The latest very important key fact!

MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2014

In our world, facts don’t matter: As we’ve often noted, facts play almost no role in our national discourse. We’ll give you four quick reasons:

The facts we hear are often wrong. Other key facts get disappeared.

When people in our tribe make up facts, we tend to applaud them for it. And in a highly tribalized culture, it’s hard to convey basic facts across tribal lines, even if the facts in question are accurate and important.

We’ll now offer a fifth, more specialized reason. Some key facts about the looting of the middle class tend to get disappeared by corporate-paid liberals and by our upper-end news orgs.

For these reasons, the latest very important fact will play no role moving forward. This basic fact comes from Philip Longman in The Washington Monthly, by way of Kevin Drum.

This basic fact concerns tax rates in Texas, the famous low-tax state:
LONGMAN (5/14): It’s true, as the state’s boosters like to brag, that Texas does not have an income tax. But Texas has sales and property taxes that make its overall burden of taxation on low-wage families much heavier than the national average, while the state also taxes the middle class at rates as high or higher than in California...The top 1 percent in Texas have an effective tax rate of just 3.2 percent. That’s roughly two-fifths the rate that’s borne by the middle class, and just a quarter the rate paid by all those low-wage “takers” at the bottom 20 percent of the family income distribution. This Robin-Hood-in-reverse system gives Texas the fifth-most-regressive tax structure in the nation.
Several facts are involved in that passage, which we’re assuming is accurate, based on Drum’s good reputation. But let’s boil it down to this:

Texas is a low-tax state—but only for the highest earners. Low-wage families are taxed more heavily in Texas than elsewhere in the nation.

Given the hype about low-tax Texas, that’s a remarkable fact. It should be useful to progressives.

For some of the reasons we cited above, we’ll consign that fact to the bottom of a deep, cold Texas lake.

Data about the nation’s rising test scores have also been thrown in deep water to drown. So too for basic facts about the remarkable looting involved in American health care.

Still and all, that’s a striking new fact. It’s too bad facts don’t matter by widespread guild agreement!


  1. For once blogger brings up an important issue - this whole "Moving to Texas" thing. Texas and the other Southern states are in a race-to-the-bottom in terms of gutting social services and deregulating business. People and businesses seem to be voting with their feet. And the question is how will it all end up - will New York, NJ, California etc. become red-neck states also in order to be able to retain businesses or will they get pauperized as businesses head for the "healthy bidness climate" in the South and the liberal states end up with a disproportionate share of those needing government assistance?

    Detroit was killed by the South as foreign automakers followed by the domestic ones relocated auto-manufacturing to the non-union South.

    1. Detroit was killed by Detroit.

  2. No, the foreign car plants started as under the WTO, cars had to be assembled here to avoid a large tariff.

  3. This is the case in many Southern states. Here in Alabama, income and property taxes are low, regressive sales taxes and fees are very high. Even groceries are taxed, which results in some bizarre outcomes. For example, if you are a farmer and need to buy formula to feed baby pigs, no tax. If you are a mother in poverty who needs to feed a human baby, you pay tax. (The farmers have better lobbyists.) The situation is so unfair that evens some REPUBLICANS have trouble sleeping. The previous Republican governor, Bob Riley actually floated a plan to make taxation less regressive, but it was voted down overwhelmingly by the overwhelmingly Christian voters of our fair state, effectively ending his political career.

    1. Interesting, thanks for this comment.

  4. OMB (Your BOB's Mind on His Own Drugs)

    "Some key facts about the looting of the middle class tend to get disappeared by corporate-paid liberals and by our upper-end news orgs. .......the latest very important fact will play no role moving forward. This basic fact comes from Philip Longman in The Washington Monthly, by way of Kevin Drum." His BOBship

    Following two links, to Longman we find this:

    "....the debate over whether Texas has anything important to teach the rest of America has continued to build. .....Some liberal voices have, of course, risen up to offer rebuttal. In 2012, New York Times columnist Gail Collins published a book entitled As Texas Goes … How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda." Philip Longman

    "Why are we the people so dumb? Some of us read Gail Collins." The OTB.

    As they say in Texas, "That Gail Collins is one dumb bunny. If'n you don't believe me, ask ol' liberal Bob Somerby, he otter know, Butch!"


    1. KZ, you are a good example of someone who insists that people either be heros or villains. Gail Collins writes a dumb book but because she is criticizing Texas (and purportedly a liberal), she gets mentioned by Longman. Since Bob has called her on her dumbness, by transitivity that makes Bob a conservative who loves Texas.

      Collins has strengths and weaknesses, so does Somerby, so do most people. Someone praising Collins for being critical of Texas doesn't make Somerby wrong, Collines right (about Texas schools) or you any less of a nuisance.

    2. So which is it, 3:00? Do "corporate-paid liberals" disappear facts about the "Texas Miracle" or did Gail Collins write a book about it?

      Perhaps you can link me to when Somerby offered high praise two years ago upon publication of Collins' tome.

    3. I don't insist that all liberals must agree with either me, some agenda, or each other. I don't think Collins stock rises because she criticizes Texas taxes. This theme KZ has of requiring consistency makes no sense at all to anyone who can hold two thoughts in their head at the same time.

    4. I'm not asking you to agree with me, Collins, or increase Collins' stock in your mind.

      Bob wrote this:

      Texas is a low-tax state—but only for the highest earners. Low-wage families are taxed more heavily in Texas than elsewhere in the nation.

      "Given the hype about low-tax Texas, that’s a remarkable fact. It should be useful to progressives. . . . Still and all, that’s a striking new fact. It’s too bad facts don’t matter by widespread guild agreement!"

      Meanwhile, Collins wrote a book about "facts (that) don't matter by widespread guild agreement!"

      Which would seem (there's that Bob word for you loyal fans!) Bob's entire point of this post W-R-O-N-G!

    5. KZ thinks if Somerby criticizes what Collins said about Texas schools he has discarded the whole book. That Collins said something about Texas taxes in her book does not mean the guild is not ignoring such facts. Only in troll land where the game is to discredit Somerby.

    6. Fellas, please. KZ didn't say anything nice about Collins.

      KZ didn't say much about Somerby.

      He quoted Somerby.

      He said the guy who Somerby's post is praising mentioned Collins work. Collins wrote about Texas in 2012.

      He said Somerby thinks we are dumb because some people read Collins. Actually KZ didn't say that. Somerby did.

      In any case, many of you made dumb comments. Probably because some of us read Collins. If you believe Bob Somerby.

    7. Dear narcissistic asshole:

      The fact that a single newspaper columnist wrote a single book "to offer a rebuttal" doesn't come close to showing the following statement to be wrong:

      "Some key facts about the looting of the middle class tend to get disappeared by corporate-paid liberals and by our upper-end news orgs."

      So please do us all a favor and stop trying so hard to prove yourself clever and cute . . . by nitpicking someone who, on the whole, does excellent work.

    8. I don't know who you were calling a narcissistic asshole.
      I do know Somerby called you dumb, like the rest of us.
      He might be right. But not just because some read Gail Collins.

    9. Nobody I know reads Gail Collins.

    10. KZ refers to himself in the third person in order to pretend to comment on his own comments.

    11. If he actually comments, is that pretending or commenting?

  5. Here's hoping TDH will examine the Gen. Sinclair sexual assault case.

    Sinclair is the Zimmerman of sexism. The left is turning the other way as the media disappears and ignores facts because, sexual assault in the military!

    The original lead prosecutor quit because charges were trumped up just like scheduled grand jury was scrapped in Zimmerman case in favor of political prosecution. Judge just declared that political considerations about sexual assault complaints in the military influenced decision to prosecute the case.

    If we progressives are really lucky Hillary will come out and attempt to influence the outcome with a widely praised speech declaring, "If I had another daughter, she would look like Captain Accuser!"

    General Sinclair will ultimately be acquitted of sexual assault, but not before the "liberals" get through with him.

    1. Does it hurt to be this ignorant? No?

      Too bad.

      Grand juries aren't required in Florida homicide cases unless the charge is 1st degree murder.

      Sinclair is toast because of something called "conduct unbecoming an officer" whether that includes assault or not. And regardless of those hordes of "liberals" in the military and in charge of the military.

    2. @Deadrat, nobody said the grand jury was "required" despite your hallucinations. But one was assembled and then dismissed by special prosecutor Corey (installed because of politics), because she knew it would not indict. Sinclair has already pleaded guilty on improprieties with subordinates and adultery. The issue is sexual assault, which is completely unsupported by evidence but and for which he is being used as a scapegoat for the "progressive" agenda.

      Facts such as that the accuser wrote love letters to the General after the alleged "assaults" have been downplayed or disappeared, just like the vicious beating Zimmerman endured.

      It's alright though, because Zimmerman loved his guns and because Sinclair is a macho military white man. It's alright because racism and sexism.

    3. Someone who thinks the process around the Zimmerman prosecution was kosher, and that workplace affairs justify rape charges, is throwing around "ignorant" insults. You gotta love irony.

    4. Anonymous @7:41P,

      I admire someone like you who such an active fantasy life. You know what Corey knew about the grand jury members, and apparently you've seen the "progressive" agenda. I missed my copy. Could you post it here for me?

      Zimmerman didn't endure a "vicious beating." Martin broke his nose in a fistfight. That doesn't mean Zimmerman should have been convicted of anything.

      Even the little I've read about the good soldier cast doubt on the veracity of his accuser. And, surprise! That was in the New York Times.

      Sinclair is a disgrace to his uniform. But it's "alright" because progressives and liberals. Or something.

    5. vicious = "deliberately cruel or violent" beating = "a punishment or assault in which the victim is hit repeatedly" Deadrat doesn't understand the English language.

      Corey knew that the grand jury had been assembled, dismissed it and replaced it with her own absurd charge, just as she was politically appointed to you. You find nothing objectionable about any of it, because you're an obedient little progressive. And, racism.

    6. appointed to you = appointed to do

    7. What on earth does "the Zimmerman of sexism" mean?

    8. Believe it or not, I was raised by English-speakers. I have a passing acquaintance with the English language, and I can tell the difference between a "vicious beating" and a fistfight.

      Let me re-emphasize that just because Zimmerman was losing a fistfight doesn't mean he should have been convicted.

      I'm not a fan of Corey. I think she overcharged Zimmerman in the hopes of getting a plea. Please stop telling me what I find, what I object to, and what I obey.

    9. Please. If you have a passing acquaintance with the English speakers who raised you ( and believe you me I loved the Stuart Little stories), please take a stab at "the Zimmerman of sexism." Did Sinclair get out of his car?

    10. Anonymous @1:08A,

      I think "the Zimmerman of sexism" is best approached as an SAT analogy. Not the new test; the really, really old test that I took. We used quill pens to fill in the circles.

      Zimmerman:Sinclair ::
      Murder charges:Assault charges::

      Now it's always silly to plumb depths of teh stoopid expecting to find reason, but I think the narrative runs like this. Just as Zimmerman was unfairly accused of murder by racist liberals including Obama so Sinclair was unfairly accused of assault by sexist liberals including Hillary.

      As "Racism" is defined as taking the side of the nonwhite person in a controversy against the side of the nonblack person, so "sexism" is taking the side of a woman against that of a man. As Obama is part of this racism when he expresses concern for the death of a black "victim," so Hillary is (or is presumed to be) part of this sexism when she eventually expresses concern for the female "victim." (And if she hasn't weighed in on the issue, you just know that's what she's thinking.)

      How's that?

      In the question of transport, the question isn't whether Sinclair got out of his car, it's whether he conducted his dalliances in his car, so we need to know whether Sinclair came in his car or got off in his car.

      I hope this helps.

      By the way, I'm still laughing at the Stuart Little reference.

    11. Zimmerman and Sinclair are examples of scapegoats corruptly prosecuted by government and corruptly persecuted in the media in the name of eradicating social ills and advancing certain agendas. For the greater good.

  6. Here's some more reading, dating back a few years, about Texas' supposed low tax rates, in case Bob fans want to continue to believe their hero that these facts haven't been reported:

    And finally, Kevin Drum from THREE YEARS AGO:

    1. Texas miracle /= misleading tax rates.

    2. Just in case anyone is misled by this hater, none of this shows Somerby to be wrong. Just go re-read very carefully what Somerby wrote, and then consider that 1) the vast majority of irishguy's links are to news sources out of the mainstream, 2) the vast majority are from the 2012 presidential campaign and are a response to Rick Perry's stump speeches about the "Texas miracle" of economic growth -- thus, they in no way show an ongoing effort by the media to highlight certain facts about the "looting of the middle class" in general or the regressive tax rates in Texas in particular, and 3) the most mainstream source linked to (CBS) was a 2004 news piece about the high-school dropout rate in Houston. Generally speaking, when one of the Bob haters in the comments section accuses Bob of being wrong, it's actually the haters who turn out to be wrong. Bob is much smarter and more scrupulous than they could ever hope to be.

    3. Don't worry. BOB lover know he is right and won't let Bob haters mislead them. Even if Bob did call them dumb.

    4. Just a hunch, but I'd be willing to bet if you polled the general public, or for that matter even if it were strictly among well educated members of corporate media across the spectrum- True or False is Texas a "low tax state? The overwhelmingly response would be "True".

      When liberals are reduced to citing Gail Collins as Exhibit A, proof positive champion of class struggle, you know their heart just isn't in it anymore.

    5. This in no hunch. If you poll the general public you will find they disapprove of Obamacare but approve af many things in it.

      If you poll Texans they thing their taxes are too high.

      Just a hunch. You probably agree with Bob that We the people are dumb. But I bet you are not so dumb as to blame it on the reading habits of those who include Collins on their list.

  7. Zimmerman did not endure a "vicious beating". There is no evidence that his nose was broken. The extent of his injuries were very mild, there is no evidence Martin deliberately caused those injuries.

    No state has better weather than California. There will always be ebb and flow, but California's prominence will persist. My home in CA is valued close to ten times greater than my home in Texas, yet the property tax is about the same for both.

    1. I thought Howard Jarvis was dead.

    2. "Broken nose" isn't a medical diagnosis; it's a vernacular term. Given the extent of Z's facial injuries, it's likely he suffered damage to his septum, the cartilage and bone that separates the nostrils. Likely the cartilage was cracked. That was the judgment of the physician's assistant who examined the day after the killing. There was no septal deviation, which means the septum wasn't displaced from its central position and likely there was no damage to the bony part.

      His other injuries were small lacerations to the back of his head.

      Given testimony about the fight and the abrasions on Martin's hands, I think we can conclude Martin caused Zimmerman's injuries, and I don't see how that the blows could have been anything but deliberate.

      That Zimmerman's injuries were small does not matter under Florida law. He might have been justified in using lethal force, and the jury found there wasn't enough evidence to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that he wasn't justified.

    3. Do you think OJ did it? Kill his wife and the waiter?

    4. You want to know my opinion about OJ?

      Why would you care?