Tea Anyone?

Taxpayers wondering how many lumps they can take have set themselves up to use the Federal tax deadline as a rallying point for what are being dubbed Tax Day Tea Parties.

The reference, of course, is to Samuel Adams's Boston Tea Party in which numerous colonists dressed as American Indians boarded a British ship in Boston Harbor and dumped much of its cargo of tea into the water rather than pay taxes on the product to a government over which Americans had little or no influence. Many hard-working modern Americans feel the same way today- disenfranchised by a government that won't represent us even when dominated by a supposedly "conservative" party. Much less in times when the dominant party is, as it is today, openly socialist.

Today those hard working people will take a moment to do something a little out of character. Rather than working within the system to make the system better in the face of the obvious futility of fighting a government that is principally intent on representing and empowering government, those people will organize for the purpose of being heard overtly, perhaps tossing a few tea bags in civic ponds the process.

Maybe this will be just the beginning of a period of conservative activism, the "Silent Majority's" coming out party.

How would you like your tea? One lump or two?

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at April 15, 2009 3:48 PM
Comments
Comment #280248

Yep,

They’re using a historical analogy of a protest against “Taxation without Representation” to protest against a tax structure passed with representation that includes lower taxes than during the Reagan era and lower taxes than any other developed nation.

Viva la not-having-a-clue!

And thanks for clarifying that you don’t actually know what socialism is, no less being “openly socialist”.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 15, 2009 4:06 PM
Comment #280250

Lawn Boy,

When those who pretend to represent you to get their jobs building a bigger government ignore you, you are not being represented.

The “lower taxes” lie is just that. It is a lie. Federal taxes considered alone are less than total government taxation of other nations, sure. But no company in the United States does not also exist in a state that taxes it. The combination of federal, state, and local taxes raises the tax burden of many companies, especially those in high tax states, well past the prevailing levels in the West.

To prove that what Democrats are after is not socialism you would have to resort to fine points and dictionary definitions. The effect is the government pooling OUR assets to provide what the government sees as OUR needs.

Define away. It’s a distinction without a difference.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 15, 2009 4:15 PM
Comment #280251

No, Lee. I don’t have to prove that Democrats aren’t Socialist. You have to prove they are. Welcome to the world of logic and responsibility.

Words mean things, and when you just conflate the meanings of words to invent insults, you show the shallowness of your own seriousness.

It’s quite sad.

Of course, if you actually cared to know what you were talking about, you could read about the distinctions between Socialism and what Obama and the Democrats actually support, but that’s so much less fun than just red-baiting, isn’t it?

Also, there’s a difference between the colonists not feeling represented because they literally had no representatives and the teabaggers feeling unrepresented because their party lost. The difference is that one side had a point, and the other is just whining.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 15, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #280253

Republican teabaggers. Whoo boy, the press is having fun with this, since it is a cabal of right wing groups and Fox promoting this.

Larry Craig, anyone?

Posted by: gergle at April 15, 2009 5:43 PM
Comment #280256

Many Republicans I observe view the government as an entity apart from the people, and an adversarial one at that. Which leads to a dislike of taxes on general principle. Many of these folks can be found at the Tea Parties occurring today in a public display designed by Libertarians and co-opted by Republicans to use their distaste for Bush’s taxes as a warped and twisted logic sort of tool to protest Obama’s presidency.

Libertarians don’t object to taxation. They object to taxation for what they regard as unconstitutional or illegitimate purposes. Many Republicans on the other hand, simply don’t like taxes, period, and resent paying them, don’t pay them, and some even threaten secession from the union over this issue of taxes (Alaskan Secessionist Movement made up of many Republican voters.).

Tempest in a teapot, however. The majority of Americans support taxation to support their government’s many great services and defenses of the public’s interests. Just as most Americans in a poll released just this last week support universal health insurance EVEN IF IT MEANS AN INCREASE IN THEIR TAXES.

Tempest in a teapot. That’s all that is happening on this day of protest by a very small minority of the American citizenry.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 15, 2009 6:41 PM
Comment #280260

Look, mister, the constitution provides you with every possible tool to ensure that those who represent you know your wishes. You had representation. But because you weren’t very clear that extra spending, especially into deficits was out of the question, They simply represented the message you did send to them: that because the liberals are so bad (a point they never ceased to drive home to you, for some odd reason), that you would do everything to keep them elected, no matter what they did.

So, you were represented. You might resent the fact now that they represented you this way, but for heaven sakes man, you asked for it.

Where were the tea party participants today when it was 2004? I think it would be a safe bet that they were supporting George Bush, despite his deficit spending. They supported him probably for the same reason they attack Obama now: because they’ve been told to fear power whenever it’s in liberal hands, and defer to it when it’s in conservative hands.

That’s your representation. For years, you people knew your party was running massive deficits. You knew the same thing under Reagan. You could say you liked their tax cuts and everything, yet Obama cuts taxes for 95% of America now and folks are out their protesting their newfound burden.

I mean, seriously folks: Biggest tax cut for the middle class in a long time, and these people are blowing a gasket.

How can we discern clear stands of principle from muddled stands of partisanship? It’s pretty simple, and I’ve been establishing the fundamentals of the argument all along:

These people hardly protested as Bush spent and cut taxes. Obama does the same, and they protest. What’s the difference? Which party benefits.

These people hardly complain as Bush grows the government and more than doubles defense spending. Obama grows that spending by a few percent and extends government his own way. They bash Obama. What’s the difference? Which party benefits.

This is basically just amateur political theatre, which doesn’t even begin to be worthy of a comparison to the historic, covert act of civil disobedience to a tax law they never had a chance to shape for themselves, in part or whole. The American Revolution was about something more than taxes, or even just autonomy. It was about having control over your own governance, government accountable to you. Read the Declaration of Independence.

Taxes are mentioned once.

Does Jefferson decry the highness of them, or that the rich are taxed more than poor, or that government is too big?

No. Merely that the taxes were levied without consent. Otherwise, what we have are a catalogue of abuses of the rule of law.

Taxes were a minor dispute in comparison to the problems created by the escalating interference and occupation by British forces and the Crown’s interests.

There’s something I honestly can’t understand about the way the party of Lincoln has so whole-heartedly accepted the premises and the ideology of the South, and of the old Democratic Party. It seems like every legacy we struggled to shed, the Republicans picked up on as a means of furthering its fortunes.

Would Lincoln, long ago have imagined his party members protesting against the progressive income tax, which he was the first president to institute? Would he have imagined that the wife of a Secessionist would have even a chance of being Vice President of his party? And why is his party now the party of States Rights?

The Republicans have destroyed themselves to save themselves, sacrificed their commitment to the Federal Union to get the votes of those whose antipathy to it has been catered to by far too many for far too long.

This tea party just highlights what a sick joke Republican politics has become.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 15, 2009 8:49 PM
Comment #280261

I would give these “tax protesters” points had they been doing the tax day protesting when the repubs that promised lower taxes and smaller government were borrowing and spending while increasing the size of government. But they were not out on tax day then and they just seem pathetic now. Had these ” tax protesters” been protesting the deficit/debt that doubled during the past 8 years they would have made the stabilization of the financial sector a little less harsh than it will be now. Had these very same protesters been on the job when Reagan bailed out the S&L’s they would have a point today. They didn’t and they don’t today. The simple fact is the conservative lead government has bailed out the financial sector and big investors as much or more than the big government liberals in the past 3 decades. Where were these “tax protestors” then? When Reagan adopted the failed trickle on economics and allowed the rabid speculation, as Coolidge did, that caused the great depression where were these “tax protesters”?
Well they were doing the same they are today, following the repubs/conservative leaders without a clue. They have worked themselves into a frenzy without a solution to the problem. I am sure they feel it would be better to let the financial sector go down in flames and let the housing market collapse while putting the jobless in the streets, in fact when you are on the sidelines because your ideology is the catalyst for the mess we are in it is easy to say let the market take care of it, but shouldn’t they have learned from Hoover and Mellon that it doesn’t work to just sit back and watch the country go into a depression? Pathetic lap dogs of Murdock and Armey is all I see “protesting”, to foolish to realize these are not spontaneous events caused by concerned citizens but well orchestrated mini commercials for the extreme right and their fascist leaders.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 15, 2009 9:03 PM
Comment #280262

Stephen

Surely you support the right to protest.

This protest was a little different from most in that most of the people involved had jobs and responsibilities. They were not the type to usually spend their time on the streets. That is probably why they had to hold it during lunch breaks.

The moral hazard with taxes is that many people don’t pay them at all. Around 50% of the population pays almost no Federal tax and the lowest 25% of the population actually gets more money in direct payments than they pay in taxes.

Taxes should be for the general welfare. When a significant number of people are not pulling their own weight and many are in fact riding free, we have a danger to liberty. If my friends and I can vote to take away your money rather than earn it ourselves, we empower the worst sort.

I think that everybody should pay some tax, as a matter of morality. We are losing that if we start giving “refunds” to people who didn’t pay taxes and call them tax cuts.

Posted by: Christine at April 15, 2009 9:14 PM
Comment #280263

Stephen,

Thank you. That was very well said.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 15, 2009 9:25 PM
Comment #280266

Christine,
I agree taxes should be used for the general welfare, and for the most part they are. Although just because people do not pay Federal taxes, don’t assume they do not pay any taxes. There is still local, state, and sales taxes in many places. Those usually don’t care if you are poor or not. Then if you want to talk about social security, and medicare, people do pay into those. Medicaid on the other hand is used for the poor and typically not paid by for the poor, but don’t forget about all those success stories of poor people becoming “rich”, or all those middle class people that pay for the service incase they fall on hard times.

Then if you want to talk about national defence and taxation, and here is the reason why the “rich” should pay more. They have more to lose. They have buisnesses that need protecting, employees that need protecting ( may or maynot be american employees) Where as a poor person loses what? Just a life, which courts have already determined that a poor person is not worth as much as a person who makes lots of money. I personally thing of a miltary a insurance policy when we are not at war.

Not saying the systems doesn’t get abused, every system gets abused, but do the benefits outway the costs? That is what liberals and conservatives have to ask them selves with everything.

Posted by: kudos at April 15, 2009 10:41 PM
Comment #280267

Kudos

The rich should pay more and they DO pay more. I worry that many people don’t really pay anything for the general upkeep.

Many of us go through the poor to rich (and back again) evolution you talk about. My family has been in each of the five income quintiles at some point in our lives and we have benefitted from the generosity of the system (although nobody in our family has ever taken welfare). We paid more in taxes this year than we earned ten years ago.

But the good person strives to be a producer most of her life and counts it as a failing when she cannot pull her own weight. What bothers me about some of the latest loose talk is that a lot of people no longer feel the pull of the obligation. They complain that “the rich” are not paying enough, while grabbing “refund” money they never earned with both hands. Greed is not limited to those with lots of money.

People contribute to society in many ways. Some pay with money. Others serve in the military. Still others volunteer etc. But there are some people who do none of these things and others that do many.

We are not all equally good citizens, BTW. I find that those who are habitually poor not only contribute little in taxes, but they also volunteer less and even are less likey to give blood or serve in the military.

The uncomfortable truth in America is that if you work reasonably hard, don’t abuse drugs or booze and are not extremely unlucky, you may not get rich but you probably will not stay poor for very long.

It is a shame for anybody not to do her duty to her country and community. That duty includes pulling your own weight and producing enough surplus to help others. It is a greater shame when the deadbeats feel free to complain and good people have to listen.

Posted by: Christine at April 15, 2009 11:23 PM
Comment #280268

Lee
You guys are being played for fools yet again. Don’t you ever get tired of it? I know there is a sexual abberration where in people like to be humiliated, but this is public policy.Sorry,but WWF wrestling is not real either.
This is not a “grass roots” movement at all, but a carefully crafted ploy by lobby firms trying to prevent or weaken health care reform and other needed changes like increased banking regulation and transparency. These efforts are being directed by Dick Armey who now is a full time corporate lobbiest for the very people that have screwed the country for the last eight years. ”>“>http://thinkprogress.org/2009/04/09/lobbyists-planning-teaparties/”>
The fools being duped do not even realize they have just recieved a TAX CUT.

This is also a mis-use of historical connotations around the Boston Tea Party. The most positive historical viewpoint in that regard is to interpret the Tea Party as a protest against taxation without representation. That simply does not apply in the US. Remember congress? In a more accurate albeit more complicated view the Tea Party was in support of tea smugglers. The British, in order to put smugglers out of business, were about to offer tea at a cut rate. As smugglers went out of business they then would start collecting the tea tax. A modern comparable situation would be if the government started providing cheap heroin or cocaine etc. until the cartels went broke.This has little to do with people whining about paying for needed services and programs, even after getting a tax cut. Fortunately the real “silent majority” of Americans is too smart to fall for that nonsense.

Posted by: bills at April 16, 2009 12:00 AM
Comment #280271

Here are the reasons why Democrats are socialists:

Definition of Socialism - Socialists mainly share the belief that capitalism unfairly concentrates power and wealth among a small segment of society that controls capital, creates an unequal society, and does not provide equal opportunities for everyone in society. Therefore socialists advocate the creation of a society in which wealth and power are distributed more evenly based on the amount of work expended in production, although there is considerable disagreement among socialists over how, and to what extent this could be achieved.

Let’s look at the Democratic agenda and talking points:

1. Universal Health Care - suposedly 50 million americans can’t afford the health insurance hense rest must contribute to the universal plan so EVERYONE can be insured.

2. Afermative Action - suposedly minorities are not getting their fair chance at advancement through colleges and job market hense the government should even the field.

3. Income redistibution - Obamas exact words “I am going to spread the wealth around”.

4. Ownership of the private companies - AIG is currently owned by the US government, CITIGroup is curently owned by the US government, GM and Chrysler are US Govrenment subsidized manufacturers, Fanie Mae and Fredie Mac and more to come.

5. Deviding the society into classes. Pitting the poor aganst the wealthy etc.

6. Social Security Insurance.

7. Organized Labor

8. Economic policies disigned to increase government’s share of the GDP. New Obama budget will give government close to quarter of the US Gross GDP share.

Do I need to go on or is this enough?

Republicans under the President Bush were socialist as well.

Posted by: Crusader at April 16, 2009 2:32 AM
Comment #280272

Why I personally think that the Tea Party was overran by the Right Wing Movement as a way to keep the support of the Republican Party after the No-Nothing Party was shot down and rejected as pure foolishness. I do believe that most of the people attending these events are serious about the wasteful spending that Washington has be doing for the last 30 years.

And why I can’t say that the Private Sector of Society did any better when given a massive taxbreak, the fact still remains how is America going to become Energy Independent unless someone is willing to foot the bill?

So having heard some Conservatives speak up and say that the Republlican Leadership should get on the other side of that argument, I have to question My Peers Common Sense to turn a Blind Eye to what is going on in America today.

For IMHO, Americans do not need to have a Tea Party, but a serious 3rd Generational Talk as Individuals, a Nation, and a Society over what will be The Future of the Next Generation.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 16, 2009 3:31 AM
Comment #280274

Crusader, Democrats also support and champion capitalism, which acts responsibly with regard to its shareholders, the environment, their consumers, and their contractual partners. This ONE simple fact precludes any, and all, arguments that they are pure socialists; by your OWN definition of Socialists.

Ours has always been a mixed economy, socialist policies combined with capitalism, with historical circumstances dictating more or less of each as deemed necessary.

From the very Beginning, the Founders posited socialist policy via the Declaration of Independence affixing to the government the responsibility to promote the general welfare of the nation to the exclusion of opposition by individuals in that nation.

And in the Constitution: Regulation of trade by way of treaty and tariffs are posited in the federal government, and barred from States and individuals: Article 1, Section 10 contains many restrictions and prohibitions upon free trade and enterprise otherwise deemed profitable by individuals or states.

The Constitution by way of the 16th Amendment grants the federal government the broader power of wealth redistribution. And the founders granted the Judiciary the power to decide future questions in contention regarding the intent and meaning of the Constitution, which was by design left general and non-specific on a whole range of issues to arise. Which in turn granted the Legislative Branch the power to decide issues of general welfare for the nation, the states, and individuals subject to judicial review.

To rail against the absence of pure capitalism, unfettered by the concerns and will of the people and states, is to rail against the very design and core of the U.S. Constitution, which in NO WAY established individual pursuit of profit as the overarching principle to supercede all other objectives and concerns.

Our Constitution and its drafters sought to balance individual freedoms with the needs of the nation and states to regulate and determine the needs of the nation and the states. To argue for pure capitalism is to argue against the balance struck and designed into the living and evolving U.S. Constitution.

Certain individual liberties were defined, and continue to be defined, as protected from the will of those in government. But our Constitution also provides broad powers to government to preserve the integrity of the United States for posterity against enemies foreign and domestic. Those who argue against the 16th Amendment powers, argue against the design of the U.S. Constitution, if they seek to revise it through any other means than those provided by the Constitution and law. And indeed, Tea Day reflects the desire of some for dissolution of this constitutionally elected government, in favor of putting in place a new government with different policies and agendas.

Fortunately for all Americans, the rights to assemble and protest in the public square, even to include advocacy of revolution and installing a new government, is protected and wise. Only the ACTS of attempting to overturn this government and its design is prohibited. Here is that brilliant balancing again, so incredibly durable even after 230+ years of incredible change. And one which lies beyond the mental capacities of some in our society to grasp and fathom (Alaskan secessionists or Gov. Perry of Texas for example).

Promoting the general welfare through representation of the will of the American voters, is an integral part of our American constitutional government. And that very principle alone stands in opposition to that of pure capitalism, which seeks unfettered individual freedom to pursue profit, regardless of the consequences of those actions. This scale of balance tilts out of balance from time to time, as we have seen with the financial institutions of late, but our Constitution grants the government broad powers to restore such balance as needed, which it is now undertaking to do..

You are right to point out that Republicans, despite their perceptions, embrace the mix of both socialist and capitalist principles in their governance. A difference between Republicans and Democrats is their promoted mix of capitalist and socialist priorities for this given set of conditions.

Currently, Republicans argue for government to increase military and national defense spending, and tax allocations to support that spending. That is a wealth redistribution of tax payer’s dollars to specific individuals providing national defense capabilities. Democrats propose less wealth distribution to national defense providers (private citizens), and more spending on economic issues such as job creation in new and broader areas of technological development such as energy independence and environmental preservation and upgrade.

The two parties differ on what proportion of socialist policy spending should be mixed with capitalist. Some Republicans, by no means all, argue for allowing the financial system to collapse to whatever degree it will, in favor of a greater capitalism which asks private business to cease to exist and default on its obligations if its management decisions were inappropriate to its remaining profitable. Some Democrats, by no means all, argue the greater public good would be harmed if the financial sector were permitted to fail as a consequence of their greedy actions and influence over the last decade.

The great durability of our democratic republic is our election of deciders of such issues, which eliminates the need for individual citizens to go to war with each other over such issues, though some participating in the Tea Parties advocate for such war, as some extremist liberals did under the Republican government years.

As a nation of people under a constitutionally established democratic republic, governing by way of rule of law, citizens going to war with each other over such issues are rare, and so far unsuccessful, in bringing this form of government down. That is the testament of the durability of our form of government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2009 4:50 AM
Comment #280278

Because those on the right want to shift the discussion away from the embarrassment of the “protestors” and to the false claims of “socialist” and the working poor I offer this from the IRS website.


“What is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)?

A1. The earned income credit (EITC) is a tax credit for certain people who work and have low wages. A tax credit usually means more money in your pocket. It reduces the amount of tax you owe. The EITC may also give you a refund.

To claim the EITC on your tax return, you must meet all of the following rules:

*
Must have a valid Social Security Number
*
You must have earned income from employment or from self-employment.”


Low wages have become a fact of life as the business sector in concert with the repubs/conservatives has in essence destroyed the unions, granted amnesty to illegal aliens and hired them for lower wages as well as offshoring jobs this past 30 years. Many people work as hard as you do Christine, perhaps harder, they just don’t get paid as much for the work they do. This “work harder” argument is as truthful as Reagan’s “welfare queen” argument. It wasn’t true then and it’s not true now.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2009 7:52 AM
Comment #280279

Christine-
I see the issue less in terms of share and more in terms of function. The Rich benefit from having working and middle classes capable of paying more out of pocket for the goods and services that make people like them money, that delivers returns on investment.

The talking points on the right basically start from a theory that it’s invested money that makes the world go round, that if you give the rich more money to play with, they’ll start businesses and the like, employ more people.

If you ask me, it’s thinly disguised elitism in principle. The idea is that the poor and middle class will simply squander the money, instead of making the good deciions that those on top make.

The trouble with this false distinction is that it depends on our just looking at the first step. It’s the percolating effect of seeing money rise up through market that’s important, not merely the strength of the right’s vision.

I support people’s right to protest, but that doesn’t imply that I must approve of all protestors who I would have the first Amendment protect.

The moral hazard with taxes would be badly overstated at best. Consider that people in lower brackets pay for payroll taxes, sales taxes, and the like. I think it’s a sort of “lucky ducky” kind of talking point. Poverty dumps all kinds of burdens on you, from the problem of keeping a roof over your head and food in your stomach, to the issue of getting your kids educated and maintaining your health. Despite all the hoops that the poor have to jump through to get benefits, the day to day squalor and stress, we’re asked to be envious of these people, and sympathetic to the poor folks who never have to worry much about money unless they’re really lousy with it.

We’re really not getting what the alternatives are here. The alternative between paying income taxes and not paying income taxes for a rich person is a difference between being wealthy and wealthier. For a poor or lower middle class person, it may be the difference between making ends meet and not. Food aid for them isn’t the difference between eating and eating well, it’s the difference between eating and starving. Healthcare for them is the difference not between going to the doctor and paying and doing that for free, but between going to that doctor and not going at all.

Being dependent on somebody’s charity, whether government or not, is not a stroke of good luck beyond being able to afford this for yourself. I know folks who have to wait weeks, or even months to go to a doctor, so they can go at all. How this is luckier than being able to arrange an appointment within a few days, I cannot guess.

What I see the Republicans promoting is an irrational resentment of those who are dependent on the kindness of others, a stinginess in respect to the lower class that I think has become socially toxic and self-destructive.

We’re internalizing a kind of self-hatred in the Middle Class, which has caused us not to stand up for our interests for fear of disturbing the general prosperity. Only, as it turns out, much of that prosperity was a mirage.

We consented to so many of the reforms that the Republicans and Democrats put foward that shoved risk onto the middle class and poor, which helped make debt the larger source of financing for the things we wanted out of some desperate sense that if we gave people a hand, that if we eased the desperate situation of most of the people in the economy, that there wouldn’t be enough wealth to go around to sustain the economy.

Far less wealthier countries than ours sustained far better social services, though. And the net result of all this dependence on the enrichment of the upper class has been a fundamental failure not unlike the failure we had the last time we put all our eggs in that one basket.

We can talk about fairness in terms of an evenness of the burden, or we can talk about it in terms of a basic level of human dignity.

We need to consider that serving the self interests of the few is of no use if they are not obligated to serve others interests in turn. Our economy, if we look at it at a cellular level, is essentially about people solving the problem of scarcity by serving each other’s interests for the sake of their own.

The Reforms by the Wall Street types have served the interests of Wall Street wonderfully, but has become a drag on the interests of most participants in the economy, a consequence which feeds back into a general malaise in the economy. People are sensibly no longer interested in using Wall Streets interests as a proxy for their own. The resurgence of liberalism is thanks to people realizing that they cannot serve their own interests by making themselves beholden to the enrichment of somebody simply on principle. They have to get something back. Maybe it’s a higher tax burden, which pays for the general good. Maybe it’s more equitable treatment at work. Maybe its trade laws that serve American interests.

Long story short, we cannot merely atomize interests down to the hyperindividual level that the right likes to reduce them. We have to look at our interests at multiple scales, over time, and in the way they develop. Maybe it might save us money in the short term not to give the poor good healthcare. But maybe that exacts costs on us in terms of adults who need more chronic care, more visits when the problems turn critical and need more expensive solutions, children whose poor health drags on their development, physically and cognitive, and the public health problems of greater vulnerability to infections and outbreaks that can spread to more affluent communities.

And maybe there are unseen costs, unaccountable costs in the trust and common interests of those we criticize as lucky-duckies. Who would you trust and work with more, those who openly despise you as a hanger-on, or those who work with you as an equal?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 8:02 AM
Comment #280280

Hey, Stephen, I have a question. Do you support, as I do, the elimination of all federal income tax on anyone making less than $250,000 a year?

Wouldn’t that alleviate the strain on the middle class that we see today?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 8:31 AM
Comment #280286

Crusader
As is often the case,DR said it better than I can.After looking at your points I am somewhat baffled.#2 for example,affirmative action, has nothing to do with economic systems. It is social policy. Republican, Ret. General Collin Powell supports it. Is he a rabid socialist?
#7, Organized labor. May I remind you of Lech Walesa and Solidarity? That was organized labor bringing down communism in Poland and argueably Eastern Europe. In the US unions exist for one reason and one reason only. That is to improve the lives of their members by putting them in a stronger bargaining position with company owners. Efforts by unions to take companies over are non-existant. There are very few employee owned businesses.
More later, the 4yo wants to type now.
Regards Bill Scanlan in the RP

Posted by: bills at April 16, 2009 9:08 AM
Comment #280287

The current tax system is regressive, ridiculously complex (by design).

I thought someone make promises to correct that (among some other abuses)? Instead, it appears some abuses have gotten worse (e.g. taxpayers funding exorbitant executive compensation and bonuses, regressive taxation, government subsidies, still imporing 1.5 Million foreign workers per year, $11.2 Trillion National Debt per-capita at record high and 65% higher than previous record high in year 1945 after WWII, etc, etc., etc.).

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 April 16, 2009 9:08 AM
Comment #280289

lee

i think the protest showed that there clearly are plenty who are upset with obamas plan to spend us into oblivion. the fact that the left discounts these as a ploy by the extreme right wing doesn’t suprise me at all. they don’t like it when people speak out against them and thier policies.

i watched a clip of a cnn reporter posing a question to a man attending a tea party. when he proceeded to answer her question and brought up obama she got pissed. it doesn’t suprise me though according to the left free speech is fine so long as you agree with them, if you don’t look out. you’ll be slighted and accused of being disingenuous, or the newest buzzword by the left will be used to describe your movement” astroturf “. pelosi even parroted it when asked about the tea parties. it’s actually amusing to watch these people melt down when they are challenged, or someone speaks out against thier policies.

Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2009 9:22 AM
Comment #280293

stephen

“I mean, seriously folks: Biggest tax cut for the middle class in a long time, and these people are blowing a gasket.”

the bottom bracket was cut from %15 to %10 under bush. thats a rate reduction of @ %33 i’de call that significant. would you like to have your tax burden cut by a third stephen? BTW if he lets all the bush tax cuts expire in 2010, even the lower 2 brackets his tax cut really won’t be a tax cut at all.

the problem stephen is that the paltry tax credit obama is proposing will be greatly overshadowed by the increase in energy costs, because of his cap and trade program, and the proposal to tax the employer contributions to your healthcare plan as income. hey enjoy that @12 dollars a week. if look hard you may be able to find a twelve pak on sale for that.. maybe.

astroturf? maybe partly, but i think there’s more to it than that. obama may discount it, but he’ll do so at his opwn peril.

Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2009 9:39 AM
Comment #280295

Discount it? Hell, he wasn’t even aware of them…

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/2009/04/president-obama-says-he-is-unaware-of.html

BTW, does anyone else think that the current Press Secretary has lost all credibility?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 10:01 AM
Comment #280296

David Remer,

Crusader, Democrats also support and champion capitalism, which acts responsibly with regard to its shareholders, the environment, their consumers, and their contractual partners.
The founding, and most basic, principle of capitalism is economic freedom, the capacity to decide on individual preferences and on unique knoweledge bases how one’s assets will be distributed and utilized. The Democratic party stridently opposes this founding principle, believing the individual to be too stupid to make intelligent choices on his or her own part.

Secondly, the Democratic Party is committed to regressive taxation by taxing private industry under the guise of “soaking the rich”. This hides taxes Democrats pretend to reduce in more visible forms in the price of goods and services which are then paid by the poorest members of society. Then Democrats accuse business of raising prices to drive a wedge between the people and those who really marshal productivity.

Third, Democrats complicate federal taxation in an effort to engineer social change and reward powerful allies. Not even those who were instrumental in rigging this system, like Tom Daschle, can operate within its strictures. They have set up the IRS as a sort of American gestapo to be feared by everyone but the chosen few, like Tim Geitner.

Fourth Democrats love “responsibility” in their actions only so long as it suits them. For that reason they propose rules that would constrain the choices of conscience of not-for-profit agencies with which they disagree. They also propose to eliminate the freedom people such as physicians have not to do those things, such as killing people, they find abominable. Yes indeed they support “responsibility”, as long as they get to define every aspect of the meaning of the word.

So, as long as one accepts a capitalism with all the meat hacked off the bones, absolutely, we can see that Democrats embrace capitalism.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2009 10:06 AM
Comment #280297

This one is just special. It is this kind of critical thinking that endears these “protesters” to me.

“She said she retired on disability from M&T Bank three years ago after undergoing knee replacement and back surgeries. She lives on her Social Security and disability benefits. Last year, she petitioned the bankruptcy court for protection from creditors.

She said she did not have to pay federal income taxes last year because her income was too low.

“I don’t want to see this country turn into a welfare, nanny state, where we stand in line for groceries, and we’re in welfare lines, and in socialized medicine lines,” Wilder said.”


http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/antitax_tea_party_could_draw_c.html

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2009 10:35 AM
Comment #280298

Lee,

The real issue is whether or not someone respects individual private property rights. Once that question is asked and answered, then you can get down to what capitalism means in regards to social ‘justice’ and statism, etc.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 10:38 AM
Comment #280299

Lee, Even highly educated Republicans don’t believe in unregulated markets. And regulation modifies the principle of economic freedom as a practical matter of insuring the viability of contracts. I give you Greenspan, Bernanke, Cox, and Paulson, as more well known examples. So, please, dispense with the cock and bull about purist economic freedom. Let’s talk real world pragmatism here, along with historical record. NO REPUBLICAN president in the last century has advocated for complete economic freedom in capitalism absent oversight and regulation.

Republicans TOO are for regressive taxation, via a national SALES tax, user fees, and sin taxes. I am for relieving business of taxation, except as a matter of business covering its costs via business taxes for utilization of government services and compensation to taxpayers for government cleanup of business created environmental pollution or other forms of public harm. Doesn’t make me a Democrat, but, some Democrats and I share this view.

You said: “Third, Democrats complicate federal taxation in an effort to engineer social change and reward powerful allies.”

True! Same as Republicans. NO DIFFERENCE, except who they target for engineering social change. Charter schools, religious education at public tax dollar expense. And don’t even get me started on Republicans history of rewarding powerful campaign contributors and lobbyists. No difference.

You said: “Fourth Democrats love “responsibility” in their actions only so long as it suits them.”

True! Same as Republicans. Need I mention DeLay, Abramoff, and Ted Stevens, the biggest Republican waste and earmark recipient of federal tax dollars per capita in his state. I might remind you that Republicans got 1.9 billion dollars in wasteful earmarks out of the Stimulus bill. So, dispense with the attempts to defend Republicans in Congress as superior to Democrats. Most of them in both parties are inferior in meeting the obligations of their office to protect and defend the interests of this nation and her future.

Democrats controlled government far more in the last century than Republicans, and through that whole century Capitalism survived and functioned well in producing the greatest and most prosperous middle class the world had ever seen. Democrats are not anti-capitalist anymore than Republicans are anti-wealth redistribution. The historical record of both parties provides mountains of evidence to support this fact.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2009 10:38 AM
Comment #280300

Did you see DICK Army on tv crying about the tarp program and do people know that his lobbying firm was working for Sachs Aig ect..lobbying for the bailout money that he now decries. Some people on the right talk out of both sides of there mouths.

Posted by: Jeff at April 16, 2009 10:40 AM
Comment #280301

Jeff,

Last I heard there were at least 17 lobbyists in Obama’s senior staff. Why don’t we do a lobbyist tit-for-tat?

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2009 10:49 AM
Comment #280302

David,

Lee, Even highly educated Republicans don’t believe in unregulated markets. And regulation modifies the principle of economic freedom as a practical matter of insuring the viability of contracts. I give you Greenspan, Bernanke, Cox, and Paulson, as more well known examples. So, please, dispense with the cock and bull about purist economic freedom. Let’s talk real world pragmatism here, along with historical record. NO REPUBLICAN president in the last century has advocated for complete economic freedom in capitalism absent oversight and regulation.
Nor do I advocate “unregulated” markets.

I believe firmly in strongly enforced tranparency rules, especially on new forms of securities, in limits on the interconnectedness of corporate boards, in limits on trusts and monopolies, and in limits on the percentage of a given market any one company (including the government) can control. I firmly believe no foreign government, company, or citizen should be able to finance an American political campaign, and that American media outlets should be American owned- even if that damages the value of those asset on the open market. (and, yes, that includes Rupert Murdoch).

I also know that when government has regulated in the past it has tended to foster monopolies like the old Bell System that actively smothered innovation and growth in real markets. Just as we see today the government bailing out the lumbering behemoths and INCREASING their market penetration.

Government IS A CORPORATION. It acts like an corporation. It favors monopolies. It crushes competition.

Government desperately needs to be regulated.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2009 11:02 AM
Comment #280303

Rhinehold,

Lee, Even highly educated Republicans don’t believe in unregulated markets. And regulation modifies the principle of economic freedom as a practical matter of insuring the viability of contracts. I give you Greenspan, Bernanke, Cox, and Paulson, as more well known examples. So, please, dispense with the cock and bull about purist economic freedom. Let’s talk real world pragmatism here, along with historical record. NO REPUBLICAN president in the last century has advocated for complete economic freedom in capitalism absent oversight and regulation.
In essence I said that, but not in those words. Speaking of “assets” is intended to cover not merely those forms of private property which are tangible, such as your money and your car, but also those forms which are intangible, such as your person and your ideals. If, for example, the government says we have religious freedom but requires Catholic hospitals to perform abortions they have seized control of our ideals and our persons while maintaining a sham allegience to words about freedom.

Some will argue those restrictions only apply if hospitals get funding from the government. In Canada all medical care is funded by the government and private payers are illegal. Not going to happen that way here? Sure.

That is an insidious form of evil.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2009 11:14 AM
Comment #280304

Rhinehold,
My apologies. I put D.R.’s quote in your spot. That was in response to-“The real issue is whether or not someone respects individual private property rights. Once that question is asked and answered, then you can get down to what capitalism means in regards to social ‘justice’ and statism, etc.”

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2009 11:16 AM
Comment #280305

lee

this is an interesting piece. you may have already seen it, but it is an eye opener, and i think it shines a light on the true aim of the modern progressive movement. i’m sure it will as usual be discounted by the left because of the author, but thats ok.

http://www.glennbeck.com/content/articles/article/198/23936/?ck=1#II

“II. The Progressives and their Attack on America’s Founding “

“As I mentioned in my last piece, America’s Progressives aimed for a thorough transformation in America’s principles of government. While our founders understood that our national government must have the capacity to be strong and vigorous (this is why the Articles of Confederation were failing), they also were very clear that this strength must always be confined to very limited ends or areas of responsibility; government, in other words, while not weak or tiny, was to be strictly limited.”

this is quite an eye opener for anyone who has the ability to think independantly, and is not beholden to blind party loyalty.

Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2009 11:18 AM
Comment #280306

Rhinehold-
No, I don’t. I’m not interested in this government running any higher deficits than it has to. A tax cut for the Middle Class is fine, but we have responsibilities to take care of.

The main strain, as I see it, is the stagnation of wages, and the forcing of people onto an increased reliance upon personal credit. One reason the automakers are in trouble is that their credit divisions were the leading source of income. Now, of course, that sector is stalled, and is putting a strain on the economy by essentially destroying otherwise healthy businesses.

If I had to name one thing that folks are misunderstanding about this crisis, that would be it. We have created an economy where most people take out credit in order to run their businesses, where most major purchases for consumers are made on credit, where even groceries are bought on credit. We have the capital to sustain our economy, but it’s where that capital is at a given time that matters.

I often compare the economy to a circulatory system. This is not unlike any blockage you might see in the blood vessels, blockages which can cause strokes, heart attacks, embolisms, or other problems when oxygen and nutrients don’t get where they need to get.

The free market allowed the risks to build up in the blood, with the different organizations passing it on to others who would pass it on again. So long as people willingly bought these debts, the folks running the balance sheets never considered the weight of those debts once they finally landed on somebody.

If these systems had been properly regulated, it wouldn’t have been so easy to move these debts around like players in a game of musical chairs. There would have been limits on the insurability and the opacity of these instruments so people could make the rational decisions regarding the offering of credit, which is to stick to mainly those people who actually can pay it back.

The trouble would be and is that people still confuse higher profits with better run businesses. There are undoubtedly some who would argue that the system needs to be written once more so that these companies can do as they please, because any regulation would be worse. However, this was a damaging enough lesson to learn once; we ought not force ourselves to learn it again.

As for Obama ignoring the Tea Parties, I don’t think it’s that outrageous. He doesn’t have to do much to lower their credibility. These folks have done that wonderfully enough themselves.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 11:19 AM
Comment #280307

Lee… It’ts not that he works for a lobbying firm everybodys got somebody lobbying for them,some are good some are bad but to stand in front of people inflaming passions is disingenuous at best and outright lie at worst.

Posted by: Jeff at April 16, 2009 11:27 AM
Comment #280308

dbs,

I have, on my desk, T.R.’s Fear God, and Take Your Own Part. Yeah, he was progressive in many ways, but he’d rather have swum in lava than share common mention with Woodrow Wilson.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2009 11:32 AM
Comment #280309
No, I don’t. I’m not interested in this government running any higher deficits than it has to. A tax cut for the Middle Class is fine, but we have responsibilities to take care of.

You realize that had we eliminated the federal income tax for two years for everyone making less than 250,000 it would have cost less than the stimulus bill, right?

So, you are not for running higher deficits than we have to…? No, I suggest that you are not for people keeping their own money if the government can control where it can go instead, because the government knows better how to spend an individual’s payment for their labor than they do.

We have created an economy where most people take out credit in order to run their businesses, where most major purchases for consumers are made on credit, where even groceries are bought on credit. We have the capital to sustain our economy, but it’s where that capital is at a given time that matters.

All because of the federal government’s tinkering with the system and trying to maintain long lasting ‘growth’. THAT IS THE RESULT and nothing is changing, it is just getting worse.

The free market allowed the risks to build up in the blood

NO, the federal government did that, not the free market. The government should be regulating the market to keep it free, not tinkering with it and creating unknown consequences like we have now. It is directly because of the federal government’s desire to keep interest rates low that have us in this position, Stephen. You point to the right problem but want to place the blame on the market, when it wasn’t what the market would have done had the government not interfered.

BTW, there is a difference between ignoring the tea parties and having your press secretary tell the media that he was ‘unaware’ of them. Or do you not see the problem there? Like when the press secretary said that Obama didn’t bow when we had it on video? I could care less if he did or not personally, but isn’t it telling that the press secretary will out and out LIE to us on something so minor, how on earth can anyone believe anything that comes out of that office now?

Except Obamabots I suppose…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 11:32 AM
Comment #280310

Crusader-
1) The trick is, you already pay for everybody’s healthcare, when they go to the emergency room. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have preventative care, regular care? Sometimes ideology blinds us to practical realities.

2) Do you believe that there have been no economic consequences from keeping a large population of minorities second class citizens for the past couple of centuries? For a few marginal losses, we gain greater integration of racial minorities into the economic and social mainstream, encourage education, and folks working to lift themselves up from poverty. What’s the downside here?

3) The income distribution has become top heavy, in no small part due to changes in government policy. Has this been good for the economy? No, the policies that caused this redistribution essentially hooked people on credit in the place of raised wages.

Everybody’s trying to monkey around with the distribution. Businesses appealed to conservative governments and got tax breaks, as did the rich. Isn’t letting these people keep more of their money redistribution?

It seems its called redistribution when its the Middle Class that gets the help, and a free market when its the rich and the corporate being aided.

4) I suppose we must do the ideological thing and let an artificial snafu in our economy wreck the whole thing.

These folks here are poster children for the error of thinking that catering to business interests is necessarily good for the economy. We subsidized SUVs, left derivatives unregulated, let companies issue credit without matching that credit to the ability to pay. Now that all this wonderful freedom has us chained to the bottom of the pit, you propose dumping in water to show business the error of its ways.

Market forces are not a substitute for intelligent rules of the road.

5) Everytime we try to raise taxes on the rich, we’re accused of being envious. Everytime we lower taxes on the middle class, we’re accused of being redistributionists. How many times did your party talk about welfare queens?

6)Yes, only one of the most successful benefit plans in history, one where people pay into the plan all their lives to get benefits out of it.

7) In the old days, labor and management had more of a one-to-one interaction. You could bargain with your employer one on one. Now many employers are corporate and your boss is just one guy who has to get approval from higher up. With labor treated like a commodity, is it not inevitable that workers will form unions so they can impose some kind of solid market pressure?

This whole thing about flinging around the word “socialist” is that it becomes a catchall for policies and practices of various vintages. It just seems like a perjorative catchall, rather than any kind of organized category.

I don’t care what you call something. I care whether a policy works. I don’t think the hair-on-fire, “Obama’s a socialist” reaction really gets down to that practical level. It just seems like folks trying to raise up and solidify political opposition the face of their own inability to really convince anybody beyond their own part of the political spectrum.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 11:44 AM
Comment #280311

stephen

“Everybody’s trying to monkey around with the distribution. Businesses appealed to conservative governments and got tax breaks, as did the rich.”

as did everyone who paid income tax. you just choose to ignore that though.

“Isn’t letting these people keep more of their money redistribution?”

this makes no sense stephen, but i guess that depends on what the meaning of the word redistribution is.

“It seems its called redistribution when its the Middle Class that gets the help, and a free market when its the rich and the corporate being aided.”

once again what is the meaning of the word redistribution? if you take it from someone, and give it to someone else, then it is redistribution.

“This whole thing about flinging around the word “socialist” is that it becomes a catchall for policies and practices of various vintages. It just seems like a perjorative catchall, rather than any kind of organized category.”

if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck.

Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2009 11:58 AM
Comment #280312
1) The trick is, you already pay for everybody’s healthcare, when they go to the emergency room. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to have preventative care, regular care? Sometimes ideology blinds us to practical realities.

That would be AWESOME, except none of the programs suggested now will ensure that because there is no incentive to anyone to use preventative measures. Only the idea of a healthcare savings account that I’ve posited before will do that, without making laws that enforce that on people. Hence the real differences, Government management (governmental control over our bodies), Maintaining Insurance Oligarchies (what we have now) or Free Market Incentives (being rewarded for making the right choices) are our choices and we see what the Democrats, Republicans and Libetarians suggest…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 12:15 PM
Comment #280313
“Isn’t letting these people keep more of their money redistribution?”

Wow, that sentence says a mouthful right there…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 12:16 PM
Comment #280314

dbs-
The bottom bracket. And can you tell me what range of income that represents?

The cap and trade objection is a joke. When your source tells you you’re misinterpreting his work, it’s time to admit your error. But far be it from the right to lose an argument by admitting they’re wrong.

The point in part is to raise prices on carbon fuels gradually, but also making it advantageous, lucrative even to work more efficiently and sell the carbon permits to others. Additionally, all versions of the plan under consideration rebate part of the cost to the consumer.

If I understand correctly, It won’t be that folks continue to pay for the same amount of carbon more and more. The whole idea is that polluters will cut down their carbon emissions, then make money by selling their permits elsewhere. by that very definition the costs go down. It could even get to the point where the businesses in question no longer use much of any carbon fuels, in which case the price of carbon means no more to them than the price of tea in China.

So people will probably save money under Obama’s plan. Also, don’t you recall that Obama is subsidizing and offering tax breaks for weatherproofing and other efficiency raising actions?

As for Astro-Turfing, the whole problem is that somebody’s manipulating you and everybody else, trying to hide their hand in something to gain crediblity they wouldn’t have if everybody knew that this wasn’t spontaneous, or local, or independent of the political parties. If you trust people, if you’re honest with them, you don’t jump through hoops to avoid acknowledging who’s footing the bills.

And who’s footing the bills here? The very people who were the morons who got us into this mess, trying to regain crediblity by looking like they two are at the front of a public movement, like Obama’s. Your credulity is being used as a stepping stone for the same irresponsible politicians who got us to this point. These are the people who should be held accountable by you, and instead, you’re being fooled into becoming their willing accomplice in their restoration.

The thing that disgusts me the most about what’s happening in the Republican party is that the folks in in it, who are responsible for so much of the crippling garbage our government and our economy are having to deal with right now, are more or less fighting and politically manuevering to where they can keep their leadership as if nothing every happened. It’s time for you folks to face it: these people let you down, and unless you want another reckoning, a worse reckoning somewhere down the road, you need to calm down and get a good reading on where things actually stand, without their manipulative hysteria pumping through your veins.

Lee Jamison-

The founding, and most basic, principle of capitalism is economic freedom, the capacity to decide on individual preferences and on unique knoweledge bases how one’s assets will be distributed and utilized. The Democratic party stridently opposes this founding principle, believing the individual to be too stupid to make intelligent choices on his or her own part.

Economic freedom is of no use to folks who companies can keep in the dark. We make our economic decisions based on our interests. With those interests we can determine at what price and at what quality we are willing to buy, and are able to sell.

Much of what the Republicans have reformed in our economy amounts to the government giving companies permission to be deceptive along these lines. Rather than increase economic freedom, Republican deregulation has increased economic uncertainty, which effectively nullifies the value of any additional freedom their efforts afforded.

As for what we believe? I have no idea why you believe you’re qualified to speak for what we believe. Intelligence is of no use to those companies don’t inform of things. No parent in these times would willingly put a lead-painted toy in their kids hands. But if nobody tells the parent, or if so many of the toys are so contaminated, what value is that wisdom?

We don’t put cops out there because people aren’t intelligent enough to follow the laws on their own, we do it because people constantly test the limits of of acceptable norms in their competitive drives, and history shows us that people are more than willing to cause harm or take risks with other’s lives and fortunes in order to profit. It isn’t stupidity which requires regulation of the markets, its callousness, ruthlessness, and short-sighted profit seeking. You could call it the applications of brains without heart or honor.

Secondly, the Democratic Party is committed to regressive taxation by taxing private industry under the guise of “soaking the rich”. This hides taxes Democrats pretend to reduce in more visible forms in the price of goods and services which are then paid by the poorest members of society. Then Democrats accuse business of raising prices to drive a wedge between the people and those who really marshal productivity.

It would have helped if you actually asked real Democrats and Liberals before you formulated your notions of what our intentions really are. You talk about marshalling productivity. Tell me then: where the hell do you get it from? Does it get pulled from management’s left ear?

What we want is a more equitable system, not necessarily one which soaks the rich. Democrats have little problem with people making money, but when the workers and laborers are the perpetual targets for cutbacks and sacrifices that don’t reach up to the top, and when income inequality rises, it’s not good for everybody. Even as the rich profit more from this years earnings, they make it harder for their fellow Americans to support the economy and make the purchases that ultimately make economic growth consistent and reliable. If the poor and middle class can’t fuel growth, then the system becomes a miserly one, risk averse, where money is made by people who hold onto it and don’t go out on any limbs

Third, Democrats complicate federal taxation in an effort to engineer social change and reward powerful allies. Not even those who were instrumental in rigging this system, like Tom Daschle, can operate within its strictures. They have set up the IRS as a sort of American gestapo to be feared by everyone but the chosen few, like Tim Geitner.

Tax breaks, tax breaks, tax breaks. You guys go on about such things all the time, and then you turn around and complain about the complication of the tax code. While I can’t say Democrats haven’t had their hand in this cookie jar, I’m sure I can say that you folks enthusiastically supported such legislation, and with gusto.

There is a connection, you could say, between all these tax breaks and write-offs you folks put in bills, and the complication of the tax code. But lets not acknowledge the obvious, shall we?

Fourth Democrats love “responsibility” in their actions only so long as it suits them. For that reason they propose rules that would constrain the choices of conscience of not-for-profit agencies with which they disagree. They also propose to eliminate the freedom people such as physicians have not to do those things, such as killing people, they find abominable. Yes indeed they support “responsibility”, as long as they get to define every aspect of the meaning of the word.

Mister, if you sign up for a job of this kind, you better be prepared to do it, regardless of your moral objections, or else be prepared to suffer the consequences. If a woman’s life is at stake, and some surgeon or Gynecologist has an objection to performing a medically necessary abortion to save her life, that is not the time to make such objections known, or to have second thoughts about one’s duties.

Defining some responsibities is not the same as defining all responsibilities, but then again, that wouldn’t be usefull for angry, intemperate rhetoric.

So, as long as one accepts a capitalism with all the meat hacked off the bones, absolutely, we can see that Democrats embrace capitalism.

There was a Greek myth about Prometheus teaching the Greeks to deceive the Gods about sacrifices by draping certain parts over bones and things like that and keeping the good parts for themselves. You offer us the kind of meaty capitalism similar to the kind of meaty sacrifice Prometheus had Greeks offering to the Gods.

In the end, the Republican’s methods for getting us out of the post boom recession was essentially to create a lot of fictional, on-paper wealth. Because this collapsed, Americans are now trying to figure out how to put meat back on the bones of this economy. It’s not easy.

The Republicans hacked the meat off of capitalism by denying rewards and prosperity to the Middle Class and poor. Without that meat, capitalism doesn’t have the muscle of a working consumer economy. People can’t spend the crumbs from the table forever without the economy wasting away at some point.

As for this point about government being a corporation? No. Stop that foolishness. Corporations are a product of government. Corporations are deliberately keyed to narrow private interests.

Government must belong to everybody, and most act on the public’s behalf. It’s a twisting, a perversion of rhetoric which tries to envision government as being just another interest to be controlled. The government may even, as occasion present it, have to do something to protect this country and its security that will put us in a tight spot financially for some time to come. By looking at things in corporate terms, you’re focusing far too much on bottom lines, and not enough on the challenges of governance presented by the public’s needs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 12:46 PM
Comment #280315

You guys are funny.

One of the posters asks on what bases are Democrats called socialists. I explain it and now it turns into a constitutional argument.

As far as Affirmative Action not being a socialis program, here is the reason why it is:

1. It is designed as a tool to combat an unfair wealth and social opportunity of the minorities.
2. It is designed to improve ones social state with the help of the government policy.
3. It is limited to one “disadvantaged” group.

Based on those qualifications, it is a socialist policy.

Let’s address the labor. The main goal of the labor movement is to ensure safe work place for its members and improve their welfare. The first goal is accomplished through providing training and safety guidelines in the workplace which is accomplished together with the company owners and managers. Second is accomplished by a “fair” distribution of the company profits between the owners and employees with the help of the government (card check, union only projects from the government, etc.). Clearly a socialist policy.

As far as Walesa is concerned, do not make a mistake of comparing a socialism with the communism. These are two very distinctly different philosophies though, it’s like saying just because Christianity came from Judaism they are the same. When you get in the realm of the Russian Communism and associated Imperialism of the USSR, viewing any parties or labor movements which opposed it in a prism of classic definitions is a little misleading. One of the reasons was the fact that early on, these movements didn’t carry the economic message as much as a political message of freedom and human rights. The whole country was an ultra socialist society. By the same measure, there is a party in Russia Liberal-Democratic party. It is one of the most conservative, hate filled, racist, chauvinist party in the world. Now, do you think you can honestly say just because they are called liberal-democrats they are either one of those things? The names in the Soviet Block were based on what people would respond to the most. If it was trade unions, than dissident movement concentrated on that, if it was actors and playwrights, than it would concentrate on that. These dissident movements overthrew the Socialist regimes not based on their economic programs but based largely on promise of personal liberty and the end of tyranny. There are “Republican” parties in the former Soviet Union republics that are more liberal than the Democrats in the US. Names mean absolutely nothing, it is the party platform that determines the philosophy.

Dear David. R. Remer,

I am not a constitutional lawyer, I love and study the US constitution strictly because of the freedoms it grants me and my family. I love it for being the bases of this great country that has given me so many opportunities which would otherwise be unavailable to me. I am a mechanical engineer by education and P.E. in thermo-dynamics. I can argue with complete competence and confidence about this topic or any associated topics such as “global warming”, “green initiatives”, power consumption for Heating and Cooling ant etc. I can only discuss the intricacies of the US Constitution on a dilettante level. But, even at that level, I can recognize the following:

The article 1 section 10 of the US constitution distinguishes the authority of the United States in the matters of foreign commerce and the foreign policy and establishes which rights the states concede to the United States. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with the redistribution of wealth or the “free trade” even if you take the most broad interpretation of the English language. All of the prohibitions in the article 1 section 10 are attributes that independent countries display such as an ability to enter treaties with other countries independent of any other political entity, an ability to issue currency, keep a standing army and navy, declare war and levy taxes on imports and exports. I am stunned that you would interpret this prohibitions as an attempt to limit the free trade for individuals.

I looked over the Declaration of Independence and failed to see any socialistic principles in there. Could you care to elaborate?

Regarding the 16th amendment. How does the right to levy taxes imply an income redistribution? I think you have presumed much and proven very little in that statement. The right to levy taxes means only one thing - a state can generate revenue through a direct or indirect taxation. How is that money spent is what decides whether it’s an income redistribution or not.

Explain to me if you will how does “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several States, and without regard to any census or enumeration.” is translated to income redistribution?

Historically, the US government has levied taxes to finance wars, reconstruction etc, not for income redistribution. I believe that was one of the criticisms of the founding fathers by Barak H. Obama.

I don’t presume to be a constitutional law professor like our esteemed President but unlike some, I have read it enough times as not to be so easily convinced by unsubstantiated statements.

The rest of your statement I will take as your unsubstantiated opinion until you can show me the validity of your statements collaborated by statements of our founding fathers, their arguments in favor of these ideas and etc.

I think a person should respect another in a conversation. When one draws a conclusion one is obligated by the etiquette of a dialogue to present the evidence to prove the validity of that conclusion. When one lacks such evidence, conclusion is usually treated as an unsubstantiated opinion. Those who don’t know might be easily impressed but I am impressed by evidence.

Posted by: Crusader at April 16, 2009 12:59 PM
Comment #280316

dbs-
Glen Beck. You’re right, we will discount him. Could it be because the guy’s whacked out, floating conspiracy theories?

Look, it’s incredibly easy to get into this rhetorical zone where you just let your partisan feelings pump out the statements, where you just say “They want this, they want that. They are this, they are that.”

Beck and folks like him just don’t have a handbrake on their mine cart, so they’ll go right off the tracks, and unfortunately, people will believe them, and fail to see both their own failures of persuasion, and the distance between their views and reality. This is what led to the GOP’s fall: people like this helped them lose touch with a reality that had an unfortunate liberal bias.

If Republicans had relied less on the nuts, and more on mainstream sources, they could have seen this coming, and worked to accomodate their views and behaviors to dealing with people as they were, with their particular needs.

Instead, the GOP cocooned itself, doped it up on opiates of party rhetoric, and let the Democrats make the connections with the voters they did not.

The tea party just represents the latest misunderstanding of just where they are, situation-wise, in respect to the American people. I mean, the Texas Governor suggested Texas’s Secession. Lincoln must be rolling in his grave.

Open your eyes: it’s not because Republicans strayed from conservatism that they lost the majorities and the White House. It’s because they strayed from any grounded connection to the new political realities, brought on by the failures of their party.

As far as distribution in income tax goes, I think you miss a critical part of this puzzle: proportion. As in, you would get a few hundred dollar back from Bush’s tax cut if you were poor or Middle Class, but the rich would get thousands, tens of thousands, or even more.

I know what the word redistribution means. But if changing the tax code to help the middle class is redistribution, why isn’t doing the same for the rich the same? Is this just some buzzword you use so that nobody catches a whiff of the elitism behind that double standard?

As for Ducks? Well it just seems like you have strange definitions for what quacking like a duck or walking like a duck is. Unless you calibrate your vision of what socialism is to actual socialism, you have no real room for comparison.

We have nowhere near the kind of government intervention here that we have overseas, and they are barely considered socialist. So, we begin to get a feeling on the left here that we could squawk like a chicken, gobble like a turkey, waddle like a Albatross, and swim like a penguin, and you’d still be calling us a duck.

Rhinehold-

That would be AWESOME, except none of the programs suggested now will ensure that because there is no incentive to anyone to use preventative measures.

I don’t know, I think being healthy is a decent incentive. It actually works in practice. It’s part of how the VA system keeps costs down and service high, and that is part of what resulted in the VA being considered better at customer care than most private hospitals.

Rhetoric and politics can take on a life of their own, unfortunately, rather than serve practical purpose. This is such a case.

As for your quotation about letting people keep more of their money?

Well, look, that’s another case of rhetoric taking on a life of its own. You guys criticized the middle class tax cut on that basis. If not charging folks of the middle class so much taxes is redistribution, then the definition applies upwards as well.

That is, unless you’re willing to give up on that silliness.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 1:10 PM
Comment #280318
As for this point about government being a corporation? No. Stop that foolishness. Corporations are a product of government. Corporations are deliberately keyed to narrow private interests

Corporations are also not a way of using force on an individual, which is the main function of government.

Government (WAS) deliberately keyed to narrow the use of that force on the individual.

Now we have what we have. Which is heading towards a police state (or already there if you listen to some informed individuals).

I think being healthy is a decent incentive.

Except for two things.

1) it obviously isn’t or we would be a much healthier nation now, much less obese, much less lung cancer, etc.

2) some people will not want to take care of themselves, mostly the young when it is important, because they either feel invincible or they are willing to give up good health for the vices that drive them.

Either way, providing another incentive for the public good is a good idea, and a much better one than the forcing of those views through laws which is already happening and a most definite result of the government getting more and more involved into healthcare because that is what government is.

It’s part of how the VA system keeps costs down and service high, and that is part of what resulted in the VA being considered better at customer care than most private hospitals

I don’t know who you talk to about this nonsense but as a disabled veteran who have used those facilities, it is a joke. They are all nice, sure, but I prefer to use my private healthcare insurance to have my knees operated on than to go to the VA after what they have done to me and other members of my family…

So please, is it ‘customer care’ or ‘health care’ that the VA is providing that is good? What study are you pulling this from? I can tell you from personal experience it doesn’t jive.

You guys criticized the middle class tax cut on that basis.

Again with the ‘you guys’ bull. *WHEN* did I criticize middle class tax cuts? When have I ever criticized ANY tax cut? Didn’t I just offer to eliminate all middle class taxes like 10 comments ago? Didn’t you say ‘no’?

Talk about rhetoric… geesh.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 1:54 PM
Comment #280322

And again,WOW, Crusader
” one of the posters” Is bills. That would be me. I am a socialist and a Democrat. Beyond that your obvious dislike of affirmative action still makes little sense. Just because you do not like it does not make it socialist or pregnant or purple. Disagree. Fine.Head lice are not socialist either. Maybe we can agree on that?
Every society from the beginning of time has had some socialist institutions. Its just common sense. Our founders mandated a socialist postal system and military for example. No big deal. Just common sense. All modern democracies have have socialist institutions,some more some less.Why? Common sense. Look around. Do you have your own fire dept.? Probably not. How about police? Not likely. Do your kids go to public school? Maybe, maybe not. But the clerk at the hardware store most likely did and he helped you. Did you drive home on private roads? Not likely. It was probably those damned socialist roads. Unless you are on a septic tank, then most likely the poop went away courtesy of a socialist sewer system. If the poop went away then socialism is working for you. Are you collecting SS? Maybe,maybe not,but you most likely will be. How about your parents? Do they? Nice eh? That relieves you of some burden. I hope they are not ill, but if they are they are probably eligible for medical or soon will be. That should help out a lot.
There is not much disagreement that there are some basic needs of a country that are better dealt with on a socialist basis. Its just common sense.

Posted by: bills at April 16, 2009 2:27 PM
Comment #280323

stephen

“Glen Beck. You’re right, we will discount him. Could it be because the guy’s whacked out, floating conspiracy theories?”


did you bother to even open the link i posted? if you had you would have realized that glen beck did not write that peice. i guess partisan blindness is truely in the eye of the beholder.

“Look, it’s incredibly easy to get into this rhetorical zone where you just let your partisan feelings pump out the statements,”

exactly stephen, like this statement here.

you said:

“Beck and folks like him just don’t have a handbrake on their mine cart, so they’ll go right off the tracks,”

hillary clinton said herself she was a progressive in the as in the mold of the original progressives, those from the turn of the 20th century. so why not read the article, and then explain to me why it’s just a lot of right wing lunacy.

the following rant is just that. you and i disagree on the reason the republicans were ousted, and i am no appoligist for the shortcommings of the republicans. they made thier beds now thier laying in them. the problem is the democrats are now doing the same thing, only at a much faster pace. you will find out soon enough. you choose to blow off any possibility that people are getting upset about obamas, and the democrats plan to pay back thier political supporters by spending like drunken sailors, and thats really not fair to the sailors because it is thier own money thier spending.

“As far as distribution in income tax goes, I think you miss a critical part of this puzzle: proportion. As in, you would get a few hundred dollar back from Bush’s tax cut if you were poor or Middle Class, but the rich would get thousands, tens of thousands, or even more.”

first off, the poor pay no income tax, i repeat the poor pay no income tax.

second, the middle class got the biggest decrease in marginal rates.

third, no matter how far you cut the bottom rates, the savings will never equal what the top 2% saves because of the shear portion of the tax burden they pay. should we create a negative tax liability for the bottom 98%, or maybe just the bottom 80% ? if someone is paying 100k or more a year in income tax how can you possibly reduce someones tax liability who doesn’t even gross that much to a point where YOU feel it fair?

neither you nor i have a right to someone elses earnings. no matter how we might choose to justify it.


Posted by: dbs at April 16, 2009 2:30 PM
Comment #280325

RH
The VA gets mixed revues about quality of care. That appears to result from medical outcomes, service levels and location etc. What is not disputed is drug cost. The VA pays less for medications because they have the ability to negotiate bulk prices and do.

Posted by: bills at April 16, 2009 2:49 PM
Comment #280329

Stephen,

If a woman’s life is at stake, and some surgeon or Gynecologist has an objection to performing a medically necessary abortion to save her life, that is not the time to make such objections known, or to have second thoughts about one’s duties.
The rules governing conscientious objections to abortion require physicians to declare their objection prior to their receiving protections for refusal to provide or refer for common abortions under federal law. It is also wrong on the grounds that even strident objectors to abortion recognize the logical futility of refusing abortions when they are necessary to save the life of the mother. Catholic teachings do not prevent such abortions, for example.

Your defense of this Obama Administration attempt to establish religious intolerance in federal rules is a straw man.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 16, 2009 3:33 PM
Comment #280332

Crusader said: “The article 1 section 10 of the US constitution distinguishes the authority of the United States in the matters of foreign commerce and the foreign policy and establishes which rights the states concede to the United States. This has absolutely NOTHING to do with the redistribution of wealth or the “free trade””

In an economy built on international trade, you are going to try to argue this non-sequitur and illogical interpretation of the Constitution? That is quite a mental gymnastic there, Crusader. Foreign trade is what keeps America alive these days, and the government dictates things like NAFTA, and the Cuban position of the past as constraints and restraints on foreign trade in addition to giving foreigners rights it doesn’t give Americans. And you still want to try to make the argument that Article 1, Section 10, has no impact on domestic consumerism, trade, capital, and sales by domestic business?

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 16, 2009 5:18 PM
Comment #280333

Rhinehold-
I don’t think you read me right. Corporations are literally a product of government. They are chartered, registered, and enjoy special rights and categories of law, in addition to the status of legal personhood (which allows them to sue, be sued, and pay taxes) under Federal and state laws. Government itself can be compared to a corporation, but:

1) Unlike a corporation, it is not required to make a profit.

2) Enjoys a monopoly on military force.

3) Can write and enforce laws.

And so on and so forth. I don’t like blurring the line, giving government too much control over business, nor letting Business get too cosy the other way around with government.

As for heading towards a police state? *sigh*. Three months of liberalism and this is the rhetoric we’re getting.

No, a police state was what we were heading towards under Bush. Liberals are much less inclined to let up until Bush’s excesses are a thing of the past. We had a personal revulsion towards Bush’s tactics and excesses, not only the political kind.

As far as preventative care goes, I believe the medical evidence is clear that it is much less expensive and much more effective than waiting for something to go seriously wrong.

I think part of the reason why we Americans are so cavalier about our health is learned helplessness. Throughout much of our history, medical care was either ham-handed, or it was just too damn expensive. Though the young might have an invincible attitude, If we give them good healthcare, they will show up to the doctor’s when they’re sick and not wait until it’s practically a necessity. Do you understand why the AMA and the American Cancer Society are big on universal healthcare? We’ve made great leaps and bounds in dealing with cancer, but unfortunately, many of those advances work best only if you catch people’s cancers early. That doesn’t happen when people don’t show up for exams, when they wait for things to become intolerable, pretty much out of economic necessity.

The VA system, I think, was rated highly all around. They used digital record keeping, which kept errors down an prescriptions clear. They used preventative care. They did a number of things right, which meant that a government institution ended up better rated than any other private ones. This is the study that brought up this surprising fact. That’s where I’m pulling this from.

I’m not telling you that the VA was always this good. Rather, I’m saying that as of that study, they’ve outdone the private sector on their healthcare.

dbs-
Let me ask you a question,, having actually read a little bit of it just to see if he had a point: why should I even bother? Let me give you the nickel summary: Liberals hate the constitution and the original interpretation, so they’re all about destroying America as it should be.

Why should I give my undivided attention to somebody so he can malign my intentions in a way I know to be inaccurate? I’m a Democrat, not a masochist.

It’s not their share of the tax burden that changes how much the rich pay, it’s the shear volume of the money they make. If you take five percent off of five million, that’s 250,000. Even if the middle class bore most of the tax burden, a percentage cut from their incomes would be far less valuable simply because they make far less. That’s why Bush skipped the middle brackets to give his tax cuts to the rich, rather than cutting in the middle, which would have also cut the middle brackets for the rich.

You go off on rates, but the reality is, rates aren’t importants, amounts are. Bush deliberately engineered a tax cut which would give a token amount to most Americans, but would give the rich thousands, even tens of thousands off their taxes.

Look, I know you want me to be a soak the rich type, but I’m not. I feel they need to pay more, and that the burden should fall on them first, but I’m not really interested in a huge, punitive rate.

As for what I feel is fair? I don’t really think that matters as much as what is necessary to keep this nation on an even keel in terms of how much government it purchases. In times of crisis, I can justify buying a bit more government than we have money for at the moment, but on most occasions, my answer to the question of taxes is that we ought to make sure we still have a functioning economy once the revenues are gathered. The Right’s going ballistic over tax increases that don’t even come close to what Reagan had going, and which did nothing to hurt the economy in the 1990’s.

You can stow the rhetoric on rights to earnings. You’re an American. People pay taxes on income. It’s constitutional. It’s done under the law. It’s a burden all civilized nations impose on their citizens to pay for the government that keeps their countries stable enough for them to earn that check.

Jim M-
What makes the tax code so intensely complicated is the efforts, both by those in government and those outside of it, to get around having to pay taxes. The folks in Washington create loopholes, the folks beyond try to weasel their way out of it, prompting changes in the code to get in the way of that.

Lee Jamison-
I tossed out the first example I could think of, and was wrong on that. Still, I’m trying to drive at the principle: You should not engage in a career field where you know you will face such moral choices if you’re not prepared to make them. Our medical system depends on doctors helping patients regardless of what they think of them or their morals. We do not need laws justifying a departure from that.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 5:24 PM
Comment #280336

“Do we really need a tax code of about 70,000 pages if the intent is merely to collect taxes? Our current tax code is all about reward and punishment…those who will receive and those who will pay.”

Of course we don’t need a 70k page tax code Jim M.. But I don’t believe that 69.9k pages have been added since Obama took office have they? Yet when the repubs/conservatives who promised lower taxes and smaller government held the reins of Congress during the Bush administration what did they do to streamline the tax code? Where were all these “tax protesters” when …well when Dick Armey was in Congress instead of creating this “tax protest” rallies? It makes it hard to take these people seriously when they are so absolutely partisan about it, especially when they did nothing about it in the past 8 years.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2009 6:20 PM
Comment #280337

j2t2,
I can’t make heads or tails of the conservative argument. The gist seems to be that taxation, waste, pork, earmarks, corruption, wars fought on credit, and so on, are accepted in silence if done by the GOP; but taxation by Democrats is socialism. All government and all taxation seem to represent socialism, unless the government is run by the GOP and the spending is done by the GOP, in which case it is not. It is tyranny and taxation without representation if Democrats win and run the government. It is neither if the Republicans do the same. I don’t know. The conservative platform is just incoherent.

And the GOP/conservative argument still fails to address the current situation with the economy and health care and so on. They seem to be opposed to a lot of things. If wishes were horses, then conservatives would ride.

Posted by: phx8 at April 16, 2009 6:44 PM
Comment #280338
They also propose to eliminate the freedom people such as physicians have not to do those things, such as killing people, they find abominable.

That’s not the limit of the scope of the conscience rule. A provider could refuse to provide any service they don’t like. So, a pharmacist could deny birth control. A nurse could deny a vasectomy. A tech could deny a blood transfusion.

Putting the whims (and they could be whims - there’s no requirement that they be founded on anything more) of medical staff and professionals above the rights and health of patients is asinine.

Posted by: LawnBoy at April 16, 2009 7:13 PM
Comment #280339

I can’t quite get my mind around it either phx8. They could have reduced the tax code during a repub/conservative lead Congress yet where was Norquist and his followers when the repubs were in charge and he had their ear? It was ok to run up the national debt, put the Iraq invasion on a credit card and throw pallets full of money to no bid contractors yet now out of the clear blue taxes are outrageous. If anything these extremist should be talking to the state and local representatives as the Bush administration’s unfunded mandates have created numerous problems for the states, yet it seems to be all about Obama and his administrations efforts to dig us out of the financial mess created on their watch.
The bits and pieces I watched of the different tea parties had many protesters holding signs that had little to do with taxes and more to do with hysterics and fear. This from the same people that once told us deficits don’t matter.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2009 7:24 PM
Comment #280342

Jim M. how many Air America talk show host did Freedom works and Fox invite to talk at these protest? How many elected Dems officials took part in these protest? To say it is non partisan is factually incorrect as saying the whole thing developed organically.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 16, 2009 8:01 PM
Comment #280347
I don’t think you read me right.

No, I read you right. I don’t think you read me right though…

Corporations are literally a product of government. They are chartered, registered, and enjoy special rights and categories of law, in addition to the status of legal personhood (which allows them to sue, be sued, and pay taxes) under Federal and state laws.

Yes, but they exist without government involvement, it is how government interacts with the organization that the charter gives. If the government didn’t involve itself into the business it wouldn’t need to be chartered as a ‘corporation’. But, that is besides the point, I don’t think we disagree much on this.

Government itself can be compared to a corporation, but:

Well, I wasn’t saying it could be, myself. Just the obvious difference that one is about free will and the other about force…

As for heading towards a police state? *sigh*. Three months of liberalism and this is the rhetoric we’re getting.

No, this is the same ‘rhetoric’ I used for the past couple decades. It sure didn’t start 3 months ago.

For example:

www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/005771.html#242776
www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/003121.html
www.watchblog.com/thirdparty/archives/006015.html#254639

There are more I could find, I don’t see the point going on.

BTW, you should really do something about that habit of accusing me of being a republican and loving Bush, it’s getting a bit old. :/ Yes, I may at times side with them, but usually for different reasons than they have. And I side with Democrats about the same. But usually for different reasons. And other times I don’t agree with either, like on healthcare.

Oh well, in the eyes of the duopoly, that kind of thought just isn’t kosher.

No, a police state was what we were heading towards under Bush.

And still are

Liberals are much less inclined to let up until Bush’s excesses are a thing of the past. We had a personal revulsion towards Bush’s tactics and excesses, not only the political kind.

No, just different excesses. Different game, same rules. The bad part is that many of the ‘excesses of Bush’ are still on the books and not about to be removed, new ones by Obama will be addded, when he leaves his successor will rail against them, leave most of them in place, and then install new ones. It’s the ‘march towards the police state’ that I mentioned, boots have been on the ground for a long time. :/

As far as preventative care goes, I believe the medical evidence is clear that it is much less expensive and much more effective than waiting for something to go seriously wrong.

Yes, it is. But insurance takes care of it for most people so there is no incentive to prevent worse health later on. Except for those that can’t afford it and then it doesn’t matter, the incentive is to try to avoid getting hurt as long as possible.

Our current system is bad, the proposed system is equally as bad. Because they both ignore the need to drive people towards being healthy… Well, except with the government getting even more control over it, laws can be written. You know, like outlawing transfats, etc…

Police state, go to jail for eating a BigMac.

I think part of the reason why we Americans are so cavalier about our health is learned helplessness.

NOW you are concerned about learned helplessness after supporting institutionalized dependancy?

Throughout much of our history, medical care was either ham-handed, or it was just too damn expensive. Though the young might have an invincible attitude, If we give them good healthcare, they will show up to the doctor’s when they’re sick and not wait until it’s practically a necessity.

And nothing changes that.

Do you understand why the AMA and the American Cancer Society are big on universal healthcare?

Yes, I have my beliefs.

We’ve made great leaps and bounds in dealing with cancer, but unfortunately, many of those advances work best only if you catch people’s cancers early. That doesn’t happen when people don’t show up for exams, when they wait for things to become intolerable, pretty much out of economic necessity.

Right, so make the laws and force them to be there, that’s the solution!

Otherwise, there is no incentive, sorry. The proposed systems ignore it and will not work.

The only real solution is getting the health insurance companies out of the way, getting the government out of the way, and giving people access to healthcare 401k accounts that they can use for healthcare, providing access to ‘catastrophic insurance’ at a very low cost. The plan would work, but it doesn’t give control to government, which is why neither party wants to talk much about it. Liberty isn’t not big on the priorities for either.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:26 PM
Comment #280348

From someone whose lived in 4 countries, here’s a list of points you may want to consider for yourself:

CAPITALISM by itself CANNOT WORK.

SOCIALISM by itself CANNOT WORK.

COMMUNISM by itself CANNOT WORK.

DEMOCRACY by itself CANNOT WORK.

And all the other political systems in between and above and below.

A Social Democratic Republic is one of the best forms of government in the world by it’s foundation of being run by representatives of the people who are working FOR the people and who may get “fired” if they don’t work for the people, no matter who they are.

So my question is, if Republicans (and Libertarians) are fuming so much over government, taxation, states, etc.

WHY don’t they simply ELECT who they think would represent them better instead of voting for Senator Angry At the Moment?

Posted by: Jon at April 16, 2009 9:26 PM
Comment #280349

j2t2,

You realize that not everyone at those rallies were conservatives that were ok with the spending of the Bush years?

In fact, the tea parties had been going on for years, with some conservatives, libertarians and democrats at them. This one got press because of the political ramifications of them. Both Republicans and Democrats on wrong on this one and both are pissing off independants with their ignorant rhetoric.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:29 PM
Comment #280350
WHY don’t they simply ELECT who they think would represent them better instead of voting for Senator Angry At the Moment?

Some of us Libertarians tried, we nominated someone else but, partially thanks to not being allowed to debate those ideas with the other ‘approved’ candidates, we lost. That’s the way it goes, are you suggesting we should just stand aside and not point out things we feel are wrong just because we lost the election?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 9:36 PM
Comment #280352

There’s talk of simplifying the tax system. What are the _ _ _ _ _ _ chances of that?

Posted by: d.a.n at April 16, 2009 10:05 PM
Comment #280354

Stephen

I have no love for idleness either rich or poor. Don’t lump the middle class in with the poor. Everybody should do some useful work. It is a shame to be idle. About taxes, the rich should pay more, but everybody should pay something.

J2t2

I suppose many people work harder than I do and many get paid more, many less. I didn’t say that working hard will make you rich. But working hard, not having those bad habits I mentioned and not being fantastically unlucky almost guarantees that you will not be poor in America.

I also find it very interesting how the liberals are now so critical of protestors. George Bush was elected by a majority of the voters. The Republicans were the majority in congress until the Dems took over in 2006. As I recall, there was a lot of grumbling from the Democrats at that time. It is great that you all now have such confidence in the current government, but you should have had similar faith before. Were all those protestors back in 2005 A-holes too?

Posted by: Christine at April 16, 2009 10:20 PM
Comment #280357

Christine,

Did you see the CNN reporter that was upset about seeing the ‘Obama is a fascist’ sign and decided she couldn’t keep her opinion to herself while reporting the news? Seems there is footage of her (she is a reporter after all) in 2005 at a ‘Bush is a fascist’ protest pointing out how the effigy that the crown was burning was a good lookalike for ol’ George.

And CNN was my last hope for a real news network, despite all of their issues. Since they are ok with this type of ‘journalism’ then I have to give up on my attempt to find an adequate news network. :(

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 10:44 PM
Comment #280359

Sorry, not burning an effigy, my bad. It was just a ‘lookalike’ Bush standing around. But there was a Bush is a Fascist sign which didn’t seem to phase her.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 16, 2009 10:53 PM
Comment #280360

Rhinhold

I saw the CCN reporter. She behaved like a silly school girl. I couldn’t believe her bias and lack of professionalism.

I support Obama as my president, but the cult-like love he gets from enthusiasts, which includes most journalists, is scary. It makes it easier to understand how other countries have come to grief when they followed charismatic leaders and stiffled dissent.

As an American, I am glad that major media like the NYT is back on our side, but maybe media should be a little more unbiased.

Posted by: Christine at April 16, 2009 11:07 PM
Comment #280362
Yes, but they exist without government involvement, it is how government interacts with the organization that the charter gives. If the government didn’t involve itself into the business it wouldn’t need to be chartered as a ‘corporation’. But, that is besides the point, I don’t think we disagree much on this.

While it’s true you can run a business without needing to incorporate, incorporation itself requires the involvement of government. it is a special legal status.

Yes, it is. But insurance takes care of it for most people so there is no incentive to prevent worse health later on. Except for those that can’t afford it and then it doesn’t matter, the incentive is to try to avoid getting hurt as long as possible.

Insurance companies could probably save money if they made an emphasis on preventative care, but that would mean encouraging people to visit the doctor more, and the beancounter mentality doesn’t see that a few sixty dollar visits could save them the necessity of shelling out sixty thousand later.

Our current system is bad, the proposed system is equally as bad.

Funny thing is that you folks haven’t even allowed these things to be tried, before you’ve declared them a failure. There’s a certain paralytic quality to modern libertarian/conservative thinking, a certain fatalism in the face of issues

And then there’s the charming tendency to skip the slippery slope and then move right on to declaring any government intervention a disaster in the making. Going to jail for a Big Mac. Do you understand what made Trans-fats a target?

Trans fats are hydrogenated oils, unsaturated fats made more solid by a chemical process that filled the carbon atoms with hydrogens. They were made to replace saturated fats like Lards, which we know of course are bad for us. Only trouble is, they turn out to be worse for us than even saturated fats.

These are not martyrs here. They’re a pretty unhealthy, artificial additive, for which there are replacements.

But never mind THAT! Never mind making our judgments based on the facts.

NOW you are concerned about learned helplessness after supporting institutionalized dependancy?

This annoys me. We depend on all kinds of institutions, from health inspectors to police departments. Nobody can do everything in this day and age. We already depend on the healthcare system, an institution. The learned helplessness comes into play where we find the rates are so high that we can’t sensibly go as often as we should, or do what it takes to get well.

So we gut it out, and hope we don’t get sick. We become passive, and only go when we have no other choice. There’s a difference between learned dependence and learned helplessness.

The only real solution is getting the health insurance companies out of the way, getting the government out of the way, and giving people access to healthcare 401k accounts that they can use for healthcare, providing access to ‘catastrophic insurance’ at a very low cost. The plan would work, but it doesn’t give control to government, which is why neither party wants to talk much about it. Liberty isn’t not big on the priorities for either.

401K accounts. As in invested in the stock market. Well, even if the idea was sensible, this would not be the time to suggest people to place their health at the mercy of the market.

But as it is, many real 401K’s dropped through the floor these past couple years. This kind of investment is a gamble. One wrong move by a fund supervisor or you could compromise your ability to get healthcare.

We can talk about liberty in principle, or we can speak of in in fact, in practice. In practice, we don’t want a persons ability to go to a doctor based on the ups and downs of a market. We want people to make regular check-ups and visits, especially during high-stress economic times. You say this will work, that will not. How so? Why will an approach that essentially amounts to healthcare dependent on market speculation work?

What apart from your substantial faith in the market argues for this approach? Where has it worked, for you to be so sure that it does?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 16, 2009 11:46 PM
Comment #280363

Everybody-
It seems to me some people are complaining about news bias. Let me complain about it myself: the need to have everybody suit your personal tastes in politics by their reporting. Yesterday we had a sitting governor suggest that his state could secede from the union if things don’t go their way.

Now tell me, how do you report that in a fair and balanced way that doesn’t offend Republicans? A bit of a quandary, given what they’re willing to rationalize and support these days.

Bias is such a subjective thing, it’s not funny. The quest for fair and balanced news can become so self-indulgent, so self-serving that one becomes unable to understand why ordinary people react the way the Reporter acted. Though Partisan Republicans find it spectacularly easy to accuse Obama of being a fascist and a socialist, it might not be so easy for the rest of us to agree so readily.

It’s time for the Right to hit the brakes and all this and get out of the car and stretch their legs. They’ve let the sound of their own wheels drive them crazy, to reference that Eagles song. They need to get out of that competitive gear and realize just how far from the mainstream they’ve brought themselves.

Trust me when I say, that while there’s something noble in being philosophically pure and independent, the GOP is not running for offices at the local political sciences department, it’s running for the privilege to run the practical government of this country. You aren’t given forever to prove your theories, and people are going to start taking seriously what you say, rather than just dismiss it as hot air. They’re going to wonder why a member of the Part of Lincoln just spoke approvingly of secession from the union.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 17, 2009 12:09 AM
Comment #280365

Rhinehold,

I agree with you on CNN’s reporter, in fact, so does Jon Stewart. It was pretty funny. CNN is still the best cable news, in my opinion, but it has descended into the same populist crap that Fox has led everybody down through. It gets an audience.

Posted by: gergle at April 17, 2009 12:11 AM
Comment #280367

Dear David R. Remer,

That is an excellent observation. I believe there is an equally sound explanation.

Yes, the United States reserves the right to establish tariffs on exports and imports of the goods, as well as entry into the treaties with other countries.

The United States was established based on the principles expressed in the Declaration of Independence. The final paragraph in the declaration states following:

” as free and independent states, they have full power to levy war, conclude peace, contract alliances, establish commerce, and to do all other acts and things which independent states may of right do.”

I mention this quote for a very specific reason. In the eyes of our founding fathers, the freedom to contract alliances, establish commerce was some of the acts which independent states view as their inalienable rights and which they MAY exercise. The founding fathers views it as some of the attributes of an independent state, not the levers by which the government should control the free trade. That is a very important aspect of the language of the law. You often hear the expression “the spirit of the law” rather than the language of the law. I argue that the declaration of independence shows that the founding fathers viewed an ability to conduct foreign commerce as a right associated and inherent to an independent state. The Article I section 10 of the US Constitution should be viewed specifically with this in mind. The spirit and intent of the article I section 10 is to clearly demonstrate that the states who participate in the Union forgo their rights associated with independent states in favor of the United States. It is the United States of America who retains the attributes of an independent state. Intent of the law is to establish the boundaries for the state rights and federal rights. The intent of the Article 1 section is not to establish tariffs or limits on the free trade.

Look at the language:

“No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it’s inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Control of the Congress.

No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”

I think free trade has very little to do with this article. It is clearly designed to show that the individual states are not independent entities. It is the United States that is an independent state and only the United States can exercise those rights.

Posted by: Crusader at April 17, 2009 12:21 AM
Comment #280368

Crusader said: “I think free trade has very little to do with this article. It is clearly designed to show that the individual states are not independent entities. It is the United States that is an independent state and only the United States can exercise those rights.”

Which reiterates my original point, entirely. That the federal government has Constitutional authority to regulate commerce. Thank you. We agree.

That quote from the Declaration refers the States PRIOR to the establishment of the Constitution, which overrides the Declaration’s reference to the states being free to engage in those activities.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 12:52 AM
Comment #280370

Rhinehold said -

Some of us Libertarians tried, we nominated someone else but, partially thanks to not being allowed to debate those ideas with the other ‘approved’ candidates, we lost. That’s the way it goes, are you suggesting we should just stand aside and not point out things we feel are wrong just because we lost the election?

No I don’t think that at all, I wish the Libertarian party would actually get recognized and we’d have then a 3 (or 2.5) party system (or 1.5 to some people). By excluding other parties from debates, Socialists, Communists, etc. aren’t the Democratic and Republican parties basically monopolizing the political system?

I mean, their own parties were formed because past parties or factions failed, lied, dissolved.
These two parties are way too entrenched, up to the point that people laugh at the thought of an even more liberal party (socially) that differs from Dems, or more conservative (fiscally) than Republicans and those in between.

This may be off the current point, but these Tea Parties seem not only like a joke to me, but they’re utterly ridiculous. People have pointed out that they have nothing to do with the Boston Tea Party, but where are these people when stuff like the drugs, prison, crime and urban decay problems come up?

The police here in Philadelphia do as much as they can, but there’s literally crack/heroin dealers on the corner on some streets and ALL, 100%, of the drugs come from Mexico (because of the high demand), and the protesters ask, draw signs that say “Where’s our bailout?”.

I’ll ask them, as many times as I can, “Where’s our Tea Party?”?

And the CNN reporter was an idiot, they ought to know by know any bias one way or the other will come back to bite them in the future.

Posted by: Jon at April 17, 2009 1:10 AM
Comment #280371

“You realize that not everyone at those rallies were conservatives that were ok with the spending of the Bush years?

In fact, the tea parties had been going on for years, with some conservatives, libertarians and democrats at them. This one got press because of the political ramifications of them. Both Republicans and Democrats on wrong on this one and both are pissing off independants with their ignorant rhetoric.”

Rhinehold, this years protest was sponsored by Dick Armey’s Freedom works and advertised extensively on Fox news. In attendance were republican representatives and at least one repub Governor hinting at his state seceding from the union. I am aware that small groups of protesters, much smaller than the few thousand at these latest protest, have done this type of thing before. However has Fox news promoted it extensively be fore this year? Has Freedom works coordinated and sponsored the previous events? Has elected repub officials showed up at these protest in the past? Has the Governor of a state hinted at seceding from the union in past protest or was it a few die hard tax protesters going it alone until this year? Did the protesters from tax day in years gone by wave Obama as Hitler signs, or Obama as communist signs? Make no mistake Rhinehold this was a predominately repub/conservative protest of much more than high taxes as the previous protest were singularly about.

I don’t doubt there were some libertarians and dems at this years protests but they were in the minority IMHO.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 1:18 AM
Comment #280375

Made my day. BHO should call a special session of congress to accept the wacko governor of Texas offer to leave the country. We could call it the”Don’t let the Door hit you in the ass” session or maybe the “Don’t come whining to us when Mexico takes you back” session. We should allow them re-entry only if they promise never to send another Texan to the Whitehouse.

Posted by: bills at April 17, 2009 7:52 AM
Comment #280377

I’m as big on Governance at the lowest level needed as anyone, but the Gov. from Texas sounds like an addict who woke up one morning and realized that his dealer wasn’t his best friend.

Every Grant or Cooperative Agreement from the Federal Government is initiated by Standard Form 424, Request For Federal Assistance. Grants in 1940 represented 9% of total Federal Outlays. In 2007 it was around 17% and with the stimulus package I’m sure it has grown. And if you ask for assistance, there are plenty of strings that can be attached to that money.

A new complication soon arose. Congress began to vote grants-in-aid to the states for various purposes, ranging from the prevention of forest fires to providing medical care for expectant mothers. In 1923 one such grant was challenged on the ground that it undermined the Tenth Amendment. In Massachusetts v. Mellon (1923) the Court rejected the argument, declaring that “the statute imposes no obligation, but simply extends an option which the state is free to accept or reject” (p. 480). Ultimately, and especially from the 1950s onward, grants-in-aid or “revenue sharing” would grow so large as to make the states, in many ways, mere appendages of federal administrative agencies. (Googled from Answers.com)


Grants are the government’s crack and even the Gov. of Texas is hooked.

Posted by: George at April 17, 2009 9:18 AM
Comment #280378

Our idiot in chief of Texas, Perry, complained this week that Texas only gets a bit over 70 cents on the dollar of tax dollars it sends to D.C.

Well, what does he want? 100 cents on the dollar, and if so, what does the Federal government use to fund its operations? Politicians like Gov. Perry are too dumb to think things through to the next logical step.

If Texas and states get 100% of federal tax dollars back to their states, the federal budget would be 100% national debt. These nut cases hold 100% contradictory ideas in their heads at the same time and then have the audacity to expect the nation to follow them.

The irony is, vast numbers of voters are even worse. They keep reelecting these idiots in chiefs, apparently applauding their idiocy. Perry continues to allude to Texans getting ready to secede from the union now that Democrats have a majority in federal government. Idiots like this, come as no surprise when they reveal their blatant ignorance of history and its lessons.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 9:32 AM
Comment #280384

David,

Your statement above is simply wrong. If Texas got back the funds it sent to D.C. it would only mean the federal expeditures were spent in Texas. Every state could do this theoretically and still have only a small federal deficit for the operation of D.C.

Some states (West Virginia frequently manages this) actually receive more in federal funds than they send in taxes. D.C. naturally sends far less to itself in taxes than it gets from the rest of the country. The great problem arises when the feds spend more in most states than they get in taxes. That (generational theft) is what will happen to us all over the next ten years.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 17, 2009 11:42 AM
Comment #280386

Dear David R. Remer,

I think you are missing or ignoring one major principle of the Spirit of the Law. Let me elaborate:

Article 1 Section 10 was implemented as a safeguard of the free trade, not as a tool to restrict it. I quoted the Declaration of Independence as it explains that it was the right of independent states to conduct commerce. In the case Brown vs. Maryland, the Supreme Court explained that the reason why the United States is to establish commerce is as follows:

“It might with the same reason be said that no state would be so blind to its own interests as to lay duties on importation which would either prohibit or diminish its trade. Yet the framers of our Constitution have thought this a power which no state ought to exercise. Conceding to the full extent which is required that every state would, in its legislation on this subject, provide judiciously for its own interests, it cannot be conceded that each would respect the interests of others. A duty on imports is a tax on the article which is paid by the consumer. The great importing states would thus levy a tax on the nonimporting states, which would not be less a tax because their interest would afford ample security against its ever being so heavy as to expel commerce from their ports. This would necessarily produce countervailing measures on the part of those states whose situation was less favorable to importation. For this among other reasons, the whole power of laying duties on imports was, with a single and slight exception, taken from the states.”

When you combine this statement by the US Supreme Court with the idea that a Republic is the means by which individual rights are protected from a violent faction and the Union is the means to protect the rights of the individual states put forth by James Madison, your statement that Article 1 Section 10 was established to give Federal Government ability to prohibit the trade is false. The reasoning behind it was opposite, it was to preserve the free trade from limitations placed on it by individual states.

Further more, Alexander Hamilton in Federalist 32 explained the reasons why Section 8 and 10 were introduced to the Article 1. I quote:

“This restriction implies an admission, that if it were not inserted the States would possess the power it excludes, and it implies a further admission, that as to all other taxes the authority of the States remains undiminished. In any other view it would be both unnecessary and dangerous; it would be unnecessary because if the grant to the Union of the power of laying such duties implied the exclusion of the States, or even their subordination in this particular there could be no need of such a restriction; it would be dangerous because the introduction of it leads directly to the conclusion which has been mentioned and which if the reasoning of the objectors be just, could not have been intended; I mean that the States in all cases to which the restriction did not apply would have a concurrent power of taxation with the Union. “

The evidence I brought forth clearly demonstrates that the power which you propose was place on the Federal government as means to “prohibit” the free trade is false. Alexander Hamilton clearly states that if it was not included in the rights of United States, it would be left with states which would create a danger of restricting free commerce.

Posted by: Crusader at April 17, 2009 11:49 AM
Comment #280391

I don’t understand why are libs so surprised by the Governors statement?

I have been stressing that using national polls to govern the Union is wrong. We are a republic, which is designed to protect the rights of individual citizens against this specific type of government. We are also a Union, which protects rights of the individual states. Yet, Stephen and others are insisting that majority of the country supports the ideas put forth by the President Obama. That maybe so but why are we ignoring the fact that we are not a unitary country? We are a UNION. There are states within this union who do not share the ideas put forth by the federal government. When the politicians in Washington D.C. ignore this concerns and dismiss them based on national polls, you do not leave the states any other choice.

We do have a great Union, no doubt about it. But the Declaration of Independence states:

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bonds which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

The Texas governor made his point saying that he and many that support him, do not like the direction the country is going. He doesn’t like the expansion of the Federal Government and all the problems it brings. The DHS’s latest report is a clear sign of what is to come. He is cautioning the Federal Government that if this course of action continues, the options left for those who disagree will not be many. The president Obama was quick to apologize for America’s arrogance to Europeans, he’s yet to say a word about the report issued by DHS. When you combine DHS report with all the TEA party bashing going on in the news media, the emotions are running high. I think the President Obama needs to address the nation because things are getting way to heated.

Governor Perry should have been more careful with timing. He is correct in his assessment but there is a time and place for everything, and adding fuel to the fire isn’t very wise. I honestly hope President Obama will address the nation before the rhetoric gets any more heated. The idiots in media are so blinded by their political views that they don’t see how much their actions could agitate already frustrated public, no mater how little or how large their numbers are.

Seriously, the President needs to show the leadership and put a stop to this before it gets any more heated. If it means that someone in DHS needs to bite the dust so be it, or else things could very easily get out of control.

Posted by: Crusader at April 17, 2009 1:12 PM
Comment #280393

Lee
Boy are you waaaay off
Have you forgotten the Military is the biggest chunk of the budget? (followed closely by servicing China for our debt??)
So if we send all of Texas money back to Texas how do we fund our Military Adventure in Iraq (among other places) and still only have a “small deficit”??
Additionally — one would also find that it might be difficult travelling from Coast to Coast as less populated areas would not have the money to spend to build nor maintain the US highway thru their State (Montana, Wyoming, etc ) of course we are not speaking of just individuals — Your package from Florida to Oregon might just take a wee bit longer as it goes thru the Panama Canal rather than the interstate ooops
It is this unthinking BS that escalates to these stupid rallies we have been seeing.
They are free to have them, and to express their opinion, but then
It is better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.
The Gov of Texas and some of these protesters should abide by this advice.

Posted by: Russ at April 17, 2009 1:51 PM
Comment #280396
Yes, it is. But insurance takes care of it for most people so there is no incentive to prevent worse health later on. Except for those that can’t afford it and then it doesn’t matter, the incentive is to try to avoid getting hurt as long as possible.

Insurance companies could probably save money if they made an emphasis on preventative care, but that would mean encouraging people to visit the doctor more, and the beancounter mentality doesn’t see that a few sixty dollar visits could save them the necessity of shelling out sixty thousand later.

That’s why insurance companies are part of the problem and should be bypassed. Let the individual and doctors work out their billing based on need, not insurance bottom line nonsense. If someone is paying their own money then they are more likely to be proactive. And if not, it’s on them.

Our current system is bad, the proposed system is equally as bad.

Funny thing is that you folks haven’t even allowed these things to be tried, before you’ve declared them a failure. There’s a certain paralytic quality to modern libertarian/conservative thinking, a certain fatalism in the face of issues

You folks again Stephen, really?

And then there’s the charming tendency to skip the slippery slope and then move right on to declaring any government intervention a disaster in the making. Going to jail for a Big Mac. Do you understand what made Trans-fats a target?

Yes. And we allow people to sell cigarettes and nutrasweet (which can turn your bodily fluids to formaldehyde) but we can’t eat trans-fats. Not that I did, I make a point to avoid things that are bad for me, but that is MY CHOICE, not someone else’s to make for me.

Trans fats are hydrogenated oils, unsaturated fats made more solid by a chemical process that filled the carbon atoms with hydrogens. They were made to replace saturated fats like Lards, which we know of course are bad for us. Only trouble is, they turn out to be worse for us than even saturated fats.

So, why isn’t nutrisweet outlawed? It should never have been allowed, we already knew when it was approved that it was bad for you, but now we know for sure that it is very very bad. Still being sold. Because of politics.

Not a really good way to run things, don’t you agree? Or not?

But never mind THAT! Never mind making our judgments based on the facts.

Oh, I make my judgements based on facts, Stephen. All of them, not just the ones I like.

Tell me Stephen, we all know it is dangerous for a person to be overweight, right? What happens when people continue to be overweight, putting a strain on our healthcare system and we need to pay for the massive bills we are going to be getting. What happens then in your little utopia of state managed healthcare?

I think I know the answer. Do you?

This annoys me.

Me too.

401K accounts. As in invested in the stock market.

Ooo, interesting assumption there, Stephen, who said ANYTHING about investing in the stock market? The idea was an ongoing collection of tax deferred money be put somewhere safe for use for medical payments. The idea of investing that money for some amount of profit is an additional though, but it doesn’t have to be allowed to be used for stocks or other potentially dangerous funds.

You realize that in the entire history of money market funds there has been 1, only *1*, that has ever lost money? I would think it would be up to the individual to choose, or not, where and how to invest, but it could be limited to only money markets, cds, T-bills, etc. That’s a point that I am willing to conceede on. But no, you ignore that possibility and discount the ENTIRE PROCESS because you think we are talking about fleecing people with bad stocks. Maybe you should think about it for a second and come up with a REAL complaint?

Well, even if the idea was sensible, this would not be the time to suggest people to place their health at the mercy of the market.

It is and no one is suggesting we do.

We can talk about liberty in principle, or we can speak of in in fact, in practice.

Either is fine with me.

In practice, we don’t want a persons ability to go to a doctor based on the ups and downs of a market.

No one suggested it but you…

What apart from your substantial faith in the market argues for this approach? Where has it worked, for you to be so sure that it does?

Well, it is the program I use for healthcare atm, but hey, what do I know?

But, just curious, didn’t you just say ‘us folks’ were wrong to shoot down ideas that hadn’t been tried yet? I mean, wasn’t it like in the same comment?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 17, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #280397

Russ,

Spending money on interstate highways and military, and bailing out GM and AIG are two very distinctly different things. We have been building federal highways since the President Eisenhower’s administration and no one has spoken out against it but bailing out private companies is a recent “trend”.

When the federal government takes upon itself to decide that a private company is “too big to fail”, then my tax money which was supposed to be spent on developing federal infrastructure and prop up military, starts going into the pockets of god know who and I start getting pissed.

You know what I have a problem with, when I pay taxes and some shmak from Iowa wants to use that money to get reed of swine smell in his district. I like Iowans, my wife’s family is from there but with all due respect, I think that is their stinky problem and my money shouldn’t be spent on that. Just the same way the money John Q. paid in Texas shouldn’t bail out California’s over-bloated budget and help study mating habits of field mice outside of San Francisco.

Posted by: Crusader at April 17, 2009 2:14 PM
Comment #280398
Rhinehold, this years protest was sponsored by Dick Armey’s Freedom works and advertised extensively on Fox news

You might want to recheck some facts… Freedom Works sponsored a handful of the 600 or so protests. They were all put together by local volunteers. Once it started to take off many of the ‘opportunistic’ in the republican party and talk show hosts pushed it and jumped on board, but it is not only not true and disingenuous to say it was planned and operated by Freedomworks and Fox, it is an insult to the many individual coordinators that worked hard to put theirs together.

BTW, both Armey and Kibbe who run Freedomworks were publicly very much against the Bush bailouts last year as well. At least they are being consistent which, as I have found, has been a rare commodity in today’s political environment.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 17, 2009 2:47 PM
Comment #280406

russ


“Have you forgotten the Military is the biggest chunk of the budget?”

no it isn’t.

http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/what_about_ben_jerrys_chart_saying.html

Posted by: dbs at April 17, 2009 3:37 PM
Comment #280408

Rhinehold according to sourcewatch they lead the way and teamed up with other groups to coordinate this protest. Fox did promote it extensively so while there were individual coordinators, the one in Chicago was from a right wing think tank, this was not a spontaneous outpouring of Americans but a well publicized call for protesters from the leaders of the pack, Fox and Freedomworks.

“According to its website in February, 2009, “FreedomWorks is now working with other groups to plan a massive, nationwide tea party protest day for Tax Day on April 15th, 2009” [3], the Tax Day Tea Party protests.”

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=FreedomWorks

I wonder if Armey was as consistent through his long career in the Congress as he is now. It is always easier to be consistent when you are not in Congress paying the bills and taking orders from both the people and the corporate lobbyist that bought your ticket to Congress.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 4:00 PM
Comment #280409

Crusader said: “Article 1 Section 10 was implemented as a safeguard of the free trade, not as a tool to restrict it.”

What nonsense. It speaks to tariffs. Tariffs restrict trade. You can’t defend the indefensible, Crusader, and hope to win the argument.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 4:05 PM
Comment #280418

Dear David R. Remer,

Next time I will write my argument a form you are more familiar with, such as:

“‘I see’ said the blind man to his deaf and dumb daughter
as he picked up his hammer and saw. “

Good luck!

Posted by: Crusader at April 17, 2009 4:55 PM
Comment #280420

Thanks for conceding the debate, Crusader.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 5:01 PM
Comment #280424

Crusader
So NOW you start making distinctions!
the only measure before was — states should get 100% of their money back
Ahhhhh
So now we decide where the money is to go — not whether or not a state should get all of it back
Ahhhhh
but then WHO gets to decide right??
AND WHO initiated the bail out?
And WHO was responsible for allowing the firms to get “too big to fail” and WHOSE administration labeled them as too big to fail??
and WHOSE (GOP) party believes in the gov’t setting things up so that business (on the philosophy of economics of scale) are allowed to merge and become “too big to fail”???
It is interesting that ONLY NOW that there is a Democratic majority in congress and the white house that anybody is protesting the actions that have been taking place for more than 8 years
and
Oh, by the way — your tax money has been going to these crooks for the past 8 years — it is called “Tax Breaks” — What all you tax fanatics fail to realise is that SOMEONE has to pay the bill, and when one segment gets a “tax break” the other segment gets to pick up the tab — so all this BS about tax breaks to corporations/rich working to raise the boat for everyone is BS —

To whomever:
Re: the Military being the biggest part of the Budget
Take alook at your article you referenced
The Military is only smaller than Social Security — but the SS is ALLEGEDLY paid not by general tax funds, but ALLEGEDLY by our OWN contributions to it — which we hope to GET BACK
so for me it really doesn’t count as a BUDGET ITEM — Interesting that Bush and Right wing put IRAQ war off the budget, but leave SS on and then label it an “entitlement” — conveniently forgetting we PAY INTO IT.
anywho
19% — Biggest single chunk of the budge
Notice that interest on the debt is 9% and is only THAT low due to recent low interest rates — what happens to that 9% when the interest rates start becoming real again
Again — how does that money get back to the States with only a “minimal deficit” for “running the gov’t” — what a bunch of malarky!!

Posted by: Russ at April 17, 2009 5:48 PM
Comment #280429

russ

“To whomever:
Re: the Military being the biggest part of the Budget”
“Take alook at your article you referenced
The Military is only smaller than Social Security “

hey it’s ok if you don’t want to acknowlege me. you said it was the biggest chunk of the budget, i didn’t. you were wrong huh? thats ok just keep dancing. BTW the interest is on all debt. you said it, so why not just man up and admit you were wrong.

Posted by: dbs at April 17, 2009 8:27 PM
Comment #280482

Does anyone know how many jobs there are in Texas that are related to NASA?

Posted by: Tom at April 18, 2009 11:28 AM
Comment #280495

Tom, can’t find a Texas number. All of NASA has 18,000 employees and 40,000 contractors, give or take a few hundred. The numbers are in near constant flux. An inaccurate guess by me would put the number somewhere around 6,000. NASA has many employment centers, but I would guess the Kennedy and Johnson Space centers would cover about 2/3 of that number given they are launch centers.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 3:40 PM
Comment #280498

David,

Thanks for the info.

Posted by: Tom at April 18, 2009 5:10 PM
Comment #280513

Russ,

I understand when one is blinded by blue or red, it is hard to see the reality.

I NEVER said that paying taxes is bad. EVER! Now, you might have assumed that because I spoke out against the Messiah in the White House, but that is your problem not mine. What I have a problem with is how those taxes are used right now and how will those taxes be used in the future.

I am an independent conservative. Some might even label me leaning libertarian though I do not agree with them on some of the social policies.

What has surprised me is that you didn’t call me a racist and extremist. That is refreshing!

You might want to dwell in the past, but explain to me how does blaming the previous president and repeating the same mistake solve the problem?

If we, as a nation, want our leader to blame everything on the predecessor and make exactly the same mistakes, than your line of thought makes sense. But I don’t want to subscribe to that attitude.

So far this week, I have been called a racist, astro-turf, redneck, right-wing extremist, separatist and god knows what else. So, being called a Republican by you is almsot a compelment.

We differ on definitions. I don’t think there is such a thing as “too big to fail”. We should all be allowed to reach our limit of incompetence, be it an individual or a corporation. The government and my tax money shouldn’t decide who is too big and who is not. You seem to think that the “big corporation” is evil. I seem to think that in economics here is no such thing as evil or good. There is profit and loss. When a company is too big and can’t be profitable, it will fall apart and on its ruins new and profitable companies will be built.

You asked me who gets to decide where our money has to go. That is very simple, we are a republic. In a republic, representatives of the citizens decide on behalf of those citizens where the money needs to go. The US Constitution places interstate and foreign commerce under the authority of the United States. The Interstate Highway network, railways and other items associated with the interstate commerce clearly fall under the responsibility of the federal government. Some think that responsibility was given to restrict commerce, I tend to think that it was given to encourage it. Either way, researching the mating habits of the field mice and stench exuded by the swine clearly doesn’t fall under the realm of the federal authority. So, there is your answer.

For some reason, you have come to think that being rich is wrong. I wonder where you got that idea from. If it wasn’t for those who have the ability to create the wealth, you and I wouldn’t have an opportunity to earn an honest wage.

Now, you can call me all the names in the book, and if you like I will help you out by coming up with new ones but when we get to the point where there are too many free loaders and not enough tax payers, it will be too late.

The government is oppressive. There is a saying “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That is the innate tendency of the Government. You don’t need to look any further than our own history. The Government in 1776 is laughable compared to the federal government of today. It didn’t start today and it won’t end by the tea parties. But blindly following the leaders will accelerate this process and might even bring about something that neither you or I will appreciate - a tyranny.

Posted by: Crusader at April 18, 2009 7:00 PM
Comment #280579

Rhinehold-
The Real problem with Libertarian and Conservative policy nowadays is that you folks are wonderful at adding more things for people to pay attention to and take responsibility for, but terrible at addressing the reality that most people don’t have time during the day, nor expertise socked back somewhere to deal with everything you would like them to deal with.

You encourage a mentality that doesn’t acknowledge that even the smartest people are ignorant and out of their field of expertise about something. We’re all expected to be renaissance men and women to the third power

Attention and understanding all have their limits. We need other folk’s help.

You need it with Nutrasweet. From what I read, the actual amount of formaldehyde created is quite low, and its the dose that makes the poison. You really couldn’t ingest enough soda, reasonably speaking, to make that a problem. Apples contain very low amounts of cyanide, French Fries a certain quantity of Acrylamide. There are chemicals in just about everything we eat, which in high enough concentrations could kill us. But they’re rarely in such concentrations.

Even so, there are other chemicals at other doses we don’t want in our foods, and we shouldn’t have to carry around bacteriological and chemical test kits to determine whether our food is fit for consumption.

We need to have fewer worries, so we can worry about the things we’re qualified to worry about, which we can do something about. That doesn’t mean an nanny state. Put as much damn butter on that potato as you want. Just don’t start screaming about your abridged rights when somebody tells you this isn’t healthy, and suggests you eat healthier.

That’s the thing. While some places have banned transfats, I’m sure you’ll find them out there if you’re really looking for it. But I doubt many of those businesses out there really want to be caught using it, since its unusually toxic, even by comparison to saturated fats. The whole point of them in many places was that they were supposed to be healthier. They weren’t.

The 401K element just strikes me as poor fiscal policy. If we’re going to require people to sign up for this to pay for their healthcare, then we might as well give them something that’s rock solid stable over time.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 19, 2009 4:14 PM
Comment #280583

I thought would be a good idea to remind everyone that tomorrow is Patriot’s Day, the anniverary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord! I grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts just a few miles from the Old North Bridge in Concord and I have attended a few of the annual battle reenactments. If you’ve never visited Lexington, Concord or the other historical sites in the city of Boston, I highly recomend it; it really helps when one wants to understand what exactly was going on 230 years ago.

Fun Fact of the Day: Most of the Minutemen who fought in the Battle of Concord actually came from the neighboring town of Sudbury. In recognition of this fact, Sudbury was given the zip code 01776.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 19, 2009 5:37 PM
Comment #280601
The Real problem with Libertarian and Conservative policy nowadays is that you folks are wonderful at adding more things for people to pay attention to and take responsibility for, but terrible at addressing the reality that most people don’t have time during the day, nor expertise socked back somewhere to deal with everything you would like them to deal with.

Dems are no different, Stephen. You want us to know who to vote for, how are we to do that if we don’t know all of the facts about all of the topics? You don’t get off light just because you are willing to allow others to use force to enforce their beliefs.

All we want is informed consent and the ability to bypass the recommendations if we want. You and I both know that those choices are getting smaller every day and once we take on the cost of everyone’s healthcare we will start taking away more and more choices. It is inevitable.

Attention and understanding all have their limits. We need other folk’s help.

Of course we do. We just don’t need it forced upon us by the barrel of a gun.

Even so, there are other chemicals at other doses we don’t want in our foods, and we shouldn’t have to carry around bacteriological and chemical test kits to determine whether our food is fit for consumption.

We don’t need to. We just need a national organization that identifies this stuff for us and reports it to us in a reasonable and non-political way without FORCING us to follow their recommendations. Think Underwriters Laboratories for food and drugs. Take away the police powers of the FDA and give it to an honest to goodness NON-political organization so idiotic partisan political recommendations don’t get made or missed.

That doesn’t mean an nanny state. Put as much damn butter on that potato as you want. Just don’t start screaming about your abridged rights when somebody tells you this isn’t healthy, and suggests you eat healthier.

This isn’t about ‘suggestions’ Stephen. You and I both know, unless you are being purposely obtuse, that we will start fining people for being overweight (or taxing them I suppose) and eventually, when we are overburdened with the cost of healthcare, those who are overweight or choose to eat things that others may think are not healthy (just a majority of voters) are going to end up losing that choice. It is already happening, it will continue to happen and unless we stand up for our liberties we are going to be in more of a police state than we already are. Look at all of the people we have in jail now for the single offense of having some pot on them for god’s sake. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see what that is doing to our country, taking people and putting them in jail for making a choice about what they put into their bodies and then transfer that result onto anyone who is ‘unhealthy’.

That’s the thing. While some places have banned transfats, I’m sure you’ll find them out there if you’re really looking for it.

Yeah, I should go look for my transfat ‘dealer’ and hope I don’t get busted and go to jail…

Seriously, Stephen, you don’t see the way this is going to unfold?

The 401K element just strikes me as poor fiscal policy. If we’re going to require people to sign up for this to pay for their healthcare, then we might as well give them something that’s rock solid stable over time.

Like? Come on, give me suggestions. SS gives about a 1% return on investment. That’s hideous. T-Bills? CD’s? Money Market Funds? Work with me, don’t just throw the whole idea away…

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 19, 2009 11:34 PM
Comment #280609

Rhinehold, your last comments appear to me to allude to the core of one of the issues, whether or not Americans have the inherent right to choose their death.

Some will choose to die of old age. Some will choose to die of addiction. Some will choose to die of excitement and risk taking like bungie jumping or skydiving. Some will choose to die by suicide. Some will choose to die when terminal with the assistance of medical personnel and a living will that instructs to withhold life support.

I side with Libertarians on this issue wholeheartedly, where individual’s right to choose their method and means of dying, is a privacy issue, which government has no business meddling in, with the exception that such choice may not endanger or pose a cost to others without consent.

Policy can never be that pristine, but, this is a fundamental guiding principle alluded to in our founding documents and Bill of Rights. But, it will take the voters assertion of this right to beat government back on its meddling in such deeply personal and individual choices.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 20, 2009 1:40 AM
Comment #280620

Rhinehold-

Dems are no different, Stephen. You want us to know who to vote for, how are we to do that if we don’t know all of the facts about all of the topics?

Under the plans I support, the choice of private insurance is still available. We just add a public side to it to ensure that people without that don’t fall through the cracks

People generally don’t have a choice about healthcare, not if they want to live and be healthy. We ought to start treating it as a fundamental service that all are entitled to, rather than just a luxury of those who can afford it.

We don’t need to. We just need a national organization that identifies this stuff for us and reports it to us in a reasonable and non-political way without FORCING us to follow their recommendations.

Have you any idea how toothless such an organization would be? Yes, lets give people the choice whether they want to eat E. Coli contaminated meat. Let’s give people the choice whether they want to consume drugs that are deadly or ineffective.

This was once common sense, Rhinehold. Common Sense. It only got politicized by those where more concerned about bottom lines than food and drug safety.

Like I said once in one of my blog entries, people, given the chance, can be tempted to cheat. And then everybody else will be tempted, if they see the market give them a stamp of approval in the form of profits. And everything will work just fine, right up until the point that people die, become disabled, or at the very least become sickened because of the corner cutting and cheapskate behavior.

This isn’t about ‘suggestions’ Stephen. You and I both know, unless you are being purposely obtuse, that we will start fining people for being overweight (or taxing them I suppose) and eventually, when we are overburdened with the cost of healthcare, those who are overweight or choose to eat things that others may think are not healthy (just a majority of voters) are going to end up losing that choice.

No, we don’t both know. You assume. I don’t have to be purposefully obtuse to point out that this hasn’t happened yet, and that you have offered little evidence that any such legislation would pass the Senate and House. You’re just scaring yourself snotless over the idea that Liberal Democrats are in charge, and you assume that we’re every bit as controlling as the propaganda floating around suggests us to be.

Calm the hell down. You’re letting overwrought rhetoric become unreasonable paranoia. The message you’re sending here is that any kind of increase in regulation or government control is a slippery slope to oblivion. That’s an awful twitchy notion of things from most people’s perspective. If anything, It’s the laissez faire status quo that people are scared of, and with good reason.

Like? Come on, give me suggestions. SS gives about a 1% return on investment. That’s hideous. T-Bills? CD’s? Money Market Funds? Work with me, don’t just throw the whole idea away…

The point of Social Security Insurance, surprisingly enough, is an insurance policy that provies social security. Sure things always have lower rates of return. You only get higher rates of return if you add more risk to the equation. It defeats the purpose of the program to go gallivanting into the stock market, without guaranteed returns, and expect people to work off of that.

And should we run a healthcare system like that? People need to know that however IBM or Microsoft are doing today, that they’ll have the ability to walk into a doctor’s office and be seen for their illness.

What we need to do is push improvements in the 20th century recordkeeping system, and start forcing those people who take our money all the time, ostensibly to cover our medical expenses, to at least give it back on occasion when the need arises.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 20, 2009 12:35 PM
Comment #280626

Stephen,

For the 3rd time, no one mentioned the stock market, YOU did. You accuse me of being paranoid and then display it in your own writing.

Now, why would I be paranoid that a government, once given the power to control what we put into our bodies, would decide to make it a law to put something into it? I noticed you clipped out the obvious example of how exactly that is happening and supported by this and previous administrations in the war on drugs and marijuana. Then tell me that I provide no evidence that anything of the kind could happen? Stephen, wake up and look around you.

Here’s some material from the WHO back in 2002:

Why use domestic laws in the fight against obesity?

Domestic laws can be used by a government to influence the availability and accessibility of food products. They can therefore be used to help to achieve public health nutrition objectives. Domestic laws can be used as a public health policy instrument to support NPAN by regulating the availability and conditions of sale of certain foods.

There are three such regulatory approaches:

1. using pricing controls on foods such as imposing tariffs, providing for domestic subsidies or imposing or increasing domestic taxes on particular food commodities;

2. placing restrictions on the supply of particular foods such as banning their import, prohibiting the domestic sale of specific
foods or requiring certain composition standards; and

3. mandating labelling requirements for foods sold in the domestic market, such as labels containing warning statements, nutrient
claims and nutrition information panels.

What must be considered when using domes-
tic laws in the fight against obesity?

In 1995 the WTO was established as the international organization to supervise the operation of the rules of trade between member nations. Central to the work of the WTO is its role in administering the various WTO Agreements. The WTO Agreements provide a framework for the
preparation, adoption and application of technical regulations including key procedural requirements. The main WTO Agreements that impact
upon health and health policies are the Agreements on Agriculture, Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT), Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures
(SPS), Trade-Related Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and Trade in Services (GATS). Members of the WTO are obliged to abide by the rules and provisions in the WTO Agreements that set the framework for international trade liberalization.
It would appear that the use of domestic measures to address obesity problems would come within the terms of the Agreement on Agriculture and the TBT Agreement, the focus of the SPS Agreement being on food safety and the protection of humans from plant- or animal-carried diseases.

And

Legislating against obesity is the “new frontier” of public health law, stated an editorial in the June 15, 2006, New England Journal of Medicine. Still, the biggest challenge facing backers of these efforts is the lack of evidence as to what, if anything, will work. Opponents have seized on that fact.

It has nothing to do with Democrats in office now, Stephen, we have been marching towards this for years, session of congress by session of congress, each one taking away more and more of our individual liberties in order to ‘save us from ourselves’.

Have you any idea how toothless such an organization would be?

YES, one that doesn’t put a gun to an individual’s head and tells them what they can and can’t do with their own bodies. Unlike the hypocrites on the left, I actually stand for that thought, not just when it pisses off Republicans in the abortion debate.

I gave you the example of Underwriters Labratories and in typical fashion you ignore it. There is no teeth in that organization yet we do a pretty good job in making sure most of our products are safe. AND the the DEA is going a piss poor job of doing just that, all the while using politics in deciding what is and isn’t verboten.

You can sit by and partisanly give up all of our individual rights to our own bodies, but I choose to stand against it.

We ought to start treating it as a fundamental service that all are entitled to, rather than just a luxury of those who can afford it.

Why? Me not accessing healthcare should only affect me and my family and should therefore be my decision. We already provide medicare to those who can’t afford it, everyone else should be on their own. What’s so hard to understand about that?

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 20, 2009 2:13 PM
Comment #280628

BTW, when I suggested eliminating all taxes on anyone making less that $250,000 you said no because it would cost too much. But this, this wouldn’t cost too much, right? Oh, nevermind that if we did cut that income tax, everyone would be able to afford their own healthcare, the REAL ISSUE is that you want to make sure that people do what you think they should do (or the majority of people think they should do) not what they themselves think they should do.

I think *THIS* is the real heart of the matter Stephen, and you’ve shown your true colors and what is the more important issue to you.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 20, 2009 2:15 PM
Comment #280636

So, in other words, you expect the government to incorporate the opposing views of 300,000,000 people into all of its bills. And why are so many people using that word? “Socialist”? These ideas are spread by uninformed political nutjobs who have yet to leave the primordial ooze and grow a competant brain!!!

Posted by: Aaron Hughes at April 20, 2009 5:49 PM
Comment #280668

It’s impossible to get a straight answer out of some politicians.

But whose dumber? The corrupt politicians or the voters who repeatedly reward corrupt politicians with 85%-to-90% re-election rates?

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 April 21, 2009 7:56 AM
Comment #280736

That’s the total re-election rate actually.

Posted by: Aaron Hughes at April 21, 2009 4:13 PM
Comment #280786

Rhinehold,

I’m passively reading your comments after the topic diverged to the topic of transfats bans when I question came to my mind; I wonder what your response is.

Should there be any restrictions on what people can do to their own bodies, even if there is an indirect detremental effect to the people around them?

I would think that the Libertarian response would be to say that anyone can do anything he/she pleases to his/her own body as long as no one else is directly affected.

But let me engage in a little hyperboble. Should a person in full physical health be allowed to commit suicide? Should it be legal for someone to aid this said person?
In your world, could I sell pills of poison as a cure for any disease as long as the side of the container said that the pills may cause death? (Thereby creating a chain of informed consent).

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 22, 2009 1:49 PM
Comment #280788

W.R.,

I will take a crack at this since I favor Libertarian views on such issues.

“Should there be any restrictions on what people can do to their own bodies, even if there is an indirect detremental effect to the people around them?”

Depends. Suicide has detrimental emotional effects on loved ones and family. Should those consequences result in the Government choosing between an individuals ABILITY to take their own life at anytime, and weighing the emotional consequence on the family? HELL NO!

If one’s own life is within one’s own hands, then the STATE truly OWNS all persons within it, and the concept of individual liberty has no meaning at all.

On the other hand, if one plans to commit suicide by COP, shooting police as inducement to their shooting the suicide victim, then the Government has an obligation to intervene in the suicide if it can to preserve the individual liberty and life of other members of the suicide.

Our founding fathers were well aware that government of ANY design and human judgment of ANY person will be less than perfect over time. Still, they established the Legislative and Judiciary branches to decide such personal vs. public interest issues, where such rights are not expressly allowed or prohibited by the Constitution or other legal precedent. It is a flawed system, but the best yet devised in my opinion.

“Should it be legal for someone to aid this said person?”

To insure against the difference between murder and assisted suicide, and to insure the suicide person’s complete and total volition in the assisted suicide, it should be legal for someone to aid another with suicide, but, NOT just anyone. The law should and, indeed must, provide measures for, and qualifications of, those assisting others with suicide, to insure safe harbor provisions are not abused or exploited for personal benefit or gain.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 22, 2009 2:14 PM
Comment #280817

David, thank you for your response.

Up until very recently, I was very opposed to the legalzation of drugs, but then I read Rhinehold’s arguments recently regarding the drugs. I am reconsidering my opinion. I always considered the act of selling harmful drugs to another akin to murder; I thought it was no different than dropping a spoonful of arsenic into another’s drink. Perhaps it is not, perhaps we can be responsible enough to allow people to use dangerous substances if they choose to accept the consequences, which is nearly certain death in the case of arsenic.

Posted by: Warped Realtiy at April 22, 2009 8:38 PM
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