with people who think like that.

January 19, 2015

My third pet peeve in government

Filed under: Economics,Issues,Law/justice,Politics,Retirement — Mike Kueber @ 11:01 pm
Tags: , , ,

I recently posted about a progressive Facebook friend who is displeased with SA’s mayor, Ivy Taylor. She also is displeased with her redneck in-laws who, despite their antipathy toward welfare, are not above keeping a cow on their acreage to avoid paying any significant property tax.

While I’m not judgmental re: people who energetically try to avoid taxes, I have previously blogged about my disgust with the farm/ag exemption.  The ag exemption, along with the obscene pension plan that state legislators have provided themselves, are strong evidence of the corruption involved in government.

To my list of pet peeves in government, I am adding a third item – long-term capital gains. These gains are currently taxed at 15% for most people, which is a compromise between some people arguing that these gains should be untaxed and others arguing that these gains should be taxed the same as ordinary income.

I agree with the latter position, but even if I understand the compromise, I don’t understand why the tax code would allow an estate to transfer to its heirs capital assets not only without assessing a tax on its capital gains, but also with its cost-basis increased to its current market value. What uncorrupted legislator would think that makes sense?

For some reason, I’ve never heard this grotesque policy discussed, let alone discussed. Imagine my surprise a couple of weeks ago upon hearing that President Obama is proposing to seek a middle-class tax cut that will be paid for by assessing a capital-gains tax on inherited property.

I look forward to hearing how the Republicans argue against this proposal. Mitt Romney is opening his campaign with an emphasis on helping the middle class, and I would love for him to adopt this proposal.

Next Page »