Democrats & Liberals Archives

Good Stewards of Tax Dollars?

In the State of the Union speech, President Bush said that “keeping America competitive requires us to be good stewards of tax dollars.” A sentiment that I could not agree more with. The problem is that under President Bush’s leadership the federal budget has grown by 42%, [FactCheck- Misstatement of the Union] and there is no end to that growth in sight, despite the cuts the President pointed out.

Entitlement programs are a problem and have come under fire as a way to bring down spending. However, before we start cutting assistance to the poor and needy, we need to streamline and clean up the government bureaucracy that wastes billions of taxpayer dollars. There is a moral dilemma in cutting help to those in need while at the same time pissing money away in the wind.

According to a University of California Blue Ribbon Commission report, released today; the government has pissed away $363.8 million discharging more than 10,000 service members for being openly gay since "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" went into effect in 1994. These are brave Americans who have voluntarily put themselves in the line of fire to protect this country and all of her citizens. I have a feeling that $363.8 million is just the tip of the iceberg of what the government spends on promoting bigotry.

Of course this is just one example of the total waste of taxpayer dollars. We need to clean up the waste and worry about cutting entitlements and taxes only after we have our financial house in order. Government must become transparent and account to the taxpayers for who, what, where and why our taxpayer dollars were spent. Our government has been anything but good stewards of taxpayer dollars.

Posted by JayJay Snow at February 14, 2006 11:42 AM
Comments
Comment #124917

JayJay,

If I were you, I’d ask the people in my party who will be running for Congress later in the year to propose massive spending cuts in all the federal programs that they feel are unnecessary.

I will vote for any candidate from either party who is committed to balancing the budget, stopping spending at current levels and leaving enough money aside to get a start on paying the debt down.

Neither party is currently offering such a candidate.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 14, 2006 1:58 PM
Comment #124929

JayJay:

I agree that our government has a long record of not spending our money efficiently. We need another William Proxmire to bring attention to the “Golden Fleeces” that are out there.

Entitlements are a problem. Social Security will continue to cost more, as people live longer, so we need to figure out how to handle it. Medicare and Medicaid are also in the same boat. I don’t favor cutting safety nets out from people, but I also don’t favor having the government in the business of providing for people’s retirements. It’s a delicate balance where we need to offer people a baseline level of safety, but make sure they have the incentive to provide for themselves.
Those who rely on the government (and this group is growing) will always be in rough shape.

Ending the earmarks seems like one way to keep money from being spent. Some earmarks, of course, are worthwhile, but many are simply pork.

Politics unfortunately plays a big role. Take the Homeland Security money—-it went relatively evenly to the states because of political pressure. That meant that South Dakota got more than its needed share while other more critical states got less than they should have. The distribution was politically influenced so that it was flawed.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 14, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #124932

Traveler
Is that a promise? What district are you in and I will do the research for you on the Dem. side

Everybody see the NYT today reporting a 7 billion $ giveaway to the oil companies. We are giving away oil and gas from federal lands to them gratis. .

Posted by: BillS at February 14, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #124937

To clarify my last post.
When I said “stopping spending at current levels,” I meant the total budget, not programs. Large cuts do have to be made to quite a few programs in order to get the budget and the debt under control.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 14, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #124944

BillS,

I’m in New York.
Somehow I don’t think Senator Clinton will propose cutting federal programs on this scale, neither for her senate nor her presidential run. She certainly won’t propose enough cuts to facilitate debt repayment.

If she does propose such a thing between now and November, however, I promise to vote for her for the first time.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 14, 2006 2:21 PM
Comment #124948

We’re buiiding the Virginia class of nuclear attack submarine @ $2 billion/sub. We’re building the F22 air superiority fighter, another program costing tens of billions of dollars.

In Iraq, $8.8 billion disappeared from the CPA. Republicans will not investigate.

We’re spending @ $1 billion per week on Iraq.

Domestic spending is wildly out of control, yet the Republican congress continues advocating tax cuts and spending more and more; meanwhile, Bush has not vetoed a bill. Not one. It’s not like he has close relations with Congress, either; it’s more like, he doesn’t care. It’s all about politics, not policies.

Traveler, on one hand, the Democrats COULDN’T do worse. We’re squadering money on corporate welfare and tax cuts, on military spending for… well, what the hell good is a new generation of jet fighters going to do, when no one can top the last one?

On the other hand, it does seem like a terrific opportunity for the Democrats. Fiscal responsibility. What a unique concept! The Clinton administration did it. They fixed it once. It seems logical to give Dems a chance to fix it again.

Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #124954

We already had a good steward of tax dollars, William Jefferson Clinton, for eight years. Now we have the idiotic irresponsible spending without taxation administration. They had to bring in a new cold war to satisfy the people that own them. If a democrat wins next time, he will have to clean up an even bigger mess than Clinton had to clean up, and the Rpblcns will jump on him for the Bush bloated budget.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 14, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #124956

BillS,

To answer your question, I’m in New York’s 21st congressional district (I’ll admit I had to look that one up).

My congressman is Mike McNulty, a moderate democrat I voted for. He’s certainly not the picture of fiscal responsibility I’d like to see, though.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 14, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #124960


The problem with balancing the budget is not primarily a tax or spend problem. It is a political problem. Incumbents live or die by the money they can bring home to their districts. As a result, it becomes a feeding frenzy at budget time to spend as much as possible on pet projects. There are no constraints on what can be funded, and if someone does have the courage to propose cuts in a given program, no matter how bloated, they are committing political suicide.

Examples: Make a suggestion to overhaul Social Security and watch the AARP rally it’s members to remind Congress of how many seniors vote. Propose overhauling Medicare and Medicaid and listen to the “people’s” lobbying groups go on the rampage about a cruel and unfeeling federal government. How many billions are we talking about so far.

If you want to save money at the Federal level, put sunset provisions in every program that is funded. Then make the proponents prove that they are worth what they cost. Stop spending military appropriations for unneeded and unwanted weapons systems. Let the military ask for what it wants, don’t mandate just because there is a defense contractor or supplier in someone’s home district. How much have we saved so far?

Eliminate the Department of Energy and the Department of Education. Both spend billions every year and accomplish nothing except to create paperwork.

Daydreaming about Utopia, pass and adopt a constitutional amendment mandating a balanced budget every year, unless we are in a declared war. Many of our states operate with such restrictions.

Washington does not care about, or understand, those of us who work for a living. They have forgotten where the money comes from. Let’s remind them in November. When they start their campaigns, ask tough questions about the deficit. Demand specific ways to reduce it. After the election, hold them accountable for what they promised. Don’t let them get away with backing off. Then, in 2008, do the same thing to all candidates. Remind them of who they work for.

The preamble to the Constitution opens with these words: “We the People”…. Let’s send a message to Congress and the White House that We the People have had just about enough!

Posted by: John Back at February 14, 2006 2:42 PM
Comment #124977

“We already had a good steward of tax dollars, William Jefferson Clinton, for eight years.”

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 14, 2006 02:31 PM

Yeah, that recession was real nice. Thanks Bill. With the economic growth accrued during the Bush administration, we might be able to afford a one term Democratic president without spiraling the US economy back into the toilet.

Posted by: goodkingned at February 14, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #124983

goodkingned, were you even alive or aware during the Clinton administration? The Clinton years were the good old days, contrary to the programming of the Bush cult. Om mani padme Bush.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 14, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #125025

Oh Ray, don’t take me down memory lane. I’m glad that you enjoyed the Clinton era. He did too. That was the problem with Good Time Bill, it was all about having fun. The US economy paid the bill for the Clintoninan times.

Being from the South, I have see the Clinton type again and again. They flourish in southern state and local politics dispensing easy graft, usually, small graft, not big ticket items.

That’s part of why I find the Clinton model of corruption so distasteful, they sell their integrity for nickles and dimes and then complain when they are criticized for their shallow morals, that small profiteering is OK and that politics are the reason they are being criticized. Politicians like the Clintons should be contained to an arena where there misdemeanors are limited to paving a free driveway or two for a $200.00 campaign contribution.

By the way, I remember Carter too. Want to talk about him next?

Posted by: goodkingned at February 14, 2006 4:13 PM
Comment #125031

The Congress cuts 35 billion in spending, but turns right around and cuts taxes 70 billion. Net deficit, 35 billion. This is called one step forward, two back, literally. This way they hope to have their cake and eat it too, by saying they are cutting spending AND taxes to the dim witted public who thinks, “Oh, good, the deficits and my taxes should both go down, thanks to these good folks.”.

Politics as usual.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 14, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #125037

Goodkingned,
This should be fun. When analyzing job creation and employment, the most useful number is non-farm payroll. Guess which president created more jobs, Jimmy Carter in four years, or Bush in five years. (Hint- Carter created 10.3 million jobs in four years. Hint- Bush has the worst job creation numbers since Herbert Hoover).

In your opinion, how many years do you think it will take Bush to match the 22.7 non-farm payroll jobs created under Clinton, assuming Bush were allowed to serve decades.

Are jobs are overrated? What is your opinion?


Posted by: phx8 at February 14, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #125043

“Yeah, that recession was real nice. Thanks Bill. With the economic growth accrued during the Bush administration, we might be able to afford a one term Democratic president without spiraling the US economy back into the toilet.”

The basic rule of thumb: Democrat Presidents create inflation, Republican Presidents create recessions.

Oh man, I really miss the good ole 90s. (BTW - the implosion of the economy was set up and ran through by Enron, Tyco and a host of other HUGE Bush financial supporters. 9/11 obviously made things much worse - but to suggest that Bill created the recession is an insanely odd suggestion. Please explain more…)

Posted by: tony at February 14, 2006 4:42 PM
Comment #125078

“we need to streamline and clean up the government bureaucracy that wastes billions of taxpayer dollars”

As Trav said, show me a candidate who is serious about doing this and I will vote for them.

“Oh man, I really miss the good ole 90s”

Tony, do you think it was politics or just the cycle of things?
The 90s sucked big time for me. Min wage, no job choice and a family of four.
2002 and I had my pick of jobs and earn alot more.
I think its more cyclic than anything else.

Posted by: Tim Huff at February 14, 2006 6:00 PM
Comment #125088

joebod,

Entitlement programs?? Did you check the facts on factcheck? Accounting for only 16% of the budget, “reigning in” the basic survival programs (I cannot stand the E word because of its inherent bias) would make almost no difference as spending in this area is growing more slowly than other parts of the budget

C’mon joebod, a 42% increase in spending and Bushy wants to rally the base by pointing at the poorest in our society as the problem.

Don’t you find that a little dishonest??

How about a real State of the Union from Bushy?

“My fellow Americans, instead of government small enough to drown in a bathtub, I’ve opted for one too large to drown, even in the ocean.

Spending is up 42%. Most of that money is going to those of you who supported me the most. Oil industry? We got your back. Hali B, we DEFNITELY got your back. With our military involvement projected out for the next ten years, EPS will be strong.

Tax cuts? Again, for my base, we got your back. Now, not all tax cuts are obvious. When you add back the investment credits and royalty kickbacks
to my initial tax cut, my friends in Houston are living large.

Now, none of this matters all that much, because with the continuing rise in interest rates, the growth of our budget deficit will be placed right at the feet of the next fed chairman.

By continuing to engage in fiscally irresponsible military operations througout the middle east, we can be sure to distract middle america from the outright robbery we are inflicting on them.

My fellow Americans, we live in trying times. Now is not the time to find blame and point fingers. We must look ahead, together, so my team can cover their tracks. Looking ahead, to I can instill terror in you and assure that you will do what I want.

In a word - trust me.


Or was that two words?”

Posted by: CPAdams at February 14, 2006 6:25 PM
Comment #125201

This is what incumbents do with your tax dollars.
Vote out (or recall) all irresponsible incumbents.

Think there are any repsonsible incumbents?
Who?
Start a list.
But, unless we can get 268 (half of 535) in congress, what can you conclude?

Posted by: d.a.n at February 14, 2006 9:38 PM
Comment #125202

Just do what voters were always supposed to do.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 14, 2006 9:40 PM
Comment #125406

CPAdams:

joebod, Entitlement programs?? Did you check the facts on factcheck?

As a matter of fact, I did, and apparently a bit more closely than you did. Factcheck says that Bush claimed to “have reduced the growth of non-security discretionary spending, which is true. However, that category accounts for only about 16 per cent of the whole federal budget…” Its not the entitlements, or basic survival programs that make up 16% of the budget, as you claimed in your post.

Furthermore, FactCheck also claims that medical costs are increasing, making them one of the areas that increase the budget. That’s precisely what I said in my earlier post. Note that I didn’t say we need to cut SS or Medicare/Medicaid—-I said we need to figure out how to handle the rising costs.

Here’s the quote from FactCheck for verification (emphasis is mine):

“CBO projects further upward pressure on spending, including rising interest rates pushing up the cost of servicing the swelling national debt, and rising medical costs and Bush’s new prescription drug benefit pushing up the cost of Medicare. (Neither item is counted in the “discretionary” category). CBO projects interest costs will increase 18 per cent in the current fiscal year, and Medicare will go up 17 per cent.

Now, just to be clear, I’m in favor of cutting spending in a LOT of areas. There is far too much waste in the system. There are increases in programs that simply happen every year—that was my point with SS and Medicare etc. We have to be cognizant of those increases, but the key is to cut spending elsewhere.

Other than tax cuts, where do you want to see cuts. Remember, you need to cut billions out, so lets not see small ticket items on your list. I know tax cuts are one of your issues that you would cut, but we’ll disagree on that. I’m looking for areas where we might agree.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 15, 2006 10:50 AM
Comment #125428

I’ve noticed a trend in the phraseology used and by those defending W and his administration. Since there is no defense for most of this administration’s actions and policies, his supporters just attack those who criticize with inane comments and labels.

When our most brilliant President Clinton is mentioned and admired, the response always brings up the last part of the Kenneth Starr witch hunt against the president.

The investigation started with supposedly questionable financial actions during his pre White House years. When Starr could find nothing to stick, somehow the investigation metamorphisized into one of ‘Did he lie about sexual events’. It even led to attempts to remove him from office through the process of impeachment. For lying about sex.

Well W lied about ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction, the link between the attack on the World Trade Center and the pentagon, the militarily dangerous Iraq threat to the United States and so on until finally, not getting the encouragement or belief, W just started the attack on Iraq.

I won’t call it a war, because that would require an equal adversary. W lied about those weapons, about that threat and about that link, among many other lies.

Now, about the economy. This administration inherited a strong economy and a multi-billion surplus. What did they do with it? Got rid of that suplus as fast as they could and now we have a budget proposal of over three trillion dollars.

But read the comments from the W admirers. Everything that is wrong is either Clinton’s fault or the result of liberal, socialist Democrats.

And one last thing, Social Security is not and should not be on the table. The taxes to fund this program are separately collected and should not be used for any other purpose.

The surpluses, and there still are surpluses, are for future years, not to make the federal budget look better. The real federal budget, without Social Security and Medicare dollars included spends half of the dollars on the military and the new arms race against ‘who knows’.

I’ve run out of wind, but Cheney and Haliburton are next.

Posted by: Clearheaded at February 15, 2006 12:03 PM
Comment #125430

Vote libertarian and these problem’s will solve themselves.

Posted by: tim_lebsack at February 15, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #125434

joebod,

I would phase back in the Bush’s tax cut, beginning in 2007, rather than simply letting it expire. Doing so would raise revenue faster and delay having to deal with fixing the AMT, as many more of us would be subject to the regular tax tables again (myself included).

I would make changes to the tax code so that American corporations and individuals cannot avoid tax liability by shifting assets, headquarters and/or citizenship overseas. I would insure that money earned here, in whole or in part, is taxed here. I would increase IRS enforcement to ensure compliance.

I would draw down our troops in Iraq much faster than currently planned, and draw UN troops into peacekeeping. I would have us out of Iraq, even if it costs Haliburton their contracts, by June of next year.

I would reinstate royalties on offshore leases in the Gulf of Mexico, retroactively, and dare the oil industry to sue the federal government.

I would freeze all discretionary spending at current levels for a period of 2-3 years (surprised?).

I would end earmarks - I think we could shave 10% off the deficit from this alone.

Some pain for everyone, more from those who benefit the most in our society (myself included), and with the spending freezes, proof that the government is being fiscally responsible.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 15, 2006 12:14 PM
Comment #125443
Vote libertarian and these problem’s will solve themselves.

That’s not a bad idea.

A lot of third parties and independents may be missing a golden opportunity to spread the truth about the obvious problem (irresponsible incumbents), and the obvious solution.

Irresponsible Incumbents:


  • refuse to pass many badly needed, common-sense, no-brainer, constructive reforms (e.g. campaign finance reform, election reform, one-purpose-per-bill amendment, balanced budget-amendment, tax reform, etc.).

  • vote irresponsibly (e.g. pork-barrel, graft, waste, corporate welfare, etc.), look the other way because they lack the peer-pressure to police their own ranks, and continue to grow government and the national debt to nightmare proportions, which is threatening the future and security of the nation. The national debt is so large now, it would take 139 years to pay off the debt if the federal government started now to (a) stop borrowing $1 billion per day, and (b) also started paying back $1 billion per day (slightly more the daily interest alone). It is irresponsible and immoral to be heaping that much debt onto future generations.

  • are bought-and-paid-for, too beholding to their big-money-donors, and refuse to tackle tough issues for fear of risking re-election, or defying their big-money-donors.

  • always outnumber the newcomers to Congress.

  • spend too much time and tax-payers money raising more money for their campaign war-chests.

  • fuel the partisan warfare, and seduce voters into a circular pattern that distracts the voters from more substantive issues.

  • pressure and seduce newcomers into Congress to conform to the status quo, look the other way, or be shunned and isolated.

  • somehow still convince many voters to empower the incumbents that use and abuse the voters.

There are a lot of good ideas here for reforms.
But, the voters need to first understand that NO reforms are possible until the voters, first, get the incumbents (and newcomers) attention. Newcomers would like to pass badly-needed, common-sense reforms, but incumbents, who always outnumber newcomers, will not allow any reforms that reduce the power of the incumbents’ cu$hy, coveted seats, or their opportunities for self-gain.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 12:33 PM
Comment #125448

d.a.n.,

here are two more things I would do - first, triple (quadruple?) congressional and senate salaries; next, eliminate campaign contributions and finance all campaigns from federal money for the top two vote getting parties of the last twenty years.

If salaries are high enough, then maybe the graft and gifts won’t matter as much and leaders might be more likely to vote honestly. Maybe it takes one million per year.

If you are an independent, you can raise donations for a campaign. If you are a dem or repub, you have to take federal money. I would also ban issue ads.

Posted by: CPAdams at February 15, 2006 12:42 PM
Comment #125461

CPAdams:

Good ideas. I don’t know about the Gulf royalties, and the retroactive side sounds like a law suit loser, but I’m pretty ignorant about the whole issue there.

I’d be more concerned with the outcome in Iraq if we pulled out than any monetary savings. We should pull as soon as we possibly can, while ensuring that Iraq moves forward not backward. I’m leaving that comment wildly open ended because I don’t want to segue into that discussion, and I think we can perhaps agree on it.

Earmarks, corporate taxation for offshore, and spending freeze—right on!

Your ideas on campaign expenditures have some merit, but I’d think they would lead to strengthening the top two parties and killing everyone else off, since only the top 2 parties get federal money (how much?) while the other parties have to raise their money. In reality, third parties havent been anything beyond spoilers anyway, so it might not matter.

Some columnist wrote that he’d pay politicians 10 MILLION annually to take the money aspect out of the picture. He figured it would still save money because they could then never be bought**

Thanks for the good ideas. Any idea of how to get the bastahds to implement them?

**The term ‘bought’ does not intend to give the connotation that politicians are in any way influenced by the massive amount of money lobbyists and corporations give to them. That money, of course, is willingly donated out of the sheer goodhearted nature of said lobbyists and corporations, who do not stand to make any gain, receive any access, or induce any legislation to their perspective as a result.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 15, 2006 12:59 PM
Comment #125465

CPAdams,
I agree with much of that.
I’m not sure about raising salaries, but I would not rule it out. I would rather, first, use salary increases as a carrot and get some mileage out of it first.
Yes, we have to limit the money in politics. Money in politics makes it rotten. Only laws and consequences for breaking those laws can provide the incentive to reduce corruption, and governmnet FOR SALE.

But, first and foremost, voters have to be educated to understand that NONE of these many, badly-needed, common-sense, no-brainer reforms will ever be passed until voters peacefully force government to pass them. Incumbents won’t allow it. Newcomers are hit smack-dab in the face with threats, pressure, temptation, and isolation if they don’t accept the status quo. Many newcomers want to pass badly-needed, common-sense reforms, but incumbents will not allow it.

And that is the simple truth, the simple message the all third parties and independents are missing, and missing their chance to finally have a voice in government too. Why? Because Democrats won’t vote for Republicans, and Republicans won’t vote for Democrats. But, both might just be fed-up enough to vote for newcomers that understand the message, reject the partisan warfare, and understand their career will be very short if they succumb to the status quo too.

Voters have to be re-educated to learn that voting out irresponsible incumbents is not a once-in-a-while duty. It’s a duty every election. It’s simply the right thing to do. But, voters must remove their partisan blinders, reject being seduced into the circular, partisan warfare, and vote wisely to remove irresponsible incumbents, and demonstrate to newcomers that irresponsible incumbents of any party are no longer acceptable. Sounds simple, but the brainwashing is powerful. Some people are too fond of wallowing in the partisan warfare. I used to be one of them. But, better late than never. But, for my mistake, my repentance, and hope for better government, is to try to educate other voters to see the simple truth, see that irresponsible incumbents are abusing the voters, and there are few (if any) responsible incumbents that don’t look the other way, are not bought-and-paid-for, and deserve to stay.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #125487

CPAdams,

I would phase back in the Bush’s tax cut, beginning in 2007, rather than simply letting it expire. Doing so would raise revenue faster and delay having to deal with fixing the AMT, as many more of us would be subject to the regular tax tables again (myself included).

For the very rich only. I don’t think this is the time to increase taxes for the middle class who, despite all the spin, did benefit from the tax cuts. It would be better to simply cut spending.

I would make changes to the tax code so that American corporations and individuals cannot avoid tax liability by shifting assets, headquarters and/or citizenship overseas. I would insure that money earned here, in whole or in part, is taxed here. I would increase IRS enforcement to ensure compliance.

That one’s good.

I would draw down our troops in Iraq much faster than currently planned, and draw UN troops into peacekeeping. I would have us out of Iraq, even if it costs Haliburton their contracts, by June of next year.

It would be better to stay and continue to train the Iraqi’s so we can emininate the need for any forign troops in Iraq. UN troops are not equiped or experienced enough to fight terrorists or train the Iraqis.

I would freeze all discretionary spending at current levels for a period of 2-3 years (surprised?).

It would be better to freeze it for god. Or better still, cut it!

I would end earmarks - I think we could shave 10% off the deficit from this alone.

Good, but Judging by the reaction when Bush mentioned this, McCain is the only congressman who will support it.

Posted by: TheTraveler at February 15, 2006 1:46 PM
Comment #125500

joebod,

good to see we have some common ground. I have no idea how to implement any of it!

The corporate welfare in particular makes me craziest, more than any of the right/left stuff we generally disagree about.

Corporations, by nature, will push the process as much as they can get away with, wherever they are. But what a difference, depending on what side of the planet they’re on!

Google, the champion of free speech - unless, of course, we are in Peeps Repub of China, in which case they censor themselves and identify dissidents for the totalitarian government.

How about all these corporations that demand tax breaks and incentives from Washington - but readily acquiesce to new market countries (like China) in the form of 51-49 joint ventures with said governments. Explain that to me.

Or the same companies that threaten the government with mass layoffs if their offshoring is restricted are the ones who agree to hire X amount of workers locally in exchange for access to Y country.

These companies are wealthy because of American consumption. But this is a free market - in that it is the only one without a government demanding a price for entry (it even gives away our trees, oil and minerals to the corporations) -

If it is a free market, isnt it free for the market makers, ie, we the people? Why are consumers always left footing the bill?

Posted by: CPAdams at February 15, 2006 2:11 PM
Comment #125519
good to see we have some common ground. I have no idea how to implement any of it! … … Why are consumers always left footing the bill?

Because we allow it, and only we, the people, the voters, can change it. Some think it can never happen, but no one can know that for certain. So, until then, we should simply do what we’re supposed to do. The longer we wait, the more painful it will be for the average voter (not politicians; they have golden parachutes, which is why they don’t care).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 3:25 PM
Comment #125584

d.a.n.

Your message about incumbents is a decent message. I thought so when I read your first post on it. After reading your umpteenth post restating your position, along with the same highlighted links, I’ve tired of the message. Simply repeating it over and over doesn’t make the message stronger—simply a bit tiresome.

I appreciate your fervor for your cause. I’d love to see that fervor expressed in new and interesting ways.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 15, 2006 5:36 PM
Comment #125603

joebagodonuts,

I’m always working on new and interesting ways.
In fact, I am adding many new text, charts, data, and information almost daily. All of my posts are original. No two are alike. I type every single one in each time. I appreciate what your saying and will continue to find new ways to make it more interesting.

Also, I was honestly answering the two questions asked by CPAdams (above), and could not resist the opportunity to answer those questions.

Also, the only articles of interest to me are only those that deal with the debt, government corruption, the economy, taxation, a number of badly-needed, common-sense reforms, and the best way to improve all.

Sorry if regulars find it a bit repetitive, but please also remember that not all readers here are regulars. Many readers don’t even leave comments. This site is for education and learning for all, so I’m simply trying to fill that goal.

As you well know, others here the same axe to grind day-in-and-day out. You won’t ever catch me telling them to not be repetitive. That’s their right, it is free speech, and it shows me that it is important to them. And, if you pay close attention, you will notice an evolution to their belief system. I find that interesting. So, in the future, if I may recommend, when you see my posts, please scroll right past it. If you have one of those mice with a wheel, you don’t even need to move the mouse. Just roll the mouse wheel right past my post.

: )

Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 6:56 PM
Comment #125651

“Sorry if regulars find it a bit repetitive, but please also remember that not all readers here are regulars. Many readers don’t even leave comments. This site is for education and learning for all, so I’m simply trying to fill that goal.
Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 06:56 PM”

d.a.n.,

You forgot to mention the “slow learners” like me. I’m not joking about that. I once critiqued you harshly and unfairly based on “cherry picking” one or two lines from one of your posts. The more you’ve posted and the more I’ve read the more I find myself in agreement with you.

If you can penetrate my thick skull the repetition is more than worthwhile.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at February 15, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #125673

Thank you KansasDem.
And, joebagodonuts, too.

No doubt, there is room for improvement.

jbod provides some incentive to try to explore more reasons, benefits, and ways to deliver a message. But, I’ll confess now, where ever it is somewhat applicable to the topic, I will grind my axe a bit more, always honing it to a fine point. Especially if it has anything to do with government corruption, taxes, the economy, border security, voting, and reforms. This website is wonderful for learning and gradually improving the message, and developing solutions. And, if you have tracked the messages from 18 months ago, you would see some (slow perhaps) growth. It’s an evolution. I have seen growth in others too. They have a message too, and have won me over in many cases. Perhaps others, especially regulars, are not usually as repetitive, prolific, single-minded, or approach each post as if the readers are all new visitors (excluding each original topic article).
At any rate, thank you.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 10:23 PM
Comment #125679

Now, here is something that should make all voters angry:

10 Examples of Government Waste:
__________________________________
(#1) The Missing $25 Billion:

Buried in the Department of the Treasury’s 2003 Financial Report of the United States Government is a short section titled “Unreconciled Transactions Affecting the Change in Net Position,” which explains that these unreconciled transactions totaled $24.5 billion in 2003.

The unreconciled transactions are funds for which auditors cannot account: The government knows that $25 billion was spent by someone, somewhere, on something, but auditors do not know who spent it, where it was spent, or on what it was spent. Blaming these unreconciled transactions on the failure of federal agencies to report their expenditures adequately, the Treasury report con­cludes that locating the money is “a priority.”

The unreconciled $25 billion could have funded the entire Department of Justice for an entire year.

See more government waste and fraud …
__________________________________

Then, consider the size of government.
Do we need all of that?
I haven’t researched it in great detail, but I think we could get rid of about 50% of the two million in the Executive branch (that is neither seen nor heard as it throttles our freedoms and prosperity), and the relatively smaller 535 in Congress and their hundreds of thousands employees.

Yet, despite all that (i.e. agencies, commissions, departments, committees, offices, etc.), we still have borders and ports, 4 years after 11-Sep-2001, that are still not secure. In fact, border security has been almost completely ignored.

And, if you’re not angry yet, look at what your congress does while our troops risk life and limb.

Many common-sense, no-brainer reforms are needed, but it won’t happen until voters make it happen.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 15, 2006 10:59 PM
Comment #125804

d.a.n.

My apologies if I came across too harsh. Upon rereading my post, it does come across that way. My intent was to share with you how your posts come across to me, since I find some of your information very salient and always well written.

Perhaps its just me that has found them to be redundant, and if so, that’s only my take on them. I certainly didn’t intend to convey that I don’t read them, or won’t in the future, nor that others shouldn’t.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 16, 2006 5:31 AM
Comment #125860

joebagodonuts,
Please don’t apologize. No need at all.
You are right.
There is no doubt about the repetitiveness.
I must find new ways, more data, issues, evidence, and convincing ways to peak interest. Otherwise, people will scroll right past it.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 10:13 AM
Comment #125910

joebod, clearheaded, d.a.n., etc:

Excellent posts and excellent ideas. I don’t get to post very often, but I’d like to add something to this. Joebod mentioned in an earlier post about retirement and social security and how this should be a help and not a way of life for seniors. One thing I would like to add is how much of this pot of money is NOT going toward our seniors retirement.

I am an RN working in an outpatient mental health facility. The people living on SSI (Social Security Income) and SSDI (Social Security Disability Income) is almost embarrassing. Depression is becoming a VERY common diagnosis for those that choose to live off of the government instead of work.

One cannot measure depression in objective terms - there is no lab result that can detect this. It can only be measured in subjective terms - “rate your depression on a scale of 1-10” kind of terms. Anyone with an ounce of knowledge can go online, find symptoms of this condition, go to a psychiatrist and get a medical diagnosis.

It’s one thing to have someone with a physical disability who cannot work (a quadriplegic) and quite another who claims he/she cannot work due to depression. The psychiatrists I work with even have a joke. They say some of our patients have “disability depression”.

I don’t think it’s right or necessary to cut entitlement programs, but I also think they need to be looked at with a “fine tooth comb” and amended in certain situations. Take this across the country and I think you’d find a lot more money in Social Security can be saved that what was originally thought.

Posted by: Lisa C. at February 16, 2006 12:27 PM
Comment #125946

d.a.n.

I apologized not for the content of my comments but for the harshness of them. I hope the content helps you write even better, but I do owe the apology for the harshness. It was an impolite means of offering what was intended as constructive criticism. Thanks for not taking it in a bad way.

By the way, I do have a mouse ball…but I don’t use it for your posts. There are a few in here whose posts are…..well, lets just say that I can pretty well guess the content simply by seeing who posted them. Then I am thankful for the mouse wheel. :)

Lisa:

I’d agree that we should get the money where it is needed. Unfortunately there will always be those who take advantage of the system. I’m with you in hoping we can make our systems better able to rid themselves of those who don’t truly need the money and help.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at February 16, 2006 1:40 PM
Comment #125956

Lisa C. , jbod,
Good points about Social Security.
Do you know about the plan that congress persons get?
No wonder Social Security is a mess (jbod … here’s a new page : ) ).
If this does not make you angry, nothing will.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 1:59 PM
Comment #125960

Also, see the bottom of this Tax Reform Plan.
This is how Social Security should operate.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #125970

I’ve tired of the message. Simply repeating it over and over doesn’t make the message stronger—simply a bit tiresome.

It is also the definition of spam. Your shorter messages are more likely to be read, and you can add a link if people want to read more of your agenda. Shorter messages also work better for the Rpblcns who continually post in this side of the forum. If I see a long message other than the opening post, I go to the bottom of it to see who is posting. If your post is short, I have already read it before I get to the name.

Posted by: ray ohrealy at February 16, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #125980
It is also the definition of spam.
Spam is totally unrelated to the topic. Lots of people here say the same thing, every day. Lots of it silly and ridiculous. Especially the petty partisan warfare, name calling, etc. Also, I am always bringing new content and reasoning to the issues. And, how do you know, as evidence above, that others are not interested in reading a long post. Maybe some find it interesting. Also, you will never catch me complaining about the length of someone’s comment.
Your shorter messages are more likely to be read, and you can add a link if people want to read more of your agenda.
They usually are shorter, unless debate leads to a more thorough comment. Some have more to say than others. Also, I do add supporting links all the time. If you don’t want to read it, scroll past it. Is that so hard?
Shorter messages also work better for the Rpblcns who continually post in this side of the forum.
If I see a long message other than the opening post, I go to the bottom of it to see who is posting. If your post is short, I have already read it before I get to the name.
Good. Keep doing that. It’s that simple.

Seriously, don’t you have something more important to do? I swear, some people are just layin’ for every opportunity, to pile on, and be mean about something, no matter how petty. In my opinion, it is just plain old childish, hateful, meaness.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 2:59 PM
Comment #125982

d.a.n - just one question about the tax reform plan. Currently, I’m allowed to deduct my health insurance from my gross pay for the year. Actually, I don’t even have to do that - my company does it automatically and it’s printed on my W-2. So even though I made say, $30,000.00 for example, my W-2 says I made $28,000.00.

How would you handle something like health insurance?

Posted by: Lisa C. at February 16, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #125985

Lisa C.

I would remove all such deductions.
No home mortgage deductions.
No sales tax deductions.
No tax loop holes or deductions for anything.
I think it is a slippery slope straight toward a perverted tax system if we start making exceptions for everyone’s pet deduction(s).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 3:16 PM
Comment #125988

I think people that are truly needy should acquire help through welfare systems.

That way, the tax system and welfare don’t overlap, and reduce potential abuses.

For example, if someone was hospitalized, and needed help, they would apply for help through the welfare system. The essentially would be receiving back, in a way, the benefits of the taxes they paid in previously.

At any rate, no tax system will be acceptable to the majority of people unless it is fair. What we have now isn’t. And, it is extremely complicated, which makes it costly and time consuming.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 16, 2006 3:22 PM
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