Democrats & Liberals Archives

Actual Details: The Republican's Political Triumph Over Their Own Lies

Fifty-Three To Forty-Three percent. That is how many people actually support Obama’s healthcare plans, as opposed to those who don’t. When told the actual details of what Obama is proposing, a majority of Americans want it. That is the plain truth. The Republicans boast that polls show people turning against Obama, and his plan, but I think what they boast of, is their own success in lying to the American people.

Maybe I'm just too idealistic, but maybe it's more my practical streak taking hold. For me, it seems worse than stupid, seems absolutely insane that the fate of American healthcare is resting on a public that has not only become misinformed, but had that misinformation deliberately inflicted on them as part of a cynical, deceptive campaign of lies.

Here are just a few examples of REAL goals that the Obama administration has.

Get the information from the horse's mouth. Agree, disagree, whatever, at least you'll know what we're arguing for, and what we're not.

If Republicans want to win this, Democrats like me are going to force them to win it on the facts, or not at all.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 8:42 AM
Comments
Comment #286655

Stephen,

If the left wants to start debating actual facts, that would be a welcome change…

For me, it seems worse than stupid, seems absolutely insane that the fate of American healthcare is resting on a public that has not only become misinformed, but had that misinformation deliberately inflicted on them as part of a cynical, deceptive campaign of lies.

I agree completely. I would ask that your side stop it. I would also ask that the Republicans stop it as well.

No one is going to be able to fix any actual problem without all of the lying going on from both sides…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 9:47 AM
Comment #286656

Rhinehold,

>No one is going to be able to fix any actual problem without all of the lying going on from both sides

I’m guessing this is a typo, and you meant with..?

Posted by: gergle at August 20, 2009 10:12 AM
Comment #286657

You know what part 2 of the republican strategy is dont ya?
After no reform, flood the airwaves with ‘the democrats controlled all branches of government including a 60 seat majority and didn’t get anything done’.
It’s a winning strategy. The only way to trump it is go it alone hard and let the chips fall where they may.

Posted by: Schwamp at August 20, 2009 10:23 AM
Comment #286659

Rhinehold-
I can provide pretty solid proof that the Republicans have been recklessly, even maliciously dishonest. If you want to argue the Democrats are lying too, fine by me, just provide facts to support that claim, constructed into a valid argument.

Otherwise it’s your typical pre-emptive claim of equivalence of both sides.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 10:46 AM
Comment #286660

Rhinehold: “Death panels”, “Socialist takeover of government”, “Euthanasia”, “A bureaucrat between you and your doctor”, “Coverage for illegal aliens”… ok, so there are the right wing lies. The only problem I can see with Obama’s claims is that he has ‘identified’ the way to pay for this, which is not the same as actually paying for it. I think the lies are pretty one-sided.

Posted by: Jon Rice at August 20, 2009 1:11 PM
Comment #286664
The only problem I can see with Obama’s claims is that he has ‘identified’ the way to pay for this, which is not the same as actually paying for it. I think the lies are pretty one-sided.

False: Families Will Save $2,500
Keep Your Insurance? Not Everyone.
Public Option Will Not Be Advantaged.
False: US Healthcare System Ranks 37
False: US Has Bad Infant Mortality Rate

I don’t know, I think the Republican lies are easier to dismiss… Misinformation that people believe because they don’t check on the facts or understand statistical manipulation?

Which is more insidious?

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 1:27 PM
Comment #286667

Which is more harmful? The blatant misrepresentation and out and out lying that goes into obstructionism, or a sales pitch that favors the side you want to sell?

…hmmm…my guess is the outright lying and misinformation is more harmful…but, that’s just me…obviously Rhinehold feels differently.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2009 1:40 PM
Comment #286668


Stephen, I think it is wrong for either side to claim that the people are for their side in this false debate. The people haven’t a clue about what is actually in these proposals. I bet that at least half of those who supposedly support Obama’s plan actually are for national healthcare rather than Obama’s supposed universal healthcare.

While it is true that the healthcare industry has handed the Republican talking heads a vicious attack format filled with lies and sent their employees out as protesters pretending to be disassociated citizens, the Democrats are not being totally truthful either.

When Obama say’s that the program will only cost $90 billion per year, it isn’t actually a lie but, it is only a projection and anyone who has followed government actions for as long as I have knows that this will cost more than the projected cost.

Medicare is a comparative program and it has cost far more than the projected costs.

It is a crying shame that an issue as important to the future of our country is treated in such a pathetic way by both political parties.

The real question is, are the Democrats going to do something bold to reinstill trust in the government? Like offer the people several options that they can understand and let the people narrow them down until there is one option left that is acceptable to the majority or are the Democrats going to continue government as usual, offer up a bill that if the pages were put end to end would stretch around the world and which no one understands, including the politicians.

It is no longer acceptable for the politicians to say trust us because we don’t trust them.

Posted by: jlw at August 20, 2009 1:42 PM
Comment #286671
or a sales pitch that favors the side you want to sell?

That is how you describe the outright lying and misrepresentation that the left is partaking in?

Nevermind that other lies like

* the guy who wrote ‘the memo’ was working for FreedomWorks or
* that ‘the memo’ called for shutting down town halls
* opponents of the Healthcare proposals are ‘unamerican’
* the ‘solutions’ won’t involve price controls
* the opponents of the Healthcare proposals are ‘jackboot thugs’

But even less accurate than the intimidation charge is the notion that scattered individuals in a free country are the equivalent of uniformed murderers acting on behalf of a totalitarian government. I mean, this is not hard to grasp, right? And yet here we see our fellow not-in-power Americans described as “fascists,” “political terrorists,” and “brownshirts,” often by the very same people who complain (and rightly so!) about spurious Nazi analogies.

I don’t support many of the rights claims, as they are false as well, but it gets REAL tiring being told that the left is ‘much more moral’ than the right when they engage in the same tired tactics and have for decades.

Worse is being lumped into all kinds of ‘groups’ just because I don’t agree with the proposals as Obama, the house or the senate are proposing (though I am GLAD that this has lead to an NGO co-op being proposed as I have called for for years…)

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 2:38 PM
Comment #286673

Rhinehold:

“If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it” is essentially what Obama says. That’s true - unless your employer moves it for you. Employers do this regularly to save money and find a better solution for their pockets and, less often, their employees. You can hardly blame Obama if employers decide to move providers, just as you never blamed Bush when your employer moved provider.

As for the $2500 savings, this is a bit of propaganda, but not a lie. FactCheck says it’s highly questionable that Obama could reach the level of savings he touts within one term. The RAND study on which the Obama campaign partially bases its savings estimates assumes we won’t see widespread adoption – or the full $77 billion in estimated savings – until 2019. So yes - $2500, but not now, next year, or even next term. I’ll go along with saying it’s somewhat disingenuous, but it’s not an outright lie such as “My son Trig will have to face a death panel.”

The USA isn’t 37th in healthcare rankings? My friend, you need to read http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html - methinks the World Health Organization has a better tell on, errr, World Health, than whatever right-wing talking head you got this one from.

Similarly, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate which shows that the USA lags behind most of those evil socialist healthcare systems in this important statistic. Maybe by only one baby in a thousand, but if it’s your baby…?

Ok, go to work disproving these facts Rhinehold!

Posted by: Jon at August 20, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #286674

Oh, and don’t forget the good one about having more preventative medicine saving money either…

Obama followed suit in his Tuesday New Hampshire town hall, touting prevention as amazingly dual-purpose: “It saves lives. It also saves money.”
This inconvenient truth comes, once again, from the CBO. In an Aug. 7 letter to Rep. Nathan Deal, CBO Director Doug Elmendorf writes: “Researchers who have examined the effects of preventive care generally find that the added costs of widespread use of preventive services tend to exceed the savings from averted illness.”

In fact, preventative medicine will cost us MORE.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #286676
“If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it” is essentially what Obama says. That’s true - unless your employer moves it for you.

Not exactly…

http://www.factcheck.org/2009/08/keep-your-insurance-not-everyone/

There are a lot of cases where this changes, especially since all health insurance offerings will have to match whatever guidelines the ‘health czar’ sets from year to year. This will force the programs to change so, even while you may keep the same company, the offerings will most definitely change. And I haven’t been able to determine how HSAs fit into this yet, but it isn’t looking good for them…

The USA isn’t 37th in healthcare rankings? My friend, you need to read http://www.photius.com/rankings/healthranks.html - methinks the World Health Organization has a better tell on, errr, World Health, than whatever right-wing talking head you got this one from.

‘right-wing talking head’? I love it…

First, it depends on which ranking you want to talk about. Many use the ‘mortality rates’. This is completely disengenuous. Those figures include the accidents, suicides, murder rates, etc. Interestingly enough, those things are higher in the US than other countries. When adjusting those out of the discussion as they are not the fault of healthcare (did our healthcare system cause Health Ledger to die at 28?). We are 12 times more likely than the Japanese to be murdered and nearly twice as likely to be killed in auto wrecks. In their 2006 book, The Business of Health, economists Robert L. Ohsfeldt and John E. Schneider set out to determine where the U.S. would rank in life span among developed nations if homicides and accidents are factored out. Their answer? First place.

Now, if you are talking about the WHO rankings,

Critics frequently quote the World Health Report 2000, prepared by the World Health Organization (WHO), in whose performance rankings of 191 nations’ health care systems the U.S. disappointingly ranked 37th. You’d assume these WHO rankings would reflect how likely you were to survive an illness or injury, or to live better and longer with a chronic condition. However, the WHO rankings give great weight to whether the evaluated health care system meets the organization’s ideological preferences.

The U.S. is penalized for things like allowing Health Savings accounts, not having a government-run health care system, and having an insufficiently progressive income tax system (i.e., escalating rates on increasing levels of earnings). The low U.S. grades on these overcome its advantage on the statistics that directly measure health outcomes, where WHO rates our country number one.

So, we are 37th because our healthcare system isn’t like other country’s? That seems VERY disingenuous to me… Of course I’m a layman but it seems that when we start looking at stats that actually involve how healthcare is administered in the US, we keep coming out #1…

Similarly, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_infant_mortality_rate which shows that the USA lags behind most of those evil socialist healthcare systems in this important statistic. Maybe by only one baby in a thousand, but if it’s your baby…?

Again, you have to look inside the numbers to see what is going on.

It turns out that once we condition on infant birthweight–a significant predictor of infant health–the U.S. has equivalent infant mortality rates. In fact U.S. infant mortality is lower for low-birthweight babies than Canadian infant mortality for low birthweight babies. Overall infant mortality, however, is higher in the U.S. because the incidence of babies with low birthweight is higher than in Canada. This may be due to demographic or epidemiological factors, or it may be the case that the U.S. is better at having a live birth for a low birthweight baby.

So yes, statistically we are lower, but because we are better at saving children who are born prematurely than other countries. Canada is just one example.

Look, you can try to spin the numbers the way it makes you feel better (or worse) about the US healthcare system, or you can actually try to figure out why the numbers are what they are, what they REALLY mean and how that affects our system realistically.

What they left has done is hyped up scary sounding statistics that make it ‘appear’ that one thing is true when the reality is that we have the best healthcare in the world, for those that can afford it.

Are there problems in healtcare in the US? You bet. But if we don’t look at the real causes and issues and instead want to play political games, we aren’t going to fix a damned thing.

Ok, go to work disproving these facts Rhinehold!

Done and done. Wasn’t too hard really…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 3:03 PM
Comment #286677

Rhinehold-
The first “lie” you present is based on early estimates of how much healthcare costs could be save.

The second revolves around the notion that smaller companies might dump expensive healthcare policies for the sake of the Public Option.

The third you should elaborate on. If you’re saying the Public option will be subsidized, current plans as I understand them do that for the insurance companies, too. Moreover, people will be required to sign up for insurance under the mandate proposed. As for it being cheaper, that’s the point.

The fourth deals with the WHO rankings on public health, and honestly reflects the given rankings. applicability is the question, but you’re just calling it an outright lie.

The Fifth deals with a CDC ranking, and accurately reflects it.. The question is whether or not the ranking reflects worse obstetrical care (which data seems to suggest it doesn’t) Or instead reflects national health. (which it does.)

Compare these to outrageous statements about “death panels”, about illegal immigrants being covered, about Medicare benefits being cut, and so on and so forth. To extend Mark Twain’s famous formulation, There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and then the Right Wing talking points on the matter. The Republican canards on this are far worse than any stretching of the truth under the Democrats, or any expression of certainty where it is not warranted.

Like I’ve blogged before, the Right Wing Talking points are practically located in a parallel universe. They allege things that are not even in the law, things they justify by circuitous convolutions of rationalization.

As for the coordination of FreedomWorks and other groups? I think it is a lie or an error, to say that they’re not coordinating things for the Tea Partisans. I’ve already, in other blog entries, linked to the organizations own statements, own admissions to their logistical and administrative aid.

Since they are known, with other Organizations, to be non-grassroots organizations, its an open and shut case. The Tea Party and Healthcare Riot phenomenon are at least in part artificial set ups.

As for the negative descriptions? Look, people don’t like being pushed around, and so harsh words and bad reputations will follow those who go around being loudmouths, jerks, and stubbornly insisting on shouting people down. The folks on the Right and on the Libertarian side who you fail to fault for their behavior (as I and others fault those who get violent or obnoxious in the name of Democratic Party Politics) blacken your movement’s names.

While in a just world, not every one of these people would be stuck with the labels and everything, in the real world, when you tie your resistance to a policy to people who act crazy, mean, and overbearing, who disrupt the forum for others, you’re not going to escape negative associations.

Republicans and Libertarians are loyal to their fellows to a fault. Or they’re so desperate for support, that they don’t dare contradict their wayward, radical fellows, for fear that the fringe that dominates their base will revolt. My advice? Let them.

Folks want folks who aren’t squared off in their own universe. They want people who are accountable, who will admit mistakes, who don’t act as if their office admits them to the eschelons of Godhood.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 3:05 PM
Comment #286680
The first “lie” you present is based on early estimates of how much healthcare costs could be save.

Ok, I estimate that the healthcare provision that the Democrats are offering would cost each american an extra 20,000 a year. Is that a lie? Or is it just an estimation? Is the estimation based on faulty logic, known bad facts or made up hopes?

The second revolves around the notion that smaller companies might dump expensive healthcare policies for the sake of the Public Option.

No, it goes much deeper than that. There will be a ‘health czar’ who will determine, and change, year after year, what insurance companies will be allowed to provide and not allowed to provide in order to continue doing business. Unless you are saying that this new power will never ever ever be used…

The third you should elaborate on. If you’re saying the Public option will be subsidized, current plans as I understand them do that for the insurance companies, too. Moreover, people will be required to sign up for insurance under the mandate proposed. As for it being cheaper, that’s the point.

Ok. The government CANNOT compete in business fairly because it can use force, borrow without concern for credit rating or future economic health and subsidize inappropriately.

I use the example of Microsoft entering the phone market, ala the iPhone. So, they decide to set up a Zune Phone and offer it at $50. Then they collect from everyone (phone user or not) $50 to help subsidize the cost of producing the phone. Now, if you are already paying 50 towards the phone, wouldn’t you go ahead and buy the Zune Phone instead of the $300 iPhone?

Now, Microsoft does not have this power. The US government DOES. And the funny thing is that this is already written in a way to ‘fix’ Social Security. If the added burden on the system, which is going to be tied to Social Security, causes a shortage, funds from the GENERAL FUND can be used to make up the difference.

Not only is there now a way to fund healthcare outside of it being self-sufficient but they can also fix Social Security but just taking it from the General Fund! That’s some good bookkeeping there…

Obama says he won’t sign it if it is not ‘budget neutral’ but it isn’t like Obama has never gone back on his word before, I am not going to just hope he doesn’t this time. I am fighting this stuff and the lies the left are telling about it…

The fourth deals with the WHO rankings on public health, and honestly reflects the given rankings. applicability is the question, but you’re just calling it an outright lie.

Saying that the WHO ranking of 37 is an accurate representation of how our healthcare system functions is an outright lie. It would be like me saying that the sky is blue therefore there is cheese on the moon. They are not the same things. The WHO ranking DOES rank the US #1 in actual healthcare… but no one on the left will say that, will they? How many people know this little dirty secret, Stephen?

The Fifth deals with a CDC ranking, and accurately reflects it.. The question is whether or not the ranking reflects worse obstetrical care (which data seems to suggest it doesn’t) Or instead reflects national health. (which it does.)

No, it doesn’t as I pointed out. The data gets skewed by the application of it without understanding the causes. The left knows this and just doesn’t care because it makes good misrepresentations to the uneducated, just as the death panels do to the right. If you don’t change our healthcare system your baby will die! Just look at what Joe wrote as an example…

Compare these to outrageous statements about “death panels”, about illegal immigrants being covered, about Medicare benefits being cut, and so on and so forth.

I am.

To extend Mark Twain’s famous formulation, There are lies, damn lies, statistics, and then the Right Wing talking points on the matter.

And Progressive talking points.

The Republican canards on this are far worse than any stretching of the truth under the Democrats, or any expression of certainty where it is not warranted.

That is YOUR opinion. And once again the ‘but Mom, they are lying MORE than we are’ just doesn’t cut it, in my book… But I keep hearing it.

Like I’ve blogged before, the Right Wing Talking points are practically located in a parallel universe. They allege things that are not even in the law, things they justify by circuitous convolutions of rationalization.

Yeah, parallel universe… 37th in healthcare from a study that admits the US is First. That’s not parallel at all.

As for the coordination of FreedomWorks and other groups?

I pointed to a specific instance. In that instance, it is a lie. When confronted with the fact that it was a lie, it just keeps getting repeated by those who don’t care…. It is not the only one and it will not be the last. Quit deflecting the facts here, Stephen.

As for the negative descriptions? Look, people don’t like being pushed around, and so harsh words and bad reputations will follow those who go around being loudmouths, jerks, and stubbornly insisting on shouting people down.

Interesting. So, it’s ok now? Pelosi is not a steaming pile of hypocrite for her two statements? Please… JUST AS BAD. Accept it and move on and quit trying to rationalize that you are still better than they are.

The folks on the Right and on the Libertarian side who you fail to fault for their behavior

WHO have I failed to fault for their behavior? Please, Stephen, enlighten me.

Republicans and Libertarians are loyal to their fellows to a fault. Or they’re so desperate for support, that they don’t dare contradict their wayward, radical fellows, for fear that the fringe that dominates their base will revolt. My advice? Let them.

Wow, you really think that the Libertarians are defending Republicans on their ‘death panel’ talk and ‘kill grandma’ talk? You don’t read much libertarian literature, do you Stephen?

Folks want folks who aren’t squared off in their own universe. They want people who are accountable, who will admit mistakes, who don’t act as if their office admits them to the eschelons of Godhood.

Too bad neither the Republican nor Democrat parties are willing to do that in this case.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 3:48 PM
Comment #286682

jlw-
The poll said that people, when informed of what was in Obama’s plan, chose it by the quoted margin. Being informed is the key thing here.

I wouldn’t doubt that some would like the single payer system better than just some public option. But the Public Option is a compromise they’re willing to make, Perhaps to start, but at least to start the ball rolling for healthcare reform. They’re not doing it because they’re evil socialists. They’re doing it because they believe that this nation deserves better healthcare than its getting, and something is better than nothing.

The truth of the matter on projections, is that they’re nearly all bull, even the best intentioned ones. But they’re useful fictions, in that we can at least estimate how much we might spend, how much we must spend. We just have to regard them skeptically.

I don’t believe, though, that we can’t reduce costs better than expected. I would concede, happily, that there are forces in govenrment that will ALWAYS push budgets towards excess. That is why we must be disciplined, we must not just assume that it’s automatically inevitable. It’s not. It’s the way people organize their choices, perceive their realities.

The Republican’s dishonesty should give you pause about their discipline. I do not see a disconnect between their unaccountability during the last decade, and the persistent dishonesty and incestuous amplification of talking points. It’s all aimed at keeping Republican supporters and fellow travellers aligned with their politician’s interests. As such, when those folks were desperate to save their own asses, or avoid accountability, sure enough, they had that propaganda system set up so they could convince the people who supported them that all was well.

The MSM and the Democrats do not have a perfect relationship. However, I think, the Democrats feel that they can get away with a lot less, and therefore don’t try. They feel that the press will, as it’s done before, hold us up to scrutiny, and we’d better keep our act together.

Just look at the hoops the President has had to jump through in the last week. His followers aren’t looking to drink his Kool-Aid. They’re looking to get what they want out of him.

It’s a stressful thing, to be sure, but Democrats don’t want to be put to shame, don’t want to humiliated or let down. We won’t let what happened to the Republicans happen to us. They work for us, and we want to make sure our employees are clear on the concept.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 3:52 PM
Comment #286683

Well Stephen:

I don’t support this bill because it does not alter the basic reality of our countries fiscal situation. True reform should be sustainable.

Our government programs right now are bankrupting our country. That is beyond dispute. And so more government programs is the solution of course!!

This debate turned when facts came out. The fact that came out was from the Congressional budget office. CBO says we need to cut spending!!

I think we need health care reform. But what good is this bill when it leaves our children’s finances in shambles?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 20, 2009 4:51 PM
Comment #286684

Another leftwing news poll. Maybe Stephen, if we combine the rightwing and the leftwing polls we could get an actual poll count. I don’t put much trust in polls but I do know that the people I talk to don’t want the Obama health care plan. Most are happy with what they have. Believe me Stephen your party will be Shamed and humiliated because people do not trust neither party. I’d still like to know how BHO plans to pay for this reform. I’ve heard a lot of BS about it.

Posted by: KAP at August 20, 2009 4:59 PM
Comment #286686

Rhinehold-
Yeah, one side offends, just like the other, so the must offend equally, right?

No. There might be a few strained claims, but when we say that the folks on the other side are being coordinated by industry groups, it’s provable and factual. When they say we’re going to kill grandma, that we’re going to fund, even require abortions, that we’re going to cut benefits, that we’re going to let illegal aliens sign up, they don’t even have a leg to stand on. It’s not a statistical stretching or exaggeration. It doesn’t even bear resemblance to anything we EVER put up in legislation.

As for that cell phone argument? What makes it ridiculous is that we’re going to be subsidizing private insurance, too.

Craig Holmes-
It does alter them. It cuts costs. It forces healthcare costs lower. The Public Option saves money, according to the CBO.

Government programs aren’t bankrupting the country. It’s the debt generated by those who called themselves fiscal conservatives but apparently felt they didn’t need to have revenue sources lined up to pay for their wars and their industry giveways on healthcare. We’re actually absorbing most of the costs through reform some of your Party’s big mistakes.

It seems to me highly ironic that Republicans feel they can show their faces on this particular debate, much less gloat about their superior fiscal responsibility.

Fact of the matter, somtimes refusing to outlay money saves you money. Other times, you’re being cheap and refusing to pay for something that could bring costs down.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 5:08 PM
Comment #286687

KAP-
It’s not leftwing, it’s NBC. But apparently in the Republican’s parallel world, if it’s not FOX it’s lies and BS.

Pardon me if I’m abrupt, but I’m not going to stand for this kind of self-enforced refusal to consider information that has not been discredited by anything else than a general prejudice about the source.

Your people talk about trust. People’s trust in Obama may have been shaken, after the tropical rainstorm of BS your people have rained down, but their trust in your people is in the low twenties. Got that? pick ten people in this country, and eight of them think the Republicans aren’t credible on healthcare.

Of course that may turn out to be yet another liberal poll, so you disregard that, too.

It’s really done wonders for your party (or political affiliation, lest I offend) to just ignore reports and ideas that don’t bear the Right Wing imprimatur.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 5:14 PM
Comment #286688

Stephen
They tend to go left. I’m NOT A REPUBLICAN. I bash both parties and YOUR PARTY is just6 as F—kup as the other.

Posted by: KAP at August 20, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #286691

Stephen:

Government programs aren’t bankrupting the country. It’s the debt generated by those who called themselves fiscal conservatives but apparently felt they didn’t need to have revenue sources lined up to pay for their wars and their industry giveways on healthcare. We’re actually absorbing most of the costs through reform some of your Party’s big mistakes.

It’s not a revenue problem, but a spending problem. According to CBO just Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid will be 30% of GDP in this century. That is roughly 50% more than our whole budget today. In ANY Revenue situation, we are bankrupt if reform does not come.

In terms of Revenue we have had good revenue since the end of WWII. We don’t have a revenue problem. Revenue as a percentage of GDP as been fine. It has been low enough to encourage great economic growth.

There are other ways of reforming the system besides turning us into Europe with it’s traditional high unemployment and stagnant economy.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 20, 2009 5:56 PM
Comment #286692

You Bash both parties, but why bother? So many people who talk about bashing both parties and casting a pox on both houses still end up voting for the folks from that party anyways, or at least buying their BS.

It’s no use to call yourself an independent if you’re still hooked into sites and television channels that are carrying their propaganda. You might think you’re free, but you’re just as captured by their bad policy and button pushing ideology.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 5:57 PM
Comment #286693

Some other remarks about health insurance:
“To compete with the huge health care industry, you have to be huge yourself or you get steamrolled. That’s why a public option would work and a system of smaller health care “co-ops” almost certainly would not.”…
” a public option would be large enough to negotiate with private insurers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals and doctors for lower costs.”

from:
http://www.suntimes.com/news/otherviews/1723095,CST-EDT-simon19.article

Posted by: ohrealy at August 20, 2009 6:10 PM
Comment #286695

Claiming to NOT be Republican, when all comments are backed up by Republican talking points has become a cannard. Spout Republican crap, and say, “I’m not Republican, I’m Independent/Anarchist/blah, blah, blah. If it is important to not be classified as Republican, perhaps it would be smart to stop sounding like one?

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2009 6:42 PM
Comment #286696

PS:

What’s that old saying??? If it waddles like a duck, and barks like a dog, it must be an aardvark…er…something like that anyway.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 20, 2009 7:08 PM
Comment #286697

Dude
We got some on these blogs who claim not to be Democrats, but they sure do make a lot of Democratic talking points. I favor who I like and who is best suited for me and it makes no difference to me what party he or she is from. I do not like what the Democrats, especially the liberal click of the party, is doing. You on the liberal side might want mommy and daddy government running your lives but I can screw up my own life by myself if I want I don’t need a nanny government helping me do it.

Posted by: KAP at August 20, 2009 7:22 PM
Comment #286698

PS
yes Dude your party came out barking like dobermans but turned into chihuauas.

Posted by: KAP at August 20, 2009 7:25 PM
Comment #286700

KAP-
Democrats fought a World War, and America prospered under a system that you folks would call a socialist nanny state. If you want to use such cheap and pointless rhetoric to describe the typical American of the Greatest Generation, be my guest.

The Republicans and their fellow travellers somehow mistake a lack of laws protecting people’s interests for a self-reliance breeding environment of virtue. But virtue has hardly been what I see out of much of the policy for the last thirty years. I see more pointless peregrinations as Republicans angrily demand that Democrats show them some manners, while they demand we give up on all our interests for their sake.

Here’s my message: the Republicans are on a decline, and their behavior is hastening things. Do they really think they can beat up on and besmirch democrats now, and expect them to sit tight under the new Republican majority? Imagining that they do succeed in the first place, and don’t just make their party ultimately irrelevant?

You can either control the decline and moderate it, like we Democrats did, or you can end up playing more and more to angrier and angrier base who will be harder to please with the policies, rhetoric, and outlook that one can sell to a broader audience.

The Republicans have trapped themselves between the rock of moderate/centrist disapproval, and the hard place of a jealous, uncooperative, paranoid base. If your party had greater political sense, they would admit that they lost now, and start rehabilitating themselves on an honest basis, rather than trying to claw up the back of a divided Democratic Party to power again.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 20, 2009 9:02 PM
Comment #286701

S.D.
Your party did the same thing to the republicans. Democrats did not fight a world war soldiers and sailors did it just so happened that a democrat was commander in chief as was in a war my generation was against like your generation is against today. Stephen, like Christine and others have said to you, you have a supermajority and you can’t get this thing through. WHY? Because you are fighting among yourselves. You have three clicks in your party, Liberal, Moderate, and conservative. Republicans aren’t the problem your party is the problem.

Posted by: KAP at August 20, 2009 9:48 PM
Comment #286702

KAP said: “We got some on these blogs who claim not to be Democrats, but they sure do make a lot of Democratic talking points.”

This comment is so typical of the snide innuendo and implications, that those falling victim to less than objective and logical processes, make about ANYONE whose thoughts and ideas don’t mirror their own. Born of that GW Bush mentality which said “you are either with us or against us”, as if there were no other options or positions in the universe.

It is not surprising so many Americans are undereducated. How can one learn much from one’s own mirror image? There are limits to what one can learn from oneself. The vast majority of human knowledge and learning comes from others who impart ideas, knowledge, and wisdom we don’t yet have, if we are willing to be students at all.

Good students don’t necessarily make great teachers. But, good teachers are always great students of others, which begins with an openness to understand another’s lesson before judging it to be valuable or worthy, or not.

So very many on the Left won’t even bother to listen to anyone in the least branded as being on, or leaning toward, the Right. And vice versa. Is it any wonder our nation is incapable of tackling the big challenges anymore.

Of course, there is something to be said for folks on the Right and Left coming up with something NEW to share, besides the Neanderthal charges of, “me good; you not me; you bad”, mentality.

I listened to a conservative pundit today on MSNBC I believe it was, say that the Democrats are losing the Independents and Third Party folks in the polls. He followed that with saying the polls don’t show those who are giving up support for the Democrats, are moving to support the Republicans. I checked the polls he was likely referring to, and validated that what he was saying is in fact, correct. Thus, I became more informed by listening to a supposed authority, questioning their claims, and verifying that they were in fact, true.

That is how it should be with Americans if they wish to successfully overcome the large challenges of their day. Needless to say, far too many Americans are living up to this requirement for good citizenship. And we are all paying the enormous price of failure to act or achieve consensus. And the debt just keeps on growing as a result.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 20, 2009 10:41 PM
Comment #286704

Stephen:

I think ou are in big trouble on health care in it’s present form. Basically you have the majority party divided, and the minority party united. The very best right now that you can do is to win ugly which hamstrings the program in the future.

What would be smart would be to back up and restart the process with what has been learned.

Obviously, you don’t have a 60-40 majority on this issue or there would not be this large of a battle. Basically, you don’t have the votes you need to proceed.

If you look at the last time there was anything like this large of a vote for the future of our country it was the Iraq war. In that vote the majority (Republicans) were united and again your party was divided.

Actually it seem to be a common theme. Democrats divided and Republicans united. I think that happens because so many of your committee chairs are northeastern liberals, far from mainstream thought, but running things because of how long they have been in power.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 20, 2009 11:22 PM
Comment #286706
Yeah, one side offends, just like the other, so the must offend equally, right?

No, that’s not what I said. But if one side offends and the other side offends, how can one side complain that the other is offending? Is it ok to offend, just only up to a certain amount?

Kind of like trying to tell your mom that you are the good son because you only stole 100 dollars, but your brother stole 200!

but when we say that the folks on the other side are being coordinated by industry groups, it’s provable and factual.

No, it is provable to say *SOME* on the other side. Otherwise you are lumping people together based off of ideology that may or may not be factual. That’s the part you don’t get and until the Democrats do get that they aren’t going to win back the independents and 3rd party people they are losing over the course of the past few weeks because of it.

As for that cell phone argument? What makes it ridiculous is that we’re going to be subsidizing private insurance, too.

If you say so. I highly doubt it, especially if those insurance companies try to offer better insurance than the health czar dictates. There will be consequences.

It’s not leftwing, it’s NBC.

You’re joking, right? NBC is as left as Fox is right… They are two sides to the same coin, for pete’s sake… CBS doesn’t have a strong news program anymore and CNN was my last hope for decent American TV reporting until the ‘tea party’ fiasco pointed out their biases.

Good thing I can still read…

Pardon me if I’m abrupt, but I’m not going to stand for this kind of self-enforced refusal to consider information that has not been discredited by anything else than a general prejudice about the source.

Aren’t you the one that dismisses any poll that I post on here from Rasmussen because of their ‘conservative bias’ (ignoring that they are the most accurate polling firm today)?

Democrats fought a World War, and America prospered under a system that you folks would call a socialist nanny state.

WOW. Just… WOW.

So, Democrats in the 50s are the good Democrats, but when I mention that they were the ones pushing and supporting the Jim Crow laws and segregation, well those weren’t really Democrats, they were Dixiecrats, really republicans. But they were Democrats when things were good…

And the Democratic ideals of today mirror those ideals of the 50s to a tee. Hard to tell them apart, isn’t it?

Just so much in that one statement you have made that I think my head may explode…

BTW, I forgot some of the best lies of all, the use of the race card against people who dare question the ideals of our President. This is a good example from MSNBC:

On Tuesday, MSNBC’s Contessa Brewer fretted over health care reform protesters legally carrying guns: “A man at a pro-health care reform rally…wore a semiautomatic assault rifle on his shoulder and a pistol on his hip….there are questions about whether this has racial overtones….white people showing up with guns.” Brewer failed to mention the man she described was black.
Posted by: Rhinehold at August 20, 2009 11:58 PM
Comment #286709

David R. Remer-
I went to one of the most conservative universities in the country, owing to my sense that it wouldn’t hurt me to understand folks on the right and folks who were religious better.

I think it may be lost on people that when I say Republicans, it’s not necessarily interchangeable with the populations that support them. I think there are plenty of good people who support the party, and maybe in the party. But their influence is lost to people who really don’t want or like moderation in American politics.

I don’t fight for socialism, which is part of the irony of constantly being identified as part of the far left. I don’t particularly mind moderate compromises with the Republicans.

But what am I supposed to compromise with, with Republican policies as they are, Republican politics as it is?

You know, I used to be a fairly uninvolved centrist liberal. I didn’t particularly mind military interventions, so long as they had some point, some object. I didn’t conceive at that point, that a President would do what Bush did.

Hell, maybe I can put it this way: a centrist, Clinton Democrat, I thought there were limits on behavior going both left and right, that would keep both a Clinton, and a Bush in check. And then when 9/11 occured, I thought people would get over the partisanship, and then the limits we would observe would be the natural limits of good faith negotiation, good faith friendship, and a sense that we were all in it together.

We had a chance a chance just like the Greatest Generation to decide that there were some things we could agree in common were more important than partisan politics. But ever since 9/11, the politics of the Republican Party have gotten increasingly rigid, increasingly vitriolic, and increasingly hostile to the very kind of real centrism and real moderation that people like me hoped for.

We wanted to be unified, people like me. We wanted our country to become less frivolous, less selfish, less superficial. We would have loved to have the Republican say- you know, things are bad, so we need to drop all this bull and just do what this country needs.

But you can’t do the dance without a partner, and Republicans, under the political leadership of folks like Karl Rove, did not want bipartisanship. They wanted surrender. They wanted permanent control of Congress.

People like me had a choice: cooperate in our own silencing, our own marginalization, in the execution of policy that was terribly off track, which the people in charge were screwing up, but trying their best not to be accountable for, or start fighting back, defining ourselves as separate so we could define our policies as separate.

Yet at the same time, holding out hope that when finally, the dam breaks, people realize that there can be forgiveness, that there can be a calming down, and that Republicans don’t have to bunker down forever and give up all their views, as we once were expected to do ourselves.

But I fear. I fear that the people, or at least the leaders of the party may have been tied in such an emotional knot over this, that they just won’t let themselves be reached.

I wanted this be a quiet time. I wanted us to just settle down and learn to live with each other again.

In the meantime, though, we have to correct the mistakes of the former majority, the former president, and all those who followed their flawed paradigm. We have to change things, just so the country can move forward and function again. If that takes being brutal in our opposition, in political terms, that might just be what’s necessary.

Only it wouldn’t be, if Republicans hadn’t found their super secret constitutional provision for being able to demand that every vote going through the senate pass by sixty. The irony is, you’d probably see more horsetrading and compromise, if people thought they could get Republican votes.

I guess it sort of works along the lines of hard power/soft power sensibilities. The Republicans are trying to use the hard power of their barely sufficient minority in order to force their will on everybody else. Democrats, meanwhile, are trying to bargain for votes. Not to say the Democrats in Congress are all good, or never lie, or any crap like that. But they’ve at least not strangled the life out of their party, in an effort to make it pure of the other party’s influence. They can represent more than just a vocal, influential fringe minority in their party.

That’s what all the drama is about. The Republicans are just marching lockstep, in their short-term battle. Folks admire this, to a certain degree, but the strategy ultimately has contributed to the Republican’s bad position, because party doesn’t have enough robust diversity of ideology or walks of life to allow the party to change with the times. The party might be able to temporarily scare the ball into their court, but what happens after the fear subsides and they learn once again that they were deceived? What if that happens now? As solidly ordered as the metal of the Republicans is, it’s also brittle. When it breaks, it’s going to crack. It’s already broken somewhat.

The Democrats have growing minority groups and the youth vote on their side, and stand, even with this bump in the road, to have the potential to remake the politics of the country towards the left, as it hasn’t been for some time. Through Bush’s rigid political failures, many folks of my generation have simply lost faith in the Republican’s leadership principles, the value of their policies.

Whatever they think about the Democrats, I think will be a lot easier to get over than what they think of the Republicans, especially after the extended obstruction of the past few years.

We can say “a pox on both parties” but from my point of view, I’m willing to step forward and offer my hand the minute that some Republicans realize that they have a choice other than what the Rush Limbaughs and John Boehners want, a choice that can lead to a healed Republican party at some time in the future. It would be nice, but while this dream seems a worthy thing to me, I have other concerns that compel me to seek conclusions now to the different problems that face us, rather than wait for the problem of Republican recalcitrance be resolved.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 21, 2009 12:35 AM
Comment #286715

Stephen, I appreciate your reply. You make some very salient points.

At the heart of the matter is the relationship each party has with the public, and most especially, these days, with the independent voters, who are, and will be, determining elections going forward.

As I know you are aware, Stephen, Independent registered voters represent anything BUT a monolithic political perspective. This group, making up more than a third of registered voters, includes the undereducated, the confused, extremists in both directions, and a host who believe, with good sound evidence, that our past was brighter than our future.

Democrats are losing a significant number of these registered voters in terms of polling support. Republicans already lost their support in 2006 and 2008. So, the Independent registered voter ball is in the Democrat’s court. What will they do in response to this loss of support by the Independents?

There are many options. But, the most productive and the most likely are not even close to being the same.

The most productive would be to pursue the most beneficial course for the American public, regardless of political persuasion, based on all the data, and expertise available, and in all policy decisions and pursuits, and allow the experience of living under those optimal policies sell the Independents back on supporting Democrats. This, course however, incurs the short term risk of losing election seats in 2010, since the public won’t yet have had the time to take in the benefits of the policies passed this year.

Then, there is the most likely course of action. Some Democrats will be fixed on their overarching objective as a political party, which is power; and will compromise any policy, any value, and indeed, the very foundations of a sound national future, all in the name of preventing lost seats in the 2010 elections. And it will only take less than a handful of such Democrats to move the entire results of the Party in this direction.

It really is the fable of the frog crossing the river with the scorpion hitching a ride. Political parties shall always be governed by the scorpions whose nature is to win and keep power, not govern wisely and prudently, unless, those parties are governed by the people’s anti-incumbent sensibility and responsibility.

What does it matter if the American people bet their fortune on the kindly Frog or the nature of the Scorpion? Both will die before getting to the security of the other shore.

This political dilemma exists because the media, marketing and advertising firms, incumbents, special interest lobbyists, and wealthy campaign donors are in control of incumbent reelections; not the American voters. Only when the American voters adopt an anti-incumbent default position on election day, unless, and until, they approve of the results of their government, will the nature’s of the Frog and Scorpion be forced to accommodate each others presence for the journey across the river to a brighter, not dimmer, national prospect.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 21, 2009 2:41 AM
Comment #286716

Stephen, David,

I was actually naive enough to think electing a black to the presidency would be a healing influence on America. I should have known better. The right does not want healing, because it thrives only if ugliness prevails. I’m not sure of, but am leaning toward the dogmatic religious base as the root of the ugliness. But, why the rest of that party follow so closely in lockstep with that faction I have no idea. It is as though the KKK died and was resurrected as the party leadership. I wonder where all the actual Republican Republicans went…?!?

Posted by: Marysdude at August 21, 2009 5:39 AM
Comment #286718

I can hardly believe that no one here really understands the problem in the first place and that you all sound like the goons we have running this country. It’s not your politicians, it’s not your loacal representatives, it’s big business on both sides of the aisle determining the fate of us all. We need less capitalism and more humanism. Are we not all part of one race of people? The HUMAN RACE! why is every decsion predicated on how much money is involved? WHY? Why aren’t we looking at this as whats best for humankind not profit or loss. Lawyers and now accountants are ruining not just a once great nation but the entire planet with there thrist for greed and monitary gain. Take profit out of the health care equation like it once was in this nation and you might see some sort of health care reform. Until then we’ll see more of the same under any plan that gets enacted. It’s simply pathetic how all the ranting and raving is about cost and not what the impact is on people. Like I said the other day my health care just went up by 40%. In fifty two years of being on this planet I’ve had one major surgery to correct a vsion problem at birth that was most likely an act of GOD. I’ve had one out patient surgery for a pinched nerve that was most likely caused by my own actions. I’ve paid into the health care system for most of my adult life while using it very little. Why should I have to pay because corporations who employ the vast majority of people in this country feel they have no responsibilty in providing coverage for their employees who get public health care I have to pay for. I try to maintain a healthy life style while seeing my doctor for routine check ups to make sure I’m staying healthy. I’m sure most of you do the same. I can not afford the increase in coverage and will now have to go without insurance so how do I provide for my two young children? HOW? GET RID OF THE GREEDY! We’ll all be better off.

As for you right wingers that want to say it’s my problem because I don’t have a better job or didn’t plan for a disaster and that I just want a handout I hope you get the devil you deserve when you die. As for you left wingers who say to keep supporting the left wing policies I say they are selling you down the river just like the right. Neither party really cares about you as a person anymore all they care about is your tax dollars and how they can all get re-elected and stay elite. We’re headed in the direction of a two tiered society like the rest of the world. Wake up already! We need political reform. Term limits, less lobbying in WA. campaign reform and the right to lobby our elected officials on our own. We should have the right to decide whether or not elected officials deserve a pay raise. Our voice should be the one that matters most. Not big business. I’ve always had faith in our system of government now all I see is the same from both sides of the aisle. It’s just handed to us in a different language that we’re too apathetic to understand in the first place.

Posted by: Victor R Romano at August 21, 2009 8:38 AM
Comment #286719

David R. Remer-
We control the country - the people - we always have. But of course, we end up agreeing with one group or another, often without realizing what that group really wants, or the extent, sometimes, of the dishonest that certain trusted groups operate with.

I don’t believe that countercultures are any escape from the problem of corrupt or false groups influencing us. There will always be people trying to twist the truth to gain support for things they’re not confident people would support on rational grounds. And they are not unaware of the strength of people’s emotional ties to different parts of their society.

What can we do? For one thing, encourage a loyalty to the country’s interests. Use patriotism and pride in this country as a means to get past people’s emotional connections to their own interests.

For another, stop telling yourself these people are in control, at least the kind of control that we’re unable to take away. Corruption often depends on learned helplessness. The problem of corruption is like the problem of an elephant that had a rope tied around its leg when it was young, and now, despite its much greater strength, thinks itself incapable of breaking it.

Which is I always deny that when I hear it from people. I think the pessimism that the small defeats sometimes inspire help to ensure that people do not break the bonds of that corruption.

Do you think the corporations would pay lobbyists, contribute to politicians, and do all those other things, if they didn’t have something to fear from OUR power? They maintain this pressure on Congress because they don’t trust that left to itself, they’ll get what they want.

That’s why they pay to co-opt public opinion with stunts like these town-hall disruptions. They want to take why might have been the position of a very few sincere fringe actors, people whose positions would not naturally or organically be adopted by most, and sell their irrational fear to others, who over time have become conditioned to believe certain sources, or at least give them consideration. They want to appeal to certain habits of thought that thirty years of conservative domination have instilled in much of the population.

And they want the rest of us to believe that we are helpless but to watch this happen, that we are helpless to oppose their agenda. They want us not to use our incredible strength to break the restrictions they’re putting on our ability to get what we want.

I don’t trust that Americans will win every round against corruption, or that the fight will ever end. But I do believe it can be won if we just don’t accept their limitations helplessly from the outset. When a dog learns they can get out of a fence, you’ll see them bolt all the time. I think if a dog can learn that it can escape from that fence, we can learn to stop listening to that doubt that we can’t get what we want from Washington.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 21, 2009 9:03 AM
Comment #286720

No, Victor, we do know, but we also know that POLITICAL reform is not possible without revolution. Revolution requires the temporary suspension of the Constitution that got us this far. That would not be so bad if it could or would be reinstated at the end of the revolution…but, if the Constitution was up for ratification today, in its present form, it would not pass muster. Since America would not be America without it, it’s not worth the risk of revolution. Have you ever heard of the ‘rock and the hard place’? A conundrum to say the least…

Posted by: Marysdude at August 21, 2009 9:13 AM
Comment #286722

Stephen D. said: “We control the country - the people - we always have.”

That sounds akin to me as saying you believe in Santa Clause and the tooth fairy. Your statement is demonstrably illogical and false, Stephen.

If the people were in control of this country, we would have a direct democracy and national referendums on policy. We don’t. We have a republic which puts representatives in control of the country.

With the vote, the people have the POTENTIAL power to take control of this country. But, that is a potential that is prevented from ever becoming reality by the lies, misinformation, and deceptions of the marketing and advertising campaigns of the power brokers in D.C., which includes the wealthy special interest lobbyists, political party insiders, and incumbents who have learned and refined to an art form, the flow of information to their constituents. The Supreme Court last year ruled that politicians are within their legal right to lie to the public and their constituents.

Stephen said: “Use patriotism and pride in this country as a means to get past people’s emotional connections to their own interests.”

In an ideal world, that might be good. In this real world however, patriotism and pride are sophist’s tools in the hands of politicians.

Your comments miss entirely the root of the problem. Democracy absolutely depends upon an informed and educated electorate. Politicians are in control of our educational system from the federal all the way down to the elected school boards.

An ignorant and malleable voter who is trained to NOT question authority, is a politicians wet dream. This is no accident that America’s K-12 educational system has plummeted from the best in the world to below the median for modern post-industrial nations.

I think your comments fall victim to failure to distinguish between what should be, and what is. Your party, like any party, manipulates its followers to support their election and power agenda top priority agenda, with promises that will never be kept regarding 2nd and 3rd tier priorities which have appeal to followers who for whatever reasons, and there are many, don’t question the party’s leadership.

NewsFlash. Health care reform as promised by Democrats will NOT pass. Reason: The American public is being educated by the school of hard knocks which your, and that other party’s, misplaced priority system has forced upon them. This is one of the primary reasons registered Independent voters now outnumber either Democratic or Republican registered voters. They don’t trust either political party, and the reality that these two parties are their only choices on election day is breeding hostility and resentment which has been growing with each election.

I believe Obama would like to turn this situation around. But, he lacks the objective outside perspective of the Independent voter experience, and therefore is clueless as to how proceed. He therefore moves pretty much in the same direction as the Congressional Democratic party leadership. Which is turning into a HUGE disappointment for a growing number of independent voters.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 21, 2009 12:02 PM
Comment #286723

Victor said: “It’s not your politicians, it’s not your loacal representatives, it’s big business on both sides of the aisle determining the fate of us all. We need less capitalism and more humanism.”

And just how do your propose sidestepping politics to install such humanistic leadership, Victor? Some authoritarian regime that MANDATES humanism on threat of capital punishment?

Thanks for the laughter.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 21, 2009 12:23 PM
Comment #286733

David R. Remer-
It’s not naive idealism to say that we control the country. What’s naive is to suggest that we don’t sometimes defer to others and their points.

Even though our representation isn’t direct, It’s dependent on us.

You say:

With the vote, the people have the POTENTIAL power to take control of this country. But, that is a potential that is prevented from ever becoming reality by the lies, misinformation, and deceptions of the marketing and advertising campaigns of the power brokers in D.C., which includes the wealthy special interest lobbyists, political party insiders, and incumbents who have learned and refined to an art form, the flow of information to their constituents.

I fully understand. But I believe that potential isn’t always, and won’t always be prevented from coming to pass. I in fact believe that it is a form of deference to those you would oppose to take something like that to heart.

I think there are so many similar things we’ve taken to heart: that we are a country of frivolous, ignorant anti-intellectuals, that we’re on the decline in so many ways.

Kind of convenient that we’re often told this by the very people who gain from us continuing to be lacking in motivation and energy to oppose them.

We have to stop looking at things in such an over-essentialized manner. We are not so wise or knowledgeable that we can dismiss the potential to do better, and every time we let our hearts wither in dismay, that’s just one person who won’t stand up, who won’t see the point in standing up. Confidence, even if unreasonable, in our ability to punch through the clutter and get messages to our politicians, whether in the inbox or the ballot box is a necessary prequisite to people getting up and doing it.

Like I told somebody else, if my party isn’t enough like it ought to be, we should make it that way. There is no excuse, in the light of all that is happening to give up or let things remain as they are.

The manipulation can go both ways. We saw it this week with the Obama Administration. The folks up in Washington are not untouchable, and we shouldn’t treat or think of them that way, or they might become something virtually that in real terms they are not.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 21, 2009 4:01 PM
Comment #286735


“JLW-
The poll said that people, when informed of what was in Obama’s plan, chose it by the quoted margin. Being informed is the key thing here.”

Stephen, the only healthcare plan that Obama has offered up was the universal healthcare plan he proposed in late 2007 or early 2008 when he decided to run for president.

His plan had no public option other than an expansion of eligibility for existing programs and by his own admision would only cover 2/3rds of those without healthcare.

Since the election, about the only thing coming out of the Administration is, single-payer is off the table, no it’s not, yes it is, no it’s not; the government option is off the table, no it’s not, yes it is, no it’s not.
Congress give me a bill.

Are you certain that the people in the poll were being given details of the Obama plan or were they seeing details of one of the Democratic Congressional plans which the Republicans labeling Obamacare?

Craig, while it is true that on the whole Republicans tend to be more united than Democrats but that’s not saying a lot because most of that unity is dependent on retoric rather than policy results.

Bush had a varied constituency just like Obama does. How did he handle the problem? He and the Republicans handled the religious right with retoric only. They ignored the fiscal conservatives and the Republicans ran like the wind from the Bush privitize social security plan.
The wealthy got much of what they wanted and the war mongers got partial satisfaction.

Conservatives have peen predicting the collapse of Western Europe because of it’s social programs for how many decades now?

Do they manipulate their unemployment figures to a greater extent than we do?

The indicaters suggest that this will be our second jobless recovery in a row.

The most recent big lie told by both political parties is that we were, are experiencing a world recession.

Posted by: jlw at August 21, 2009 5:12 PM
Comment #286737

jlw-
The point is, that’s pretty much what he really wants to do on healthcare, not all this bull**** that the Republicans are accusing him of. Like I said, debate the merits of Obama’s plans and objectives, but debate the real ones.

Single Payer was never seriously on the table for the Obama Campaign, or the administration it got into the White House. The White House has varied the strength of its it rhetorical statements for the Public Option, but on the record, it’s never been off the table, and there are way too many unnamed sources and all that other BS in the Reports that have them abandoning it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 21, 2009 6:11 PM
Comment #286744

jlw:

I tend to disagree with you about the issue of democratic party unity. It’s a major weakness. The war in Iraq would not of happened (either one) if the democratic party were as unified as the Republican party.

If your party were unified now, Health care reform would be a done deal.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 21, 2009 8:44 PM
Comment #286746

Stephen

My goal is that everyone is prosperous, healthy, cooperative and self-actualized. But I cannot promise that. Neither can President Obama. I am surprise ONLY 53% support those goals of his. I would guess it would be close to 100%. They would be nice IF you could get them. It is always fun to talk about goals. It is less fun to talk about how to achieve them.

I saw a movie a long time ago called “Logan’s Run”. They had come up with a perfect system to keep everybody young and healthy. Disease was almost non-existent. The method for achieving this was not so good, however. Watch the movie for a great health plan.

But let’s leave aside for a moment the mendacity of promising what you cannot deliver. 53% support is not really enough to impose such a drastic change like health care reform, especially because it is likely that the 53% expect that somebody in the remaining 47% will be paying most of the bills.

Right now Obama doesn’t have a health care plan. He doesn’t even have real goal. All he has in an aspiration and he has said various things about what that is. There is no commitment to anything but hope.

The American people (around 53%, what a coincidence) bought hope in November.Experience is turning out to taste less sweet. Maybe we should nail the President and Congress down to some commitments and how to pay for them before we are fooled again.

Posted by: Christine at August 21, 2009 9:46 PM
Comment #286796


Craig:

I don’t think I said that the Democrats were united. If I did, I certainly didn’t mean to.

I just pointed out that retoric alone is enough for much of the Republicans unity.

Example, many working class Americans are in the Republican camp because of the gun issue even though the Republican Party is less than renownd for it’s support of working class Americans.

Posted by: jlw at August 22, 2009 8:20 PM
Comment #286798

jlw

Got it. You know if you look at the polls health care reform isn’t all that important to the American people. It is dwarfed by concerns about jobs, the economy, the deficit and increases in Government spending.

This issue is basically only a top priority to Obama and liberal democrats.

Making something else the most important issue during the “great recession”, is a huge political risk. Basically all of this political capital is being used for something that is way down the list of priorities.

If you hired someone to do a job, and they were not doing what was most important to you, wouldn’t you get angry?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 22, 2009 9:21 PM
Comment #286799


Craig, common sense should tell politicians that the middle of a recession is not the time to push a new program especially right after the politicians of both parties let us know that they were borrowing a few trillion on our behalf to avert a crisis they were responsible for.

But, the left has years of pent up frustration over the healthcare issue and the Democrats were feeling their oats over their election achievements.

Also, after thirty years of giving the Republicans and the corporations virtually everything they asked for, the Democrats may have felt that they were owed one. For all their intelligence, the liberals just can’t accept the fact that politics is war and what they consider compromise the Republicans consider capitulation.

Posted by: jlw at August 23, 2009 12:23 AM
Comment #286803

>Craig, common sense should tell politicians that the middle of a recession is not the time to push a new program…
Posted by: jlw at August 23, 2009 12:23 AM

jlw,

Common sense does not say that at all. It was lack of program (financial, health-care, etc) that put us into the recession to begin with, and for lack of programs, it would do no good to get out of a recession, just to see ourselves in worse shape later. NOW is the time to create the programs.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 23, 2009 11:34 AM
Comment #286804

Craig,

No matter how far down the list of priorities health-care may be to the American people, nothing else will be corrected until health costs are under control, and health costs will not control themselves. Obama knows this, and he expends the political capital because it is the right thing to do.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 23, 2009 12:02 PM
Comment #286821

Marysdude:

Democrats have done nothing to address cost control. In fact the CBO says current proposals make our financial situation worse not better.

I agree with health care must be reformed or we go into bankruptcy, but unfortunately your party doesn’t have a plan on the table that seriously changes this fact.

You have more power than any party has had in generations, we are facing bankruptcy, you are doing nothing.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 23, 2009 5:14 PM
Comment #286823

Craig, your comment doesn’t know of which it speaks.

The IT Infrastructure proposals for both public and private health insurance and medical care improvements will save enormous amounts of health care dollars in the form of reducing unnecessary duplicative procedures, law suits for malpractice by reducing medical errors, and everyone’s health care costs are positively impacted by dramatically reducing the uninsured’s visiting Emer. Rooms, for colds, fevers, and rashes.

All these are proposed and will drive down health care costs for everyone in the public and private sector, and will continue to do so well beyond the 10 years CBO limits its scoring to.

And enough with the your party, their party. These bills contain more than 160 Republican amendments, making these bi-partisan proposals, whether or not they pass with a bi-partisan vote.

Republicans wouldn’t touch this third rail for lack of political courage. Democrats, if they get nothing else out of this, are to be applauded for wrestling with our nation’s greatest financial challenge of our future, where Republicans would not. Republicans TOO had all the power, and squandered it on an unnecessary war and invasion, on deregulation which contributed to the mortgage and banking meltdown and this recession, and on a slew of breaches of Constitutionally protected rights, and endless stream of moral and family value issues promoted by a host of Republicans who would not abide them in their own personal lives.

You want to condemn the D Party for wasteful pork barrel spending of our tax dollars, I am with you. You want condemn some of its party members with putting their political futures ahead of the nation’s needs, I am with you. You want to condemn the Democrats their role in unjustly denying third parties and independents political access, I am with you.

But, Democrats are proposing means to cut long term health care costs and looking out for the rapidly growing number of uninsured through no fault of their own, and for that, they are to be lauded for attempting what Republicans dared not.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 23, 2009 7:06 PM
Comment #286826

David:

Thank you for your post. According to the CBO, the bills currently under consideration widen the deficit.

I hear Democrats say “I will not vote for a bill that increases the deficit”.

That is not nearly enough. THEE issue today is not health care, but the economy. As Covey said, “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”.

I have no problem with solving the main issue (the economy) with health care as we both well know health care costs are what is sinking the ship.

We need to see a fundamental change in the growth of debt in this country. Just this week Obama announced that they made a $2 Trillion dollar error in the ten year budget number.

The picture may be health care, but the frame is the economy and our country heading toward bankruptcy.

I appreciate your response, I really do, but it looks to me to be a drop in the bucket.

I really appreciated your earlier thread that showed we are wasting 1.2 Trillion. Now we are talking serious money. Let’s reduce that in half or more, and Americans will support Obama. If I have it right, we would need to reform how claims are made to reduce administration, and also look strongly at Tort reform to stop unnecessary testing.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 23, 2009 8:39 PM
Comment #286833

>Let’s reduce that in half or more, and Americans will support Obama.
Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 23, 2009 08:39 PM

I’m not sure what it would take for your ‘Americans’ to support the President, but I’m pretty sure it would not be less than total capitulation on everything he’s tried to do, then resignation and giving his support to a Republican replacement. If thinking of what is better for America was part of your ‘American’s’ decision making, health-care reform would be a shoo-in. I don’t think your ‘Americans’ care one whit about what it would take to reduce the deficit OR health-care. Just think of how much better a reform bill would be with Republican bi-partisan infusion. Yep, I’m pretty sure that only total capitulation will work for your ‘Americans’.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 24, 2009 5:25 AM
Comment #286834

Craig said: “According to the CBO, the bills currently under consideration widen the deficit.”

Yes, by about 239 billion over 10 years, WHILE, WHILE, WHILE extending coverage to 10’s of millions who do not now, and will not have, insurance if these reforms are not forthcoming. If the private sector could cover 23 - 50 million insureds on 23 billion per year, or less than a thousand dollars per person per year, we would all be singing their praises.

Keeping the main thing the main thing for the next election cycle is precisely how Soc. Sec. and Medicare failed to be adjusted and reformed years ago when it would have been far less costly in the long run.

The economy, present AND future, is the main thing, and saving 239 billion off government spending WITHOUT addressing the trillions in Medicare/Medicaid debt later, is penny wise and pound foolish. No way around it.

As every private sector corporation knows, you can debt invest in future savings. Bigger, better machines cost enormously, but, improve productivity and cut labor costs for many years thereafter, resulting in a net profit gain, paying off the initial debt investment along the way.

These health care reforms would have the same effect in the long run, lowering per patient and procedure costs for decades to come by a trillion or two or 3, in return for a 239 billion dollar investment over 10 years.

It is absolutely STUPID to save 239 billion over 10 years and create a multi-trillion deficit over the next 30 to 40 years. STUPID, STUPID, STUPID.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 7:27 AM
Comment #286845

David:

Nine Trillion in additional debt over the next 10 years, and based on actions verses speeches no one in federal leadership really cares.

The left of course sees no problem on the spending side. They believe we should raise revenues. I am a cut spending first person. I have no faith in Washington DC. To raise revenue first seems to be a way to give them more rope to hang us on. First be reponsible with the money in government before asking for more.

Since I am a work until 70 person, (that is my mindset), I don’t see the need for the crisis. I just think we move retirement dates back, and remove the waste from health care. I also think we should re look at the SS formula as the affluent get a better deal from SS than the lower end of the scale because of longer longevity.

Giving the bill to our children to pay is the cowards way out as far as I am concerned. There is no reason why the nations debt when compared to GDP should rise over the next ten years

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 24, 2009 10:44 AM
Comment #286847

Craig Holmes-
Research the reason why Obama’s numbers were off, and you’ll find that it’s the economy’s worse than expected performance that sunk numbers down.

Like David said, the Republican’s approach admireable in it’s spirit among those who are sincere, is nonetheless pennywise and pound foolish. If we do nothing with healthcare, it will suck money out of our pockets.

It will cause trouble for small business who are required to pay greater healthcare costs, who are screwed around by the insurance companies.

It will cause trouble for people who lose their insurance, an number expected to rise to sixty million in a few years.

We will see more people wait to get treatment until their problems are worse, and the treatments more expensive

People will take home less money than they otherwise would, and Uncle Sam will get less in taxes.

Fewer companies will pay people, and the revenues will go down.

When the revenues go down, we will still have to pay money for the deficit.

The Republicans did a lot of deficit cutting on the back of programs that could have saved us money later on. That’s a disaster if you’re really trying to improve government, a success if you’re trying to tear it down.

Unfortunately, the GOP hasn’t been good at getting people out of the way when they start pulling walls down.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 24, 2009 12:30 PM
Comment #286848

Craig, 9 trillion for health care reform? What looney tunes information source are you referring to?

That is NOT what CBO has projected on the latest incarnation of the Democrats health care reform plan.

Please be specific, as to what that figure represents and what the source is. Your comment implies by context that this is the DEFICIT cost of health care reform, which is what the topic was.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 12:32 PM
Comment #286849

Craig, as for giving the bill to our children, they get the bill for a destroyed economy if balance the budget in one year. They get the bill if we don’t.

Get realistic, please with the comments and rhetoric. There is NO SCENARIO at this given juncture, where our kids don’t get the bill. The debate is over how large a bill and whether they will even have jobs to pay their bill. Thanks to the damned irresponsible incumbents and political parties of the last 30 years in our Congress and White House.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 12:35 PM
Comment #286850

David:

The Obama administration is projecting an additional $9 trillion in total deficit spending over the next 10 years.

Just to show my own values in specific, I understand why we need to raise the debt as a percentage of GDP in times of war and recession, however in times of recovery, that number should go down.

Right now President Obama is projecting debt as a percentage of GDP to continue to climb over the next 10 years with a growing economy.

This to me is the main thing.

I appreciate, but disagree with your comments about politicians of both parties over the last 30 years. What Obama is projecting has to my knowledge never happened before in American History. We can look at the Reagan years as an example, but this is way beyond Reagan. It’s new, it’s dangerous, and it very likely could sink the Republic.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 24, 2009 1:15 PM
Comment #286853

Craig, thanks for the clarification.

Do you have a source for the 9 trillion increase in national debt over 10 years? I would like to see for myself what its basis is. I don’t think America can survive that kind of increase without a robust economic boom during the same interval and beyond, which is simply not in the cards.

However, Congress and the Bush administration is responsible for doubling the debt to 11 trillion currently, and the majority of that doubling was unnecessary or wasteful. The failures of our political system to address the long term economic needs of our country have piled up so high as to now mandate remedy. That remedy is what Democrats are attempting, but, only in part.

I can back the Democrats on investment deficit spending which will make America more productive and more competitive in the global marketplace for decades to come. That is one reason I back their health care reform general principles, and can back the energy independence investment deficits. These deficit spending programs hold out the potential to pay for themselves and more in the long term.

This recession may have bottomed, but, we remain economically weakened, and government revenues are going to remain lowered as a consequence of high unemployment, and deficits will remain higher for the same reason as the federal government helps Americans with extended unemployment and health insurance benefits.

America has never ignored its economic future needs to the extent that it has these last 30 years, Craig. Obama HAS NOT CREATED these demands for investing in America’s recovery and a sound economic future which retains a broad middle class. He is attempting to address these issues WHICH SHOULD HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED over the last 30 years BEFORE he was elected.

You seem to be arguing for zeroing out the deficit in Obama’s first term. That action, Craig, would crater our economy and risk reinvoking a Great Depression II, scenario. Turning our backs on future economic needs to keep a healthy consuming middle class intact, which underwrites 70% of our economic activity each year, is not a prescription for success Craig, but failure, guaranteed.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 1:54 PM
Comment #286854

David:

It’s from the OMB.

Here is a link.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5g0ZMiYIqY0aPmFfI-K6xBpbg5vQA

I am not for zeroing out the deficit this year. Actually I am not for zeroing out the deficit at all. I am for sustainability, which mean that the over all debt should rise over time roughly the same amount as the economy as a whole.

In general terms the debt as a percentage of GDP should decline during good times and be allowed to rise in times of war or recession as we are in today. I a for the deficit this year as we have two wars and “The great Recession.”

What I am against is no long term plan to reverse our fortune. That ten year number is mine boggling.

I am also in agreement that we need to look at the long term debt picture. I fully understand that sometimes we need to “borrow” to get out of debt in the sense of start up costs for new systems that long term are far more efficient. However I don’t take any of these schemes on faith. Government cost over runs are so common.
So I come at these issues of spend now and save money long term with a skeptics eye. I can go along, but am a tough sell.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 24, 2009 2:06 PM
Comment #286855

Oh, my error, not 30 years, but more than 40. I refer to the OIL embargo crisis of the 1970’s, when referencing our Congress and Presidents ignoring our economic future needs. The Oil Embargo was the event that THEN, mandated America adopt an energy independent position in legislation and policy.

Last years, $145 per barrel oil cost our economy more than a trillion dollars, as consumers gas tanks and the federal government’s petroleum reserves were filled on gift money to the Middle East.

We are currently paying the enormous price for political failures to address future economic needs. The piper is at the door, and payment will not be denied. Not any longer. I can’t, and won’t, blame Obama for paying the piper beckoned by previous administrations and Congressional failures.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 2:13 PM
Comment #286857

First of all, your source is highly suspect.

WHO IS AFP? Their logo is not even linked to their organizational web site.

Second, all their sources are anonymous, leaving their statements without ANY authority, whatsoever.

Third, check out their links to sources, Fox News, CNS News, a right wing news source I have never heard of.

I will await the official OMB report, and not some anonymous sources reported by an apparent non-existent reporting source calling itself AFP.

Really, Craig, it is important to question authority and verify sources, before relying on such information to back one’s claims and concerns.

I have no choice but to make no judgment about your assertion since, there is no substance yet to it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 2:23 PM
Comment #286859

David:

I just picked the one of many sourses.

Google “nine Trillion Obama” and you will find many news organizations reporting the same information.

Basically, Obama is saying the CBO was correct in it’s forcasts. CBO has been at these figures for sometime.

You will recall that OMB had said unemployment would peak at 8%. They basically were too optimistic about the recession and are now correcting the error.

Wow nine Trillion of additional debt over the next 10 years.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 24, 2009 2:36 PM
Comment #286864

Craig, yes, that is untenable. Our nation’s creditors will do many things before we reach that level, like switch from the U.S. Dollar to another currency for global trade, and demand far higher interest, but, only up to a point, well short of America borrowing another 9 trillion.

Investing in China’s markets is a very complex and still relatively risky venture. However, China has no intention of keeping that status quo. Given China’s projected growth over the same period and their efforts to bring their equity markets up to international standards, some investors will eventually find Chinese stock markets less risky than U.S. Treasuries.

Of course, treasury investors are looking for low risk and willing to sacrifice rate of return for more security, so, to a large extent, Chinese equity markets will not supplant U.S. Treasury investments. The same cannot be said however, of Euro Bonds.

The EU is poised to supplant the U.S. Treasury investment markets as our national debt risk grows. I am not surprised by Europe’s enormous success story to date in weathering the bank and mortgage meltdown. I am however, somewhat surprised by Europe’s growing manufacturing sectors, which is eroding year after year in the U.S. With world population growth and demand for goods, manufacturing growth in Europe spells more stable government treasuries going forward, as their government revenues remain stable and possibly even grow. The EU therefore, may present investors in U.S. treasuries a less risky alternative to U.S. treasuries, as our deficits continue to pile on toward a 20 trillion dollar unsustainable national debt level.

But, I still have to wait for the OMB report. If, as in past reports, they presume the current state of fiscal affairs and project those forward, then such projections are based on NOT reforming our economic situation.

Also, a comparison of projected deficits will be required to ascertain the validation of policy choices. Deficits resulting from the current status quo projected forward, which is the OMB report basis, and deficits post reforms of our energy, infrastructure, health care, and education systems, all of which are on the Obama agenda.

Our pickle is that our deficits are going to grow to unsustainable levels if we DON’T do anything different. So, policy efficacy has to be made on the comparison against doing nothing to change the current status quo. If the differential is only 1 or 2 or 3 trillion dollars for reforms which elevate our economic activity prospects going forward, it may be the wiser and more sustainable course in the long run.

That said, my non-Ph.D. in economics estimate at this moment is that 20 trillion in national debt constitutes an economic downturn of major proportions, by 2019, regardless of which policies get us there.

Such is the potential no-win scenario our political system has created for our nation.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 3:21 PM
Comment #286865

Craig Holmes-
Yes, you should be shocked at how much deficit spending your folks committed. On Medicare. On the War in Iraq. That war will costs trillions, and many of you, if not you yourself, barely raised an eyelash. Trillion dollar tax cuts not only didn’t get much enthusiasm against them, but were marketed as being obligatory to support, if you were a conservative. But a few tens of billions a year to give American’s better healthcare? Then, and only then, do people finally start talking about how we can’t afford to spend anything else.

Advocate a tax hike to pay for the deficit. Then we’ll see who’s got the problem keeping the books.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 24, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #286866

Craig, I think you might this article on China’s response to the Rio Tinto pull out, a fascinating insight into where China’s international trade relations and investment strategies may be headed.

The fact that China’s government backed down from their authoritarian secret court position in response to international pressures, is very telling, indeed. Pragmatism is increasingly supplanting ideology in the inner ruling councils of China’s government. Continued, China will overtake America as the dominant market player in globalization perhaps as early as the next 10 to 20 years.

If only we could imbue our own Congress with similar course correction toward pragmatism, and away from ideological hardening of our political arteries, we might just have a fighting chance at our future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 3:40 PM
Comment #286867

Stephen D.,

The dilemma is even worse than you imply. We are now in a situation where raising taxes will impede economic growth in the future, and so will cutting federal spending. Both directions lead to lower consumerism and advancing the onset of inflationary pressures. Quite a pickle.

Cutting federal spending undermines the economic activity and consumerism that is predicated on that federal spending. A damned if we do, and damned if we don’t situation.

But, Democrats hands are not clean on getting our nation to this point, by a long shot. What were Democrats doing about energy independence from the 1970’s to 2007? Except for Jimmy Carter, NOTHING! BTW, oil prices peaked today to a 10 month high. Here, we go again.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 24, 2009 3:50 PM
Comment #286869

Stephen:

What a simplistic response. First of all Bush’s tax cuts did not decrease revenues out of historical norms. Revenues did dip during the recession but then went right back up to normal.

There are at least two reasons for this. First of all inflation. Without tax cuts we all will pay higher taxes as we move up to higher brackets.

Second, is income disparity. At the affluent saw their incomes rise, they were in a higher tax bracket which means that the nations over all tax bracket did not drop as much as the tax cuts implied.

The second premise is that it was all the Republicans fault. Wow all ten years into the future are all Republicans fault. Not one penny of the coming nine trillion is Obama’s. I don’t blame him for the nine trillion, I really don’t. I blame him and your party for not having this as an agenda item. I blame Obama for doing nothing about it.

So we are up another two trillion in debt over the next 10 years, and assuming Obama gets four more years, the who entire thing will be the republicans fault. Is that really your position?

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 24, 2009 4:05 PM
Comment #286870

David:

I disagree with you that the future is as dire as it appears. It is only this dire because of our expectations. We have debated these before. Take away the belief that normal retirement is at 65, and that the affluent should have their medical subsidized in retirement etc etc, and the future changes for our country pretty dramatically.

We probably do need a constitutional amendment dealing with budget issues. I don’t mean a simplistic one, but an amendment that will bring our fiscal house in order for our children and grand children. Obvously Congress and our presidents are not capable of fiscal sanity.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 24, 2009 4:09 PM
Comment #286874

Craig,

Government is NOT a business, nor are the services government provides profit making enterprises. You speak of our future not being a dire as mentioned by others here, as long as services are curtailed, but insist that the national budget not being under absolute control is dire, indeed.
First the rescue and the services, then the budget and budget recovery. Our economy depends on the movement of money, and busy industrious citizens…Republicans should understand that better than most.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 24, 2009 7:21 PM
Comment #286879

Marysdude:

Maybe I can explain further and make myself even harder to understand!! If someone earns a million a year and spends a million a year, life is good! However if all of a sudden their earnings capacity is only $800,000 the future is dire only if they expect to continue to live at a million dollar income level. It’s only an expectations game because the rest of the world knows that one can easily live on $800,000 a year.

This is the position America is in. Our expectations are higher than our national income abilities. We are hanging on to certain level of expectations. The rest of the world thinks we are nuts.

Lowering our expectations, and everything balances fine. If we look at our economy and say “this is what our economy can sustain in terms of growth.” Then if we look at the right amount of taxes, (which I would argue our 50 year average is a good place to start as we have produced quite and economy at this level), and then finally decide what we can reasonably promise our citizens on that amount. (Promises we can actually keep), we would be fine.

Cuts in services look terrible, but they usually are not. Working a few more years, living on a little less, is still living far higher on the hog that the rest of the world, or than previous generations of Americans have lived.

It’s a mental problem not an actual problem.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 24, 2009 10:55 PM
Comment #286880

Oh, yeah, the ‘mountain man’, rugged individual thing again. Now I remember, sorry I entered the thread now…perhaps you could publish an America For Dummies book?

Posted by: Marysdude at August 25, 2009 12:56 AM
Comment #286885

David R. Remer-
I don’t think my party can escape blame, and I don’t want it to. I want it to undo what has been done, whoever owns or shares the blame.

When I talk about the Republican’s responsibility, I’m never really talking about them being the only ones to blame. I freely acknowledge my party’s involvement.

But I qualify that responsibility. Democrats were never really dedicated ideologically to this. This was something they followed the Republicans on from a sense of political expedience, in order to please voters who they thought were primarily interested in seeing Reagan style policies enacted.

I fault them for not thinking for themselves. Not necessarily for seeing merit in all the policies, for there were merits in some of the things the Republicans proposed, but for buying into the Republican’s scare tactics so often, even as circumstances proved the notions they were stampeding people towards wrong.

But the Republicans? The Republicans pushed this country down a road that many signs indicated would not end well. They prized overturning the pervasive influence of those they saw to the left of them over checking their own excesses and correcting their own mistakes.

I don’t believe Republicans in Washington have the right to regain their majority, after what they have done, and once again, they’re putting this country through hell just to keep their power. I can’t stand it, really, because I believe wholeheartedly that they’re just going to turn this government back towards paths of error, just to prove they weren’t the ones who screwed things up.

That, more than any particularly strong devotion to a party, fuels my dismay, fuels my outrage.

Craig Holmes-
It’s not a crime to be simplistic when the truth is simple. The Republicans knew what they were doing, as they passed one tax cut after another, as they raised spending. It wasn’t as if these things weren’t shouting from the rooftops. Yet even as the deficits wound higher, they didn’t bother changing their ways.

The affluent saw their income rise, but their incomes rose far faster than anybody else’s in the last decade. That can’t have escaped their attention. Why did they need the extra help? Historically, rich people pocketed, saved their tax cuts, rather than actively creating jobs. Hence, despite Bush’s trillion dollar tax cuts, he ended his term, even before the economic collapse, on a net loss in jobs.

As far as future debt goes, what you folks started, with your alterations to Medicare, and your economic policies, won’t be able to stop on a dime. I do hope Obama takes deficit reduction seriously, but as David mention, he has to get the timing right so the raising of taxes and the cutting of spending do not adversely affect the economy.

You talk about lowering expecations in your second response. Let me tell you what the basic problem with that is: As those expectations are lower, as people earn less, get paid less, take out fewer loans, the economy is shrinking.

The way others and I look at it, we had this big bubble of false demand, false economic gains that have been driving the growth of the economy before. When the bubble burst, and the market was hit by all the uncertainty and chaos, busineses and individuals that were doing well suddenly got hit with not only that loss of demand, but also the collapse of financing.

This in turn cause our employment numbers to go into a steep nose-dive. Which took our economy with them, as this further aggravated problems.

This is the vicious cycle of deflation. This is your rebalancing of expectations. And the problem with it, is that ultimately, there is no balance- the economy becomes dynamically hostile to growth. If the Fed rates were not already at 0, thanks to Bush era policy, we might have had some room to increase the money supply.

Instead, we did not have anything of the kind. Here’s where the Republican’s ideology is playing a key role in screwing things up: the only group left which can pump money into the economy is the Government. And they’ve decided, after Obama’s and Bush’s policies have come to pass, and become a little unpopular, that they’re going to find fault.

They’re going to exploit populist discontent with these necessary rescue measures so they can win the next election.

So, we’re put in a position where if we need additional government stimulus, it might not come. And we might end up having to suffer through years more of this BS than is absolutely necessary, because the people who screwed things up aren’t done trying to impose their ideas on an economy that’s empirically discredited them.

Mental problems they may be, but economies are not all in our heads. The necessary outcomes of the impoverishment and destitution of millions, of the failure of financing, of the general economic malaise is a real thing, whether or not the motivating factors are real or not. They can be both, really.

We must realize that economics is about circulation, and what’s happening is that not enough money is circulating out there in the public to fuel growth. We need jobs, we need demand returned. We need a number of things.

What we don’t need are people who continue to be less interested in fixing the policy so it works, and more interested in fixing the politics so they win elections. That’s from either party. We don’t need the folks running our government for us out of touch with reality and behaving accordingly.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 25, 2009 8:43 AM
Comment #286891

Stephen:

Thank you for your response. Yes capitalism does step in it from time to time, as does socialism.

Where you err on the tax cut side, is you never respond to my claim that the tax cuts did not reduce the amount of revenue that the federal government collected out outside of historical norms. For instance in 2006 and 2007 revenues were exactly at the 40 year average at about 18.5% of GDP. Far from being some wacko right wing nut jobs, those who were calling for the Bush tax cuts to continue were saying “lets keep revenue at historical norms”. On the other hand you are saying that this position was reckless.

The same is true on the spending side. Bush’s spending was in line with historical norms of about 20% of GDP, or right in line with 40 year averages.

On the other hand, it is Obama’s spending that is higher than historical norms. According the the CBO Obama’s budget plans call for spending that is new in terms of percentage of GDP in the post WW2 era averaging around 22 to 23% of GDP for his entire presidency. And these increases go on for basically ever.

So it is your President who is being radical on the spending side. There is no normalcy about this fact. Obama plans to spend more as a percentage of GDP than any president since WWII. He is planning to radically expand government.

So I don’t have any interest in hearing about the radical Bush policies when it is President Obama who is putting in place federal spending that increases the role of government higher than it has ever been!! (except during WWII).

You can look on the CBO website for verification of all of this.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 25, 2009 12:04 PM
Comment #286893


Craig, it seems to me that a majority of us are being forced to lower our expectations while for a minority the expectations continue to rise.

It’s like the old saying, what is fair for the gander is fair, the goose should have no say in the matter.

Posted by: jlw at August 25, 2009 12:52 PM
Comment #286894

jlw:

I understand your comment. I would argue that the minority is not seeing their expectations rise. Their investments have tanked!! This wealth gap is much narrower now than it was a few short years ago. I’m not saying it isn’t an issue.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 25, 2009 1:27 PM
Comment #286897

>This wealth gap is much narrower now than it was a few short years ago. I’m not saying it isn’t an issue.
Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 25, 2009 01:27 PM

Gates drops twenty billion the gap closes a little…it leaves him only thirty billion. I drop three thousand, lose my house, my car and my wife. I’m glad that gap is narrower now.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 25, 2009 2:22 PM
Comment #286898

Marysdude:

Imagine what that does to the Gates Foundation!!


Warren Buffett’s annual gift to the Gates Foundation is down 30%!!

http://philanthropy.com/news/philanthropytoday/8782/buffetts-annual-gift-to-gates-foundation-down-30

Those terrible people

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 25, 2009 2:39 PM
Comment #286899

Craig Holmes-
Bush was running huge deficits, even if you don’t count the war spending, and deficits cause inflation under most circumstances.

You can talk about being in line with historical averages, but there is nothing average about what happened last year. Like my previous post laid out, about a full third of the current deficit is just the recession eating a chunk out of revenues. Another third is the Bush-era spending. Most of what Obama is spending is in response to the economic disaster, and it’s arguable that if such sums were not spent, the disaster would have deepened and we would be looking at far worse deficits, not better.

If Obama had just blundered into office and deficit spent this just for all his agenda items, that would be one thing. This was emergency spending, and was needed in order to to stabilize an economy. More to the point, not spending this money would have been devastating to the economy, and by extension, devastating to federal revenues.

Bush spent needlessly. That this was in line with some CBO measure is not altogether that great of an excuse. If we weren’t paying for the Bush agenda, we might have been better position to stimulate the economy out of its doldrums. Obama may have brought on a spike in spending, but Bush brought back the long term deficit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 25, 2009 3:42 PM
Comment #286900

Stephen:

Again a need to clarify your comments. Bush ran larger than normal deficits during and in the aftermath of the 2001 recession/aftermath of 9/11.

Again, as I have stated before, I have no quarrel with Obama’s current deficit. He inherited this mess from Bush and Congress.

What I hold Obama and Democrats fully resonsible for is the ten year number. $9 Trillion in additional debt. The reason for the debt is that Obama is planning on expanding the role of government out of all proportion from what it has been historically. It’s not 2009 or 2010, but certainly all the rest I hold him fully responsible for the dramatic and unpresidented increase in government spending leading to huge deficits.

There must be some date in the future when you believe Bush is not responsible for the spending. When is that date? 2016 after Obama leaves office? At that time spending is still far higher than during Bush’s years.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 25, 2009 4:09 PM
Comment #286903

Craig Holmes-
I covered this issue here.

But let me elaborate.

1) Much of the spending for this years deficit come from emergency measures that will not be sustained. That includes Obama’s stimulus, which is a two year affair, and the bailouts, which were a one-time set of events during the last year. Obama’s spending on the stimulus is 7% of this year’s deficit

2)About Ninety Percent of the spending is either something Obama continued from Bush, or something he inherited.

3) Only three percent is actually new spending from the Obama Administration.

4) It’s the interest payments that are going to kill us on the backside.

5) A great deal of the spending wouldn’t have been necessary if the Bush Administration would have done its job, and if Clinton had not rubberstamped reforms pushed by followers of Reaganomics.

It’s time to stop projecting, acting like Obama just decided to go on a spending spree for the hell of it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 25, 2009 5:57 PM
Comment #286904

Stephen:

No one is projecting or acting like Obama is spending money just for the hell of it.

What I am saying is that given all that you have said, Obama is still spending and has no plan on the table to change the fact that he is projecting $9 Trillion in additional debt.

He owns this debt, no matter what you think the Republicans and Bush have done because he is accepting it, and has no plans to alter it!!!

So tell me as an Obama supporter, what is the Democratic plan to make this $9 Trillion go away? We are after all over nine months since Obama was elected. So what is the plan Stephen? Is the plan as we go bankrupt to say it was Bush’s fault?

What is the Democrat plan to restore financial integrity?

(It is simply to blame Bush as you do. That is the best you have got.)

Remember, Obama said no tax increases for the bottom 95%.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 25, 2009 6:08 PM
Comment #286906

Craig Holmes-
We call it the budget. If you look at our budget, we manage to cut the deficit in half. The trick is getting the economy back on track in the meantime, and setting tax rates effectively so we can increase revenue to absorb the interest payments that are going to start hitting us later on (the source of the higher deficits later on.)

The trick of all this is that the Republicans are going to get in the way of any flexibility in plans to reduce the deficit. They’re already coming out against reforming medicare, so as to gain senior votes from scaring them. They’ll protest taxes, as if pulling money from the thin air is doing us much good.

The Republicans want to be politically advantageous more than they want to be politically responsible. But sooner or later, the accounts have to balance. You guys can help, or you can hurt. My sense is that with your behavior so far, at least your folks in Washington, that your folks will do little to help.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 25, 2009 7:42 PM
Comment #286910

Stephen:

Would that be the budget called “A New Era of Responsibility” but out by OMB (Office of Management and Budget) that today said that the budget deficit over the next 10 years would be 2 Trillion more than they projected just three months ago?

It that the budget you would be referring to?

The budget that private economists almost universally dismiss as being written with rose colored glasses? Just for fun, google “obama budget and Rosey” and see what you get.

The President’s budget is basically a joke.


Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 25, 2009 10:27 PM
Comment #286911

Craig Holmes-
It’s Obama’s fault that the economic collapse of last year did more damage than people anticipated?

That’s the difference between Obama’s numbers and the numbers put out just the other day.

As far as rosiness goes? How about a budget that leaves out the constant cost of a war? How about a budget which doesn’t set aside dollars for natural disasters that happen anyways? How about a budget that leaves out the cost of keeping the AMT from taking a chunk out of middle income earner’s rear?

Part of the reason Bush’s budgets were relatively low in comparison to Obama’s, is that he left many of those things out of the equation.

Did the Republican call Bush on his hundreds of billions of dollars of off budget spending? No. They just kept up a rosy picture of the situation, so that people wouldn’t be asking the uncomfortable questions Obama now gets asked.

Yes, let’s talk of rose-colored glasses, once Republicans take off theirs. Where were those economists while Bush was investing trillions into a war that wasn’t going anywhere? Where were their investigations of fraud and abuse there? Suddenly, a Democrat is president, and the crap we’re in is all dumped in his lap, your people acting as if they hadn’t just gone on trillions of dollars of spending sprees, and instituted much of the spending that sustains the deficit long term.

You’re avoiding the critical truth: Republicans in Washington. don’t want to save the taxpayer dollars. They just want to bribe everybody with both government programs and tax cuts. Why be just one Santa when you can be two at the same time?

I know you’ll object, but you see, I’m not just looking at the Republicans through their rhetoric, but their actions as well.

The joke is that the Republicans are attacking this president for the fiscal insanity they foisted on America under their leadership. They want him to take the rap for the results of their poor economic leadership, their political inflexibility, their failure in foreign policy.

Republicans want Obama to fail because he’s their scapegoat. He’s their ticket to claiming they are no worse than the Democrats. He’s their ticket to getting back in the White House and the Congressional majorities, without having to do something positive or provide good policy alternatives to return to power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 25, 2009 11:44 PM
Comment #286916

Stephen:

I am a Republican and I don’t want Obama to fail. What I want to fail is the lefts decision to greatly expand the federal government because it will slow down the rate of growth of the economy and take away opportunity for my children.

To raise spending from the tradition 20% or so of GDP to 22 to 24% (and this is before boomer retirement really gets into full high gear), takes tax dollars away from my children. I want them to have the same opportunity that you and I have had.

If you look at CBO numbers, the issue of the 9 Trillion of deficit spending is because of prejections of government spending that is much higher than it was only a year or so ago. CBO says it was because of recently enacted legislation.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 26, 2009 10:28 AM
Comment #286917

Stephen D replied: “I don’t believe Republicans in Washington have the right to regain their majority, after what they have done, and once again, they’re putting this country through hell just to keep their power.”

There is no logical nor informed argument that can be made to refute your statement above, Stephen.

“I can’t stand it, really, because I believe wholeheartedly that they’re just going to turn this government back towards paths of error, just to prove they weren’t the ones who screwed things up.”

Again, impossible to refute the incentive of the Right to torpedo all efforts by Democrats in the hope of making the point that Democrats are ineffective just like Republicans are. But, there, in plain understanding, is the challenge before your Party to overcome.

“That, more than any particularly strong devotion to a party, fuels my dismay, fuels my outrage.”

OK. But, it doesn’t let you or Democrat supporters and voters off the hook for holding their own politicians ACCOUNTABLE both in office with a torrent of communications when they pork up the bills, and on election day for deficits partially increased by political and election objectives, instead of the nation’s future economic viability.

Craig is right to hammer this debt picture home. I don’t agree with his details, but, the thrust of his argument is spot on. Never in the modern history of this nation have we had a more DIRE need for fiscal responsibility, to hold to PAYGO, to forego the Pork Projects that don’t contribute to turning the future debt picture around as investments with returns greater than the investment. Too many Democrats have ALREADY displayed by their votes on many bills, that simply don’t get this picture and absolute requirement of Congress going forward.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 26, 2009 11:20 AM
Comment #286918

Stephen/David:

The Washington Post made my argument far better than I can in an article today. (shock)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/25/AR2009082502734.html

Stephen: You can hammer the Republicans, but I’m not sure who you are trying to convince. If Conservatives were thrilled with the Republican party and it’s performance, we would not have a Democratic president OR a 60 vote majority in Congress. It is because of Republican ineptness that your party is in power.

That being said, so what, you are responsible as the party in power for fiscal reponsibility. Where is the plan? The nation fired Republicans and hired you to fix the financial mess, so what is the plan?

As the Washington Post says, you don’t have one.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 26, 2009 11:57 AM
Comment #286919

Craig Holmes-

What I want to fail is the lefts decision to greatly expand the federal government because it will slow down the rate of growth of the economy and take away opportunity for my children.

Fair enough, you’re entitled to your opinion, but could you be wrong? You folks time and again said tax cuts would lead to growth, but your greatest tax cuts ever didn’t match the growth of a time when the taxes were higher. And most of your tax cuts ended up make our economic situation worse, as the deficits they generated drug on the economy.

Your motivations are clear, and they are sincere motivations. The trouble is, they motivate you to prevent others from engaging in alternatives.

Maybe we slow growth down a little. But maybe we make that growth a more beneficial, more equitably distributed growth, which creates a more stable and prosperous economy for the average American. Fact of the matter is, you’re not judging us, nor your own for that matter based on results. No, you’re judging us on theory that’s had a bad track record so far.

Almost four out of every ten dollars in that deficit are the result of the recession, and revisions in the economic outlook are the main driver behind the higher estimates.

Conservative laissez faire theories were the drivers behind many of the policies that allowed bank mergers, allowed banks to conglomerate with other financial institutions, despite the conflicts of interest and lack of separation between sectors. Republican theories drove the impulse not to regulate derivatives, to allow energy traders to manipulate prices.

These were your policies. Yet when confronted with them, your defense is to say Democrats went with them, too. But pause for a moment, and consider something: it’s a weak defense of that kind of wrong. In fact, what that argument really tries to do is say “Well, we were wrong, but you were wrong with us!”

Your problem right here is this: I have much less problem admitting that error as a Democrat, and proposing to do something about it, than you have as a Republican. The Republicans, in the name of what are sometimes sincere principles, and sometimes just hypocritically held wedge issues, deny practical alternatives to deficit spending, such as raising the rates on taxes. Worse, you do your best to demonize that.

The problems are these:
People don’t want the spending cuts you want.
Republicans won’t endanger their electoral chances by making those cuts either.
The costs of running government won’t get any lower just by themselves.
And Raising taxes is teh devil.

So, in order that Republicans may claim themselves fiscal conservatives, a lot of them will allow deficit spending to continue, or blame the Democrats for any measures taken to deal with the problem.

I don’t think your leaders are looking to solve the fiscal problems. I think they are looking to score points with people like you, even if it means pushing policies that are counterproductive.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 26, 2009 1:09 PM
Comment #286920

Stephen:

Tax cuts are stimulative and help jump start the economy.

You consistently miss the point on taxes. Taxes as a percentage of GDP being low allow for a larger private sector which provides growth. Because tax brackets are not indexed for inflation, tax cuts are necessary from time to time to keep the over all revenues at historical averages as they were at the end of the Bush era. The average tax rate on the economy over the last 40 years is about 18.5% of GDP. That is plenty.

If you compare GDP growth of the USA to Europe you will find that economies like many of those in the EU trail in economic growth. Also Unemployment is higher.

Tax rates (fiscal policy) and regulation are two entirely different subject. Because the economy is dynamic, we need to be deregulating and regulating at the same time as some regulations become out of date and new products are developed that need to be regulated. My own simple rule is that whenever my tax dollars are needed for a bail out, the government needs to move in to regulate.

In terms of your comments about conservative policies going wrong, I will be happy to defend conservative policies with the start the starting point of Reagan until today.

There is an economic principle that says that stability brings instability and instability brings stability. It is really true. When the economy is stable, investors feel comfortable with more and more risk until finally a melt down occurs. Now we are seeing the reverse.

In terms of both parties being involved, they simply were but for different reasons. Liberals were involved in the mortgage meltdown by pushing for easier loans for lower income Americans who would not otherwise qualify. Barney Frank we a key player in this meltdown. These were your policies as liberals.

So I don’t accept your argument at all that it was Republicans fault and democrats were pure.

For your amusement here it is again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yga7TlsA-1A

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 26, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #286936

Lower taxes on the wealthy and on corporations led to the greatest mass exodus of money and manufacturing in our history. The wealthy moved their investments off shore, and companies built facilities off shore with the money they saved with lower taxes. Lowering taxes on anyone but the poor and middle class merely increases the gap between most of us and the special few of us.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 26, 2009 6:49 PM
Comment #286982

Marysdude:

That is a vast oversimplification of Globalization. The Internet played a small roll in globalization as well.

Also, glabalization has lifted hundreds of millions out of deep poverty worldwide which some consider a good thing.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 27, 2009 3:31 PM
Comment #286983

Marysdude:

Just for clarification, I think the overall tax rate on our economy of 18.5% (long term average) has been a good thing, as evidenced by the remarkable progress in our economy in the post WWII era, especially when compared to economies with higher tax rates.

I am not making an argument of taxing one group of Americans verses another. Actually right now the wealthy pay the vast majority of taxes anyway.

Posted by: Craig Holmes at August 27, 2009 3:34 PM
Comment #287125


Craig:

Liberal politicians have been selling that crap for a while now, globalization is a great alturistic program.

Globalization is all about exploitation. It has become increasingly hard to exploit American workers because of laws protecting them and because of laws protecting our environment amoung other things.

Our corporations and companies decided to take advantage of foreign workers and a foreign lack of environmental laws.

It is just business.

In return, America gets millions of lost jobs, tainted cheaply made products and they get to pay higher prices for the privilege, while our trade deficit and our debt continues to grow.

By the way, the tax rates on corporations and the wealthy were substantially higher during the post WWII boom.

“Actually right now the wealthy pay the vast majority of taxes anyway.” Jack used to say that the wealthy were paying 90% of the taxes. If that is true, the wealthy could easily afford the additional 10% and end the tax debate. They would still have money to bribe the government into cutting entitlements, producing lucritive contracts and passing corporate friendly laws.

Why do Republicans continue to perpetrate the myth that working class Americans are being taxed to support the lazy and incompetent if the wealthy are paying the vast majority of taxes anyway?

Posted by: jlw at August 30, 2009 2:25 PM
Comment #287187

>Why do Republicans continue to perpetrate the myth that working class Americans are being taxed to support the lazy and incompetent if the wealthy are paying the vast majority of taxes anyway?
Posted by: jlw at August 30, 2009 02:25 PM

jlw,

Wow! I rarely see your views in such a positive light, because you are generally (to me) jumping on us liberals, but this one is square on the head.

Posted by: Marysdude at August 31, 2009 12:57 PM
Comment #287358

It is time our Government Employees and Politicians share the same hardships as the rest of the country and take a 5% -10% pay cut to help our country get back on its feet.

Read and sign the Petition at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/2/politicians-wagecuts-the-answer-for-states

Posted by: Alice Albers at September 2, 2009 3:33 PM
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