Why Stimulus Won't Work

The largest single spending bill in human history has been passed in Congress and signed by the president. Sadly, the philosophy on which it is based guarantees failure.

OK, never mind that the process by which H.R.1was passed repudiated promises the president made in his inaugural address. We will get to that, and other promises immediately broken, later.

Here the issue is simple. The philosophy on which the president's stimulus bill is founded is self-defeating. Barack Obama believes in Keynesian economics. He surrounds himself with Keynesian economists who are pleased to stand up for one another as they tell us that the markets have failed. They will point to recent failures born, they say, of deregulation, ignoring that it was the MOST regulated portions of private markets (and poorly regulated government sponsored enterprises) that failed. Here a quote from a February 20th article in the Wall Street Journal by Phil Gramm is interesting-

In reality the financial "deregulation" of the last two decades has been greatly exaggerated. As the housing crisis mounted, financial regulators had more power, larger budgets and more personnel than ever. And yet, with the notable exception of Mr. Greenspan's warning about the risk posed by the massive mortgage holdings of Fannie and Freddie, regulators seemed unalarmed as the crisis grew. There is absolutely no evidence that if financial regulators had had more resources or more authority that anything would have been different.

Having brushed all this off Keynesians then launch into forms of economic warfare that have never been shown to win economic wars. Do these weapons of economic warfare have the confidence of the economy itself? No.

The essential idea of massive government spending is that it will revive spending in the economy at large. OK, let's do a simple thought experiment. You are considering buying a house. When do you feel secure in doing such a thing? I'm betting your answer is something like, "When I feel secure in my job or income." What makes you feel that way? "My employer(s) is/are doing well/ have lots of customers/ are not threatened by adverse circumstances/ etc." Given these results one expects a good policy to be one not seen as devastating by the people who run businesses, right? Such a sense of well-being on the part of the common citizen is built on the security of the business climate.

Because the vast majority of our jobs are created by companies with 50 or fewer employees that sense of security is largely a product of small business being financially sound. Owners of small businesses feel the same way common folk feel about major purchases. Hiring a person is a big investment. If they don't think they can make it pay they won't do it. Building production or sales facilities are big investments. If the risk seems too high people won't take the risk.

If business people see what Robert Higgs has called "Regime Uncertainty" clouding their path through risk decisions they will not take risks. Their risks could obviously lead to terrible difficulties and failures if things do not go well, regardless of the political circumstances. If this is not balanced by a reasonable expectation that there will be substantial rewards, that those rewards will not be confiscated, and that they will not be the catalyst for villification, there is no incentive to press forward through difficulty.

All that massive government spending is being directed by well-meaning people, to be sure, but they do not, to the business community, seem to be thinking in terms of risk applied to future sales opportunities so much as resources applied to political expediencies. For the forseeable future this expenditure will be rearranging and redistributing the economic infrastructure and labor pool, and piling high a smothering blanket of debt the service of which will soak up capital that otherwise could have gone to business investment. Can it be any wonder, then, that every new announcement of Obama economic policy seems to throw world markets into anaphylactic shock?

Newsweek this week declared "We are All Socialists Now" in an article that repeats a blithering idiocy that the Bush administration just passed was that of a "conservative Republican". Apart from that self-congratulatory hallucination by a political left apparently incapable of deciphering English when it is written by conservative economists people who consider G.W.B.'s economics conservative should probably consider psychiatric medication. He was the most economically interventionist Republican since Nixon. It didn't go well back then, it went appallingly back in the 1930s, and it hasn't gone well so far this time.

Every reason for the Keynsians to insist on more!

Democrats have so far made a point of making the business community feel threatened and impugned. They have sought to gain power by trumpeting disaster. They have clouded the future and, when Wall Street tanked in response to the self-described healers breaking out economic leaches, emetics, and other forms of cleansing, they said the markets want an "easy way out". That is simply not true. What the nation's business owners and leaders want, what the nation's retirees dependent on investments want, and what those of us who depend on jobs want, is a sense that paths already rocky and hard to navigate are not filled with new pitfalls and then covered over with fog by people who will condemn those who do not fail.

Obama and his Democrat hoard give us no such sense of security, so business retreats. That is why this stimulus will not work.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at February 21, 2009 1:37 PM
Comments
Comment #275880

Lee, any stimulus proposal would have required meeting the criteria of many factions in order to pass as law. Looking for a perfected product from this process of compromise, is a fool’s search.

Second, this bill WAS NEVER PROPOSED to be exclusively a stimulus bill. From its very inception it was intended to be both stimulus and future economic investment bill. Your Republicans continue to fail to acknowledge that demonstrable fact, even despite the bill’s title, Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

So your argument that that this bill will only partially act as a current economic stimulus is quite accurate - and false as an indictment against the bill. Not very clever sophistry this, by Republicans, to deem the bill what it is not, and then critique it for failing to be what it was never meant to be.

The Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act contains about 1% pork, and the other 99% is estimated to meet in part Obama’s initial 3 objectives for such a bill, offer relief to those who are losing jobs and homes as a result of the economic downturn created by Republican policies, stimulate some economic activity and new job openings while preserving other jobs that would otherwise be lost, and invest in innovations and upgrades in future economic industries which will promote lower overall cost energy, universal access to the internet (the growing place for jobs and job applicaitons), and infrastructure maintenance and innovation.

Lastly, you are ignoring current data that would refute the potential of the this ER&RA contributing to economic recovery. The last two months leading economic indicators have been positive, pointing to economic growth between 6 and 9 months from now. Big Banks are lending, just not as widely and broadly as prior to the initial credit freeze. Millions of cars are being bought and sold, and the inventory of new unpurchased housing is dropping rapidly. These are all necessary indicators if a recovery is to occur.

Sure, there are many negative indicators as well, but, the fact that there are a growing number of positive indicators currently that were not present 3 months ago, has to raise the fears and anxieties of those who wish Democrat’s efforts to fail at rescuing the nation from economic collapse. Predicting and wishing for economic failure is counter-productive and can work as a self-fulifilling prophecy toward failure (the Republican hope, perhaps).

Republicans would fare better in the polls if they divorced themselves from failure oriented politically motivated wishes for our nation, and accept what is and ask themselves how they can propose improvement going forward. Polls show Republicans being very disfavored by the American public with numbers hovering around their core constituency numbers. Such a minority of support will never win elections in the future.

Republicans writing and saying things as your article does, are shooting themselves in the foot politically, painting themselves as obstructionists, whiners of sour groups and over spilled milk, and lacking any inspiration or desire for success going forward, as success going forward would work to Democrat’s advantage.

Quite a catch-22 box Republicans are putting themselves into. It doesn’t have to be this way. One can differ constructively instead of destructively. Mature adults suffer setbacks and learn from them. Slow learning children suffer setbacks and fume and cry and blame others for them. I can’t help but view the Republican Party actions of late as those of slow learning children.


Posted by: David R. Remer at February 21, 2009 3:15 PM
Comment #275884

“Newsweek this week declared “We are All Socialists Now” in an article that repeats a blithering idiocy that the Bush administration just passed was that of a “conservative Republican”.”


Lee At some point in time conservatives must accept responsibility for the past 8 years of conservatism and the financial and social fall out that is due to the repub/conservative leadership and ideology. Whether they be talk show conservatives or real conservatives they flocked together, voted together, and defended the Bush administration tooth and nail for its actions, in-actions and misdeeds.

“George W. Bush remains popular among conservative Republicans (72% approve of him) despite his low overall approval rating. Meanwhile, moderate and liberal Republicans are as likely to disapprove as to approve of the job he is doing…”


http://www.gallup.com/poll/113083/Conservative-Republicans-Still-Widely-Support-Bush.aspx

In addition Lee over the past 30 years conservatives have went from supporting middle class America and its issues to supporting the wealth disparity, corporate dismantling of this country, deified the market, corporatized the electoral process, and deregulation/misregulated the market that has put us in this position today. Bush continued down this path with his fellow conservatives and they with him. How quickly loyalty disappears when the chips are down isn’t it.

Posted by: j2t2 at February 21, 2009 4:02 PM
Comment #275889
The largest single spending bill in human history has been passed in Congress and signed by the president. Sadly, the philosophy on which it is based guarantees failure.

Yes, the philosophy. It’s funny. Has any Modern Republican President since the Roaring Twenties employed true conservatism, as you define it?

You present the New Deal as a disaster, but it got the market going up. Maybe not all the way back up, but it wasn’t some sudden budget reconciliation that brought us back, it was the spending from WWII, which even the Republicans appeal to as the necessary element. This despite the fact that WWII reflected makework and public spending policies that dwarfed the big outlays of public spending that were the New Deal.

You have to consider the severity of the financial destruction caused by the first four years of benign neglect and not so benign mistakes in dealing with the money supply and trade. You have consider the effects of the Dust Bowl on the recovery. You also have to consider that if FDR was a socialist, he was a rather reluctant one, who listened enough to advice like yours that he tried to tighten the budget in about ‘37-‘38. Result? Another economic decline.

You talk of regime uncertainty, but to do so, you have to turn a blind eye to the uncertainty the economic problems themselves are causing, and the policies people rightly perceive as letting them happen.

It’s interesting that you reference Phil Gramm as a source. This, the guy who let the banks become too big to fail. This, the guy who amended the law to explicitly prevent government from regulating the kinds of derivatives that got us into this mess. Whether you want to admit it or not, Phil Gramm’s policies were Bush’s policies, and they were the policies that lead us to this point.

Let’s talk about that philosophy again. What confuses me here is the twists and turns the Republicans take on the subject. You want to distance yourself from the monster deficits of the Bush Administration, but when the time comes to offer up a stimulus, the one just about every one of your people can agree on is tax cuts.

Tax cuts without spending cuts then and there are Keynesian stimulus. You’re paying for government spending by means other than asking people for the money, on the theory that freeing up the money in their pockets will improve things.

But as a stimulus, tax cuts are uncertain. Will they spend it, or won’t they? The uncertainty grows as you raise the income level high enough for people to have disposable income and then some, because naturally being rich is defined by having more money than you can spend just buying your necessities.

By directly spending the money on jobs, on the middle class, we’re ensuring the money gets where it needs to go, rather than hoping it finds its way somewhere by chance and happenstance.

All that massive government spending is being directed by well-meaning people, to be sure, but they do not, to the business community, seem to be thinking in terms of risk applied to future sales opportunities so much as resources applied to political expediencies. For the forseeable future this expenditure will be rearranging and redistributing the economic infrastructure and labor pool, and piling high a smothering blanket of debt the service of which will soak up capital that otherwise could have gone to business investment. Can it be any wonder, then, that every new announcement of Obama economic policy seems to throw world markets into anaphylactic shock?

You’re annoying me here. First of all, we’re in an ongoing economic crisis here. There’s plenty of bad news and bad numbers to send the wildebeests stampeding across the river and back again. Second, Dow Jones oracles make me sad. In as complex an environment as the stock exchange, how does one establish causation? The arcaneness of the market makes those head lines of why the market goes up and down as misleading as they are concise.

Third, why is it important what happens the instant the bill gets signed? The true effect of it has yet to be seen. I also don’t think much of attaching the label of expert to the folks on Wall Street who have spent much of the last generation digging us all these nice little holes. The people who have run these markets for the past several years did not know what they were doing. If they run this way or that when some announcement is made that won’t have immediate effect, why should we care?

You say they don’t want an easy way out. You should hear these people grumble about everything everybody else did to collapse the market, and see Republicans like you and Gramm essentially offering more of the hair of the dog that bit us as a cure for this monster of a financial hangover. If preserving the status quo and continuing the dominance of Republican policy isn’t an easy way out, what else could be.

You underestimate just how much the continuation of your policies scares the hell out of people. That’s why you folks lost the election as bad as you did. Want to try that winning strategy again?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 21, 2009 9:19 PM
Comment #275891

Lee
What a cop out ! After 8 years of rabidly supporting the first Conservative Southern Governor to be elected president dispite his outrageous incompetence and tragic mistakes, you are now claimming he is not a real Conservative. He was exactly what you guys wanted.If not why did you not repudiate him 2004? Did he trick you?

So much for the rights claim of personal responsblity and loyalty. So much for re-thinking the core beliefs that had you all blindly supporting one of the worst presidents in history. So much for for learning from your mistakes and embracing policies that might even help the country. Instead you have decided to hypocritically, all of a sudden start bewailing the deficit spending necessitated by the failed policies of the head of your party and his cronies. Nobody wants to spend that kind of money. We have too. There is no viable alternative. There is no great pool of private risk capital, largely because of Conservative irresponsible profligate spending on elective wars and tax breaks for the wealthy. There are no more monetary policy options left to prevent utter collaspe. Interest rates are at an effective zero. Treasury funds have been allocated to save banks.Thats it. There is no more ammo left in monetary policy. Fiscal policy is the only option left and the federal government is the only entity capable of applying it.The only option proposed by the right is,”Let them eat cake.” What is it with you guys? I guess it just not as much fun to be rich unless there are lots of poor people around to lord over.

Posted by: bills at February 21, 2009 10:49 PM
Comment #275892

bills

he ran against john f kerry. not much else to say. how could any conservative vote for that clown? get ready because obama is going to make bush look like the best president of all time.

Posted by: dbs at February 22, 2009 12:30 AM
Comment #275897

dbs-
You’re demonstrating just why Americans are so charmed with the Republican Party at the moment.

The GOP goes on about philosophy. For the most part, it seems, philosophy is just a way of giving their continued, unchanged ideological stances the window-dressing of an intellectual motivation.

You folks need Obama to fall, have needed him to fail all along. You need him down at your level so you can still compete, your party having essentially squandered the voter’s goodwill with the failures and the stubborn refusal to act any differently that marked the Bush administration and the Republican Party’s time in power.

You folks still haven’t learned your lesson. America wants people who solve problems, not people who perseverate in trying to make their favorite solutions work as desired, even when they show no sign of such success.

The Republicans, guided by their “philosophy”, are unwilling to try anything different. This time, they say, it will work. Don’t do what the other guy is suggesting, it’ll be disastrous. Don’t trust him, he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Never mind the fact that we haven’t done much of anything right.

It’s the thought that counts, correct?

Americans want action, not the arrogant refusal to admit mistakes and try different things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2009 8:50 AM
Comment #275898

dbs
John Kerry? Oh you mean the brilliant war hero your puppet masters shamfully smeared so they could finish the job of stealing the money. That John Kerry?
Give me a break. No one likes to admit they have been had, but please, please get out of the way so us less gullible can get on with actually repairing the damage.
Its not that complicated. The vodoo economic beliefs of the right do not work in todays world except as a means of creating an unsustainable wealth redistribution toward the upper class. No economy has has ever been able to sustain that sort of imbalance without chattel slavery and totalitarianism. That will not sell in America at this point in history, no thanks to to the Republican Party.


Lee
On a somewhat less partisan basis,you really should take the time to actually study Keynesian deppression economic models. Its very dry and time consuming stuff but there are some pretty good sumerizations out there. There are some valid criticisms of the BHO plan, namely that it is not big enough and too much of it involves less effective tax cuts. Those are valid criticisms. Until you get a grasp of the concepts involved complainning is nothing more than anti-American carping.

Posted by: bills at February 22, 2009 8:56 AM
Comment #275903

Lee,
Why I hope that you have looked at the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, but as far as I can see the only problem that the Republicans are having is that it does not cut Big Corporation any slack. However, having just glanced at the Act posted over at Recovery.com I see that it offers alot of opportunities for the American Small Business Owner who is quick on their feet.

For I can understand why a Man may think that 50 Million to the Arts is to much; however, I can also see where a Non-Profit can put together a show that can travel to small communities and introduce the American Children to some much needed American Class and Culture. So why Rush and Hannity may try to tell you that it is ok to turn your back on America because the Democratic Party is in charge. As a Conservative I have to wonder if it is All the Arts the Republicans are against or just those Arts that they deem to be Liberal based only on their Ideology?

Thus, why the Democrats and 3 Republican Senators may not have hit a Home Run with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Seeing that the political alternative to this Economic, Energy, and Financial Meltdown of the Better World promised by the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s is the “Do-Nothing Party of the 21st Century” I wonder if the Hard Right of Society really care to see the non-primary residentail homes and offices drop to 70% of their prices just a few years ago.

And why I do realize that it is going to take some work by “We the People” to make it through the next few years. I do see America; Red, White, and Blue coming to understand that Their Children given the Proper Guidance of Authority will come to be able to teach Their Children’s Children bound me to a Personal Opinion about why The Founding Fathers of America and The Ancient Ones of Songs did what they done. For why you are right that the Market did not fail; nevertheless, discovering why the Leaders and Stockholders of the Market failed should concern Every American Citizen.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 22, 2009 11:28 AM
Comment #275907

dbs,

John Kerry? Oh you mean the brilliant war hero your puppet masters shamfully smeared so they could finish the job of stealing the money. That John Kerry?
I don’t know who the John Kerry you’re describing is. We’re talking about the one who claimed in a written autobiography that he had been sent by the Nixon administration to Cambodia in 1968. We’re talking about a guy so unpopular with his fellow servicemen that 90% of them stood with those who “smeared” him.

THAT John Kerry has been a buffoon in the eyes of so many of the American people that he could not beat a man about whom even Republicans felt reservations in 2004.

Besides that, many of Bush’s most egregious follies were saved for the second term (Harriet Meyer, immigration nonsense and non-enforcement, persecution of border agents, etc.,etc.). These, and the intimations that conservatism was in and of itself either stupid or evil, were seen by Republicans as the equivalent of spitting in our eyes. His policies were the equivalent of taking small doses of daily arcenic to build out resistance to poisoning.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 22, 2009 12:31 PM
Comment #275910

Lee

i didn’t call john kerry a hero, that was bills.

here’s what i said:

“he ran against john f kerry. not much else to say. how could any conservative vote for that clown? get ready because obama is going to make bush look like the best president of all time.”


while i voted for bush twice, i wasn’t always happy with him. he should have done more to combat illegal imigration.

Posted by: dbs at February 22, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #275912

Lee

the latest stimulus is IMO a colossal watse of money in the name of furhtering the democrats socialist agenda in this country. i can’t really put any more simply than that.

Posted by: dbs at February 22, 2009 1:13 PM
Comment #275918

“It is true that a certain number of Americans are able to see through the attempts to train them, through relentless repetition, to believe in the inartful obfuscation and blatant manipulation that has emanated from even the President and the Vice President, but I would submit that not nearly enough of our citizens are equipped to do so on a consistent basis. … our system, based on the consent of the governed, cannot long survive if the people can succumb so easily to manipulation and misinformation. ”

from p21f Big Daddy Byrd’s 2008 Letter to a new President

Posted by: ohrealy at February 22, 2009 4:43 PM
Comment #275927

The stimulus law won’t work for one simple reason…It’s just plain wrong.

Posted by: Common Man at February 22, 2009 7:09 PM
Comment #275928

Lee Jamison-
In the 2004 election, John Kerry got more votes than any other candidate before, except, of course, Dubya. It was a bitterly fought campaign. Let’s ask another question, though: how did Bush, with his former 90% job approval ratings, come to only win an election once more by a single state, and a few hundred thousand votes? 2004 was a bitterly difficult election.

dbs-
The Republicans lost an election by a landslide, and several percentage points harping on socialism. What makes you so sure that the millions of people you didn’t scare off with that language the last time are all of a sudden going to get weak-kneed at its mention now?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2009 7:15 PM
Comment #275929

Common Man-
What a delightfully humble name. Right, it’s wrong. Why?

I mean, please, tell me. I think the average joe is smart, what are the reasons that support that reason? Or is it just wrong because you, the Common Man, have said so?

There are plenty of people out there willing to say what they think, rather than repeat simply what they are told. if you can explain your rationales, we can determine whether you’re the first, or the second.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2009 7:18 PM
Comment #275930

Stephen,

Yeah I am humble and a man of few words. It’s wrong and always has been wrong to take from someone, that which is theirs and give to someone else under the threat of law. No amount of spin will convince me otherwise. And quite frankly, I don’t give a rat’s ass whether you think I’m being original or not.

Posted by: Common Man at February 22, 2009 7:34 PM
Comment #275933

It’s a breath of fresh air to me having a President who is calling things as he sees them. What a contrast to dubya, who wouldn’t recognize a recession if it walloped him over the head. Which, I suppose is exactly what happened. Ouch!

So, let’s see if I have this straight: not a single one of you Conservatives here on Watchblog said boo as the Bush administration ran up a two trillion(!!!!!!) dollar deficit during the biggest economic bubble I can remember, nor was there an outcry over spending several generations into the poorhouse in an elective war against a country which did not invade us(!!!!!!!), who lowered taxes on the wealthiest among us during the aforementioned war (!!!!!!). And now you want to lambaste Obama for executing the only possible strategy to recover the economy???? The same strategy that a Republican President would employ??
Please.

Was it not Phil Gramm himself that authored the bill that allowed some of the underlying causes of the burgeoning depression we are experiencing? Typical Republican response; point your finger at the other guy and accuse him of your own weakness.If the last election, and the recent polls are right, however, the people aint havin any. Today’s Repubs personify the echo chamber. They all stand together, marching in lockstep. Half of them have bullshit for sale, while the other half are eagerly buying it up. Not pretty to watch.

One last observation. I now see how bad we Democrats looked railing against Bush. Right or wrong, we did not stand FOR anything. Just against. I thought we had already witnessed the implosion of the Republican party….but it seems it’s the gift that keeps on giving. Now who looks like whining, carping, “hope America loses so we look better” ideologues? Again, it ain’t pretty.

Posted by: steve miller at February 22, 2009 8:07 PM
Comment #275934

Common Man-
It’s good of you to tell me that you’re humble. That you’re a common man.

Give me a break. The argument that you make essentially boils down to this: It’s wrong. Accept premise 1 as truth, no explanation, no answer to requests for further elaboration.

Look, like most nations in the civilized world, we levy taxes, we enforce contracts, and we delegate Budget authority to Congress and the President. The founding fathers themselves gave our Congress the power to do this.

It is the manner in which this is done, not the fact that that it is done that is the real issue. Everything else requires you to reject as illegitimate a necessary power of our constitutional government.

The problem with taking this rather abrupt approach to arguing this, is that you are likely going by the slogans of some person who just thought it would sound nice, and make Democratic Party policies sound bad.

I’ll tell you why I support the stimulus: because America can’t just sit around and wait for economic miracles to occur. This is what Deficit spending should be done for, not to fund things we’re unwilling to tax for.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2009 8:23 PM
Comment #275935

Stephen,

Are you trying to tell me it’s okay to take money from me by threat of law and give it to someone else who does not work?

Posted by: Common Man at February 22, 2009 8:38 PM
Comment #275939

Like economist Frederic Bastiat wrote in year 1848: only “when it becomes too painful”, and we finally understand the “great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else”.

What the federal government is doing now is going to make things worse, because any jobs that are created won’t last long, and will be offset by more massive debt, bloat, waste, pork-barrel, graft, and will also grow the federal government by another 600,000 to 800,000 employees:

  • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;

  • $150 million for the Smithsonian;

  • $380 million in the Senate bill for the Women, Infants and Children program; this may be where the condoms were included;

  • $300 million for grants to combat violence against women;

  • $2 billion for federal child-care block grants;

  • $6 billion for university building projects;

  • $15 billion for boosting Pell Grant college scholarships;

  • $4 billion for job-training programs, including $1.2 billion for “youths” up to age 24;

  • $1 billion for community-development block grants;

  • $4.2 billion for “neighborhood stabilization activities”;

  • $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters;

  • $500 million for improvement projects for National Institutes of Health facilities;

  • $44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters;;

  • $350 million for Agriculture Department computers;

  • $88 million to help move the Public Health Service into a new building;

  • $448 million for constructing a new Homeland Security Department headquarters;

  • $600 million to convert the federal auto fleet to hybrids;

  • $450 million for NASA (carve-out for “climate-research missions”);

  • $600 million for NOAA (carve-out for “climate modeling”);

  • $1 billion for the Census Bureau;

  • $89 billion for Medicaid;

  • $30 billion for COBRA insurance extension;

  • $36 billion for expanded unemployment benefits;

  • $20 billion for food stamps;

  • $4.5 billion for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;

  • $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years;

  • $1.7 billion for the National Park System;

  • $55 million for Historic Preservation Fund;

  • $7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”;

  • $150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases;

  • $150 million for “producers of livestock, honeybees, and farm-raised fish”;

  • $2 billion for renewable-energy research ($400 million for global-warming research);

  • $2 billion for a “clean coal” power plant in Illinois;

  • $6.2 billion for the Weatherization Assistance Program;

  • $3.5 billion for energy-efficiency and conservation block grants;

  • $3.4 billion for the State Energy Program;

  • $200 million for state and local electric-transport projects;

  • $300 million for energy-efficient-appliance rebate programs;

  • $400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments;

  • $1 billion for the manufacturing of advanced batteries;

  • $1.5 billion for green-technology loan guarantees;

  • $8 billion for innovative-technology loan-guarantee program;

  • $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects;

  • $4.5 billion for electricity grid;

  • $79 billion for State Fiscal Stabilization Fund;

  • $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more).

  • There’s $66 Billion for education (with $6 Billion for university building projects).

  • $87 million for a polar icebreaking ship;

  • $650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”;

  • $thousands or millions for condoms;

What a joke.

And how will this not create inflation? Possibly hyperinflation?

Odd. I did not see the “Prophylactic and Intervention Program” for unprogramming and reversing the brain-washing of the majority of voters who love THEIR party and wallowing in the circular partisan-warfare more than their country?.
Oh, that’s right.
Congress doesn’t want an informed and educated electorate, because too many voters might then stop rewarding THEIR incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election, despite the voters’ simulataneous and dismally low 9%-to-18% approval rating for Congress.

So, the question is:

  • How much pain and misery will the majority of voters tolerate and continue to reward Congress with perpetual re-election, before the majority of voters finally decide they’ve had enough? Obviously, so far, none of this is enough?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 22, 2009 9:13 PM
Comment #275946

Common Man-
Well, of course you think that I think it’s okay to just give people money to lie around all day. So let me clear up any illusions you might have about my opinion. First, I think this society should be doing its best to discourage people from relying on help of this kind, unless its absolutely necessary.

But that said, I’m looking out for the interests of the country. Is it in our interest to encourage abject poverty in and around our cities and town? Apart from the question of who deserves to have money, which is what kind of complicates this whole argument, We have the question of what level of degradation its safe to allow people to descend to in a society like ours.

I believe its more okay to risk the moral hazards of a government safety net than it is to create economic conditions which will encourage even worse moral hazards and economic desperation.

Oh, I’m not phrasing it in absolute terms? Sorry, but this is the real world, not some philosophy class where we can endlessly debate what’s right or wrong without having to stop by and have a chat with things as they are.

Besides, there’s not much good to come from being economically merciless. We could just let banks fail outright, wipe out investors utterly, rather than give money to the fools who chose their bank poorly. However, in the real world, the following is true: if, in a real economy, enough banks collapse and take their depositor’s funds with them, people will run on the banks, and pretty soon more will collapse and it’ll take years to recover in the financial industry. More to the point, you can end up on the short end of the stick through sheer misfortune, and there’s an awful lot of good hardworking people you will put at a disadvantage so you can take a good hard whack with the a baseball bat at those people who don’t deserve the grace they’re getting.

There are greater priorities to government’s dealings with commerce and finance in this country than just enforcing some law of the jungle mentality. There’s keeping an economy that can function, for one thing. There’s preventing the economic system from grinding up perfectly good talent and responsible citizens who might be able to recover, given the chance. There’s furthering our other priorities, including those that relate to defense and the public welfare.

Moral hazards do have to be accounted for, but we can’t be so intent on eliminating every possible temptation from before our citizens that we forget to make it a system human beings can actually survive.

Dan-
The point isn’t for all of this to last long. The point is to shove a lot of money where it will do some good to replace the money that the Fed can no longer push out and that the Private sector Either can’t or won’t put in the economy.

We will see what works and what doesn’t, and then we’ll see what truly can be said to have failed. I think the American people are tired of their policy being held hostage to somebody’s philosophy or ideology, as things get progressively worse. They’ve reached the threshold of pain you keep referring to, but it’s not leading them in your preferred direction, and that’s ticking you off.

What good is making yourself an independent if you’re unwilling to think independently of a party’s ideology on government. The first priority should be what works.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 22, 2009 11:29 PM
Comment #275948

d.a.n.,
“And how will this not create inflation? Possibly hyperinflation?”

Inflation and the possibility of hyperinflation will only be threats if the stimulus package works. We’re in a period of asset deflation. Most of us have not seen this kind of downturn in our lifetime. It is not like the Reagan recession, where Volker increased interest rates to dampen inflation, driving the economy down. It is more like the Great Depression. The Federal Reserve has already dropped interest rates as low as possible. The financial sector has tanked, and the part once occupied by investment banks is a smoking crater.

I’m not disagreeing with you about the ultimatel negative effects of debt and deficits. Unfortunately, we have to make a choice right now. We have a moral obligation to do everything possible to avoid another Great Depression, because that is much worse than the threats caused by debt and inflation. Deflation is worse than inflation.

In the Great Depression, FDR applied a stimulus program, and it worked. After four years, the unemployment rate dropped from 25% to 14%. However, @ 1936 they decided to work on balancing the budget and cut spending. The market tanked, the businesses re-entered depression, and the unemployment rate jumped to 18%.

It took massive government spending to end the Depression. That spending took the form of investments in the military. WWII ended the Depression.

d.a.n., you write:
“What the federal government is doing now is going to make things worse, because any jobs that are created won’t last long…”

Not true. Jobs created by the federal government can result in concrete improvements in infrastructure. More importantly, they have a multiplier effect. The worker on a federal project buys lunch, which pays the restaraunt owner. The owner buys more supplies… and so on. I’m sure you’ve seen this example.

Spreading the money into short and medium term spending projects sets up a steady situation for increasing the velocity of money. This is not about wealth capture, which was the hallmark of GOP and conservative legislation. This is about wealth creation, a completely different animal.

There’s more to all of this, of course. The stimulus package will only work if the decline in housing is stopped, and if the problem with “toxic debt” is faced.

Posted by: phx8 at February 23, 2009 12:04 AM
Comment #275954

Stephen,

I heard a quote the other day “It’s NEVER wrong to do the Right thing and it’s NEVER right to do the WRONG thing.” I believe that.

With all the spin you add you ARE saying it IS okay to take my money and give it to others who don’t work. That is WRONG and why the stimulus won’t work.

Posted by: Common Man at February 23, 2009 2:08 AM
Comment #275955

Common Man,
If you think it is wrong to take money from you to give to others than why are you taking money from your Children’s Children to pay for what you have now? For unless you can produce the $60 Trillion plus right here right now to pay off the debt than your argument does not hold water. Because I am sure the sale of Texas, Alaska, and a few more Red States to the highest bidder would go a long way to settling the debt owed by those citizens over the age of 18.

No, death and taxes is simply the cost of doing business in America. And why not the best way to pay for living in a Civilized World, the alternative is to allow someone like this Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s to have my way. So complain about the Establishment taking your taxes; however, just remember that if it was not for them providing for the Common Good and Defense of the Land through your taxes. Ruling the World as a SOB is simple for this American Layman. For who says you have the right to get paid for your labor?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 23, 2009 2:26 AM
Comment #275958

Henry,

I was addressing Stephen. Henry and Stephen don’t sound anything alike.

But to answer your first question, I believe I have paid more than what I have received from government.

As to your second point. I will accept taxes as a wat to finance running the government to a bare minimum. I will accept taxes to provide for the defense of this nation. As for the “common good”, taxes are not the way. No matter how you phrase it, it is wrong to take from a worker and give to a non-worker. and let me give you a hint…If I don’t get paid for my labor, I will produce no labor.

Posted by: Common Man at February 23, 2009 6:34 AM
Comment #275959

Lee
I see you are still stuffed with the anti-Kerry swiftboat slander. Its been a while. Try prune juice. The Pentagon is not in the habit of awarding medals for no reason.
OK, Back to Stimulus. Whether it works or not depends depends on definitions. Will it save and create jobs? Yes. Will it help states maintain services? Yes.Will it help people that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own stay afloat and continue contributing to the economy? Yes. Will it help people keep health coverage? Will it let workers keep more of their money?Yes. These are all admirable goals and any one of them could be considered enough to claim success but this is a stimulus package. If it does not succeed in jolting the economy back to life it has failed. Its weakness is that it is not large enough and a good deal of it is dedicated to less stimulative tax reductions.
You can track exactly where the money is going and add comments at Recovery.gov. Thats a site set up by the Whitehouse in a move of unprecedented openess.

Posted by: bills at February 23, 2009 7:27 AM
Comment #275963

Common Man-
I believe the right thing is to keep this country’s economy and society working well together, and I believe that is more important than playing disagreeable parent to the folks who are on welfare. We’ve already reformed things so fewer people simply sit on it forever. It needs to be there, though, so we’re not paying the consequences of extreme poverty.

If you think the money just goes away, you’re forgetting something. Let’s say, worse case scenario, that a Welfare Queen has several children. Still, the dollars she uses to pay for food, for other necessities, for all the goods and services she enjoys goes out and pays those hard working people again. We pay them so they can pay other people and keep economic strength flowing through our poorer communities. Tell me: what’s the advantage of having a black hole there?

Whether it’s morally right to pay those who don’t work is debateable. What’s not debateable is that there is a price to an area being economically depressed. It becomes a vicious cycle. If we have to cause a few moral hazards to prevent those vicious cycles from coming to pass, then we do that, for everybody’s good, because the moral and economic hazard of squalor and extreme poverty is greater still.

That’s my honest opinion. What’s wrong is to do the impractical and the self destructive to fulfill what one sees as moral obligations, to cause greater harm to remedy a lesser evil.

So you accept taxes as legitimate for a bare minimum of things. Okay, what does that mean? What is the bare minimum of government that this country needs? Looking at the financial sector, there’s an open question as to whether enough governing was done there. Again and again, Wall Street fails to police itself. Why do we keep turning to them to do the job?

This isn’t about phrasing. This is about how nice clean moral statements rarely survive contact with the real world. You underestimate how shameful poverty is to most people. You underestimate the ambition created by poverty.

One more thing: has it occured to you that you more people to convince than just those who already agree with you? Consider that as you write your responses. How do you persuade those who think differently than you?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2009 9:10 AM
Comment #275964

Common Man,
Is your Police, Fire, Medical, Roads, Schools, Shops, etc. npt for the Common Good? Does not your Food, Water, Electricity, and Fuel provided through the Common Good? Or should we charge you full price to have them at your beckon call?

Yes, taxes may not be the best way to pay for these basic services; nevertheless, forcing people to purchase these services individually would lead to failure. For if we are neighbors and my house catches fire, should the Establishment let it burn your house down because I do not have the funds to pay for the Fire Trucks, hoses, Man-Power, etc.

Now, as far as paying for the Non-Worker. Should we allow criminals to run free because you do not want to have your money support jails or work programs? What about the Worker that cost the Company more money than they bring in. Should I pay for them to punch the clock yet produce no goods?

Yes, I understand your grip that those who do not seek work should be left out in the cold; however, step to the other side of that argument I can assure you that many Americans today are out of work due to no fault of their own. Should we throw away these once productive citizens because the Private Corporation cannot keep its act together?

Or should “We the People” use the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to address the problems of the last 30 years. For if the Private Sector can only guarantee 95% of the Population a job than shouldn’t our Community Based Non-Profits be able to use the same funds to help the 5% of Society left out in the cold by the Ignorance of Man not to know that all except the very ill of society can answer phones, clean parks and roads, and a host of non-skillied labor needed to ensure that the Society of the Elite can operate.

And why I know you was talking to Stephen, your post #275927 gives me the opening that I need. For why you can become the Human you hate by not working of your own accrd. Are you ready to face the day when even despite your best effort you are unable to raise the funds needed to feed and shelter your family? Than try it a week, a month, or even a year. Since at any moment you can become that 5% left out in the cold by Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders.

Bills,
I have to wonder if Lee and the Conservatives are ready to tell Americas’ Military that they can continue to live in rundown barracks and medical facilities because creating the jobs to fix them up and make them energy efficient is not worthy of their taxes?

Or how about telling their children that they have no police protection due to the state lacking the funds? Even though the Act provides for the hiring of more Safety Officers and Equipment.

For why Recovery.com may be a window in how the money is spent. The site also provides a link so you can actually read the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 signed into Law by President Obama. Than you can add a comment from an informed state of mind.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 23, 2009 9:13 AM
Comment #275966

phx8,

In the Great Depression, FDR applied a stimulus program, and it worked. After four years, the unemployment rate dropped from 25% to 14%. However, @ 1936 they decided to work on balancing the budget and cut spending. The market tanked, the businesses re-entered depression, and the unemployment rate jumped to 18%.
It took massive government spending to end the Depression. That spending took the form of investments in the military. WWII ended the Depression.
There is a distinct difference in the kind of spending that reduced unemployment from cataclysmic levels to merely catastrophic ones on the one hand and that which contributed to the actual end of the Depression on the other. The spending of the first Rooselvelt term did nothing to revive business investemt and modernize industrial infrastructure. It was also built around a hodge-podge of distinctly anti-business initiatives, the result of which was an unsustainable FALSE level of employment. It did nothing to really build economic strength. Instead it did what teachers complain about in current education schemes- it “taught to the test” by mucking with the employment report figures, putting people into what could be called jobs for the sake of making jobless numbers fall. “Business” had never for a moment been out of the Depression at that point.

The spending of W.W.II was distinctly different. Plant and infrastructure for economic development were both improved and people in business were given wide latitude to make decisions and run with new ideas. Examples of this can be seen in programs like the development of “Liberty Ships” under Henry Kaiser and Lockheed’s P-38. Furthermore people made substantial wages they could not spend because of rationing and they saved large amounts of it in savings bonds, so even though unemployment spiked afer the war there was substantial plant, equipment, infrastructure, and capital for the development of consumer goods and small businesses. There was also an economy redistributed well for the process of producing and consuming production.

The facts don’t support your thesis.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 23, 2009 10:17 AM
Comment #275967

Henry,

Since at any moment you can become that 5% left out in the cold by Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders.
When I was a college student I was taught in economics courses that an unemployment rate of between 5% and 6% was the minimum sustainable level. This was in the most recent period of Keynesian predominance, after the Johnson and Nixon administrations, and in the midst of the Carter administration. With all due respect to your admirable intentions the median unemployment level during the last thirty years, under non-Keynesian regimes has been lower than that, often under 4%.

This is a case in which the perfect is the enemy of the good, a phrase I think I have read you using. As long as government administers its instruments of perfection with people all their good intentions will still be filtered through imperfection. Unfortunately they will also be administered in large part by people bigoted against those who must maximize production per unit of work to stay in business.

That is an inherently self-destructive form of policy.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 23, 2009 10:37 AM
Comment #275968

Lee Jamison-
You’re forgetting one critical measure: the relationship of government indebtedness to GDP. Under Hoover, it increased from 20 to 40 percent, even as the GDP declined to bottom out in 1933. Under FDR, indebtedness remained at a flat forty percent as the economy grew, in 2008 dollars, beyond the level where things had been even in 1929. As for whether the jobs were false? Good heavens, man, employed is employed. If you’re earning money, you’re spending it, and that’s good for the economy. Whether the jobs were real probably didn’t matter much to those who weren’t starving to death any longer.

As for “anti-business initiatives”? Define that, please. Please, because I see this tendency in Republicans to define anything that requires inhibition or financial sacrifice from business as anti-business. Well, let’s take one of those reforms: the FDIC.

Right now, there are plenty of banks that are going under, because of poor investments and hard economic times. However, we’re not seeing a run on banks, a devastating withdrawal of funds because people believe that even if the banks fail, their deposits will be insured. The FDIC provides a firewall which prevents a wave of panic from ever moving through the system the way it did during the Great Depression.

Let’s also look at Glass Steagall. It prevented finance banks from getting in the same bed with brokerages, and insurance companies from getting into business with either. Why? It’s pretty simple: conflicts of interest. Can you really trust the guy who’s selling the debt of their company with their left hand, and selling interest in that company with their right to make a clear decision in the investor’s best interests?

It also founded the SEC, which kept our nation out of this kind of economic chaos right up until the special interests succeeded in progressively crippling it, to the point where it was of absolutely no use even at enforcing the laws on the books. Fannie Mae had its start here as well, and succeeded for several decades before privatization and lax regulation cratered its market and undermined its finances.

Look, I know you like to think that all the extra spending was a problem. But you have Bruce Bartlett coming around and saying that despite the fact that many New Deal Programs didn’t work (I won’t argue too much with that.) Much of it did, and it helped lift us up economically. It just didn’t go far enough. Only WWII could lead the government to take control of the economy as aggressively as it did, and aggressively create jobs and economic infrastructure.

So, effectively, you and Bartlett agree: the New Deal wasn’t socialist enough!

Obama is not likely to repeat the mistakes concerning the money supply and the price controls. The GOP’s making two mistakes here: first, they are citing WWII as if war was a better economic stimulus than domestic stimulus. This provides a nice excuse for all the money spent in deficit dollars for the war. In truth, it was an extraordinary use of government control and public spending that helped end the Depression for us. The war just provided us with the reason to recharge the economic batteries and get money and jobs available again.

The second mistake is mistaking a failure to completely recover for the failure to improve the economy. The growth I cited earlier, after years of decline in the GDP under Hoover, reflects the depths of that error. FDR kept the economy from continuing in its decline, and started it on the way to recovery. That things did not go all the way until WWII ended, tells us not that FDR failed, but rather that he didn’t succeed until he fully committed to making up for lost Demand and lost jobs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2009 10:54 AM
Comment #275972

Just want to point out that we spent more on Bush’s tax cuts than this bill. We spent more on them than on the war even. So - the tax cuts were the largest spending bill. I know you don’t see a trillion dollar handout to the richest 1% of the U.S. that way, but, then again, you’re party really hasn’t been right about much have they?

Posted by: Max at February 23, 2009 11:43 AM
Comment #275973

Lee,
Even in President Clintons best years employment only reached 97-98%; however, even than we were warned of the ill-fate of a 100% empolyment by the Right. Higher hourly wages would cause a problem and force the Corporations to move their operations off shore.

Well, we never got a wage increase and still the jobs moved offshore so which is more destructive when neither Philosophy used by Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders can assure you that one day you will become the 5% leftout by the Ignorance of Man?

Note: It is a question that I asked Our Community Elders of the 70’s. Their Answer: ?????

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 23, 2009 11:55 AM
Comment #275974

Max,

Just want to point out that we spent more on Bush’s tax cuts than this bill. We spent more on them than on the war even.
To say that money not collected by the federal government was, by a failure to collect, “spent” implies it belonged to the government in the first place, which further implies the labor by which it was earned also belonged to the government.

That bit of faux-bookkeeping bears with it a little conundrum. If it is true we “citizens” are really slaves owned by the government and just expediently managed. If it is not true, well, people such as yourself are trying to make it true.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 23, 2009 12:15 PM
Comment #275976

Max

tax cuts cannot be considered a spending bill, because the money belongs to those who paid taxes, not the gov’t. reducing the rate on taxpayers amounts to TAKING LESS OF THE TAX PAYERS MONEY, not SPENDING MORE OF THE GOV”Ts. nice attempt to spin it though.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2009 12:18 PM
Comment #275987

Henry,

Your question requires thought running a little deeper than these supposed economic solutions provide. When I look at my extended family and that of my wife all of the chronically unemployed and under-employed members, literally all of them, have come from nuclear families that failed to reinforce a personal rationale for education. By that I mean the vision to see in education a path to making life more personally fulfilling and meaningful, rather than just the chore society demands we do so we won’t be useless.

In my own extended family we are awash with Methodist preachers, with publishers and lawyers and musicians, historians, scientists and more. This is not because we are rich (The preacher part weighs heavily against that.), but because the family tradition is a love of KNOWING, of reaching beyond what we know today for the way life can be made more wonderful, more fulfilling by the new thing we can know tomorrow. It is out of conveying that to each other people become truly useful. Usefulness put to good use is the essence of economic strength.

Ultimately our deeper problem is not one of economic mismanagement, but of inspirational mismanagement. Last week we celebrated my daughter’s participation in the Texas All State Choir as a first soprano. Nearly a third of the 14,000 students who participated in auditions for this choir auditioned for 25 first soprano spots. We found out last week that one of her cousins on my mother’s side was another of those first sopranos. That is just part of a family heritage, not of hypercompetitiveness, but of the love of learning and embracing the knowing of things.

If my family is any guide that is not a guarantee of money, but it opens doors to riches money can’t buy and it pretty effectively staves off unemployment to boot.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 23, 2009 12:53 PM
Comment #275989

A Conservative listener calls a Progressive TV show to discuss the Stimulus Bill, hilarity ensues:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H156Rrc0iL4

Posted by: BreakRoomLive at February 23, 2009 12:58 PM
Comment #275990

Sorry about that. Let me see if I can get the link above to work.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 23, 2009 12:59 PM
Comment #275994

Common Man,

You ask questions about wealth distribution as if there is a yes or no answer, i.e., do you still beat your wife…yes or no?

I do not mind paying taxes that get partially used in the service of the poor, you do mind…I do mind paying taxes that are spent sending our military into nations that are no direct threat to me or mine, perhaps you don’t mind that. That is why we elect folks to determine where our taxes are to be spent???

You also get a little huffy when someone other than the one you direct questions at answers you…sorry, that’s the way it is done here at this site.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 23, 2009 1:50 PM
Comment #275997

Marysdude,

That is a well considered answer. It behooves us to look very carefully at spending when we engage in our responsibility as citizens Your point about the military is well taken. From that point of view you can probably also understand how people like myself, who think of abortion as the killing of the completely innocent people, could object to being made to pay for such killing. That, when we’re willing to look at it from the point of view of those being dragged into spending money on things we may disagree with, should be a motivation for restraint.

People are quick to condemn the money left in the hands of “the rich”. What of the people who are employed by the rich when they spend that money, though? When I drive through the neighborhoods of the rich I see gardeners, carpenters, florists, and craftsmen of all types. My personal livelihood is predominantly made thanks to either the love of beautiful things in the homes of the rich or to donations they make to private organizations.

I see a lot of people attacking the jobs of ordinary people by their resentment for “the rich”. Absolutely there is such a thing as avarice. It is destructive of society. It is what Daugherty is speaking of in his article on the other side of the main page, but there is also such a thing as callous disregard of consequenses in the service of envy.

Nothing will bring an end to the concentration of resources, even if we foolishly hand that concentration to the government. What we do by a failure to restrain government is to place the concentration of resources in the hands of people who have not had to consider how they were created, or how best to husband them into the best possible growth. We have chosen people to control our plenty based not on considerations of excellence, but on political sensitivities founded in often abstract, even literary, principles.

Max says above that tax cuts “cost” a lot. From an economic standpoint that is debatable when our savings rate is considered. It WAS spent. It was just spent employing people to do as the American people wanted them employed- family by family, instead of being spent as the dominant faction of some temporary political majority (hear “Iraq War”, Marysdude) could leverage us into spending it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 23, 2009 2:30 PM
Comment #276005

Lee Jamison-
What I think people dislike is folks in government who think the Rich need so much help. I mean, by their very nature, these are the people best able to stand up for themselves, to marshal the resources to do so. We would prefer that they observe a balance of power, with the Government standing in for the people on their behalf. That Government, of course, has to be vigilantly watched, because it will gravitate to its own interests in the absence of our guidance.

I agree that nothing will bring an end to the concentration of resources. Even Communist Russia had its perks for those in the elite, and many of the Oligarchs who control its businesses now are former government officials.

but to say that the concentration is inevitable is not to concede the degree of concentration, nor the danger of its excess.

People will envy less when they feel that they have freedom to seek their own interests, their own way in life, despite the power that the Businesses might have in their life. Otherwise, the conflict will invite a thirst for power, sharpen the will to grab control. The Republicans have learned a lesson in that for the past couple of elections, having almost beat the Democrats into a permanent minority.

If you want people to believe that power and wealth concentration is not evil in and of itself, it must be restrained from causing harm in people’s life that would make it in their interests to fight it. This might mean making concessions, but not making concessions is what convinces people that a given individual or organization is too powerful, and must be backed down.

I doubt the Republicans are going to win a lot of fights on the reform of the finance industry. But if that reform helps restore some of people’s sense of security (and its reality, most importantly), then of course people won’t feel the need to push further.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2009 3:22 PM
Comment #276007

Lee Jamison says:

tax cuts cannot be considered a spending bill, because the money belongs to those who paid taxes, not the gov’t. reducing the rate on taxpayers amounts to TAKING LESS OF THE TAX PAYERS MONEY, not SPENDING MORE OF THE GOV”Ts. nice attempt to spin it though.

And dbs says:

To say that money not collected by the federal government was, by a failure to collect, “spent” implies it belonged to the government in the first place, which further implies the labor by which it was earned also belonged to the government.

That bit of faux-bookkeeping bears with it a little conundrum. If it is true we “citizens” are really slaves owned by the government and just expediently managed. If it is not true, well, people such as yourself are trying to make it true.

These statements are erroneous regarding the 2001 Tax Cut. Those tax cuts constituted a transfer of $1.35 trillion dollars from my pocket to yours. Not only was it redistribution of wealth, but it was done without consent, as the targets were not eligible to vote at the time. I thought this nation was opposed to “taxation without representation”. I guess not.

I’m 19 years old now and I’ll be working my butt off for decades to pay off the debt you folks created so you folks could have a “feel good” tax cut.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 23, 2009 4:16 PM
Comment #276008

Tax cuts resulted in REVENUE LOST
If Spending went down to match the revenue lost you right wingers would be right
But
Spending did NOT go down, it went up (thanks to IRAQ)
Therefore SOMEONE HAS TO PAY THE BILL
the 2001 TAX CUTS sent the message that the TOP 1% WERE NOT BEING PRESENTED WITH THEIR PART OF THE BILL!!
THEREFORE WHO PAYS??
Warped Reality has it right
The 2001 Tax Cut represents a LOAN (without consent) from FUTURE GENERATIONS OF TAXPAYERS to the TOP 1% OF THE PAY SCALE.
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
(WEIRD LOAN THO — THE PERSON RECEIVING THE LOAN IS NOT PAYING FOR IT— HMMMM THAT SOUNDS LIKE EITHER FRAUD, MONEY-LAUNDERYING OR SOME FORM OF PONZI-SCHEME!!)
What say you about THAT “Common Man”??

Posted by: Russ at February 23, 2009 4:47 PM
Comment #276012

Warped Reality

maybe you should be clear who posted what.

this is what i said:

“tax cuts cannot be considered a spending bill, because the money belongs to those who paid taxes, not the gov’t. reducing the rate on taxpayers amounts to TAKING LESS OF THE TAX PAYERS MONEY, not SPENDING MORE OF THE GOV”Ts. nice attempt to spin it though.”

you said:

“Those tax cuts constituted a transfer of $1.35 trillion dollars from my pocket to yours.”

how did i take money out of your pocket? i was merely allowed to keep more of the money I EARNED. nothing was taken out of your pocket.

“I’m 19 years old now and I’ll be working my butt off for decades to pay off the debt you folks created so you folks could have a “feel good” tax cut.”

PUT DOWN THE KOOLAID, i have taken no money out of your pocket, the gov’t has just taken less out of mine.


Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2009 5:33 PM
Comment #276013

Russ

stop yelling please, it doesn’t make your point any more valid.

the top 2% of earners pay @ 40% of all taxes collected, and i’m not in that group BTW. don’t complain to me, i didn’t create the debt. it is your beloved dems that have created the majority of the problem by creating a society of the entitled. go take a look at the portion of the federal budget that is spent on entitlements. that by far is the largest redistribution of wealth in this country.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2009 5:42 PM
Comment #276014

Russ

BTW, please tell me how the gov’t can loan me my own money.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2009 5:44 PM
Comment #276015
phx8 wrote: d.a.n.,
  • d.a.n wrote: “And how will this not create inflation? Possibly hyperinflation?”
Inflation and the possibility of hyperinflation will only be threats if the stimulus package works.
So you want it to work?

How will we be better off with high inflation and/or hyperinflation and a debauched currency?

phx8 wrote:
  • d.a.n., you write: “What the federal government is doing now is going to make things worse, because any jobs that are created won’t last long…”
Not true. Jobs created by the federal government can result in concrete improvements in infrastructure.
“Can” is the key word.

But we can’t all work for the government.
We also can’t all do each others’ laundry and taxes.
But the nation’s manufacturing base has been deteriorating for several decades.
The U.S. federal government is already the largest employer in the nation.
Germany ($1.1 Trillion) and China ($1.3 Trillion) both have more exports than the U.S., and the U.S. is the largest importer in the world.
There are more jobs in government than all manufacturing jobs nation-wide.
The Stimulus BILL is full of pork and spending that offsets much (if not all) of the benefits and productivity of the jobs created.
Also, what good does it do to increase inventory when there is insufficient demand for the products produced?
How is growing the severely bloated and wasteful federal government beyond the current-nightmare proportions going to produce any sufficiently significant benefits and savings?

Also, it’s highly likely that the hundreds of billions and trillions being so carelessly spent and doled out will be accompanied by more massive fraud and abuse.

phx8 wrote: More importantly, they have a multiplier effect. The worker on a federal project buys lunch, which pays the restaraunt owner. The owner buys more supplies… and so on. I’m sure you’ve seen this example.
Enough people have to produce something of value to have a net gain. It seems unlikely that this pork-laden Stimulus BILL will result in a net gain. Especially if it grows the government by another 600,000-to-800,000 employees. Pre-existing principles still apply today, despite the attempts by government to ignore those principles. We are not going to borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperity. Dozens of other countries have already discovered what happens when they tried to borrow , money-print , and spend their way to prosperity.
phx8 wrote: We’re in a period of asset deflation.
How do you have deflation when (on average) there is positive inflation?

One might say inflation has decreased, but until it is negative, we still have inflation (not deflation).
We have had positive inflation for every consecutive year for the past 52 years (including last year).
The government’s inflation numbers for DEC-2008 (.09%) and JAN-2009 (0.03%) were both positive, and inflation for several years have been increaseing.
Year-to-year inflation has been rising since year 2002 and reached 3.85% for last year, 2008:

  • ____INFLATION RATE_____

  • 4.00%|———————-

  • 3.75%|——————xxx 3.85% average for year 2008)

  • 3.50%|——————x— (2008 __ 3.85%)

  • 3.25%|————xxx-x— (2007 __ 2.85%)

  • 3.00%|————x-xxx— (2006 __ 3.24%)

  • 2.75%|——xxx-x——— (2005 __ 3.39%)

  • 2.50%|——x-xxx——— (2004 __ 2.68%)

  • 2.25%|—xxx————— (2003 __ 2.27%)

  • 2.00%|—x—————— (2002 __ 1.59%)

  • 1.70%|—x——————

  • 1.50%|xxx——————

  • 1.25%|__________________YEAR

  • _____ 2_2_2_2_2_2_2

  • _____ 0_0_0_0_0_0_0

  • _____ 0_0_0_0_0_0_0

  • _____ 2_3_4_5_6_7_8

Also, the federal government’s and Federal Reserve’s inflation numbers are also not credible, because they’ve messed with the calculations of the tens of thousands of CPI items by lowering the CPI weightings for items increasing in price and raising the CPI weightings for items falling in price. They changed the calculations twice in year 1983 and 1998 such that it lowered the official inflation numbers. Therefore, based on pre-1983 and pre-1998 calculations, inflation is much higher than what is being reported.

The federal government can not create enough jobs to put a dent in the problem. The government is not very good at creating jobs. Even if the federal government can create 2-to-3 million jobs, there are already 11-to-25 Million unemployed.

There are many other things the federal government could do to help most Americans, but few (if any) of those things are being addressed (such as reducing or eliminating these 10 major abuses).

Unfortunately, Congress is where good ideas and common-sense solutions go to die.
It seems very unlikely that any real CHANGE will come about until enough voters have felt several years of the pain and misery that they have brought upon themselves by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, FOR-SALE, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians in Congress with 85%-to-90% re-election rates, despite the voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress. As in year 1933, when most unhappy voters ousted a whopping 206 members of Congress (44% of all incumbent politicians up for re-election), it was too late to avoid another decade of the Great Depression. A similar scenario appears very likely again. Even if enough unhappy voters oust a huge percentage of Congress, there are years (perhaps a decade or more) of pain and misery already in the pipeline. That’s why it is more important than ever that Congress stop the 10 major abuses (One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm) hammering most Americans.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 23, 2009 5:46 PM
Comment #276016

Warped Reality

this is from another thread in the green column. perhaps you should read it.

http://www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006443.html#275909

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2009 5:54 PM
Comment #276021

dbs, It seems like I screwed up the quotes, inserting yours by accident in the middle of Lee Jamisons’s. I apologize for that.

No money taken out of my pocket? Where did the money come from then? Does the GOP have a magic machine that allows it to create currency without increasing the total monetary supply? I don’t think so.

From 2001-2008 YOU (though the vote of your representative) had the choice to spend the 14 trillion dollar GDP any way you wanted to. Most of the money was left in the hands of the people who earned it (as it should), but the representatives YOU elected were responsible for determining what to do with the rest. YOU can spend YOUR money the way you want to through your elected representatives. If you want to use the money to make yourself feel good toppling dictators halfway across the world, go ahead. But do it with YOUR money. If you want to feel good by using your money to spend on personal items/expenses/investments etc…, then you can instruct your representative to cut taxes. But do not do both if you cannot afford to do so with the funds presently available.

Instead, the GOP decided to burden the country with trillions in debt. Guess who is going to repay that debt?
Answer: My generation and the ones following it; either we will have to pay more in taxes or we will have to cut services that WE would rather spend OUR money on.

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 23, 2009 6:05 PM
Comment #276022

2001-2008? You mean 2001-2006? Or are we ignoring that Democrats were running the pursestrings the past two years…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 23, 2009 6:22 PM
Comment #276023

Oh, and lest you forget, the next year’s debt will be pretty large as well. Do you really think that the real deficit will be where Obama wants it to be at the end of his term? Do you believe fairy tale that Clinton balanced the budget too?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 23, 2009 6:24 PM
Comment #276024

Warped Reality

no worries, honest mistake.

read the link i posted to the other thread. that truely represents my feeling about what our gov’t has become. i’m not happy with any of them at this point. congress has been overstepping thier authority for a very long time. it didn’t just start when bush was elected. open your eyes not only will you be paying for the reps. mistakes but the dems also. at this point we’re all screwed. this stimulus pkg. and all the spending the dems will do will be thier iraq. thier still spending OUR tax dollars.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2009 6:30 PM
Comment #276026

Stephen,

We started this chat when I said the stimulus wouldn’t work because it is wrong. My basic premise is that it is wrong to take from the working and give to the non-working. I asked you if you thought it was okay to do so and you started spinning like a top. Indirectly, you disagree with me.

In your comment #275963 you try to dismiss my premise with this comment “Whether it’s morally right to pay those who don’t work is debateable.”
THAT IS WHAT I’M DEBATING. Then you spin some more.

You ask what is the bare minimum of government that this country needs. My answer is simple. The government needs to provide exactly what is written in the constitution, no more and no less.

Posted by: Common Man at February 23, 2009 6:36 PM
Comment #276027

In addition to that, forcing people to be charitable (to the charities you support) by using the power of government to remove freedoms from someone by force is a despicible act.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 23, 2009 6:42 PM
Comment #276028
this bill WAS NEVER PROPOSED to be exclusively a stimulus bill.

And in that the administration failed miserably. Selling a bill to the people that we must pass this or we are all doomed and that passing it makes one patriotic (I’ll get to that another time), that it is an emergency, should mean that you limit what is in it to address specifically that emergency. Instead, Obama and the Democrats wanted to push a lot of what should be appropriations in a budget into the bill so that they wouldn’t be added later in the year and appear to be a huge bloated budget. In effect, they wanted their budget and another pool of money to spend over the next couple of years. And they’ve gotten it.

Does it make you feel better? Do you really think that the debt is being or going to be addressed by employing this type of political maneuverings?

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 23, 2009 6:47 PM
Comment #276032

Henry,

I believe the job of the FEDERAL police is covered in the constitution under providing for the national defense. As for the local police, no federal tax dollars should go to them. I don’t see how any federal fire department helps me. Medical shouldn’t even be in this conversation. That should be between me and my doctor. I pay taxes on every gallon of gas that I buy to pay for the building and upkeep of our roads along with pretty high tolls. Do you realize it costs around $50 in tolls to go from Baltimore Md. to NYC round trip? Schools are local and I see nothing in our constitution that says I should help pay for schools in California. I don’t see how shops, etc even got in this debate. And I feel I DO pay full price for these services.

As for letting your house burn down, that is a local matter that the federal government should stay out of.

You said “Now, as far as paying for the Non-Worker. Should we allow criminals to run free because you do not want to have your money support jails or work programs? What about the Worker that cost the Company more money than they bring in. Should I pay for them to punch the clock yet produce no goods?”

I can’t figure out what this paragraph has to do with paying for non-workers, but again jails and work programs are local issues, not federal. The worker that costs the company more than he produces should be fired in my opinion and find a more productive job or starve. It’s his choice.

You also said “Yes, I understand your grip that those who do not seek work should be left out in the cold; however, step to the other side of that argument I can assure you that many Americans today are out of work due to no fault of their own. Should we throw away these once productive citizens because the Private Corporation cannot keep its act together?”

I’ve been there and had to cut expenses to a bare minimum, move in with my mother in law, and work at day labor to survive. It’s not fun, but it’s a solution and it cost you nothing. I lost that job thru no fault of yours either. It sure was an incentive to find steady work again.

A simple answer to your next question is NO.

Posted by: Common Man at February 23, 2009 7:20 PM
Comment #276033

Rhinehold, The Bush Tax cuts did not end with the change of control in congress. I turned 18 in late 2007, and voted for in my first election in 2008, therefore I am responsible for my representative’s actions after then, so that is why I chose that as a cut-off date in my comment. I am registered to vote in the fifth district of Massachusetts and I did not vote for my nepotistic representative who ran unopposed. Instead I wrote-in the name of a state representative from a neighboring statehouse district who I thought was better fit for the job. I voted for Obama because he was willing to keep all options on the table when he tried to balance the budget. In light of the recent economic collapse, I don’t think he will be able to accomplish his goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2012, but if it decreases by a quarter or a third, and the economy has recovered, then I’ll give him a pass. Otherwise, I’ll look for someone else to vote for. Maybe 2012-2016 will have a stronger economy that will be able to tolerate tax increases and spending cuts.

Regarding Fm. President Clinton, I am uncertain as to whether he completely balanced the budget. I have seen several conflicting opinions. Nevertheless, he came much closer to balancing the budget than anyone else in the postwar era (at least I think so, I’ll need to check up on that)

dbs, I read that green column story last night and I read it again today. My interpretation is it all matters whether there there are more people in the district like Mr. Bunce or others who hold opposite views. Article 1 Section 8 describes how our representatives can spend our money. In any case, it appears that more debt was added during the Reagan and Bush administrations than during the other presidents since WWII. I remain unconvinced in the ability of republicans to balance the budget as long as they maintain their “no new taxes” mantra. The one exception is Mitt Romney, he changed our 3 billion dollar deficit into a 700 million dollar surplus through roughly half spending cuts and half increased taxes. It’s too bad the GOP couldn’t accept a Mormon president (or one that provided different opinions on a few social issues).

Posted by: Warped Reality at February 23, 2009 7:27 PM
Comment #276039

The pedal is about to hit the medal. AIG will declare the largest losses in corporate history Monday. They’re going down. Any bets on outright nationalization? If anyone liked the DJIA at 8000, just wait a few more days…

Posted by: phx8 at February 23, 2009 8:09 PM
Comment #276041

phx8

i think it closed today @ 7100 and change. tomorrow should exceptionaly ugly.

Posted by: dbs at February 23, 2009 9:09 PM
Comment #276044

Common Man-
I’m not spinning. I’m just making persuasive nuanced arguments you just don’t want to address head on yourself. It’s easier to dismiss my arguments out of hand if you just think I’m just trying to be clever.

Pay attention: I like to nail things down. I like things I nail down to stay where I put them. So I don’t settle for slogans and insults that most people can shrug off. You insult my arguments because they bother you.

Right now, millions of Americans are not working and are getting money from those who are. Kick them off? If they’re elderly, retired? If they’re unemployed, looking for new work? If they’re disabled, unable to work, or work full time? I don’t think these people have anything to be ashamed of. They’re doing what they have to do to support themselves when their means of self-support have been taken from them. Some will find their way back. Some will remain drawing the money for the rest of their lives.

I have personal reason to be glad of this help. I’m not going to go into it, but my family would have had a hell of a time if it weren’t for this help. Part of it won’t be permanent. Part of it likely will be permanent. It’s been a tough few years, but I could not imagine how it would be had these programs not existed.

Don’t presume to preach to me about how absolutely wrong it is to have these kinds of social safety nets. I think some people idolize the pre New-Deal era with no real, visceral understanding of what life in that time was like. It’s easy to get nostalgic when you’ve forgotten or never learned much of the negative aspects that balance the positives.

You ask what is the bare minimum of government that this country needs. My answer is simple. The government needs to provide exactly what is written in the constitution, no more and no less.

The constitution is not a restaurant menu. It is a set of principles that interact between each other. More to the point, though, the question of what America needs from its government isn’t answered in the document, only the general methods and requirements of how it goes about dealing with its needs.

The real question of what America needs is out there, and mere philosophy is a poor subsititute for concern about these matters. Those who offer Americans the comfort that everything will fit your particular view of the constitution will offer them cold comfort indeed if they fail to address the concerns that Americans have.

Rhinehold-
If we focus on debt at this point, we’ll only make it worse. The deflationary pressures, that is those that drive prices down are at a fifty year high. If you start raising a whole bunch of taxes and cutting government spending, it won’t help. The emergency is, in many ways, the failure of investment from the private sector, with the Fed’s rates cut essentially to zero already. I agree that Obama is frontloading a lot of projects and things, but I don’t agree that this is wrong. I think in many cases the alternative would be to let major policy shifts, like towards green energy, modernized grids and internet infrastructure suffer with the economy.

Right now, we’re screaming across the rings of an economic Jupiter, and we have one of three trajectories: collision with that object, capture and orbit, or slingshotting our asses out of the gravity well.

If we chose to be stingy about this, we may just end up captured or crashed. If we’re generous, we’ll come out of this like Voyager II out of a Saturn encounter.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 23, 2009 9:40 PM
Comment #276046

Warped Reality,

I don’t see how 535 hired hands in Washington, D.C. borrowing money that doesn’t exist from you and my children represents a transfer of wealth from you to the rich. What it represents is the transfer of wealth from you to the welfare recipient, to the Social Security recipient, to the recipients of Medicare and Medicaid, and to millions of inefficient and ineffective bureaucrats and government staff members.

It also represents a deep distortion of the basis of the economy of the future because the dirty truth is that economics actually happens in real time. What was made this year was paid for this year with some stuff and some promises. See all the gyrations of the economy today? That is trillions of dollars of promises that once were private debt going up in smoke. Some day the promises of the government will do the same, either by default or by inflation diminishing the value of the debt.

Interestingly, no part of the economy has lost more money out of this current evaporation than the “rich”.

I can appreciate your being upset over this. I have been since I was younger than you are now. Pay attention to history, especially to the levels of debt per congress as a percentage of the nation’s total production (our G.D.P. or, in older days, the G.N.P.). What you will find is that the current, Democratic, congress is joining the Democratic congress just past in launching into the highest levels of planned indebtedness ever seen, period.

That’s a whole lot of “promises”.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 23, 2009 9:50 PM
Comment #276047

dbs,
I try to avoid predicting what the market will do the next day. However, old sayings like “the trend is your friend” and “never try to catch a falling knife” are good to remember in times like these. There is very little resistance between 8000 & 7000 on the DJIA. The market can move like an elevator between these levels pretty quickly.

The bad news keeps pouring out of the financial sector. As much as I like Obama, and give him credit for trying, I suspect a lot of this will amount to an argument about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

Left to themselves, the housing sector and the overall economy will find their levels. The problems there are very bad, of course, especially in terms of the human suffering that comes along with unemployment, bankruptcy, the loss of a house, and so on. The critical problem, the dealbreaker, the 500 lb gorilla in the middle of the room, is the financial sector, and the problem is enormous.

Everything Obama is trying right now is like sticking a finger in the proverbial dike. The problem proved too big for the Federal Reserve- monetary policy failed to solve it. The problem is too big for the Federal Government- fiscal policy cannot solve it, and least not by itself.

Obama will have to do something dramatic and controversial. He will have no choice. I think he will have to nationalize a large part of the financial sector.

That’s a fairly astounding proposition. No one planned on the US going socialist in a matter of years. Liberals like myself wanted universal health care, public education funded through the university level, and so on. No one- not liberals, not conservatives- wanted to see the financial sector nationalized. No one even imagined it a few short years ago. It seems like an awful way to spend the national treasury…

Posted by: phx8 at February 23, 2009 10:25 PM
Comment #276051
Lee Emmerich Jamison wrote: Why Stimulus Won’t Work
The Stimulus very likely won’t work because:
  • (01) The debt-bubble is near (if not already) untenable.
  • (02) The $10.8 Trillion National Debt is 62% higher per-capita than the previous record-high in year 1945 after World War II.
  • (03) That doesn’t even include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching.
  • (04) The Stimulus BILL is full of pork-barrel that won’t create nearly enough jobs.
  • (05) The federal government isn’t very good at creating jobs. Especially if 600,000-to-800,000 of those jobs are in the government. And even if the federal government creates 2-to-3 million jobs, there are currently 11-to-25 Million unemployed (and climbing fast as of FEB-2009; source: (www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data) ). There are now more umemployed than the 12.8 Million unemployed in the Great Depression. While the percentage is less (for now), do those millions of unemployed give a damn about percentages?
  • (06) The severely bloated federal government is already the biggest employer in the nation. There are more people employed by the government than all manufacturing jobs nation-wide.
  • (07) These dozens of economic conditions have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression, and the federal government still refuses to stop these 10 major abuses that are hammering most Americans.
  • (08) Corporate owners have been outsourcing jobs for decades. The nation’s manufacturing base has been deteriorating for decades. China ($1.3 Trillion) and Germany ($1.1 Trillion) each have more exports than the U.S. The U.S. is the world’s biggest importer. However, this can’t last much longer. We can’t all wash each others’ laundry.
  • (09) The U.S., manufacturing and exporting less every year, is now in liquidation mode. Foreign owned assets in the U.S. has grown from $6 Trillion in year 1997 to $22 Trillion in year 2007.
  • (10) There are $11 Trillion foreign owned U.S. dollars which could all come rushing back to the U.S., if only the U.S. manufactured more. Instead, the liquidation will continue (by about $4 Trillion per year, on average);
  • (11) The U.S. is a debt junkie. It is the biggest debtor nation on the planet, and all human history. The $67 Trillion nation-wide debt is $220,000 per per-person (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/67Trillion.gif). Where will the money come from to merely service the interest on so much debt, when tnat money does not yet exist? At only 4.0% interest, it would take 433 years to pay down the current nation-wide debt, if it were able to pay $223.34 Billion per day ($2.68 Trillion per year) on the $67 Trillion nation-wide debt. That’s the minimum payment, or the debt continues to grow ever larger. And the way things are going, it looks like it will continue to grow ever larger until the crushing debt destroys the economy and millions of lives.
  • (12) In year 1956, the nation-wide debt was about 100% of GDP. Today, the $67 Trillion nation-wide debt (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/DebtAndMoney.htm#NationWideDebt) has almost qunitupled and is now over 483% of GDP. Where will the money come from to merely pay the interest on so much debt, when that much money does not yet exist?
  • (13) There are 9,000-to-10,000 foreclosures per day. Greedy banks and their agents wrote many tens of millions of sub-prime loans. Then the greedy banks jacked up the interest rates on millions of mortgages, causing monthly mortgage payments to double (or more), causing millions of foreclosures per year (for many years). Then the greedy banks and Wall Street bundled up all of that toxic debt, rated it AAA, and fraudulently peddled it to the rest of the world.
  • (14) The Federal Reserve is a dishonest, usurious, inflationary ponzi-scheme. It creates new money out of thin air at a very steep 9-to-1 ratio of debt-to-reserves, and then receives interest on that money it loans to member banks. Hell of a deal, eh? As a result, 90%-to-95% of all money in existence in the U.S. exists as debt. The U.S. has had 52 consecutive years of inflation. A 1950 Dollar is now worth 10 cents. And when the banks foreclose on a bad debt, they confiscate the debtor’s property, essentially converting money-created-out-of-thin-air into real property and assets. Cha Ching! But it gets better. If the banks are irresponsible (even crooked and fraudulent), and they lose a lot of money, the tax payers get the awesome privilege of bailing out the bad banks, corporations that cooked the books, greedy CEOs with fat salaries and bonuses, , and Wall Street who peddled toxic debt to the entire world. Cha Ching! Cha Ching!
  • (15) The federal government will continue to despicably sell-out and pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion. And when enough illegal aliens can be imported, the federal government raises (or eliminates) the limits on H-1B and H-2B visas. Why are we importing 1.5 Million foreigh skilled workers per year when we have 11-to-25 Million unemployed?
  • (16) And the final, and most important reason. Congress has its head way, way, WAY up its butt. But why shouldn’t it, when the majority of voters repeatedly reward Congress for it with 85%-to-90% re-election rates (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/CongressMakeUp_1855_2011.htm), despite the voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings for Congress? What’s that say about the majority of voters ? It says that a whole LOT more voters will have to feel many more years of pain and misery before they finally do something about it, such as what most unhappy voters did in year 1933, when they voted-out a whopping 206 members of Congress (44% of incumbents up for re-election). Perhaps enough voters will do the same when enough voters are bankrupt , jobless , homeless , and hungry. We appear to be well on our way, but it may take a few more years. Even in 1933, the voters waited too long to avoid another decade of pain and misery.
At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful). Posted by: d.a.n at February 23, 2009 11:02 PM
Comment #276054

Lee,
Why I do push the limits of thought the reason I do so is to show My Peers and Their Children that Americas’ Democratic and Republican Elected Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders are faced with no easy solution to any problem. For why you remain focused on Family and Friends, others look at their family and friends to include every Citizen of the Human Race. And while I have grown up learning the difference between the two political points of Ideology held by the Status Quo, not even I will fight Grandma and Grandpa on what makes up the idea of Family and Friends.

However, knowing that it is the Sworn Duty of Americas’ Elected Officials to include Every American Citizen regardless of their Family and Friends as Individuals I have to ask as an Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s why the Teachings of Man hold the Beliefs that 5% of Society is left out in the Cold when it comes to employment.

And why I wish I could remember EXACTLY why Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders of the 70’s and Today accept such Philosophy and Teachings. Having grown up searching for a different personal point of view I put it on the fact that “The Wolf” is needed by Government and Society to keep their citizens from becoming lazy. Even though it causes a Moral Problem when one stands on Common Ground.

For why I am proud to hear about your daughter and her cousin becoming one of the first sopranos and the new network of Family and Friends that they will be exposed to. I wonder (And can only Imagine) what would happen to them if they would of become one of the over 13,000 students that are not permitted by the Establishment to have the same experience and fellowship in their life.

Because why it still remains “An American Dream” that All Citizens be given the same opportunities in Life, knowing the limitations of Groups, Organizations, Government, and Society to create and build such a system I do see the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 as a great stepping stone for Americas’ Democratic and Republican Citizens and Leaders to work through their different political points of view.

Since, in order to keep the Peace I have to respect My Peers Authority to be the Best Parents and Community Elders that they can be so that Their Children can learn from their Family and Friends why the Argument of Stupidity remains the fall back point of the Idelogy found in the Ignorance of Man. For who among “We the People” should be the ones to say which Citizens belong to the 5% of Society left to “The Wolf” by design?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 24, 2009 1:01 AM
Comment #276056

Common Man,
Why you are certainly entitled to your opinion that the Federal Police is covered in the Constitution; nevertheless, you need only to look at the political historical debates of the 1800’s and 1900’s to discover that the group does not fall under the Argument of Common Defense. But, instead threaded the political neddle under the terms of Providing for the Common Good.

In fact, your Local, State, and Federal Safety Programs fall under the Public Domain. For why you can insist that you have no need for a Federal Fire Department. Odds are (and it is held in the Eyes of Grandma and Grandpa) that you use them everyday and are not aware of their benefits. For even the gasoline you put in your car is in part protected by the endless sturies paid for by the Federal Government and taught to your Local and State Fire Fighters. Hence, that is why Americas’ Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders are obligated to put out the fire in My House and protect yours from catching on fire.

And why I commend for standing up as an American Man and seeking Day Labor in order to help yourself and family out during troubled times. Nevertheless, are you aware that there are groups and organizations who believe that Day Labor should be outlawed? Now combine that with the fact that not everyone has access to such services or demand (Usaully found only in Cities with High Growth Rates and Transition Problems) the question still remains how does an American Elected Official square the fact that Americas’ Democratic and Republican Citizens and Leadership hold the Authority to say that 5% of Their Citizens are without jobs under the guidance of “We the Corporation” in the 21st Century?

For personally, I believe that Americas’ Elected Officials try to give Every American the opportunity to produce their Goods and Services for Market. However, nowhere is it written, implied, or otherwise stated that the Market has to buy those good or services. And why that may not be the Political Point of View held by My Peers and Tehir Children, I like you must realize that even Americans’ Democratic and Republican Elected Officials are not given the option of having a Personal Opinion when it comes to doing what is seen as The Inherent Best Interest of We the People bound by Common Principles and Standards unique to Being American. For again I ask as an Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s who gives you the right to get paid for your Labor. Because saying that I will become what I say I dislike is not an option.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 24, 2009 1:34 AM
Comment #276060

Rhinehold, rescuing an economy in the shape ours is in requires more than a one time infusion of liquidity. Your comment appears to fail to appreciate the complexity and multi-faceted weaknesses in this economy, requiring multi-faceted and timed (targeted) infusions repeatedly as they can be administered in an effective fashion.

1 Trillion dollars could have been passed on nothing but infrastructure jobs. But, the simple fact is, there aren’t anywhere close to 1 trillion dollars in infrastructure jobs ready to go in the next 6 months, or even 18 months. The infrastructure of contractor’s machines for road, bridge, dams and levy work are limited per geographical location. Too much money left lying around awaiting contractors and equipment to become available after previous ‘stimulus’ projects are finished is an open invitation to corruption and waste of tax payer dollars by state and local officials. You and I both know that is true, and it is well documented to be true in the past.

Anyone who thinks a single stimulus bill could turn this economy around may think they understand our economy, but, they do not. A single stimulus approach is a two dimensional approach to a multi-dimensional problem economic area, tier, and across time.

A single act at a single point in time did not bring our economy to this state. Neither will a single stimulus bill launched at a single point in time, rescue this economy.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 5:40 AM
Comment #276061

phx8, I agreed with everything you last said here up to the point where you assert Obama will have to nationalize a large sector of the industry. That, I don’t believe is true. I do believe our federal government has no choice but to nationalize in part some of the biggest so called (too big to fail) financial institutions, temporarily, in order to rid them of the bad assets and permitting them to get out from under those liabilities and begin lending again, insuring, and investing again on a short term profitable basis.

Of course, there is nothing new in this. Our federal government has in part been in the business of nationalizing portions of corporations in many different ways for a very long time, as the Chrysler, Savings & Loan, and a host of banks in the past have been “nationalized” in part for a period of time, until those aspects of those businesses could be sold back into the private sector again.

There are 10 banks already now bought out by the federal government in bankruptcy proceedings that I know of. May be more. Folks are panicking at media proliferation of the word ‘nationalize’ failing to note that this practice of nationalizing bankrupt entities has been in operation for many, many decades, under Democratic and Republican administrations, and such acts ALWAYS resulted in those ‘nationalized’ institutions reverting back to the private sector eventually, with very few exceptions by design like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

My major concern with the Obama administration on this point is the absence of any proposal to REMOVE the execs of these corporations as a condition of rescuing those corporations. The Congress seems intent on this provision, but, I have not heard word one from Obama on this. A bit disconcerting.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 5:53 AM
Comment #276062

phx8, why is the Obama administration NOT pursuing breaking up these ‘too big to fail’, failed corporations, auctioning off the more profitable companies to private sector capital formation groups or much smaller single entity businesses in the same line of business?

Just letting them proceed to bankruptcy court is not an option as allowing Lehman Bros. to fail demonstrated. But, temporarily nationalizing these corporations or parts of them, and as a condition of rescuing them requiring them to dissolve their multiple lines of business structure into separate entity companies to be taken up by new private sector management, seems a far more holistic approach to both the symptoms plaguing the financial sector as well as remedying one of the major underlying causes of this industry failure.

AIG is a product of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley intent to reinstate the roaring 20’s to be followed by the economic collapse of the 1930’s. AIG needs to be broken up into its constituent parts, international bank, domestic investment bank, insurance company, and investment bank. New boards of directors for each, new execs for each, and a new single entity business model and plan for profitability.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 6:04 AM
Comment #276068

Rhinehold said: “2001-2008? You mean 2001-2006? Or are we ignoring that Democrats were running the pursestrings the past two years…”

Are you forgetting that Democrats couldn’t pass anything during those years without a ‘by your leave’ Republican assent in the Senate and White House? Apparently. Democrats running the purse strings, indeed. Not without approval by the Republicans, Rhinehold, NOT without the approval of Republicans.

Do I detect in your comment a partisan slant in defense of one of the duopoly parties, here?

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 6:55 AM
Comment #276074

David R. Remer-
I think Obama’s trying to avoid the appearance of being eagerly socialist. He’s probably genuinely reluctant, to boot. The irony of FDR’s reputation as a socialist among Republicans was that he was anything but! He was a good-old fashion blue-blood, who actually ran against Hoover in much the same way Republicans rail against him. But when push came to shove, he essentially let the public get ahead of him, and then caught up with public opinion, rather than tell the American people to just gut it out, or tell them to spend recklessly, like Bush did before.

Dan-
The economy is arithmetic sometimes, and sometimes its calculus. The Stimulus Bill is aimed at the calculus side of the economy. You first prevent the dynamic forces of the economy from making things worse. You also stimulate things by changing the way things are done, increasing efficiency, doing the research that adds the economic capacity.

You say that the stimulus bill is full of pork. That seems to be the default position of the Republicans. So far, though, their examples haven’t impressed me. The question is, having disclaimed partisan motives, partisan tactics and the like, why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric, especially given all the claims that have turned out to be canards?

Lee Jamison-
Look, Bush and folks in your party essentially let the economy get distorted by a massive, convoluted system of compounded leverage. It’s their debts that are essentially sitting on the credit markets like a dead sumo wrestler.

We are distorting the market in a way, but the essential idea is to get a live sumo wrestler to jump on the lever to get the dead sumo wrestler off the economy.

But let’s be plain here: the economy is all promises. Currency is a promise. In real terms, it has no economic value. What really has economic value are the goods and services. We use money to abstract that relationship. Now I agree with the notion that it’s best to let people bargain their prices out for themselves. But I don’t agree that in emergencies that the government should always stand back, because we have more interests than just having the markets run the way the free market purists would like. We need the economy running well so we can deal with the other problems.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 8:55 AM
Comment #276075

Lee

i agree the stimulus won’t work. how about this one.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090224/ap_on_go_co/spending_bill

OH BOY!

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 9:54 AM
Comment #276077

Government would not be doing its job very well if it allowed private enterprise to circumvent those fundamental rights guaranteed by our Constitution. Nor would it be adhering to the Declaration if it allowed an abstract emperor (economy) to take the place of George III.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 24, 2009 10:06 AM
Comment #276078

dbs-
Can I be plain here? With all the deficit spending the Republicans happily did, and show that they’re still happy to do, I think this talk of spending freezes is just partisan politics.

The Republicans were more than willing to vote for a stimulus en masse that was ALL tax cuts. They can talk spending cuts, but with all the cuts they make it’s a wonder we can afford to run a government at all. Of course, that’s the idea, rhetorically speaking, but they never had the political will to oppose spending arbitrarily until they finished being responsible for actual agenda setting on the issue. It takes such political courage to lead from the rear.

I find it funny that folks are making so many predictions that it won’t work so early in the game, despite what the Congressional Budget Office says, despite what most economists with crediblity say.

As for the spending bill? Look, we’re having to apply such bandaids because Bush and his folks made a point of not letting these things pass properly. We had to engineer a fix to get things moving in the first place, because Republicans were more interested (strangely enough) in political gesturing than keeping the shop running.

I really have to wonder at the sense of handing the government back to folks who aren’t all that interested in actually having things work. Until they change their policy, Republicans have a conflict of interests as far as governing well goes.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 10:14 AM
Comment #276080

Stephen,

I spent 27 words to ask you a direct question that could have been answered with a simple yes or no. You replied with a 415 word essay and never gave me a direct answer. Yes, I call that SPIN.

Posted by: Common Man at February 24, 2009 10:19 AM
Comment #276084

Stephen,

Do you still beat your wife? Answer YES or NO please…

Posted by: Marysdude at February 24, 2009 11:40 AM
Comment #276085

Common Man-
I am giving you a direct answer: Yes, I think it sometimes can be a good thing to take money from those who work and give to those who aren’t working. But I’m doing more than that; I’m telling you how I came to that conclusion. You call it spin, I call it justifying my conclusion. I said it earlier: I like to nail things down.

My Third paragraph is a direct response to your assertion. You say, essentially, that it’s immoral to give money from working people to those who aren’t working.

So, I essentially ask, it’s moral to stop paying money to those who are elderly and should retire? Is it moral to let those who are disabled or unemployed become unable to support themselves?

Then I talk of my own experience of dark times made easier by such programs. Am I wrong to have gratitude for this? Is it wrong to say that helping folks in this way helps others.

Do you want to know what one of the best investments in government spending is? Food Stamps. About $1.74 in economic activity for every dollar spent. Why? Because it gets spent. The markets get the money. The Food company gets the money. Helping people who are in this conditions helps others. You think of these people as economic black holes, which money goes into and never escapes. But the reality is, spending on the poor is great stimulus, because they spend it locally, and they usually spend as much of it as they can, and the money goes into the pockets of the people who work in the industries.

You can glibly state, with all your inherent authority as The Common Man, that the stimulus plan won’t work because its wrong, but I think I can argue that it’s neither wrong nor ineffective to spend money in this way, and that your idea of what would be right is shaped by somebody else’s nostalgic belief that the economic system should remain like it was in the 1920’s. Never mind what that lead to, or what the real world effects of running an economy that way actually are, nobody’s really old enough to remember with any visceral sense what it was like to live in an economy built that way.

The needs of the American people extend beyond what the Founding Fathers could anticipate, but fortunately, they gave us a constitution which provided us with the freedom and the centralized powers necessary to confront the issues at hand, rather than always having to consult their oracles. They gave guidance instead of trying to force on us a dogma built on the ideas of their time.

I mean, it’s difficult enough to describe the financial system to somebody of our time, consider what it would take to explain it to somebody of Washington’s time, or even that of Lincoln or Teddy Roosevelt. Fortunately, the framers were less interested in their own infalliblity and more interested in giving us the tools to think and decide for ourselves.

America’s government developed not to suit some political purpose, but to suit the need of the Ameircan people. While it needs vigilant supervision it doesn not need to stand idly by as America’s good interests are compromise.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 11:42 AM
Comment #276090

Henry,

For why I am proud to hear about your daughter and her cousin becoming one of the first sopranos and the new network of Family and Friends that they will be exposed to. I wonder (And can only Imagine) what would happen to them if they would of become one of the over 13,000 students that are not permitted by the Establishment to have the same experience and fellowship in their life.
First of all, Henry, the vast majority of the 225 people who made it into the Texas All-State Choir this year have tried in the past and failed to be there. The same is true of my daughter. She WAS one of those 13,000 others. Neither she nor the others who sang with her this year were “given” that experience. They worked toward a level of excellence that is, especially for the section in which she sang, almost unbelievable. In my daughter’s case the quest for that excellence involved an hour of highly diciplined effort on her own every day, in addition to attendance at preparatory choir camps and work with college music instructors. She left no stone unturned in an effort to forge of herself a better musician.

What would happen if all those people could get in? There would be no reward for pursuing excellence. What use is it to make of one’s self a great musician if the choir in which you can sing is filled with people who didn’t care to be great musicians themselves? So, when the powers that be impose those who do not care on those who do they punish achievement.

The same applies to any number of other things, including employment. I’m saying we do a disservice to people by what the larger society educates them for. We’re not teaching them how to take joy from the process of learning and achieving excellence. Instead we teach our children to loathe learning. When they’re not equipped for the jobs that exist they are also not ready to embrace the effort to become equipped.

Life is hard. It is not made easier by telling people they do not need to be their best, or even good, to take part in life’s rewards. It is also not made easier by those who take the fruits of achievement for granted and then stab the people who produced them in the back.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 24, 2009 12:18 PM
Comment #276092

N.Y.U. Economist Mario Rizzo has a very interesting take on J.M. Keynes. I still would not want to do as the mature Keynes seems to think government should, but neither would Keynes approve of what Democrats are doing these days in his name!

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 24, 2009 12:28 PM
Comment #276093

stephen

it sees you assume i blindly follow the republican party. that isn’t the case. i wouldn’t have passed the first stimulus. it appears the new, and third stimulus bill is a supplement to the current budget, because democrats didn’t get what they wanted from bush. an 8% increase, are you kidding. this is the same crap that put californa in the toilet, continue to spend more than you take in and borrow hoping next year will be better, and when it isn’t claim taxes are to low, and it’s a revenue problem and not a spending problem. now these same liberal democrats are going to do the same thing at the federal level. hip hip hooray ! we’re trading one failing strategy for another. BRILLIANT !

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #276094

Frankly, I’ve heard more references to Keynesian economics from Republicans than I have from Democrats. Which Democrat, in a position of consequence, has been referring to Keynes?

Posted by: Marysdude at February 24, 2009 12:53 PM
Comment #276095

Yeah, Stephen, it is far wiser to stand by and do nothing while the rioting and rampant starvation take place. Sooner or later, something good will come of it all…:)

Posted by: Marysdude at February 24, 2009 12:56 PM
Comment #276098
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- The Stimulus Bill is aimed at the calculus side of the economy.
That’s deep.

That is, deep B.S. Where’s my boots?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You first prevent the dynamic forces of the economy from making things worse. You also stimulate things by changing the way things are done, increasing efficiency, doing the research that adds the economic capacity.
The Stimulus BILL on the whole fails miserably and fails to focus on the nation’s highest priorities.

What about this pork-barrel?

  • $650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”;

  • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;

  • $150 million for the Smithsonian;

  • $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters; is this the department that wants to end e-Verify?

  • $44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters;;

  • $350 million for Agriculture Department computers;

  • $1 billion for the Census Bureau; will that include 12-to-20+ illegal aliens?

  • $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years;

  • $1.7 billion for the National Park System;

  • $55 million for Historic Preservation Fund;

  • $7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”;

  • $150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases;

  • $400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments;

  • $8 billion for innovative-technology loan-guarantee program;

  • $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects;

  • $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more).

  • $87 million for a polar icebreaking ship;

Should all of that be a priority? Or are we about to hear more excuses to somehow justify it?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You say that the stimulus bill is full of pork.
Yes, because it is, unless $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts, $150 million for the Smithsonian, and the other things in the list above should be a top priority.

And that round of pork-barrle won’t be the last of it.
Wait and see.
There are already reports of more HUGE pork-laden BILLs on the way.
And what if the current debt is alredy untenable?
The larger question and issue is:

  • When has any nation so massively deep in-debt ever borrowed , money-printed , and spent its way to prosperity?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: That seems to be the default position of the Republicans.
I’m not a Republican.

Why the need to believe anyone who disagrees must be a Republican?

A disdain for pork-barrel and waste doesn’t require nor make a person Republican.
But such insinuations and labeling (as usual) is not surprising.
Having failed to support a lame position, there’s nothing like trying to fuel and wallow in the petty, circular partisan warfare instead, eh?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: So far, though, their examples haven’t impressed me.
Of course not. Nor anything non-Democrat, as evidenced by a pattern and long history of statements that constantly demonize anything non-Democrat and appear very much like one’s own partisan loyalties:
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: They [voters] should be allying with us [Democrats].
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I do think voters should ally with Democrats.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … as I don’t like to hear people get down on my party, …
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: In my opinion, the proper people to run this party are the voters who elect Democrats.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- If third parties can’t win offices, what good are they to the voter?
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Being spoilers [independent/3rd party voters] only ensures being fringe…
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: … because then your [independent/3rd] parties get blamed for sending things in a lousy direction.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: The Republicans have the choice, which I gladly let them have, of doing scuzzy things so they can make the Democrats look bad …
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I’ve been rather cross about your tendency to call the new [110th] congress a do-nothing congress … {Why? What did do-nothing Congress accomplish since 7-NOV-2006 ? And the 111th Congress consists of 86.9% of the 110th Congress.}
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I think you’re underestimating the results of this last election. {We’ll see, since 95% of incumbents were re-elected.)
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: How many people curse the Green party for George W. Bush (43) getting elected?
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: I don’t disdain third parties.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: It’s what Democrats like myself had to do, after all, to take back the majorities and the White House.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: Democrats have significantly shifted the balance of power, despite all the barriers the Republicans put in place to keep their power.
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote: And yes, I obviously want voters to vote for Democrats. {Really? No kiddin’?}
  • Stephen Daugherty wrote {NEW!, which is really funny}: … why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric …?
All that is important is the incessant fueling and walling in the petty, circular partisan warfare, eh?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The question is, having disclaimed partisan motives, partisan tactics and the like, …
That’s ironic (laughable, actually), considering the source (i.e. labeling others as partisan ???).
Stephen Daugherty wrote: The question is, having disclaimed partisan motives, partisan tactics and the like, why do you uncritically accept partisan rhetoric, …
How typicial.

That’s really laughable (based on the list above), to see condemnation of others’ partisan motives.
Why, after having (as usual) failed to support yet another lame position, always choose to critique the messenger rather than the message?
How about explaining some of the pork-barrel away, rather than attacking the messenger for identifying the pork-barrel?

Stephen Daugherty wrote: … , especially given all the claims that have turned out to be canards?
What, and whose claims?

Claims of pork-barrel?
Really?
So, $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is a priority ?
Or $150 million for the Smithsonian?
Or $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years?
Or $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more)?
Want to see more examples of pork-barrel? Just visit CAGW.ORG’s pork-barrel database.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 1:00 PM
Comment #276099

“They gave guidance instead of trying to force on us a dogma built on the ideas of their time”

Individual rights and freedoms are the “dogma” they founded this country on and that “dogma” was intended to be for all times. Those who wish to dispute, doubt or diverge from that are rewritting the Constitution in order to push their own agenda.
It doesn’t matter if its a “good thing” or how much one is “grateful,” individual needs do not trump individual rights.

America’s greatest interests are our individual rights, and they have been compromised.

Posted by: kctim at February 24, 2009 1:02 PM
Comment #276100

yeah civilized society will end as we know it if the gov’t doesn’t spend a ton of money. yada yada yada. excuse me while puke !

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 1:08 PM
Comment #276105

Marysdude,

Which Democrat, in a position of consequence, has been referring to Keynes?
Paul Krugman. A Nobel Prize winning economist who is a member of Obama’s immediate circle of economic advisors.

Entirely apart from direct invocations of Keynes himself there are repeated referenced to the young-Keynes-inspired economic policies of F.D.R.’s first administration, and the admonition that they would have been more effective had that group spent ‘enough’. (It’s interesting to note that Obama’s similarities to F.D.R.’s approach run deeper than mere economic policy if you think about it, too.)

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 24, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #276108

Dan-
I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home. I just see spending you disagree with.

This is a SPENDING bill. Theoretically, the more the merrier. But I thankfully don’t have to defend it on that ground alone. Why is completing the transition to DTV a bad thing, Making sure the Broadcasters lose the fewest customers? Should we drag this government mandated changeover longer, force broadcasters to keep up the dual transmissions forever? Getting the damn thing done is not government waste. It’s the prevention of it.

Why is money for art not a stimulus? Artists do business, too, and so do the people who supply them with what they work with.

Why is leaving government buildings in disrepair and efficient thing to do? Why is investing money in the constitutionally mandate census, the measure of this country’s population and its demographics wasteful?

And why, for the love of God, are hybrids considered a wasteful expenditure? Dan, I don’t know if you realize this, but government’s going to buy vehicles. Shouldn’t they be more efficient? I guess Dan’s for being wasteful, then.

Seriously, people will build the cars, the 400 million dollars worth, and that will mean jobs, and people being paid. Isn’t that the point of the stimulus? The 87 million dollar ship is the same way. It’s not going to build itself, you know.

And just what the hell is wrong with funding research into innovative technology? We spent the last couple decades getting progressively more prosperous as our computer technology progressed. That started with taxpayer funding.

My question here is why should I trust your assessment on what is wasteful? You seem more concerned with whether the politics of the project are liberal.

kctim-
Don’t twist my words. Tell me something: would the founding fathers, dropped into their new country 100 years hence, have known what to do with themselves? How about a hundred years hence from that point?

The constitution defines our government’s powers. The voters define what it does within that framework. We have our individual rights, but we also have our greater obligations. If you think you can have one without the other, then you’re hoping for what you can never have and what will never be.

dbs-
You are aware that without government intervention, a crash in the money markets might very well have caused a worldwide economic collapse back in mid September, aren’t you? I blogged about it one or two entries ago.

Well, go puke if you want to. What i find disgusting is that we’re defining what should be practical choices according to the whims of instant personal gratification. A lot of good it will do you to not have to pay so many taxes, if it means that your protection from fraud and deception are weak, and you can get wiped out by economic mistakes that were none of your doing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 2:24 PM
Comment #276112

Stephen,

The constitution defines our government’s powers. The voters define what it does within that framework.
If the Constitution really defines the government’s powers- really, read the words- there’s an awful lot of illegal stuff happening.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 24, 2009 2:32 PM
Comment #276113
d.a.n- I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.
Of course you don’t. Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 2:36 PM
Comment #276115
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n- I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.
Very interesting. You don’t see ANY pork-barrel?

So, this is necessary spending; what should be in this BILL:?

  • $650 million for digital-TV coupons; $90 million to educate “vulnerable populations”;

  • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts;

  • $150 million for the Smithsonian;

  • $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters; is this the department that wants to end e-Verify?

  • $44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters;;

  • $350 million for Agriculture Department computers;

  • $1 billion for the Census Bureau; will that include 12-to-20+ illegal aliens?

  • $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years;

  • $1.7 billion for the National Park System;

  • $55 million for Historic Preservation Fund;

  • $7.6 billion for “rural community advancement programs”;

  • $150 million for agricultural-commodity purchases;

  • $400 million for hybrid cars for state and local governments;

  • $8 billion for innovative-technology loan-guarantee program;

  • $2.4 billion for carbon-capture demonstration projects;

  • $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more).

  • $87 million for a polar icebreaking ship;

Never mind that the $10.8 Trillion National Debt is the largest per-capita debt since the previous record-high in year 1945 after World War II.

And that does not even include the $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching.

Never mind that the current $67 Trillion nation-wide debt has grown from 100% of GDP in year 1956 to 483% of GDP in year 2008.

It’s those “little projects” for decades that helped create the debt, which may now be near (if not already) untenable.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect, and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes toopainful.

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #276116

Lee, I think you should amend your statement to read: “If the Constitution, in its entirety with amendments, really defines the government’s powers- really, read the words- there’s an awful lot of illegal stuff happening.

That makes the statement far more valid, logical, and true. If one refers only to the original passage of the Constitution without the Constitutional Amendments appended thereafter, one is referring to a Constitution which no longer exists as law, and one removes the Bill of Rights from reference. A very flawed reference indeed.

Referring to the Constitution in ITS PRESENT FORM to include all Amendments however, does not reduce the veracity of the statement that a lot that is going on by actors in government and outside it, is nonetheless illegal. Even though what is defined as legal and illegal by Constitutional definition changes in part depending on whether one refers to the unamended Constitution or the actual lawfully applied Constitution of today.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #276117

Lee Jamison-
Not unless the courts take your assessment to heart, which they havent’. You can say there’s an awful lot of things which you think should be considered illegal, but that’s a different story entirely than something which actually is against the law.

Dan-
Glad we’re straight on it. Now I’ve explained why the projects I mentioned aren’t pork. Now you explain why they should be considered such. Tell me: Why is the replacement of standard engine cars with hybrids wasteful for state and local governments, much less the federal government. Explain how their manufacture doesn’t create jobs.

Explain why and how the use of old buildings and the failure to keep them up is a good use of taxpayer dollars.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 2:50 PM
Comment #276118

Dan-
Why do you feel the need to recapitulate that list? You just published it a couple comments ago in your post. Put a link there, for crying out loud.

As for debt? You’re operating off of an inflation-driven economic recession paradigm. This is not that kind of a problem. It’s worse than that. Also, recall that the debts of WWII helped to bring America’s economy back and begin boom times once again. It’s how you leverage yourself that determines whether the expenditure is a waste or not.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 2:54 PM
Comment #276119

Stephen,

FINALLY a direct answer from you.

No, I don’t say essentially that it’s wrong to give money from working people to those who aren’t working.
What I am saying is that it’s wrong to take money from working people BY FORCE and give it to those who are not working. BY FORCE is the key to what I’m saying.

You said “So, I essentially ask, it’s moral to stop paying money to those who are elderly and should retire? Is it moral to let those who are disabled or unemployed become unable to support themselves?”

I say it’s immoral to do so with money taken by force. That is what insurance and charity is for.
It seems you want to be charitable as long as it’s with someone else’s money.

You said “Then I talk of my own experience of dark times made easier by such programs. Am I wrong to have gratitude for this? Is it wrong to say that helping folks in this way helps others.”

I say I’ve had my own dark times and spoken of them here. The didn’t cost you a cent.
I hope you have gratitude for those of us who paid into the schemes that you benefitted from. And no, it’s not wrong to say that helping folks in this way helps others. It also harms others, like the ones who can’t afford to help others.

You said “Do you want to know what one of the best investments in government spending is? Food Stamps. About $1.74 in economic activity for every dollar spent. Why? Because it gets spent. The markets get the money. The Food company gets the money.” Thatdosen’t make any sense at all Stephen. If I kept that dollar it would also be spent in much the same way. Please tell me how it magically stretches because someone not working is spending it.

You state “You can glibly state, with all your inherent authority as The Common Man, that the stimulus plan won’t work because its wrong, but I think I can argue that it’s neither wrong nor ineffective to spend money in this way,” First, Stephen, I’m not THE Common Man, I’m A Common Man. I speak only for myself and have never claimed to speak for anyone else. I’m not arguing the effectiveness of spending money this way (Although I have my doubts) But, you will NEVER convince me that it’s right to take from anyone by force to give to someone else no matter how great the need.

You say my idea of what would be right is shaped by somebody else’s nostalgic belief that the economic system should remain like it was in the 1920’s. You have no idea what shaped my belief, but I will tell you. It’s a belief in the basic right of property ownership. I believe with all my being that the fruits of my labor belong to me to do with as I see fit and not as you see fit. If that is nostalgic, then so be it.

You say “The needs of the American people extend beyond what the Founding Fathers could anticipate, but fortunately, they gave us a constitution which provided us with the freedom and the centralized powers necessary to confront the issues at hand, rather than always having to consult their oracles. They gave guidance instead of trying to force on us a dogma built on the ideas of their time.” and I say that is pure Bull Hockey. They gave us a framework and blueprint to keep this country free. Straying away from that framework is what got us into this mess to start with.

The rest of your post is just more spin.

Posted by: Common Man at February 24, 2009 2:57 PM
Comment #276120

Lee said: “(It’s interesting to note that Obama’s similarities to F.D.R.’s approach run deeper than mere economic policy if you think about it, too.)”

Thank Buddha! Dire times require bold and effective leadership resulting in action, not paralysis. FDR’s actions did not prevent America from winning the war against Germany, Italy, and Japan in years less time than it took Bush to stabilize Iraq. So, in hindsight, though some of FDR’s actions were unconstitutional, and others were ineffective, he did put millions of Americans back to work via social spending programs and infrastructure projects, staying off abject poverty and keeping them healthy enough to come into the military and work force to kick the Axis power’s asses. Not a bad legacy considering the monumental nature of the challenges that FDR inherited and new ones he would face in his presidency.


Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 2:57 PM
Comment #276123

Stephen
You can go by what you think they would do, but I will go by the document they believed in so much that they risked their lives by signing.

What they signed limited our govts powers which therefore limited voters ability to use govt to push personal agendas. And guess what? Forcefully taking from one and giving to another is pushing a personal agenda.

Our country was founded on the principles of individual rights and freedoms - there is no greater obligation than keeping them.
If you think what you see as greater obligations trump others individual rights and freedoms, then you are hoping for what was not meant to be and it is you who is twisting words in order to achieve those hopes.

Posted by: kctim at February 24, 2009 3:13 PM
Comment #276126

kctim one sidedly said: “Our country was founded on the principles of individual rights and freedoms”

Yes, but also, collective union strength which the Confederacy tried to destroy, and the “general welfare” of the society as a whole which by definition must include the individuals which make up the whole, and it also proscribed a government to restrict rights and freedoms such as the freedom to kill for profit or steal for wealth, reserving only enumerated rights to be protected and defended on behalf of individuals, with all other unenumerated rights subject to the will of the government. Their contemplation of course, having just overthrown a tyrannical government, was that if government exercise of the powers proscribed fashioned itself tyrannical despite checks and balances, the people would again overthrow it. (That is how the Confederacy viewed it.)

Your one sided view leaves volumes out of other foundations inherent in the founding documents, other than individual rights and freedoms which they actually could not incorporate into the Constitution and ratify, but had to add as amendments. Even at the time, individual rights were considered very controversial as to their range and scope and enumeration. They were an important foundation, but, shared by many other equally important foundations as well, such as the integrity of the union over individual choice to secede, and denying the majority even a say in how their government was run and by whom. The founding fathers were not so entrusting of the individuals to run off with so many rights and freedoms as your statement portends. They didn’t trust individuals, inside or outside the government, with too much freedom or too many rights, resulting in the enumeration of rights and no language legally to protect any others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 4:24 PM
Comment #276127

stephen

“if it means that your protection from fraud and deception are weak,”

you just don’t get it. i am my own protection from fraud and deception. thanks for worrying about me though. if i make a bad decision it should be my cross to bear, not my neighbors, and if i make a sound decision, the rewards belong to me, not my neighbor. unless i choose to share them with him.

“You are aware that without government intervention, a crash in the money markets might very well have caused a worldwide economic collapse back in mid September, aren’t you?”

who is using fear tactics to push thier agenda now ?

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 4:24 PM
Comment #276128

Common Man says: “What I am saying is that it’s wrong to take money from working people BY FORCE and give it to those who are not working. BY FORCE is the key to what I’m saying.”

What you call force, is actually rule of law, at the heart and core of our Constitution, and in keeping with their cornerstone concept of taxation ONLY with adequate representation, which we voters are still free to employ today, whether we actually employ it or not.

So, the real meaning of your comment is that you are opposed to rule of law by representatives of the public which you say constitute FORCE. Sounds from your comment that you don’t much care for the American democratic republic system of government. I hear China or Great Britain offer some distinctive alternatives if you prefer.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 4:30 PM
Comment #276129
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Dan- Why do you feel the need to recapitulate that list?
Does that disturb you?

It would disturb me too, if I was defending such pork-barrel and wasteful spending. I just wanted to make sure everyone sees what you claim is responsible non-pork-barrel spending.

If the debt is untenable, how will more debt , borrowing , money-printing , and spending make it better? Since when did any nation spend its way to prosperity?

The $10.8 Trillion national debt today is 62% higher today (per capita) than the previous record-high in year 1945 (after World War II). The U.S. had more exports in the 1940s and 1950s. In 1956, the total nation-wide debt was only 100% of GDP, but today it is 483% of GDP.

And you think the following is responsible spending? :

  • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is a priority ?
  • Or $150 million for the Smithsonian?

  • Or $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years?

  • Or $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more)?

It’s the sort of attitude in COngress which is why the U.S. is swimming in debt.

Where’s the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on the debt, when that money does not yet exist, and 90%-to-95% of all U.S. money in existence in the U.S. exists as debt.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Why is the replacement of standard engine cars with hybrids wasteful for state and local governments, much less the federal government.
Because it is not producing necessities. It is not a major priority. That money could be used better to research and develop better alternative energy sources and better hybrid vehicles. Hybrids currently are not more cost effective. Currently, hybrids are not cheaper. There are several things that government could do that would be much more helpful, and not all of those things are spending alone. With so much debt, growing the debt ever larger is insanity. I’m glad my two homes, automobiles, and property are all paid off already. Are yours?
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Explain how their manufacture doesn’t create jobs.
The jobs that are created should produce the most benefit for the bang. There are several things on the list produce little (if any) benefit and savings. The hybrid vehicles is not the most offensive pork-barrel in the Stimulus BILL. $50 Million for the endowment of the Arts, $150 million for the Smithsonian, and $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more) is ridiculous. Again, spending alone is not the solution (especially with so much debt). A huge help to most Americans would be the reduction and/or elimination of these 10 major abuses.
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Explain why and how the use of old buildings and the failure to keep them up is a good use of taxpayer dollars.
Because it’s not the highest priority. There are many things more important than $44 million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters, $150 million for the Smithsonian, $34 million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters, etc. And not all of those most important things require spending either. Especially with such massive debt, and a $10.8 Trillion national debt which has never been larger ever (per capita).

There will be severe consequence for all of this rampant debt, borrowing, money-printing, and spending. Many other nations have already discovered that other economic terror. The Federal Reserve has also pumped $3.2-to-$8.5+ Trillion into the banks, yet several are still failing. The $67 Trillion nation-wide debt bubble is not trivial. The basic principles of economics and finance, and the laws of the universe still exist. All of this massive debt is merely growing the debt-bubble bigger, increasing inflation, and increasing the risk of hyperinflation. How much money will it take, when 90%-to-95% of all U.S. Dollars in the U.S. exist as debt?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 4:42 PM
Comment #276131

david

“proscribed a government to restrict rights and freedoms such as the freedom to kill for profit”

this is bizzare. the foundation of our rights center on the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness. they believed that we were endowed with these rights by our creator, whoever you believe that is. which means they cannot be taken away by men. killing for money would be IMO a direct violation of those god given rights. c’mon man, i know you can do better than this.

“They didn’t trust individuals, inside or outside the government, with too much freedom or too many rights, resulting in the enumeration of rights and no language legally to protect any others.”

it was gov’t they didn’t trust, and is why they limited thier powers. originaly they didn’t want to put what they believed were our god given rights in writing because they believed that future generations would assume that those were our only rights, and they believed there were to many to enumerate. they settled for the first ten amendments. thus the reason for the ninth amendment which reads:

“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”


Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 4:50 PM
Comment #276133

CORRECTION: The jobs that are created should produce the most benefit [bang] for the bang [buck].

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 4:52 PM
Comment #276137

David
Striving for “collective union strength” and the “general welfare” does not justify the stripping of individual rights and freedoms.

I have no idea where you get the idea that unenumerated rights are subjected to the will of the govt, but I’m guessing you question the 9th Amendment.
Personally, I don’t believe we surrender any rights omitted from the enumeration. Especially not surrender them to the “will of the govt.”

The 9th Amendment
“The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people”

The founding fathers may not have been so entrusting of individuals, but their words seem to show they were even less trusting of govt.

Posted by: kctim at February 24, 2009 5:04 PM
Comment #276140

kctim said: “I have no idea where you get the idea that unenumerated rights are subjected to the will of the govt, but I’m guessing you question the 9th Amendment.”

Historical application of the powers of government deemed Constitutional and with precedence and stare decisis applied in the courts.

You can wish whatever you want should be the case according to kctim. But, reality remains reality. Unenumerated so called ‘rights’ (a misnomer if there ever was one since they are unenumerated and therefore, UNDEFINED), have no legal protections in the Constitution due to the powers of Amendment and legislated action unopposed by either the courts or the executive branch via a veto. That is the reality of the Constitution, however much you would choose to rewrite it for the whims of kctim.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #276142

Common Man-
Look, somebody could make your argument in regards to the war in Iraq. You know what I would tell them? You pay your taxes, that is the rule of law.

As for how a dollar can become more than a dollar? That’s economic growth. We’ve got a certain amount of money flowing in the economy, and it increases as investments pay off. And how do investments pay off?

Well, people do. Let’s say you give a loan to a grocery market. If people frequent the market, pay money into it, and the market can pay you back, you win, and you’ll have the money to do other things. Perhaps you can be more of a customer yourself, or perhaps you can reinvest elsewhere.

So, what somebody pays to a supermarket helps other people see a return on their dollar. That return is what makes a dollar more than a dollar.

A dollar is not some fixed physical reality. It’s a unit of symbolic exchange, and as such you can make it more valuable by employing it in better exchanges. When people invest well, the economy booms, when they screw it up, it tanks.

A dollar that enables further investment and business, greater growth, can be worth more than its face value to the economy. A dollar withheld, stuck in a bank account, or low return investment rather than risked in the open market can be worth less than its face value. Thus the uselessness of upper class tax cuts. Rich people

The general rule is, wealth concentrates anyways, it’s where it goes as it circulates from concentration to concentration that matters. It’s like circulation of the blood: if it doesn’t get into the fine vessels of the body enough, the body as a whole will be less healthy.

When you put it in the hands of somebody who not only wants to spend it, but has to spend it, you’ll be guaranteed that it doesn’t sit around, which is what gets a stimulus dollar wasted.

You state “You can glibly state, with all your inherent authority as The Common Man, that the stimulus plan won’t work because its wrong, but I think I can argue that it’s neither wrong nor ineffective to spend money in this way,” First, Stephen, I’m not THE Common Man, I’m A Common Man. I speak only for myself and have never claimed to speak for anyone else. I’m not arguing the effectiveness of spending money this way (Although I have my doubts) But, you will NEVER convince me that it’s right to take from anyone by force to give to someone else no matter how great the need.

When you label yourself “Common Man”, you’re implying you’re speaking for more than just yourself. I am common. I am more than just me. My view is a widely held one. So on and so forth.

Forgive me if I’m hard on you for choosing such a name. It just seems like you’re claiming a lot of territory for your beliefs, without much asking the rest of us common folk. The name itself seems to me to be a kind of argument by popularity. You don’t need that. What you need is a clear explanation of the sense of your beliefs.

Let me let you in on a little secret here: I don’t argue for the benefit of persuading my rival in an exchange. Sometimes I’m arguing to the spectators. I’m trying to seem like the more reasonable of the two of us, and not merely to those who agree with me.

I’ve studied enough history to know that many of the ideas the Republicans rely upon have long and not particularly illustrious histories, and that many are repackaged positions that were once based on and sold on elitist principles.

You’re right that I have no idea what really drives your sense of economic interests, but you use words that carry with them the trace of a particular wellspring. The truth is, you can theorize that you have absolute property rights, but the real world can shift the value and the sustainability of that particular property in your care.

Just ask the people who, because of a systemic problem tolerated by like-minded folk like yourself now find themselves in homes worth far less in emptier and more impoverished neighborhoods than they first settled in. For property rights to have any meaning, economic and social stability must be built into the system. When we try to claw our way to prosperity on other folk’s backs, we ultimately undermine our own interests. Too many Republicans long for the days before FDR, and forgot that this how they got FDR elected in the first place.

You talk about blueprints and frameworks? here’s a blueprint. Detailed. Specific. My state’s constitution runs longer than some novels. The result is a judicial and legislative mess.

The US Constitution is a different matter. Rather than try to stuff everything into that document, what’s remarkable is how much they left out, left up to the folks running the government. The result would probably print out to no more than three or four pages in a worst case scenario, and that’s with amendments.

We have a legislature for a reason. We have judges for a reason. For a nation with as diverse of interests and people as ours, with such geographical size and complexity, with technology as advanced as ours, and with cities capable of holding the entire population of colonial America in their limits, we need the complexity of the law and its interpretation in order to confront the challenges that all these facts bring to us. We can pretend to be able to run our country like the agrarian nation it was at the beginning, or as it is now. The New World has become a New World Squared.

But the founding fathers didn’t try to bind us to a never-ending list of requirements suited to their times. They allowed Americans to have the choice of where America went, and to deal with that as their responsibility as they saw fit.

Dan-
I asked you more or less whether it was necessary to reprint a list that had already been published not so far up the thread. You have a tendency to waste a lot of space reprinting stuff you’ve already got in the record.

I think I’ve explained how stimulus can help improve the economy to Common Man. I don’t think I need to repeat myself here. As for the responsible spending? At best you have 55 Billion there with your four bullet points. If we exclude the 54 billion which you group there because of your opinion of certain government agencies, you only have one billion.

Out of something north of 750 billion. That’s a little over a tenth of a percentage point. I’ll humor you, add the 54. less than 7 and 1/3rds percent 92 and 2/3rds effective, then.

I just get a feeling that you’re digging your feet in on account of philosophy, and failing to see how the system could work beyond that philosophy.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 5:36 PM
Comment #276143

We’ve had this argument with David before, kctim. He fetues all logic on the matter and instead says ‘if it is being done then it must be constitutional’ when he agrees with the constitution and is willing to violate the law when it impacts him directly.

The purpose of the Constitution was the enumerate the limits of the federal government and specifically detailed that not all rights we have are mentioned. It was specifically not a document that enumerated rights. Yet, David (and most other people) think it is the other way, just as was warned against when the constitution was written.

The reality is as David writes. The constitution is ignored these days if it gets in the way. Simple facts but nonetheless sad for those of us who actually understand the situation.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 24, 2009 5:38 PM
Comment #276144

dbs myopically stated: “this is bizzare. the foundation of our rights center on the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.”

Not in the Constitution, which is the law of the land. You refer to the Declaration of Independence which outlines the ideals to be striven for and which has no weight of law in a government defined by the rule of law.

The foundation of our rights IN LAW, and the only rights protected by the law, reside ONLY in those rights enumerated in the Constitution (including its Amendments by definition).

An individual can lay claim to any right they wish to, but if they wish the exercise of that right to be defended against prosecution or persecution under law, that right had better be enumerated in the body of law, NOT THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE which is highly subject to philosophical debate and disagreement.

We aspire to be a nation of ideals, but in reality, we function as a nation of laws, albeit imperfectly. Rights defended by law are enumerated in laws laid down either in the Constitution, legislative acts passing Constitutional requirements, and/or interpretations of rights ruled on by the Courts.

There are no other legally defensible claim to rights by individuals under our rule of law, dbs.
It is a common misunderstanding by a majority of Americans engaged in layman debate over concepts they do not understand like rule of law and its foundations.

Bernie Madoff can claim the right of caveat emptor in his dealings with the public, and demonstrably did, but, he has no such right, as the law clearly defines gross misrepresentation of goods and services for profit motive as not only, NOT a right protected by an interpretation of caveat emptor, but a crime punishable by the state by forced deprivation of many other citizen rights as well.

Anyone can claim any rights they wish to. But, the only rights protected by society and law are those enumerated in the law. We are a nation of law, not individuals each deciding for themselves what they wish to be their rights and entitlements regardless of what others say or how others are affected.

I once complained as a kid to my mother that I had a Right to second helpings of spaghetti because I was spending hours each night engaged in gymnastics training. Mom determined what we rights I could exercise, regardless of what rights I claimed as a kid. The analogy holds true for the relationship between citizens and their government’s foundation upon the rule of law.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 5:39 PM
Comment #276145

It’s not my wish David, I just go by what I have read from the Federalists papers and such.

“The exceptions here or elsewhere in the constitution, made in favor of particular rights, shall not be construed as to diminish the just importance of other rights retained by the people, or as to enlarge the powers delegated by the constitution; but either as actual limitations of such powers, or as inserted merely for greater caution.”

But, you are correct David; reality remains reality and the reality of the Constitution is that we have allowed it to be rewritten for the whims of personal agendas, not the founders will.

Posted by: kctim at February 24, 2009 5:40 PM
Comment #276146
We have a legislature for a reason. We have judges for a reason. For a nation with as diverse of interests and people as ours, with such geographical size and complexity, with technology as advanced as ours, and with cities capable of holding the entire population of colonial America in their limits, we need the complexity of the law and its interpretation in order to confront the challenges that all these facts bring to us. We can pretend to be able to run our country like the agrarian nation it was at the beginning, or as it is now. The New World has become a New World Squared.

Which is precisely why most of these were to be handled at the state or local level, not micromanaged by a large federal government who can’t equitably make laws across such widely diverse and spacious areas.

Thanks for helping make our point for us.

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 24, 2009 5:41 PM
Comment #276147

kctim, as for the 9th Amendment, you are confused. Unenumerated means undefined. Undefined rights have no protection or defense by law, UNTIL such rights are defined or, enumerated.

What the language of the Amendment means in practice, is that certain other rights, as yet undefined, may become protected and defended rights when enumerated by the courts or legislative acts. Which is another way of saying these enumerated rights in the Bill of Rights, shall not constitute the only rights protected in the future, barring the courts and legislature from defining others in the future.

Regardless of how one chooses to interpret the Amendment’s language, the reality of protected rights as I have stated them is laid down by the history of legally defended and protected rights.

Slave owning, regardless of its inhumanity toward Americans born and raised in America, was a right claimed by slave owners. The Constitution prior to abolition had not enumerated the right of slaves or slave owners, hence, the status quo of slavery through brute force of some over others, lived on. Only when the rights of slaves were enumerated by the abolition of slavery, did slaves in the defense and protection of the reality of law, have any right to NOT be enslaved.

Women claimed the right to vote LONG before the actual enumerated right was established. And guess what? Prior to enumeration, women HAD NO VOTE, regardless of their claim to that right.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 5:53 PM
Comment #276148

Yes, Rhinehold, we have had this debate before. See my comments to kctim and dbs above.

You lost this debate before, and as my comments to kctim and dbs above demonstrate, on purely logical, reality based and evidenciary grounds, you will lose this debate yet again if you wish to pursue it.

But, by all means, counter my arguments to kctim and dbs above if you want another crack at defending the indefensible.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 5:56 PM
Comment #276149

Rhinehold-
States do plenty of things and do them well. But that doesn’t mean they do them all well, nor that they have the appropriate position to do the right thing. Environmental issues nowadays regularly cross state lines. So do business transactions

America is more interconnected and integrated that the nation that the founding fathers knew. why we must act like interstate travel and communication still run on horseback is beyond me.

Distance matters less, on many counts and in many ways.

One last thing, though: in considering what the purpose of the Constitution was, we must consider what it replaced. Did it replace a more centralized, more strongly empowered government? No. Quite the opposite. The difference the constitution made was that it strengthened the Federal govenrment, strengthened the Executive Branch, strengthened the Judiciary. It gave the Federal government powers it didn’t have before. The Bill of Rights was a compromise added by opponents of the Constitution, who decided they could live with it if certain restraints were placed on the government. Make no mistake, though, the Constitution was not written to weaken centralized power.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 6:16 PM
Comment #276151

kctim, thank you for posting the exact language that causes so much confusion on this topic. These words are the primary source of confusion over the reality of rights claimed vs. rights protected by law:

“The exceptions here or elsewhere in the constitution, made in favor of particular rights, shall not be construed as to diminish the just importance of other rights retained by the people,”

Two interpretations, both logically valid and defensible in debate, regarding this passage.

One is, that acts participated in, as a result of citizens perceived or claimed unenumerated right, are not subject to prosecution or prohibition by government officials UNLESS and UNTIL, the people through their representatives shall enumerate such prohibition and prosecution in the body of law, subject to judicial review, and assent of the executive. In other words, acts against the law, like acts protected by the law, MUST BE ENUMERATED, to have any enforcement by officials in government.

The other interpretation is: The Bill of Rights (i.e. exceptions here or elsewhere in the constitution,) by their enumeration, shall not preclude the people in the future, through their representatives, from enumerating additional rights with legal protection, for acts or behaviors which, for lack of contest, have been yet been enumerated as to protected or prohibited legal status.

Breathing, is a perfect example. Everyone assumes a perceived right to breathe and therefore the behavior is participated in as if it were a right, until such time as the rule of law through constitutional process enumerates either a circumstantial prohibition against an individual breathing (capital punishment) or legally protects the right to breathe, (as in the case of the Clean Air Act, which stipulates that citizens have a right breathe a defined level of clean healthy air.)

But, note that there is no RIGHT to breathe, enforceable and protected by law until such right is enumerated in the law. Abortions by suffocation were not illegal for most of the history of our nation, but that fact neither made abortion a ‘Right’ nor a crime, until the law enumerated it as such.

It is illogical to posit that an undefined Right is a Right of law. One cannot enforce or protect undefined Rights. That is like trying to argue that ‘*&!_-*’ exists. There is no logical argument to be made as to whether ‘*&!_-*’ exists or not, until ‘*&!_-*’ is defined or ‘enumerated’.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 6:24 PM
Comment #276153

Stephen,

We don’t disagree on the fact that interstate commerce nad communication are federal issues, as the constitution clearly states and backs up.

However, it does not grant the usurping of everything that should be left to the states. Yes, the constitution gave more power to the federal government, but not ALL power. It was a document of increased power and hard, well defined, limits to what they could do with that power…

That is the area we disagree with. For example, a federal minimum wage is idiotic and a good example of why there are limits to federal power. The cost of living in California does not equal, in any way, with the cost of living in Indiana, which does not equate with Iowa, and so on. Yet the federal goverment wants to dictate standards that are almost always going to be inequal in order to appear to treat everyone equally.

And it is well outside of their stated power. That we allow it to continue is a perfect example of what I am stating here…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 24, 2009 6:31 PM
Comment #276154

Yes David, you ‘won’ the argument by saying that you won when you ignored the facts that I presented to you, the words of the people who wrote the 9th and 10th amendments and redefined the context of the discussion to mean rights are only things that the government can provide, something that was specifically not done in crafting the constitution.

So Bravo on your hollow ‘win’, it was a shame that you didn’t want to debate it in honest intellectual debate though…

Posted by: Rhinehold at February 24, 2009 6:33 PM
Comment #276155

Rhinehold, your facts were in error.

Anyone can claim a right to anything including the appropriation of other’s property without permission. But, what defines a legal right or crime for that matter, is the enumeration of the right or crime. Until it is enumerated, there is no legal Right to take elected government for enforcement, with the exception of a claim to a right which is decided by the courts, in which case, the court ruling enumerates the right, in law.

Those are the facts, and history of Rights in practice under law, in a government built on the rule of law, as the definition what is enforceable as rights under law (enumerated)and what is prohibited under law, (also enumerated).

Simple logic dictates that one cannot legally protect a permission to an action which for an action which remains undefined. Simple logic Rhinehold, gets the best of your argument each and every time on this topic.

You want a fact, I will give you one. No unenumerated right has ever been defended in a court of law before first being enumerated in the law, by the Constitution, Legislative Act, or Court ruling. Ergo, in legal terms, there is no such thing as unenumerated rights. Unenumerated rights are nothing more than behaviors which citizens participate in which have neither prohibition nor legal defense by government enumerated in the law. They are not legal rights, until the law enumerates them and hence giving them legal standing.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 6:48 PM
Comment #276156

Lee,
Thank you for seeing that Self-Ability and Self-Knowledge does matter. For as a High School Grad. who got A’s just because I understand that others have to work very hard to achieve what comes natural to others. And why I may rebel against the Status Quo of My Peers, as I get older I see the Wisdom spoke about by the Elders of the 70’s in maintaining the Principles and Standards of Class Excellence.

Nevertheless, I do worry that by seperating the Wheat from the Shaft that many of the young talent are looked over due to the fact they lack the funds and parental guidance to take the extra steps needed to achieve their goal. And why I know of nothing being currently offered by Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders to address this imbalance and lose of Future Opportunity. The Anti-Authoritarian in me will not let me say that “We the People” cannot do a better job in assuring that every student is given the opportunity to in the case of your daughter sing with a group in public.

For as you point out if it was not for the extra miles she traveled in her journey there is a chance that she would not of made the cut this year; however, I must question the Logic and Reason of the School not to provide an alternative for the 13,000 unable to make the grade. Because why it is easy to just say no, I do believe that with the help of Non-Profits in the Community and grants from the Endowment of the Arts that many of the students could obtain the expreince through the introduction of Music Contests and other community activities meant to sharpen their personal skills. Since I do see that by providing such events would not only save My Peers money, but offer Commerce the abilty to raise funds that will support their community.

Yes, not everbody can be President of the United Statesa of America or the CEO of a major corporation and why that should not stop one from becoming the Best that He or She can be. I do believe that Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders of the 20th Century gave to much of a reward to those citizens selected to serve in the Elite Groups and Networks of Government and Society.

So moving forward into the 21st Century how do “We the People” teach the Children of the 21st Century what Class has shown My Community Elders and Peers? For why I realize that the Natural Gap of Knowledge and Wisdom held by the Learned and Unlearned of Society exist for a Reason. I am also proud as an American Layman to see the Logic in the Children of My Peers to understand the difference between being Number One and a Loser. Now, can “We the People” teach Americas’ Democratic and Republican Civil, Political, and Religious Leaders the same lesson.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 24, 2009 6:52 PM
Comment #276161
Stephen Daugherty wrote: I just get a feeling that you’re digging your feet in on account of philosophy, and failing to see how the system could work beyond that philosophy.
It adds up. BILL after BILL. There’s no shortage of people like you who believe we can spend our way to prosperity. We’ll see.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 7:14 PM
Comment #276163

david

here’s what i said:

“the foundation of our rights center on the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.”

this belief is the basis for the enumerated rights in the bill of rights. and for the 9th amendment which would like to ignore.

the const. sets limits on the powers of the gov’t. the bill of rights draws the line in the sand that gov’t is not supposed to cross.

“There are no other legally defensible claim to rights by individuals under our rule of law, dbs.”

you mean like the right to free healthcare. where is that enumerated in the const, or to a free education, hmmm interesting. how about the right to take the private property of one and give it to another.

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 7:31 PM
Comment #276165

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.


You talk about blueprints and frameworks? here’s a blueprint. Detailed. Specific. My state’s constitution runs longer than some novels. The result is a judicial and legislative mess.

The US Constitution is a different matter. Rather than try to stuff everything into that document, what’s remarkable is how much they left out, left up to the folks running the government. The result would probably print out to no more than three or four pages in a worst case scenario, and that’s with amendments.

We have a legislature for a reason. We have judges for a reason. For a nation with as diverse of interests and people as ours, with such geographical size and complexity, with technology as advanced as ours, and with cities capable of holding the entire population of colonial America in their limits, we need the complexity of the law and its interpretation in order to confront the challenges that all these facts bring to us. We can pretend to be able to run our country like the agrarian nation it was at the beginning, or as it is now. The New World has become a New World Squared.

But the founding fathers didn’t try to bind us to a never-ending list of requirements suited to their times. They allowed Americans to have the choice of where America went, and to deal with that as their responsibility as they saw fit.


Stephen,

You said “Look, somebody could make your argument in regards to the war in Iraq. You know what I would tell them? You pay your taxes, that is the rule of law.”

My argument is that it’s wrong to take from the working by force and give to the non-working. I don’t think that applies to the Iraq war, but I’ll try to listen to your reasoning about it.

You then said “As for how a dollar can become more than a dollar? That’s economic growth. We’ve got a certain amount of money flowing in the economy, and it increases as investments pay off. And how do investments pay off?

Well, people do. Let’s say you give a loan to a grocery market. If people frequent the market, pay money into it, and the market can pay you back, you win, and you’ll have the money to do other things. Perhaps you can be more of a customer yourself, or perhaps you can reinvest elsewhere.

So, what somebody pays to a supermarket helps other people see a return on their dollar. That return is what makes a dollar more than a dollar.

A dollar is not some fixed physical reality. It’s a unit of symbolic exchange, and as such you can make it more valuable by employing it in better exchanges. When people invest well, the economy booms, when they screw it up, it tanks.

A dollar that enables further investment and business, greater growth, can be worth more than its face value to the economy. A dollar withheld, stuck in a bank account, or low return investment rather than risked in the open market can be worth less than its face value. Thus the uselessness of upper class tax cuts. Rich people

The general rule is, wealth concentrates anyways, it’s where it goes as it circulates from concentration to concentration that matters. It’s like circulation of the blood: if it doesn’t get into the fine vessels of the body enough, the body as a whole will be less healthy.

When you put it in the hands of somebody who not only wants to spend it, but has to spend it, you’ll be guaranteed that it doesn’t sit around, which is what gets a stimulus dollar wasted.”

While I might not be the smartest man in the world, I do understand how the value of a dollar grows as it is spent. What I don’t understand and you haven’t explained is why the dollar given to a non working man will grow more when he spends it than it will when I spend it.

You said “You state “You can glibly state, with all your inherent authority as The Common Man, that the stimulus plan won’t work because its wrong, but I think I can argue that it’s neither wrong nor ineffective to spend money in this way,” First, Stephen, I’m not THE Common Man, I’m A Common Man. I speak only for myself and have never claimed to speak for anyone else. I’m not arguing the effectiveness of spending money this way (Although I have my doubts) But, you will NEVER convince me that it’s right to take from anyone by force to give to someone else no matter how great the need.
When you label yourself “Common Man”, you’re implying you’re speaking for more than just yourself. I am common. I am more than just me. My view is a widely held one. So on and so forth.

Forgive me if I’m hard on you for choosing such a name. It just seems like you’re claiming a lot of territory for your beliefs, without much asking the rest of us common folk. The name itself seems to me to be a kind of argument by popularity. You don’t need that. What you need is a clear explanation of the sense of your beliefs.

Let me let you in on a little secret here: I don’t argue for the benefit of persuading my rival in an exchange. Sometimes I’m arguing to the spectators. I’m trying to seem like the more reasonable of the two of us, and not merely to those who agree with me.”

Stephen, You are the one who added a prefix to my name. I was implying nothing. If you read something that isn’t there, then that is your fault and not mine. And we all are arguing to the spectators here. You don’t have a franchise on that point.

Then you said “I’ve studied enough history to know that many of the ideas the Republicans rely upon have long and not particularly illustrious histories, and that many are repackaged positions that were once based on and sold on elitist principles.”

I don’t know what that has to do with me since I belong to no party and don’t profess to being a republican, However, your above statement seems to me to be an opinion that you are trying to pass off as a fact.

You said ” You’re right that I have no idea what really drives your sense of economic interests, but you use words that carry with them the trace of a particular wellspring. The truth is, you can theorize that you have absolute property rights, but the real world can shift the value and the sustainability of that particular property in your care.

Just ask the people who, because of a systemic problem tolerated by like-minded folk like yourself now find themselves in homes worth far less in emptier and more impoverished neighborhoods than they first settled in. For property rights to have any meaning, economic and social stability must be built into the system. When we try to claw our way to prosperity on other folk’s backs, we ultimately undermine our own interests. Too many Republicans long for the days before FDR, and forgot that this how they got FDR elected in the first place.

You are playing with words again. I never said anything about “absolute” property rights. I am fully aware that property can change in value. And I’m not speaking of property “in my care” I’m speaking of property that I own. Property that I worked hard to posess.
Are you implying that I clawed my way to prosperity on other folk’s backs? I’ll have you know that I worked for every nickle that I have.Just maybe that’s why I protect it so much and am not willing to give it unwillingly to those who don’t work.

You said “You talk about blueprints and frameworks? here’s a blueprint. Detailed. Specific. My state’s constitution runs longer than some novels. The result is a judicial and legislative mess.”

I don’t live in your state. That’s your problem.

“The US Constitution is a different matter. Rather than try to stuff everything into that document, what’s remarkable is how much they left out, left up to the folks running the government.”

In your vast study of history did you ever read the 10th ammendmant:

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The result would probably print out to no more than three or four pages in a worst case scenario, and that’s with amendments.

We have a legislature for a reason. We have judges for a reason. For a nation with as diverse of interests and people as ours, with such geographical size and complexity, with technology as advanced as ours, and with cities capable of holding the entire population of colonial America in their limits, we need the complexity of the law and its interpretation in order to confront the challenges that all these facts bring to us. We can pretend to be able to run our country like the agrarian nation it was at the beginning, or as it is now. The New World has become a New World Squared.

But the founding fathers didn’t try to bind us to a never-ending list of requirements suited to their times. They allowed Americans to have the choice of where America went, and to deal with that as their responsibility as they saw fit.”

The above statements seem to be just filler to me.


Posted by: Common Man at February 24, 2009 7:35 PM
Comment #276166

I apologize for not deleting the first portion of my last message. It was an editing error.

Posted by: Common Man at February 24, 2009 7:37 PM
Comment #276168

david

“with the exception of a claim to a right which is decided by the courts, in which case, the court ruling enumerates the right, in law.”

not if it violates the const. that would be judicial activisim. laws can only be enacted to enforce the const. power of gov’t, or to protect the const.rights of individuals. if the law oversteps either of these boundries it is unconstitutional and cannot legally be enforced.

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 7:42 PM
Comment #276169

dbs said: “you mean like the right to free healthcare.”

First, health care is not free. It can be a right if the people’s representatives legislate it such, and the executive signs that legislation into law, and the courts do not reverse the decision on Constitutional grounds. But, then it becomes an enumerated Right, which is the only kind of right that has the protection or enforcement of law. All unenumerated rights are merely claims of individuals either uncontested or so common place and accepted as behavior as to be assumed as a right.

But, the only legal rights in a Constitutional government based on the rule of law are those which have been enumerated. Ergo, the absolute necessity for the Bill of Rights, and certain other enumerated rights established by Amendment, Legislation, or Court ruling, granting the status of Legal Right to such things as women’s suffrage, (not a legal right before being enumerated as an Amendment. Or abortion, neither a crime nor legal Right, until enumerated by either state or Federal law).

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 7:51 PM
Comment #276171

kctim said: “not if it violates the const. that would be judicial activisim.”

Please provide for me a quote in legislative law or court ruling or the Constitution which prohibits judicial activism, and who is it in government who assesses whether a Supreme Court ruling or District Court ruling left standing constitutes unconstitutional judicial activism?

I ask in anticipation of your inability to provide such quotation from our body of laws. The Supreme Court is the final arbiter of whether their rulings are Constitutional or not. There is no legal prohibition against judicial activism, which is usually a claim without force of law made by persons disagreeing with the Courts.

Our prisons are full of persons believing our courts have engaged in judicial activism. Thank goodness their voting rights were stripped upon conviction, in most cases, eh?. Their numbers are growing dramatically, after all, and they could one day represent a majority :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 24, 2009 8:14 PM
Comment #276172

david

“kctim said: “not if it violates the const. that would be judicial activisim.””

actually david i said that.

Posted by: dbs at February 24, 2009 8:50 PM
Comment #276173

Stephen:

I just want address some of your statements.

“We will see what works and what doesn’t, and then we’ll see what truly can be said to have failed. I think the American people are tired of their policy being held hostage to somebody’s philosophy or ideology, as things get progressively worse. They’ve reached the threshold of pain you keep referring to, but it’s not leading them in your preferred direction, and that’s ticking you off.” So the solution is to spend money haphazardly to see, as you state “what will work and what doesn’t”?


I’ll tell you why I support the stimulus: because America can’t just sit around and wait for economic miracles to occur. This is what Deficit spending should be done for, not to fund things we’re unwilling to tax for.” Searching for the right word, spending money that we do not have searching for “miracles” is self destructive, if not plain stupid. We must do something to find the miracle. Now, if we fail it is because we did not spend enough. Intresting. I wonder what your response would have been if President Bush had proposed this. Methinks d.a.n. covered this.

I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home. I just see spending you disagree with.” Just for my knowledge, how do you define pork? d.a.n. covered this also.

Why is money for art not a stimulus? Artists do business, too, and so do the people who supply them with what they work with.” So would building yachets(homage to Jerry Clower)for the rich not do the same thing? Sorry, building the yachets would produce something of tangible value, thus not a fair comparison.

Why is leaving government buildings in disrepair and efficient thing to do? Why is investing money in the constitutionally mandate census, the measure of this country’s population and its demographics wasteful? Why then would spending a few million on a bathroom not accomplish the same thing? Different standards for the rich private sector and Uncle Sam?

Seriously, people will build the cars, the 400 million dollars worth, and that will mean jobs, and people being paid. Isn’t that the point of the stimulus? The 87 million dollar ship is the same way. It’s not going to build itself, you know. What if it had been a yatchet instead of an icebreaker?

My question here is why should I trust your assessment on what is wasteful? You seem more concerned with whether the politics of the project are liberal.” Yet you want us to depend on the Liberals/Democrats to define wasteful spending when persued by the private sector that actually has earned, not leglislated the wealth? Rich, very rich? Do as I say philosophy, at best.

dbs myopically stated: “this is bizzare. the foundation of our rights center on the right to life, liberty, and the persuit of happiness.”

“The economy is arithmetic sometimes, and sometimes its calculus. The Stimulus Bill is aimed at the calculus side of the economy. You first prevent the dynamic forces of the economy from making things worse. You also stimulate things by changing the way things are done, increasing efficiency, doing the research that adds the economic capacity.” So basically if we do not agree wit a set of numbers, it must be too complicated for us “chattering class”?


Posted by: submarinesforever at February 24, 2009 9:04 PM
Comment #276175

Rhinehold-
The federal minimum wage constitutes a floor below which state laws of this kind can’t fall. It isn’t about equality, though. Ask yourself: can a healthy economy exist if people can price your job through the floor. Already we see the consequences of regular wages being too low, in America’s dependence on credit and its failure to save. Who can save when you live paycheck to paycheck?

dbs-
Arguing constitutional law without knowing or acknowledging what the court’s current position is not that far from armchair generalship or armchair quarterbacking.

It especially gets annoying in my opinion when people start talking about “judicial activism” There are huge portions of the law that people simply ignore or fail to realize exists. I have a lawyer as a brother, and so have been exposed to the complexities of the law, and I tell you that anybody who thinks a simple resolution is ever in the cards for things just because you read the letter of the law literally doesn’t understand the complexities of the English language, the human intellect or any system of rules that gets abover a certain size.

I have found that sometime, if you want simplicity, you have to interpret things more loosely. Getting too finicky means you don’t avail yourself of the natural human ability to chunk things and tie things together into coherent relationships. People go mad trying to make every little case fit their exact view.

This is one of the reasons that religiously speaking I’m not a biblical literalists. I believe that the bible was inspired by God, but that the lord was too smart to risk the important meaning of that work by making everything so exact that a translator’s mistake could destroy the truth of what was related.

Similarly, an actor will probably fuss themselves into an early grave if they try to exactly control every intonation and gesture. Instead, most actors employ a less precise, but more robust method that lets different aspects of the costume, the setting, of human psychology, of their own natural responses, create dependable, authentic performances.

When lawyers fuss over the meaning of little words with nothing but their self interests to guide them, the results can be downright absurd. Words, phrases, languages in general have indeterminate natures, with words meaning differen things in different contexts, with ambiguities and double meanings packed into even the most innocent word. We discussed this very fact when Bill Clinton posed that oh so philosophical statement, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is.”

Words are like herbivores. They often move best in herds. Meaning is most robust when context and understanding help to reduce the number of wrong guesses and conclusions that others receive the message make. Rather than focus laser like attention on single words and little quibbles, we should ask ourselves what we don’t know that could explain this, and look at the facts before we open our mouths.

I have a feeling that’s why so many perfectly productive proposals drew Republican ire, and why so many of these little canards popped up. The Right has been taught to look for things to pick ideological fights over. But that only leads you to get ahead of your facts and your arguments ahead of reliable claims. And then you have to defend them! If you fail to defend them, you essentially admit you’re a fool. And if you stick with them, you might convince yourself that you aren’t a fool, but will you convince anybody else?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 24, 2009 9:20 PM
Comment #276176
Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n - I asked you more or less whether it was necessary to reprint a list that had already been published not so far up the thread.
Does it disturb you?

It would disturb me too, if I was trying to defend such ridiculous pork-barrel and wasteful spending, and trying to trivialize it as …

Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n-I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.

Really?
So you think the following is responsible spending? :
  • $50 million for the National Endowment for the Arts is a priority ?
  • Or $150 million for the Smithsonian?

  • Or $850 million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years?

  • Or $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, the 10 federal job training programs, and many more)?

Funny how it’s not pork-barrel when Democrats authored the BILL.

Stephen Daugherty wrote: You have a tendency to waste a lot of space reprinting stuff you’ve already got in the record.
That’s funny considering the source. Whose the master of prolific circular, nonsensical gobbledygook?

If I recall correctly,

Stephen Daugherty wrote: Frankly, I’ve never been fond of politics or bloviating on the topic …
… and then …
Yukon Jake perceptively responded: [Stephen] Your posts are usually the longest of anyone besides d.a.n. and that’s only because he cites so much data in his posts. For someone who is not fond of politics (or bloviating), you have somehow managed to write 1,000,000+ words on the topic since I first stumbled on watchblog.
So, complaints of others’ writings is about as funny as labeling others of wallowing in the petty, circular, partisan-warfare, while being the master of it.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 9:23 PM
Comment #276179

Regarding the $50 million in the Stimulus BILL for the National Endowment for the Arts …

Stephen Daugherty wrote: d.a.n-I don’t see porkbarrel there, little projects just meant to appeal to a base back home.
… and …
Stephen Daugherty wrote: Artists do business, too, and so do the people who supply them with what they work with.”
… and …
submarinesforever responded: So would building yachts (homage to Jerry Clower) for the rich not do the same thing? Sorry, building the yachts would [also] produce something of tangible value, thus not a fair comparison.

submarinesforever, Good point.

There’s a LOT of unnecessary and wasteful spending in this Stimulus BILL.

There are a LOT of things the federal government could do that don’t require massive spending.
Yet the fedreral government refuses to stop these 10 major abuses, which would save Americans hundreds of billions annually, save lives, and restore confidence in government.

  • Lawlessness

  • Wars

  • Plutocracy / Kleptocracy

  • Illegal Immigration and Unfair Trade Practices

  • Election Problems

  • $10,855,369,595,709 National Debt , $67 Trillion Nation-Wide Debt and …

  • Inflation / Usury / the Monetary-System is a Pyramid-Scheme

  • Regressive Taxation

  • Insufficient / Inadequate Education

  • HealthCare or DangerousCare?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 24, 2009 9:54 PM
Comment #276180

Stephen:

“I have found that sometime, if you want simplicity, you have to interpret things more loosely. Getting too finicky means you don’t avail yourself of the natural human ability to chunk things and tie things together into coherent relationships. People go mad trying to make every little case fit their exact view.”. Calculus, more calculus. Rule of man is chocked full of partisan calculus. Some call it fuzzy math.

Posted by: submarinesforever at February 24, 2009 10:11 PM
Comment #276183

Stephen,

I am glad that you are a patient man…:)

Posted by: Marysdude at February 24, 2009 11:35 PM
Comment #276184

Common Man-
The people who qualify for these programs are the least likely to hold back the money they put into the economy, and once it leaves their hands, it’s differences in relation to other kinds of money becomes precisely zero. The dollar spent has no memory.

As far as Republican ideas go? Maybe I’m unfair about where you get yours, but please keep something in mind: When the Republicans were last in power, before the Reagan Era and the Gingrich revolution, they had precisely the same ideas, but they justified a different way. They justified it in terms of social darwinism. You are where you are because of who you are, your innate qualities. Rich? Only because you’re innately better. On top in society? Same reason.

The folks on Wall Street, the Market should determine things on that account. The rich, the powerful- they’re where they’re supposed to be. Put the people who aren’t there in charge, have them ruled by those who aren’t big financial success, have their priorities made equal… and its just a perversion of the way things are supposed to be.

You have a right to keep most of what you earn, and do much of what you want with it. But you’re not an Island, and some of the things you might do can interfere with the free course of somebody else’s life. Of course, when we’re dealing with our immediate community, we can do things informally, but something happens once you get a population high enough: people stop being able to know so many other people, and organization with other people takes extra measures beyond pure friendliness.

Now for ages, folks struggled with how to shape this. Our experiment with Democracy reflects a much better direction with this, with centralized power that protects and creates order, but hybridized with more distributed, power, with the whole system rigged together to create accountability and prevent one group of special interests from completely hijacking the government process.

The rights involved with that are considerable in this country, and things are built to where no one group can extinguish its rivals, and to where some negotiation is always necessary to further one’s own interests.

Which gets me back to my attitudes about property. For the most part, I don’t mind you keeping it. I’m not, as you might fear, a confiscatory sort. But I’ve got little patience for the whole tax revolt thing. Not that I mind low or moderate taxes.

It’s just that it’s become a joke, and not a particular good kind. We were running tens of billions ahead. Time for a Tax cut. Deficits were looming. Tax cut. Extreme deficits are inflicted on the country? Tax cut. Fighting Two Wars? Tax cut.

When you back a policy no matter what the circumstance, when no situation can test it and prove it inappropriate, then you have something either so bland and obvious as to be uncontroversial, or you have a complete failure to maintain touch with reality, because there’s always scenarios where certain choices are wrong. A practical idea is usually a testable one, because in practice, there’s always a way to do it wrong.

I was all for Obama balancing the budget, but with our current economic system in trouble, it’s time to bring the emergency measures into play. I can only hope he does both the stimulus and the paying for it when the time comes to pay it off.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 25, 2009 12:12 AM
Comment #276187

dbs, thanks for the correction in responding to kctim on your comment. My bad!

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 25, 2009 3:11 AM
Comment #276193

Stephen,

You say “The people who qualify for these programs are the least likely to hold back the money they put into the economy, and once it leaves their hands, it’s differences in relation to other kinds of money becomes precisely zero. The dollar spent has no memory.”

What do you think the people making over 250k per year do with their money? It makes little difference if the money is spent to pay rent or the local rent to own store or invested. It still is circulating through the economy. The only money that is not circulating is the money stuffed in a coffee can or mattress and I submit the poor do more of that than the rich.

And then you said “As far as Republican ideas go? Maybe I’m unfair about where you get yours, but please keep something in mind: When the Republicans were last in power, before the Reagan Era and the Gingrich revolution, they had precisely the same ideas, but they justified a different way. They justified it in terms of social darwinism. You are where you are because of who you are, your innate qualities. Rich? Only because you’re innately better. On top in society? Same reason.”

Yep, you are wrong where I get mine even though it makes little difference. Just to enlighten you, I believe people are where they are in life for the most part because of decisions they made while growing up. If you leave school in the afternoon and hang out with friends on the corner, you are not going to be very sucessful. The person who does his homework at school and works on the weekends will be more sucessful than the person who parties all weekend and is hung over on monday morning. I’m sure you remember those people from high school. Why should I pay for their mortgage?

“The folks on Wall Street, the Market should determine things on that account. The rich, the powerful- they’re where they’re supposed to be. Put the people who aren’t there in charge, have them ruled by those who aren’t big financial success, have their priorities made equal… and its just a perversion of the way things are supposed to be.”

I’m not sure what you mean by this paragraph, so I won’t comment on it.

“You have a right to keep most of what you earn, and do much of what you want with it.”

That’s mighty generous of you especially since you haven’t earned a penny of my pay.


“But you’re not an Island, and some of the things you might do can interfere with the free course of somebody else’s life.”

I can’t imagine anything I can legally do with my money that would interfere with the free course of anyone’s life. Please enlighten me.


“Of course, when we’re dealing with our immediate community, we can do things informally, but something happens once you get a population high enough: people stop being able to know so many other people, and organization with other people takes extra measures beyond pure friendliness.”

So we need to manipulate my money and take it away from me so I won’t interfere with the free course of someone else’s life?

“Now for ages, folks struggled with how to shape this. Our experiment with Democracy reflects a much better direction with this, with centralized power that protects and creates order, but hybridized with more distributed, power, with the whole system rigged together to create accountability and prevent one group of special interests from completely hijacking the government process.”

More spin. You should be quite dizzy by now.

“The rights involved with that are considerable in this country, and things are built to where no one group can extinguish its rivals, and to where some negotiation is always necessary to further one’s own interests.”

The only negotiation necessary to further my own interest should be with my employer, NOT THE GOVERNMENT.

“Which gets me back to my attitudes about property. For the most part, I don’t mind you keeping it. I’m not, as you might fear, a confiscatory sort. But I’ve got little patience for the whole tax revolt thing. Not that I mind low or moderate taxes.”

Your words don’t ring true. It took a while and a lot of word twisting, but you finally admitted that you are okay with taking my money by force and giving it to those who do not work. If that isn’t confiscatory, then maybe we are speaking in different languages.

“It’s just that it’s become a joke, and not a particular good kind. We were running tens of billions ahead. Time for a Tax cut. Deficits were looming. Tax cut. Extreme deficits are inflicted on the country? Tax cut. Fighting Two Wars? Tax cut.”

I get it. You don’t like tax cuts.

“When you back a policy no matter what the circumstance, when no situation can test it and prove it inappropriate, then you have something either so bland and obvious as to be uncontroversial, or you have a complete failure to maintain touch with reality, because there’s always scenarios where certain choices are wrong. A practical idea is usually a testable one, because in practice, there’s always a way to do it wrong.”

Kind of like the stimulus package huh?

“I was all for Obama balancing the budget, but with our current economic system in trouble, it’s time to bring the emergency measures into play. I can only hope he does both the stimulus and the paying for it when the time comes to pay it off.”

And I hope to travel into outer space some day, but I think the chances are about equal.

It always has been, it is now, and it always will be wrong to take from working people by force and give to the non-working.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 9:23 AM
Comment #276194

Common Man,
You say that tax cuts now are better than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 just made into Law by President Obama and the 111th Congress. However, can you produce me one thing of value that has come out the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts and given to the people?

Where are the energy efficient buildings, the new Renewable Power Grid, and the 1001 other things that need to be done if your Children are going to have the same opportunities that was given to you by your Community Elders and Peers?

Now, you cry that you do not want to give your hard earned money to the Man who does not work; however, you are trying to convince Stephen and others that they should give up their Grandchildren Tax Doillars so that you do not have to invest in making Americas’ Federal Government Energy Efficient for them. For if you care to read the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and use the Common Sense of Man you will see that Americas’ Democratic and Republican Elected Officials spending the $787 Billion on projects that will increase the value of our Federal Buildings and Facilities.

And why that may not put a penny in your pocket today, after the renovations and retrofits over the next few years I do believe that your Grandchildren will have the ability to see the Departments of the Government work more effectively than they ever did in the 20th Century.

Yes, something has to be done to Americas’ Economy seeing that Business and Consumers are saying that they do not have the ability to spend their way out of Debt. And why the Left and Right of Society may have spent the last 30 years of not worring about the Future. Explain to me how given the Stockholder of an Automobile Manufacture a Tax Cut is going to sell a single vehicle or create a demand for the Corporations Product and return your Grandchildren back their Tax Dollar.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 25, 2009 10:01 AM
Comment #276195

David
I believe we have certain basic rights that precede government, as those who penned our Constitution did. You believe later interpretations that give govt control over our natural rights.
Maybe presumption of liberty vs. permission of liberty, or something like that.
Either way, it is as you said, a disagreement that has been around for a long time.

I do find it ‘interesting’ that you believe govt must recognize a right before it is truely a right, though. I’ll try and read more on that belief.

Posted by: kctim at February 25, 2009 10:06 AM
Comment #276196

Henry,

As per you “Common Man,
You say that tax cuts now are better than the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 just made into Law by President Obama and the 111th Congress. However, can you produce me one thing of value that has come out the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts and given to the people?”

Show me where I said this and I will answer the rest of your post.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 10:21 AM
Comment #276197
Common Man wrote: It always has been, it is now, and it always will be wrong to take from working people by force and give to the non-working.
The very least that could be done is to make the tax system fair.

What’s fair about this regressive tax curve?

  • ___ Total Federal Taxes (Income Tax + Social Security + Medicare taxes:____

  • 35% |——————-o-o—————————————————

  • 33% |—————-o——-o————————————————

  • 30% |————-o—————-o—————————————— = (30% total

  • 27% |————o—————————o——————————— federal tax for

  • 24% |———-o————————————-o———————— secretay making $60K)

  • 21% |———-o———————————————-o—————

  • 18% |———o—————————————————————o = (17.7% ; Warren

  • 15% |——-o—————————————————————— Buffet’s total

  • 12% |——-o—————————————————————— federal taxes on

  • 09% |——o——————————————————————- $46 Million in 2006)

  • 06% |—-o———————————————————————

  • 03% |—-o———————————————————————

  • 00% |ooo———————————————————————-

  • ____$0__30K__60K__90K_120K_150K_180K_210K_240K … . $GROSS INCOME

And Warren Buffet agrees that the tax system is regressive and unfair. Study the total federal tax on gross income (before a myriad of tax-loopholes). Also, capital gains are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes and are taxed at a much lower 5%-to-15% than most Americans pay. That’s how Warren Buffet paid 17.7% on $46 Million in year 2006, while his secretary paid 30% in total federal taxes on a salary of $60K. Warren Buffet did a survey of his employees and most (if not all) were paying a considerably larger percentage of their income to federal taxes than his 17.7%.

And why is the federal government still importing 1.5 Million foreign H-1B workers (per year) when 11-to-25 Million Americans are unemployed?

There are a LOT of things the federal government could do to stop these 10 major abuses hammering most Americans, but intead:

  • The FOR-SALE Congress goes on a pork-barrel spending spree, gives every Congress person their 10th raise in 12 years plus another $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses, $50 Million for the National Endowment of the Arts; $150 Million for the Smithsonian; $34 Million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters; $44 Million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters; $350 Million for Agriculture Department computers; $1.0 billion for the Census Bureau; $850 Million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $1.7 Billion for the National Park System; $55 Million for Historic Preservation Fund; $7.6 Billion for “rural community advancement programs”; $150 Million for agricultural-commodity purchases; $400 Million for hybrid cars for state and local governments; $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, 10 federal job training programs, etc.); $87 Million for a polar icebreaking ship; and plans to grow the already-severely-bloated federal government by another 600,000-to-800,000 federal employees, etc., etc., etc.

    • Raises for Congress:
    • 1998: $136,673 per annum; $151,813 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders;

    • 2000: $141,300 per annum; $156,900 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $181,400 per annum for Speaker;

    • 2002: $150,000 per annum; $161,200 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $186,300 per annum for Speaker;

    • 2003: $154,700 per annum; $166,700 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $192,600 per annum for Speaker;

    • 2004: $158,100 per annum; $175,700 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $203,000 per annum for Speaker;

    • 2005: $162,100 per annum; $180,100 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $208,100 per annum for Speaker;

    • 2006: $165,200 per annum; $183,500 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $212,100 per annum for Speaker;

    • 2007: $168,000 per annum; $186,600 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $215,700 per annum for Speaker;

    • 2009: $174,000 per annum; $190,700 per annum for Majority/Minority Leaders; $220,400 per annum for Speaker;
  • Never mind that the U.S. is swimmig in $67+ Trillion of current nation-wide debt, which has almost quintupled (as a percentage of GDP) since year 1956. Obviously, some people seem to think the principles of finance and the laws of the universe no longer apply and that we can somehow borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperity:
    • ____________ NATION-WIDE DEBT ________________

    • $70.0T |——————————————

    • $67.5T |—————————————-D (Debt=$67 Trillion)

    • $65.0T |—————————————-D

    • $62.5T |—————————————-D

    • $60.0T |—————————————-D

    • $57.5T |—————————————D-

    • $55.0T |—————————————D-

    • $52.5T |—————————————D-

    • $50.0T |—————————————D-

    • $47.5T |—————————————D-

    • $45.0T |—————————————D-

    • $42.5T |—————————————D-

    • $40.0T |————————————-D—

    • $37.5T |————————————D—-

    • $35.0T |———————————-D——

    • $32.5T |———————————-D——

    • $30.0T |———————————D——-

    • $27.5T |——————————-D———

    • $25.0T |——————————D———-

    • $22.5T |—————————-D————

    • $20.0T |—————————D————-

    • $17.5T |————————-D—————

    • $15.0T |————————D—————-

    • $12.5T |———————D——————G (GDP=$13.9T year 2007)

    • $10.0T |—————-D—————G
    • ——-
    • $07.5T |———-D————G
    • —————-
    • $05.0T |-D——-G
    • ——————————
    • $02.5T |-G
    • —————————————
    • $00.0T +(1956)————————- (2008)YEAR

    • Where current debt (not future debt) is:
    • (1) Total Domestic Financial Sector Debt = $15.8 Trillion

    • (2) Total Household Debt = $13.88 Trillion

    • (3) Total Business Debt = $10.16 Trillion

    • (4) Total Other Private Sector Foreign Debt = $1.8 Trillion

    • (5) Total Federal Government National Debt = $10.8 Trillion (including $3.0 Trillion foreign-owned U.S. Treasury Securities)

    • (6) Total State and Local Government Debt = $2.2 Trillion

    • __________________________________________________

    • Total = $54 Trillion (that’s 3.91 times the nation’s $13.86 Trillion GDP (i.e. GDP of year 2007)!)

    • Including the $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby boomer bubble approaching,
      the total is $67 Trillion ! ($220,000 per-capita; that is 4.83 times the $13.86 Trillion GDP (of year 2007)!)

  • Never mind the largest per-capita National Debt ($10.8 Trillion) ever (62% hihger than the previous record-high in year 1945 after World War II).

  • Never mind that 90%-to-95% of all U.S. Dollars in existence in the U.S. exists as debt.

  • Never mind that it would take (at only a 4.0% interest rate) 433 years to pay down that much debt, even if the U.S. had the discipline to pay down $2.68 Trillion per year ($233.34 Billion per month) which is the minimum required to stop the debt from growing larger;

  • Never mind a $55 Trillion Credit Default Swap bubble looming.

  • Never mind the $3.2-to-$8.5 Trilllion created out of thin air by the Federal Reserve to prop up greedy, failing banks (source: www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-113008-fi-pricetag-g,0,5292528.graphic)

  • Never mind that the debt is near (if not already) untenable. Where is the money going to come from to merely pay the interest on so much debt, when that money does not yet exist, and 90%-to-95% of all U.S. Dollars in the U.S. exists as debt?

  • Never mind that the federal government is already the largest employer in the nation. We can’t all wash each others’ laundry. Capital and profit can’t be created merely by creating more money out of thin air. There are already more jobs in government than all manufacturing (jobs nation-wide). Yet, the federal government continues to out-source jobs, import 1.5 Million foreign H-1B visa workers per year, not to mention despicably pitting millions of Americans citizens and 12-to-20+ illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, disguised as compassion (a severely misplaced compassion at best).

  • Never mind that the so-called Credit Crisis is actually a massive Debt Crisis, as evidence by the quintupling of nation-wide debt since year 1956, 9,000-to-10,000 foreclosures per day; millions of bankruptcies per year; numerous failing corporations. Yet the solution to massive debt is more borrowing , debt , money-printing , and spending? ! ? Since when did any nation so deep in-debt ever borrow , money-print , and spend its way to prosperity? Since when was capital created by rampant money-printing?
  • There is another economic terror far worse than a deep recession and unwinding of a massive debt-bubble, and many nations have already discovered it by trying to borrow , money-print , and spend their way to prosperity (source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperinflation#Examples_of_hyperinflation). It appears that the federal government is determined to rediscover it. What will an inflation adjusted U.S. Dollar be worth in 2012? Never mind that we’ve already had 52 consecutive years of inflation and deficit spending. Where did that get us? Never mind that a 1950 U.S. Dollar is now worth about 10 cents. Still, there are those that think the solution to our massive debt problem is MORE and MORE borrowing , debt , money-printing , and rampant spending and pork-barrel? ! ? We will see. Younger generations are getting crapped on. The federal government is playing an insane game-of-chicken with HYPERINFLATION and it will most likely end badly for most Americans and many future generations, because no nation so ridiculously deep in-debt has ever borrowed , money-printed , and spent its way to prosperity. Dozens of nations have already tried it, and it made things MUCH worse by debauching the currency. Some point to FDR’s programs and the New Deal, but the U.S. didn’t have the debt then that it has now; the U.S. manufacturing base was not so deteriorated then as it is today; the nation-wide debt per-capita was a much smaller then than it is today. There are far more things in far worse shape today than in the Great Depression (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/NeverWorse.htm).

There’s plenty of blame to go around for the numerous manifestations of unchecked greed which got us here today, and voters are culpable too, but many greedy banks, Congress, and the Federal Reserve are largely to blame for this economic mess. Yet, few (if any) will dare speak above a whisper in condemnation of the banks. Instead, they throw money at them and label the massive debt-problem (and leveraging of debt-to-reserves at a steep ratio of 9-ot-1) as a credit-problem and seem to think we can borrow , money-print , and spend our way to prosperity. Not likely, as many have already discovered:

  • “Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when the speak in condemnation of it.” — Woodrow Wilson, President of the U.S. 1913-1921.

  • In a letter to Edward M. House (President Woodrow Wilson’s closest aide), dated November 23, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt said: “The real truth of the matter is, and you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government of the U.S. since the days of Andrew Jackson.” — Woodrow Wilson

  • “I sincerely believe … that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies, and that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” — Thomas Jefferson

  • “Of all the contrivances for cheating the laboring classes of mankind, none has been more effective than that which deludes them with paper money.” — Daniel Webster

  • “All the perplexities, confusion and distresses in America arise not from defects in the constitution or confederation, nor from want of honor or virtue, as much from downright ignorance of the nature of coin, credit, and circulation.” — John Adams

  • “There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction, and does it in a manner which not one man in a million is able to diagnose.” — Lord John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946), renowned British economist

  • “We are grateful to the Washington Post, the New York Times, Time Magazine, and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected the promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity during those years. But the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world-government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the National auto-determination practiced in past centuries.” - David Rockefeller, in an address to the Trilateral Commission meeting, 1991.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2009 10:54 AM
Comment #276198

Common Man,
On your post 275958 your wrote: ” I will accept taxes as a wat to finance running the government to a bare minimum. I will accept taxes to provide for the defense of this nation. As for the “common good”, taxes are not the way. No matter how you phrase it, it is wrong to take from a worker and give to a non-worker. and let me give you a hint…If I don’t get paid for my labor, I will produce no labor.”

Now, am I to believe that you do not believe in Tax Cuts especially when you have said that the Stmulus Bill will not work? So other than Tax Spending or Taz Cuts how do you plan to save the American Economy and Way of Life? For to do nothing at this point and time is no longer an option as History will prove.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 25, 2009 11:05 AM
Comment #276199

Dan,

That is what I said and that is what I believe rguardless of any economic data you provide.

You ask about fairness, well let me give you a scenero. Little Johnny in grade school works hard and sells candy to help support the class. Little Billy only wants to play and sells only 10% as much so Johnny gets a bag of 20 marbles for his hard work. The teacher steps in and takes some of Johnnies marbles and gives them to Billy. It wasn’t right in the past, it isn’t right now and it won’t be right tomorrow. Even if the school were to burn down if it didn’t happen, it wouldn’t make it right.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 11:16 AM
Comment #276200

Henry,

In your quote from me above I said nothing about tax cuts. You are making assumptions.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 11:35 AM
Comment #276201

Henry, From Comment #276156-

For as you point out if it was not for the extra miles she traveled in her journey there is a chance that she would not of made the cut this year; however, I must question the Logic and Reason of the School not to provide an alternative for the 13,000 unable to make the grade.
You spoke of your anti-authoritarianism earlier. That can be a handicap itself (Lee said, speaking of things he knows well…). Here you are addressing the 13,000 as though they have been left out of the process entirely. That’s not really the case here, where there are several choral groups made up in the lower stages of the competition in addition to the fact that virtually every one of these kids is in a high school, or other, choir. Each of the five regions in the state has its own large elite mixed choir, as well as a lower level chorus each of men and women. Even at the state level there was also a men’s and women’s chorus made up of people who didn’t quite make it to the elite choir.

So, yes, thousands of people did not make it to the highest elite level, but did make it to a level well above the experience found in a typical high school choir. Along the way the incentive of each of those stair-stepped opportunities helped young people to focus on improving their skills for even the normal daily choral experience.

That is the picture of a rather good system of incentives. I am not being anti-inclusive by believing people who do not achieve excellence in specific fields SHOULD be left out of certain opportunities. At the same time, though, the system should be identifying young people who are having greater difficulty and providing greater adult interventions. My Daddy taught for a number of years. He was brilliant at intervention with troubled and difficult teenagers and could come at them from the angle of a practicing professional scientist, a former collegiate athlete, and a history buff. This is something we don’t do well, generally.

Logically the opportunities to work at high levels of excellence can only exist in a situation reserved for those who achieve excellence. Whatever our social aims may be we really don’t want people who struggled to pass engineering classes designing heart pumps or nuclear reactors. Those who have difficulty with achieving excellence should also be given extra attention, though.

In his early grade-school years my elder son could not do passing work in school. It took a lot of work on our part as parents and within the structure of his schooling to get him past significant learning disabilities. He now is literally a straight A student in his senior year in college as a History and English major.

I’m not, then, really quibbling about your desire for inclusiveness. What I’m saying is that it is misdirected. In my work in art residencies it has seemed that we are so invested in fitting kids to the system in education that we are unable to take advantage of how much kids can accomplish if we can do better at fitting the system to them. I think that is what you really want.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 25, 2009 2:00 PM
Comment #276202

Oh, and Henry, the average SAT score for participants in the state music competitions is 300 points higher than the national average for all students.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 25, 2009 2:07 PM
Comment #276203
Common Man wrote: d.a.n, That is what I said and that is what I believe rguardless of any economic data you provide.
Common Man, I was agreeing with your statement to some degree, but not completely. The point is, taxes ain’t goin’ away any time soon, but the very least we should always strive for is fair taxation.

Some taxes are justified, in order to provide for the common defense of the nation, law enforcement, and some other civil services we all know we need.

Common Man wrote: You ask about fairness, well let me give you a scenero.
Yes. Especially since we seem to agree that the tax system isn’t fair.
Common Man wrote: You ask about fairness, well let me give you a scenero. Little Johnny in grade school works hard and sells candy to help support the class. Little Billy only wants to play and sells only 10% as much so Johnny gets a bag of 20 marbles for his hard work. The teacher steps in and takes some of Johnnies marbles and gives them to Billy. It wasn’t right in the past, it isn’t right now and it won’t be right tomorrow. Even if the school were to burn down if it didn’t happen, it wouldn’t make it right.
Taking away marbles from Johnny to give to Billy is wrong, but that does not come close to proving that we don’t need police, law enforcement, firefighters, emergency responders, at least a basic education for all children, and a national defense. Right?

Do you want police, firefighters, or a national defense?
What do you think society would be like without police, firefighters, national defense, and a number of other services that we need as a nation?
Without some of these things, we would most likely not be having this conversation, because of anarchy and chaos everywhere.
We need to be real and recognize that we need some taxation to pay for some of the things that we ALL need, that benefit everyone.

I believe your chief complaint should be (which is my chief complaint) that the government is too bloated (to nightmare proportions), meddles in too many things, and taxes too much for all of it (such as Congress going on a pork-barrel spending spree, giving every Congress person their 10th raise in 12 years plus another $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses, $50 Million for the National Endowment of the Arts; $150 Million for the Smithsonian; $34 Million to renovate the Department of Commerce headquarters; $44 Million for repairs to Department of Agriculture headquarters; $350 Million for Agriculture Department computers; $1.0 billion for the Census Bureau; $850 Million for Amtrak, the federal railroad that hasn’t turned a profit in 40 years; $1.7 Billion for the National Park System; $55 Million for Historic Preservation Fund; $7.6 Billion for “rural community advancement programs”; $150 Million for agricultural-commodity purchases; $400 Million for hybrid cars for state and local governments; $54 Billion for federal programs that the Office of Management and Budget or the Government Accountability Office have already criticized as “ineffective” or unable to pass basic financial audits (e.g. the Economic Development Administration, the Small Business Administration, 10 federal job training programs, etc.); $87 Million for a polar icebreaking ship; and plans to grow the already-severely-bloated federal government by another 600,000-to-800,000 federal employees; decades of other pork-barrel, waste, graft, and corruption; etc., etc., etc.

If the government constrained itself to only what it was supposed to be doing, there would probably be few complaints.
The problem is not ALL government.
The problem is too much government.
The federal government is the biggest employer in the nation.
There are more jobs in the government than all manufacturing jobs (nation-wide).
The problem is that government has grown to nightmare proportions, and essentially is growing (if it hasn’t already) into something that provides no net benefits to society.

Common Man wrote: The teacher steps in and takes some of Johnnies marbles and gives them to Billy. It wasn’t right in the past, it isn’t right now and it won’t be right tomorrow. Even if the school were to burn down if it didn’t happen, it wouldn’t make it right.
What teacher? Is that a teacher at a public school, or a private school?

Any way, how do you feel about everyone paying an equal percentage of all types of income over the poverty level to only pay for the things we know we need, such as police, law enforcement, firefighters, and the truly needy, etc.? For example?

Unless you believe there is NO need for government, police, firefighters, emergency responders, a national defense, law enforcemnt, education for all children, and helping the truly needy, how should these things be funded? No one likes taxes, but what could be more fair than everyone paying an equal percentage of all types of income above the poverty level to fund the things we know we need? That is, a certain amount of these things make ALL of our lives better. No?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2009 2:08 PM
Comment #276205

Dan,

I do agree that we need taxes to support our government functions. We might disagree on what some of those functions are. I do agree that our government is bloated like a dead dog left in the sun for 2 weeks.

We will disagree on the tax system that best suits our government. I completely support the Fair Tax. I have seen your posts on that and so I know we disagree. Your tax system would be so much better than what we have now, but I think the Fair Tax would be better.

As to what kind of teacher is involved in my example above, It doesn’t really matter. Whether public or private it is still wrong.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 3:19 PM
Comment #276207

Common Man,

You and I agree on the Fair Tax. It is just so hard for most people to recognize the embedded costs of the current system. Ordinary people, buying diapers and milk and other things that say they are “tax free” at the check out counter, are paying tax burdens up to 40% on those items.

We are sticking it to the real “common man” for the pretense of tax “fairness”.

What a crock!

Posted by: Lee Jamison at February 25, 2009 3:33 PM
Comment #276213
Common Man wrote:d.a.n … Your tax system would be so much better than what we have now, but I think the Fair[30% Sales]Tax would be better.
Think?

OK, we disagree.
But why?
What is ONE major reason, and the proof that a 30% Sales Tax (or 23.1% inclusive) Tax won’t be regressive and unfair?

Yes, the current tax system is regressive and unfair, but the un-Fair[30% Sales]Tax System is also regressive and unfair, and here are numerous reasons and calculations to support that position. I’ve yet to see any credible evidence that a 30% Sales Tax (or 23.1% inclusive tax where the $30 Tax on a $100 item is calculated as 23.1% = $100/[$100+$30] ) is more fair than a 17% flat income tax (on all types of income above the poverty level, and all deductions or tax loop-holes eliminated). If the 30% Sales Tax (or 23.1% inclusive tax) is better, it shouldn’t be that hard to prove.

For one thing, ALL sales taxes are regressive. That fact alone is damning enough, but a 30% Sales Tax (or 23.1% inclusve tax) is more onerous.

Lee Jamison wrote to Common Man: You and I agree on the Fair Tax. It is just so hard for most people to recognize the embedded costs of the current system.
  • (1) First of all, the current tax system is unfair and regressive due to a myriad of tax loop-holes and tax exemptions (source: One-Simple-Idea.com/Abuses.htm#Taxes).
  • (2) Yes, there is a very good reason why most Americans are opposed to a 30% (or 23.1% inclusive) sales tax system. It’s regressive and unfair, and no one has yet been able to provide a credible demonstration or explanation of how a 30% Sales Tax will be not be unfair and regressive.
  • (3) Also, look at who cooked up the un-Fair[30% Sales]Tax system (86 Republicans and 5 Democrats). Look who supports the un-Fair[30% Sales]Tax system?
  • (4) Most Americans polled on the subject of tax systems mostly support a simple flat income tax on all types of income, and the elimination of all tax loop-holes that make the current tax system regressive and unfair (as evidenced by Warren Buffet who paid 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million in year 2006, while his secretary paid 30% in total federal taxes on $60K).
Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2009 5:20 PM
Comment #276215

Sales Tax: Simple fact is, the Sales Tax replacing the income tax would cripple this nation and leave the economy run amok between boom and bust cycles, because government revenues would drop dramatically during bust cycles, and only rise modestly during boom cycles, as trillions of dollars in the upper wealth groups escape taxation altogether, increasing the tax burden on the non-wealthy. The wealthy, as a percentage of their income, spend only a small portion of their income on goods and services compared to investments and returns on investments, which would not be taxed under a sales tax system called “The Fair Tax”.

And even if a token tax were imposed on investment returns by the Fair Tax People, it would be legislated away after adoption of the tax plan, by those with the most influence upon government and political campaigns.

There is NOTHING fair about the Fair Tax Plan. It is a plan to allow the wealth in America to become largely exempt from paying for the enormous costs of protecting such wealth, i.e, military, police, fire, State Department, infrastructure, financial industry oversight and regulation which we will finally be getting under the Obama administration promoting honesty and accounting integrity in the system, which will also benefit the wealthy investors who were previous ripped off by the likes of Madoff and Milken.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 25, 2009 5:35 PM
Comment #276216

kctim said: “I believe we have certain basic rights that precede government, as those who penned our Constitution did. You believe later interpretations that give govt control over our natural rights.”

That’s just plain wrong. I don’t believe that. I observe that the Constitution grants Amendment powers which can and were intended to be used to AMEND the Constitution, both granting and revoking LEGAL rights. That same Constitution gave the legislature and executive the power to legislate constraints upon any and all human behaviors EXCEPT those ENUMERATED in the Constitution (which includes the Bill of Rights and Amendments).

The founding fathers created those powers in the Constitution. Has nothing to do with what I believe. It is observable both in the words of the Constitution and the reality of governance that sprang from that document.

Your comment lacks an appreciation of the history of legislative constraints on human behavior, all of which can be claimed natural rights by someone or another, and ignores the reality of the relationship between the government we have and the design of the Constitution which permits it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 25, 2009 5:41 PM
Comment #276218

Dan,

I followed your link and without a lot of study I agree that it would be a great system IF it could stay the way it is written on the site. The first question I would ask and probably my main concern is With our for sale to the highest bidder congress, what safeguards would be in place to stop lobbiests from adding deductions and exemptions after a year or two?

With the Fair Tax you have nothing to exempt from or nothing to deduct from.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 6:03 PM
Comment #276221
Common Man wrote: d.a.n, I followed your link and without a lot of study I agree that it would be a great system IF it could stay the way it is written on the site.
Thanks. Yes, the problem with any tax system is “IF” it can ever be implemented and maintained. That’s why it needs to be carefully designed. There are many issues to carefully consider, such as fairness, the total number of transactions (e.g. sales transactions versus wage transactions, enforcement costs, transparency, etc.)
Common Man wrote: The first question I would ask and probably my main concern is With our For-Sale to the highest bidder congress, what safeguards would be in place to stop lobbiests from adding deductions and exemptions after a year or two?
That’s a damn good question and deserves a no-nonsense answer.

The true solution to the problem of Congress being FOR-SALE requires enough voters to hold their elected officials accountable, and that ain’t likely to ever happen by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates (86.9% for the last 4-NOV-2008 election).

The current tax system is only one of MANY things used by our FOR-SALE, pandering Congress.
However, most Americans do NOT like the current tax system, and know it is regressive and unfair.
The current tax system and the MANY other things are used by our FOR-SALE Congress, but most of them are NOT for the benefit of most Americans, because 99.7% of all 200 Million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more.
Therefore, since changing the tax system won’t necessarily make Congress less FOR-SALE, the solution is to the FOR-SALE Congress is campaign-finance reform.
However, Congress is not likley to pass any campaign finance reforms either.
There are many common-sense reforms that Congress is unlikely to ever pass.
Therefore, it is now up to the voters.
However, repeatedly rewarding Congress with 85%-to-90% re-elecion rates, despite the voters’ dismally low 9%-to-18% approval ratings isn’t working either, is it?
So, again, the true solution to the problem is for the voters to hold their elected officials accountable, and that ain’t likely to ever happen by repeatedly rewarding irresponsible, incompetent, and corrupt incumbent politicians with perpetual re-election.

Also, there is no guarantee that Congress won’t jack up the sales tax rate from 30% to 35% or to 40% or more?
There is no guarantee that Congress won’t try to keep an income tax system too.
The point is, with such a corrupt Congress, there’s no telling what it will do … except grow more corrupt … at least until that becomes too painful.

Common Man wrote: With the Fair Tax you have nothing to exempt from or nothing to deduct from.
True, however:
  • (1) A simple flat income tax on all types of income above the poverty level with all tax loop-holes eliminated would also eliminate the need for deductions and exemptions too, and the number of wage/salary transactions to track annually would be thousands of times fewer (making enforcement a lot easier and cheaper).
  • (2) such a high 30% Sales Tax (or 23.1% inclusive tax) would almost certainly lead to black markets and other types of tax evasion.
  • (3) One obvious advantage to income tax (versus sales tax) is: If the goal (which the FairTax.org’s web-site does to great lengths to prove) is to tax income almost an equal percentage, then why not tax income a equal percentage, rather than taxing sales (from the other end)?
  • (4) Consider the number of sales transactions (hundreds of billions per year) versus the number of salary and/or wage payment transactions per year (about 200 million, based on a U.S. population of 305 Million). Which is easier to track? Also, both the employee and employer have a vested interest in the accurate reporting of that income. That is, there is more transparency when both the employer and employee are keeping each other honest. The employee wants to make sure his taxes are reported correctly. The employer wants to make sure employee costs are not counted as taxable profits. With sales transactions, only the merchant is accountable for accurately reporting the sales tax collected. When sales taxes are low, the problem of sales tax fraud may not be so bad, but with a whopping 30% Sales Tax, that will most likely be a strong motive for widespread tax evasion.
  • (5) Most voters polled believe that a flat income tax with all tax loop-holes eliminated is the most fair tax system.
  • (6) more …

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 25, 2009 7:00 PM
Comment #276226

Dan,

First let me say I go to bed early (around 9pm est and get up early, and I have a meeting out of state tomorrow so our debate might be interrupted. Also I’m not entirely comfortable hijacking this thread without Lee’s permission. That being said, I’ll try to take your points one at a time. We agree that voters aren’t likely to change the situation with congress for a long time if ever.

While there is no guarantee that congress won’t hike the sales tax to 35, 40 or more percent, I believe the voters WOULD revolt at the increase because it would be so transparent. The way our congress raises our taxes now are largely hidden untill it’s too late or they are targeted to one specific group and the rest of the voters are just happy it don’t affect them. With a consumption tax, it would affect everyone and everyone would instantly be aware of it.

The way the Fair Tax iw written, It won’t take effect until there is a constitutional ammendment to repeal the income tax. That would stop them from keeping it.

The number of transactions wouldn’t be a problem for any state that has a sales tax now. simply re-program the tax amount at the registers. The retail shops would be paid a small percentage for their increased labor of doing the transactions.

The price of goods and services now include embedded taxes that equal I think around 20 to 22 percent of the price. Since business to business transactions would not be taxed, the price for most items would remain relatively the ame a they are now. I don’t think black markets and fraud would be any worse and probably lower than now.

I really don’t care about the percentage of income someone pays in taxes. What somone else makes is none of my business.

Most states already have systems set up to handle sales tax. It wouldn’t be very hard or expensive to include a federal sales tax to the mix. The employer or employee wouldn’t need to report their income, so they wouldn’t need to have a vested interest as far as taxes go. And as I stated above, fraud shouldn’t be too much of a problem with prices remaining similar to what they are now. Hefty penelties to merchants who are caught selling without charging tax should further help the fraud situation.

I’m sorry but I don’t have the time or energy now to examine all the information on the link.

Another point with the Fair tax is that only new products would be taxed which means that used items (cars, appliances, clothes, etc wouldn’t be taxed at all. All items that the poor are most likely to buy.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 7:44 PM
Comment #276228

Lee,
Actually it is about doing both. For in seeking a System to fit the Child, the Child must be willing to fit the System. The problem stands when one is forced to believe that one group is more elite than the other. Fot in True Competition anyone can be beating on any given day.

And for the Students having a higher SAT score. I wonder if it is not their natural understanding of Harmonics that help them excel above their Peers? For how do you as a Parent teach “Three Part Harmony?”

Common Man,
Why I do make the assumption that you would rather spend your Grandchildren Money by getting a tax cut today. You make it more than clear that you would rather not work than be forced to give up your hard earned money to people that do not work. So, unless you are willing to go back to Child Labor in America explain how you justify taking money that does not belong to you. Hence, the price for living in a Debt Society.

For why you call for a Fair Tax unless it comes with Fair Pay than you are taking money away from the Worker and giving it to those who do not work. And that can be seen in the following example. For take Worker 1 who grows the food that feeds your family and pay him an even $300.00 a week for his services. Than take Worker 2 who sells the food grown by Worker 1 that feeds your family and recieves $600.00 a week. Under the Argument of Fair Tax both pay 10%, yet Worker 1 still recieves less take home pay for doing the Labor Worker 2 cannot or will not do. So, how do “We the People” justify you getting your food that you did not work for from Worker 2 who also did nothing to grow the food and pay Worker 1 less money, but charge him the same Fair Tax of 10%?

For if you truely want a fair system why should the Worker who grew the Food give it to those who have done nothing to earn it.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 25, 2009 8:47 PM
Comment #276230

Henry,

I’ll try to follow what you are saying.

I think it was you who asked “who says you have the right to get paid for your labor?” and my reply was that if I don’t get paid I won’t work That’s a little different than what you are saying now. I said nothing to support your assumption that I would rather not work than pay those who don’t work. Unless I deem it to confiscatory and you have no idea when I will reach that point. Please don’t change my words to suit your view of me. And I take nothing that does not belong to me.

From what I read of your next paragraph, I don’t think you understand the fair tax. I suggest you google it to understand how it would work.

Posted by: Common Man at February 25, 2009 9:06 PM
Comment #276231

Common Man,

After reading all of your posts I’m just curious as to what type of society you want to live in.

You state : I will accept taxes as a way to finance running the government to a bare minimum. I will accept taxes to provide for the defense of this nation. As for the “common good”, taxes are not the way.

Please tell us, what is the way?

Posted by: Tom at February 25, 2009 9:54 PM
Comment #276233

Tom

common man said:

“I will accept taxes as a way to finance running the government to a bare minimum. I will accept taxes to provide for the defense of this nation. As for the “common good”, taxes are not the way.”


tom said:

“After reading all of your posts I’m just curious as to what type of society you want to live in.”

let me answer that one. one where private property, and indivdual rights are respected. one where people fund thier charitable causes with thier own money, and not with the forced contributions of others. it’s funny how generous some people are with other peoples money.

“Please tell us, what is the way?”

let me answer that one too. it’s called private charity. the other option is to open up YOUR wallet and put your money where your mouth is.

Posted by: dbs at February 25, 2009 10:48 PM
Comment #276234

Stop trading.

Put the financial districts out of business. It’s better them than us.

We, the producers in this country will survive. The stock traders, who are used to living off of speculation, will have nothing to speculate.
Let them be the unemployed.
Not us.

Posted by: Weary Willie at February 25, 2009 11:52 PM
Comment #276235

Common Man,
You do not need to say a word for you very posting on this site proves that you are interelated into a system that takes from one Individual so that other Individuals may reap the rewards. Sort of like the money you get paid. For unless you own a printing press and hold the Authority of a Government every penny in your pocket is OPM (Other Peoples Monoy).

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 26, 2009 12:20 AM
Comment #276239

dbs,
You say you want to live in a world where private property, and indivdual rights are respected. A place where one can fund thier charitable causes with thier own money, and not with the forced contributions of others. A place called private charity.

Well, looking back over the last few thousand years I wonder if you realize that if private property and individual rights were respected that Man would still be running around nude and unfeed. For from A-Z you live off the ideas of others. In fact, the PC would not be possible without the combined work of several thousand citizens over thousands of years. So do you pay every person for their contribution or take advantage of their Personal Property and Individual Rights everyday?

In fact, why it is almost impossible for a Man in the 21st Century to get around the Charity of Others the problem with limiting the Advancement of the Human Race to the whims of volunteer contributions is that nobody wins. For why you may intend that Private Charity be limited to food, clothing, and other basic needs. Some may look at Private Charity as that R&D, Business Expenses, and Industrial Assistance. So would you care to pay full price for an ear of corn or $15,000.00 for a shirt. Or how about paying the many citizens whos private property and individual rights were limited so that you can live in a modern day house and drive a car.

Yes, the Ideology of our Parents and Grandparents may not be Perfect; however, given the Dog eat Dog World promoted by some during that era I do believe that you might want to look for a different place to live if this Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s was allowed to have his full rights over Private Property and Individual Ideas.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 26, 2009 3:55 AM
Comment #276240

Tom,

dbs summed it up pretty well.

Henry,

Let me run thru a typical day in the life of Common Man and see if maybe you understand.

Last night I went to bed at 9:10pm so I could get up early this morning and go to work. It would have been nice to stay up later, follow the blogs and watch TV. However I have obligations to my family and my employer that I respect. I got up at 3am, let the dog out, put on a pot of coffee and tried to wake up enough to start my day. After I finish this post I will kiss my wife and get into my car (the one that I own) and drive to the gas station. I will spend around $60 of my money (money I have earned thru past work) and drive approximately 200 miles to my employer’s customer stopping along the way and spending 5 or 6 of my dollars for fuel for my body. I will repair their equipment using my skills, time and energy. Then I will drive appx 200 miles to get back home to my loving wife, stopping once again along the way and spending more of my money for food. That is quite a sacrafice. one that I wouldn’t make without just compensation. My employer understands this and pays me quite well for this sacrafice. I will have similar days thruout the year, sometimes driving 20 miles and sometimes 600 miles. What my employer pays me for this service belongs to me. I own it. It is mine to spend as I please. If I want to eat steak then I can. If I want to buy a new car, then I can. I traded my skills, time and energy for that option.

Yes, my money belongs to me and I get DAMN tired of being FORCED to give a portion of what I own to the bum on the corner so he can trade it for beer and watch high definition digital TV while I’m fighting traffic trying to get home.

It’s called PRIVATE PROPERTY. If you don’t understand that, then the next time I need to go to my job, how about you meeting me at my door at 4 or 5 in the morning and you can transport me to my work. After all, we are all interdependant aren’t we.

I’ve got to go now. People are depending on me to perform my duties and I want to make another buck.

Posted by: Common Man at February 26, 2009 4:38 AM
Comment #276245

Common Man said: “With the Fair Tax you have nothing to exempt from or nothing to deduct from. “

Wrong! In a heartbeat our representatives would begin exempting certain purchases from taxation and increasing the rate on other items as a means of controlling who consumes what and by how much. Even whole States and groups of States would join in this behavior based on their shared economic base of production of goods and services.

Cars are made in 4 or 5 states. Those state’s representatives would immediately withhold their vote from other legislation until a concession was made on lowering the sales tax on vehicle parts or whole cars, in order to generate more sales and revenues for their state.

Think about it. The national sales tax looks good to some folks on paper, but in reality implementation, it is a really, really bad idea, frought with unintended consequences, the hallmark of Republican policies.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 5:20 AM
Comment #276249

Common Man,
Welcome back home from a day of being Self-Employeed. For why day begins at 6:00 PM and ends somewhere around Noon the next day I understand what it is like to drive 400 miles a day. However, like most Americans you are not special just an Average Joe trying to make a living. And like you I do not give my money to the bum on the street corner trying to get a beer; nevertheless, I do from time to time find myself giving others a free ride home because their friends left them at the bar.

So does that make me a sap because I look out for My Fellow Human? For unlike you, the Owner of the Company does not pay me a dime to get up out of bed and go to work. No, instead I must use my skills and Self-Knowledge to find the work that makes me money for that day and split the profits to cover the business and maintenance expenses.

Now, somedays this means that after 12 hours on the road I do not make a dime or even worse have to come out of my own back pocket to cover the bills; however, should that mean that I stop work or blame the Bum on the side of the road for my troubles? No! For as any Business Owner will tell you making a profit is nice, but if you went into business thinking that you are going to get rich than you are in it for the wrong reason.

So as you set down to eat your supper tonight think of all the Individuals who made it possible for you to make a paycheck today. For from the Worker who grew the food for your breakfast to the Labor and Management that made your trip possible today none would be paid a dime if your Boss had not got a job from one of His Customers who used OPM and OPT to pay the bill. Hence, the Common Good. For imagine how long your day would be if you had to do the work of others before you could use your Skills that was given to you to make a dollar.

Because sometimes I do believe the Bum on the Street Corner has the right idea given all of a Days Trouble.

Posted by: Henry Svhlatman at February 26, 2009 6:48 AM
Comment #276250

Forgotten in the picture of the supposed ‘give-away’ society is histroy. None of the programs we find ourselves paying for out of our hard-earned wages would have come into being if individuals had been responsible enough to donate the required amounts necessary to sustain the society. We are not animals, so when old folks and poor folks are starving to death, we, as a society, see to their needs through taxation and social programs. The need for these programs comes from historical regress. The programs, like most other enterprises, have grown unneeded tentacles, but if ‘individuals’ had done their responsible best, we’d not have needed the program, and would not have to worry about the tentacles…

We are a society of individuals, but a society none-the-less. Man is a social being, and much like the explorers, fur trappers, buffalo hunters, cowboys and two fisted bar fighters of old, rugged individualism has evolved into the mist. We can no longer survive as individuals, but must act and respond to life in social ways. There just ain’t enough mountain left for us all to be ‘mountain men’.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 26, 2009 7:11 AM
Comment #276251

Marysdude,
I was with you all the way until the last paragragh. For why My Democratic and Republican Citizens and Leaders may never figure out that if they solve the issue they fix the problem I do have to hope that someday their Children will.

Until than, I will remain an Uncivilized Gentleman and seek comfort in the Self-Knowledge and Wisdom that I can find a place on the Mountain where a Man can still go in the Woods. However, I do get your point that no longer can My Peers and Their Children use the Argument of Ignorance to defend their political leaders actions and words.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 26, 2009 9:37 AM
Comment #276252

David
Something is not wrong just because you personally don’t believe it. I agreed with you that this dispute has been around since day and your opinion does not end it.

I get it, you do not believe in natural rights as our founders did and you think govt can give or take those rights without recourse. I get it.
But I also get that the reason for the 9th was because the federalists feared later interpreters might assert that the people had surrendered any rights omitted from the enumeration.
As in most cases, their wisdom and fears have been justified.

You can assert your opinion that our only rights are those specifically laid out and that is how the founders wanted it to be, but it is just an opinion which has been formed in pursuit of a personal agenda. The form of govt you desire requires govt control over the people and in my opinion, that is nowhere near what the founders intended.

“Your comment lacks an appreciation of the history of legislative constraints on human behavior”

Maybe so. But it does not lack an appreciation of the founders and the limits they wished to be placed on govt. Show us where they wanted govt forcefully taking from one and giving to another or where they wanted govt running our lives, and I will give it a serious look and see if a change of mind on my part is warranted.

Our Constitution not only permits our govt, it limits it, and the reality is that those limits had to be eased or erased in order to become the nation we are today.
A nation where we need govt permission to exercise our rights.
A nation of dependence.
A nation our founders would barely recognize.

Posted by: kctim at February 26, 2009 9:50 AM
Comment #276253
Common Man wrote: d.a.n, … I’ll try to take your points one at a time. We agree that voters aren’t likely to change the situation with congress for a long time if ever.
Right. Probably not until enough voters are bankrupt , jobless , homeless , and hungry. It’s the voters’ choice to make. Unfortunately, too many voters love THEIR party and fueling and wallowing-in the petty, circular partisan warfare, more than their country … at least until that becomes too painful.
Common Man wrote: While there is no guarantee that congress won’t hike the sales tax to 35, 40 or more percent, I believe the voters WOULD revolt at the increase because it would be so transparent.
The “voters WOULD revolt”? Heck, they may revolt due to a 30% National Sales Tax alone, when they feel the painful consequences of a tax system that is even more regressive and unfair than the current tax system. The motivating factor is “pain and misery”. All sales taxes are regressive, and enough tax payers know it. Also, many states already have 5%-to-10% Sales taxes, and adding that to a whopping 30% National Sales Tax will create a massive 35%-to-40% sales tax, which will most certainly be painful. Imaginge trying to buy a $12,000 automobile that with a massive 35%-to-40% tax on it, making the final cost $16,200-to-$16,800! And you don’t think that would lead to sales tax evasion? Today, high sales taxes on certain items (e.g. liquor, cigarettes, etc.) already fuel significant sales tax evasion and black-markets. Anytime ANY tax is excessive, it’s going to lead to tax evasion.

Which would you rather pay? A 30% Sales Tax, or a 17% income tax on all types of income above the poverty level (where both tax systems having no other tax loop-holes and exemptions, and no corporate (embedded) taxes)? How do you think MOST Americans would answer that question?

Common Man wrote: The way our congress raises our taxes now are largely hidden untill it’s too late or they are targeted to one specific group and the rest of the voters are just happy it don’t affect them. With a consumption tax, it would affect everyone and everyone would instantly be aware of it.
Not true. See David R. Remer’s comment #276245. Never underestimate the propensity of Congress to find ways to abuse anything, any tax, any system, any law, and the majority of Americans at large. In no time at all, the FOR-SALE Congress would find ways to vary sales taxes to benefit their big-money puppeteers, since 99.7% of all 200 Million eligible voters are vastly out-spent by a very tiny 0.3% of the wealthiest voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations of $200 or more. The issue of Congress being FOR-SALE will NOT be solved or mitigated with a 30% Sales Tax. Only the voters can possibly make Congress more responsible and accountable, and the voters will most likely do that when enough of the voters are bankrupt , jobless , homeless , and hungry. We’re already well on our way to that now, with these dozens of deteriorating economic conditions that have never been worse ever, and/or since the Great Depression.
Common Man wrote: The way the Fair Tax iw written, It won’t take effect until there is a constitutional ammendment to repeal the income tax. That would stop them from keeping it.
That’s right. Do you really believe there is enough support to pass an amendment to replace the bad tax system we have now with a tax system that is worse? Not likely. Especially not today with support in Congress from only 86 (of 219) Republicans and only 5 (316) Democrats.
Common Man wrote: The number of transactions wouldn’t be a problem for any state that has a sales tax now.
Sure it would, because there is already sales tax evasion, and jacking up sales tax (combined with the states’ 5%-to-10% sales taxes) to 35%-to-40% will most certainly motivate merchants to keep part of that money, and/or omit the oppressive 35%-to-40% sales tax to make their sales more attractive than their competition’s.
Common Man wrote: … simply re-program the tax amount at the registers. The retail shops would be paid a small percentage for their increased labor of doing the transactions.
Why pay merchants to comply with sale tax laws, when employers are currently paid NOTHING to collect and send in taxes on wages, which also has more transparency and easier verification advantages, not to mention thousands of fewer transactions (e.g. millions of wage payment transactions versus billions of sales transactions per year)?
Common Man wrote: The price of goods and services now include embedded taxes that equal I think around 20 to 22 percent of the price.
This is the “smoke and mirrors” I’ve alluded to many times. The “embedded taxes” are mostly due to corporate taxes. In this 17% income tax system (One-Simple-Idea.com), corporate taxes would be eliminated too (or greatly reduced if at all possible), because those are embedded taxes that are simply passed along to consumers and are equivalent to hidden and regressive sales taxes. Therefore, there are better ways to eliminate hidden and embedded taxes without a regressive 30% sales tax, nor without a change to the Constitution (which could prove very difficult).
Common Man wrote: Since business to business transactions would not be taxed, the price for most items would remain relatively the same a they are now.
Again, there’s a better way, which does not require a regressive 30% sales tax, nor without a change to the Constitution (which could prove very difficult).
Common Man wrote: I don’t think black markets and fraud would be any worse and probably lower than now.
“Think”? “Lower”? Are you serious? With a whopping 35%-to-40% sales tax when states’ sales taxea are combined with a massive 30% National Sales Tax? Without the better transparency that currently exists between employers and employees who both have a vested interest in seeing that taxes are reported correctly (since both have several reasons for wanting their taxes reported correctly)? Especially with thousands of more sales-transactions per day than wage-transactions per year. Which is easier to track? Sales tax fraud is very difficult to control. The numbers of merchants is huge compared to the numbers of employers. Besides, what are the chances that the Constitution can be amended? Especially with support in Congress from only 86 (of 219) Republicans and only 5 (316) Democrats?
Common Man wrote: I really don’t care about the percentage of income someone pays in taxes. What somone else makes is none of my business.
Really? So, it’s OK if you (and others) pay 30% in total federal taxes (on say $60K per year), while Warren Buffet pays 17.7% on $46 Million (in year 2006)? So, you don’t mind paying a larger percentage of your income to federal taxes than the wealthy? Are you serious? Have you really thoroughly thought all of this through?
Common Man wrote: Most states already have systems set up to handle sales tax. It wouldn’t be very hard or expensive to include a federal sales tax to the mix.
Not true. It will first require a change to the U.S. Constitution. Second, the combination of states’ 5%-to-10% sales taxes and a whopping 30% National Sales tax will be a HUGE motivation for sales tax evasion. Any time such a large tax is concentrated in one place, it will most certainly increase tax evasion. That is not merely theory, but easily verified by empirical studies. A combined sales tax of 35%-to-40% is so oppressive that sales tax fraud will most likely be rampant, and difficult to police with thousands of more sales-transactions per day than the total number of wage-transactions per day, and the elimination of the vested interest and transparency employees and employers currently have in the reporting of income taxes.
Common Man wrote: The employer or employee wouldn’t need to report their income, so they wouldn’t need to have a vested interest as far as taxes go.
Again, that’s not a good thing, because it is increasing the number of transactions by many thousan-fold, and eliminating the vested interest and transparency employees and employers currently have in the reporting of income taxes. With a sales transaction, the buyer has no vested interest in ensuring that the seller turns the taxes over to the government. This is already a huge problem, and it would only get worse with an oppressive 35%-to-40% sales tax.
Common Man wrote: And as I stated above, fraud shouldn’t be too much of a problem with prices remaining similar to what they are now.
Not true. There are several huge gaping holes in that logic:
  • (1) First of all, all sales taxes are regressive.
  • (2) Second, the elimination of corporate taxes (embedded and hidden taxes) can be accomplished without a regressive sales tax.
  • (3) Third, sales tax fraud would almost certainly get much worse with an oppressive 35%-to-40% sales tax (with states’ sales taxes included).
  • (4) The statement that prices will remain the same is more nebulous smoke and mirrors that is difficult (if not impossible) to prove. It also omits another important fact. With a sales tax system, if employers are no longer withholding taxes from income, there is also no need to pay the employees as much as the used to. Therefore, wages would need to be reduced by that amount of federal taxes previously withheld from wages. That money has to come from somewhere, and employers are very unlikely to keep paying employees the same as before. The situation is like squeezing a balloon on one end; it simply bulges on the other end. And trying to squeeze the other end too only makes the middle bulge. And if you squeeze it too much, it may simply fail. Likewise with any tax system. The current tax system is a mess, and overly complex. Complexity is the favorite tool of cheaters, because it is wonderful for paving the way to abuses by reducing transparency. The current tax system is regresssive, despite many peoples’ delusions that it is progressive. Any way, an oppressive 30% Sales tax (combined with states’ 5%-to-10% sales taxes) is worse, since ALL sales taxes are regressive. The ONLY way a sales tax is NOT regressive is if everyone spends the same percentage of their income. That ain’t likely. The less wealthy obviously would spend a much larger percentage of their income to taxes, and the less wealthy would then bear the majority of the nation’s tax burden. We already have that situation now (which isn’t hard to prove and Warren Buffet corroborates that fact), and a huge, regressive 30% sales tax would simply make a bad situation worse.
  • (5) More: One-Simple-Idea.com/FairTaxFraud1.htm
Common Man wrote: Hefty penelties to merchants who are caught selling without charging tax should further help the fraud situation.
Not likely. Not with many thousands of more sales-transactions per day, compared to wage-transactions per day, and no vested interest from the buyer as to whether the seller turns over taxes to the government?
Common Man wrote: I’m sorry but I don’t have the time or energy now to examine all the information on the link.
OK. But until you have, bear in mind that you are not completely informed. And you have not yet provided the evidence that a 30% sales tax system won’t be regressive. That hurdle will be difficult (if not impossible) since ALL sales taxes are regressive (not only in theory, but in practice).
Common Man wrote: Another point with the Fair tax is that only new products would be taxed which means that used items (cars, appliances, clothes, etc wouldn’t be taxed at all. All items that the poor are most likely to buy.
We already have that to a large degree, because private sales between people is difficult (if not impossible in many cases) to police. Do you know how many times the real price of a used automobile reported on the bill-of-sale is actually only a fraction of the monies that actually changed hands? Do you know how many used items are sold daily without any reporting of that sale to the government. Think about the millions of garage sales per day. Do you really think those people are collecting and turning over sales taxes to the government?

Thus, your efforts to make a case for a 30% Sales (or 23.1% inclusive) Tax system, as many before and after you, are not very convincing. Not even close. I’ve yet to hear any credible argument or proof that a 30% Sales Tax system won’t be regressive and unfair. The arguments about “embedded” taxes are easily addressed by better methods. The arguments about sales-tax evation and black-markets are weak-to-lame. The claim that people will pay about the same percentage of income to taxes has not been proven, despite the nebulous smoke and mirrors about “embeded” taxes. And if the goal, which the FairTax.org’s web-site tries so hard to prove, is to prove that about the same percentage of income is paid to taxes, then why not tax income instead of sales?

Again, ask yourself: Who loves the idea of a 30% Sales Tax system? Look who supports it in Congress, and why?

This discussion may frustrate you and other FairTax.org supportors, but consider this: Is the problem only me (and others that oppose similar sales tax systems), or is the problem the numerous fallacies in the FairTax.org’s 30% Sales Tax system, which makes it so easy to poke holes in? Also, have you actually done the math yourself, or simply taken someone else’s word about the FairTax.org’s 30% Tax System? I’ve studied their web-site a LOT. They are very good at pulling the wool over peoples’ eyes, but they still fail to prove a few very simple and basic things. Though they try hard, they fail to prove that such a huge 30% sales tax will NOT be regressive. They fail to account for the reduction in wages after the elimination of federal taxes withheld from income. They try to squeeze the balloon from different locations, but they still fail to prove that the buldges in the balloon are better than before. If they FairTax.org’s 30% Tax System is really as good as some claim, then it should be much easier to prove. I’ve looked at the tax tables at FairTax.org’s web-site and found some devious statements. For example, the FairTax.org’s 30% Sales Tax has a puny prebate to help claim their deceptive tax system is progressive, but that’s a fraud.
A prebate essentially only untaxes the lower income levels (i.e. it only makes the left-most region of the tax curve progressive).
Voters need to ask to see the tax-curve across all income levels, because the high income levels is where the tax-curve becomes regressive.
Here’s how the FairTax.org’s 30% Sales Tax fraud works.
Consider the data from the FairTax.org’s own web-site …

_____________ FairTax (for example, for 1 single person) ______________
POPL = Percent_of_Poverty_Level ($10,400) for a single person.
Eff.Tax = Effective Tax = (100 * NetTax/Spending)

  • POPL _Spending _ FairTax__Prebate _ NetTax___Eff.Tax

  • 061% __ $6,415 __ $1,925 _ $2,392 _ ($ 467) _ -7.3%

  • 123% _ $12,830 __ $3,849 _ $2,392 _ $1,457 _ 11.4%

  • 246% _ $25,660 __ $7,698 _ $2,392 __ $5,306 _ 20.7%

  • 370% _ $38,490 _ $11,547 _ $2,392 __ $9,155 _ 23.8%

  • 493% _ $51,320 _ $15,396 _ $2,392 _ $13,004 _ 25.3%

  • 550% _ $76,980 _ $23,094 _ $2,392 _ $20,702 _ 26.9%

  • 987% _ $102,640_ $30,792 _ $2,392 _ $28,400 _ 27.7%

That looks progressive, eh?

That is, Effective_Tax_Percentage (Eff.Tax) is increasing as Percent_of_Poverty_Level (POPL) and spending increases. Right?
However, there’s the deception. It is missing something very important.
It is missing the tax relative-to-income (the IncomeTaxRate).
So let’s add the income and income tax percentage columns to the right …

Now, let’s include the Gross_Income and IncomeTaxRate columns (what the FairTax.org 30% Sales Tax proponents do NOT want you to see) …

  • POPL _Spending _ FairTax__Prebate _NetTax___Eff.Tax _ Income _IncomeTaxRate

  • 061% __ $6,415 __ $1,925 _ $2,392 _ ($ 467) _ -7.3% _ $8,000 ___ -5.8%

  • 123% _ $12,830 __ $3,849 _ $2,392 _ $1,457 _ 11.4% _ $15,000 ___ 9.7%

  • 246% _ $25,660 __ $7,698 _ $2,392 __ $5,306 _ 20.7% _ $27,000 __ 19.7%

  • 370% _ $38,490 _ $11,547 _ $2,392 __ $9,155 _ 23.8% _ $40,000 __ 22.9%

  • 493% _ $51,320 _ $15,396 _ $2,392 _ $13,004 _ 25.3% _ $53,000 __ 24.5%

  • 550% _ $76,980 _ $23,094 _ $2,392 _ $20,702 _ 26.9% _ $200,000 _ 10.6%

  • 987% _ $102,640_ $30,792 _ $2,392 _ $28,400 _ 27.7% _ $500,000 __ 5.7%

    • Where:

    • POPL = Percent_of_Poverty_Level ($10,400) for a single person.

    • FairTax = Spending x 30%

    • Prebate = $2392 for a single person

    • NetTax = FairTax - Prebate

    • Eff.Tax = NetTax / Spending

    • IncomeTaxRate = NetTax / Income

Notice the falling income tax percentages for the wealthy (see graph below too)?

Clever, eh?
That’s precisely what is wrong with the current tax system too. It’s regressive due to a myriad of tax loop-holes.
However, the FairTax.org 30% Sales Tax will take it to a new level of hammering the lower income groups (increasing their tax percentage as income decreases), while benefiting the wealthy (decreasing their tax percentage as their income increases).

However, if you don’t care if the tax system is regressive, then that’s another matter, and there’s nothing more to say. In my opinion, taxes should be neutral such that everyone pays an equal percentage of all types of income. Most Americans polled agree. Unfortunately, we don’t have that today. The current tax system is regressive. If you want a regressive tax system, we already have that, so why change it (excepte possibly to make it more regressive)?

Think about it. By the way, I also used to think the FairTax.org’s 30% Sales Tax System might be OK, but I was wrong. Primarily, because I had not done the math myself yet, and I previously failed to recognize a basic fact (among numerous other reasons) that ALL sales taxes are regressive and unfair (not only in theory, but in practice). I think most people, if they try not to be stubborn about it, and research it with an open mind, will come to the same conclusion that most Americans have with regard to sales taxes. For example, why are medical services not taxed? In many states, food isn’t taxed. Why? Because ALL sales taxes are regressive and hammer the less wealthy the most. Most politicians know this and they know most Americans know it too. Politicians push their luck all the time, but few are foolish enough to get behind the FairTax.org’s 30% Sales Tax. Even John McCain, when he started to run for the office of president, rescinded his support for the FairTax.org’s 30% Tax system. Why? It certainly wasn’t because it he thought it would be popular, was it? Huckabee pushed the FairTax.org’s 30% Sales Tax and it was probably a major contributing factor to his demise, because several news stations raises questions about the inherently regressive nature of sales taxes.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 11:41 AM
Comment #276255

henry

“Well, looking back over the last few thousand years I wonder if you realize that if private property and individual rights were respected that Man would still be running around nude and unfeed. For from A-Z you live off the ideas of others. In fact, the PC would not be possible without the combined work of several thousand citizens over thousands of years. So do you pay every person for their contribution or take advantage of their Personal Property and Individual Rights everyday?”

still running around nude, and unfed… huh? lets just use the pc as an example. are they free? did those that invented the pc not make a profit from it’s sale? if they profited from the sale was there then a motive behind it’s developement?
was it not invented to serve what the inventor believed was a need ? if there were no practical use for the pc would it still exist? so how do private property rights enter into this equation?

things are invented because there is a need, and a market for them. do you think the man who invented the adding machine invented it because he saw a solution to a problem, and realized there would be a market for it? people are willing to pay for goods and services, and because they are willing to, the rights of the property owners are being respected. i’ve paid for my computer, assume you have too. if you demanded a free computer, and found a politician willing to force computer manufacturers to give them away for free, then you might have a valid point.

Posted by: dbs at February 26, 2009 12:44 PM
Comment #276259

henry

you should have more faith in your fellow americans. americans are by far the most generous people in the world.

http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=736

just imagine how much more generous they could be if our greedy gov’t wasn’t sucking the life blood out of them.

Posted by: dbs at February 26, 2009 12:57 PM
Comment #276260
dbs wrote: Just imagine how much more generous they could be if our greedy gov’t wasn’t sucking the life blood out of them.
Exactly.

And voters will most likely figure it out when enough of the voters (themselves) are standing in soup lines, welfare lines, feeling the pain of decades of these 10 major abuses, massive bankruptcies , joblessness , homelessness , and hunger.

A good, common-sense first step in the right direction would be to stop repeatedly rewarding irresponsible , FOR-SALE , incompetent , and corrupt incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates (86.9% in the last election of 4-NOV-2008). Until then, why should Congress and the administration be responsible and accountable when they are repeatedly rewarded for the opposite?

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 1:22 PM
Comment #276264

If we’re treating aid to the poor as if its something that can be done sporadically, and still do some good, then we can talk about private charities being better. But there is no way that they can deal with the problem on the magnitude the government can.

We got to ask ourselves just why people object to making this contribution through the government. The answer seems to be that folks want the choice of whether or not they would give to the poor.

Why would this be important, unless the option not to give was so important to them? Does this amount to simply a stubborn resistance to being required to do a good, as opposed to being able to pride oneself on doing it all by your lonesome? Or does it amount to a stingy unwillingness, fueled by elitism or moral arrogance, which operates from the notion that nobody really should be charitable along those lines?

What difference does it make, if your serious intention is to give to the poor?

There can be a serious discussion about how to best make this a safety net, rather than a permanent economic orbit for these people. We’ve had that, and passed reform to that effect. But we got to ask ourselves why people are so hostile to the notion of a social duty to help others.

Common Man-
You miss part of my point: it’s not merely the tendency towards immediate use. It’s that the money first flows through the commercial markets before it ends up in the investment markets.

Theoretically, we could send all our money upstairs to the rich, and they could decide for us how we could spend our money and where. Something like this existed, in its worst form, in the coal mine’s company store model, where people essentially surrendered their financial lives to the Coal Company so that they could borrow to pay for their necessities.

Something like this happened with the credit markets, with wages stagnant, but prices always following an upwards trajectory.

If you don’t send real money through the lower, more populous part of the money, the economic circulations going to be artherosclerotic, almost literally speaking. The financial markets are going to have to work harder and fiercer to support a lesser degree of prosperity.

Part of getting this involves restrengthening the labor laws. Another part, though, is putting good money through spending projects that push the money downwards and out to the most people. That’s why you’ll hear few objections to a middle class tax cut by anybody but free-market elitists, who believe that investors should make most decisions in a market economy, and everybody else should just play along like good little children.

“But you’re not an Island, and some of the things you might do can interfere with the free course of somebody else’s life.” I can’t imagine anything I can legally do with my money that would interfere with the free course of anyone’s life. Please enlighten me.

You could apply for a mortgage you can’t afford and default on it. You could buy an audio system and then believe its your right to keep your neighbors up all night. You could buy a chimpanzee as a pet, who’s nice and docile right up to the point it rips somebody’s face off. You could loan money to a neighbor and then demand exorbinant interest. You could buy a gun to kill somebody with. You could buy a car whose gas mileage sucks up more fuel, raising the price for everybody else and putting more carbon in the atmosphere to trap heat.

I acknowledge that there’s a reasonable limit to how much interference you can expect to be free of with other people’s actions. If you’re not living naked in a hole in the ground somewhere like that guy out of Monty Python’s The Life of Brian, you’re going to have to put up with some folk’s guff. But you can’t expect, as a non-naked, modern person living in what’s likely a home or apartment within shouting distance of somebody else not to have society get together and put together some rules of the road.

We must learn to put up with moderate amounts of other people’s freedom and other people’s rules. Property itself comes from everybody’s agreement that under most conditions nobody’s got the right to take it from you. Taxes are an ancient and obligatory exception to it, necessary for government, which is necessary for your property rights to be guaranteed. Now there’s an argument in how much the government should be able to take, but its not an argument we’re going to have arbitrarily on just your terms. Be glad the taxes are moderate, and so is the government that employs them. You may not like some of the uses, but we are nowhere near the point where the burden of taxes constitutes a considerably heavier burden on Americans than their own earning power, or lack of it, and their judgment, or lack of same.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at February 26, 2009 2:19 PM
Comment #276266
Stephen Daugherty wrote: You could apply for a mortgage you can’t afford and default on it. You could buy an audio system and then believe its your right to keep your neighbors up all night. You could buy a chimpanzee as a pet, who’s nice and docile right up to the point it rips somebody’s face off. You could loan money to a neighbor and then demand exorbinant interest. You could buy a gun to kill somebody with. You could buy a car whose gas mileage sucks up more fuel, raising the price for everybody else and putting more carbon in the atmosphere to trap heat.
That’s an excellent answer.

Let me add to the list:

  • An employer employees illegal aliens.

  • The wealthiest 0.3% of all 200 Million voters make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more), which is largely why Congress is FOR-SALE.

  • Congress persons, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other ilk could despicably pit Americans citizens against illegal aliens for votes and profits, disguised as compassion (severely misplaced compassion at best).

  • A government could perpetrate legal plunder via eminent domain abuse (6 new cases per day).

  • The Congress could ignore (or violate) the Constitution, such as the violation of Article V of the U.S. Constitution, despite 730+ amendment applications from all 50 states (34+ applications for a BALANCED BUDGET amendment from 34+ different states: FOAVC.ORG/file.php/1/Amendments/).

  • The dishonest, usurious, inflationary Federal Reserve could create massive amounts of money out of thin air at a steep 9-to-1 ratio of debt-to-reserves, causing 52 consecutive years of inflation.

  • The government could oppress its citizens with an oppressive tax system, which taxes Warren Buffet 17.7% in total federal taxes on $46 Million in year 2006, while taxing his secretary 30% in total federal taxes on $60K.

  • The government could borrow , money-print , and spend irresponsibly, until the U.S. is the biggest debtor nation on the planet.

  • Banks could incessantly play-with-money to try to make money, leverage huge debt-to-reserves, package up toxic debt, rate it as AAA securities, and then peddle it to the rest of the world, contributing (if not causing) a financial crisis of nightmare proportions.

  • Greedy corporations and pharmaceuticals could kill an average of 195,000 people in the U.S. (per year) due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Since 1999, that is over 1.5 million people killed by preventable medical mistakes. That is more than all the American soldiers killed in 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!

  • Government could start unnecessary wars, while Congress gives itself its 10th raise in 12 years, plus another $93,000 for petty cash and expenses, and other cu$hy perk$ and benefits, while U.S. troops risk life and limb, go without body armor, adequate medical care, promised benefits, and have to endure 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.

  • Congress and the administration could continue to import 1.5 Million foreign H-1B visa workers per year (and/or increase the limits as Bill Gates requested of Congress), while 11-to-25 Million Americans are unemployed.

  • Bill Frist’s HCA hospitals could bilk Medicare for almost a Billion dollars, and had to agree to pay back about $631 Million (source: www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Bill_Frist#HCA-Medicare_investigation).

  • A dozen banks receiving hundreds of billions in rescue funds from the tax payers and the Federal Reserve, could request visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers over the past 6 years for positions that included senior vice presidents, corporate lawyers, junior investment analysts and human resources specialists.

  • Congress and the administration could continue to sell-out American workers with subsidies and tax-breaks to reward corporations for moving jobs off-shore.

  • Congress could vote for $107,000 to study the sex life of the Japanese quail instead of Vote for body armor for troops without body armor.

  • Congress could vote for $1.2 million to study the breeding habits of the woodchuck instead of vote for more funding for disabled veterans.

  • Congress could vote for $150,000 to study the Hatfield-McCoy feud instead of vote for more armor for Humvees and military vehicles .

  • Congress could vote for $84,000 to find out why people fall in love instead of vote to secure the nation’s near wide-open borders.

  • Congress could vote for $1 million to study why people don’t ride bikes to work instead of vote to fix the levees in New Orleans.

  • Congress could vote for $19 million to examine gas emissions from cow flatulence instead of shore up the plundered Social Security and Medicare system.

  • Congress could vote for $144,000 to see if pigeons follow human economic laws instead of vote for funding for flu vaccines.

  • Congress could vote for funds to study the cause of rudeness on tennis courts and examine smiling patterns in bowling alleys instead of improve public education .

  • Congress could vote for $219,000 to teach college students how to watch television instead of vote to use that money for scholarships.

  • Congress could vote for $2 million to construct an ancient Hawaiian canoe instead of secure the nation’s coastal ports.

  • Congress could vote for $20 million for a demonstration project to build wooden bridges instead of repair our crumbling infrastructure (bridges, roads, railways, tunnels, etc.).

  • Congress could vote for $160,000 to study if you can hex an opponent by drawing an X on his chest instead of reduce election/voting fraud.

  • Congress could vote for $800,000 for a restroom on Mt. McKinley instead of vote for better medical care for injured soldiers and veterans.

  • Congress could vote for $100,000 to study how to avoid falling spacecraft instead of vote for funding better defense systems.

  • Congress could vote for $16,000 to study the operation of the komungo, a Korean stringed instrument instead of vote for funding to fight diabetes, aids, and other diseases.

  • Congress could vote for $1 million to preserve a sewer in Trenton, NJ, as a historic monument instead of improve existing water treatment and sewer system.

  • Congress could vote for $6,000 for a document on Worcestershire sauce instead of vote for better intelligence that would prevent us from going to war for the wrong reasons.

  • Congress could vote for $10,000 to study the effect of naval communications on a bull’s potency instead of vote for communications and aerial surveillance of our borders and coastlines.

  • Congress could vote for $100,000 to research soybean-based ink instead of vote for funding to increase produce production.

  • Congress could vote for $1 million for a Seafood Consumer Center instead of vote for reform for our ridiculous tax system.

  • Congress could vote for $75,000 for Onondaga County for the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.

  • Congress could vote for $250,000 added by the House for the North Creek Ski Bowl in the district of House appropriator John Sweeney (R-NY);
  • Congress could vote for $250,000 added by the Senate for the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville, Tenn. to support community programs.

  • Congress could vote for $775,000 for the Biltmore Hotel in the district of Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).

  • Congress could vote for $300,000 for Baltimore for the relocation of the Center Garage.

  • Congress could vote for $150,000 added in conference for the Coca-Cola Space Science Center in Columbus, Ga.

  • Congress could vote for $100,000 for the Tiger Woods Foundation.

  • More: One-Simple-Idea.com/Links1.htm
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

Posted by: d.a.n at February 26, 2009 3:12 PM
Comment #276272

kctim said: “I get it, you do not believe in natural rights as our founders did and you think govt can give or take those rights without recourse.”

No, you do not get it, at all. I stated was empirically observable in our history and government. YOU interpreted that as meaning I believe that is the way it should be. Your mistake.

I believe Rights have to be enumerated IN ORDER TO BE PROTECTED under law. That is an a priori logical statement of fact.

I can declare a natural right to privacy regarding what I do and don’t put into my own body. I can declare it. But, that declaration does not mean didly when the Government prohibits drugs like opium or pot. And the Government does this with the consent of the American people. Remember that our government prohibited alcohol too, and the PEOPLE forced the government to repeal Prohibition. Natural rights can be declared by anyone for ANYTHING. Our prisons contain many individuals who acted on their NATURAL RIGHT to revenge for perceived offenses toward them. But, I assure you, the vast majority of these, despite claiming that natural right, deserved to be imprisoned for acting on it. Even you would agree with that UNLESS you subscribe to the principles of Anarchy.

kctim said: “But I also get that the reason for the 9th was because the federalists feared later interpreters might assert that the people had surrendered any rights omitted from the enumeration.”

Yes, I agree. That was the reason. But, the writing of the Ninth Amend. is impotent, given the powers those SAME founding fathers granted to the Legislature, the Courts, and the Executive Branch. What? You think our Constitution was flawless? It isn’t. Not by a long shot. It just happens to be the best of all the flawed Constitutions in the world, or so most Americans assert, myself included.

kctim said: “You can assert your opinion that our only rights are those specifically laid out and that is how the founders wanted it to be,”

And you can keep misunderstanding and misinterpreting what I write in the clearest of language, if you wish, but I assure you, it does not lead you to any better understanding. I did not assert my opinion. I asserted a demonstrable FACT in the history of our nation and government. Natural rights have no standing without leave of the government. It was a Natural Right for Plantation Owners to treat their African American property any which way they chose. That natural right was fortunately for America’s collective humanity, DENIED by our government. And many of the Founding Fathers opposed to slavery clearly intended that the Government should have that power to deny what some individuals and groups would assert as their natural rights.

kctim, the ANARCHIST admitted to his Anarchy when he said “The form of govt you desire requires govt control over the people and in my opinion, that is nowhere near what the founders intended.”

A government which has no control over its people renders that population ruled by anarchy and chaos. What your words above describe is a lawless nation, for any government capable of passing laws, is capable of denying individuals of perceived, so called, Natural Rights, which are nothing but undefined rights for practical intents and purposes.

By your own words above, you don’t want a government capable of governing the actions of the people. Sorry, kctim, but your illogical comment is incredible. You don’t believe the founding fathers intended the government to have any power over the people? That is absurd. Why then did the founding fathers even write a Constitution granting the power to government to write laws and enforce them with militias and police powers? Your argument is absurd.

Posted by: David R. Remer at February 26, 2009 4:01 PM
Comment #276280

Stephen
Can you explain why the idea of giving them something for nothing helps them more than them helping themselves does?

“The answer seems to be that folks want the choice of whether or not they would give to the poor.”

Or maybe folks don’t want that choice because they then may have to actually support what they say?

“Why would this be important, unless the option not to give was so important to them?”

Its not about the charity, its about being forced.

“What difference does it make, if your serious intention is to give to the poor?”

The difference is that your way is not the only way and your beliefs are not mine.
Why are you so stingy and unwilling to save and give every spare cent you can to the poor?
Is it your stingy unwillingness, fueled by your own elitism and moral arrogance which leads you to believe it is right for you to force me to support what you believe so that you don’t have to? Because you think it is whats best?

“But we got to ask ourselves why people are so hostile to the notion of a social duty to help others”

If it is such a “social duty” to help others, then why do so many liberals refuse to help to the best of their ability? Why must I be forced to give a few thousand to something that I believe is counter-productive so that the likes of Oprah and moore and that moveon nut can keep all their millions to themselves? Why am I forced to eat dry generic bread so that that fat bastard moore can continue to dine like a king? Why do I have to pass on a morning coffee so that that beenie wearing fruitcake at Starbucks can complain about people not having money for coffee while he sips his $6 latte?

We’re not “hostile to the notion of a social duty,” Stephen. In fact, we are more charitable than others.
What we are “hostile to,” is being forced to perform that social duty according to your beliefs.

Posted by: kctim at February 26, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #276305

dbx,
You said that you paid for your computer; however, did you send a check to the person who invented processing gold? How about the person who figured out how to make the different electrical equipment use on the curcit boards? Yes, you may have paid the retail store for the product; nevertheless, you have not paid the Individuals for their proerty rights throughout the ages.

See society has put restrictions on inventions and the money that can be collected by the Individual for their proerty rights. 17 years in most cases, but even if you build the best mouse trap every designed all I have to do is to change a simgle part to get around the invention.

So when you say you are for the rights of individuals and private property you may want to consider the fact that if it was not for our ancestors and forefathers learning to work for the Common Good of the Human Race that the things we take for granted today would not exist. Because try to find the seeds of corn planted by our ancestors or who invented the first articles of clothing used by Man. Than ask yourself if you could make a shirt out of thin air? Property Rights or the use of Other People Knowledge and Wisdom to make the life of your Children Better.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 26, 2009 8:10 PM
Comment #276307

henry

are you kidding? i didn’t send any money to the guy that invented the glue that bonds the toilet paper i use. i just pay for it at the store, but do you really think he didn’t make anything off that invention. your argument makes no sense. should we be sending royalties to the descendands of the guy who invented the wheel? or do you suppose he was compensated for it during his lifetime?

Posted by: dbs at February 26, 2009 8:30 PM
Comment #276312

dbs states:the other option is to open up YOUR wallet and put your money where your mouth is.

I find it funny that you are telling me to put my money where my mouth is, when I’m the one who pays my taxes without whining about it.

I pay my taxes because I like living in a society that does not allow women, children and the elderly to live in the streets.

I believe in charity and give what I can, but I also know that many people would not give, or only give to certain charites. I have worked for various charities and it can be a lonely place when times are tough.

Also, just out of curiosity, have you ever attended public school or checked out a book from a public library?

Posted by: Tom at February 26, 2009 10:34 PM
Comment #276313

dbx,
If you are for Property and Individual Rights why would you not be willing to pay others for their porperty?

Or are you saying that you want your personal property and individual rights protected provided that you do not have to respect others?

A very fine line, but one of Logic and Reason if one is willing to take it to the political extreme. Hence, why it would be nice if we could select the private charities and interests to support for the Common Good of the Human Race I do believe that “We the People” must limit that debate to what works in the Inherent Best Interest of Society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 26, 2009 11:50 PM
Comment #276325

henry

your argument makes no sense whatsoever. where am i not respecting the property rights of others? i think you have gotten yourself stuck on intellectual property rights. we have patent laws that cover that sort of thing, so i won’t argue it anymore. what i was refering to was real property rights. would it be ok for the gov’t to take your computer, or anything else you own and give it to someone else? would it be ok for the gov’t to rezone a piece of property you own making it absolutely worthless without compensating you for it? where have i advocated stealing anything from anyone? JEEEEZ!

Posted by: dbs at February 27, 2009 10:16 AM
Comment #276328

dbx,
You hide behind the patent laws of man to protect you rights, but cannot see where you are using the Athuroty of Man to support your political opinion. And why I will not speak for all the inventors of the Human Race and Their Decedants, I do believe if you asked them if would not care to be paid for their propety. I hope you realize that by the same Power that gives Governments and Societies the right to take their property can be used to take your land without compensation.

So why you may not openly advocate stealing anything, failure to stop and respect the Common Good of Man automatically gives me the political right to question your motives. For but by the Grace of Others we do not run around nude and unfed.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 27, 2009 10:55 AM
Comment #276357

henry

“I hope you realize that by the same Power that gives Governments and Societies the right to take their property can be used to take your land without compensation.”

no they don’t……

THE FIFTH AMENDMENT
“No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”

notice the last sentence. i’m sure you’de prefer to ignore it.

“nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”


Posted by: dbs at February 27, 2009 4:28 PM
Comment #276390

dbx,
Nice try; however, The Authority of Man can for whatever reason they so decide come take everything you own and their is nothing you or a Lawyer can do about it. Just ask the IRS, your local Chief of Police, or a Judge. For when you speak of rights you automatically step into the Debate of Domain. And why I am not the one to give the lesson in that Debate, ask those citizens who grew up in the Late 60’s and Early 70’s if you really want to take on the Argument held by Grandma and Grandpa.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 28, 2009 3:24 AM
Comment #276399

henry

“The Authority of Man can for whatever reason they so decide come take everything you own and their is nothing you or a Lawyer can do about it.”

that is the prime reason for the second amendment, and exactly why we should never allow the gov’t to register privately held firearms, and why the left is so passionate about gun control. i would hope it would never come to that, but it should always be an option. it’s funny though that you don’t seem to care about the US const, but then it doesn’t lend itself well to marxism.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of
patriots and tyrants.
Thomas Jefferson


you’re right though the gov’t can ignore the const. they’ve been doing it for quite some time. BTW it’s DBS not DBX. i assumed it was a typo, but you keep doing it so i thought i’de point it out.

Posted by: dbs at February 28, 2009 8:19 AM
Comment #276403

The PASSION about gun control is mostly on the right.

Posted by: Marysdude at February 28, 2009 10:17 AM
Comment #276407
dbs wrote: you’re right though the gov’t can ignore the const. they’ve been doing it for quite some time.
That’s true, not to mention perpetuating these other 10 abuses, which have been cheating most Americans for decades, while also growing the severely bloated federal government from nightmarish to hellish proportions. Yet, Congress just gave itself its 10th raise in 12 years, plus another $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses. But, why shouldn’t Congress reward itself for their massive incompetence, malfeasance, and corruption, when the majority of voters appear to like it, and continue to reward THEIR incumbent politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates (at least until that eventually becomes too painful)?
  • Posted by: d.a.n at February 28, 2009 11:08 AM
    Comment #276421

    DBX,
    Sorry! However, I do agree that it is the Duty and Responsibilty of Every American to learn why those lines exist. And why I have grown up learning to try and be a Civilized Gentleman, I assure you that I would be the first to stand up if the Left and/or Right attempted to take away the Rights of “We the People.”

    However, seeing the Wisdom of the Founding Fathers of America to seek a Political Solution I do believe that if the Folks on the Left would really want to stop the needless violence associated with guns in America than they would learn why it is not “Guns that Kill, but the Bullet(s) released out of Ignorance and/or Rage that does the damage forcing citizens and civil leaders to act.

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 28, 2009 2:11 PM
    Comment #276422

    Did it again, Lets see it is DBS correct?

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at February 28, 2009 2:13 PM
    Comment #276529

    Henry said: “However, seeing the Wisdom of the Founding Fathers of America to seek a Political Solution I do believe that if the Folks on the Left would really want to stop the needless violence associated with guns in America than they would learn why it is not “Guns that Kill, but the Bullet(s) released out of Ignorance and/or Rage that does the damage forcing citizens and civil leaders to act.”

    Very well put, Henry. Agree 100%. On my rural 5 acres I cannot rely upon the police to protect my family if accosted by malice. They would arrive too after the malice had manifested itself. I have both a Constitutional protected and common-sense right to protect myself and family on our own property from malicious intrusions using firearms, farm implements, or another potential weapon whose use would not endanger society through its use as defense.

    My rationale does not so neatly fit, however, were I to live in an urban environment where innocent bystanders are potentially at risk by anyone’s use of firearms. Fits even less well with the advent of concealed carry of firearms away from one’s residence.

    Still, there is no escaping the fact that guns only extremely rarely harm innocents without a human finger doing the firing. Which renders nothing more than a tool, and as with all tools, renders the user responsible for its use for defensible or indefensible purposes.

    The problem is not responsible gun ownership, but, possession of guns by irresponsible persons. I think the laws currently invoked, strike about as just a balance on this issue as can be obtained.

    Where Americans, not the government, needs to pour its energy on irresponsible use of firearms is in appropriate parenting skills, its promotion, and voluntary assistance in developing those skills for potential parents.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at March 2, 2009 12:56 AM
    Comment #276548

    david

    “Fits even less well with the advent of concealed carry of firearms away from one’s residence.”

    to the best of my knowlege missuse, and abuse of concealed carry permits is extremely rare. IMO the benefit to society as a whole far outweighs any negative. it is the criminal who carries a concealed firearm that you should be concerned with, not the person who takes the time to go through the training submit to the background check, and carry that weapom in a lawful manner. the OK corral scenario preached by those that oppose concealed carry has so far proved to be nonsense. i would suggest reading one of john lotts first two books. the first “more guns less crime” being far more analytical. you would probably find that one far more interesting, because of your ability to micro-analyze large amounts of information.

    Posted by: dbs at March 2, 2009 10:46 AM
    Comment #276956
    Lee Emmerich Jamison wrote: Why Stimulus Won’t Work

    Former GAO/U.S. Comptroller General, David Walker, said today (5-MAR-2009) that more deficit spending was a bad idea when there are already tens of trillions of existing federal debt (e.g. $10.9 Trillion National Debt) and several tens of trillions of unfunded liabilities (i.e. $12.8 Trillion borrowed from Social Security, leaving it pay-as-you-go, with a 77 Million baby-boomer bubble approaching, and Medicare liabilities that may eventually dwarf Social Security short-falls, etc., etc., etc.).

    And that doesn’t even address the $67 Trillion of nation-wide debt ($220,000 per capita), or the looming $62 Trillion Credit Default Swap/Derivatives bubble.

    If anyone would know, David Walker would.

    Yet, Congress seems to think it’s Christmas, and time for rampant pork-barrel.

    Pork-barrel is (at the very least) any spending for anything that should have a lower priority (and delayed or eliminated), because it wastes resources and money that needs to be used to help solve problems of higher priorities.

    Much of that can be done with a little (1)common-sense, (2)integrity, and (3)honesty.
    Unfortunately, those are 3 things that are nearly (if not completely) missing in Congress.
    Congress can no longer police its own ranks.
    Congress apparently doesn’t have any system of prioritization of spending, because it is mostly (if not completely) incompetent, fiscally bankrupt, and morally bankrupt.
    After all, this Congress just gave itself its 10th raise in 12 years, and $93,000 per Congress person for petty cash and expenses, while U.S. troops risk life and limb, go without armor, get electricuted in their barracks, go without adequate medical care, go without promised benefits, and have to do 2, 3, 4+ tours in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
    “Traitorous” is also far too kind to describe the behavior of most (if not all) incumbent politicians in Congress.

    At any rate, the voters have the government that the voters elect (and re-elect, and re-elect, and re-elect , … , at least until that finally becomes too painful).

    Posted by: d.a.n at March 6, 2009 10:53 AM
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