Democrats & Liberals Archives

The Scientific Evidence Is In - The Democrats are Correct

The Republicans have won the debate in the minds of American people, but that does not make Republicans correct. It only demonstrates their superior prowess at manipulating the hard working, well meaning, naive, trusting, politically and economically illiterate American people. They even swayed my thinking for a time.

Just as Aaron made a "calf of gold" for the Israelites, Republicans have created "free market economics" for Americans, as a craven image of Gold.. er... God... er... Gold is God. We are told that the free market is the solution to all problems. Social safety nets and welfare state economics are an abomination and will destroy us all. Social safety nets pervert free market economics, create generations of abortion loving welfare Moms, and rob the poor rich of their hard earned / well deserved plunder. "Tax what you want less of." We are told that tax breaks for the rich will create more wealth and that all boats will float with the rising tide. The rich should be "free" (they may as well be free - the rest of us are not free), the rich should be free to rape and exploit labor, and the environment, to deplete natural resources, to practice predatory lending and trap people into over whelming consumer debt and then deny those people access to bankruptcy. The rich should be free to sell substandard, dangerous products, force workers to work in deadly dangerous work places with no risk of legal liability. The rich should be free to receive huge tax breaks and exemption from the estate tax, while we pass 8.5 trillion dollars of debt on to our children.

Eight and one half trillion dollars of national debt, which is currently increasing at about one trillion dollars every 2 years. That is trillion... one times ten to the twelfth order of magnitude... that is one million times one million dollars of additional debt every two years. To put it into perspective: That is like every two years, telling one million of our sweet innocent children who otherwise could have been millionaires, that they will never be millionaires because their first million, (which the hardest to make) their first million is going have to be used to pay off the national debt. You pick the children to tell that to. Of course we are going to have to pick 8.5 million children to tell that to just catch up with the national debt that we already have, and then you pick the extra one million children to tell that to every 2 years - but the rich need huge tax breaks and elimination of the estate tax - so that their children can grow up to be virtual royalty while your children are "free" to start out 1 million dollars in the hole... one million dollars plus the education loans, plus 50 or 60 years or credit card payments and interest on that late night pizza they had delivered to their dorm room. Don't worry about it though. That is only the penny ante official government debt - add the 6 trillion cumulative trade deficit for the last 20 years - a trade deficit caused in large part by the "free market" rich shipping our jobs to China... All in all, we are talking about 15 million future new millionaires that will never exist - well - not in the U.S. anyway.

Of course this was only intended to put this in perspective. In fact, there is truth in free market economics. "Tax what you want less of." Bush's tax cuts for the rich will in fact benefit the current and future rich. The tax cuts will make the rich richer and create many new millionaires, and that is a good thing. It also means that the cumulative trade deficit, national debt, and Social Security burden will be distributed on the backs of hundreds of millions of working class kids driving them to the edge of poverty. The rich will get richer. The shrinking working class will get an exponentially shrinking portion of a rapidly growing pie. The poor will get poorer. "Tax what you want less of." They are taxing the middle class. Their tax policy will work. They are not taxing the poor. They are not taxing the rich. They are not taxing pollution, resource depletion, war mongering, greenhouse gas emissions, torture, or looting the public treasury. They are taxing the middle class...

What should we do (in my opinion)?

Income taxes for the rich should probably be at least 60% or 70%, in war time 90%. No child should be allowed to inherit more than 5 million dollars. But capitol gains taxes for U.S. directed investments should be somewhere between 0% and 20% except during war time. The rich get most of their money from capitol gains so that is a boon for them - which is OK because we do want more rich people. Corporation "people" and other rich people, who invest money overseas should be required to repatriate profits and pay income tax on them or lose U.S. person-hood and forfeit remaining U.S and foreign assets just like a dead person with no heirs. If you are a U.S. Corporation doing business in China, you bring the profits home and pay taxes or you will be declared legally dead and your assets will be forfeited to the government.

Reaganomics

Ronald Reagan and the Republicans lied about Social Security and some Democrats played along. Reagan said that he had fixed it. That was a bald faced lie and he knew it at the time. Sixty three Democrats are almost equally culpable in this. He raised payroll taxes on the working class higher than they needed to be at the time, then played the shell game of putting the excess payroll taxes into the general fund. A "lock box" was created to hold the IOUs that future generations would have to pay anyway. What was fixed? Nothing, absolutely nothing. The only thing that happened was that tax burden was transferred to the working class. The IOUs that are going to hit when I retire anyway are no different than the original payroll tax shortfall that was going to hit when I retired. What's the diff? None. Am I being harsh? Perhaps. Retirement age was adjusted and that did help a little. The extra payroll tax would delay the time when deficit spending occurred - but it won't. Why? It will delay the time when deficit spending for Social Security expenditures will occur. But, the excess payroll taxes go into the general fund and supplement tax revenues thereby artificially reducing deficits. So as Social Security expenditures ramp up, payroll tax supplementation of the general fund will ramp down and general fund tax deficits will ramp up. So we will wind up with the same deficits that We would have had anyway - except they will be called general fund deficits instead Social Security expenditure deficits - same dollar - different pocket. It is all smoke and mirrors. We had a chance when we had a budget surplus to pay down the national debt so that we would be in a better position to absorb those deficits when they hit, but George Bush gave that money to the rich - then read "My Pet Goat" for 7 minutes, then started crying about Social Security being bankrupt - well, ya - he knowingly bankrupted it. They say he is stupid. He is not stupid. Reagan wasn't either - senile - but not stupid. Give the Social Security payroll taxes to the rich there by creating a budget crisis which will give them the leverage to rape the Social Security benefits that the working class has worked their whole life to earn. To "fix" Social Security, payroll taxes should eventually be slightly increased by raising the cap on earnings, perhaps a small adjustment to benefits, a small adjustment to retirement age, and future retirement age indexed to life expectancy - maybe 1 year of additional work for each 2 or 3 years of additional life expectancy - problem solved - actually solved. As for the excess payroll taxes we have paid all these years? That is just the soreness in your anus.

Free trade - true free trade actually does benefit everybody. Free trade is fair trade. The problem is that what they call free trade is neither free nor fair. For example, China subsidises their trade by not allowing their currency to float, allowing pollution, and providing slave labor. It is good to apply the principals of free market economics where appropriate, but not with the fundamentalist absolutist religious fervor of the Republicans. The highest good for the greatest number will come from striking an ideal balance between the free market, effective government, and social safety. Watchblog's own Stephen Daugherty wrote an excellent article titled: The Entanglements of Economics that details the problems with "making false idols of the market."

There is an essay in Scientific American titled: "The Social Welfare State, beyond Ideology" with the subtitle:
"Are higher taxes and strong social "safety nets" antagonistic to a prosperous market economy? The evidence is now in." The essay was authored by: By Jeffrey D. Sachs. I could quote parts of it, but it is best if you go there and read it yourself. My interpretation is that it means that the Democrats have struck about the correct balance between market economics and social safety. That is just my interpretation. So you can turn off the bright lights and take "the" board out of the bath tub, I confess, it is just my interpretation. But, it definitely indicates that the Repubs are wrong. Being wrong has never stopped them before - witness; Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, North Korea, 9/11 - now they are wrong about economics too - maybe Bush is dumb. I just can't figure it out.

In Watchblog's own Eric Simonson's article titled: "Never mind what we said" , Steve B made a good criticism of the Scientific American article mentioned above by saying that it is not clear how much of Norway's oil money is spent to support wages. The following quote came from: Norwegians rolling in oil

Economists say it would be disastrous if Norway spent much more than 4 per cent of its oil money within its own economy. With full employment and an expensive currency, all that money would certainly cause a spiral of inflation, currency overvaluation, declining exports and unemployment.
Furthermore, Norway has oil, the U.S. has lumber, agriculture, oil, gas, coal, industry, and business services. So there is no inherent reason for Norway to be doing better than we do - no reason other than their ecconomic policies are better than ours.

Posted by Ray Guest at October 27, 2006 10:00 PM
Comments
Comment #190954

If social security is such a massive problem, why did the Democrats fight tooth and nail to prevent it from being reformed? Seems like just yesterday they were insisting that there was no problem at all when Bush tried to even start a debate about the issue.

And Ray, did you actually READ that article you linked to labeled “Norwegians rolling in oil?” It hardly says that their economic polices are better than ours.

It describes how inflation has made Norwegians miserable, creating a situation where a hamburger and beer to cost $26 as a direct result of their oil money going to wages. Further, since the money goes to wages instead of investment in the economy, “There are waiting lists in public hospitals, roads that need repairing, and other inconveniences that could be solved with the oil money.”

This hardly supports your case.

Also, let’s not forget that it’s a huge fallacy to compare our society and economy with any Scandanavian country. Those are tiny, racially homogenous countries where nearly everybody is white and culturally identified with a very obvious majority.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 27, 2006 10:21 PM
Comment #190961

Neo-Con Pilsner,

You mis-characterise that article it does support my case. I never said that Norway was completely devoid of problems. Isn’t it interesting that it is the racist conservatives in Norway that want to loot the government treasury just like the racist conservatives here.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 27, 2006 10:38 PM
Comment #190966

Ray, what racist conservatives in America want to loot the government treasury?

Who is racist? On what basis? How do they want to loot the treasury?

I can’t imagine that you’re alluding to the most racially inclusive administration in the history of the United States (the Bush administration), so I assume that you actually meant the “race-card playing racist liberals” whose whole agenda is to sow racial division, foster a victim-mentality, raise taxes through the roof and then use our national wealth to experiment with a socialist agenda.

I agree. Those guys are awful.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 27, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #190967

Ray

This is like comparing apples and oranges. The population of the largest country is Sweden which is roughly the size of New Jersey.

The other aspect is that these countries are pretty much homogenous in their ethnic makeup.

Also the Swedes elected a more center-right govenment in the last election. They to are seeing that you can not sustain that type of cradle to grave welfare state forever. They are finding that the unemployment benefits are so high that people are not going back to work.

Posted by: Keith at October 27, 2006 10:51 PM
Comment #190969

Keith,

Both you and Neo-Con Pilsner both seem to lament that America all white. I say diversity gives us an advantage over Norway.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 27, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #190970

I have to watch Bill Maher, I will be back.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 27, 2006 10:57 PM
Comment #190971

Ray

You just made all this stuff up.

You know that the rich pay almost all the Federal taxes and you cannot really believe that lock box things.

Just because something is in the Scientific American does not mean it is scientific. Jeffery Sachs, you may recall his success in transforming Russia into a prosperous market democracy.

Posted by: Jack at October 27, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #190973

Ray

You and who else. His audience is second only to Keith Olberman.

Posted by: Keith at October 27, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #190974

Ray

You don’t believe that the melting pot of over 300 million gives us unique problems or someplace like Sweden or Denmark?

Posted by: Keith at October 27, 2006 11:01 PM
Comment #190978

WRONG, Ray.

I don’t lament for a second that America is not all white. My wife isn’t white, my children aren’t white, and probably over half of my friends (I haven’t actually bothered to count them) aren’t white either. Why did you even assume that I am white? I am, but I have no idea why you jumped to that conclusion. Looks to me that you have some pretty stereotypical and frankly racist assumptions working there.

The point, actually, is that a country like ours with all of the races of the world living within its borders faces economic and social obstacles that a place like Norway doesn’t have to deal with. And yes, we’re better and stronger for it. Nobody said otherwise.

And frankly, Norway is just too damn cold and boring for my tastes, but that’s another story.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 27, 2006 11:08 PM
Comment #190983

I remember when republicans argued that it was stupid to tax corporations and their investers because the corporations would raise prices to offset the tax burden. so while it appears that the rich are paying most of the taxes, In reality, the consumers are paying the tax burden of the rich.

Posted by: jlw at October 27, 2006 11:25 PM
Comment #190985

jlw

What?

Posted by: Keith at October 27, 2006 11:29 PM
Comment #190996

Neo-Con Pilsner,

You wrote:

Those are tiny, racially homogenous countries where nearly everybody is white and culturally identified with a very obvious majority.
That implies that you think America’s diversity is the reason / excuse why we are not doing as well as Norway. Why else would you even mention it? It has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion. It is a pure red herring and it racist to suggest that diversity is the cause of our problems.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 12:19 AM
Comment #190997

Right on, Ray. I agree completely with this article, except for one thing:
“They say he is stupid. He is not stupid. Reagan wasn’t either - senile - but not stupid.”

I think they ARE stupid — and shortsighted, unwise, and exceedingly greedy. Because they are interested only in helping those who are already rich. Rather than claim they are “not stupid”, the words I’d use are crafty and cunning. Anyone can be those things, and no true intelligence or wisdom is needed. Just a callous disregard for the majority and a merciless thirst for more money and power at the expense of other people.

Posted by: Adrienne at October 28, 2006 12:20 AM
Comment #190999

Neo-Con Pilsner,

You wrote:

If social security is such a massive problem, why did the Democrats fight tooth and nail to prevent it from being reformed? Seems like just yesterday they were insisting that there was no problem at all when Bush tried to even start a debate about the issue.
The Dems fought tooth and nail to protect it from being raped / privatised by your leader. We have acknowledged that there are problems with it that need to be fixed, but we are not going to set by and allow you to inflate the problems that you created as an excuse to undermine Social Security and then, use those inflated problems to savage it and create yet one more boondoggle for the rich to loot the treasury - sorry.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 12:29 AM
Comment #191002

Ray

Can you please show me anywhere in the presidents plan for Social Security plan where it is going to be “privatized”?

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2006 12:37 AM
Comment #191003

Keith,

You wrote:

This is like comparing apples and oranges. The population of the largest country is Sweden which is roughly the size of New Jersey.
Another red herring, being a small country is an ecconomic disadvantage, no ecconomies of scale, lack of dynamism, inability to attract investment, lack of military power and associated diplomatic influence.

Addrienne,

Thanks. Yes it is true there are better ways of looking at the neo-cons.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 12:44 AM
Comment #191004

Ray Guest, I mention this difference between the US and Norway because I am not a politically-correct robot who has been programmed to assume that any discussion of race is automatically racist.

I love America’s ethnic and cultural diversity, but it would ridiculous to say that diversity is not, in economic terms, quite expensive.

When you have huge numbers of people who speak different languages, who have a wide range of cultural, religious and social behaviors, not to mention needs and challenges, that places a difficult—and yes, expensive—burden on our entire educational, social and economic apparatus.

Think of Norway as Aspen, Colorado. Think of America as New York City. Do you really want to pretend that there’s really no difference between these two places? That one doesn’t face challenges that the other never has to dream of?

Be realistic. Norway is small. They’re almost all of the same race, and speak the same language. They sit on top of massive oil reserves. They are completely different in every way from a country like ours which occupies most of a continent and is made up of three hundred million diverse citizens.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 28, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #191005

Kieth,

Private accounts are… well… private.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 12:45 AM
Comment #191007

Adrienne and Ray,

There’s no stupidity involved (well, maybe our’s), the goal is, and has been, to return us to a pre-FDR status ever since Eisenhower left office.

Eisenhower was the last true American Republican President. Nixon pretended to be Ike-ish but be truly ushered in the “new-old-deal”. Reagan simply renamed it after himself.

Can anyone honestly say that they didn’t see an increase in sales, personal, or property taxes shortly after Reagan began his BS?

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 28, 2006 12:48 AM
Comment #191008

Ray

Allowing someone to voluntarily take a small percentage of what they now pay into SS and put in a private account is not exactly (or even close to) privatizing Social Security.

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2006 12:52 AM
Comment #191012

R-i-g-h-t, Ray. That’s what the Democrats said, that Social Security had problems but they just didn’t want to see it tied up and raped by Republicans. I love that histrionic and inflammatory language though—just classic.

But it’s total BS. Democrats said that there was no problem whatsoever and refused to even talk about it. Go back and look at their statements. Look at the editorials by Paul Krugman in the New York Times, by Ted Kennedy and Nancy Pelosi, by Howard Dean and the entire Democratic establishment. No problem whatsoever in their view.

Bush wanted to start a DEBATE about the problem. To even discuss it, and said quite clearly that he was open to negotiate a solution.

But Social Security is the third rail of politics, and knowing this, the Democrats chose to wash their hands of the problem in hopes of gaining a bit of political advantage by “being against” any talk of reform. Scare the elderly. Yep. God forbid that a Republican president should get credit for solving such a huge problem. Meanwhile, they just kicked the problem down the road and screwed over the American public. The one thing they’re good at.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 28, 2006 12:59 AM
Comment #191013

Jack,

The other guys had me surrounded and were pounding the crap / liberal out of me, I almost let you slide old buddy…

I made what up???

I thought that conservatives loved that Russia was embracing market economics - a fairly pure form of it too, from what I hear? Now - that is our fault too? Everything seems to be our fault. We do not even control the county dog catcher, but everything is our fault. That is somewhat off topic anyway, (my rant about blame, and Russia’s ecconomy), but it is fine we don’t have to stick too close to topic.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 12:59 AM
Comment #191014

Adult ADHD appears to be on the rise in this forum. First, Rays post was about economic ramifications of nonregulated free enterprise. Some of you seem to think it was about race. If economics and national ethnicty census correlate please enlighten me. How exactly doe a racially diverse landscape have a negative impact on the economy when most of the wealth is held by one race.
“You know that the rich pay almost all the Federal taxes and you cannot really believe that lock box things”.
?????????
Your not serious right??
Why is privatization the answer for all or economic woes. Social Security is the longest running most stable retirement program in U.S. history. Please explain how retirement accounts would be better served with private financial services. The last time I checked every bank in the U.S. is insured by the treasury department, so why arent banks issuring the federal government ,if they are so stable. Give me a break.

Posted by: aaron at October 28, 2006 1:00 AM
Comment #191017

AAron

Twenty years ago there were approx. 13 people paying into the system for every one taking out. In the not too distant future when all the baby boomers start retiring, it will be closer to 3-1. This will not be enough to support the system as it stands now.

As to the privatization thing. The last govenment program that actually worked was WWII.

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #191019

“Private accounts are… well… private.’

And insecure!

Also just imagine the transition cost.

More than 10 million Social Security retirees depend on Social Security payments for 90% or more of their income. That doesn’t even begin to factor in the nearly 6 million on disability benefits.

Somehow the Republicans, Libertarians, etc. expect us to believe that charitable donations will fill the gap and that a minimum wage earner today is more capable of funding their own retirement.

It’s hogwash plain and simple, at it’s worst it’s selfishness cloaked in the guise of a political party.

KansasDem

source: Private accounts are… well… private.

Posted by: KansasDem at October 28, 2006 1:13 AM
Comment #191020

Oops!

Source: http://www.epinet.org/content.cfm/issueguide_socialsecurityfacts

Posted by: KansasDem at October 28, 2006 1:15 AM
Comment #191021

Neo-Con Pilsner,

You wrote:

Meanwhile, they just kicked the problem down the road and screwed over the American public. The one thing they’re good at.
Kicked the problem down the road? There is some truth to that statment, at least they stopped Bush from raping the system, but they did kick the problem down the road, the Dems did offer to “deal” on real solutions, the Repubs refused. But, kicked the problem down the road? That is the pot calling the kettle black after the mess that the Repubs and Reagan left behind… Now there is one of aspect of this that I am unsure about. I proposed small incremental adjustments above and said that I thought would be sufficient to fix the problem. They may not be. I was just throwing an idea out there. Here is the problem, the Dems said that SS only needed small adjustments, and it does, but that is based on all that payroll tax that is going into the general fund. So SS only needs small adjustments like I suggested above, but once the general fund loses the influx of payroll taxes it will need big adjustments, so big adjustments will need to be made - somewhere.

Privatising SS with private accounts will only make the problem worse which will give the neo-cons leverage to completely privatise it later on. Kieth

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 1:18 AM
Comment #191022

KD

There is nothing in that article that conflicts with what the administration wants to do.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/social-security/

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #191023

Kieth,

Further more it was no small amount of money that the Repubs wanted to divert into the pockets of east coast Wall Street elites…

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 1:21 AM
Comment #191024

Ray

I can handle anything you can throw at me, but please try to spell my name right.

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2006 1:23 AM
Comment #191025

There is so much bologna here, I could eat for a week. The wife is going to bed, so I am going to bed. But just one last thing for the fun of it.

Keith,

You wrote:

The last govenment program that actually worked was WWII.
We have made progress on a concensus I think. At least, you are not claiming that Iraq was the last thing that worked…

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 1:29 AM
Comment #191026

“Democrats said that there was no problem whatsoever and refused to even talk about it.”

Bull shit. You lie and lie and lie. Typical of a Republican’t. They did indicate that Medicare presented a more immediate problem and all Bush & Co. have done is push it closer to bankruptcy.

Read this: Lifting cap on Social Security taxes would rescue retirement program:

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_viewpoints_lifting_cap_on_SS_taxes

Now, that’s far from the only option but it is an option.

I get God Damn tired of Republican’s lieing and saying Bush and Company present the “ONLY” ideas when it’s a pure bald faced lie.

You Republican’ts have done the same crap repeatedly about Iraq. hell’s bells, if anything we Democrats have too may plans, but I hear and read this total bull shit about dems have no alternative plans.

You lie!

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 28, 2006 1:33 AM
Comment #191028

KD

Nice rational discussion..Where is the lie.

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2006 1:44 AM
Comment #191031

“Nice rational discussion..Where is the lie.”

It’s right there in quotation marks in my last post!

Pilsner said, “Democrats said that there was no problem whatsoever and refused to even talk about it.”

That is an outright lie.

Since I was born in 1951 and I live largely off of Social Security Disability I pay very close attention to Social Security issues.

Keith, honestly if you read EPI’s estimates and recommendations for Social Security solvency within six minutes and tell me that there’s no difference between what they say and what Bush say’s I think you should sue your “speed-reading” instructor.

Bologna indeed.

kansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 28, 2006 2:17 AM
Comment #191032

KD

Do you even know what the definition of a lie is?

What does the EPI study have to do with the quote?

The dems in the house and the senate did not even want to discuss the subject with the administration.

And you real quick at calling people names when you don’t know a heck of a lot about them.

You have no idea how hard it is to stay within the rule of participation when people just start throwing stuff around.

Posted by: Keith at October 28, 2006 2:25 AM
Comment #191041

Republican candidates across the country are jumping off the presidents bandwagon faster than rats off a sinking swift boat. More every day are calling for a change in course in Iraq. At least 10 have called for Rumsfelds resignation. And the big one for this post, more and more of them are swearing that they will never cut social security benefits for American workers.

The s.s. pledges are obvious lies. The Presidents plan called for reduced benefits for workers born after 1950.

Posted by: jlw at October 28, 2006 3:03 AM
Comment #191047

One of the reasons the President says his s.s. plan is necessary is because the economy is going to grow at a much smaller pace in the 21st century than the last. At the same time the President says that his economic policy ( huge tax breaks for the wealthy) will cause the economy to grow faster than it ever has. Both of these cannot be true. So which one is? When he talks about s.s. the economy is going to grow, this entire century, slower than it did during the Great Depression. When he talks about his tax cuts, the economy is going to grow faster than it did under Clinton or any other president.

Posted by: jlw at October 28, 2006 3:29 AM
Comment #191060

“naive, trusting, politically and economically illiterate American people”

That’s the problem with the Dems, always thinking they are smarter than everyone else!

Let me give you a lesson, people hate to be classified as dumb! That’s why the Democrats always lose, If you do not agree with them, you are uninformed, unintelligent, and naive.

Posted by: Maxcroft Squire Muhldoon at October 28, 2006 6:54 AM
Comment #191062

Dems always think they are smarter than everyone else. If you dont agree with them it is because you just dont get it. And any retorts to their position is just an attack from evil people. Also, the Dems dont like to reveal themselves. They run as conservatives, centrists, and say they too loved Reagan. Not to worry. Once they get elected, they will enact their true policies, which we are too uninformed, unintellegent, and naive to understand.
Other Dems just want power. Kerry has yet to reveal his secret plan to get us out of Iraq, maybe out of spite from losing the election. Or maybe he never had a plan. Maybe Obama is a nice everyman who I wouldnt mind having a beer with. Or maybe, as his voting record suggests, he is just another lefty. Maybe, Mrs. Clinton really wants to help New York. The jobs she promised to bring back are not there. In fact, there is now worse unemployment. Does she care about her (oops!) the state or is she using it as a stepping stone towards power.
The Dems can fool the neo-libs, but not me.

Posted by: JoeRWC at October 28, 2006 7:48 AM
Comment #191073

neo-lib ha ha thats funny. The republicans have had a 12 year run and the country is worse off for it. Thank bush for that. Maybe after the election and the Dems have a voice in shaping policy we can get this country back on track at least till the next election and the republican lies start again.

Posted by: Jeff at October 28, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #191077

There are quite a few people on this thread commenting on how other people think they’re smarter than them. I kind of scratch my head at that one. Practically everybody on this site believes they know better than the other people, and that the other side doesn’t or can’t get it.

My thinking is that the point of all this is to sort out by fact and argument who knows better. We shouldn’t resent that other people think they know better, because we’re guilty of that, too! Instead, we should focus on proving ourselves the smarter by answering the questions and concerns of those we would have join our side.

JoeRWC-
Your first point falls under what I wrote above, so I won’t address it any further.

Your second point seems aimed at alleging that the Democratic party is either made up of fringe, or fringe pretending to be mainstream. It’s a rather broad and extravagant claim which you don’t provide any evidence for.

Undoubtedly, when and if Democrats attain the majority, there will be those who act more liberal than they have been. Without the foot of the GOP on their back, Democrats are going to want to stand for their beliefs, rather than continue the attitudes they had when the GOP called the tune. I think you misunderstand something, though. First, there are real centrists in the Democratic Party, so not everybody’s going hogwild. But second, and this may be the hardest thing for you to accept: The American people are looking for us to be that Liberal.

American’s want Bush’s counterweight. They feel that Bush and the GOP have taken us further towards the extremes of the Republican party than the will of the people justifies. They also feel that the GOP is not delivering on its boasts of being better for defense, better against the terrorists, and better on fiscal matters, among others. They want to see how we handle it.

The Democrats aren’t fooling anybody, really. They can’t. If we screw things up, we’re heading the same direction you are now. What Americans want, more than any particular ideological direction is a government that knows what its doing.

1LT B-
The Irony about the fall of the Soviet Union is that a major contributing factor was its defense spending. Not like you think, though.

They essentially reduced themselves to having one and only one working industry: defense. That’s the only way they made money. We dominated everything else.

The thing is, the Russians didn’t really react to our spending. They were declining long before, in no small part because of their failure to diversify. We could recover from Vietnam and Three Mile Island because of policies that got our economy under control. They couldn’t recover from Chernobyl or Afghanistan, because of how little room they had for error.

Social Security has become part of our economic framework, and the truth is, you will likely not see its end in your lifetime. The forecasts you base your assumptions are, if they are Bush’s, are the most pessimistic among many, and moreover, they’re ones that project the economy seventy years out.

We have absolutely no idea what the economy really will be like. Social security might have some solvency problems later, and attention does need to be paid. However, Bush’s option, as he has admitted, will do nothing to help this. Moreover, Bush’s new system will be incredibly expensive to set up. Given that he’s going to take money out of the system that might be later used for benefits just to set up the bureaucracy, its a net loss.

It also defeats Social Securities purpose. It’s supposed to be insulated from market pressures. It’s insurance.

I agree with you if you say that people should not depend solely on Social security if they can help it. However, for some, the alternative to not having it is absolute destitution. We seem to forget how unforgiving the economic conditions of the past were on the poor. We also forget the depths to which our economy could sink under the GOP’s Gilded Age and Roaring Twenties policies. The Republicans of today have the luxury of critiquing liberal policies as their beneficiaries.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2006 10:08 AM
Comment #191081

If I recall correctly, Bill Clinton felt and still feels Social Security has serious problems which he wanted to solve. And part of his solution was private accounts. He could not fix social security with a democratic or republican congress.

George Bush feels social security has problems and part of his solution was private accounts. He also was not able to get a fix through congress.

Both parties have demgogued the issue rather than sit down at a table away from the cameras and lights and do what has to be done to fix it.

And of course, Medicare they also will not fix.

And of course, neither party will balance the budget. Not to mention the fact that a democratic controlled congress has never balanced the budget, at least not in living memory. A republican controlled congress did when they rejected Bill Clintons deficit budget and passed Republican leader Newt Gingrich’s balanced budget. But look at us now, both parties are to blame.

Where is my blanced Budget, fix for social security, fix for medicare, national health care, end to ear marks from which much Washington DC corruption springs, etc. Both parties have failed the to deal with the big issues.

We got smelly land deals from Harry Reid the democrat who uses them as flimsy cover for influence peddeling. Not to mention his four boys who work for lobbiests. Democrats keeping cold cash in their freezers. Republicans also doing dirty deals. Where does it end?

Unfortunately, I feel, more important to the left is the continued killing of unborn babies (45 million dead now in this liberal genocide against America), gay marriage, removal of Christianity from all public places, etc etc. The radical left controls the democratic party agenda and they in turn are using the court system to rewrite and reinterpret the constitution. All of a sudden documents that were written by men that opposed homosexuality we are told really were meant to give marriage rights to the gay.

And while the left persues it’s cultural war to take America way left of center….the large problems languish. And much can also be said along similar lines about the right…right?

So how do I get justice? Where do I find a party that will end earmarks? Where do I find a party that will really balance the budget as opposed to the democartic congress that NEVER balanced the budget? Where do I find people willing to make the hard decisions to fix social security, medicare, national health care? Where are these people because I don’t see either party offering them to me.

All I see is hyper-partisanship and corruption. Hey Hillary…what will you Clintons be charging for pardons in your new Whitehouse?

Posted by: Stephen at October 28, 2006 10:51 AM
Comment #191083

Ray

I am not blaming liberals for Russia. I am specifically calling into question your source - Ken Sachs. He has been giving lots of advice to former communist countries and poor countries in Africa. It sounds good when he gives it, but the track record is not great. If you are leaning on Ken Sachs as “scientific” my only point is that it is weak support.

Posted by: Jack at October 28, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #191084

Sorry JEFFERY Sachs. Ken Sachs was my Greek professor many years ago.

Posted by: Jack at October 28, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #191088

Stephen,

Good post and valid points. I think that their limited economy was the result of attempting to dictate supply rather than responding to demand, but I think we all know that. I’m not sure I agree with you about the situation about Social Security. Like I mentioned earlier, simple demographics says that Social Security and Medicare are unsustainable. When Social Security was first started, there were something like 13 people working for every 1 person on Social Security. As it stands right now, there’s about 3 people working for each on Social Security. As we live longer and longer lives, we will place a greater strain on the system, and the huge influx of retiring Baby Boomers is going to sound the death knell of Social Security as we know it. Either the age will go up, benefits will go down, or taxes will have to be increased, probably a combination of the three.

Meanwhile, as much as we agree that people should not rely on Social Security, I think we can both also agree that there are people out there who will. Even having Social Security encourages and subsidizes bad and stupid behavior. Its like taking a recovering alcoholic and locking him in a liquor store, a recipe for disaster. I don’t argue that the Republicans policies of the 20s were bright, and we did need Social Security following the devastation of the Great Depression when uninsured banks crashed and ruined thousands of families. With the positive reforms of the banking industry of the Roosevelt era, coupled with the economic recovery and boom of the post-WWII years, Social Security should’ve been ended. Instead, its become a permanent entitlement program that’s going to destroy our economy and our way of life.

Posted by: 1LT B at October 28, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #191095

Boy, I provoked a fire storm over Social Security. Social Security was a side point of my main article. I was just pointing out the Repubs under Reagan, with help and acquiescence from Dems, had saddled us with some additional hidden debt. Social Security is an important issue. I am grateful for the the debate here and I hope that it continues, but it was only a side point to my original article. No one has made a serious attack on the central theme of my article. I did not know that I had written that well. My logic must be unassailable. If this bald faced “brag” does not bring an arch nemesis out of the shadows - nothing will.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #191097

Ahh, I love it. Instead of actually confronting the issues that Ray brings up, the right-wingers cherry-pick a few verbal missteps and use those to change the subject. Dems are arrogant, Dems want to spend all your money,
Dems want to turn America into a clone of the EU. And of course, and understandably, Ray rises to the occasion and goes on the defensive. In all the hoopla, the entire point of his article gets lost….which was the entire point. Hate to break it to you guys, but these are standard debate tactics: if you find yourself in an untenable position, shift the focus to your strengths. Sadly, this is where the conservative point of view excels over the progressive. They are all about surity and focus, we are all about inclusion and understanding. In a toe-to-toe debate, we are automatically at a disadvantage for the very reasons that most of us are attracted to the progressive mindset in the first place. Sux to be us.

Posted by: leatherankh at October 28, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #191100

1LT B,
My understanding is that when social security was started there was 41 payers per user. We are approaching two. It can’t keep going as it is and we all know it.

http://garrett.house.gov/Issues/Issue/?IssueID=1859

And no one is promising a fix. I checked the DNC site and they are promising to “protect” it, meaning to “protect” it from those nasty old republicans who may try to actually fix it. But in truth, as long as the democratic party remains committed to keeping the Republican party from fixing it an visa versa I don’t see how it gets fixed.

And we have worse issues than that which need fixing.

Posted by: Stephen at October 28, 2006 11:34 AM
Comment #191107

Lets involve ourselves in a few more wars. Then there won’t be so many reaching retirement age.

I can’t for the life of me figure out the title of “entitlement” program. It implies folks are getting something for free. Most everyone pays into social security, which, as pointed out in a post above, is supposed to be an insurance of sorts. As is medicare.

The government needs to pay back all the IOU’s with interest, then put whatever resources are necessary into setting something up to get past the retirement of the baby boomers. That would at least level things out again.

If everyone thinks relying on the stock market is such a great investment for retirement, I suggest that a certain amount of the revenues of the government go into the stock market. If they lose a cent, then perhaps it isn’t and shouldn’t be something the government forces on anyone.

There is so much money for war, for earmarks and all the other crap everyone cries “they are taking my money” for, a little fiscal, moral responsibility could solve this thing with fewer losers.

We denigrate others who don’t know where the money is, but the pentagon can’t even produce anything that shows where their money is.

If anything should be cut from the budget, it should be the things that don’t affect the “entitilements” (gosh, such a bad word, almost a derogatory remark!). Things like pork, congressional salaries and retirement perks. I bet that would solve a lot of the problems. To be kind, the congressional change would only affect those congressmen who aren’t millionaires.

How I wish I could get my hands on our budget and make the cuts necessary!

Posted by: womanmarine at October 28, 2006 11:58 AM
Comment #191110

womanmarine,

The democrats have a 70+ history in congress of NEVER balancing the budget! Obviously you are so concerned about the budget you could NEVER vote democrat? And if you look at deficits as a percent of GDP the democrats in WWII ran the budget so high the present deficit spending would have to multipled hundreds of times to equal the damage done by democrats!

Like I said, neither party at this time can be trusted to do what needs to be done.

Posted by: Stephen at October 28, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #191114


Both democrats and republicans tell their constituents that they will do everything possible to represent them if elected. After being elected, they represent 10 to 60 % of their constituents. Both d’s and r’s think they know what is best for their constituents and must be a father or mother figure that will tell them what is right and wrong. When the President announced that he was going to fix S.S. by privitizing part of it, the overwhelming response from the people was hell no. The PEOPLE made it perfectly clear that they wanted S.S. fixed not privatized and they wanted it fixed so that gready politicains could not get their grubby fingers in the till and replace the S.S. money with I.O.U.’s that the people will have to pay back. Wouldn’t it be great if politicians represented the people.

On the road again.

Posted by: jlw at October 28, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #191122

If social security is such a massive problem, why did the Democrats fight tooth and nail to prevent it from being reformed?

Because it wasn’t reform. It was a raid on the system.

Posted by: Steve K at October 28, 2006 1:00 PM
Comment #191124

Also the Swedes elected a more center-right govenment in the last election. They to are seeing that you can not sustain that type of cradle to grave welfare state forever.

For the last 3o years, every ten years or so the Swedes get tired of the Social Democrats and vote them out. By the time the next election rolls around they realize the Social Democrats are better for the country than the “center-right” (as you describe them). BTW, Sweden’s “center-right” are more liberal than the U.S.’s Democrats

Posted by: Steve K at October 28, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #191126

Woman

Entitlements make up 2/3 of the budget, up from 1/3 in the 1970s are on their way to 3/3 if nothing is done. You cannot but budget w/o them.

Posted by: Jack at October 28, 2006 1:05 PM
Comment #191127

jlw

Actually, the majority of people are FOR private accounts. Where do you think all those 401K’s are?

When Clinton announced he wanted private accounts we did not see the democrats leading a PR effort to defeat private accounts…they loved them!

So lets be real here and not invent facts. You can selectively poll the public as in only talking to old people and you can word it to get negative responces.

Check out liberal public radios take on this. MOST PEOPLE ARE FOR PRIVATE ACCOUNTS. Don’t rely on the flawed surveys designed to promote a political agenda.

http://www.npr.org/programs/specials/poll/990518.ss1.html

Yes, if you can INVENT your facts and claime most people oppose private account then I suppose you can invent any fact to reach any conclusion you want. “The People” as you call them are worried and want it fixed. The democratic party told us that the people are not worried. That’s not true. I can’t find many people who believe they are going to be able to get the benifits their parents are getting because they realize Social Security IS BROKEN and NEITHER PARTY is fixing it.

It once had over 40 payers pre recepient. We are approaching three or two payers per recepient. It wont work, it’s got to be fixed. It’s time to move past the BS arguement designed to get votes (we will protect it from those other guys) and sit down and make the hard decisions.

Most people don’t want private accounts? FALSE. We all know that a simple index fund would have given us more more than uncle same is going to be able to.

Posted by: Stephen at October 28, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #191128

Stephen-
The problem with being party line is that you hardly give yourself any options. Your loyalty takes away your ability to punish your party.

You’re so afraid of what we’re going to do, you forget to keep tabs or see the harm in what your politicians are doing, until their incompetence or deviation from your principles becomes impossible not to notice.

It’s a mistake anybody can make. The difference is, Republicans have institutionalized that mistake by making party loyalty extend to what kind of news sources one accepts. It becomes an easy way to keep unattractive news at arm’s length from your constituents, consequently allowing the politician to stray far from your politics and everybody’s idea of honesty, integrity, and wise leadership.

A good example is your criticism of Democrat’s spending during World War II. Maybe you should consider just what was going on. Just because this was over sixty years ago, doesn’t mean that War wasn’t expensive.

We had millions of soldiers drafted and enlisted into the Armed forces. We had to produce tanks, fighters, bombers, and vehicles of many stripes. Instead of fighting in one country for a few months, we were forced to fight three countries in a number of offensives around the world.

You see it in terms of damage done, but you fail to realize that in order to fight and win that war, we had to get into debt up to our eyeballs. We made no pretense of trying to both foster economic growth and win the war at the same time. We recognized that the War took priority. We raised taxes, we sold war bonds to the American people and others. We didn’t deficit spend to get in a program to impress the voters, or build a bridge to nowhere. We did it to win the freedom of the civilized world.

And in the end, we won on the economic front as well. Much of our debt was to ourselves, our own countrymen, who spent the money they received and which they saved up during the lean times of the war, and drove our economy through the roof. The production capacity we generated for the war, the technology all flowed back to us. The GI Bill allowed many middle class and poor soldiers to go to college and become upwardly mobile, spurring the economy further.

The “damage” of that spending was America’s dominance in the world and the world’s economy. If you want the real damage that a Democrats done, you have to go to LBJ, who went for the Guns and Butter policy (the idea being we could afford both) The unfortunate result of that was his unwillingness to control spending from new entitlements and the war. Result: the economic environment of the Seventies, among other ill effects.

Wars, to fight well, often require sacrifice and priority over other efforts. It’s something we have to do as a country. Bush and the Republicans aren’t prepared to ask that kind of sacrifice. The sacrifice only comes later, after they’re no longer in office.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 28, 2006 1:21 PM
Comment #191136

Stephen D,

Your problem is that you make sweeping ASSUMPTIONS about what I understand and what I bleive. Please POINT OUT WHERE I CRITISIZED the DEMS FOR WWII? I merely points out that the debt they racked up then was FAR LARGER when compared to GDP than what the Republicans have done in this war. And that is about right because WWII was far larger. It’s you hyper political view that makes you read into things and twist them.

My point was, this difecit is NOT nearly as large as radical Bush haters are making out. The democratic party has created larger debts when using stable dollars and as a proportion of GDP. When you look at it against GDP the democrats have done FAR GREATER DEFICIT SPENDING and we did just fine as a nation after that. Yes indeed, take the big picure into account and understand what is being communicated.

The reason you make such ASSUMPTIONS about me is because you are hyper-politisized. Black & White. Us vs Them. They are bad, we are great.

Tell me Steve, when is the last time that a democratic congress passed a balanced Budget? Was it PRE WWII??? I think a democratic congress must have passed one some time, but I can’t locate any information on it. Is the reason we don’t hear from any democrat about any domocratic congress that passed a balanced budget because it has never happened or that it happened so long ago they are embrassed to admit it?

But getting back to the point I made, the size of the present deficit or the idea that democratic congress would balance the budget are both rehtorical tools designed to get votes, the reality does not bear out the rehtoric. democrats have created larger deficits and a democratic congress has never balanced the budget in my life time.

Posted by: Stephen at October 28, 2006 2:05 PM
Comment #191138

Stephen,I have a 401k, No one has stopped me from having it , not the feds, no one. I also pay into the SS insurance program why would I want that to be a 401k plan? its insurance why should it be a stock market gamble?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 28, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #191139

One last point. Would I like to see a democratic congress balance the budget? YES Absoutely. I just don’t think they ever have or ever will.

Same with I’d like to see them fix social security (really), fix medicare, come up with a rational national health care plan to provide basic coverage for those who have none, defend this nation against terroists (not hide from them or try to pay them off), etc etc. I just don’t see it happening. Do you? Be careful what you say. If the dems take either house, I suspect there will be NO BALANCED BUDGET FORTHCOMING…nothing but excuses! That’s my prediction. They would not balance it and they would make excuses for why they could present a balanced budget this time around! Laugh.

Posted by: Stephen at October 28, 2006 2:10 PM
Comment #191141

Stephen,

If you think there isn’t consensus that the debt is a problem, read this.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061028/ap_on_go_ot/america_the_bankrupt_1

Posted by: jrb at October 28, 2006 2:17 PM
Comment #191145

jrb,

What kind of a post is that? If i don’t think this than that?

What does my comment on the size of the debt today compared to the Whopper the dems racked up in WWII have to to with present day public reacton to years of demcoratic party progaganda about the economy or the debt?

My point stands. The democrats racked up MASSIVE DEBT in WWII and the present day debt pales in comparrison.

And I AM concerned about debt and a democratic party congress that has never balanced the budget.

JRB, please tell me what demcoratic congress has ever balanced the budget. Its my concern for debt that tells me I’m never going to see the resolved by a democratic party congress.

Have the demcorats EVER balanced the budget when they had control of congress….why don’t I get any answer on that one? I guess it’s never happened? What else am I to think?

Posted by: stephen L at October 28, 2006 2:39 PM
Comment #191146

Social Security is bankrupt now. Both parties have worked hard to convince Americans that there is some sort of untouchable account that funds SS payments. The truth is that both parties have treated Social Security taxes like their own little private bankroll. Need a few million dollars to buy a few votes back home by building a new highway or a new civic center? Steal it from Social Security and drop an IOU in that “locked box.”

And that’s all there is in the box: IOUs. And who holds most of those IOUs? The baby boomers. And when they present them for payment, where is Congress going to get the money?

I fervently hope the Democrats take back control of the Congress and the White House in 2008 and keep it for a while. After all, the party in power takes the blame (or glory); guilt or innocence is irrelavent.

Clinton inherited a gold mine from Reagan and got all the credit. All Bush inherited from Clinton was the shaft.

Posted by: ulysses at October 28, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #191150

Stephen L,

The post was, “if you think this then READ that.”

Contrary to some Democrats’ opinions I know that being a Republican doesn’t mean you don’t know how to read. So, again, read the article. It will clearly show that:

(1) “The vast majority of economists and budget analysts agree: The ship of state is on a disastrous course, and will founder on the reefs of economic disaster if nothing is done to correct it.”

(2) “Anybody who wanted to deal with it seriously would have to talk about raising taxes and cutting benefits, nasty nostrums that might doom any candidate who prescribed them.”

(3) “… the looming fiscal crisis is not a partisan issue, he brings along economists and budget analysts from across the political spectrum. In Austin, he’s accompanied by Diane Lim Rogers, a liberal economist from the Brookings Institution, and Alison Acosta Fraser, director of the Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank.”

Thus, upon reading the article you see it has nothing to do with public reaction to, how did you put it, “years of demcoratic party progaganda about the economy or the debt.”—unless the Heritage foundation all of a sudden became a propaganda aparatus for the Democrats.

Now on to your other issues:

(1) You havn’t made a point. Therefore, it cannot stand.

(2) This COUNTRY racked up massive debt—Republicans included—and, no, our current debt doesn’t pale in comparison. Why? our current debt is foreign owned. In WWII it was domestically owned. That is significant.

(3) I am not here, like some, to point fingers in some partisan schoolyard game of, “No, you did.” You said, “why don’t I get any answer on that one? I guess it’s never happened? What else am I to think?” If you would like to know if a Democrat controlled Congress ever produced a balanced budget—stop being lazy, don’t expect to be spoon fed information, and do your own damned research. You tell me if there has never been a Democrat controlled Congress which produce a balanced budget. Study and Think for yourself.

Posted by: jrb at October 28, 2006 3:11 PM
Comment #191157

Stephen L,

Before I forget, here is assignment #2;

(1) Find out who/what was the impetus which propelled that Republican Congress to produce balanced budgets in the 1990’s.

(2) Find another Republican controlled Congress which produced balanced budgets.

Posted by: jrb at October 28, 2006 3:34 PM
Comment #191164

jrb,

You are so radicalized it appears all you care about is “beating” me in an arguement rather than having and honest discussion.

I honestly have not been able to find out when, if ever a democratic congress has balanced the budget. Instead of spitting on Republicans for doing what a democratic congress may never have done….why not “defend” your side and prove me wrong…show me were a democratic congress balanced the budget.

I strongly support a mixed economy. I believe in low taxes, a social net of some sort, private enterprise, and capitalism. I want ballanced budgets, a fixed social security, a fixed medicare, national health care, a solid education system.

And I oppose a socialist economy or the removal of this nations Christian heritage or the rewritting of it’s constitution by judges intent on instituting their politically correct left wing agenda by bypassing our elected congress.

My comment on balanced budgets was only to put things in perspective. Democrats always seem to run deficit budgets and when compared to GDP we have seen MASSIVElY LARGER democratic party deficits in the past. And yes, just like Republicans who have this war as an excuse democrats had another war as an excuse for their LARGER deficits.

My point stands. I neither feel that present deficits or the one in WWII need be bad. But I’m a long time believer in balancing budgets and I know enough history to know that democratic congresses in the US never balance budgets. Do they? Apparently you agree with me on that one!

So I don’t see crys from the left of unblanced budgets as very compulsive…to vote for a democratic party who has NEVER had a democratic congress balance a budget. Or at least not in our lifetimes. They would have to convince that they have changed. And from what I can see, move-on-org and others have succeeded in pulling the democratic party further to the extreme left….which means we will not see a balanced budget come out of any democratic party controlled house in congress.

Posted by: Stephen at October 28, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #191168

The problem is the tax code, loop holes, and entitlements. First set a tax of 10% across the board for every swinging person, and corporations. No loop holes for the rich or companies. Make the money that is paid into Social Security stay there instead of going to the general fund, make those in Congress pay into Social Security(will make them think twice before making changes), and end most of the entitlements. Welfare, if you keep having kids, doesn’t mean you get more money. Make those on welfare work for what they have, like cleaning the streets, cutting grass, picking up trash, fixing the infrastructor in the US which seems every city is having problems with.
Tell illegals that there are no social benefits for them, no driver licenses, no free medical, if mom is here illeaglly and has a kid the kid is not automatically a citizen. Catch a illegal, send them back, and charge the country where they came from the amount we spent in getting them, housing them and sending them back.

Posted by: KT at October 28, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #191170

KT, thats way to logical, why confuse our current bunch of leaders with logic? I trust you are includung corporate welfare in the welfare answer.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 28, 2006 4:21 PM
Comment #191172
Lets involve ourselves in a few more wars. Then there won’t be so many reaching retirement age.
Great idea, except we need to raise the enlistment age 66 with a 6 year enlistment - we are getting close. The name of entitlement program is actually the liberals fault and has come back to haunt us. If my poor old senile memory serves, I think that during the “Great Society” period, we were actually looking for people who were “entitled” to welfare and who were not receiving it because they were unaware of their entitlement. I believe that the liberals chose entitlement in order to try and remove the shame and stigma associated with welfare. In my opinion, the “Great Society” was well meaning, good hearted, and wrong headed. The metaphor that I use to describe my views on this is that: Itis as if that Johnson and the Dems came along driving “the ship of state” and said my God there are all these drowning people in the water. After a certain amount of hand wringing they decided that they needed to bring them on board. Too many people, to small of ship, they sank the ship. Johnson went down with the ship. Then the Repubs came along driving the “ship of state” and they cried my God look at all of the drowning people in the water. They continued sunbathing, but they wrung their hands and said if we bring them aboard, they will sink the ship - Full Speed Ahead. There is another alternative. We cannot save all of the poor. We do not have to abandon them in their hour of need. We can give them the means to save themselves. We can throw them life preservers - education, training, workfare, national health insurance so that people can afford to live on low wage jobs, a living wage for adult workers, forcing China to allow their currency to float. Companies that outsource production and import products could be forced to certify that some reasonable minimum standard of environmental standards, workers rights and safety were used in the off shore production, otherwise they could be charged tariffs. As long as you meet our standards - no tariffs. Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #191175

Stephen L,

“You are so radicalized it appears all you care about is “beating” me in an arguement rather than having and honest discussion.”

—I’m Radicalized? I’m not the one doing the partisan fingerpointing. Also, I don’t care to “beat” you. Your own words have “beat” you. Rather, I hope to see you educate yourself. As we all should.

“Instead of spitting on Republicans for doing what a democratic congress may never have done….”

—I have not pointed a finger at Republicans on this, in fact I wrote, “This COUNTRY racked up massive debt—Republicans included” In case subtlety is not your strong point (I don’t know)that sort of implies Democrats are responsible as well.

“why not “defend” your side and prove me wrong”

—Don’t assume I have a “side” or that you even know what “side” I might be on. You have made one of the most fundamental errors of debate. You are thinking in terms of Republicans vs. Democrats. I am not. You have not forced/allowed your oponent to define their position prior to attempting a “kill.” Not a good strategy.

“… I oppose …removal of this nations Christian heritage or the rewritting of it’s constitution by judges intent on instituting their politically correct left wing agenda by bypassing our elected congress”

—This nation does not have a Christian heritage! It is reasonable to say that many people who live here, maybe even a majority, share a Christian heritage. Yet, the U.S. Constitution clearly comples a separation of church and state to ensure NO national religion will ever exist. Recall, the “King’s religion” was a large part of the rationale supporting our forefathers(and mothers)decision to come to the “new” world and create this country.

“I neither feel that present deficits or the one in WWII need be bad. But I’m a long time believer in balancing budgets and I know enough history to know that democratic congresses in the US never balance budgets. Do they? Apparently you agree with me on that one!”

—Mounting National Debt is the problem! It is inherently “bad.” Producing balanced budgets is not always important. For instance, under Clinton we had balanced budgets. Yet, do the research, every year he was President we saw an increasing National Debt. http://www.publicdebt.treas.gov/opd/opdhisto4.htm
Further, it is not that Democratic controlled Congresses do not produce balanced budgets and Republican Congresses do. Instead, President Clinton and a Republican Congress worked together to produce a balanced budget. Historically, any time one party controls the Presidency and the Congress simultaneously they spend more easily. They simply spend according to different priorities. So, NO. I do not agree with you.

“And from what I can see, move-on-org and others have succeeded in pulling the democratic party further to the extreme left….”

—Any time you take several steps in one direction, it will seem as though everything around you has shifted in the oposite direction. Thus, maybe, if as you say everything has gone to the extreme left, you have actually moved the corresponding distance to the right.

“which means we will not see a balanced budget come out of any democratic party controlled house in congress.”

—See above conversation on National Debt.

Posted by: jrb at October 28, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #191177

Stephen, jrb,

Good discussion, be careful not to get too mad, I don’t want anybody getting banned. With that said keep hammering away. I of course agree with jrb.

I meant to credit womanmarine with the blockquote in my last post.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #191179

Stephen,

You wrote:

I strongly support a mixed economy. I believe in low taxes, a social net of some sort, private enterprise, and capitalism. I want ballanced budgets, a fixed social security, a fixed medicare, national health care, a solid education system.

I agree with this, mostly anyway.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 4:54 PM
Comment #191181

KT

I almost copmletely agree with you. However, “Catch a illegal?” Apart from the probably unintentional error in grammar, let’s not forget we aren’t talking about fish. These are human beings. I say, work to keep new illegal entrants out, enforce existing laws, seal our border, don’t provide rights and entitlements that citizens don’t have, and try to humanely deal with the illegal population here (including deportation of any who have commited any crime while here—other than simply seeking more opportunity by coming to America).

Posted by: jrb at October 28, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #191192

First, we need to control our borders, but immigration is one of America’s major dynamos. We need to tell the undocumented workers to go home, but tell most of them they are welcome to turn around and come right on back - legally as long as they have no felonies.

Others have pointed out that the deficits during WWII were owed by us to us. I would like to add to that. It has been a few years since I took macroeconomics, but if memory serves there is a formula that relates government spending and international trade to increased income. As I recall if the average American spends 10% of their income on foreign products, then each dollar of government spending will produce $10 dollars of additional income somewhere in the American economy. If the average American %20 percent overseas then each dollar of government spending will produce $5 of additional American income as that dollar percolates through the economy, %33 will generate $3 dollars of income, %50 spent overseas will generate only $2 dollars of additional income for each dollar the government spends. So there is a diminishing return. The more money that is spent overseas by Americans, the less income that is generated in America by government spending percolating through the economy - not surprisingly. The good news from that is that government deficit spending does not produce much inflationary pressure - not in the U.S. It may be our secret weapon against the Chinese. We will inflate the buggers to death. That is the good news. The bad news is… there has to be bad news, every teeter totter has another end. The bad news is that deficit spending will produce an even greater trade deficit. It is a double whammy. We are on the wrong end of both teeter totters.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #191211

jrb,
How do we humanely deal with the illegal immigrants already here without continuing to suffer the effects of this massive influx of people into the Country? Wasnt amnesty give at about the 3 million count back in the 80’s and hasnt that lead to where we are at today?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 28, 2006 7:36 PM
Comment #191217

As always, I get great satisfaction at the spirited (although somewhat uneducated and uninformed at times)discussion here. What I fail to see suggested here is the fact that our welfare systems are being raped by lazy, lowlife, degenerate people who have made these systems a profession that is handed down from generation to generation. Let’s just take our SS system. aka Old Age Retirement Fund. I personally know of no less than 33 people who think its funny to draw a check for among other things, claiming to be a drug addict, claiming to an alcoholic, claiming to be wacko in some way and the best of all claiming they cant work with other people because they are angered by it. These are all real world cases. Add to this having 5 children by 4 different fathers, none of whom can be found, while currently being pregnant with the 6th. Oh yes, this is the real world. Multiply this times every one of you arguing here and you can see how corrupt a system this has become. IMO we have been drug down the socialist road by a political party who depends on these illicite check drawers for their voter base. Want a guaranteed vote? Tell someone that you will take their check away. Is it wrong for someone who works hard to be able to keep what they earn. Should it be illegal for someone to have more than others even though they went out and worked hard to achieve it instead of standing around and doing nothing for themselves and waiting for a check? What exactly do we owe our fellow man who has no initiative to do anything to better himself? Why should we subsidise lazy ass people at the expense of hard working people who deserve their retirement or disability benefits. The solution to these problems lie in trimming the fat. There was once a time when if you were hungry, you worked. When you were cold, you built a fire. It was called self sufficiency. Being responsible for yourself instead of waiting for a handout. We as American middle class citizens are saddled with not only these burdens, but the burdens of the world. We can not continue to be taxed at the rate we are. I see argued here that taxes can be raised, programs can be expanded and we can all stand hand in hand and sing Kumbiya. Sorry about the spelling. This is not a solution, this is the problem. Accountability is the answer. Let the lazy go hungry. Hunger is a great motivater. Let the do nothings do without. Just dont take any more of what is mine to subsidize someone else who does not deserve it. I have much more to say but I think it has all been said in this discussion in one place or another. One more thing; Amen KT and 1LT B.

Posted by: DrKing at October 28, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #191229

jrb; You are factually incorrect about Clinton working with Republicans in congress to balance. The Clinton economic plan passed a Democratic controlled congress without even one Republican vote. A republ;ican congress is passing a balanced budget is akin to pigs flying. Because of unreal,idealogical voodoo economic beliefs and abject corruption they just cannot do it. No matter.They will not be there that much longer.

Posted by: BillS at October 28, 2006 8:52 PM
Comment #191231

Yeah! Damn the free market! It’s only got us the best economy in the world but what does being the best of the best have to do with anything???

Higher taxes, hmmmm … once the income tax rate was around 10%. But then someone said “you don’t care about the little guy” and got it raised to 13%. And then righteous people got it back to 12%, and then someone said “you don’t care about the little guy” and got it up to 15%, then down to 14% then again up to 17% because, well, someone didn’t care about the little guy. One day, if the dems have their way, republicans will be accused of “not caring about the little guy” if they want a 70% tax rate … down from the futuristic and liberally imposed 72% of course.

What do world famous corporations do to increase revenues and eventually profits? They have sales. Lower tax rates gets those on the fringe of good effort more inclined to invent, work hard, and prosper … thus giving higher tax revenues.

“Arrgggh! Me want more tax money so me raise the tax rate!” is single dimensional thinking. Think in 2 dimensions. Think smarter.

Posted by: NobleNation at October 28, 2006 8:59 PM
Comment #191233

DrKing,
33 people you personally know defrauding the Social Security (not the Welfare) system and you stand by and do nothing but complain about your $$ ? gosh whats the problem here.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 28, 2006 9:06 PM
Comment #191236

DrKing,

Thirty three real life cases… Anecdotal evidence is not significant to this debate. We know that some people do game the system. You know 33 low lifes. I do not know anybody that is gaming the system. Maybe you need better friends. Maybe I need more friends. Maybe you are judging people harshly and saying that they do not need help when really they do. Maybe I am making excuses for people who really do not need help. Maybe. Maybe Maybe. None of this brings us any closer to understanding.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 9:18 PM
Comment #191239

NobleNation,

You wrote:

Yeah! Damn the free market! It’s only got us the best economy in the world but what does being the best of the best have to do with anything???
This is an interesting completely unsupported opinion, but I did enjoy your writing style.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #191240

NobleNation,

You wrote:

Higher taxes, hmmmm … once the income tax rate was around 10%.
Yes, once upon a time Moses collected 10%. It was a great society. Perhaps you would like to go back there?

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 28, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #191241

NobleNation, The free market that has caused this Country to enjoy its rewards has always had rules and regulations, if Im not mistaken, which served to protect it from its “bad side”. Today with the trend, since the days of Reagan,to deregulate we have allowed the “bad side” to be exposed, much to the detriment of the nation as a whole. Wouldnt you agree?
It seems any more these corporations, of which you speak, tend to buy and trash competitors, out source labor to other countries, cook the books, and evade taxes as much as make sales to gain their profits. Wouldnt you agree?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 28, 2006 9:34 PM
Comment #191262
It seems any more these corporations, of which you speak, tend to buy and trash competitors, out source labor to other countries, cook the books, and evade taxes as much as make sales to gain their profits. Wouldnt you agree?

These things happen, yes, but it’s not as simple as laying it all at the feet of deregulation.

Heavily regulated industries, as you see in some sectors of our economy and in other nation’s economies, are also perfectly capable of cooking books, evading taxes, outsourcing labor, etc.

If a corporation doesn’t follow the laws, they don’t follow the laws—hence whatever laws are in place are being broken.

Addressing some of these issues would have to go far beyond bringing back the kind of “regulated industries” of the pre-Reagan era. They would require a severely protectionist economy the likes of which we’ve never seen in America, and one which would quickly lose the ability to compete in the global marketplace.

Posted by: Neo-Con Pilsner at October 29, 2006 12:46 AM
Comment #191263

BillS,

Do your research. In 1998 Clinton proposed the first balanced budget in 30 years. Who controlled Congress in 1998? You may be thinking of his 1993 economic plan that passed by one vote without Republican support. However, that was prior to the 1994 Republican Congressional takeover. In my view, the example I provided was a credible instance of liberals and conservatives working together to do what is best for the country.

Posted by: jrb at October 29, 2006 1:50 AM
Comment #191264

NobleNation,

Best of the Best??

Check your stats. see where we are actually rated now.

Posted by: jrb at October 29, 2006 1:52 AM
Comment #191266

Neo-Con Pilsner, So it seems by that logic that we can do nothing but allow the corporations to have their way with us.
Those corporations that must resort to things other than increasing sales and/or performing more efficiently do the free market a disservice. They hide behind the skirts of those corporations that are truely innovative, they make the market less competitive. Regulate them or disolve their charter and let another entity fill the void.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 29, 2006 1:55 AM
Comment #191267

j2t2,

I never said amnesty. I simply believe we should move forward from the position in which we currently find ourselves. We should seek solutions. Stop blaming others for problems we contribute to. And never, never, forget these are people—not numbers, or statistics, or debris to be cast aside without consideration.

Posted by: jrb at October 29, 2006 1:57 AM
Comment #191272

jrb,

The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 has been credited (by multiple non-partisan sources such as the Congressional Budget Office) as one of the major causes behind the balanced budget and eventual surpluses of late 1990’s Source - CBO Data

Like you said, it was also voted against by every Republican member of the House and Senate, many of whom warned at the time that it would cause economic catastrophe.

Stephen,

…please tell me what Democratic congress has ever balanced the budget.

While this piece of legislature can’t expressly be said to be a Democratic instance of balancing the budget, it should at least be viewed as the impetus behind the efforts that finally accomplished that task later in the decade.

From the (2nd) link above:

“There’s no question that the impact of bringing the deficit down [through the 1993 budget bill] set in place a series of events—a virtuous cycle, if I may put it that way—which has led us to where we are.” - Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, in testimony before the House Budget Committee, March 4, 1998.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 29, 2006 5:17 AM
Comment #191276

In other words, No Democratic Congress has EVER blanced the budget? Not once has a democratic congress put forward a ballanced budget? They are reduced to taking credit for the Republican congress balancing the budget? That’s laughable.

And the democrats want us to believe the budget is their priority and they will balance it? Not very believable.

Posted by: stephen L at October 29, 2006 7:15 AM
Comment #191277

Liberal Demon,

Instead of dancing on a head of pin and looking for some way to give democrats credits for a balanced budget they did not balance why not do the HONEST thing and admit that the democratic party is GUILTY of running defict budgets for so long that no one can even remember if a democratic congress has ever balanced a budget. That democratic congresses have a long long history of NOT balancing the budgets. And that based on past history we don’t have much reason to exect that any democratic congress going forward will change that.

Now we can all HOPE they might balance a budget. I would certainly HOPE they would. But I certainly don’t have much hope that any democratic controlled house would provide a balanced budget….it’s just not what they do. They raise taxes and they spend. They have promised this time to raise taxes if they win. And as to the balanced budget….well, we are going in circles. It’s just something we have never seen a democratic controlled congress do.

Posted by: stephen L at October 29, 2006 7:22 AM
Comment #191282

stephen L,

Did you read my links? All I was saying was that, due to the efforts of the (Democratic) 103th Congress, the budget was eventually balanced (on paper anyway). This is verifiable fact. Credit? Blame? Who really cares when so many factors are involved? I have no vested interest in either of these two incompetent and power-mad parties.

One can argue that the budget was balanced in spite of the additional spending of the (Republican) 104th and 105th Congresses (The sum total of laws passed by these two Republican Congresses cost the Treasury roughly $11,000,000,000 more in fiscal year 1998 than they saved.) Again, data straight from the Congressional Budget Office. Debate them if you want to.

Do you think that any budget the size of ours is balanced overnight? It takes years of manipulating tax rates and other economic factors (including some rather “inspired” accounting and voluminous money printing) to even come close. From this point on, it will take years, possibly decades, for anyone to truly balance the budget again.

Both parties have, as you put it, a long long history of NOT balancing budgets. This was interrupted for a brief flicker of time in the 90’s.

You can deny history if you want, or maybe you consider don’t consider the CBO (and Greenspan) a reliable source, I don’t really know. I prefer to look at the facts and then form my opinions on them; it seems that you already thought you knew the answer and won’t let facts get in the way of that preconceived notion. It is rather neat to watch you berate the Democrats for something that both parties are guilty of though, so carry on.

When did the Republicans last balance the budget without Democratic help? See, anyone can do it.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 29, 2006 8:14 AM
Comment #191283

stephen L.

One more thing:

They have promised this time to raise taxes if they win.

How do you think that the budget was balanced in the 90’s? If you think it was anything other than raising taxes and reducing the size of government over the course of many years, then I’m sorry to inform you that you’ve been misinformed.

Posted by: Liberal Demon at October 29, 2006 8:22 AM
Comment #191293

That was poorly written, I had to stop reading half way through….

Posted by: Matt Quirin at October 29, 2006 9:16 AM
Comment #191295

Has a Democratic congress ever passed a balanced budget?

First, a budget is not balanced if the National Debt is increased. Second, in order to compare dollar amounts over time they must be adjusted for inflation.

So, to answer the question, just determine the make-up of the congress during the first part of each fiscal year, when the budget would have been passed and calculate the change in the National Debt for that fiscal year, adjusted for inflation.

Since fiscal year 06/30/1946, (the fiscal year WWII ended) the Democrats were in control of both Houses for 29 fiscal years. The year over year National Debt, adjusted for inflation, was reduced 15 of those years. There was a Democratic President for 19 fiscal years and the National Debt decreased by 188 billion (Yr 2000 $s). There was a Republican President for 20 fiscal years and the National Debt increased by 1,907 billion (Yr 2000 $s).

During the same time frame the Republicans controlled both Houses for 15 fiscal years. The year over year National Debt, adjusted for inflation, was reduced 4 of those years. There was a Democratic President for 8 fiscal years and the National Debt decreased by 274 billion (Yr 2000 $s). There was a Republican President for 7 fiscal years and the National Debt increased by 1,660 billion (Yr 2000 $s).

There were 6 years were the control was split with the Republicans controlling the Senate and the Democrats controlling the House during the Reagan administration. There was no fiscal year the Debt was reduced.

Totals:
(The begin & end dates of fiscal years were changed twice so some fiscal years were fractional years.)
(All dollars in Yr. 2000 $s.)

Republican President / Republican Congress – 7 years.
1,659.9 billion added to the National Debt.

Republican President / Split Congress – 5.75 years.
1,652.9 billion added to the National Debt.

Republican President / Democratic Congress – 20 years.
1,907.4 billion added to the National Debt.

Democratic President / Republican Congress – 8 years
274.2 billion reduction in the National Debt

Democratic President / Democratic Congress – 19.5 year.
188 billion reduction in the National Debt

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at October 29, 2006 9:22 AM
Comment #191300

Can anyone on this board point to one single balanced budget that was ever passed by a DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTROLLED CONGRESS?

Is this question too hard for you on the enlightened left? Your still dancing around avoiding the reality…democratic congresses do not balance budgets, they have NEVER passed a ballanced budget.

And they are promising one now? laugh.

Please, someone point to one single balanced budget passed by a democratic congress in our life time…IT HASN’T HAPPENED. Democrats don’t do balanced budgets.

Posted by: stephen L at October 29, 2006 9:51 AM
Comment #191311

What about the Constitutional aspect of it Ray?
Is it ok for govt to force others to believe and support as another person believes?
The issue isn’t about which party has the better plan. Its about legislating morality and our govt has no business or right, doing that.

Your opinion of what we should do shows why taking away rights does not work.
In my opinion, what we should is to honor individual rights. That way, people are free to believe as they wish.
I would be free to help who I thought needed help and you would be free to help who you thought needed help.
But that is where the problem is, isn’t it Ray. By giving people back their freedoms, people wouldn’t be forced to think as you do and you would actually have to support what you “say” is the right thing to do.

The Scientigic evidence is in and it says the Democrats are correct?
So what!
The Constitutional evidence has BEEN in and it says individual rights are what this country was founded on.

Posted by: kctim at October 29, 2006 11:04 AM
Comment #191312

Arm Hayseed,

Those are great stats. I am not sure what your source was. Did you calculate them yourself or find them from some other source? Either way I appreciate the addition. This debate needed some facts. People can now question your facts, but at least we have a starting point. It is clear from your stats the the Repubs are the ones who deficit spend. That may not be all bad because the biggest item in the budget is national defense and they do claim a history of building up the military which is expensive. On the other hand they also have a long and proud history of building bridges to no where.

I think that there is another aspect of this debate that needs to examined. Much has been made of the fact that it is wars that cause the biggest deficits. So OK. you get a free pass during wartime. OK, I am down with that. But the Repubs still have to be accountable for leading us into a war that we should not be in. Blame the deficits on the war - OK - the war is your fault - so the deficits are your fault.

Finally neither party is about to balance the budget in the foreseeable future. I am Democratic now but after the election I will probably join David in V.O.I.D. at least for non-Presidential offices. Neither party is going to balance the budget. The Repubs have led us into a period of stagflation (according to the Federal Reserve). We are in stagflation and we have compelling national needs so neither party can balance the budget. But people who build bridges to nowhere have lost the right to cry about deficits - period. Finally neither party will balance the budget because $$$special$$$ $$$interest$$$ campaign finance creates a corporate oligarchy where corporations control who gets elected, control the levers of power, and demand to paid for building bridges to no where. Our leaders will not represent our interest until they are free of their $$$special$$$ $$$interest$$$ masters. They will only be free from their $$$special$$$ $$$interest$$$ masters when we have public financing of elections.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #191313

kctim,

You almost made me mad for a minute, just for a minute. Listen my friend and you shall learn. Watch my electronic lips and form the words with yours: Constitutional Representative Democratic Republic. Not one single word about individual. When you form a country with a government - any government, you give up your unbridled individual freedoms and agree to be bound by the wishes of others - in our case the democratic majority. The Constitution puts limits on that and guarantees some limited individual freedoms. If you do not love it - leave it - we do not need you in this country. Anarchy rules in Afghanistan - go there. But as long as you freely chose to be a part of this country you are bound by the legally Constitutionally mandated will of the democratic majority. Love it - or get out.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 11:20 AM
Comment #191314

Arm Hayseed,

Thank you for your post. Stephen L seems to capitulate when facts are presented.

Ray Guest,

Again, you are another example of a responsible liberal able to criticize his/her own party. I appreciate your honesty and integrity.

kctim,

I am confused as to what you are getting at. “Is it ok for govt to force others to believe and support as another person believes? The issue isn’t about which party has the better plan. Its about legislating morality and our govt has no business or right, doing that… I would be free to help who I thought needed help and you would be free to help who you thought needed help.”

Do you mean we should be free to not help the homeless and hungry, free to not provide corporate welfare, free from christianity as a national religion, free from being forced to believe in science, free to voice our opinions without the fear of being wiretapped? Please clarfy what you mean. As for not legislating morality: we do that now in many ways and I assume you wouldn’t want to overturn our laws on stealing, murder, bribery etc …

Posted by: jrb at October 29, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #191315

Don’t let them get to you,Ray. They are like spoiled children. They recieve the benefits of our government as their due but do not appreciate or even recognize how fortunate they are. God forbid anyone else gets a hand. This goes top to bottom for the Reps and pretty much for the Libertarians also. There is no talking to them. You can explain time and again that every time they flush a toilet in town there is federal money involved or every time they drive on our socialist interstate highway system there is federal money involved or that every time they mail a letter our socialist postal system(the envy of much of the world)is working for them. They sit back and collect their SS and medicare and hate anyone else that does the same.

Posted by: BillS at October 29, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #191316

Liberal Demon,

Touche.

Posted by: jrb at October 29, 2006 11:46 AM
Comment #191317
Can anyone on this board point to one single balanced budget that was ever passed by a DEMOCRATIC PARTY CONTROLLED CONGRESS?

Yes

Here is a list of the fiscal years that receipts exceeded outlays for each of the two parties and the party of the President that would have signed the bill.

Democratic control
1947 (D)
1951 (D)
1957 (R)
1960 (R)
1969 (D)

Republican control
1948 (D)
1949 (D)
1956 (R)
1998 (D)
1999 (D)
2000 (D)
2001 (D)

The President submits a budget to congress and greatly influences the bill that congress submits for his signature. The above list covers four different Presidents, Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson and Clinton. Four Presidents, one Republican and three Democrats.

On the subject of Presidents, here is list of the Presidents and the change in the National Debt since the end the fiscal year that included the end of WWII. (Fiscal year 06/30/1946) Dollars are inflation adjusted to Yr 2000 $s.

Truman (-859.3 billion) (6/30/1946 thru 1/31/1953)
Eisenhower (-49.1 billion) (2/1/1953 thru 1/31/1961)
Kennedy/Johnson +84 billion (2/1/1961 thru 1/31/1969)
Nixon/Ford +191.3 billion (2/1/1969 thru 1/31/1977)
Carter (-35.3 billion) (2/1/1977 thru 1/31/1981)
Reagan +1,919.5 billion (2/1/1981 thru 1/31/1989)
Bush 41 +1,150.6 billion (2/1/1989 thru 1/31/1993)
Clinton +580 billion (2/1/1993 thru 1/31/2001)
Bush 43 +1,776.4 billion (2/1/2001 thru 09/30/2006)

Since 06/30/1946 the National Debt has increased by 4,758 billions of Yr. 2000 $s.

During the time the 5 Republicans were in office the National Debt increased a total of 4,988.7 billions of Yr. 2000 $s.

During the time the 4 Democrats were in office the National Debt decreased a total of (-230.7 billions) of Yr. 2000 $s.

Posted by: Arm Hayseed at October 29, 2006 11:58 AM
Comment #191318

“The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 — the Republicans used their claim that this bill would increase the taxes of middle-income Americans to take control of the House of Representatives in 1995. In reality, only the top 2% of earners — those earning million$ or more per year — had an increase in their taxes. George W. Bush and the Republican Congress have given those high earners, including many foreign billionaires who earn dividends in the U.S.A., numerous tax cuts since Bush was appointed President, with the results you see above. And of course the Repubs have gutted the Debt Reduction Act of 1993 since they took control of both Houses of Congress.”

http://www.lafn.org/politics/gvdc/Natl_Debt_Chart.html#

Please also check out the chart!

If my figures and research are correct the national debt was reduced in the following years:

1976; Ford was president & both houses of congress were majority Democrat

1977 and 1979; Carter was pres & both houses were majority Dem

1986; Reagan was pres, Senate was majority Republican & House was majority Dem

1993 thru 1995; Clinton was pres, both houses were majority Dem

1995 thru 1998; Clinton was still pres, but both houses had shifted Repub

2000; still Bill, still majority Repub

Sheesh, do the research yourself:

http://www.senate.gov/pagelayout/history/one_item_and_teasers/partydiv.htm

http://clerk.house.gov/histHigh/Congressional_History/partyDiv.html

One final thing, anyone remember Clinton basically causing a shutdown of all non-essential government services by refusing to accept unresponsible Republican budgets?

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/clinton/etc/11131995.html

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 29, 2006 12:01 PM
Comment #191319

Arm Hayseed,

Great job with research and numbers. Beats mine all to he**!

Thanks.

Posted by: KansasDem at October 29, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #191321

Thank You all for bringing facts to the debate. Where did the Repubs go? Maybe you should not have brought facts to the debate - seems to have scared them all away. What Will we do now?

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 12:24 PM
Comment #191325

I too appreciate the number crunching.

Posted by: Trent at October 29, 2006 12:56 PM
Comment #191326

Ray,

They just all went to church.

I suspect we’ll be hearing something about BJ’s before the day is done.

Posted by: KansasDem at October 29, 2006 1:07 PM
Comment #191333

Wow guys good job. Truthfully after so many years of hearing tax and spend dems, etc. I am surprised that…well I guess Im not suprised that it was just 1 more repub distortion of the truth. although I am surprised that the facts dont bear out the talk. I guess Im just dumfounded and willl need time to absorb the reality. Good thread.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 29, 2006 2:47 PM
Comment #191337

j2t2,

That is the sad part. They told the “big lie” long enough that they had most of us believing it!!!

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #191342

Evidently you never studied US History, especially the establsihment of the United States of America. You also lack a basic education in Economics.

But the follwwing I agree with:
Corporation “people” and other rich people, who invest money overseas should be required to repatriate profits and pay income tax on them or lose U.S. person-hood and forfeit remaining U.S and foreign assets just like a dead person with no heirs.

So, let us start with your good pal George Soros, who has never in his life paid one cent of United States Income Tax. Let us confiscate his billions, let us deport him as an undesirable alein, and let us rid the country of his sick, twisted, and unstable mind. He is, after all, the financier of the Democratic Party. We can send his worthless kids back too.

Posted by: PV Bella at October 29, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #191344

Really Ray
“But as long as you freely chose to be a part of this country you are bound by the legally Constitutionally mandated will of the democratic majority. Love it - or get out.”

Spoken like a true liberal. Our way or no way!
We are supposed to be a Constitutional Republic, not a democracy. I find it interesting that you are so willing to give up individual freedoms. You guys are always trying to preach about how your for freedom and rights, but I guess thats only for those who share your same morals and values eh.
Tell me, are you guys for freedom of choice or not?

But you are avoiding the question Ray, aren’t you.

SHOULD GOVT BE ALLOWED TO FORCE THE MORALS AND VALUES OF SOME ONTO OTHERS?

jrb
“Do you mean we should be free to not help the homeless and hungry, free to not provide corporate welfare, free from christianity as a national religion, free from being forced to believe in science, free to voice our opinions without the fear of being wiretapped?”

YES! We should be free to hold our own morals and values as we see best.

“Please clarfy what you mean. As for not legislating morality: we do that now in many ways and I assume you wouldn’t want to overturn our laws on stealing, murder, bribery etc …”

All of those directly harm another individual, do they not.
Now, we can try to scare people, as Ray does by screaming anarchy, but we know damn well that there is a big difference between being forced to give aid and murdering someone.

The left “says” they want to help everybody, but that is not true. They want everybody else to be forced to help others in the way THE LEFT thinks is best. It is such an important thing to them in fact, that rather than take it upon themselves and actually help, they would rather sit around and whine about others who do not care as much as they.

It all boils down to envy and greed. The left envy’s those who are successful and who are free thinkers. They also use that envy to get people to give up their rights and to vote for them.
And yes, they are greedy. Rather than make sacrifices so that they can support what they “say” they care about, they would rather use govt to force others to think as they do so that their life can remain the same.

I don’t want to legislate who you can’t care about, why do you feel its ok to legislate who I should care about?

Posted by: kctim at October 29, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #191346

90% income taxes… you must be kidding. all the rich people will just leave and then try paying for all your social programs. hahaha im laughing cause there must be a joke in there somewhere, even if i missed it

Posted by: ouch at October 29, 2006 4:27 PM
Comment #191347
No child should be allowed to inherit more than 5 million dollars.

Ray Guest:

I’m sorry, I read this line and I just couldn’t go any further. This idea is insane. You don’t think children deserve to inherit their parents’ money? That’s ludicrous. People’s estates are not the governments to dole out. The government has no right to restrict how much money a kid inherits from his parents.

You’ve officially shattered the line between liberalism and socialism. And that’s the problem with the Democratic party: so many liberals are so communistic you can’t even call them liberal anymore…it’s a sad thing.

This lunatic proposal exemplifies why we cannot allow greedy socialists to capture Congress. They think our money belongs to them. They think they can just take and take and take, because they have the power to. It’s disgusting.

You call yourselves the party of the people…ha, how dare you! Stealing money from successful citizens to fund some convoluted escapade is not my idea of supporting the people. If you truly cared about ALL the people, you’d let the people be….you wouldn’t interfere with their inheritance.

But you can’t. You exploit every possible opportunity to stick it to the rich. Why? Is it because they’re successful, and you envy them? Is it because you can only dream of being as successful as they? Whatever the reason, I don’t care…it’s revolting either way.

The bottom line is that neither the government nor any communistic buffoon has the right to limit how much money I may one day distribute to my future kids. The day the United States government tells me I can only give my children a certain amount of inheritance is the day I realize how corrupt this country has become.

This is the last time I’ll be looking at this sad excuse for an article. I honestly don’t care enough to hear a retort from the author…his initial words speak for themselves.

I just hope that everyone who reads this comment realizes how insane the author’s proposal is…we can’t let communists hide behind a liberal veneer. True liberals are better than that.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at October 29, 2006 4:48 PM
Comment #191349

Keep sock’n it to them Ray and BillS. Faced with the facts the Republicans just keep piling on the lies. Anything to get them through the night.

Posted by: ga lefty at October 29, 2006 4:57 PM
Comment #191350

I see Ray’s article has inspired some pretty damn wild characterizations and exaggerations.

Posted by: Trent at October 29, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #191351

Ray,

Taxing the wealthy at 60 to 70 percent (90 percent in war time) seems exorbitant to me. Frankly, I think the tax rates now are close to right. I also think that the government spends too much on lots of stuff we should cut. If we could get our spending priorities right, I suspect we could begin paying off the debt, bolster SS, and come up with a way to deal with health care, probably through a combination of public and private means. We should keep a close eye on health care experiments being conducted in several states.

As much as I’m philosophically in favor of funding for the arts, for example, there are other concerns far more important. (And I realize that art funding isn’t even a drop in the bucket; it’s just an example.)

I also think the points that our country is much larger and not as homogenuous as Norway etc. are probably valid.

Posted by: Trent at October 29, 2006 5:12 PM
Comment #191362

kctim,

“I don’t want to legislate who you can’t care about, why do you feel its ok to legislate who I should care about?”

The republican party, in fact, does want to legislate who you can’t care about (gay marriage). Additionally, do you realize how selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered, and ego-centric this makes you sound?

I don’t wish to legislate that YOU care about those who are less fortunate. However, if enough of US care we can decide to provide a safety net for all Americans—including you. Someday, karma may cause you to need it.

Also: No, those don’t all directly harm another. Bribery, drug use, alcohol use, gay marriage, homosexual sex, gambling, and a host of others are all legislated for moral reasons. Yet they don’t directly hurt others.

Posted by: jrb at October 29, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #191366

Yeah, I’m pretty pissed that Congress and Bush have just made it harder for me to play poker online. Jerks.

Posted by: Trent at October 29, 2006 8:09 PM
Comment #191375

Stephen L.-
Look, deficit spending isn’t evil in and of itself. And no, I wasn’t trying to say you opposed WWII. However, I was saying that the deficit spending that you accuse Democrats of doing so much “damage” with was absolutely necessary to the fate of the free world.

Necessity is a great big part of why Bush’s ballooning of our national debt is so crucial a problem. We had good reason to not depend on taxes or other means to pay for the war. It was either raise the money, or watch us go down to defeat?

But Bush? Bush is the first American President EVER to cut taxes in wartime. He did this with spending going through the roof. Was it necessary for the war? Not at all. Necessary for the economy? Not according to many experts. Technology has driven more of the improvements in our economy than tax relief. Our best years in the 90’s where under raised taxes. It didn’t seem to slow our economy down. What did, to put it plainly, was all the bullshit people found out about, and the dashing of people’s faith in the markets. Republicans just get so one dimensional about the economy sometimes.

Ultimately, the question is not whether Democrats ever balanced a budget: the evidence is in: they have. The question is why a Republican President and Congress will not, and what good they are to you if they will not get spending under control.

As for radicalism? Your real problem is dogmatism. Your real problem is that nobody’s going to admit two things: that you’re not going to reduce spending near enough to make up for it, and that the only reason we’re running a deficit is the tax cuts. Without them, we would have been back on the positive side again. Unfortunately, your side will not give America the option to balance the budget. You will pretend that’s what you’re doing, you’ll pretend like there aren’t hundreds of Billions of debt accumulated every year you screw around on this, but you won’t admit that you might have to give up your sacred tax cuts to get things back right.

I tell you what: America’s going to see whether we’d do it. Balancing the Budget would be sweet revenge for all those years of claims like yours. When people see a balanced budget, they will know that Democrats are the true party of fiscal responsibility.

Meanwhile, If I don’t get the sense that this is happening, asses will be kicked and names will be taken. Maybe that’s what your people should have done, instead of waiting for them to come to their senses.

kctim-
Individual rights, but a collective government selected by the majority.

There’s a truist sort of aspect to what you say. What Red-blooded American can disagree with the good of individual liberties. However, me thinks you doth protest too much. Government can’t force viewpoints on people. it can only right policy, which people are free to oppose, and to persuade other people to oppose. Government, though, by its nature, forces some policies on people who don’t like them. However, that’s a necessity of society to a certain point. No society can long run with everybody determining everything for themselves. People step on each other’s toes, get in each other’s faces and everybody’s freedom gets wasted when one group of people becomes powerful enough to force their ideas on everybody.

In our society, the government is restrained from such a thing, but in return, people submit to the rule of law, determined by a majority they are not necessarily a part of. Nobody can get perfect government. You work for the best you can.

The Constitution is not meant to be an expression of individual ego, only a balance between individual liberties and collective obligations.

Alex Fitzsimmons-
Republicans are always great at forgeting to ask people what they really thinking. While I’m for a substantial proportionate estate tax, I disagree with Ray Guest’s opinion.

However, I cannot help but see your response as excessive. You jump from calling him a socialist, to alleging we’re all so, and that we’re not the liberals we say we are. We’re crypto-communists! (happy Halloween!)

And then you use it as a reason to deny Democrats their new majority. Then you get disgusted with the behavior you suppose we all support because of your previous logical endeavours.

You go further to lash us bloody over our intentions to steal all the money from the rich, alleging that true sympathy to the entire public comes down to letting the rich earn money tax free that they never worked for.

Don’t stop now, you’re on a roll!

And then you bring up class warfare, and say that this represents the corruption of the government, rather than, say, the K-Street operation, the all too cozy relationship with contributors, with energy companies, with pharmaceutical companies. Never mind Jack Abramoff, the money laundering from TRMPAC, the Medicare Ripoff…

And yes, the efforts by a few super rich people to do away with estate taxes, efforts that many of the richest people of all time, like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, oppose.

I mean, look at Bill Gates. Son of a millionaire. Did he sit around moping over estate taxes. I kind of doubt it.

The question is, does this government lend it’s strengthe where it’s needed, or does it instead help those who already have helped themselves, and can continue to help themselves quite well, despite what we ask of them?

I think Ray Guest’s sentiment and mine, despite our differences, can be summed up in these immortal words: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.

The corporations and the rich are asking much of this government. Why though, are they not asking this of themselves? Why the hell did the oil companies need any tax breaks given their profits last year?

Why give these people more help? All indications are, they’re doing better than anybody else?

It’s worse than simply being unfair. It’s just plainly illogical, and nothing you can say can really hide that fact.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at October 29, 2006 9:35 PM
Comment #191387

I feel compelled to bring up Health Insurance. The most conservative estimates I’ve read put the number of uninsured at about 15% of our population. The most realistic estimates I’ve read put it at 17%.

I’ve yet to find a really good breakdown of actual numbers regarding healthcare in the USA. I’d love to see someone crunch some numbers and tell me:

How many Americans are uninsured?

How many Americans are on Medicare?

How many Americans are on Medicaid (or a variety thereof)?

How many Americans have their health insurance paid by taxpayers because they’re either elected or appointed to, or employed by a government agency?

I’m pretty darn sure that you wouldn’t have to look very far or very hard to find a lot of Americans that are paying for other Americans health insurance, and yet they can’t afford their own. There’s something wrong with this picture.

Left and right both talk about supporting small business. Well, the Mom and Pop operations are true small business at work.

What’s the definition of “small business”?

Does that definiton differ between the right and the left?

I operated my own small business from 1985 thru 1991 and my greatest problem with retaining quaity help was health insurance. The only excellent employee I was able to hold onto throughout that time had a wife that worked at the county courthouse so they had health insurance covered.

Something has to give regarding healthcare. Bush & Co. managed to pass a Medicare scrip plan without providing the funding for it. That’s no favor to anyone. My great grandkids shouldn’t have to pay for my meds!

Should we socialize medicine? Is single payor insurance the answer? Maybe regulation? I don’t know. I’m smart enough to see the problem but not smart enough to know the answer.

I do know that the taxpayer is now subsidizing a hell of a lot of hospitals so they can provide services to those who have no insurance. There has to be an end to the foolishness.

The national debt now digests about 62% of GDP! If we don’t turn a corner soon we’re headed for a disaster the likes of which not even my grandparents saw.

Throwing umpteen million of our fellow Americans to the wolves is also unsavory.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 29, 2006 10:55 PM
Comment #191391

Thanks all for your comments. I see that the Repubs are still alive - and kicking (hard). Glad to hear it. For a minute there I thought that they had all died.

Where to start??? Estate tax. I threw the arbitrary number of 5 million in order to provoke some debate. It worked. I am not attached to the number. The broader point that I am attached to is that the estate tax prevents the establishment of virtual royalty like Paris Hilton. The estate tax somewhat levels the playing field from one generation to the next. The very same people who are self righteously opposed to being forced to help the poor are the very same people who want to force me to help Paris by allowing her to be Royalty as a result of a mere accident of birth. What is wrong with this picture?

I also threw some suggested tax rates out there as discussion starters - also not comprehensive economic strategies. Not particularly attached to them either - but the broader point - that successful economies blend high tax rates with low taxes on capital and social safety nets, I do stand behind…

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 10:58 PM
Comment #191395

Kansas Dem,

You wrote:

Throwing umpteen million of our fellow Americans to the wolves is also unsavory.
Not for the Republican wolves…

The other way that many of us subsidise the uninsured is through our health insurance premiums and direct cash payments to health care providers. My daughter married a doctors son - nice guy. He says he would make a lot more money if we had national health care, because he would get paid for everyone he treats - I said yes, but if you were paid for everyone you treated, you could afford to charge a much lower price, he said well, yes… So we pay for the uninsured anyway.

There are other problems here as well. Problem one. With employer sponsored health care, old established companies like GM are at a major competitive disadvantage with new upstarts like Toyota and soon the Chinese because they have old retired high risk employees. We need for everyone to be in the same risk pool, so that everyone is playing on a level field.

Every doctor, every health care provider has to deal with a myriad health insurance plans. This adds huge administrative overhead. I can’t even figure out my own insurance, I would not want the job of trying to figure how to bill a hundred different plans. Let’s see for this insurance plan, when I look in this persons throat am I supposed to see inflamed tonsils or strep throat? How do I get paid? How do I code that. How many insurance company high school drop outs am I going to have to explain myself to order to justify the medicine that this person needs, and which drug rep do I owe the biggest favor to.

Medicare is the most efficient insurance. We need a single payer system like medicare.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 11:20 PM
Comment #191397

I guess I need to clarify. Medicare used to be efficient and simple. Now thanks to the Repubs, when I go on Medicare there are going to be umpteen options. Some with donut holes some with butt plugs. Which do I choose? I know. I know, always go for the butt plug.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 11:33 PM
Comment #191399

To come back to the tax rates and amplify what Stephen Daughherty said: Tax cuts for the rich during war time is as foolish as a great society for the poor during war time - more foolish in fact.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 29, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #191400

“Medicare is the most efficient insurance.”

Ray,

I’m not sure of that. I do know that Blue Cross and Blue Shield always provided me with the best “discounts”. Even if I went with the cheapest Blue Cross plan available thru my bank (as a savings depositor) I would get great discounts on services even if the insurance didn’t pay a dime.

Some insurance companies just suck. In my experience Aetna sucked a little bit. CIGNA sucked so bad that I’m surprised the vacuum created didn’t create a cyclonic reaction, of they’re still sucking so they might get there yet.

This really strikes at a larger problem: Private enterprise can’t be trusted to ensure the national good! Those who bitch about Social Security somehow imagine that private insurance and investment companies are more trustworthy than a government which we get to vote on.

Ain’t that a freakin’ joke.

But we must all get it in our heads that we must decrease this national debt without starving anyone. The national debt now eats up 62% of GDP! That’s unsustainable. People want to bitch about Social Security which actually still has a surplus on paper but support subsidies for large corporations that only respond with higher consumer prices.

Sheesh!

Picture ROBOT here. I am your servant Will Robinson. You are my master Will Robinson. I will always vote Republican Will Robinson.

Fade to black………

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 30, 2006 12:04 AM
Comment #191401

Sorry, that was very poorly written, but it’s understandable enough I won’t bother with corrections.

Just tired, but I’ve had no real tremors in four or five days! I know that’s too personal, but damn I feel good, so I’m telling everyone.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at October 30, 2006 12:12 AM
Comment #191408

Kansas Dem,

Glad to hear it.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 30, 2006 1:46 AM
Comment #191425

Ray, KD
Number 1 and above all else you must realize that these companies are much much more efficent than the govt could ever be, and they care about you and others, really, no really they do. If just by such slim chance they screw up you can always go some place else for your insurance after the fact cause other companies want your business and it will penalize the company you left, really, no really it will. With that in mind Im sure you now want to change your position on national health care right? Without the free market where would we be?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 30, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #191427

Ray, KD OK then how about “the check is in the mail” or “honest officer I was just pushing that sheep through the fence”

Posted by: j2t2 at October 30, 2006 9:10 AM
Comment #191429

jrb
“The republican party, in fact, does want to legislate who you can’t care about (gay marriage).”

Yes they do, which is why I don’t support it.

“Additionally, do you realize how selfish, self-absorbed, self-centered, and ego-centric this makes you sound?”

Doesn’t matter to me. Rights and freedoms are more important to me than what others, who do not me, think of me.

“I don’t wish to legislate that YOU care about those who are less fortunate.”

By forcing others, at gunpoint or the threat of imprisonment, YOU are in fact legislating what YOU think is right.

“However, if enough of US care we can decide to provide a safety net for all Americans—including you. Someday, karma may cause you to need it.”

The safety net idea really isn’t that bad and I have nothing against it. But it should be totally voluntary. Rather than worrying what others are doing, one should worry about what they themselves are doing.

“Also: No, those don’t all directly harm another. Bribery, drug use, alcohol use, gay marriage, homosexual sex, gambling, and a host of others are all legislated for moral reasons. Yet they don’t directly hurt others.”

Yes they are and no they shouldn’t be.

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 9:21 AM
Comment #191432

SD
“However, me thinks you doth protest too much”

Yes I do and yes, I know its all for naught.
But we were not designed to be a democracy. The will of the majority was not meant to be forced onto all. The views of the minority should be respected by all.

Ray
“The very same people who are self righteously opposed to being forced to help the poor are the very same people who want to force me to help Paris by allowing her to be Royalty as a result of a mere accident of birth. What is wrong with this picture?”

Whats wrong with it?
You wish to take from one family to give to others whom YOU feel should be helped. But we are the self righteous people?
But we want the likes of Hilton to be able to keep their own money and have the freedom to choose.
You wish to use legislation to dictate, we wish to keep freedom.
Yeah, whats wrong with this picture.

So, should govt be allowed to force the morals and values of some, onto others?
To hard of a question or is it the answer that scares you?

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #191434

kctim, Is this the libertarian idea of family values you are espousing?
No one is taking from Paris, Dad estate is subject to taxation just as any other transfer of money is subject to taxation. Were the money her’s and not Dad’s there would be no taxation. Not only is that logical it keeps my family from having to pay additiional taxes to keep the Govt running whist Paris is getting by without paying taxes on here newly aquired assets.

Posted by: j2t2 at October 30, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #191444

kctim,

You wrote:

But we were not designed to be a democracy. The will of the majority was not meant to be forced onto all. The views of the minority should be respected by all.
Yes, as Democrat, I have been suffering from “the tyranny of the many over the few” for a while now. And yes our Representative Constitutional Democratic Republic was set up to provide some rights and protections to minorities from that tyranny. It is not absolute majority rule - but it is majority rule. It is probaly time to get used to that.

kctim,

You wrote:

You wish to take from one family to give to others whom YOU feel should be helped. But we are the self righteous people?
But we want the likes of Hilton to be able to keep their own money and have the freedom to choose.
You wish to use legislation to dictate, we wish to keep freedom.
Yeah, whats wrong with this picture.
Good point / come back. I have already answered it above. The estate tax is about a decision by the majority in America to disallow the establishment of royalty - to say that everyone has a patriotic duty to contribute to their country. We just do not like aristocratic royalty. Well, we never used to, the worm has turned, the Repubs have won, but the worm will turn again - worms turn.

So, should govt be allowed to force the morals and values of some, onto others? To hard of a question or is it the answer that scares you?
I agree that you cannot legislate morality, but you can impose law and control behaviour. No one is telling you that you have a legal obligation to love the poor. You have a moral obligation if you believe that you have a moral obligation, but no legal obligation. You do have a legal obligation to participate in our national life by doing your part to provide a safety net, or get out, or go to jail. Some of your individual rights are protected by the Constitution, but in this you are “subject” to will of the majority - to “the tyranny of the many over the few.” Posted by: Ray Guest at October 30, 2006 10:52 AM
Comment #191449

j2t2,

Excellent answer to kctim.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 30, 2006 10:55 AM
Comment #191450
The last govenment program that actually worked was WWII.

NASA?

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at October 30, 2006 10:59 AM
Comment #191457

kctim,

By your logic, Just like Paris Hilton, I should have the individual freedom to refuse to pay taxes on my newly acquired wealth to support the U.S. military. Maybe I don’t want my money spent to build killing machines because it is against my morality. Perhaps you agree, if not: :

So, should govt be allowed to force the morals and values of some, onto others?
To hard of a question or is it the answer that scares you?

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 30, 2006 11:35 AM
Comment #191470

Ray
By MY logic?
Its not my logic, but Article 1, Section 8 says a little something about that.

As that is more of a problem with our Constitution, I would guess that would fall under your, “if you don’t like it, leave” quote you wrongly said to me earlier.
I don’t have any problem with abiding by the Constitution.
Where does it say govt must steal from one group to give to another? Or one must be forced to accept and support the morals and values of others?

You are arguing in favor of what YOU believe is the right thing to do.
I am arguing in favor of honoring the Constitution.
Which is better? Somebodys beliefs or the actual document which founded our nation?

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 12:25 PM
Comment #191486

From the constitution:

The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived

I think this pretty much applies to estate taxes, as they become income to the recipients.

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 1:24 PM
Comment #191489

I’ve been curious about a couple of things womanmarine.
How is “income” defined?
Would the “income tax” be a direct or indirect tax?
Just curious.

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 1:33 PM
Comment #191496

kctim,

“By forcing others, at gunpoint or the threat of imprisonment, YOU are in fact legislating what YOU think is right.”

—what are you talking about here? Can you provide me with a clarifying example? I’m confused.

Second, I find myself wondering if you are suggesting that the government has no proper place spending for the common good. Can you respond?

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 1:51 PM
Comment #191499

jrb
Clarifying example? If people do not pay, the govt will take your property, imprison you or whatever, and yes, they do so at gunpoint.

The Constitution outlines what the govt is limited to. I just think we should honor it.

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 1:57 PM
Comment #191500

Kctim:

My understanding of “income” is any money you get “from whatever source derived”. Even monetary gifts can be taxed, I believe there is a threshold amount over which the money can be taxed. I think the same should be for estate taxes, a threshold amount over which should be taxed.

Just one definition I found:

“Income: The amount of money received from employment (salary, wages, tips), profit from financial instruments (interest, dividends, capital gains), or other sources”
Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 2:02 PM
Comment #191501

kctim,

You seem to spend much of your posts discussing the importance of freedom to you. Can you elucidate the last time when people in this country, in your view, posessed the optimal ammount of freedom from government.

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #191503

kctim,

“If people do not pay, the govt will take your property, imprison you or whatever, and yes, they do so at gunpoint.”

—should the government then, in your view, not be able to tax?

“The Constitution outlines what the govt is limited to. I just think we should honor it.”

The Constitution never specifies that our Government should be able to build the interstate system, regulate air travel, operate a postal delivery service. Do these impose on your ability to be free from government?

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 2:12 PM
Comment #191507

jrb
“an you elucidate the last time when people in this country, in your view, posessed the optimal ammount of freedom from government”

No. I am only 39 and have only started paying attention withing the last 10 years.

“should the government then, in your view, not be able to tax?”

The Constitution outlines what it is allowed to tax. So of course it should be able to tax.

“The Constitution never specifies that our Government should be able to build the interstate system, regulate air travel, operate a postal delivery service. Do these impose on your ability to be free from government?”

Article 1, Section 8: To establish post offices and post roads; so no, that does not impose.

That leaves air travel in which I believe should be private.

Womanmarine
Thanks for that definition. Sometimes the firewall here locks up my pc when I try to go to numberous sites.
Have you ever looked at what words meant back in our founders times? Words like income, salary, direct tax, indirect tax and such? Its pretty fun.
Anyway, thank you again.

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #191508

Kctim:

You’re welcome. :)

No, I haven’t looked at what they meant back in the founders time, not specifically. The website that I used for the copy and paste of my little quote from the constitution gave a little of that though.

That said, I don’t think income is that hard to describe, it’s money you receive. There is a specific gift tax, which is specified, and then the estate tax. Both cover money you receive (or changes hands if that makes more sense in this context). I think it’s a presumption to interpret income as only money you earn, but that’s just me.

Geesh! I’d be mad if a firewall blocked me from places I wanted to go. Can’t you configure it for that?

Posted by: womanmarine at October 30, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #191511

Kctim,

I am glad you brought up article one, section eight. It does state explicitly, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States …”

Does this not seem counter to your arguement?

BTW, Would you not conceed that post roads are slightly different than the interstate highway system?

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #191515

Also, is it plausible to you for one to equate the postal system (as it once was the primary means of communication over distances) with the telecomunications and internet infrastructure of today? If not, in what relevant aspects do you find them different?

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #191530

WomanMarine
No, I can’t reconfigure it for that, I’m at work:)

jrb
General welfare of the United States, not General welfare of citizens. Now granted, some could argue that giving freebies to citizens IS part of the general welfare of the country, but I would disagree if it was not totally voluntary.

Re: post roads, yes, I can see where the interstate system might not qualify as such. And even though we all know the interstate system is used for that purpose, I would concede that the federal govt should not be the ones that finance it, but rather it should be left up to the individual state govts.

“If not, in what relevant aspects do you find them different?”

This is something I have been thinking about lately and its a great question.
I can see how telecom and the internet are taking over regular mail and perhaps, as long as the tax is for the communications part only, maybe it would be Constitutional.
I dont believe taxes should be used on all the porn and crap parts, but in order to enforce that, I feel some rights to privacy would have to be violated and I wouldn’t want that.
So, to be perfectly honest, I have not made up my mind on that yet.

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #191536

kctim,

Fair enough responses. The issue I might still raise is the realistic ability of any citizen to voluntarily pay [or not pay] taxes coupled with his/her ability to proscribe and prescribe use of their specific contributions.

Well, I’ve got to go for now but I’ll check back later. It was nice having a rational discussion with you [void of schoolyard bickering and petty partisan hackery]—thanks.

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 4:01 PM
Comment #191563

jrb
At the point our country and society is now, it probably is an unrealistic dream of mine.
Thanks to you jrb.
Have a good day.

Posted by: kctim at October 30, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #191581

kctim,

After having received clarification regarding your stance on the proper role of government, I believe there are several aspects on which we can agree.

Government should, of course, provide for the common defense of this nation.

As well, I think we can agree that:

[1] the general welfare of the country is enhanced by globally competitive U.S. corporations, which are subject to limited, responsible oversight—to protect against malfeasance and environmental degridation.

[2] the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies supportive of small businesses, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

[3] the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies supportive of a vibrant middle class.

[4] the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies that ensure the working underclass will earn a livable wage.

[5] the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies that increase the overall health of our society.

[6] the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies that increase the overall education of our society.

[7] the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies and programs that produce a streamlined and efficient government, thus providing the greatest possible return on investment per tax dollar collected.

Maybe you can correct me.

Posted by: jrb at October 30, 2006 6:47 PM
Comment #191585

Ray,

On the subject of :

[So as Social Security expenditures ramp up, payroll tax supplementation of the general fund will ramp down and general fund tax deficits will ramp up. So we will wind up with the same deficits that We would have had anyway - except they will be called general fund deficits instead Social Security expenditure deficits - same dollar - different pocket.]

Actually the social security was fixed at the time, but we continued to borrow from it. Not just Repubs., but Dems. too. We are all guilty for that. Also the Social Security debt is included in the 8.5 trillion. So changing pockets doesn’t change the numbers just reduce the interest owed.

The only way we will ever fix Social Security is to combine the Reaganonmic ideal with the Clintonian principle and completely stop borrowing from Social Security. Really we don’t even need to pay it back. It would fix itself in matter of a decade at the rates we are paying now.

Other than that I have now real dispute with anything else you said, as the other subjects are so distorted (left, right and center) that it would be rediculous to even attempt to place proper blame on any one group, but you make good points no less.

=)

Bryan AJ Kennedy

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #191587

Ray

One more tidbit that might be of interest to you.

The money we are borrowing from the social security account isn’t just going to the general funds, it is the money that pays for Sexual Offender housing, clothing, feeding, and full coverage madical, dental and vision.

This little legislation passed with roughly 80% of the votes from both parties.

Bryan

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #191592

Oh lordy,

from afore mentioned article:

[These countries include Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. The high-tax, high-income states are the Nordic social democracies, notably Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden, which have been governed by left-of-center social democratic parties for much or all of the post–World War II era.]

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t Finland and Norway the leading countries in Europe for violent crimes and occult activities?

Bryan

Posted by: Bryan AJ Kennedy at October 30, 2006 7:10 PM
Comment #191687

Thanks all for your comments.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 30, 2006 11:36 PM
Comment #191761

jrb
Most of your list all boils down to #7.

“the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies and programs that produce a streamlined and efficient government, thus providing the greatest possible return on investment per tax dollar collected”

Believe me, I understand the “people are an investment” argument. I just happen to disagree with it because it unfairly taxes and unfairly treats Americans and can be applied to just about anything. I also do not believe the founders intended it to mean govt shall provide all for either.

General welfare of country: Protect our country and its people; work for peace with other nations; tax the people according to the Constitution so as govt can be able to function at its most basic level; protect the rights of everybody, etc….

The Constitution does not tell the people what they can or cannot do. It tells govt what it is allowed to do. Somehow though, the roles have reversed.

“Maybe you can correct me.”

Not me my friend. I would rather take in your opinions as another learning opportunity.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 9:24 AM
Comment #191793

kctim,

Good morning.

With my last post I was trying to see if we are in agreement as to the validity of the enumerated ends, that we as a society would derive common benefit from their achievement. I believe that if this is the case, our discussion is able to focus on the means [i.e. we both know we want to be in the endzone, it is just a matter of the best plays to call on the way.]

With respect to my “Maybe you can correct me” comment, I meant—tell me if we agree on the validity of the ends [e.g. “I would take exception to number 3 because …”].

We are in agreement that government shouldn’t be its citizens’ main provider. Yet, I think the reality exists that there are some problems that government is better/more equipped to handle than individuals or business [e.g. operating a military for our common defense—I can only imagine the ramifications of inserting a profit motive into the defense of this country].

“The Constitution does not tell the people what they can or cannot do. It tells govt what it is allowed to do. Somehow though, the roles have reversed.”

—You are so right, and it scares me.

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 11:16 AM
Comment #191823

jrb
Ah, gotcha.

[1] Very limited. Such as insuring things which could harm the US being sold. Other than that, govt has no business or right in telling corps how to operate really.

The environment is different. As we are all affected by it, “reasonable” policies should be expected from the govt.

[2 - 6] Are all best left to the individuals.

[7] “the general welfare of the country is enhanced by policies and programs that produce a streamlined and efficient government”

That is the problem though, it is not streamlined nor is it efficient. Our govt has convinced the people to ignore its Constitutional limitations and has turned into a “business” itself.

“thus providing the greatest possible return on investment per tax dollar collected”

IMO, each individual should be held responsible for their own investment into our country. There should be no doubt that the greatest possible return on our tax dollars is only an option when each individual has the desire to not be a burden on society.

Your seven “general welfare” examples are well meaning, but they should not have been placed into action at the cost of individual freedoms.

“Yet, I think the reality exists that there are some problems that government is better/more equipped to handle than individuals or business”

I disagree. Especially since govt help has become an expectation now rather than a possibility.

“[e.g. operating a military for our common defense—I can only imagine the ramifications of inserting a profit motive into the defense of this country]”

Thankfully, our founders felt the same way and they added that to the Constitution.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 12:19 PM
Comment #191846

kctim,

The government, through its costitutional authority to tax, makes policy decisions that affect all of those areas. For example, it determines the tax rates on things such as income, dividends, and gifts. Government also determines which tax credits and write-offs an individual or business can take. These are all policy decisions which are intended to affect the general welfare of the country.

It can be argued we should go to a flat tax. yet that still leaves open the issue of what the collected taxes are properly spent on. Should we spend money on a public education system, give financial aid, provide farm subsidies, offer food stamps, offer incentives for engaging in technological r&d which may otherwise be too costly etc …

I wrote: Yet, I think the reality exists that there are some problems that government is better/more equipped to handle than individuals or business.

You Responded: I disagree. Especially since govt help has become an expectation now rather than a possibility.

I offered the example of a military, but what about disaster relief, international aid, and again the interstate highway system. Large, complex projects that serve to benefit the people and hold no proper profit motive
often are more reasonably handled by the government, I think.

I still wonder, if there was one government program that met all 7 of those requiremnets, would you support it?

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #191853

jrb
“I still wonder, if there was one government program that met all 7 of those requiremnets, would you support it?”

No, I would not. As I said, govt should only be responsible for govt things.

“These are all policy decisions which are intended to affect the general welfare of the country”

Yes they are, but they should not be.
Its obvious that you believe “general welfare” refers to “we the people,” I do not.
I believe “we the people” are responsible for our own actions and that the govt should only concentrate on govt.

“Should we spend money on a public education system, give financial aid, provide farm subsidies, offer food stamps, offer incentives for engaging in technological r&d which may otherwise be too costly etc …”

No.

“but what about disaster relief,”

Local govt concern only.

“international aid,”

Should be based solely on whether we have the money or not AFTER our own priorities have been taken care of.

“Large, complex projects that serve to benefit the people and hold no proper profit motive
often are more reasonably handled by the government, I think”

But they DO hold a profit motive, don’t they.
IMO, govt interference on behalf of these should end at the state level.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 1:25 PM
Comment #191861

“but what about disaster relief,”
Local govt concern only.
Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 01:25 PM

I get it, you believe there should be no United States. There is no issue in kc’s mind that validates a federal gov’t, beyond of course the 2nd amendment…

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 31, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #191868

Dave Dave Dave
Of course there should be a US and believe it or not, we had the framework all laid out for us by some very wise people.

“There is no issue in kc’s mind that validates a federal gov’t, beyond of course the 2nd amendment…”

And, IF you were paying attention, you would know that is not true either. In fact, I can name 10 good issues off the top of my head that the federal govt should be held accountable for. More if you so desire.

But, since you brought it up:
I can tell you where the govt is told that the people have a right to bear arms, can you tell me where the govt is told it must rebuild my home or reimburse me for my own stupidity?

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #191873

I wonder what makes state, county, and municipal governments less objectionable to you? Is it not still government interference when they are involved?

“Its obvious that you believe “general welfare” refers to “we the people,” I do not.
I believe “we the people” are responsible for our own actions and that the govt should only concentrate on govt.”

—I believe that I have to look at the world we do live in, not the one I wish we lived in. If people have a place to live, have food, have access to healthcare, have access to education, and have a job then I will end up paying less taxes to support them living on the street [now we need more police—we pay], on welfare [that costs all of us], doing drugs [more police, rehab, healthcare costs—we pay for all of that], starving [now we need to pay to help feed them], uneducated [they are not contributing to society so that costs us], with astronomical medical expenses [that we all end up paying].

I believe, a little preventative medicine is far cheaper than paying, literally, hundreds of thousans of dollars in hospitalization expenses for a single seriously ill homeless person. For example.

Thus the question becomes, how do you want to pay and what should it go toward? Steming the problems at their source or combating the effects of the problem—a more expensive and never ending proposition.

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #191881

jrb
States rights my friend. Those which not covered by the Constitution are left to the states.

“I believe that I have to look at the world we do live in, not the one I wish we lived in.”

As I’ve said before, I know we are no longer a Constitutional Republic, we are now a democracy. And I am well aware that freedom is nothing but a dream nowadays.

“If people have a place to live, have food, have access to healthcare, have access to education, and have a job then I will end up paying less taxes to support them living on the street [now we need more police—we pay]”

Locally, yes.

“on welfare [that costs all of us] doing drugs [more police, rehab, healthcare costs—we pay for all of that]”

We would only pay if govt was legislating morality.

“starving [now we need to pay to help feed them]”

No, we don’t need to. We should be able to choose to.

“uneducated [they are not contributing to society so that costs us]”

Not always. MANY uneducated people work.

“with astronomical medical expenses [that we all end up paying]”

Again, we shouldn’t.

“I believe, a little preventative medicine is far cheaper than paying, literally, hundreds of thousans of dollars in hospitalization expenses for a single seriously ill homeless person. For example.”

I believe individual freedoms are more important.

“Thus the question becomes, how do you want to pay and what should it go toward?”

I want to pay for what the Constitution requires.
After my obligations to that, I want to be free to pay as I see fit.

“Steming the problems at their source or combating the effects of the problem—a more expensive and never ending proposition”

We are in that never ending proposition now.
It can also be argued that by providing for, the govt has created a dependent populace. One which will never shrink and one which will never end.
Is it better for a nation to have a dependent populace which requires more and more taxes to take care of?
OR
A free populace who are responsible for their actions and require only what is Constitutional from its govt?

Your examples also deal with morality though and I don’t believe govt has the right to push one set of morals onto others.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 2:35 PM
Comment #191887

kc,

I think you’d be very surprised with how much you might agree with us liberals is you would actually, just for a few minutes, allow yourself to think like us for a minute. I.e. the purpose of gov’t is FOR the peoples benefit, that being for BUSINESS is not against the people but being for CORPORATIONS is not for the people, that STARTING a war is NEVER a good idea, that there are many LOCAL problems that are too BIG for LOCAL solutions, that it CAN be fun to TYPE in occasional CAPITALS for no good REASON, that CAVEAT EMPTOR really sucks as a way of life and we CAN do BETTER iF we give a crap about more than just ourselves and our neighbors, that CONTROLLING indivual CHOICES based on anrrow views of what is RIGHT is taking away peoples right to make their own CHOICES about their OWN LIFE and OWN BODIES(something your arguing for above). We are supposed to be a NATION, not a bunch of nation STATES. Don’t buy into the rhetorical bullshit of fear and slogans that Rove wants you to.

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at October 31, 2006 2:44 PM
Comment #191897


“I think you’d be very surprised with how much you might agree with us liberals is you would actually, just for a few minutes, allow yourself to think like us for a minute.”

Actually Dave, I’m well aware of what I agree with the liberals on and what I agree with Conservatives on.
I believe in the whole Constitution though, so there is no way I can totally think like you.

“I.e. the purpose of gov’t is FOR the peoples benefit,”

Really? And here I thought it was to run the govt functions of our country as outlined in the Constitution. Silly me.
But your right, legislating morality and values is probably for my benefit isn’t it. Why else would the govt care about who gets married, they prohibit who they do for my benefit dont they.

“that being for BUSINESS is not against the people but being for CORPORATIONS is not for the people,”

But being against businesses and corps is not for the people either now is it.

“that STARTING a war is NEVER a good idea,”

Never known anyone who said it was.

“that there are many LOCAL problems that are too BIG for LOCAL solutions”

I disagree of course.

“that CAVEAT EMPTOR really sucks as a way of life and we CAN do BETTER iF we give a crap about more than just ourselves and our neighbors,”

I never said we couldn’t. What I said was that it should be an individual choice.
Besides, it is YOUR morals which say we could do better, why must you feel as if you should be allowed to force YOUR morals onto OTHERS?

“that CONTROLLING indivual CHOICES based on anrrow views of what is RIGHT is taking away peoples right to make their own CHOICES about their OWN LIFE and OWN BODIES(something your arguing for above)”

Are you really trying to say the left believes in such a thing? Now that is funny.
Why can’t I choose who my money helps?
Why can’t I choose how I wish to plan my own retirement?
Why can’t I choose if my business allows smoking or not?
Why can’t I choose if I want a gun or not?
Why must I get permission to do any of these?

“We are supposed to be a NATION, not a bunch of nation STATES.”

Yes we are! Too bad liberals believe we are supposed to be a nation according to what THEY think is best.
They might actually win a few more elections IF they believed in the Constitutional freedoms we used to have.

“Don’t buy into the rhetorical bullshit of fear and slogans that Rove wants you to”

But I’m sure that you would have no problem with me buying into the rhetorical BS of fear and slogans the left wants me too huh.

Oh, using caps kind of just brings attention to a certain word. In comes in handy when communicating through typing, seeing as one cannot verbally do so, you know.
Doing so when you have no idea why you’re doing it only makes one look silly.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 3:10 PM
Comment #191901

kctim,

So how do you feel about a State’s right to legislate morality? Or how about a State’s right to curtail your freedoms? Supposedly the States have the right to set their drinking age. Yet, they give in to the Feds. to maintain their road income. Looks like the States, in many ways, have given up their rights. I know the whole “State’s rights” arguement is a noble one, but the conservative agenda isn’t supportive of States’ rights anymore.

If your home, the homes of all your relatives and friends, your local churches, the municipal and county governmet infrastructure, and your employer’s offices were destroyed in a series of tornados, leaving you with no place to go and jobless, should anyone assist you? Or, would you suggest we should assume you should have to fend for yourself?

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #191908

jrb
“I know the whole “State’s rights” arguement is a noble one, but the conservative agenda isn’t supportive of States’ rights anymore”

I totally agree with you.

“should anyone assist you? Or, would you suggest we should assume you should have to fend for yourself?”

Those who wish, should be allowed to assist in the manner they wanted to.
And “fend for myself” or “sit back and wait for govt to do it for me?”
The former is what should be expected and the former is what would be best for my country.

I’m not saying we should get rid of such programs entirely. I’m saying they should be voluntary, not forced.

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 3:46 PM
Comment #191916

kctim,

“sit back and wait for govt to do it for me?”
I also hate that mentality.

“I’m not saying we should get rid of such programs entirely. I’m saying they should be voluntary, not forced.”

We all know that paying taxes is not optional. Also, those programs would not get funded if paying into them were optional [unless maybe it were a not for profit insurance of sorts, in which those who didn’t choose to pay in receive no benefits]. But then, again, those who really are just scraping by—the ones who really couldn’t afford to pay in anyhow—are often those who need social programs most. Anyhow, taxes are meant to be spent for our mutual benefit, otherwise why collect them in the first place.

Tax money is, after all, our money—not the Government’s. I know we agree on that.

Well, gotta go for a while. C-ya

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #191937

“Tax money is, after all, our money—not the Government’s. I know we agree on that”

Yes we do:)

Have a good one!

Posted by: kctim at October 31, 2006 5:04 PM
Comment #191981

Thanks all for keeping the discussion going.

kctim,

You wrote:

You are arguing in favor of what YOU believe is the right thing to do.
I am arguing in favor of honoring the Constitution.
No, I am arguing that you are grossly misinterpreting the Constitution.

jrb,

You wrote:

Yet, I think the reality exists that there are some problems that government is better/more equipped to handle than individuals or business [e.g. operating a military for our common defense-I can only imagine the ramifications of inserting a profit motive into the defense of this country].
The profit motive has already been inserted into the defense of this country. Military / Industrial Complex - Private Security Contractors / Mercenaries fighting in Iraq It is one form of welfare for the rich. An entire industry has been created in Iraq in order to keep official casualties down. Security contractors now have a vital vested interest in war. Like all other corporate interest in the corporate oligarchy they have lobbyist with wallets full of campaign cash to get the “right” people elected.


quote text

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 31, 2006 6:52 PM
Comment #192002

All,

If you delete and retype punctuation (‘,”?-) on your blockquotes, your quotes will come out cleaner.

kctim,

I think that your views are extremist, (you might even agree with me on that). I am not a Constitutional scholar. I don’t think that you are either. That should not stop us from trying to understand it though and debating what we do understand. It is such an important issue. Your understanding of the Constitution is radically different from mine though and I don’t have the time to fully engage you. Others have done a pretty good job of that above. I don’t have the time to fully engage you, especially since even assuming I was totally correct and you were totally wrong, I think that there would be little chance of persuading you. Keep studying it though. Most people who dedicate their life to studying it - (Supreme Court Justices) - move to the left. Alito is probably a lost cause, but there is still hope for Roberts and even you.

I too am deeply concerned about the subversion of the Constitution. My concerns are about illegal wiretapping, suspension of due process, electronic voting machines without verifiable paper trails, consolidation and corporate oligarchy control of mass media, and lobbyist with wallets full of cash and elected officials who need that cash to get elected. This country was not founded as a Constitutional Republic. It was founded as a Constitutional Representative Democratic Republic. It is or at least always used to be democratic, (people vote), form of government, (representative), republic (rule of law), constitutional, (founded on a strong Constitution).

Never known anyone who said it was.
George Bush.
I’m not saying we should get rid of such programs entirely. I’m saying they should be voluntary, not forced.
These programs would not exist under those circustances. Posted by: Ray Guest at October 31, 2006 8:03 PM
Comment #192018

Ray,

The profit motive has already been inserted into the defense of this country. Military / Industrial Complex - Private Security Contractors / Mercenaries fighting in Iraq It is one form of welfare for the rich. An entire industry has been created in Iraq in order to keep official casualties down. Security contractors now have a vital vested interest in war. Like all other corporate interest in the corporate oligarchy they have lobbyist with wallets full of campaign cash to get the “right” people elected.

You are quite right to point this out; I am aware of these issues. I simply thought it might lead a bit off topic. When I made that statement, I was attempting to build consensus on a starting point for discussion. Sometimes it is easier to see which way to go if you can agree as to where you are.

With respect to your concerns about constituional subversion, I agree 100% that those are far more serious and pressing matters than if state or federal government funds social safety net programs.

One of my main concerns is that regardless of if it is true that elections may now be hacked en masse there is a large portion of our population who don’t have confidence in the impartiality of our election system. Voter supression and fraud on some level has always occurred; some ammount will always exist. However, we must do everything reasonable to ensure confidence in the fairness of our elections. Any candidate that doesn’t support the use of paper trails, not only for voter comparison but, as a useable basis for recount [these are very different] can NOT be trusted and should be voted against regardless of party affiliation.

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #192042

Ray, I sorta like kctim’s idea of making what your tax dollars are spent on voluntary. That truely would be voting with your pocketbook. It would then be up to the legislature to control such funds as the budget has been established each tax year by the taxpayers. Open up all sectors of the govt budget for financing based upon what the people want. Dont like the Iraq debacle dont put your money in it, like the war fund it. Dont want federally funded abortion, dont pay, put your money into roads or whatever. Dont like the deficit, dont fund it let those in favor of running up the tab pay the tab.What do you think?

Posted by: j2t2 at October 31, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #192051

j2t2-

Creative. It might actually work if there was a sum certain tax one had to pay [one was simply able to allocate their contribution]. Of course, this would also require the ability for constant reallocation—say quarterly. The administartive expenses would be astronomical too. Interesting thoughts though :0)

Posted by: jrb at October 31, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #192052

j2t2,

I love the idea of it. We would not have to fund “bridges to nowhere.” I used to like the idea of a line item veto so that the President could control “pork.” If memory serves, I think that is was David Remer that enlightened me to the fact that a line item veto would be used as a political weapon to direct pork to the President’s party - not to reduce it. Letting the people decide what to fund with their tax dollars would be a line item veto for the people and would put an end to a lot of crap. That said, I would be vehemently opposed to it. Here is why: It would move us in the direction of pure democracy. This country was founded as a Constitutional representative democratic republic. It ain’t broke don’t fix it. Pure democracy is mob rule - anarchy. The French tried it. It did not work. Still, in my heart, I love the idea of giving the people a line item veto - in principal - not in practice.

Posted by: Ray Guest at October 31, 2006 10:36 PM
Comment #192116

I’m reminded what J.R.R. Tolkien wrote on the back of a check he sent to pay his income taxes: “Not one penny for the Concorde.”

Posted by: Trent at November 1, 2006 7:20 AM
Comment #192261

Ray Guest-

Agreed. Popular democracy does not work. Representative democracy has its drawbacks, but the unenlightened and uninterested general public has no business making policy decisions that have highly technical implications.

Posted by: Kevin23 at November 1, 2006 12:57 PM
Comment #192318

You are correct Ray, our views of the Constitution are different. I prefer to accept it as it was written and to mean what it says. I don’t believe we should read into it so that it says what we want it to say.
We were not, nor were we ever intended to be a democracy. Our Constitution and the Bill of Rights were designed to prevent majority rule. That is why it is so important for us to adhere to its original meanings.

“That should not stop us from trying to understand it though and debating what we do understand”

I really hope you did not get that impression from me. jrb and I have been having a very civil and learning experience, IMO.
The last thing I would want to do is seem like I was trying to win anything or keep others from giving their two cents.

“These programs would not exist under those circustances”

Maybe, maybe not. But at least the people would have the freedom to choose.

j2
Its not my idea. It was the founders and they created the Constitution based on individual freedoms.

Posted by: kctim at November 1, 2006 2:46 PM
Comment #192333

kctim,

You are just going to force me to become a Constitutional scholar aren’t you. Well, I will work on it. In mean time I continue to vehemently disagree with your views. If I get the time I will post a more substantive response later, although this thread is probably near death. Yes, I enjoyed your discussion with jrb. By the way, my invitations to leave the U.S. when I am worked up, are entirely non-binding and rhetorical - so please don’t pack any bags.

Thanks Kevin23 and Trent for your comments.

Posted by: Ray Guest at November 1, 2006 3:05 PM
Comment #192346

kctim,

I have enjoyed our discussions. I look forward to more.

Posted by: jrb at November 1, 2006 3:26 PM
Comment #192373

Thats the beauty of it all Ray, I vehemently disagree with your views to:)

Posted by: kctim at November 1, 2006 4:34 PM
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