I Voted Obama

For all of the twenty-eight years, eleven months and two days I’ve been alive, I’ve been a Republican. In every election I was eligible to vote in, I’ve voted Republican. Every single one.

Loyalty is important to me. I’m loyal to my husband, family, friends and employer. I’ve been loyal to the Republican party thus far. But has the GOP really been loyal to me? Not really. Is it realistic to think they should be? I’m not sure….

Today, I voted for Barack Obama in the Wisconsin Primary. It was one of the most difficult decisions I've had to make, politically speaking.

For several long months I've weighed my options, I've absorbed the headlines and the polls and tried my best to give every candidate a fair shake. To say that my political views have evolved would be an understatement. The way I see this country today has changed completely since the last time I voted for a presidential candidate.

I could say that it's because of the opportunities I've had to research politics. Writing about politics for the last year at BlogHer and Watchblog.com has definitely opened my eyes to other ideas and opinions. But this isn't the only reason I've changed my voting direction.

I think I've learned that it's okay to be objective, it doesn't make you weak. Not knowing who would get my vote was the best thing to happen to this Republican because it forced me to really delve into the issues and get a good grasp on which candidate stood where.

In years past, I voted strictly based on one issue: abortion. As a Catholic, there was no way to compromise my morals. I could never bring myself to vote for a candidate that supported abortion. I wasn't willing to budge. I don't believe my choice was wrong, but I'm also distraught about some of the things that George W. Bush has done in his eight year tenure as President of the United States.

Perhaps I've matured in eight years. I'm a wife, a mother, a full-time employee. I worry about health care, education, the environment and terrorism. I get upset with each school shooting that I read about in the news. I get angry every time I open the newspaper and see another violent act against women and children. I'm fed up.

I'm tired of politics-as-usual, and I desperately want a new face in the white house. I want someone who can give this country, and our government, the kick in the ass it so desperately needs. I looked at the men and woman running for president and struggled to determine who that someone would be.

When it comes down to it, Barack Obama is the man for the job -- as of right now.

I don't know what will happen in November, but I feel comfortable with Obama. I like his plan for health care. I think he can be the Education President. I believe that he will be the man to get down to business and make the changes Americans are craving. He's worked for the votes. He truly cares about me and my family; even though I'm not a Democrat, Obama has shown me there is room for me in his party.

I don't feel that way about Hillary Clinton. Her arrogance is infuriating. She'd rather blame others for this country's problems instead of admit she's played a part in creating them -- especially when it comes down to Iraq. It's as if she thinks she deserves to win, without having to work for my vote. Several radio ads for Hillary kept placing blame on Bush for Iraq, but Hillary voted, too. I needed her to admit she made a mistake, but she couldn't do it, and it bothers me.

Don't get me wrong, I support the troops and the fight to end terrorism, but I think we've gone too far in the Middle East. This is also why I worry about John McCain as president. He's prepared to station troops in Baghdad for several, maybe even a hundred, years.

Because I don't believe that Mike Huckabee and Ron Paul (whom I was starting to like more and more) stand a chance against John McCain, I decided that my vote would have more weight in choosing the Democratic candidate.

Initially, I only wanted to vote for John McCain because of his stance on abortion. That was my bottom line.

On the contrary, I wanted to vote for Hillary Clinton simply because she's the first viable female candidate and that alone is a big deal. But what does it say about me if I vote for a person based on one issue, as opposed to voting for another based on several?

You can understand my conundrum. I tossed and turned for five days before I made my decision. And it wasn't easy. I thought for sure that after I made my choice at the polls, I would feel guilty. But I didn't. I felt relieved.

I still have to figure out what to do about the issue of abortion. I'm hoping that Barack Obama will embrace my feelings and help us find a way to end the needless abortions committed every year. (I can understand desperate situations like rape, incest and protecting the health of the mother.) I believe that Barack will be the candidate to bridge the gap between left and right. I didn't see that happening with Hillary Clinton. I dislike her "my way or the highway" attitude.

Ultimately, for me, it was about being comfortable with the choices, Democrat or Republican. Barack Obama made me feel comfortable, even hopeful. I think that says it all.

Posted by Dana J. Tuszke at February 19, 2008 7:53 PM
Comments
Comment #245775

You are so very right Dana. This country desperately needs a change from the narrow minded hate induced stagnation that a thirst for greed and power have bestowed upon our individual parties. It has literally overtaken their sensibilities so much so that sometimes I think they actually believe theirs is a righteous road. They must be made to realize that this sort of deceptive governance can not be allowed to continue. I too am an Obama supporter not only because I feel he is capable, but because he is the only one that does as you say present a degree of hope. It is also my hope that voters will speak to their congressional incumbents via the vote. Any who do not deserve to remain should not remain. I also feel that an Obama in the seat of the presidency is a major statement to our tenured insiders who feel smug in the belief that they can continue past practice and remain employed by us.

I admire your objectivity and applaud you for doing what you feel is right despite the flack you will most likely receive from some of your fellow conservative watchbloggers.

Posted by: RickIL at February 19, 2008 9:36 PM
Comment #245776

Well said RickIL, and I agree with you, and you Dana. This is not the time for back slapping and swaggering comments….we are in dire straits and need someone who can lead us through and into the clear again. I share your hopes that Obama is the one who can do that.
Your honesty and integrity are refreshing…..thank you.

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 19, 2008 9:47 PM
Comment #245777

>I think I’ve learned that it’s okay to be
>objective, it doesn’t make you weak.

Dana, well said and well written.

McCain is inevitable and promises more of the same. I think everyone has to ask him/herself “Am I better off now than I was when Bush took office? Is the country better off now than when Bush took office?” I think those who are objective and not independently wealthy can only have one possible answer to that, a resounding no.

If you’re not better off now than when Bush took office and the country’s not better off than when Bush took office, why would you want 4 or even 8 more years of the same?

Posted by: spongeworthy at February 19, 2008 9:55 PM
Comment #245779

Well said, Dana.

Posted by: phx8 at February 19, 2008 10:07 PM
Comment #245782

Dana,

My hat is off to you. Though I may not agree with your choice, I applaud the way you came to vote as you did. Your attitude is one that the founders would approve. you looked at the candidates, checked out their positions on matters that are important to you, thought long and hard, and pulled the lever.

If all of our voters would take the time to do the same, we might not be in the mess we are in now. Mindless voting by party or single issue is one of the main contributors to a Congress that is so entrenched that dynamite couldn’t remove them(but we the people can with a single act of voting). It is also one of the main contributors to a Presidency that has become a parody of what it should be.

We fall for the slickest ad campaign, the politics of fright, and the campaign based on what’s wrong with the opponent and not the issues.

We also have the best government money can buy, it is just that we don’t get a say in how it’s run. The Golden Rule of politics: “Them that have the gold make the rules”. No matter who is elected in November, let’s go to work on day one doing everything we can as citizens to remove the power of lobbyists, special interest groups, and political insiders who do not have the best interest of the country first on their agenda, no matter which party they belong to.

Posted by: Old Grouch at February 19, 2008 10:29 PM
Comment #245784

I’m hoping that Barack Obama will embrace my feelings and help us find a way to end the needless abortions committed every year.

Don’t count on it. Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act while in the Illinois Senate. This bill made it a law that any baby that survived an abortion and was born alive had to be cared for and treated as an American Citizen by making every effort to keep him/her alive. The previous policy was to dump a living breathing baby into a trash can to die. Obama voted to keep this horrific practice in place. The mainstream media has been absolutely silent on this issue because they are now openly rooting for Obama.

Check out this article from an eyewitness of this terrible tragedy.

Posted by: Duane-o at February 19, 2008 10:46 PM
Comment #245785

Dana,

My parents are beside themselves in this election. I voted early today in the Republican primary in Texas, just so I could vote for a Republican while there was still a chance to say no to McCain. I cast no vote for my rep because he had no opponent in the primary.

I’m sick that the party that stood up for the right thing when Democrats were burning crosses and dancing in pointy hats in my family’s yard is choosing what to do based on pure pandering and nothing deeper. Damn them.

Old Grouch, there is a key word you used- REMOVE. Remove them all. Do it again and again and again until the only reason to run for office is idealism. There is no point in letting them gain experience if all they’ll do with it is game the system.

America is the oldest true revolutionary government in the world. We have it in our hands to use the system the founders gave us to overthrow the parties, both of them, that have become dance partners in the flaunting of power and start over. That’s what I’m headed toward.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 19, 2008 11:06 PM
Comment #245789

Thank you all for your comments.

Duane-o, thank you for your link. I will definitely research this.

Lee, I know how you feel. I can’t understand why everyone thinks John McCain is the perfect candidate. It’s so insane.

Posted by: Dana at February 19, 2008 11:19 PM
Comment #245799

Dana

I think you put your finger on the Obama power. He appeals to feelings & hope. An attractive guy like that should be president and would be in the Hollywood version.

Unfortunately, we have politics and law to decide issues we cannot resolve in other ways. It is much easier to aspire than to deliver.

Government is by its nature a large and bureaucratic organization. It cannot be flexible because laws and regulations MUST apply equally. That means the larger area and the more diverse situations, the less government is able to address them - no matter what our aspirations, desires or intentions.

There are some things we cannot have and many more things government cannot give us. Voters don’t like to hear these things. They prefer to vote for hope. This has been the risk and weakness of democracy since the time of Pericles.

Obama’s words are good. Hope is pleasant. The big government tools he plans to use to carry them out are wrong and using them is an overreach that will lead us all to grief.

Posted by: Jack at February 20, 2008 12:29 AM
Comment #245802

Dana said: I’ve been loyal to the Republican party thus far. But has the GOP really been loyal to me? Not really. Is it realistic to think they should be? I’m not sure….

Don’t expect any party to be loyal to you. And don’t expect any politician to be loyal to you. Because neither one will.
That’s why we gotta keep an eye on them politicians and get rid of the one’s that aint doing what we elected them to do.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 20, 2008 12:38 AM
Comment #245803

Jack, if you think Obama’s plans will lead us to grief, then the good thing about that would be for us not to have to travel far to reach our destination. We are already there !

Posted by: Jane Doe at February 20, 2008 12:39 AM
Comment #245804

Uh…you’re writing in the Republican blog, yet you’re voting in the Democratic primary…this is the danger in open primaries…crossover voting…that means the party isn’t necessarily getting the people that their own party members want…

Posted by: Rachel at February 20, 2008 1:00 AM
Comment #245806

Bravo, Dana!
Not only does your vote make you loyal to your own best interest, but loyal to your fellow Americans all across this country. Being a Liberal (like me) or a Conservative (like you) doesn’t mean we can’t start to communicate with each other more respectfully and effectively than we have been.

Yes We Can, and together, We Will! :^D

Posted by: veritas vincit at February 20, 2008 1:06 AM
Comment #245808

Jack,
What you are saying, in a polite way, is “no we can’t.”

It’s easy to be cynical about politics. Boy, is it easy. But Obama offers a powerful message: working together, through the agency of government, we can do something decent.

Obama might fall flat on his face. I know that. But I’d rather see us try, and reach across the aisle, and fail, than not try at all. Who knows? Perhaps, working together, we might accomplish something worthwhile.

Successful presidents have either commanded a supermajority in Congress, or reached across the aisle, and created a mandate by working with the opposition. I’m leary of attempting to work with Republicans. I’m worried about the possibility of making compromises. But I’m willing to give it a go. Are you?

What does McCain stand for? He stands for more of the same, more years of Bush policies. Be patriotic. Be proud. Be afraid.

I refuse to be afraid. I will not spend the next four or eight years trembling in my boots at the thought of the United States being turned into an Islamic caliphate. F*** Osama bin Laden. F*** Islamic terrorists. I refuse to let them dictate the agenda of our country. I refuse. There will always be evil people out there, and sometimes they will manage to kill innocent people, both here and in Iraq and elsewhere. But the world does not just consist of evil people intending to do us harm. Just the opposite. Most humans beings are perfectly decent. Lets work on that assumption for a change.

Under Bush, the size of government increased more than under any other president since WWII. But what is really galling is that we have nothing to show for it.

The population of the US has increased @ 18 million over the past 7 years, yet Bush administration policies have created a net amount of only @ 5 million jobs. Over half of those are government jobs.

Part of that is due to outsourcing. Part of that is due to trade agreements, for which Clinton deserves some blame. The message of Osama is profound because it says, let’s stop blaming, and accusing the other side of the political spectrum as treasonous or unpatriotic. Let’s unite. Because yes, in fact, we can.

Posted by: phx8 at February 20, 2008 2:10 AM
Comment #245810

Dana

Although you have gotten some hope from Obama I have gotten hope from you. Thank you

The abortion issue is troubling.You would be hard pressed to find anyone on either side of the political issue that believes abortions are anything but tragedies. The political division revolves around the role of the government. You admit that there are some circumstances where abortion should be considered an option.Myself and most other Americans do not believe that politicians should be involved in determining what those circumstances might be in what,by its very nature,is a profoundly personal situation. Nor,with good reason,do we believe that a government ban of abortion will do anything but stop safe abortions. Troubled young women will still get them only with the coat hanger or poison concoction.
Where our two camps agree is that the fewer abortions there are the better. We can get together on promoting adoption. We can get together on realistic sex education and family planning for example. That is where the hope Obama is talking about comes from. We have more in common than we have differences and together problems can be solved.

Posted by: BillS at February 20, 2008 3:21 AM
Comment #245815

Phx8

Yes. There are some things you cannot get in general and even more things the government cannot give you. Government is a blunt tool not suited to many particular and fine goals.

Obama is like a messiah. He promises things will get better. So what does he mean. Unemployment can drop perhaps 1.5%. That is as low as it can go and that is under temporary best case conditions. The economy can sustain growth of around 3% tops. So Obama can achieve what we had 2003-6. Health care - great. I have lived in Europe. It is not the panacea people think. Income inequality - it has been a worldwide trend for 40 years. Globalization has increased oppotunities and with it inequality. Reverse the one and you reserve the other AND you reverse the growing wealth of the world.

Everything is dependent on other things. You change one part, others change in unpredictable ways. Obama implies the change at hand will only be good.

The news I have to break to you all is that it does not get much better than it is now. The very best year anybody can remember was 1999-2000. Remember that well and savor it. Remember also that was the year the downturn started and the year Al Qaeda spent planning 9/11.

In 2009 we will still deal with Iraq. If Obama pulls out, we will deal with the collapse of Iraq. We will still have the retirement of the baby boom and unfunded mandates that go back to 1935. If Obama wants to expand programs, he will need to raise taxes and if he raised taxes he will slow the economy, making it harder to collect taxes.

No - you can’t. Of course you CAN win in politics. But politics is politics. It does not deliver happiness (except for when you enjoy winning). Governments influence, but do no manage economies. Social and cultural factor are persistent for decades, sometimes centuries. It is foolish to the point of … words fail me … to put such faith in the Federal government, on matter who is leading it.

I am a very optimistic person when it comes to looking for opportunities. But I am no longer a child who believe in miracles and I have NEVER seen a government that can deliver the kinds of miracles Obama’s followers seem to expect.

Posted by: Jack at February 20, 2008 5:00 AM
Comment #245823

Dana, welcome to the ranks of the Independent minded voter. Your article is a testament to the kind of independent thinking that may just save our country’s future yet. In America, the power of government has always rested with the voters, though the voters were deluded into believing it rested with the political parties.

You said: “But what does it say about me if I vote for a person based on one issue, as opposed to voting for another based on several?”

That is the hurdle for American voters. To vote based on one issue is a very easy mental exercise any 8th grader can manage well. To vote based on an evaluation of all the important issues and the candidate that best fits that evaluation is a far more demanding cranial exercise, requiring more education, life experience, and rational thought processes.

It is not difficult to understand why so very many millions of voters are led to vote on a single issue. The easiest path is usually the preferred path, until one realizes that path does not lead to one’s chosen destination.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 20, 2008 6:08 AM
Comment #245824

Jack, all human action begins with the hope of a successful result of that action. Hope is the starting line for all action.

As for Obama, it would be hard to make the case to the American people that Obama with flaws and mistakes, would not take this country in a better direction than this sitting President has. As a constitutional law scholar, his understanding of the underpinnings and design of our government is well beyond the comprehension of the dote Republicans put in office in 2000 and 2004.

I would take an average mechanic to work on my car over an outstanding brick layer any day. That is the difference between Obama and GW Bush.

I do however, wish to thank you for your Bush votes in the past. It was necessary to elect the worst president in modern history to awaken the American people to the need for vigilance and accountability on election day, as opposed to pulling the lever for their favored political sports team determined by the peer pressure of family and friends.

Adam Smith’s Invisible Hand of enlightened self-interest is about to reassert itself in the November election. And we owe GW Bush and his supporters thanks for precipitating this reawakening.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 20, 2008 6:19 AM
Comment #245825

David

Hillary would be doing the Obama folks a great service by defeating him in the primaries. That will allow them to keep the dream and belief that they could have achieved.

I think Obama is over promising.

Think about it in a non-partisan way. Probably the best year in American history (in terms of income, security etc) was middle 1999-middle 2000. As I wrote, that was the same time the economy started to turn down and terrorists were planning attacks, but it seemed impossibly good.

If Obama could bring us back to that, even minus to downturn and terror planning, how much better would that be? Unemployment would be 1.5% lower. Economic growth would be at 2004 levels. Real wages would be about what they are today. Environmental pollution would be a little higher. That assumes Obama will “restore” the best year we ever had AND somehow maintain it.

Factor in the entitlement tidal wave and the war in Iraq & Afghanistan (whether he voted against them or not, the next president owns them) and I wonder how much fun its going to be in 2009-12.

So when they say, “yes we can”, my question is can do what? Can they win the election? Maybe. Everything else will be a marginal change and the risk of negative developements probably outweighs the probability of good ones, given the particular challenges of the next four years.

Besides his evident ability to distribute loaves and fishes of hope, Obama - like everyone else - will have to work with what he has. At best, he can make a rich and pleasant country a little better off. A “turn around” is neither possible nor desirable. His followers are way overestimating the power of the Federal bureaucracy to do good.

Posted by: Jack at February 20, 2008 7:01 AM
Comment #245826

Jack wrote,

The news I have to break to you all is that it does not get much better than it is now.

Hmm, let’s see: mortgage crisis, 47 million without health insurance, interminable war overseas… Golly, what could be better?

I wish I had some of what you are smoking, Dr. Pangloss.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 20, 2008 7:15 AM
Comment #245830

Dana,

Unless the abortion debate is no longer important to you, you need to keep one important thing in mind. One of the most important things a president does is nominate supreme court justices - justices can last one hell of a lot longer than a presidential term - and their decisions, even long after they are gone.

Conservatives who say they won’t vote for McCain are fools. Sure, 4 years of a liberal failing in the oval office may be nice for an “I told you so”, but is it worth the potential for a generation or more of liberals failing in the judicial branch?

Please reconsider, if not for abortion, then for the other issues that have made you a republican for such a long time.

Posted by: Greg Kirchman at February 20, 2008 8:43 AM
Comment #245833

In regard to Obama, I am reminded of the words of Eugene V. Debs:

It’s better to ask for what you want, and not get it, then to ask for what you don’t want, and get it.

If you think that real change is possible, vote for Obama. You may not get it, but at least there is a possibility.

If you want endless war and piecemeal, ineffective “reform” on the other hand, vote for McCain.

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 20, 2008 8:58 AM
Comment #245835

David,
Worst president in modern history? Short sighted in the extreme.

Bush, for all his many, many shortcomings is no Jimmy Carter, nor is he a Warren Harding. He’s more like a Lyndon Johnson. His primary flaw is that he can’t tell the difference between competence and loyalty. Secondly, as a history buff (his major at Yale) he understands the past far better than he understands the human beings which are the medium through which history is transmitted. It will be half a century before people can objectively assess his tenure.

We are entering a period in which there will be such electoral unrest in the country that it will be all but impossible for any party to gain such traction as to be able to move the whole nation together.

Dana is voting for Obama. I’m voting against McCain. Underlying Obabma’s “hope” is the clear anxiety that the people we’ve hired to keep shop for us are really just taking the store for themselves and trying to push us out into the street. His ascendancy is a symptom of our unrest. Not knowing to whom to turn we’ve latched on to a positive sounding message, but being so divided we will be all but ungovernable.

Welcome to interesting times.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 20, 2008 9:14 AM
Comment #245838

Jack

I am a very optimistic person when it comes to looking for opportunities. But I am no longer a child who believe in miracles and I have NEVER seen a government that can deliver the kinds of miracles Obama’s followers seem to expect.

I read no optimism in any of your replies on this trhead. Your pessimism is only realistic in that it serves to affirm, support and insure a continuance of corruptive non productive past practice. It is attitudes such as yours that feeds the apathy of those who have no hope. We who have hope are also not children. We realize that there will be no miracles regardless of who is elected. Obama makes no promises other than he will work to end the old school practices and hatreds which do not serve our country well. Those of us who have hope do realize that our country can not successfully continue down the same road forever. It no longer works. Our country, despite whatever views you hold, is not enjoying the best times ever. I guess financial optimism is easy if one is wealthy and they do not feel the pressures of inflation. People are not spending like they used to. They have come to the realization that the only ones profiting in this free market era are those who have been allowed to prey on the gullibilities of the masses. People wish to have a happy and successful retirement and they hope to insure the same for their children. They realize that to continue spending via credit, as they have been encouraged to do, is in the end a dead end street for them and non conducive to the latter statement. In short, rapidly rising energy costs and all the trickle down effects have all but insured that most median income people will be living in a much more frugal manner than the past. Profiteers are not and will not enjoy a long term continuance of increasing profitability. You can crunch your numbers all you want but the one thing they fail to recognize is human nature and our ability to defy the logic of numbers despite what they tell us we should believe. As for the problems associated with entitlements, well lets be frank here Jack, our past congress made zero progress on any of the issues you mention. Why should we think that your party will all of a sudden come up with some sort of miracle plan. You folks had your chance. You blew it. It is now time for a little hope that perhaps a new approach can slowly but surely take baby steps in fixing what is wrong with government today. All good things have to begin somewhere. And one thing is for sure, somewhere is not with more of the past.

Posted by: RickIL at February 20, 2008 9:49 AM
Comment #245840

I have worked in a couple areas that gave expertise in double talk. First in a high volume housing company and also a modern prosperity doctrine church.
How do you tell a customer that the home he is dreaming about is beyond his reach financially? The wife and kids standing there looking at the models and picking out flooring and colors? I wasn’t in sales, but heard the salesmen discuss among themselves how they would just go somewhere else for easy credit so we might as well find a sub prime for them.
The church would promise hope, if you gave in the offerings then God would come through for you. This is similar to socialism promises only replacing God with the government. I walked out of a meeting (as a leader) during a particular manipulative one and couldn‘t continue seeing so many enriched at the expense of other‘s hope. My wife and I left ten years of work for conscious sake. We have numerous friends there that we cannot talk to without offence. The fact is you have do go out yourself, educate yourself, discipline yourself, overcome obstacles and work to succeed in anything. Neither God or government are magic shortcuts.
Obama speeches have all the phrases and promises of manipulators I am familiar with. His short record shows as very liberal and very destructive. How do you tell people who believe the garbage without causing them to become offended and therefore protect false views? He voted down even the most practical pro life legislation, protects perverts and believes in the confiscation of working capital.
I admit Reagan is the one who gave amnesty to illegals. He contributed to the illegal immigrant problem we have today . I am thankful for his position and inspiration toward the conservative cause, but realize we didn’t agree on everything. McCain or whoever becomes the candidate I am sure won’t agree with every view I have in every area, but the core is intact. It is a challenge to keep government service promises yet not kill our economy through higher taxes. It will take discipline and experience. McCain does go out and take action. Although I don’t agree with the way he has gone about a couple issues but at least he hasn’t sat back afraid of rocking the boat. His last few speeches show a willingness to listen. He changed his view on immigration to secure the borders first.
It baffles me when we talk about unifiers and then complain about compromises. It takes one for the other. Obama hasn’t shown me any reason in his past voting history that he possesses either of the two qualities.

Posted by: Kruser at February 20, 2008 10:14 AM
Comment #245842

Lee “Short sighted in the extreme.” & “He’s more like a Lyndon Johnson.”

My turn to disagree. Although I believe that George Bush will not be considered the worst president in History—we still have Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan & Andrew Johnson—he will certainly be in the bottom ten. This administration has been riddled with incompetence far more than the Johnson Administration - remember, Johnson was able to pass much of “Great Society” agenda including the Civil Rights and the Voting acts which, historically, far outweigh the Bush Admins claims to fame e.g. “No Child left Behind” and the “Senior’s drug benefits” both of which the jury is still out on (but it don’t look good). Remember that both Carter and Harding were one term Presidents. Harding’s biggest fault was naivete and he certainly didn’t take the military on a misguided overseas adventure; Nor did he squander a budget surplus. Carter as well did not wreak the havoc that the current administration has-he simply didn’t have the time or the power. Carter also walked away from office having helped facilitate the only peace treaty in the middle east which has actually lasted. Neither of those Presidents will be stuck with a “torture agenda, ” “Abu Grahib,” “Katrina,” “Terry Schaivo,” “Alberto Gonzales,” “Scooter Libby,” “Donald Rumsfeld,” “Mission Accomplished”—the list goes on. No matter how you cut it, this has been a bad presidency. Had Bush at least come away having gotten Osama Bin Laden or decreasing the number of Islamic Extremists he could be lauded. But, he didn’t. The problems in Afghanistan and Pakistan that he has left behind are going to haunt us for a long time. The privatization of the military and the amount of money spent are also going to come into play. remember that history is going to look at what was said by the major players not the pundits. George Bush claimed there were weapons of mass destruction including a nuclear arsenal in Iraq. And these things of which I speak are really just the tip of the iceberg. I haven’t even begun talking about the deals made with the energy companies that made them incredibly wealthy and left the populace with higher energy prices. This idea that fifty years from now history will vindicate George Bush is so fallacious I’m really surprised people are still buying into it; especially people with sense but, that’s the nature of tribal American politics

Posted by: Scott at February 20, 2008 10:31 AM
Comment #245843

I love the anti-Obama spin here. The argument is basically that anyone who inspires optimism and confidence in people must be a charlatan. Conservatives talk about Obama exactly the way liberals used to talk about Reagan. And we all know how that worked out…

So keep it up. I can’t wait to see the slogans McCain uses in the fall campaign. “Give pessimism a chance”?

Posted by: Woody Mena at February 20, 2008 10:48 AM
Comment #245844

Kruser said: “It is a challenge to keep government service promises yet not kill our economy through higher taxes.”

The GOP answer to this was MONUMENTALLY HIGHER DEBT!! A balanced budget even with higher taxes on the wealthy would be truly applauded by the vast majority of working Americans seeking representation in a government that has diss’ed them as irrelevant except as consumers since 2001.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 20, 2008 10:54 AM
Comment #245845

Lee said: “Not knowing to whom to turn we’ve latched on to a positive sounding message, but being so divided we will be all but ungovernable.”

You are in for an eyeopening surprise if Obama wins in November. This country will rally and unify behind his attempts to force Congress to its Constitutional responsibilities as he observes his own. That’s not to say 4 years later they won’t be disappointed. My crystal ball doesn’t see that far in the future mists.

But, the division and disunity you observe was an artificial creation of the Newt Gingrich led GOP, and perpetuated by nearly every Republican politician since 1994. That era is over.

Even many liberal and moderate Republicans are looking to unify with Independents and moderate and conservative Democrats to solve the major issues threatening our children’s and nation’s future. Too long have we wasted political will and capital on issues like abortion and civil unions while the national debt was doubling, illegal immigration was growing by millions, and the backlash of our failed Middle East policies were marshaling forces to attack us.

We are, if Obama is elected, to become a United States again, even if for a brief period. That will be a damn site better than what we have now with this idiot-in-chief who SLEPT through the FEW history classes he attended at YALE. Anyone can buy a degree these days. Back in Bush’s college days, it was reserved for the wealthy.

BTW, the Ivy League institutions didn’t fair very well on the Civics and History exams of their graduates. No doubt another long standing tradition to be done away with.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 20, 2008 11:07 AM
Comment #245854

Rachel said: Uh…you’re writing in the Republican blog, yet you’re voting in the Democratic primary…this is the danger in open primaries…crossover voting…that means the party isn’t necessarily getting the people that their own party members want…

How true. And also means that we’re not getting the very best candidates the parties have to offer because the crossover votes are usually for the worst candidate. Not the best.
The idea behind the primaries is for the parties to choose the candidate that they think is the best person for the job. It really hasn’t happened for the last several elections. But it sure won’t happen with crossover voting.

Posted by: Ron Brown at February 20, 2008 12:45 PM
Comment #245857

A wasted vote.

Posted by: semi-detached at February 20, 2008 12:52 PM
Comment #245859

Dana:

You are a Republican I admire. And I must tell you there are very few that I do.

You have the courage to say to yourself, “Maybe I’m wrong. Perhaps voting for a special Democrat like Obama may be the correct thing to do.”

Of course, I am for Obama. But it is comparatively easy for me since I am already a Democrat. I salute you. Citizens like yourself are what our democracy needs in order to flourish.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at February 20, 2008 12:57 PM
Comment #245863

I don’t think any of the 3 Presidential Candidates are getting my vote (but I know who I’m not voting for in Congress and other offices).
All three presidential candidates (below) have terrible voting records on illegal immigration (in violation of Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution (www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/constitution.articleiv.html#section4)):

  • John McCain’s (ontheissues.org/John_McCain.htm#Immigration)

  • John McCain: career immigration grade: “D”, recent grade: “D” (27%) (grades.betterimmigration.com/compare.php3?District=AZ&Category=0&Status=Career&VIPID=33)
  • Hillary Clinton’s (ontheissues.org/Hillary_Clinton.htm#Immigration)

  • Hillary Clinton: career immigraton grade: “D”, recent grade: “D-” (22%)
  • Barack Obama’s (ontheissues.org/Barack_Obama.htm#Immigration)

  • Barack Obama: career immigration grade: “D-“, recent grade: “D-” (20%)
  • All in Congress are also in violation of Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

    And none of them (prior to now) have appeared to be serious about stopping these (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm) 10+ abuses, that have been cheating most Americans for over 30 years (abuses that did not all come about by mere coincidence).

    Most voters can not name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Do-Nothing Congress that are responsible and accountable, but those voters repeatedly reward the same irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    In this upcoming 04-Nov-2008 election, will too many voters focus only on the office of President and Vice President, continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians in Do-Nothing Congress with perpetual re-election (despite Congress’ dismal approval ratings), and saddle the next President again with the same dysfunctional, irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, Do-Nothing Congress, and the nation’s pressing problems will continue to grow in number and severity, threatening the future and security of the nation.

    So, regardless who the next Presidente is, perhaps the voters would be wise to not saddle the next President with the same corrupt, irresponsible, lying, Do-nothing Congress, again?
    After all, 93%-to-99% re-election rates for Congress is not working, is it?

    Perhaps voters (regardless of party) should consider the names on this list that voted to give immunity to telecom corporations for going along with yet another violation of the U.S. Constitution?

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2008 1:43 PM
    Comment #245865

    I find it extremely interesting to read the comments above which are filled with hatred of President Bush and the Republican party and conservative beliefs and then, magically, these same writers dream about unity and cohesion with the election of Obama. This one man, with soaring oratory, will wave his magic wand and suddenly conservatives will be enlightened and see the error of their ways. Those who believe in less government, fewer mandated regulations, more individual liberty and the belief that government is already bloated and ineffective will have an awakening and be transformed into Obama loving liberals who espouse exactly the opposite. Obama is for more government, more taxes, more spending, more regulations, more hand-outs, more heavy-handed government edicts. Help me out here, why would I change my whole philosophy of governing because of your theory of magical unity?

    You would have us believe that you truly want unity and are willing to forget and forgive for the benefit of the nation. You would have us believe that it is only Republican Presidents who have kept us from our dreams. What utter nonsense. Your call for unity reminds me of the little boy who, when asked how did the fight start, responded by saying…it all started when he hit me back.

    Posted by: Jim M at February 20, 2008 2:06 PM
    Comment #245866

    Jim M,

    Republicans completely blew their reputation for fiscal conservatism, and the Democrats never had it.

    The bigger problem is the 535 pork-happy, regressive tax-happy, to-hell-with-the-Constitution, FOR-SALE, irresponsible, corrupt, incompetent incumbent politicians in the two-party-duopoly in the Do-Nothing Congress.

    The next president will be useless if saddled with the same worthless Congress.

    Most of the voters simply can not overcome their blind loyalty to THEIR party.

    Too many voters are:

  • too complacent, apathetic, and lazy;

  • blindly loyal to THEIR party, and have abdicated their responsibility to think, and reason, and vote responsibly to THEIR party;

  • too ignorant;

  • too irrationally fearful of the OTHER party winning seats, so they ALWAYS pull the party-lever (i.e. vote straight ticket), the politicians are experts at fueling the partisan-warfare, and some voters are all too happy to wallow in the circular, divisive, blame-game, distracting partisan-warfare; oblivious to the way the way their politicians distract and manipulate the voters;

  • single issue voters (i.e. I want health care! ). Thus, they are easy to manipulate.

  • insane and delusional; after all, what do they call it when you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result?
  • Most voters do not even know who their Congress persons are, much less their Congress persons’ voting records.
    rather wallow in the petty, partisan-warfare, and demonize and blame the OTHER party, because that is easier then admitting that THEIR own party is really no different than the OTHER party. Both are so corrupt and irresponsible, there is truly no significant difference, as evidenced by their voting records and the decline (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm#Chart) of the U.S. over the past 30+ years.

    Most voters can not name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Do-Nothing Congress that are responsible and accountable, but those voters repeatedly reward the same irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    Most voters fail to understand these 10+ abuses that have been cheating Americans for over 30 years; abuses that did not all come about by mere coincidence;

    Watch in this upcoming 04-Nov-2008 election, too many voters will focus only on the office of President and Vice President, continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election (despite Congress’ dismal approval ratings), and saddle their next President again with the same dysfunctional Congress.

    But don’t worry.
    It can’t last forever.
    Americans won’t be as apathetic, complacent, delusional, and lazy when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry.
    Thus, there is a natural built-in self-correction mechanism …

    QUESTION: When will the apathy, complacency, blind loyalty, ignorance, laziness, irrational fear, and insanity finally end?

    ANSWER: It will end when it becomes too painful.

    At any rate, the voters will have the government that they deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2008 2:19 PM
    Comment #245871

    Jim M said: “This one man, with soaring oratory, will wave his magic wand and suddenly conservatives will be enlightened and see the error of their ways.”

    Nope. Conservatives, however they define themselves, will remain the minority they have always been, outside the mainstream. What is changing is that conservatives no longer have control of the GOP, and the liberal and moderate Republicans will take control of the party again over the next 4 years. They will do this by demonstrating a unity and work ethic along side Democrats who will be in control of the Congress, the White House, and by 2012, of the Supreme Court.

    The road back for the GOP is in demonstrating an ability and willingness to work with the majority in solving more problems than they create, and helping to restore the sense of a UNITED States instead of the Red Blue divided states. Conservatives in control of the GOP made every effort to stick it to the Democrats with a vengeance and in so doing, stick it to the majority of the American people. Obviously, conservatives will no longer be given power, and that is a very, very, good thing. As a minority, they are to be heard, never obeyed.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at February 20, 2008 4:06 PM
    Comment #245875

    David, when this magic happens and liberal and moderate Republicans take over the party again they will be called Democrat liberals. A brief review of the last 40 years will reveal the rise of conservatism over Roosevelt liberalism with a few setbacks. Your party has drifted away from its “big-tent” thinking to a “pup-tent” mentality with only those who favor big government and big hand-outs being welcome. Frankly, I don’t understand how even Hillary fits into your tent any longer.

    Posted by: Jim M at February 20, 2008 4:37 PM
    Comment #245878

    David, Unless the voters also remove enough bad politicians (in BOTH parties), little will change.

    The real danger in this election is just that.

    The voters are likely to only remove a few Republican incumbent politicians ONLY, and fail to remove the bad Democrats too. If that happens, Congress will still be as dysfunctional as before. Also, don’t forget what usually happens when the IN-PARTY has a large majority.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2008 4:42 PM
    Comment #245899

    Despite what many think in the last election (7-Nov-2006), the Republicans only lost 29 seats in the House, and 6 seats in the Senate (35 of their total 286 then; now 251).

    The Democrats picked up 31 seats in the House and 5 seats in the Senate to raise their total from 246 to 282).

    That is not the huge sweep that some people perceived it to be.
    Congress still enjoys a very high re-election rates:

    • Average Seat Retention rate for last election: 07-Nov-2006: 93.1%

    • Average Seat Retention rate between 2000 and 2006: 97.6%

    • Average Seat Retention rate between 1996 and 2006: 96.4%

    • Average Seat Retention rate between 1980 and 2006: 96.5%

    • Average Seat Retention rate between 1855 and 2006: 91.2%
    What would be a nice present for the next president, who ever that may be, is for the voters to vote out about 50 or more Republicans and 50 or more Democrats.

    Otherwise, the corrupt, irresponsible, incumbent politicians in Congress will continue to be rewarded for ignoring the nation’s pressing problems, growing dangerously in number and severity, due to these 10+ abuses cheating most Americans; abuses which did not all come about by mere coincidence.

    However, here’s the problem that ensures the high re-election rates for the incumbent politicians who love to fuel the partisan warfare to keep it that way.
    THE PROBLEM: The voters

    • the politicians fuel the partisan-warfare and create fear of the OTHER party winning seats, such that the voters pull the party-lever with the belief that it will prevent the OTHER party from winning any seats. The voter, not having thought it through very thoroughly, forgets that the incumbent in THEIR own party may be no better (if not worse).

    • Some voters appear to be blindly loyal to THEIR party from birth. Some voters simply vote like their parents did. They’ve never really given the issues much thought. They have always pulled the party-lever, and they always will, until the day they die. They have lazily adbicated their duty to vote responsibly to THEIR party.

    • Some voters are one issue voters, and simply vote for the candidate that promises them the most (e.g. tax cuts, or health care, etc.), falling for the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else.

    • Some voters simply go on a feeling, and have never taken two seconds to look at voting records. Oh, but he has such a nice smile. Oh, but I like the way she wears her hair. You know the type.

    • Some voters love to wallow in the partisan warfare, and love to demonize the OTHER party, because that is easier than admitting THEIR own party is really not significantly (if any) better. They are the rabid cheer leaders for THEIR politicians. There is no fact or transgression that they can not rationalize away, or dismiss with the old stand by: the OTHER party is worse.

    • Some voters like to belong. Even if they switch parties, they feel like their only choice is to belong to one or the other.

    • Some voters have stewed tomatoes for brains, and merely vote for the candidate with the leading poll numbers. 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money. Little do they know that 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters are VASTLY out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of the wealthiest voters that make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

    • Some voters may vote (or lean) along racial, religious, and gender lines. But few are likely to admit it.

    • Many voters have not yet (if ever) been disillusioned by THEIR party. Until then, they are likely to blindly pull the party-lever, without knowing the candidates on the ballot, much less the candidates voting records. And then they may be the die-hard loyalists that are incapable of disillusionment.

    • Some voters see reality, and it makes them unhappy, because they are truly a small minority of voters. They see that the politicians in BOTH parties are so corrupt and irresponsible, that the few differences are really of little significance, as evidenced by their voting records, and these 10+ abuses (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm) cheating most Americans for the last 30+ years. They see that the government is voters, and the voters will have the government that the voters deserve. They understand that a corrupt government is because the voters not only tolerate it, but empower it by repeatedly rewarding corrupt politicians with perpetual re-election. While those few voters may try in earnest to convince others, it is probably futile, and while giving up will accomplish nothing either, they understand that we will probably have to learn the hard and painful way (again). 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward. And we have been going backwards for 30+ years. Pain and misery is often the only thing that finally trumps apathy, complacency, laziness, greed, irrational fear, and blind loyalty.

    At any rate, as long as the voters can vote and get an accurate vote-count, the voters will have the government that the voters deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2008 7:50 PM
    Comment #245907

    semi-detached,

    A wasted vote.

    Only non-voters waste their.

    Jack,

    It is much easier to aspire than to deliver.

    […]
    Voters don’t like to hear these things. They prefer to vote for hope. This has been the risk and weakness of democracy since the time of Pericles.

    I strongly disagree. Hope is fundamental to humankind. Pretty much every progress we’ve made so far was made by people hoping for a better world, name-called crazy dreamers & utopians at time. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope in fact.

    Without hope from life and what rest except… wait? All human wisdom is summed up in two words — wait and hope. Remove the late and life - and humankind - is pointless.

    And when it comes to electing leaders - which Bonaparte said are dealers in hope - one will often chose hope over wait [more of the same].

    Hope is change’s fuel. No wonder people buy it each time.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 20, 2008 9:17 PM
    Comment #245909

    David wrote-

    A balanced budget even with higher taxes on the wealthy would be truly applauded by the vast majority of working Americans seeking representation in a government that has diss’ed them as irrelevant except as consumers since 2001.

    All well and good David. The price of such will be that the part of the economy that both produces STUFF, that without which money is worthless no matter how you squeeze the rich for it, and provides really productive employment (not tax accounting, paper-pushing, lawyering, and make-work for the sake of showing off how much you’re doing for the taxpayers) will die. We live in a global economy, fellas. If our total economy becomes less efficient than those of our competitors no amount of “representation” will make us viable.

    I have seen taxes eat out the capacity of a company to put capital where it must go. Furthermore, though I am not rich, if the rich feel terribly pressed my family does not eat. Such is the case for millions of “working people” throughout this country.

    You might as well be walking through the neighborhoods where these people work, shooting randomly at them. Gardeners-pop! Carpenters-pop! Maids and house-men- pop, pop! Carpet layers- pop! Auto sales people- pop! Artists- pop! Remember Jimmy Carter’s “luxury tax”? 80,000 jobs-pop! pop! pop!, etc., etc….


    Have fun screwing the “rich”. Happy days are here again!

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 20, 2008 9:34 PM
    Comment #245910

    Oh, David, I forgot the Carter “Excess profits tax”. Piece of genius! That gem cost 40,000 jobs in Texas ALONE. Those weren’t “rich” people, either. They were blue-collar, hard-working laborers. You guys are such brilliant economists. And, of course, you’re never, ever wrong.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 20, 2008 9:41 PM
    Comment #245918

    Since I’ve been accused of making this up over on the blue side, let me enlighten anyone else.Barack Hussein Obama Jr.’s middle name is indeed Hussein.
    Barack Hussein Obama’s Wikipedia article

    A biographical site

    And of course, snopes.com, while debunking the Muslim legend, confirms the name.

    Posted by: Duane-o at February 20, 2008 10:51 PM
    Comment #245919
    Lee Jamison wrote: Have fun screwing the “rich”. Happy days are here again!

    Lee Jamison, the current tax system is regressive (by design), and Democrat and Republican politicians BOTH made it that way, along with these other 10+ abuses (which did not all come about by mere coincidence).

    I don’t want to screw the rich.

    I want the rich to stop screwing everyone else, and that is exactly what is happening due to these 10+ abuses that have been cheating most Americans for the past 30+ years.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 20, 2008 10:56 PM
    Comment #245924

    Dan,
    When one twentieth of the people pay more than half of the taxes, and the percentage that one twentieth pay has increased by nearly ten percent in the last seven years (when it DECREASED DURING THE CLINTON YEARS) I have to wonder how much more regressive we could make it. But, if you want to go back to the old punitive way of doing things (that’s what we’re really talking about anyway, punishment) go ahead, inflict pain. See how many rich people you can drive to other countries along with the jobs they create.

    Oh, you’ll prevent them from taking their money? Let the Chinese, Saudis, and others who are financing our debt see that… But, yeah, you go ahead and punish them.

    On your list the one thing that rich really have unfairly benefitted from is illegal immigration, the importation of semi-slave labor. That is the real deal.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 20, 2008 11:30 PM
    Comment #245926

    Philippe

    You remember the story of Pandora. Hope is an essential part of human emotion. I am not talking against hope in general.

    But when you substitute hope and emotion in general for reason in politics, you get trouble.

    The disagreement I have with many people here and with Obama fans is the place where I think most hope and aspiration should be.

    We tend to see countries as governments. When we study history or politics, we personify countries and we are almost always talking about their kings, rulers or governments. It is a convenient mental model, but it is very incomplete and sometimes pernicious. Government is only one part of a country and in some areas not its most important part.

    Most of the work, innovation and change gets done by the private sector. The people improve their lives. They innovate; they aspire; they hope. Government facilitates, but is not very good at managing the process.

    Government is hamstrung for some very simple organizational reasons. Most important is the nature of law itself. Law must be codified and it must apply equally. This is the strength of the law, but it a weakness for innovation. It is not flexible and cannot be made flexible. So you apply law (government) in situations where you need general applications and usually where significant consensus already has been reached. The other key reason for government problem is bureaucracy. Every idea has to be implemented. Government implements with bureaucracy. Bureaucracy works well to administer, but it does not innovate. In fact it cannot innovate because bureaucrats MUST act within the rules set up by the political process. The bigger it gets, the harder it gets to be flexible. That is why small government, such as municipalities, states and even little population countries (like Norway or Denmark) can sometimes do what large governments, like the U.S. Federal government cannot.

    When Obama or any other politician talks about government as the agent of flexible change, hope and aspiration, he is asking elephants to dance. That metaphor, BTW, is used in some American business contexts to refer to large firms trying to compete with small ones. There are some instances where large organizations can innovate, but they always do it by decentralizing, pushing authority to lower levels and usually downsizing. These are things government usually CANNOT do and the downsizing part is the opposite of what Obama is proposing.

    Finally, you mention Bonaparte. An excellent example. How did that work out for democracy in France? It was a glorious – warlike – and ultimately defeated part of your history. Hitler was another leader who sold hope over reason. It is the nature of charismatic leader. I am not saying that Obama is like either of these guys. He seems a man of high ethical character, but he is using these tools.

    When a charismatic leader build on hope and then inevitably cannot deliver, the next step is to find scapegoats to blame. It gets ugly fast. Obama fans are already in the scapgoat mode, which is uncommon. Look at the Bush hate you find in a few of the posts right here.

    I am an older, simple and boring man. I have achieved significant success in my life by being very hopeful and optimistic, but also by grounding them in reality. To modify the metaphor – hope but verify.

    Posted by: Jack at February 21, 2008 12:06 AM
    Comment #245927
    Lee Jamison wrote: d.a.n, When one twentieth of the people pay more than half of the taxes, …
    The issue is not the amounts of tax.

    The issue is the PERCENTAGE, and the current tax system is regressive and unfair to the middle class, as evidenced by Warren Buffet who paid 17.7% income tax rate on $46 million (in 2006) while his secretary paid a 30% income tax on $60K.
    That is regressive (largely due to 15% tax on capital gains).
    The tax system is regressive, because of a myriad of tax loop holes for the wealthy (not to mention a myriad of subsidies and corporate welfare).

    So, Lee Jamison, you think regressive tax systems are fair?

    Lee Jamison wrote: … and the percentage that one twentieth pay has increased by nearly ten percent in the last seven years (when it DECREASED DURING THE CLINTON YEARS) I have to wonder how much more regressive we could make it.
    I just demonstrated how the tax system is regressive, with a perfect example of it.
    Lee Jamison wrote: But, if you want to go back to the old punitive way of doing things
    Nonsense.

    All I want is fair. That’s all.

    Lee Jamison wrote: (that’s what we’re really talking about anyway, punishment) go ahead, inflict pain.
    What’s this “we” $#!+ .

    Again, all I expect is fairness, and to me that is a tax system that is a flat 17% income tax ONLY on income above the poverty level.
    What’s unfair and punitive about asking everyone to pay a flat 17% income tax ONLY on income above the poverty level?

    Lee Jamison wrote: See how many rich people you can drive to other countries along with the jobs they create.
    Nonsense.

    If the wealthy can’t tolerate the flat 17% income tax system (only on income above the poverty level) that I have advocated for years, then they are stupid and greedy, and good riddance.

    Lee Jamison wrote: Oh, you’ll prevent them from taking their money? Let the Chinese, Saudis, and others who are financing our debt see that… But, yeah, you go ahead and punish them.
    More nonsense.

    The issue is fairness; not about punishing anyone.

    Lee Jamison wrote: On your list the one thing that rich really have unfairly benefitted from is illegal immigration, the importation of semi-slave labor. That is the real deal.
    More nonsense.

    Obviously, you didn’t look at the list of 10+ abuses very thouroughly.

    • (1) The monetary system is usurious.
      The Federal Reserve Bank creates money out of thin air (up to 90% of each new loan is new money).
      The Federal Reserve loans that money with interest to member banks.
      The member banks try to loan it to everyone possible (with more interest).
      Then the bank converts money created out of thin air into real assets via confiscation of real property due to foreclosures and defaults.
      Cha-Ching!
      Then the banks sell the real property at auctions and fire-sales, where some wealthy investors clean up nicely on some discounted property.
      Cha-Ching?

    • (2) Education: They won’t teach you about # (1) above in public school.

    • (3) National Debt ($9.2 Trillion) being piled onto future generations. All of the debt, spending, and excessive money printing also hurts the lower and middle income people more, because they are less able to preserve their wealth (if any) in gold, real-estate, stocks, bonds, land, oil, commodities, hedge funds, etc. Inflation erodes their incomes and savings. And with regressive taxation, that debt hurts the middle class the most.

    • (4) Plundering the Social Security surpluses; $12.8 Trillion was borrowed and spent from it, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching)

    • (5) Regressive Taxation. Also, no income above the $97,500 is taxed. That’s regressive too. And all sales taxes are regressive.

    • (6) Illegal immigration (you have already conceded this issue)

    • (7) Election problems: Government is FOR-SALE, as evidenced by the 99.85% of all 200 million voters that are VASTLY out-spent by a very tiny 0.15% of the wealthiest voters that make a whopping 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more).

    • (8) Healthcare and pharmacueticals; in their greedy dash for money and profits, pharmacuetical companies and corporate hospitals are killing 195,000 people per year due to preventable medical mistakes. 195,000 deaths per year is appalling; another manifestation of unchecked corporate greed. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the U.S. troops killed in the the American Revolution (4,435), the War of 1812 (2,260), the Indian Wars (1,000), the Mexican War (1,733), the Civil War (462,000), the Spanish American War (385), WWI (53,402), WWII (291,557), Vietnam War (58,209), Korean War (36,574), the Iraq Gulf War (529), and the current Iraq war Mar-2003-present (3,963), combined!

    • (9) And who ends up fighting in most of those wars? And who often weasels out one way or another? And who creates the lies to justify some of these wars (e.g. no WMD … oooppss, so sorry)?

    • (10) Lawlessness: Article V is being flagrantly violated. Over two-thirds of the states have applied for a balanced budget amendment, but Congress flagrantly refuses to call a convention. If it were not for this violation, perhaps the tax payers would not be burdened with a $9.2 Trillion National Debt, and regressive taxes to boot.
    That’s just a few. I deal with facts. Not empty rhetoric. I can give you many more solid examples.

    So, the statement

    Lee Jamison wrote:
    On your list the one thing that rich really have unfairly benefitted from is illegal immigration
    is false.

    Despite your unjustified accusations, my objective is not about punishing the rich.

    My objective is about fairness, and stopping the rich from abusing every one else.
    Anyone that can’t see it is blind, or deluded, or both.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 12:22 AM
    Comment #245929

    CORRECTION: (5) Regressive Taxation. Also, no income above the $97,500 is taxed (for Social Security taxes)

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 12:30 AM
    Comment #245942

    Duane-o,

    What the point regarding Obama middle name?
    Since when babies choose their names themselves?

    Jack,

    I’m not saying hope should substitute reason. I’m saying hope combined with reason allow innovation, when reason alone can’t.
    We could debate about the final net output from Bonaparte on France long history, but my point is that a leader job is to initiate and keep momentum. By giving hope. By facilitate its realisation, which is the actual job of a government, not doing it all alone or, worst, against its citizens.

    You sum it up by “hope but verify”. While I agree, I rather like “hope and do”, aka “you can” and “do”. The leader job is giving enough hope that it can be done - sometimes thru governmental help - the citizen job is to do it.

    Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at February 21, 2008 4:57 AM
    Comment #245946

    Anyone who would vote for Obama is not a Republican (or a conservative). Obama is not some “moderate” Democrat running against some fanatical right-wing Republican, thus creating a situation in which some moderate Republicans could actually be closer to Obama than to the GOP nominee in terms of issue identification. Obama is the most liberal of the Senators (in 2006, anyway). And McCain is hardly the “right-wing” candidate. Thus, there is no way any actual Republican can have more in common with Obama than with McCain. If you vote Obama, you are a Democrat. You are not a “Republican for Obama.” If you previously voted GOP, but now want to vote Obama, then you are a “Former Republican for Obama.”

    That’s fine, too. Let’s just be honest.

    Posted by: PrivatePigg at February 21, 2008 8:30 AM
    Comment #245956

    D.a.n.,
    #1 on your list is silly nonsense, a profligate piece of foolishness similar tho the monetary philosophy that made what should have been a common cyclical depression into the Great Depression. If W.W.II had not pulled Roosevelt’s ass out of the fire he would be remembered as a complete failure because of ideas like that.

    #2 education is what Democrats make of it. If it were intended to enlighten instead of indoctrinate Sheila Jackson Lee would know astronauts never landed on Mars and the electorate would know ALL forms of money (currency, gold, commodities, etc.) are imaginary social constructs representing, but not literally containing, value.

    #3 a recent study of debtor nations versus creditor nations over history (can’t remember where it was) showed that debtor nation economies grew, on average, faster than creditor nations did. A simple example is that, during the entire Great Depression, the U.S. was far and away the greatest creditor nation on Earth, but the economy contracted. When W.W.II began and the economy began to borrow money from any and all sources (thus incidentally increasing the money supply and making it unproductive to invest in currency) the economy TRIPLED IN THREE YEARS.

    #4 Social Security was from the beginning a true Ponzi scheme. In its current form it can’t be saved without making tax slaves out of our children. If our kids have any sense at all they will simply eliminate the program entirely and throw the contemptible codgers who thought they could obligate future generations to decades of supporting people who didn’t have the sense to plan for themselves out on the street.

    Government told us to believe in magic so they could buy our votes with our children’s money. Like gullible sheep we did.

    #5 All flat taxes are regressive, too. And how will you apply these flat taxes? On total gross income? If so you’ll drive the vast majority of small businesses out of business. I had to drop health insurance in part because my medical expenses are not deducted from the income on which my small business punishment taxes (F.I.C.A.) are figured. In spite of the fact I owed no “income taxes” I still had to shell out more than $4000 in small business punishment.

    If a flat tax were applied against my gross receipts that figure would go up!

    #6 Illegal immigration is a bandaid slapped on the Social Security issue. Even liberals have economists who can count. The Social Security tooth fairy is about to start eating politicians in about eight years and the importation of rights-compromised semi-slave labor is about the only way to put off the judgement day.

    #7 while there is truth in this point it is worth noting that the best funded candidates in the Republican campaign this year have gone down in flames and the two that remain were both badly underfunded and flying by the seats of their pants.

    #8 The medical industry we have today is a product of government meddling specifically intended to dismantle the economic foundations on which medicine rests. The single most important aspect of this meddling is the fracturing of payer systems that perpetuates exclusions for “pre-existing conditions”, thus permitting the shunting of those who need medical care the most into government-funded programs. The second is a plethora of standards in insurance products that make it impossible to compare policies against one another. The third is the steady drip drip of tort assaults on physicians. There are several more.

    Yeah, the system is broken, but government broke it on purpose.

    #9 If the people understood their power we could always have a predominance of good politicians and we could virtually eliminate war. Just look at Europe since W.W.II. With the elimination of the archaic governments that prevailed in prior centuries and adoption of democracies Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace among its peoples since the invention of writing.

    What is war anyway? It is politicians failing and falling back on the real source of their power to save them.

    #10, no argument here. the Constitution is just a piece of paper when liberal judges run the courts. The Tenth Amendment is faring none-too-well either.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 21, 2008 9:45 AM
    Comment #245960

    A note I sent my son who had the same vote misgivings…

    “During primary seasons, candidates and voters tend to go to extremes. The reason is normal partisan politics. The socialists or democrats as all socialists do, rely on style or symbolism to make their failure policies look appealing. To accomplish their goals, it first has to be established that we are all failures, our country is in the crapper and we need “change”. They have to manufacture demons and saviors. Unfortunately they have lost George Bush as the demon and they have to revert to battling the “system” or “establishment” (The old sixties symbols).
    Republicans are realists, but that doesn’t make you likeable. People want a hero who can defeat demons even if they are manufactured. This is why they become annoyed with candidates who use the symbol tactics of socialists. Republicans want an experienced conservative, so every election the opposition accuses the other of being too liberal and their lack of experience is a concern. Democrats want a savior and the opposition accuses the other of being a part of the establishment. This happens in every primary and is never a reason to give up politics and become passive. Your vote is a sacred thing in a democracy that should not be taken lightly.”

    D.A.N. Are you compairing taxing corporate profits to normal taxed wages? There is a big difference and you are pushing error through overstated data. Since they are not individuals, corporations don’t pay social security.

    Corporations are formed for common people to invest and own a piece of the company. Capital gains taxes discourage people from investing and also take the percentage you stated out of the pool of resources that could have been reinvested. When there was a little sanity, social security was a flat tax and you could pay it off. My father in law used to celebrate the time of the year he made it and he would invest the amount for the remainder of the year in a retirement fund. (He was a telephone lineman)This has given him a little extra to live off of to supplement his meager social security now that he is in his seventies. Do you want to confine people to a meager existance? You see, the rich are simply diligent people who plan ahead and want to invest. Your policies are focused to make dependants and deny opportunity.

    Posted by: Kruser at February 21, 2008 10:10 AM
    Comment #245964
    Lee Jamison wrote: d.a.n., #1 on your list [10+ abuses] is silly nonsense, a profligate piece of foolishness
    Not true.
    Lee Jamison wrote: … similar to the monetary philosophy that made what should have been a common cyclical depression into the Great Depression.
    You obviously do not understand how money is created, or that the current system is a mathematically problematic pyramid-scheme.

    You drew a conclusion ONLY (i.e. called it “silly nonsense”), yet offered no evidence to refute it whatsoever.
    How convenient?
    That’s because you can’t.
    It is easy to call something silly.
    It is altogether different to prove it.
    So, prove it if you can.
    First of all, tell us how you justify and rationalize the following (facts please, not empty rhetoric):

    • The monetary system is usurious.

    • The Federal Reserve Bank creates money out of thin air (up to 90% of each new loan is new money).
    • The Federal Reserve loans that money with interest to member banks.
    • The member banks try to loan it to everyone possible (with more interest).
    • Then the bank converts money created out of thin air into real assets via confiscation of real property due to foreclosures and defaults. Cha-Ching!

    • Then the banks sell the real property at auctions and fire-sales, where some wealthy investors clean up nicely on some discounted property. Cha-Ching?

    So, what part of that is false?
    And why is that not a pryamid scheme?
    Nation-wide debt is already over $48 Trillion (mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat.htm).
    That is almost half of the nation’s total net worth.
    Where will the money for the INTEREST on $48 Trillion come from? Much less the $48 Trillion for the PRINCIPAL (LOAN=PRINCIPAL + INTEREST).
    Where will the money come from when it does not yet exist, and the U.S. Dollar is already falling like a rock (one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.gif)?
    Where will the money come from when 2% of the U.S. population owns most of the wealth in the U.S., and 80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.?
    Where will the money come from, when it does NOT yet exist?
    Get the picture?
    That is a pryamid-scheme, that results in more and more and more debt.
    It is a mathematical certainty, and can not be dismissed by merely calling it silliness.
    What is truly silly is trying to rationalize it; explain it; and defend it; when it is indefensible.
    It also is rampant with usury, usurious lending rates, predatory lending practices, and other manifestations of unchecked greed.

    Are you also actually trying to claim the monetary policy had nothing to do with causing the Great Depression.
    There were many causes for the Great Depression, but that was one of the major causes (along with WWI debt, dust bowl, speculation, exacerbated by bad trade policies, and other manifestations of unchecked greed).

    Lee Jamison wrote: If W.W.II had not pulled Roosevelt’s ass out of the fire he would be remembered as a complete failure because of ideas like that.
    The economy was already improving before 1941.

    And Woodrow Wilson is the unwitting idiot that signed the Federal Reserve into existence in 1913.
    At any rate, I have some heavy criticism for some things FDR did that were unconstitutional.

    Lee Jamison wrote: #2 education is what Democrats make of it.
    Nonsense.

    Partisan motivated nonsense.
    Everything in this country is what WE make of it. Some people like to wallow in the partisan warfare, because it is easier to blame the OTHER party, rather than admit that THEIR own is no different.

    Lee Jamison wrote: If it were intended to enlighten instead of indoctrinate Sheila Jackson Lee would know astronauts never landed on Mars and the electorate would know ALL forms of money (currency, gold, commodities, etc.) are imaginary social constructs representing, but not literally containing, value.
    So, Democrats (of which I’ve never been, but admit to once being a Republican) destroyed education?

    By the way, if you want to draw a few differences between the political leanings, which political leaning is it that tries the hardest to indoctrinate THEIR religion in public schools?
    UUhhmmmm … care to answer that?

    By the way, a gold/silver/commodity currency is not required. I’m not advocating a backed currency. It isn’t necessary. The problem is mismanagement, lack of transparency, usurious practices, and greed.
    And you won’t learn about the Federal Resere in public school. Why is that?

    Lee Jamison wrote: #3 a recent study of debtor nations versus creditor nations over history (can’t remember where it was) showed that debtor nation economies grew, on average, faster than creditor nations did. A simple example is that, during the entire Great Depression, the U.S. was far and away the greatest creditor nation on Earth, but the economy contracted. When W.W.II began and the economy began to borrow money from any and all sources (thus incidentally increasing the money supply and making it unproductive to invest in currency) the economy TRIPLED IN THREE YEARS.
    False.

    The economy did not triple three years after WWII started?
    GDP, adjusted for inflation (in 2005 Dollars), increased from about $1.3 Trillion in 1941 to $2.3 Trillion by 1945 (the end of WWII).
    So, it did not even double.
    It was the National Debt that increased by more than a factor of 5 (i.e. quintupled) (in 2005 Dollars) from $0.5 Trillion to $2.7 Trillion.
    Therefore, the debt grew MORE than GDP, and that is NOT a good thing.
    However, hard working Americans started paying down the WWII debt, and Debt-to-GDP started falling quickly after WWII up until about 1976, when many things started to unravel in America (due to these 10+ abuses).
    Besides, what are you trying to do?
    Rationalize the current $9.2 Trillion National Debt?

    Lee Jamison wrote: #4 Social Security was from the beginning a true Ponzi scheme.
    Not true. But close.

    It was a few years after it was started that Congress noticed the growing surpluses, and wanted to raid them.
    So, they found a way to borrow from it, and have ever since ($12.8 Trillion to date: CATO Institute: www.socialsecurity.org/reformandyou/faqs.html#2)
    The surpluses were too much temptation for them.
    However, it could not have ever been saved or efficiently invested either, due to one other serious problem: a usurious, economically destabilizing, inflationary pryamid-scheme monetary system.
    Thus, it is pay-as-you-go, and that is a serious problem now, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching.

    Lee Jamison wrote: In its [Social Security] current form it can’t be saved without making tax slaves out of our children.
    True. It has been mismanaged. And some people in Congress appear to be doing their best to make it fail. However, the usurious, economically destabilizing, inflationary pryamid-scheme monetary system will accomplish that almost single-handedly.
    Lee Jamison wrote: If our kids have any sense at all they will simply eliminate the program entirely and throw the contemptible codgers who thought they could obligate future generations to decades of supporting people who didn’t have the sense to plan for themselves out on the street.
    I agree. If it can not be protected and properly managed, it should be eliminated. Besides, it is doomed to fail if we stay on the current fiscal course.
    Lee Jamison wrote: Government told us to believe in magic so they could buy our votes with our children’s money. Like gullible sheep we did.
    Yes, too many did. They fell for the myth that we can all live at the expense of everyone else. In reality, it isn’t possible.
    Lee Jamison wrote: #5 All flat taxes are regressive, too.
    False. Flat means NEUTRAL. That is a mathematical certainty.

    Here is a PROGRESSIVE-to-REGRESSIVE Tax System (what we have now).
    ____HERE IS A PROGRESSIVE-to-REGRESSIVE TAX SYSTEM:____
    30% _ _ X_ _ _ _[]
    25% X _ _ _ X_ _ _[]
    20% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X_ _ _[]
    15% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X _ X_ _ _ _
    10% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    05% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
    $18K 36K 54K 72K 90K 108K 126K 144K 162K 180K $198K

    Here is a PROGRESSIVE Tax System (this soaks the rich)
    100%[] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ X[]
    90% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X
    80% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X
    70% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X
    6o% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    50% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    40% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    30% _ _ _ _ _X
    20% _ _ _X
    10% _ X
    00% X
    $18K 36K 54K 72K 90K 108K 126K 144K 162K 180K $198K

    Here is a PROGRESSIVE-to-NEUTRAL 17% Tax System (which I prefer; only tax income above the poverty level)
    ____PROGRESSIVE-to-NEUTRAL 17% TAX SYSTEM:____
    17% [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ [] _ X[]
    16% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X
    14% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _X
    12% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    10% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    08% _ _ _ _ _ _ _ X
    06% _ _ _ _ _X
    04% _ _ _X
    02% _ X
    00% X
    $18K 36K 54K 72K 90K 108K 126K 144K 162K 180K $198K

    Here is prefectly flat 17% tax (however, taxing people below the poverty level is too harsh, even if it is NOT regressive):
    ____NEUTRAL 17% TAX SYSTEM:____
    17% X _ X _ X _ X _ X _ X _ X _ X _ X _ X _ X
    14%
    11%
    08%
    05%
    02%
    $18K 36K 54K 72K 90K 108K 126K 144K 162K 180K $198K

    Lee Jamison wrote: And how will you apply these flat taxes? On total gross income?
    No.

    Only on personal income (including earned income, inheritance, capital gains, etc.) ABOVE the poverty level.
    Here are the details: one-simple-idea.com/TaxSystemReform.htm
    Abolish corporate income taxes, that are merely passed onto consumers as hidden (and regressive) sales taxes.
    Eliminate ALL tax deductions and tax loop-holes.
    Essentially, simplify the current system.

    Lee Jamison wrote: If so you’ll drive the vast majority of small businesses out of business.
    Not without ANY corporate taxes, as should be the case.
    Lee Jamison wrote: I had to drop health insurance in part because my medical expenses are not deducted from the income on which my small business punishment taxes (F.I.C.A.) are figured. In spite of the fact I owed no “income taxes” I still had to shell out more than $4000 in small business punishment.
    The current tax system sucks. No doubt about it.
    Lee Jamison wrote: If a flat tax were applied against my gross receipts that figure would go up!
    Not if it is ONLY on income above the poverty level, and you most likely ALREADY pay above 17% income tax. After all, the total Social Security tax on the first $97,500 is 12.65% alone.
    Lee Jamison wrote: #6 Illegal immigration is a bandaid slapped on the Social Security issue. Even liberals have economists who can count. The Social Security tooth fairy is about to start eating politicians in about eight years and the importation of rights-compromised semi-slave labor is about the only way to put off the judgement day.
    It is despicable.

    The extra Social Security taxes collected do NOT offset the net losses to most middle and lower income Americans (estimated net losses of $70 Billion to $338 Billion).
    Politicians the refuse to enforce existing laws for cheap labor for profits, or pander for votes are despicable.
    Politicians the refuse to enforce existing laws for cheap labor for profits, or pander for votes are essentially pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other.

    Lee Jamison wrote: #7 while there is truth in this point it is worth noting that the best funded candidates in the Republican campaign this year have gone down in flames and the two that remain were both badly underfunded and flying by the seats of their pants.
    The Democrats are MUCH better funded this election …

    Federal Campaign Donations:

  • Candidate’s ___ # $200+ _ %Donors __ # $2,300+ _ %Donors _ # $4,600 _ %Donors

  • Name: ________ Donors __ upto $200 _ Donors ____ $2300+ __ Donors ___ $4,600

  • ________________ ________ ___________ __________ _________ ________ _______
  • Clinton, Hillary ___ 57,975 ___ 12% ___ 19,949 _____ 63% _____ 7,411 ______ 33%

  • Obama, Barack __ 69,628 ___ 26% ___ 16,259 _____ 43% _____ 1,964 ______ 10%

  • McCain, John ____ 27,205 ___ 22% ____ 6,183 _____ 45% ______ 731 _______ 9%
  • John McCain doesn’t have a chance, unless voter sentiments change drastically between now and 4-NOV-2008, because:

    • (1) most voter donations (of all sizes) are not going to John McCain.

    • (2) Most (vastly more) of the largest donations (of $4,600) are going to to BOTH Democrat candidates, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    • (3) John McCain’s share of the $4,600 donations is a tiny 7.8%

    • (4) John McCain’s share of the $2,300+ donations is a tiny 14.6%

    • (5) John McCain’s share of the smaller $200 (or less) donations is only 17.6%

    • (6) John McCain has alienated many conservatives on many issues (e.g. illegal immigration, McCain-Feingold campaign finance, Iraq, taxation, economic issues, etc.)

    What is interesting, and encouraging is to see Hillary, receiving by far the largest number of BIG donations ($4,600) isn’t doing so well.
    That tickles me pink.
    While the richest donors like Hillary, the majority of voters are not being swayed by her BIG money.
    But, there is a ways to go, so I would not count out the power of money to buy elections, since 90% of elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money.

    Lee Jamison wrote: #8 The medical industry we have today is a product of government meddling specifically intended to dismantle the economic foundations on which medicine rests.
    Yes, and corpocrisy, corporatism, and other manifestations of unchecked greed.

    What is amazing is the MASSIVE numbers of people being killed by preventable mistakes. And 101,000 per year are by adverse drug reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.

    Lee Jamison wrote: The single most important aspect of this meddling is the fracturing of payer systems that perpetuates exclusions for “pre-existing conditions”, thus permitting the shunting of those who need medical care the most into government-funded programs.
    Exactly. Government meddling is screwing the system up royally. And the Medicare fraud is rampant. More manifestations of unchecked greed.
    Lee Jamison wrote: The second is a plethora of standards in insurance products that make it impossible to compare policies against one another.
    The insurance companies are a competely unnecessary group of greedy middlemen. Get rid of them.
    Lee Jamison wrote: The third is the steady drip drip of tort assaults on physicians. There are several more.
    True. But they also have themselves to thank for this, but choosing to deal with insurance companies and the government, instead of their customer.

    HEATLH CARE SOLUTIONS (eliminate middle-men): one-simple-idea.com/HealthCareSolutions.htm

    Lee Jamison wrote: Yeah, the system is broken, but government broke it on purpose.
    Sort of.

    However, as long as we can vote, WE (the voters) broke the system, since

    • (01) Most voters don’t know that Do-Nothing Congress enjoys 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    • (02) Half of the voters don’t even bother to vote at all.

    • (03) Most of the voters that do vote blindly pull the party lever, rewarding irresponsible incumbent politicians, despite the majority of voters that whine and complain about a corrupt and dysfunctional Congress and give Congress dismally low 11%-to-18% approval ratings.

    • (04) Most of the voters simply can not overcome their blind loyalty to THEIR party.

    • (05) Too many voters are:
      • too complacent, apathetic, and lazy;

      • too blindly loyal to THEIR party, and have abdicated their responsibility to think, and reason, and vote responsibly to THEIR party;

      • too ignorant; that’s no excuse; it merely makes ‘em a good target for abuse;

      • too irrationally fearful of the OTHER party winning seats, so they ALWAYS pull the party-lever (i.e. vote straight ticket), the politicians are experts at fueling the partisan-warfare, and some voters are all too happy to wallow in the circular, divisive, blame-game, distracting partisan-warfare; oblivious to the way the way their politicians distract and manipulate the voters;

      • insane and delusional; after all, what do they call it when you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result?

    • (06) Too many voters are single issue voters (i.e. I want health care! ). Thus, they are easy to manipulate.

    • (07) Most voters do not even know who their Congress persons are, much less their Congress persons’ voting records.

    • (08) Most voters rather wallow in the petty, partisan-warfare, and demonize and blame the OTHER party, because that is easier then admitting that THEIR own party is really no different than the OTHER party. Both are so corrupt and irresponsible, there is truly no significant difference, as evidenced by their voting records and the decline of the U.S. over the past 30+ years.

    • (09) Most voters can not name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (half of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable, but those voters repeatedly reward the same irresponsible and corrupt incumbent politicians with 93%-to-99% re-election rates.

    • (10) Most voters fail to understand these 10+ abuses that have been cheating Americans for over 30 years; abuses that did not all come about by mere coincidence;

    • (11) And in this upcoming 04-Nov-2008 election, too many voters will focus only on the office of President and Vice President, continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible incumbent politicians in Congress with perpetual re-election (despite Congress’ dismal approval ratings), and saddle the next President again with the same dysfunctional, irresponsible, corrupt, FOR-SALE, Do-Nothing Congress, and the nation’s pressing problems will continue to grow in number and severity, threatening the future and security of the nation, as the U.S. decays into total fiscal and moral bankruptcy.

    Lee Jamison wrote:
    #9 If the people understood their power we could always have a predominance of good politicians and we could virtually eliminate war.

    True. People squander their vote and over-look STEP [3]: one-simple-idea.com/ProsCons.htm#VotingGuidelines

    But don’t worry.
    It can’t last forever.
    Americans won’t be as apathetic, complacent, delusional, and lazy when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry.
    That is the natural, built-in self-correction mechanism: pain
    And there’s always the chance we may learn from history (hopefully, sooner than later), and we will have real progress again.
    2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.

    Lee Jamison wrote: Just look at Europe since W.W.II. With the elimination of the archaic governments that prevailed in prior centuries and adoption of democracies Europe has enjoyed the longest period of peace among its peoples since the invention of writing.
    True. There have been advances over the millennia.

    But nations come and go too, and we should not forget that history lesson either.
    It takes a lot to destroy a nation, but we should avoid those ends by not ignoring the beginnings.

    Lee Jamison wrote: #10, no argument here. the Constitution is just a piece of paper when liberal judges run the courts. The Tenth Amendment is faring none-too-well either.
    Agreed.

    So, after all that, we appear to be in agreement on many things.
    So, the statement

    Lee Jamison wrote:
    On your list the one thing that rich really have unfairly benefitted from is illegal immigration

    is still false.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 11:39 AM
    Comment #245976

    d.a.n.,
    I wish I could type as fast as you can.

    Actually you stated the creation of money pretty well. However, what gives money its value is the production in the economy. Money has no intrinsic value. What you, and others who complain of the issues you are addressing are dealing with, is the vertigo of recognition of what money really is. Nothing.

    There is too much of this nothing if the amount of it in the economy is more than is needed to deal with the volume of transactions in everyday commerce. The value falls. Voila! Inflation.

    People want to fight this value vertigo by pinning the value of the dollar to something like gold, but gold, except for its industrial uses, is also an imaginary repository of value! The fact is that the world commodity markets do exactly what you would have the government do- they tell the world what the dollar is worth today in a whole range of mass products with a fairly tangible real worth.

    What the Fed does is monitor the value of the dollar against all the available metrics and attempt to maintain a money supply that will inflate slowly, 1 1/2 to 2% per year so that people won’t stuff greenbacks in their mattresses and capital will be forced to get a job.

    The value of money is THE STUFF, the houses, golf balls, hamburgers, haircuts, and lawns mowed, not the money or what it is pinned to.

    Want to understand why the dollar is falling against world markets? Easy. Our economy doesn’t make as much stuff as it used to.

    Sorry if that’s unnerving. It’s just the way it is.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 21, 2008 12:40 PM
    Comment #245978

    Oh, so as not to confuse people, when I said “What the Fed does is monitor the value of the dollar against all the available metrics and attempt to maintain a money supply that will inflate slowly, 1 1/2 to 2% per year so that people won’t stuff greenbacks in their mattresses and capital will be forced to get a job.”
    I meant the inflation within our own economy. This can’t apply to world markets or present policy within the U.S. would have to be deflationary (increasing the local value of money) which would precipitate a recession at the very least.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 21, 2008 12:47 PM
    Comment #245989
    Lee Jamison wrote: d.a.n., Actually you stated the creation of money pretty well.
    Thanks. There is more to it.

    You have to understand WHO benefits from inflation and excessive money-printing to really appreciate the nefarious motives behind it.
    This is not wild conspiracy theory and cult rhetoric.

    Lee Jamison wrote: However, what gives money its value is the production in the economy.
    Gobbledegook and double-speak. I’ve already heard this clever attempt to cloud the issues a hundred times.

  • That still does not explain away the mathematical problem of any pyramid-scheme (not to mention the ethical problems).

  • That still does not explain where the INTEREST on $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt will come from (not to mention the money to repay the PRINCIPAL ; i.e. LOAN = PRINCIPAL + INTEREST).

  • That still does not explain away the conversion of money created out of thin air into real assets any property from confiscation due to foreclosure and defaults.

  • That still does not explain away the banks sell confiscated assets (discounted) at auctions and fire sales; the wealthy get wealthier and everyone else gets poorer. It is like playing the game of Monopoly in which one player (the bank) can print all the money they want. Before long, the bank owns everything, and everyone else is broke or deep in debt to the bank.

  • That still does not explain away the massive DEBT the pyramid-scheme creates, growing larger and larger every year.

  • That still does not explain away the inflation that cheats the middle and lower income people who can not protect their wages and savings from erosion by converting it to gold, commodities, land, oil, real-estate, homes stocks, bonds, and other real assets.

  • That still does not explain away the way banks massive DEBT the pyramid-scheme creates, growing larger and larger every year.

  • That still does not explain away the U.S. Dollar falling like a rock.
  • Lee Jamison wrote: Money has no intrinsic value.
    Of course it does (not any more), and that is not necessary. It would be a mistake to return to a gold/silver/commodity backed currency standard.

    What is necessary is a honest, fair, non-pyramid-scheme monetary system.
    The SOLUTION (a Monetary System Amendment):

    • The federal government controls the monetary system. It shall create the money it needs, interest free. It shall control the money-supply.

    • The federal government shall prohibit usury (interest) by the government and member banks (under-cutting anyone who lends with interest). If a lot of interest is bad (i.e. usury is immoral), how can a little interest be good? If inflation is bad, how is a little inflation good?

    • This creates a stable money supply with the flexibility for small fluctuations. If inflation is too high, some money in circulation can be removed. If there is deflation, or the population increases, the government can create and spend some money. If they do a bad job of it, the voters know exactly who to hold accountable. Currently, the Federal Reserve is a privately owned bank, and the voters have little (if any) control over it. Why would people borrow from a bank (with interest) when they can borrow from the government, interest free? Thus, there would be little (if any) usury. Usury, predatory lending, and other manifestations of unchecked greed and the other numerous negative side effects would be greatly reduced. If properly managed, without profit and usury as a motive, the U.S. currency would become superior to any other world currency.

    Lee Jamison wrote: What you, and others who complain of the issues you are addressing are dealing with, is the vertigo of recognition of what money really is. Nothing.
    False.

    That was explained in detail above. Currency (paper, coin, etc.) do not need intrinsic value.
    In fact, gold/silver/commodity backed currency standards have problems of their own. Unnecessary problems. After all, do you want to have to mine more gold to create more money? No. That is too inflexible.

    Lee Jamison wrote: There is too much of this nothing if the amount of it in the economy is more than is needed to deal with the volume of transactions in everyday commerce. The value falls. Voila! Inflation.
    Now we are getting somewhere. Maybe.

    However, you still don’t seem to appreciate the mathematical certainty that all pyramid schemes are doomed.
    OR, are you actually going to assert that it is NOT a pyramid-scheme?

    Lee Jamison wrote: People want to fight this value vertigo by pinning the value of the dollar to something like gold, but gold, except for its industrial uses, is also an imaginary repository of value!
    False. That assumption is true for some, but not me.

    Again, gold/silver/commodity backed currency standards have problems of their own. A gold/silver/commodity backed currency is not required.
    What is required is to make the system mathematically sound.
    The current system is mathematically doomed, and it is not hard to prove.
    In fact, the debt, easy credit, bubble-after-bubble, and the Great Depresssion are all good examples of that mathematical problem (not to mention the ethical problem of usury, usurious interest rates (some credit cards with 30% interest rates), ARMs to trick people, predatory lending practices, banks trying to loan out money to everyone possible (including their childer, cat and dog; literally).


    Lee Jamison wrote:
    The fact is that the world commodity markets do exactly what you would have the government do- they tell the world what the dollar is worth today in a whole range of mass products with a fairly tangible real worth.

    Not true.

    The value of the dollar is eroded because of excessive money creation.
    There has been incessant inflation of the U.S. Dollar since 1956.
    That is why the CPI Inflation chart looks this way:
    ____INFLATION_______
    CPI (CPI=100 for year 1967)
    650 + - - - - - - - - - - -X
    600 + - - - - - - - - - - -X
    550 + - - - - - - - - - - -X
    500 + - - - - - - - - - - X
    450 + - - - - - - - - - - X
    400 + - - - - - - - - - - X
    350 + - - - - - - - - - -X
    300 + - - - - - - - - - X
    250 + - - - - - - - - - X
    200 + - - - - - - - - -X
    150 + - - - - - - - - -X
    100 + - - - - - - - -X
    050 +XXXXXXXXXXX
    000 +_______________________YEAR
    _____1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
    _____8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 0 0
    _____0 2 4 6 8 0 2 4 6 8 0 2
    _____0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

    Inflation is economically destabilizing.
    But who does it hurt the most?
    Who does it help?
    Who is cleaning up on the current rash of millions of foreclosures and defaults?
    The banks prefer cash, and auction off the real assets confiscated via defaults and foreclosures, because they can loan up to 90% on every dollar in reserves. Cha-Ching?
    Why do we have bubble after bubble after bubble.

    Inflation is destabilizing because it erodes the value of currency, savings, retirement, and leads people to run around like chickens with their head cut off, looking for ways to invest so that inflation will not erode their savings. Thus, many turn to risky investments, and many are scams. Stocks become over-valued (as in 1929, … , 1986, … , 1999, etc.). Then, when that bubble bursts, people flee to real-estate, or some other places to invest. Then that bubble bursts. That is how inflation is destabilizing. But, government also uses inflation to shrink debt. The middle and lower income people get hammered, lose jobs, and homes, and pensions, etc.

    But the wealthy are getting wealthier (over the last 30 years).
    The wealth disparity has been growing worse since 1980.
    The wealthiest 1% of the U.S. population has 40% of all wealth in the U.S. (up from 20% in year 1980; never worse since the Great Depression).
    The wealthiest 2% of the U.S. population owns more than the remaining 98% of all Americans.
    The wealthiest 5% of the U.S. population has 60% of all wealth in the U.S.
    The wealthiest 10% of the U.S. population has 70% of all wealth in the U.S.
    The wealthiest 20% of the U.S. population has 83% of all wealth in the U.S.
    The poorest 20% of the U.S. population has negative net worth (i.e. debt)
    40% of the U.S. population has (on average) essentially zero net worth.
    80% of the U.S. population has a mere 17% of all wealth in the U.S.

    Incomes have been falling (especially considering more workers per household, more regressive taxation, illegal immigration, and dishonest, ururious, predatory monetary system, several Constitutional violations, and lies and exaggerations to start an unnecessary war, and these other abuses (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm) cheating most Americans widening the wealth disparity gap).

    Lee Jamison wrote: What the Fed does is monitor the value of the dollar against all the available metrics and attempt to maintain a money supply that will inflate slowly, 1 1/2 to 2% per year so that people won’t stuff greenbacks in their mattresses and capital will be forced to get a job.
    Ha! More brainwashing.

    If only inflation were only 1.5% to 2.0%
    But it is not only inflation per year.
    It is inflation year after year after year (like reverse compounded interest).

    ____INFLATION RATEs____
    16% +
    14% + - - - - - X
    12% + - - - - X-
    10% + - - - -X - -
    08% + - - - X- - -
    06% + - - -X - - -X
    04% + -X- - - - - - X - X X
    02% + - -X- - - - - - X - -
    00% +X____________________YEAR
    _____1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2
    _____9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 0 0
    _____5 6 6 7 7 8 8 9 9 0 0
    _____5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5 0 5

    We have had incessant inflation since 1956.
    That is why a 1950 U.S. Dollar is now worth less than 11 cents.
    That is why the M3 Money Supply increased from $135 Billion in year 1950 to $10.15 Trillion in year 2005 (an increase by a factor of 75.2 ; we did not become 75.2 times richer; especially not per-capita, when the population also doubled from 150 Million to 300 Million).
    $Billions: M3 Money Supply:
    $11 … … … … . .[2007]
    $10 … … … …[2005]
    $ 9 … … … . [2003]
    $ 8 … … . [2001]
    $ 7 … …[2000]
    $ 6 …[1998]

    Lee Jamison wrote: The value of money is THE STUFF, the houses, golf balls, hamburgers, haircuts, and lawns mowed, not the money or what it is pinned to.
    Not true. Some of that stuff is worthless.

    And that ignores the ever pressent, incessant inflation.
    Also, much of the money is eroded every second of the day, making it difficult for wages to keep up, and making it difficult to stop the erosion of hard earned savings.

    Lee Jamison wrote: Want to understand why the dollar is falling against world markets? Easy. Our economy doesn’t make as much stuff as it used to.
    If only it were that simple.

    No. It is money supply.
    The dollar falls due to inflation.
    Inflation can be caused by higher prices on limited resources (e.g. oil, food, steel, etc.), the the most important culprit is excessive money creation, fueled by a mathematically doomed pyramid-scheme in which usury and debt requires more and more money to pay INTEREST (not to mention the PRINCIPAL too; LOAN = PRINCIPAL + INTEREST).

    That can be said with certainty, because it is a mathematical certainty.

    Lee Jamison wrote: Sorry if that’s unnerving. It’s just the way it is.
    Nonsense.

    It’s just the way it is?
    That is an explanation?
    That is no explanation at all.

    Nation-wide debt is already over $48 Trillion (mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat.htm).
    That is almost half of the nation’s total net worth.
    Where will the money for the INTEREST on $48 Trillion come from? Much less the $48 Trillion for the PRINCIPAL (LOAN=PRINCIPAL + INTEREST).
    Where will the money come from when it does not yet exist, and the U.S. Dollar is already falling like a rock (one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.gif)?
    Where will the money come from when 2% of the U.S. population owns most of the wealth in the U.S., and 80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.?

    What should be un-nerving to you is that your concept of the monetary system is over-simplified, fails to see the mathematical certainty of all pyramid-schemes, not to mention the ethical issues.
    That goes for the rest of nations that adopted a similar pyramid-scheme monetary policy.

    Lee Jamison wrote: Oh, so as not to confuse people, when I said “What the Fed does is monitor the value of the dollar against all the available metrics and attempt to maintain a money supply that will inflate slowly, 1 1/2 to 2% per year so that people won’t stuff greenbacks in their mattresses and capital will be forced to get a job.”
    Ha!

    More nonsense.
    So, you are now trying to make the case that some inflation is good?
    So, if a lot of inflation is bad, how is a little bad, good?

    Lee Jamison wrote: I meant the inflation within our own economy. This can’t apply to world markets or present policy within the U.S. would have to be deflationary (increasing the local value of money) which would precipitate a recession at the very least.
    False.

    You have bought into the notion that inflation is necessary; in fact, that some good. It isn’t.

    So, how and why is inflation good?
    So that everyone is running around looking for a place to put their money to avoid the incessant erosion by inflation?
    That is what causes the bubbles, recessions, and depressions.
    That is what causes the economic instability.
    It also causes speculation, which always has losers (essentially, the same as gambling).
    But it also leads to usury, predatory lending, and fraud (stock fraud, investment fraud, loan fraud, etc.).
    Usury breeds a whole slew of other manifestations of unchecked greed.

    And in the end, who benefits the most from it?
    And who is cheated the most by it?

    Think about this.
    Usury doesn’t only have an ethical problem.
    It has a mathematical problem.
    LOAN = PRINCIPAL + INTEREST
    Nation wide debt is $48 Trillion (almost half the nation’s net worth).
    Where will the money for that INTEREST come from?
    Especially when the INTEREST often far exceeds the PRINCIPAL ?
    Where will the money for the PRINCIPAL come from?
    What does that mean for the future of the U.S. Dollar?
    Where will the money come from, when 80% of the U.S. population only owns 17% of all wealth?
    In fact, only 2% of the U.S. population owns half of all the wealth in the nation.
    Will the rich bail us out? Pay all that debt?
    No.
    The Federal Reserve will have to make credit easier to get.
    The Federal Reserve will print MORE money to pay debt.
    The Federal Reserve and government will have to debase the U.S. Dollar more, rather than default and allow the pyramid scheme to collapse.

    Think about it.
    When you can answer those questions, then you will understand the problem.
    One of the major reasons for the Great Depression was this flawed monetary policy.
    Nothing has changed.
    That same flawed monetary policy still exists.
    And it will collapse when the nation has no more capacity for MORE debt.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 2:35 PM
    Comment #246013

    dana

    as i read your post i kept waiting for the punch line. voted for obama eh, sounds like someone was tampering with the dem primary. i think jane doe was the first one to hit the nail on the head. you’re just kidding, right? seems like mc cain is the candidate, don’t like him myself, could never vote for obama though. i could see why you would vote that way. after all what do you have to lose. why not help put the last few nails in hillarys coffin, nicely played!

    Posted by: dbs at February 21, 2008 5:02 PM
    Comment #246035
    Kruser wrote: d.a.n. Are you comparing taxing corporate profits to normal taaxed wages?
    Not at all. I don’t think corprations should be taxed at all, because:
    • (1) those costs are simply passed on to consumers as regressive hidden sales taxes
    • (2) those costs make our exports more expensive.
    Kruser wrote: There is a big difference and you are pushing error through overstated data. Since they are not individuals, corporations don’t pay social security.
    I know that. I never said they did.

    Even though corporations supposedly contribute 50% of the Social Security tax for each employee, it really comes out of the employee’s wages (i.e. 12.65% = 6.325% + 6.325%).

    Kruser wrote: Corporations are formed for common people to invest and own a piece of the company. Capital gains taxes discourage people from investing and also take the percentage you stated out of the pool of resources that could have been reinvested.
    So let me get this straight.

    It is OK to tax hard earned income from hard labor up to 35%, but the wealthy person making most of their money (like the $46 Million that Warren Buffet made in year 2006) should only be taxed 15%? Or not taxed at all?

    This 17% Income Tax System would tax ALL personal income above the poverty level a flat 17% (including wages, capital gains, interest income, inheritance, etc.), corporations would not be taxed, and all tax deductions and tax loop holes would be eliminated. Also, Social Security and Medicare benefits would not be taxable, because that is a stupid and unnecessary complication, extra book keeping, and those benefits were derived from taxes to begin with.

    Kruser wrote: When there was a little sanity, social security was a flat tax and you could pay it off.
    Social Security is now pay-as-you-go because Congress borrowed and spent $12.8 Trillion, with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching. There are currently over 13,175 new Social Security recipients per day.
    • The additional cost the first year is $43.3 billion (13,175 recipients per day x $9,000.00 of entitlements benefits per year per recipient x 365 days per year).
    • The additional cost is $86.6 billion per year more by the 2nd year.
    • The additional cost is $130 billion per year more by year 3.
    • The additional cost is $216 billion per year more by year 5.
    • There are already 45 million pre-existing Social Security and Medicare recipients.
    • That could climb significantly in only 5 years (13,175 recipients per day x 365 days per year x 5 years) = 24 million.
    Kruser wrote: My father in law used to celebrate the time of the year he made it and he would invest the amount for the remainder of the year in a retirement fund. (He was a telephone lineman) This has given him a little extra to live off of to supplement his meager social security now that he is in his seventies. Do you want to confine people to a meager existance?
    Not at all. I want things to be better and fairer by addressing these 10+ abuses.
    Kruser wrote: You see, the rich are simply diligent people who plan ahead and want to invest. Your policies are focused to make dependants and deny opportunity.
    Not true.

    Those policies are intended to stop those 10+ abuses (one-simple-idea.com/DisparityTrend.htm).
    Which of those 10+ abuses (please be specific):

    • (1) do you think is unfair,

    • (2) unjust,

    • (3) incorrect,

    • (4) and which one (exactly) makes people dependent on government,

    • (5) and which ones (exactly) deny opportunity?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 7:56 PM
    Comment #246048

    Dan,
    You still believe the money IS something. It’s not. Take a barrel of it to a desert island and all it will be is fuel. Take a house to the same island and it will be a house. Take a ham sandwich to the island and it will be food. Absent a group of people who need a medium of exchange so the one with houses to spare can get sandwiches and vice-versa the money is without value.
    Labor has value. The product of labor has value. The promise of labor has value. Money, though, is just a lubricant.

    The trouble with this discussion is it is happening at a level they don’t generally get to in college. This is not economics 101, but it should be! Typical economics simply does not address monetary theory at all. (Had it done so when I was in school I could have laughed at Keynesian economics with gusto instead of snickering impolitely)

    d.a.n., you’ll get it some day, and then you’ll understand what I mean by vertigo.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 21, 2008 10:45 PM
    Comment #246050

    d.a.n.,
    I’ve added a post to my website to clarify, to the extent one can do it in under 3000 words, what I said earlier. It is an e-mail I wrote to a friend some months ago in response to a similar complaint.

    Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 21, 2008 11:13 PM
    Comment #246052
    Lee Jamison wrote: d.a.n, You still believe the money IS something. It’s not.
    False. You obviously don’t have the slightest idea what I believe.

    We’ve already been through this.
    Currency (near worthless paper and coins) have no intrinsic value.
    You said it, and I already agreed with it.

    Lee Jamison wrote: Labor has value. The product of labor has value. The promise of labor has value. Money, though, is just a lubricant.
    That is right. Labor and the product of labor has value.

    But when people’s wages, savings, and buying power are eroded every second by inflation, then the lubricant is breaking down.

    The wealthy are better able to protect their wealth from the erosion of inflation because they can convert and preserve money as land, oil, gold, commodities, stocks, etc.
    The middle and lower income persons are less able to do that, and their incomes are not keeping up with the inflation.
    And incomes have been decreasing since 1967 (when including more workers per household, more regressive taxation, illegal immigration, globalism, corpocrisy, national debt, etc.).

    Lee Jamison wrote: The trouble with this discussion is it is happening at a level they don’t generally get to in college.
    I had economics in college. It was woefully inadequate.
    Lee Jamison wrote: This is not economics 101, but it should be!
    Yes, it should be. Is this an admission that the system is truly mathematically flawed?
    Lee Jamison wrote: Typical economics simply does not address monetary theory at all. (Had it done so when I was in school I could have laughed at Keynesian economics with gusto instead of snickering impolitely)
    Lee Jamison wrote: vertigo of recognition of what money really is.

    DEFINITION: VERTIGO:

    • The sensation of dizziness.

    • An instance of such a sensation.

    • A confused, disoriented state of mind.

    Lee Jamison wrote: d.a.n., you’ll get it some day, and then you’ll understand what I mean by vertigo.
    Yes, I understand.

    Per the definition of vertigo, you obviously must be stricken with vertigo: a confused, disoriented state of mind.

    Why resort to these riddles?
    Why not address the mathematical problem? (not to mention the ethical problem)?
    Why start playing silly word games (e.g. “vertigo”)?
    Why restort to nonsensical gobbledygook and mysterious meanings of the word “vertigo”.
    Why don’t you just spell it out so everyone can understand it (if you can).
    I have.
    The monetary system is a pyramid-scheme (using a fractional 9:1 system).
    Watch this video.
    The Federal Reserve creates money out of thin air (with up to 90% of each loan being new money created out of thin air; 10% reserves are required by law).
    The U.S. mint makes currency (paper and coin), but most money is not in that form.
    Most money is in the computer.
    The Federal Reserve loans that money (with interest to member banks).
    Member banks loan that money to everyone (and their dog and cat) possible (with more interest).
    When a debtor defaults or is foreclosed upon, the member bank confiscates the property, converting money created out of thin air into real asset and property.
    But the member banks prefer money to assets, because they can lend more money and make more interest, and borrow more money from the Federal Reserve.
    Thus, the member banks auction, and sell off some of the confiscated property and assets.
    Some wealthy, looking for someplace to invest their excess cash, buy these real assets, protecting their money from the erosion of inflation.
    The rich get richer, and everyone else gets poorer.
    Again, it is like playing the game of Monopoly in which one player (the bank) can print all the money they want. Before long, the bank owns everything, and everyone else is broke or deep in debt to the bank.

    So, how is it that everyone that works, and produces, and creates, is in debt to the banks, who create money out of thin air.
    How is it the nation has $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt? (mwhodges.home.att.net/nat-debt/debt-nat.htm).
    Where will the money for the INTEREST on $48 Trillion come from? Much less the $48 Trillion for the PRINCIPAL (LOAN=PRINCIPAL + INTEREST).
    Where will the money come from when it does not yet exist, and the U.S. Dollar is already falling like a rock (one-simple-idea.com/USD_Falling.gif)?
    Where will the money come from when 2% of the U.S. population owns most of the wealth in the U.S., and 80% of Americans own only 17% of all wealth in the U.S.?
    Where will the money come from, when it does NOT yet exist?

    You still have not answered ANY of these questions, nor refuted ANYTHING.

    You started out saying illegal immigration was the ONLY abuse, but conceded to other abuses.
    So why not concede now that the monetary system is a pryamid-scheme?

    If it isn’t, prove it.
    If any thing I’ve said is not true, then show the facts and logic to disprove, instead of throwing out a few mystery words (e.g. “vertigo”) as if that proves you know something no one else does?

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 11:29 PM
    Comment #246053

    he inevitable collapse of the pryamid scheme.

    Here’s how it works (they don’t teach this in any public schools).
    The Federal Reserve loans money (with interest) to member banks (which charge more interest).
    Up to 90% of each new bank loan is money created out of thin air.
    But it gets worse.
    For each dollar re-deposited into the fractional (9:1 ratio) bank system (a closed loop monopoly bank system), 9 times more new money can be created out of thin air.
    Depending on the size of each loan, that PYRAMID scheme can continue until 90 times more money has been created out of thin air. However, the bank is required to have 10% of their loans in reserves.

    For example, let’s say the bank has $1111.11 in reserves.
    That means the bank can make a loan of 9 times that initial $1111.11, which is $10,000.00 .
    90% of each subsequent deposit can then be used for another loan of money created out of thin air …
    (001) 90% of that $10,000.00 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $9,000.00
    (002) 90% of that $9,000.00 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $8,100.00
    (003) 90% of that $8,100.00 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $7,290.00
    : : : : : :
    (088) 90% of that $1.16 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $1.045
    (089) 90% of that $1.045 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $0.94
    : : : : : :
    (131) 90% of that $0.013 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $0.011
    (132) 90% of that $0.011 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $0.01
    _______________________
    TOTAL SUM = $99,888.89 (of money created out of thin air from initial $1111.11 in reserves).
    Thus, from the initial $1111.11 in the bank reserve, $98,888.89 (98.89% of $100,000.00) of more new money could be created out of thin air.

    But it still gets worse, because a LOAN = PRINCIPAL + INTEREST.
    But the bank creates only the PRINCIPAL for each new loan.
    So, where does the INTEREST come from?
    One of several things must happen:

    • create more new money to delay the collapse of the PYRAMID (such as the recent government $152 Billion economic stimulus package in FEB-2008). However, this creates more inflation.

    • those with money must spend more money to allow more new money to be created out of thin air.

    • increase productivity.

    • increase products and/or natural resources (e.g. oil, steel, etc.) to sell to other nations to bring money back.

    • the wealthy share their wealth (not likely to any significant extent).

    • increase taxes on the wealthy (however, if the wealthy are taxed too much, they might up and move their wealth and businesses to another country).

    • increase productivity via increased population.

    • increase productivity via illegal immigration (cheap labor).

    • reduce taxes to encourage more spending.

    • reduce interest rates to encourage more spending (but this creates more debt).

    • the government prints up more new money and gives it back to people to stimulate more spending (such as the $152 Billion proposed in FEB-2008).

    • foreclosures.

    • plunder pensions and other systems (e.g. Social Security surpluses).

    • the PYRAMID finally collapses when there is finally too much debt and inflation to delay the inevitable collapse. Between year 1950 and 2005, the M3 Money Supply increased from $135 billion to $10.15 trillion (i.e. 75.2 times more money).

    It is a PYRAMID scheme, and all pyramid schemes eventually collapse.
    As time goes on, this problem can only get bigger and bigger.
    The only thing stopping the collapse of this pyramid is a short time-lag by creating more debt and printing more money.
    But that time-lag is shrinking every day, as the ability to repay debt becomes more difficult.
    Debt will grow larger and larger.
    The time it takes to finally collapse fools people.
    Printing more money to delay the collapse will make inflation get worse and worse.
    It could take decades or centuries, but the inevitable collapse is a mathematical certainty.
    Eventually, the debt and inflation will become impossible to deal with.

    • We will not be able to create more debt to create more money.

    • We will not be able to spend our way out of the collapse.

    • We will not be able to print (money) our way out of the collapse (due to inflation).

    • We will not be able to immigrate our way out of the collapse.

    • We will not be able to procreate our way out of the collapse.

    • We will not be able to increase productivity enough to avoid the collapse.

    • We will not be able to tax (or un-tax) our way out of the collapse.

    Look at our current situation and results of this PYRAMID scheme:

    • $20 Trillion nation-wide personal debt;

    • $9.2 Trillion National Debt;

    • plundered pensions (PBGC pensions are $450 Billion in the hole);

    • rising foreclosures;

    • rising bankruptcies;

    • rising unemployment;

    • pressure to raise taxes for those that have money (i.e. the wealthy);

    • pressures to increase illegal immigration to increase productivity and growth (cheap labor);

    • stock market and real-estate bubbles and volatility;

    • the M3 Money Supply of $135 Billion in year 1950 increased to $10.15 Trillion by year 2005 (by a factor of 75.2);

    • inflation; a 1950 U.S. Dollar is now worth less than 11 cents;

    • the pressure to spend and borrow (i.e. numerous credit card applications in the daily mail);

    • bank fees (i.e. to increase reserves for more loans; the banks receive the interest);

    • the U.S. Dollar falling against all major international currencies;

    • and now, the recently proposed $152 Billion economic stimulus package (proposed FEB-2008) with more created out of thin air, will increase the time-lag to prevent the collapse of the PYRAMID scheme, but it is only a short-term solution and will make things worse, long-term;

    For anyone who thinks it is bad now, they haven’t seen anything yet.
    But none of this will never be taught in public schools (see 47 minute video: video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-9050474362583451279), and probably not in universities either.
    All of the above are the many manifestations of unchecked greed, and there will eventually be painful consequences for most people when the PYRAMID scheme finally collapses, as all PYRAMID schemes always do.

    The SOLUTION (a Monetary System Amendment):
    The federal government controls the monetary system. It shall create the money it needs, interest free. It shall control the money-supply.
    The federal government shall prohibit usury (interest) by the government and member banks (under-cutting anyone who lends with interest). If a lot of interest is bad (i.e. usury is immoral), how can a little interest be good? If inflation is bad, how is a little inflation good?
    This creates a stable money supply with the flexibility for small fluctuations. If inflation is too high, some money in circulation can be removed. If there is deflation, or the population increases, the government can create and spend some money. If they do a bad job of it, the voters know exactly who to hold accountable. Currently, the Federal Reserve is a privately owned bank, and the voters have little (if any) control over it. Why would people borrow from a bank (with interest) when they can borrow from the government, interest free? Thus, there would be little (if any) usury. Usury, predatory lending, and other manifestations of unchecked greed and the other numerous negative side effects would be greatly reduced. If properly managed, without profit and usury as a motive, the U.S. currency would

    Watch this 47 minute video.
    It contains some helpful visuals, but it really is not that complicated, if you open your mind a bit.
    You are overlooking the mathematical problem.

    Think about this.
    Unless you can disprove the mathematics, you should be questioning your position.
    I know your brain repels it, but try to keep an open mind for a moment.
    I read your entire argument. Perhaps you can read / watch mine. Watch the video, and then tell me what you think.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 11:48 PM
    Comment #246055

    NOTE: I am not advocating a gold/silver/commodity based currency. That system is problematic too, as discovered prior to 1913.

    Also, when you understand the far and wide-reaching impact of our pyramid-scheme monetary system, you will suddenly understand several other problems related to it, due to the pressures and ecoomic instability of the constantly debased currency, due to the need to create debt to increase the money supply.

    But also, be sure to not who the winners and losers are. What some people think are hard times, are good times for someone else (i.e. the wealthy).

    Here’s my webpage about it.

    This is only ONE of 10+ abuses hurting most Americans.

    The political upheaval we are seeing now may be (in part) because of the painful consequences of those abuses.

    Hopefully, voters won’t saddle the next president (whoever that is) with the same, corrupt, FOR-SALE, Do-nothing Congress?

    At any rate, none of this is any exotic conspiracy theory or cult rhetoric; just common sense and some basic math.

    Read it and watch the video, open you mind a bit, and you may feel differently.

    If you still don’t believe it, then explain where the facts are wrong. Explain where the math is wrong. A feeling is not enough. Facts and reasons please.

    What ever happens, the voters will have the government that they deserve.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 22, 2008 12:02 AM
    Comment #246056

    Here’s the missing first portion of the previous comment:
    ___________________________________

    Lee Jamison wrote: d.a.n., I’ve added a post to my website to clarify, to the extent one can do it in under 3000 words, what I said earlier. It is an e-mail I wrote to a friend some months ago in response to a similar complaint.
    I read it.

    Regardless your disagreement about the ethical problem.
    You have still failed to address the mathematical problem.
    Watch this 47 minute video.

    Here’s the math you have still not addressed whatsoever.

    Our money system is essentially a PYRAMID scheme, and all PYRAMID schemes collapse, eventually.
    That can be said with confidence because it is a mathematical certainty.
    It has already happened once, and it will happen again when we exceed our capacity for more debt, which is inevitable, since new money is created as debt, and more and more new money must be created out of thin air to avoid the inevitable collapse of the pryamid scheme.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 22, 2008 12:12 AM
    Comment #246123

    “For example, let’s say the bank has $1111.11 in reserves.
    That means the bank can make a loan of 9 times that initial $1111.11, which is $10,000.00 .
    90% of each subsequent deposit can then be used for another loan of money created out of thin air …
    (001) 90% of that $10,000.00 can be loaned again, to create a new loan of $9,000.00” Posted by: d.a.n at February 21, 2008 11:48 PM

    Whoa big fella, the first line of your scenario suddenly counts a loan of $10K as a deposit upon which the bank can lend 90%. The bank can lend 90% of all deposits, not on the total of outstanding loans. I smell stinky fish here.

    Posted by: Jim M at February 22, 2008 4:04 PM
    Comment #246131

    Dana,
    Well written an d well said. Please don’t let anyone anywhere convince you that hope doesn’t exist. It does. Sometimes we simply must do what our heart tells us is the right choice. Personally I don’t really like any of the choices, but Obama does seem to have some vital charisma and support, and hopefully with the correct guidance he will be able to do far more than even Jack thinks is possible. As for the issues, sometimes we must put some of our beliefs on the back-burner while we concentrate on others. That does not mean that we agree with the stance a candidate, or party platform has taken on an issue we feel strongly about, only that AT THIS TIME, we are willing to watch, wait and pray that there may be a change of heart, mind or soul. As for the abortion issue, maybe we simply have to wait until the already born are home and cared for, and then take care of the unborn…

    I have never been able to call myself a Republican, or Democrat, because I believe both sides have a lot to offer. This time, I find that I, too, will probably vote for the Democrat candidate, whom ever it may be.

    I don’t want four or eight more years of the Republican Party type of government we have already experienced. I realize that many Conservatives do not support McCain, however those that do scare the daylights out of me. (Of course those that don’t scare me even more) I fear that should another Republican be elected, the Republican Party would see that as a mandate to basically overthrow many more of the rights granted to US citizens.

    Jack,
    You really are sounding pessimistic;

    Unemployment can drop perhaps 1.5%. That is as low as it can go and that is under temporary best case conditions. The economy can sustain growth of around 3% tops. So Obama can achieve what we had 2003-6. Health care - great.

    Just why limit him, Clinton,McCain or any president to such a low standard. Who knows - it might go higher and remain permanent.

    Greg Kirchman said:

    One of the most important things a president does is nominate supreme court justices - justices can last one hell of a lot longer than a presidential term - and their decisions, even long after they are gone.

    My interpretation: Don’t let the Democrats put anyone on the Supreme Court

    Well, Greg,
    Personally, I believe that a couple of Democrats on the Court would be a good thing. I do not ever want to have a total Party based justice system. Neither a total democrat or republican based court would make me happy. If for no other reason than to keep a balance in our judicial system.

    Scott,
    I really liked what you wrote and how you said it.

    Posted by: Linda H. at February 22, 2008 5:09 PM
    Comment #246152

    Greg Kirchman, the leadership of the national, state and local Republican Party has said that true conservatives will “hold their noses” and support John McCain for president. But McCain is not a true conservative. He’s given the Republicans a record of limited speech and open borders. He voted against the Bush tax cuts twice. Only when he decided to run for President did he stress the importance of secure borders and lower taxes for middle class Americans. I’ve learned that a foul smell often leads to rotten, decaying matter.

    I would be naive to vote for him just because he *claims* to be a conservative. He is not.

    Posted by: Dana at February 22, 2008 10:56 PM
    Comment #246203
    Jim M wrote: Whoa big fella, the first line of your scenario suddenly counts a loan of $10K as a deposit upon which the bank can lend 90%. The bank can lend 90% of all deposits, not on the total of outstanding loans. I smell stinky fish here.
    No Jim. No stinky fish.

    I clearly wrote above that the bank must have 10% in reserves. Watch the video.

    The bank can create (out of thin air) up to 9 times more money than it has in reserves.

    In a closed banking system, some of that new money can be re-deposited into the bank. Those deposits can be used by member banks to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve banks. The Federal Reserve banks receive more deposits from repayment (with INTEREST) of previous loans to member banks.

    The fact is, for every dollar in reserves, the Federal Reserve can create 9 times more money out of thin air.

    What part of that is untrue?

    Also, in a special case, it is mathematically possible (while not likely) that $1111 in reserves could be used to create a loan of $10K (i.e. 9 times more than the $1111 in reserves).

    That $10K, if redeposited can allow the member bank to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve. Mathematically, it is possible that an initial reserve of $1111.11 could generate 90 times more money out of thin are. However, that is a special (extreme) case, and the system is still (supposedly) constrained by an overall requirement for the banks to have 10% in reserves.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 23, 2008 2:32 PM
    Comment #246252

    Unfortunately the Republicans got caught abandoning their conservative principals and going down the same old path of corruption and big government that the left had followed. So the Republicans can’t bitch about losing you.


    But Obama is about as far away from the traditional, conservative agenda as you can get. He’s to the left of Hillary. I’ve got a strong feeling that when Mr. Change gets to Washington he may wind up more like Mr. Jimmy Carter. A one term wonder run out of office by the public for general failure to deliver.

    Posted by: Stephen at February 24, 2008 1:09 AM
    Comment #246289

    “That $10K, if redeposited can allow the member bank to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve. Mathematically, it is possible that an initial reserve of $1111.11 could generate 90 times more money out of thin are. However, that is a special (extreme) case, and the system is still (supposedly) constrained by an overall requirement for the banks to have 10% in reserves.
    Posted by: d.a.n at February 23, 2008 02:32 PM”

    d.a.n you just did it again. How does one redeposit a loan? If the bank has $10K on deposit it can loan out 90% or $9K. It then has $1K left on deposit. It can’t loan out another 90% on the loan it has already made. As the outstanding load is repaid, it can loan 90% of the repayment. Am I just misreading you or is it truly “smelly fish”?

    Posted by: Jim M at February 24, 2008 1:11 PM
    Comment #246302
    Jim M wrote: d.a.n you just did it again. How does one redeposit a loan?
    Jim M, Obviously, you did not watch the video, nor read the page.

    Do you think I would be making up such outlandish claims here without anyone else disputing it?

    Jim M wrote: How does one redeposit a loan?
    How? Easy (plus, I’d recommend you watch the video).
    • STEP (01): The Federal Reserve loans $10K to a member bank (with INTEREST). The Federal Reserve’s loan (based on $1111.11 in reserves) to the member bank is 9 times the amount taken from its reserves (i.e $1111.11). So $8888.89 of the $10K is new money created out of thin air ($1111.11 x 9 = $10K = total principla of loan). $1111.11 / $10K = 1/9 .
    • STEP (02): I borrow that $10K from the member bank (with more INTEREST) to buy a car.
    • STEP (03): I pay $10K to the car dealer.
    • STEP (04): The car dealer deposits the $10K into the bank (which is a closed system with 12 Federal Reserve Banks and thousands of Federal Reserve Member Banks).
    • STEP (05): The member bank uses its deposits and INTEREST to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve (with INTEREST).
    • STEP (06): The member bank uses its deposits and INTEREST to borrow more money from the Federal Reserve (with INTEREST). Also, bear in mind, that total INTEREST can often exceed the PRINCIPAL (such as in a home mortgage).
    • STEP (07): Also, the member bank pays INTEREST to the Federal Reserve, continuously increasing the Federal Reserve Bank’s reserves, allowing it to make more loans.
    • STEP (08): The banks are required (by law) to have 10% of all outstanding debts in reserves. Most money in existence is not in the form of coins and paper currency; it’s on a computer.

    If you can find anything factually inaccurate, please feel free to point it out.

    Jim M wrote: If the bank has $10K on deposit it can loan out 90% or $9K.
    Not true.

    If the Federal Reserve Bank has $10K reserves, it can make a loan that is up to 9 times that amount (per the 9-to-1 fractional bank system), and 90% is the percentage of the total loan that is new money created out of thin air.

    Thus, $10K in reserves can be used to create $81,000 of new money, for a total new loan of $90K.
    It’s a 9-to-1 fractional banking system (pyramid-scheme is more accurate). Some foreign countries have 20-to-1 systems!

    Jim M wrote: It then has $1K left on deposit.
    True. The banks must have (overall) 10% in reserves. That is not hard when they are earning INTEREST on money created out of thin air, converting money printed out of thin air into real assets from foreclosures and defaults, and then auctioning off those real assets to get more money to get more loans from the Federal Reserve to earn more INTEREST. That is not hard at all when you can print (practically) all the money you want. It’s like playing Monopoly in which one person (the bank) can print all the money they want. Before long, the bank owns everything, and everyone else is deep in debt, or broke. How is it that everyone that works, creates, invents, and produces value is in debt to the banks that merely create money out of thin air? How is it that the bank can convert money printed out of thin air into real assets via confiscation of real property due to foreclosures and defaults? How is it that the nation has $48 Trillion of nation-wide debt? That is almost half of the nation’s net worth. Where will the money to pay the INTEREST on that $48 Trillion debt going to come from? Where will the money to pay the PRINCIPAL on that $48 Trillion debt going to come from? Where? Especially since 2% of the U.S. population owns most of the nation’s net worth, and 80% of the U.S. population only owns 17% of all wealth? They’ll create it out of thin air, and as it grows larger, they will have to print MORE of it. That is a classic pyramid scheme. And all pyramid schemes are doomed to collapse. It may take many years, but it is a mathematical certainty. It will collapse when we finally exceed the capacity for more debt, and liquidated our hard assets (via foreclosure or sale-offs to foreign investors, which is happening now).


    Jim M wrote:
    It can’t loan out another 90% on the loan it has already made.

    It can if a portion of it is re-deposted (as demostrated above).

    All that is required is that (over all) the banks maintain only 10% of all debts in reserves.

    In a credit crunch, such as now, the Federal Reserve will lower interest rates, so that member banks can borrow more money for less INTEREST.
    In some cases, the Federal Reserve will simply print up more money for the federal government (and add it to the National Debt) for economic stimulous, or such.

    Jim M wrote: As the outstanding load is repaid, it can loan 90% of the repayment. Am I just misreading you or is it truly “smelly fish”?
    You are misreading it.

    The banks are supposedly (by law) required to have 10% in reserves.
    Remember, that the money supply is growing every second, because more loans are being recreated and repaid every second (with INTEREST).

    Watch the 47 minute video.
    The Federal Reserve is a 9-to-1 Fractional Banking system, in which the Federal Reserve only needs to maintain 10% of all debts in reserves.
    That is how up to 90% of each new loan is money created out of thin air.
    That is why the M3 Money Supply in year 1950 grew from $135 Billion to $10.15 Trillion by year 2005 (an increase by a factor of 75.2).
    We did not become 75.2 times wealthier.
    Not with double the population, and a 1950 Dollar that is now worth less than 11 cents.

    Other references:

    • Federal Reserve

    • federalreserve.gov/pubs/frseries/frseri3.htm

    • federalreserve.gov/generalinfo/faq/faqfrbanks.htm

    • federalreserve.gov/

    • www.newswithviews.com/Vieira/edwin3.htm

    • home.comcast.net/~painehouse/Articles/fed.htm

    • www.apfn.org/apfn/reserve2.htm

    • land.netonecom.net/tlp/ref/federal_reserve.shtml

    • www.maxexchange.com/ybj/chapter3.htm

    • home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/VieiraMono4.htm

    • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponzi_scheme

    • www.apfn.org/apfn/reserve.htm

    P.S. A currency backed by gold, silver, or some commodity is proba bly not necessary and has many of its own problems. What is needed is an honest, non-usurious, non-pyramid-scheme monetary system.

    Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2008 2:47 PM
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