Texas!

“When, long after the spirit of the constitution has departed, moderation is at length so far lost by those in power, that even the semblance of freedom is removed…” Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, 1836

The words above, written as part of the declaration of the people of Texas that they were a free people, state the essential legitimate foundation of a people's right to separate themselves from a nation that no longer respects them. We have seen this right exercized both by the people of the United States in separating from England and in the the case of Texas itself.

Texas governor Rick Perry made waves Wednesday with his Austin "Tea Party" statement hinting at Texas's "unique situation", and intimating the possibility of secession. This led to mentions all over the blogosphere and even on Rush Limbaugh's show. Given that 70% of the jobs created IN THE NATION last year were created in Texas this was more than just the idle vote-mongering of an admitted political bottom-feeder. It echoed the sentiment of a great many Texans.

One of the ironies of the talk radio discussion arising from secession talk was speculation of whether such a move on the part of Texas would be legal, as though the Declaration of Independence of the United States was not treason, or the decision to write a new Constitution for the United States in 1787 was not treason. Under any reasonable reading of then-existing law both actions most certainly were acts of treason. That is, of course not the point. The people do not exist to fulfill the law. Christians will recall Jesus saying as much even for the law delivered from God himself. The United States exists because of a determination that the government must be subject to the people from whom it derives its existence.

Now, as we see the federal government reaching into the private economy even to direct the personnel moves and salary structures of corporations, and directly deciding what companies will live though they ought to fail and which others will now have to compete on uneven competitive playing fields, we know the restraints of the Constitution have been broken. The leaders of the nation are telling us we are here for sake of the law.

As second part of this irony is the notion that the conquering by military might of Texas as part of the Confederacy erased any special status the former nation may have had. This is something like saying that a man, born free, who voluntarily contracts himself to a company only to quit the company later can have the contract enforced in perpetuity as long as the company convinces him he must serve by force of arms. That sounds a lot like the complaint the colonists had in 1776, or the Texians had in 1836. They have dominion over us. Therefore we have no right to complain that they have dominion over us.

Texas is, and should think of itself as, a republic, bound by treaty to membership in a great nation- but only so long as that nation honors the contract by which it claims to be defined. If that fundamental restraining "spirit of the Constitution" is indeed lost and judges and politicians have become the law it is the sacred obligation of Texas, and Texans, to be free once again.

CORRECTION
While a treaty of annexation was put forward it could not clear the hurdle of a two/thirds majority in the Senate. Instead, Texas was annexed by a joint resolution of Congress the terms of which were accepted by votes of citizens in the individual counties. The terms included Texas having the right to subdivide into as many as four additional states (increasing potential senate representation) and retaining Texas national lands as state lands. Portions of these lands were sold to the federal government to relieve state debts and are now parts of New Mexico and Colorado.

Posted by Lee Emmerich Jamison at April 17, 2009 10:47 AM
Comments
Comment #280381

So, somehow Texas is not in the same boat as every other state in this union? What arrogance. As if Texas is more important than the rest of us. Taking a lead from Alaska? Well, God bless the GOP for their membership and leaders.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 17, 2009 11:37 AM
Comment #280382

Does this also mean the Federal Government can decide to kick Texas out of the United States Lee? Perhaps we can work out an agreement whereby Texas assumes its share of the debt and goes out on it’s own. But could ya send Willie out first, before he needs a passport?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 11:38 AM
Comment #280385

j2t2,

Since the U.S. takes far more money out of Texas than Texas receives it’s an open question who would owe whom.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 17, 2009 11:45 AM
Comment #280387

Lee:

You somehow expect that miraculously any state should receive more from the federal government than they put in? Huh?

Posted by: womanmarine at April 17, 2009 12:07 PM
Comment #280388

I wonder how Texas’ job creation would look without Houston? Seeing that those horrific oil prices last summer created by OPEC and Goldman Sachs are what led to the relative economic health of Texas. Since we are free to declare independence, with a Democratic mayor and a resurgence in many Democrats in office locally, shouldn’t Houston simply secede Texas and join the sane world?

Posted by: gergle at April 17, 2009 12:39 PM
Comment #280392

“The United States exists because of a determination that the government must be subject to the people from whom it derives its existence.”

Lee did Texas not participate in the federal election process as did the other states this past November? It would seem those of Perry’s ilk see things most others don’t like “the government must be subject to the extremist conservative people from Texas only, from whom it derives its existence.” There is an unhealthy amount of arrogance in Perry and now Tom Delay when they spout this stuff. The fact is the repubs/conservatives deserved to lose the election and they did.
Perry looks more like a sore loser and a common criminal than a man of honor and a revolutionary in the style of our founding fathers. I would caution him and the Becks, Hannity’s and Limbaugh to be careful of what they do, their followers are easily lead and could get themselves into a heap of trouble listening to these fools.

I have always thought the biggest harm to this country would be from within, not from Islamic terrorist and such, seems Perry is making me look smart on this one. Seems the DHS was right in releasing this report on right wing extremist within this country when elected officials act as he does.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 1:29 PM
Comment #280394

Why are you guys surprised?

The Presidents supporters insist that the majority of the public supports his ideas. That means absolutely nothing because we are not an unitary state. What he should be insisting is that the majority of the states supports higher taxation. He can’t do that because majority of the states do not support it. You see the disconnect?

We are a Union. That must mean something. That is the point the Governor of the Texas is trying to make. When the federal government extends its power beyond what constitution intended it to be, it is breaking the very contract by which the 50 states are bound together.

First of all, federal government doesn’t have any rights on its own. Only rights the federal government has are the rights delegated to it by the states. Read our history instead of listening to idiots on the CNN and MSNBC. Article 1 of the constitution of the US clearly demarks the rights which states gave up in favor of the Union.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” 10th Amendment, the US Constitution.

This was upheld by the Supreme Court over and over again. The US government had to use the “Commerce clause” of the Article 1 section 10 clause 2 in order to force the Southern States to end the segregation. It is that powerful.

We need to understand one thing. The constitution was not created in a vacuum. It was created so that 13 original colonies could agree on common rules of coexistence. They gave up their rights with the understanding that the Union was a safeguard of their individual right as the republic was a safeguard of individual citizen’s rights. When the Federal Government usurps the power, as it was done during Bush administration when they bailed out private corporations with citizen’s money, and continued with Obama administration, the idea behind the Union vanishes.

We saw the dangers of such state during the President Nixon administration, when the President arrogantly assumed that the Office of the President put him somehow above all others. I happened to like President Nixon. I disagree with his vision of the government, but over all, he was one of the better presidents that served in the White House. The trap that we fall into is the idea that somehow the Federal Government can exist without the delegation of the rights from the states. This was designed for a specific reason, so that the changes which “popular” majority might want to implement are gradual and not just passion of the moment.

Posted by: Crusader at April 17, 2009 2:01 PM
Comment #280399

“”We saw the dangers of such state during the President Nixon administration, when the President arrogantly assumed that the Office of the President put him somehow above all others. I happened to like President Nixon”“” I can’t say i did even Eisenhower was leary of him in the 1950s But he was pretty Progressive as a president i don’t know if it was his Paranoia or what but he opened the doors to china and made progress with Russia and EPA and quite a lot here go figure.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 17, 2009 2:52 PM
Comment #280402

Funnily, I heard a conservative commentator blaming Jimmy Carter for the 55 MPH law, he missed the fact that it was a republican that instituted that, Nixon.

Posted by: Rhinehold at April 17, 2009 3:27 PM
Comment #280405

“When the Federal Government usurps the power, as it was done during Bush administration when they bailed out private corporations with citizen’s money, and continued with Obama administration, the idea behind the Union vanishes.”

Why then was it acceptable for the Reagan administration to bail out the S&L’s in the 80’s? Why didn’t the “idea behind the Union” vanish at that time?


from wikipedia:
“The savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and 1990s (commonly referred to as the S&L crisis) was the failure of 745 savings and loan associations (S&Ls aka thrifts). An S&L association is a financial institution in the United States that accepts savings deposits and makes mortgage loans. The ultimate cost of the crisis is estimated to have totaled around $160.1 billion, about $124.6 billion of which was directly paid for by the U.S. government—that is, the U.S. taxpayer, either directly or through charges on their savings and loan accounts[1]—which contributed to the large budget deficits of the early 1990s.”

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 3:34 PM
Comment #280407

Lee, you left out the most important pertinent passage:

These, and other grievances, were patiently borne by the people of Texas, untill they reached that point at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue. We then took up arms in defence of the national constitution. We appealed to our Mexican brethren for assistance. Our appeal has been made in vain. Though months have elapsed, no sympathetic response has yet been heard from the Interior. We are, therefore, forced to the melancholy conclusion, that the Mexican people have acquiesced in the destruction of their liberty, and the substitution therfor of a military government; that they are unfit to be free, and incapable of self government.

Your quote at the beginning of the article appears to be in response to the Mexican Government, NOT the U.S. government. In response to an authoritarian government, not a democratically elected government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 3:41 PM
Comment #280413

Let Mexico have Texas. And Alaska.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 17, 2009 4:41 PM
Comment #280416

Again, as my response to Lee’s article below stated, the 1923 Mellon case said unanimously that grants to state and local governments do not violate the 10th because the grantee is free to accept or reject the grant.

The states have gotten addicted to the “free money” as pushed to them by the Feds. Perry need only look at his own office where they are filling out SF 424s as we speak.

Posted by: George at April 17, 2009 4:49 PM
Comment #280419

womanmarine, first of all, I live in Texas. So, let’s not encourage the crazies down here, OK?

Second, Gov. Perry is vastly less popular in this state than Bush was. When Bush left to become president, his bumper sticker read: “You think I was bad? Wait till you see the one replacing me.”

That of course, was Gov. Perry. Sen. Kay Baily Hutchison will be running for Gov. against Perry, and Perry is appealing to the rural and urban paranoid crazies as his core base of support.

Methinks Perry’s days are numbered. His popularity dropped like a stone with his TOLL roads for Texas plan. He is a premier dullard, twin to his predecessor.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 4:56 PM
Comment #280421

“This was designed for a specific reason, so that the changes which “popular” majority might want to implement are gradual and not just passion of the moment.”

Crusader speaking of passion of the moment what safeguards the federal government from the whims of a State Governor who doesn’t like the policies of a duly elected president and Congress? Certainly the founding fathers didn’t want each state to be able to secede on a whim of one of it’s officials? It seems to me that should the Governor believe the feds have usurped their authority he has the right to file suit in federal court and have that third branch of government determine if the constitution has been violated and thereby allowing for states to secede from the Union.
That would be a more logical step than the governor making the determination for himself and then forcing Texans to go to the mats for either side of the conflict that would certainly result from this ill thought out move.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 17, 2009 5:12 PM
Comment #280423

David:

Texas needs to quit electing idiots for governors :)

Posted by: womanmarine at April 17, 2009 5:32 PM
Comment #280426

“Texas needs to quit electing idiots for governors”

ya, and hopefully in 2012 we can get rid of the idiot of a president we now have.

Posted by: dbs at April 17, 2009 8:05 PM
Comment #280431

DBS:

Miss the smiley face I posted? Too bad.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 17, 2009 8:28 PM
Comment #280434

womanmarine, that my become the case in Texas. You see, Texas has an immigration problem. No, not from the South, but the North. An enormous number of Democrats have been moving from Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, and other places to take up residence in Texas where jobs have been a whole lot easier to find. The South of Texas is already Democrat, what we call, the Valley. Now with Democrats gaining majority in San Antonio, and increasing their numbers in Dallas, the day may not be far away when Texas returns to electing Blue Dog Democrats to State government.

It will be a dramatic improvement for Texas, and we can stop sending our nincompoop Governors to D.C. as representatives of Texan incompetence and the ardent belief in the Peter Principle system of promotion.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 8:36 PM
Comment #280437

david

“An enormous number of Democrats have been moving from Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Nebraska, and other places to take up residence in Texas where jobs have been a whole lot easier to find.”

if republicans are so incompetent why are jobs so much easier to find in texas? isn’t texas run by republicans right now? aren’t most of the states being fled run by democrats? i know ohio is as i now live here, so how again could this be good for texas? do you really want democrats running your state? hell, look at california. is that what you want 40 billion dollar + defecits. cause thats what you’ll get.

Posted by: dbs at April 17, 2009 8:54 PM
Comment #280438

David:

Thanks for the sense of humor. Some folks have none! I don’t know Texas at all, so have to take your word. Glad you appreciated my tongue in cheek.

Posted by: womanmarine at April 17, 2009 9:17 PM
Comment #280449

David,

womanmarine, first of all, I live in Texas. So, let’s not encourage the crazies down here, OK?

Hey, I resemble that remark :)

Posted by: gergle at April 17, 2009 10:42 PM
Comment #280451

dbs
The state budget of CA is largely funded by property taxes as you well know. The rapid decline in housing values automatically decreases state revenues. No surprise there. States less reliant on property taxation have fared better.
CA is the first state to start using stimulus money to avoid teacher layoffs and deserves some credit for that. They are still stuck with an absurdly overcrowded and expensive prison system and mandates like the three strikes law that limit possible solutions.

Lee re: Texas leaving the union.

The time has come
The time is now
Just go
Go.
GO!
I don’t care how.

-Dr. Seuss

Posted by: bills at April 17, 2009 11:15 PM
Comment #280453

dbs, Texas’ economy was booming 20 or so years ago. Then, it was a Democrat run state. Now, Texas is broke. And it is run by Republicans.

Want to know how dumb Texan Republicans are? Texas got most of its government revenues from those pulling deposits out of Texas soil and territorial waters, and grew on those revenues. Then Republicans took over, and cut taxes on the oil corporations and other corporate business, and because they were hootin’ and hollerin’ about cutting taxes, when it came time to go broke or install a state income tax or Toll Roads everywhere, the Republicans found they had screwed themselves.

Texas can’t raise taxes cause they got everyone believing taxes are evil, but, the population boom demands more state capital spending for infrastructure, so, Texas is now going broke. Perry caught hell for mentioning a state income tax, got sued many times, and still is getting sued over Toll Roads tax payers already paid to build for free use.

Perry, the idiot, now has to take Obama’s infrastructure federal dollars, but, the idiot wants to bite the hand that is going to feed Texas in the process. They just don’t come any dumber than this. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Obama administration ends up telling Texas to shove it, they will find a more appreciative state to give the infrastructure dollars to.

Republicans are on there way out in Texas. “It’s the Economy, Stupid”, I think was the phrase. With massive traffic jams in the Silicon corridor, the Silicon industry will be looking for greener pastures in some other state. This one is broke, and pissing off the Obama administration which is Texas’ lifeline.

Texas was not hit hard by the home foreclosures, precisely because Blue Dog Democrats insisted when they were in power on a law that said no mortgage company could make home loan in Texas for more than 80% of the market value of the property.

Texas therefore, will, like a laggard economic indicator, trail the rest of the nation in recovery, if they don’t get Obama’s infrastructure funds. So, go ahead, Perry, make my day. Keep talking secession, and hasten the GOP minority party status in Texas too, come 2012.

Can’t put all the blame on Perry though. The Lt. Gov. is the one who really runs the economy in Texas, and we can see daylight looking through David Dewhurst’s ears.

Read this, and then ask what happens to Texas without Obama’s Economic Reinvestment dollars. Go on, Perry and Dewhurst, piss on Obama’s stimulus and infrastructure funds, and you will driven out of Texas tarred and feathered on a rail. Idiots, both.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 17, 2009 11:26 PM
Comment #280460

“”The state budget of CA is largely funded by property taxes as you well know. The rapid decline in housing values automatically decreases state revenues. No surprise there. States less reliant on property taxation have fared better.”” bills the countys and cities assesses the property taxes not the crazy real estate market and as a home owner i seen my values go up to $720,000 for almost two years and my property taxes are the same now as then and california is tied into prop 13 you lived there they spend to much money now there raising dmv fees and everything else they can and prop 13 was to help control that because there suppose to have 2/3 approval on tax raises and they are going right over it .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 18, 2009 1:19 AM
Comment #280461

I stand to correct myself they did vote on Proposition “”39 was an initiative state constitutional amendment and statute which appeared on the November 7th, 2000, California general election ballot. It was passed with 5,402,822 “Yes” votes, for 53.3 percent of the total votes cast. Its principal effect is to amend Proposition 13, thus lowering the required supermajority necessary in order for voters to impose local school bond acts from 2/3rds of all votes cast, to fifty-five percent (11/20ths).[1] Proposition 39 was essentially a milder version of Proposition 26, which would have ended the Proposition 13 supermajority altogether, but which was defeated with 3,499,678 “Yes” votes, for 48.8 percent of the total votes cast, in the March 7th, 2000 California primary election.[2]””

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 18, 2009 1:43 AM
Comment #280466

If we are talking about secession, and someone mentioned Houston….may I please offer New York City as a secession candidate? I’ll make it a two for one offer—-if you take NYC, you can have any second city in NY state for FREE!

Any takers?

Posted by: pl8spinner at April 18, 2009 6:49 AM
Comment #280467

Lee,
Why I do support The Souths’ Right to seceed, I have to take a different measure against Gov. Perry. For I know that it would have not been for the funding recieved from the Federal Government and Private Insurance that the Great State of Texeas would have not been capable of creating those jobs.

For from clean-up to rebuilding entire communities I do believe that most of the projects in the state have very little Personal Money at risk; and thus, the Citizens of Texeas may be mad at what Dbs calls “the idiot of a president we now have.” Nevertheless, looking at the opportunity to discover a new source of Personal Income from President Obamas’ Vision. I wonder how long Texas can last without the support they are recieving from the other 49 States?

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 18, 2009 7:54 AM
Comment #280472

bills

california has had a budget issue for a long time. i lived there most of my life i’m very familiar with this issue. property taxes aren’t the problem. unrealistic spending is. calif. has been running a multi billion dollar defecit for years. it fluctuates depending on how much they borrow to help cover the gap. property taxes are pretty stable. when a home sells it’s assessed at the new purchase price, so we can pretty well estimate what the portion of the revenue will be year to year.

IMO what has happened recently is the down turn in the economy has taken a problem and magnified it. calif. needs to either drasticly cut spending, or at least freeze it until they catch up. at that point the gann limit needs to be reinstated limiting increases to cost of living and population growth.

“CA is the first state to start using stimulus money to avoid teacher layoffs and deserves some credit for that. They are still stuck with an absurdly overcrowded and expensive prison system and mandates like the three strikes law that limit possible solutions.”

this is part of the problem. calif. schools are overcrowded mainly because of the increase in population due to illegal immigration. the state is the largest employer in the state. with the downturn and private sector loosing jobs, current public sector jobs cannot be supported at the current level. IE they need to lay off a substantial number of public employees. it’s not pleasant, but thats the way it is.

as far as the prisons go they have tried to contract out some of that sector, and it has saved them money. the problem is the prison gaurds union has sued to stop it. the three strikes law i support, and voted for it, and voted against changing it. IMO if someone commits two felonies, and then commits some minor offense, they obviously didn’t learn thier lesson, and IMO will at sometime commit that next felony. why wait for them to do it again? why should some inocent victim suffer because some scumbag that didn’t learn his lesson after being twice convicted of felony.


Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 8:34 AM
Comment #280473

Rodney

ca. property taxes don’t decrease when then value of a home drops. what happens is they don’t increase. i know this well. when values start to increase again the county can actually increases the rate by more than the prop 13 mandated cap inorder to recoop some of the loss. prop 13 was a good thing for californians. they know exactly how much thier taxes will increases year to year, and those who have owned thier property before the law was passed will not have thiers increased. the prop came about because politicians were raising property taxes willy nilly to fund the flavor of the day, and people especially those retired were being taxed out of thier homes.

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 8:47 AM
Comment #280474

david

be careful what you wish for. while i understand your frustration. sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t know. case in point california. take a good look because thats what you’re liable to get. BTW looks like you guys actually have money in your rainy day fund? calif. doesn’t, and last estimate was a 42 bil. deficit, although i think that was overly optomistic, and may be much worse when the actual tax reciepts are tallied. but we’ll see.

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 8:55 AM
Comment #280476

Rodney

“”ca. property taxes don’t decrease when then value of a home drops. what happens is they don’t increase. i know this well. when values start to increase again the county can actually increases the rate by more than the prop 13 mandated cap inorder to recoop some of the loss. prop 13 was a good thing for californians. they know exactly how much thier taxes will increases year to year”“
I’m aware of that thank you dbs i was there over 40 some years also like you , also the houses that sold on the high end sorry to say most of them were foreclosed and many rebought for 30-60 cents on the dollar and they were not assessed as high as the “market” values on the high end.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 18, 2009 9:31 AM
Comment #280494

dbs, the problem with the devil you don’t know, is that because you don’t him, you can’t choose between them. Intelligent choice requires knowledge of the options.

Texas’ rainy day fund is way, way short of covering Texas’ needs. Ergo, Texas’ desperate need for Obama’s infrastructure development funds. Stupid Perry. Stupid. Secede? That’s just a way of trying to dodge the deficits and debt Perry’s policies have led to, along with a whole bunch of other state’s leaders, Democrat and Republican.

I think you may be right about Ca.’s tax revenues coming up short. Just another Republican Governor state biting the dust on too few revenues to cover the spending, which equates with a refusal to face spending reality.

Cutting taxes WITHOUT cutting spending even more, results in deficits and debt. Republicans just can’t quite master that math, and their tax cutting ideology just keeps piling on the deficits and debt.

Fortunately, America’s people are not a majority of Republicans. A recent poll shows a majority of Americans are willing to see their taxes increase if they can get universal health care as a result. I know this math is way over Republican office holder’s heads, but, Americans are actually capable of some cost-benefit analysis.

If paying more taxes will solve American problems, a majority of Americans love their country enough to pay more taxes. Not so with a core constituency of Republican supporters, nor ANY Republican policy holders if their rhetoric is to be taken sincerely.

Folks who love America don’t talk of secession. They talk of solving their nation’s problems.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 3:30 PM
Comment #280502

David, In comment #280407 above you note that I quoted a line from the Texas Declaration of Independence, and that further down there is a fear on the part of the Texians that the Mexican people have acquiesced to tyrrany. Indeed you are right. This article is not new declaration of independence. It notes, instead, the rationale for a legitimate declaration, should such become necessary.

It is not to be wondered at that the people of Mexico’s interior were hesitant to stand before the despot Santa Anna. As the Declaration was being considered by the people of Texas Santa Anna was brutally crushing an uprising by the primarily native peoples in the state of Zacatecas.
From an article,”THE HISTORY OF ZACATECAS”
By John P. Schmal

On May 11, 1835, the Zacatecas militia, under the command of Francisco García, was defeated at the Battle of Guadalupe by the Federal forces of General Santa Anna. Soon after this victory, Santa Anna’s forces ransacked the city of Zacatecas and the rich silver mines at Fresnillo. In addition to seizing large quantities of Zacatecan silver, Santa Anna punished Zacatecas by separating Aguascalientes from Zacatecas and making it into an independent territory.

Those who wait too long to respond to governmental illegality, wait until usurpations have sapped a people of their capacity to stand before tyrants, will be slaves forever.

People are standing around while the federal government decides how much power it needs to plow its fields, without asking us in the ways the Constitution prescribes, and they are so distracted by their effete frustrations and petty arguments they don’t realize we are being hitched to the plows ourselves.

Texans have been slow to suck on the federal teat, slow to cry when it looked like others would grab it first, and I suspect we’ll be slow to accept being hitched to the debtor’s plow.

dbs,
It is a hard fight keeping the money in the rainy day fund. And it’s only there if projections play out as expected. Our economy is, however, in pretty good shape, and not necessarily just because of oil. Technology has been a very important part of the Texas economy over the last 20 years. That is a more stable part of the economy than oil, where the vast fluctuation in oil prices make the budgeting necessary to plan for the future impossible. Besides, the new administration has made no secret of its open hostility to fossil fuels, even stating cap-and-trade legislation would “bankrupt” coal.

Texas, by the way, produces more than twice the next leading state’s output of wind energy. we’re not sitting around waiting for the sky to fall.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 18, 2009 5:49 PM
Comment #280503

david

“I think you may be right about Ca.’s tax revenues coming up short. Just another Republican Governor state biting the dust on too few revenues to cover the spending, which equates with a refusal to face spending reality.”

first off the wussinator IMO is no republican. he was elected to clean up the mess made by the former democrat governor gray davis, who was recalled. the majority of the problem started under his watch. BTW when former rep gov. pete wilson left office CA had a surplus, and some of it was given back in the form of a reduction in the VLF. the problem is arnie does not have the intestinal fortitude to stand up to the CA. democrat machine. he is more interested in being liked than getting things cleaned up. CA problem is one of spending, not revenue. if they had stuck to the gann limit, or even close to it, they would not be in the mess they’re in now, and there would be no reason, or nessesity to raise taxes.

while i do understand there may at times be the need to raise taxes, there is also a time when gov’t can accomplish the same thing by reducing spending, just like you and i must do when we have less money. it seems gov’t never wants to live with in its means, and this is what truely angers me.

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 5:50 PM
Comment #280504

One sign I wish I’d seen in the Tax Day Tea Parties: “DON’T BRIBE ME WITH MY CHILDREN’S MONEY”

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 18, 2009 5:53 PM
Comment #280508
DON’T BRIBE ME WITH MY CHILDREN’S MONEY

Wouldn’t that comment have been more appropriate a few years ago when the Bush tax cuts were passed while being financed with debt?

Regarding today’s reinvestment act, doesn’t it make sense that the primary benficiaries of many of the new infrastructure projects contribute to at least part of the bill?

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 18, 2009 6:20 PM
Comment #280514

Lee Jamison-
Largest city in Texas is Houston. Take a good look at the web of freeways and highway projects surrounding the city. You can opine gloriously about how free Texas is, but for all the rhetoric, Texas takes its share of federal dollars.

It’s been good for us, and our economy, no doubt. But perhaps we should acknowledge that our economy is part of America’s economy, not just an economy to itself.

While you’re at it, answer me something: what happened to your love of country? Does losing an election cause Patriotism on the right to evaporate?

Why is the Party of Lincoln’s allowing its biggest leaders to speak of secession at all?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2009 7:10 PM
Comment #280515

Let me make something clear here: Texas is my state, and I’m proud of it, but America is the Republic for which my flag stands, and it has my allegiance. When I was a Republican, I never dreamed I’d hear the rebellious words of Civil War Era’s Democrats echoed in the words of a Republican governor.

How the hell did this ever happen?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 18, 2009 7:14 PM
Comment #280516

“Texas, by the way, produces more than twice the next leading state’s output of wind energy. we’re not sitting around waiting for the sky to fall.”

While that is good Lee perhaps you should bear in mind that on a per capita basis Iowa (2nd) generates more mega watts of wind energy than Texas(1). In fact Texas generates 1 megawatt of power per 3,418 Texans whilst Iowa generates 1 megawatt per 1,076 Iowaians or roughly 3 times as much per capita as Texas. The good news is Texas is way ahead of California(3) in producing the highest megawatts of wind energy per capita. In fact excluding California(3rd) out of the top 7 wind energy producing states and comparing them to Texas we find that while roughly the same population (24 million) as Texas Iowa (2), Minnesota (4th), Washington (5th), Colorado (6th) and Oregon (7th)produces 1 megawatt of wind energy per 2916 people.

Another interesting thing about this group of states, Lee, is when it comes to getting the federal taxes they sent to DC back all but 1 state mentioned above received less back than Texas in ‘05. Only Iowa got more back at $1.10 per $1 paid than Texas at $.94. Oregon was close at $.93, Washington at $.88, Colorado at $.81, California at$.78 and Minnesota at$.72 on the dollar. So far I haven’t heard the Governors of any of these states wanting to secede, perhaps Gov. Perry is a complainer without a cause.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 18, 2009 8:10 PM
Comment #280517

dbs, I am angered by the debt as well, and have been screaming against it since Bush’s announcement of the invasion of Iraq, an obvious (to anyone who read the CIA factbook of that year) bit of irresponsible leadership.

But, I look at the current debt being elevated in exactly the following way. I have a car I just paid off and am looking forward to a few years of savings with no debt payments. When, BANG, an uninsured, unemployed drunk comes along and totals my parked car. Now, being prudent and weighing the risk, which was low, I chose to drop comprehensive insurance for liability only, to maximize savings.

Suddenly, I have to replace my car, haven’t yet saved for another one, and must go back out and buy a replacement on credit, going back into debt.

Bush and Republicans were the drunk who totaled the people’s car. The people through Obama, in order to keep working, must now go into debt to replace the totaled financial sector and damaged economy.

I am angry about the debt. But, I applaud Obama and Democrats for going into further debt to rescue the economy from putting me and mine out of work, altogether. It is a sound investment in the economy and the jobs of currently employed Americans, despite the increased debt required to do so.

Now, that said, I expect Obama to keep his word regarding the wasteful earmark spending in his first budget. If he fails to veto the Congress larding up the budget for items which will not directly invest in jobs, infrastructure, education, health care inflation, or energy independence, I will be launching tirades at Obama myself, as I have done this last week regarding his lack of movement on prosecuting crimes by government officials.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 8:13 PM
Comment #280518

S.D., the answer to your question is easy. Republicans voted in another idiot for governor to replace the old idiot being kicked up to his level of gross incompetence in 2000. A majority of Texan voters want politicians no more educated or sophisticated than themselves to be their leaders. They don’t trust intellectuals or Ph.D.’s generally as leaders. And the majority of voters have been getting what they want.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 8:17 PM
Comment #280519

Lee, my electric rates through Pedernales Electric Cooperative are some of the highest in the state and most of the nation. All because of those damn nuclear power plants in Houston, one built a long time ago and still not paid for, and a new one underway.

A warning to all those rate payers thinking nuclear is going to save them. Not if they follow Texas’ formula for nuclear powered electricity.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 8:20 PM
Comment #280521

david

“Now, that said, I expect Obama to keep his word regarding the wasteful earmark spending in his first budget. If he fails to veto the Congress larding up the budget for items which will not directly invest in jobs, infrastructure, education, health care inflation, or energy independence,”

i think he missed his first opportunity with the omnibus spending bill. some will argue it was last years business, but it was signed this year, and would have been the perfect opportunity to deliver on that promise. that is my opinion anyway. i only hope it’s not a reflection of things to come, or business as usual if you will.


” I will be launching tirades at Obama myself, as I have done this last week regarding his lack of movement on prosecuting crimes by government officials.”

i wouldn’t hold my breath on this one. the presidency to some extent really is a good ol boys club. if you think he’s going after bush & cheney you’ll be very disappointed.

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 8:29 PM
Comment #280524

Not sure, but, I think the omnibus bill was a chess board play, giving Obama the ability, when his budget comes to Congress, to say to them, I gave you the Omnibus bill as a freebie. You owe me now the opportunity to make good on my campaign promises to remove such waste from my budgets as president. You Democratic Congress people don’t really want to give a Republican contestant in 2012 an advantage over me, now, do you?

As for going after Bush and Cheney, et. al, for possible criminal behavior, all I can say is, if Obama disappoints my demand for one rule of law for all, I will disappoint him by throwing my vote back to Nader or some other in 2012. The rule of law is ALL that holds this diverse nation together. There simply cannot be one lenient law for those in government, and a harsher one for the public. We overthrew a king for just such B.S. as this.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 18, 2009 8:47 PM
Comment #280525

david

i suppose the chess game analogy is a possibility, but playing games with that much tax payer money can’t be a good thing, and not what i would want.

as far as trying to prosecute the former president, and vice president, i’de give you odds it won’t happen. everytime the white house changed parties there’d be political payback. if you can’t do it while thier in office it aint gonna happen. if it does i’de be shocked. get ready to vote for nader ;-)

Posted by: dbs at April 18, 2009 9:01 PM
Comment #280535

Let’s look at an area of the budget I have working experience in:

EPA gets $19 billion to start a program called cap-and-trade. It will not go into the effect till 2012 but EPA is tasked with starting the foundation for it.

Real life. There is a company in Ohio, who has worked with Ford Motors to cut down their CO2 pollution by 60+% and reduce their energy waist and consumption by $90 mill annually. The product is called “liquid chimney”. It reduces co2 emissions by close to 100%. If the government really wants to reduce the pollution, they would direct $19 billion to retrofit the biggest polluters with this product. Why don’t they do it? China is interested in it, they are going to implement at their coal plants. Why not the US?

Answer is simple, if you solve the problem that will eliminate government involvement in the matter. And, Al Gore would have waisted a sizable investment in the Cap-and-Trade.

If you guys think Democrats are any different than Republicans, you are going to be very disappointed.


This is from analizing what I know from my professional background. God know where else are they waisting money.

Posted by: Crusader at April 19, 2009 2:13 AM
Comment #280536

David,

First there are no nuclear plants in Houston, it’s 90 miles south near Bay City.

Second the reason your rates are so high is due mostly to natural gas prices and deregulation which allowed generating companies to load up tranmission operations with debt and transfer that wealth to themselves as they divested these operations. They are now buying up retail operations as poison pills in another game of leverage. They bribe the state legislature and get whatever they want, no matter the outcome for Texans. It’s pure power politics, pun intended.
Texas got scammed.

I won’t argue that the cost plus construction by Cheney’s old Brown and Root (KBR)(They did get fired for incompetent and/or corrupt construction practices a friend who worked there told me inspectors who weren’t on the take were apt to have wrenches fall on them from high places) wasn’t a plum pie for contractors, but it’s not the main reason your rates are sky high. The first unit went online in 1988. It was about 600% over budget. The actual generation costs are relatively low. Austin uses Natural Gas for about 2/3 of it’s electrical generation.

Posted by: gergle at April 19, 2009 2:22 AM
Comment #280537

dbs
The 3 strikes law actually has a guy imprisoned for life for stealing a pizza. Cost is about $50,000 a year. The prison guards union also opposed any reform to 3-strikes so are are in good company. If we were talking about 3 violent crimes the law would make more sense.
CA has a large school population. Educating children is a prime responsibility of any state. CA does spends less per student than many other states also. There’s not a lot of latitude there.
One of the built in drawbacks of prop 13 is it includes commercial properties. As you know taxes go up when a property is sold(usually). Private homes usually get sold every generation or so. Not so with commercial property. For example, Standard Oil is paying property taxes on their Richmond refinery at,what, 1968 accessed values.
An undemocratic quirk in Ca’s constitution allows a minority of idealogicaly moribund and beholding Republicans to paralyze any change to prop 13 or any other attempt to lower CA’s deficit.Just like in congress,they do not offer realistic solutions but only block progress.
CA schools for example. Yes, there are a lot of undocumented students. The state cannot legally refuse to educate them,period. That is not a solution. Its not possible. Nor can CA not take care of its rather large prison population. Even now they are under court orders to stop overcrowding and must improve the quality of health care. The courts are threatening to do it for them if they don’t comply.Shipping them off to a private gulag somewhere is not cheap either and takes time. The CA deficit is now. The state needs to increase revenues.
What. Should CA stop fighting forest fires, get rid of the CHP, stop road maintenence, sell Yosemite?

Posted by: bills at April 19, 2009 3:01 AM
Comment #280539

Crusader,
Why I would question the motives of Americas’ Democratic and Republican Leadership if they would buy American Corporations “Liquid Chimmey” I do see where a machine that collected almost a 100% of CO2 profitable. And so why I can see Government given tax cuts to the perchase of such Capital Equipment Investment, seeing the Political Ignorance of the Corporation I do believe that it might take some education in showing the CEOs’ and Upper Management what can be done with that much controled CO2.

For why I might not know how big the Bio-Mass Market can get in the next century, I do believe that the Wizaeds-that-Are can find a way to turn a Liability into a Real Asset. Because from packaging materail to Heaven Knows what Gadgit made out of a rapidly renewable resource I do believe that many of My Peers wil be shocked at what Their Children already know as Common Knowledge and Common Sense.

Christine,
As a Citizen I have no problem with Rush and Company; however, Chavez is for a lack of a better word an Elected Official. So why sould I hold An American Layman Citizen accountable to the same Principles and Standards set forth by the Founding Fathers of America and the Ancient Ones of Songs found in the Upanishads of Sanskrit as I do the Elected or Selected Leaders of the World?

Because why I know that Rush and the rest of My Peers may have the Unalienable Right to be Ignorant of such things, I worry that the lone Conservative Voice will be lost in the Wildress. For as gun-ho as Rush, Hannity, and Others were to get America involved in the two wars I find it strange that they are leading the talk of Failure and Session when America has an opportunity to discover a new source of Personal Income.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 19, 2009 6:14 AM
Comment #280545

Gergle, close enough for a national web site and readers who wouldn’t know Bay City, Tx. from Port Lavaca.

I stand corrected, and I thank you for this information which I researched and discovered is true and valid. PEC purchases power from the Lower Colorado River Authority, which generates electricity through a coal-fired power plant, three gas-fired plants, six hydroelectric dams and wind power facilities in West Texas.

Still, the original South Texas Nuclear Project plant cost rate payers 5 times more than they were told it would cost, and came on line years after it was scheduled to.

Then the Comanche Peak plant, the last nuclear facility built as far as I can tell, took two decades to construct and cost about $11 billion, 12 times more than anticipated.

Given the extremely high cost to PEC for gas and coal energy, not to mention the environmental costs, buying nuclear power in the future holds out little hope of lower rates. PEC even charges residents with Solar Power to sell back, the same rate as other customers, creating NO incentive toward customer renewable sources or discounts for peak rate period reliance on self-generated power.

Again, thank you for correcting my misinformation on PEC’s reliance up STP’s power sources, and the opportunity to research some of this first hand.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 19, 2009 9:54 AM
Comment #280548

Gerg, David, Everyone hold on http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2009/04/homes_that_use_natural_gas_for.html “”“Just as distributors start to lock in contracts for the coming winter, natural gas prices have fallen almost 75 percent. Not all of that will show up as savings on the heating bill, but it should still mean noticeable savings. utilities also generate about a fifth of the nation’s electricity with gas, and many of their customers should notice price breaks as well.

Electric utilities burn natural gas at power turbines, so homes that use electric heat could see big price breaks, too. And barring a scorching summer or a brutal hurricane season, analysts say prices could fall even further”“” Savings as much as 40- 60% from this winter, And Savings on Electric ie plants that use natural gas for electrical generation.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 10:09 AM
Comment #280549

I feel so bad for the natural gas industry ;)

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 10:13 AM
Comment #280553

bills

“The 3 strikes law actually has a guy imprisoned for life for stealing a pizza. Cost is about $50,000 a year.”

in order to be eligable for the three strikes the first two have to be felonies. sorry if you didn’t learn after two convictions why should we wait for the third to be a felony? if he had gotten away with the pizza theft, he’d have continued. good riddance.

i’m sorry but illegal immigrants are a large part of CAs school overcrowding problem, and a lot of that is because the federal gov’t refuses to inforce our immigration laws. the other part is because CA is a magnet for illegals, because they know they can come there and get free services.
throwing money without any reform is not going to fix the problem, and the CTA has been blocking reform in order to protect thier members for years.

like i pointed out before CA got into this mess primarily because it abandoned the gann limit, and habitualy overspent. it’s time to make tough decisions, and one of those is to drasticly cut back on public employees. the first to go should be those in departments that overlap, and those in non saftey sensitive areas. the budget should then be frozen until revenue catches up. at that point increases should be limited to population, and cost of living. why should californians be soaked because legislators spent reclessly since gray davis was elected to office. as i’ve pointed out before CA had a budget surplus when pete wilson left office. it was the democrats who spent CA into the mess they’re in now. they have already raised the sales tax, which i believe is now 10%. without drastic cuts and spending controls any gains made by raising taxes in the short term will quickly be lost.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 10:25 AM
Comment #280554

bills

BTW if the voters don’t like prop 13 they can change it. if the support is there it could be done, but it will have to be done by the voters since it was a const. amend. the legislature cannot change it. i don’t think it should be changed it is one of the few protections californians have against punitive taxation. the other being the needed 2/3 vote of the legislature needed to raise taxes. but since i no longer live there i have no say in what happens to prop 13.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 10:35 AM
Comment #280556

Not only that dbs but Dmv fees went up through the roof to. my truck was already $725 a year in 2008 I can’t say I miss the Golden State.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 10:50 AM
Comment #280559

rodney

i’m with you there. i do miss the so cal wheather though. there’s just something about -10 and a 20mph wind that is just tough to get used to.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 10:59 AM
Comment #280560

yeah dbs the winters were nice there i don’t miss the 105 heat though it’s a trade off, we have a beautiful spring and summer and fall here the summers are very mild here .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 11:06 AM
Comment #280562

rodney

i lived in costa mesa, don’t know if you know where that is, but i was @ 2 miles from the beach. never really got to hot. maybe low 100s during a santa ana, but it always cooled off at night. plus having pool made it quite bearable. DAMN i miss my pool. i haven’t spent a full summer in the midwest for a long time, so i’ll be curios as to how bad the heat and humidity will be where i am @ an hour NE of dayton.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 11:27 AM
Comment #280563

Crusader-
Under Cap and Trade, people implementing technology like you described would have extra carbon credits to sell. That would create a market advantage for those who employ such technology.

That’s the point of Cap and Trade: you pay for polluting, you are PAID for conserving and cutting off pollution. As for why we don’t just directly pay to subsidize such technology? Well, here’s the question: why have a market at all?

Because somebody might have a better product than “liquid chimney”. Letting the market respond, rather than pushing a specific product, lets the market do what it does best: encourage competitive, cost effective choices.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 19, 2009 11:55 AM
Comment #280564

No body said to subsidize.

Why not give tax incentives? Right now that product is in the early stage of its commercial life and requires large initial investment to get going and RoI is close to 4 years which is too long for the market at the moment. But, if the “global warming” is such a problematic topic why not create tax incentives instead of creating another department with the budget, contractors, unions and etc.?

Tax incentives will allow companies to shop around. BTW, bi product of Liquid Chimney is a CO2 in a solid form which can be used as a building material or for rebuilding coral reefs.

I guarantee tax incentive will get lot’s of these companies on board with similar products.

Problem is, tax incentive doesn’t create yet another government department with budget, contractors, advisors, consultants etc. Cap-and-trade will do one thing, skyrocket the cost of goods produced in the US. It sounds good to say if you don’t want to pay just reduce your carbon footprint. What is the reality, let’s say the do a capital investment of $100 million to reduce it, where do you thing this money going to come from? You guessed it, from the bottom line which means cost of goods produced with go up and make our already expensive goods even less competitive on the world market. Are we going to have to bail out those companies as well?

Posted by: Crusader at April 19, 2009 12:38 PM
Comment #280565

stephen

“Under Cap and Trade, people implementing technology like you described would have extra carbon credits to sell. That would create a market advantage for those who employ such technology.”

this will likely put the coal industry out of business, and we currently produce a large portion of our energy with coal. it is also the most plentiful energy supply in this country.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 12:38 PM
Comment #280566

“”i lived in costa mesa”” said dbs, It’s a Very Nice area i worked there and in Orange for about 11 years, wow a decent place there in 2005-2006 was over a million can you believe that madness ,I still have a place there a little more southeast in the high desert on a hill with a pool i loved the pool it’s a lot of work and expense but perfect for a big family but when those santa anas kicked in it was dirt and tumbleweed city I found a decent person who does the pool and yards for a fair price.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 12:39 PM
Comment #280568

rodney

yea i could have sold my little 1600sq ft ranch for @ 800k in 06, and i wish i had. i still did pretty good on it though when i sold it last year.

i have an account at a wholesale pool supply that deals stricktly with pool contractors, being as i have a contractors lic. in CA. i used to hook all my friends up with pool equipt. when they needed it. anything you would by at leslie or a retailer i could get for less than half. there’s a huge markup in pool equipt. if you haven’t you should convert your pool to salt it’s easy to do and reduces the chem maint. big time. the one thing to keep in mind though is to keep the water hardness below 500ppm. i had to change out my water @ every two years. if you don’t you’ll have a problem with heavy scale building up on the plates in you salt cell.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 1:09 PM
Comment #280569

rodney

BTW your place out in redlands or something like that?

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 1:11 PM
Comment #280572

dbs,

this will likely put the coal industry out of business, and we currently produce a large portion of our energy with coal. it is also the most plentiful energy supply in this country.

Unless the coal industry can get its act together and implement clean coal technology, then they will surely be going out of bussiness. They will be replaced by other energy sources that do not pollute as much (nuclear, wind, solar, etc…). I believe that is the point of the legislation.

If we give a specific tax incentive to a specific technology (such as Crusader’s “liquid chimney”) we run the risk of encouraging the use of inferior product if someone else develops a better technology that is not yet widely known. We already saw this problem with corn ethanol. Tax incentives were given to a promising idea (turning plant matter into fuel; the plant intakes CO2 while it grows so it should have been nearly carbon neutral). Unfortunately, we later discovered the ramifications of reducing the amount of corn in the food supply as well as the inefficiencies brought by corn ethanol. Cap-and-trade will hopefully allow us to avoid these sorts of problems while we progress in attempting to reduce our CO2 emissions.

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 19, 2009 1:44 PM
Comment #280573

You are not looking at big picture.

Look at Europe, they have a similar system, look at the Western European production, it has dropped worse than the US. All of it is outsourced. Poland has benefited from this stupidity the most. They are getting more and more industrial jobs from Germany because they are not part of the European “Cap-and-Trade”. You know Mexico will not be part of this so even more of American companies will move to Mexico. What a wonderful idea. On the other hand, Mexico will import into the US not only oil but electricity as well cause their’s is going to be even cheaper than domestically produced.

If you implement a tax incentive, AKA, you drop your CO2 emissions by x% you get x% of tax credit. What technology you use doesn’t matter as long as you reduce it. To avoid the situation where the companies will reduce the production to reduce the CO2 emissions so they can get the “free” money, you put a proportional return to the productivity.

This kind of approach will, imho, be more effective because it will be a tax driven. It will not affect the bottom line because they will get the tax credit which would reduce their tax exposure and the product cost will not go up, if anything they might use this to reduce the tax burden and reduce the operating costs. With Cap-and-trade it’s basically a government sanctioned racket. You have no way off offsetting the cost exposure which will affect the cost of operation. If you go the reduction route, you are dealing with capital expenses. If you don’t than you are paying more taxes. If you want the production to end in the US, that is a sure way of doing it.

Posted by: Crusader at April 19, 2009 2:35 PM
Comment #280574

Lee: “Under any reasonable reading of then-existing law both actions most certainly were acts of treason.”

Right, indeed. But when has any Republican ever been able to resist indulging in the hypocrisy of demanding one behavior standard of other people and institutions while simultaneously, or soon after, shattering the standard by their own actions?

Of course, never.

Hypocrisy has replaced small government as the central tenet of Rpublicanism and conservatism.

Posted by: Alberto Gonzales at April 19, 2009 2:45 PM
Comment #280575

Lee: “One sign I wish I’d seen in the Tax Day Tea Parties: “DON’T BRIBE ME WITH MY CHILDREN’S MONEY””

The sign I wish I’d seen at the tea parties: “I must have been in a coma from January 2001-January 2009. What did I miss? Oh, yeah and I’m pissed about this debt Obama is running up.”

I didn’t see it though. What’s your excuse, Lee?

Posted by: Alberto Gonzales at April 19, 2009 2:51 PM
Comment #280576

Crusader-
I’m always puzzled by the fact that the same people who complain about the complexity of the tax code are also the first to suggest tax breaks as their solution to given problems.

Trust me: there’s a connection between tax breaks and tax code complexity.

The truth of the matter is, I think tax breaks are just a frustratingly indirect way of giving subsidies, more or less an accounting trick that does something folks on the Right Wing can’t bear to think they’re actually doing: picking winners and losers in the market.

Let’s face it: that’s what we’re trying to do, either way. The difference is, a subsidy or a cap and trade system works actively. You say that this system will drive up prices sky-high. by what evidence? If companies get in on it early, it could in fact be a money making bonanza for them. Additionally, we can and are going to be rebating money to the consumers under this plan.

The last time we implemented standards to reduce pollution and emission, we were told that it would drive up prices everywhere. That didn’t happen. The big mistake in thinking that this will just become a big money-draining boondoggle is the failure to understand that the prices will encourage all companies to reduce their emission. if you don’t emit as much, you don’t pay as much.

dbs-
The are methods for reducing the emissions from coal. But really, should it be American policy to prop up an energy source when it’s no longer suitable for our needs?

Coal will probably be useful for a long time to come as a source of certain petrochemicals. But we can transition the people working for the coal companies to other work over the course of the next few decades, just as those who did feed and livery for horse and everything had to look for new work as the car and other vehicles took over.

Writting policy for the sake of the buggy-whip makers should not be our idea of a good plan.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 19, 2009 3:27 PM
Comment #280577

””“BTW your place out in redlands or something like that?’”’ close by dbs the other r city, I’ve thought about salt, I got lucky with the pool it was refinished before i bought around 2000 with a new big earth filter and pump and all, I did a acid wash and new pump last year the pool is like new, The heater was unhooked on the inside and like brand new someone must of been bad with using it and ?? unhooked it i found all the wires in the inside ripped out :) The house was a total fixer i went through it from top to bottom A_Z a few years before prices hit the roof we had two or three interested parties one guy was a clown and wanted me to do something i was not comfortable with and i declined in 2006 but there were thousands of houses for sale and everything that was sold in the last five years around there went into foreclosure.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 3:49 PM
Comment #280578

stephen

“Writting policy for the sake of the buggy-whip makers should not be our idea of a good plan.”

the car replaced the horse because it was cheaper and more cost effective. IE it didn’t eat, need shelter, didn’t get sick. alternative energies need to stand on thier own, not grow because we ban, or punish the use of the others. in other words the car replaced the horse because it was more practicle, so the market preferred it, not because we banned horsesh#t.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 4:05 PM
Comment #280580

rodney

the heater may have been disconnected because it wasn’t used. in the inland empire it gets pretty darn hot in the summer. if the pool is getting direct sunlight all day it probably stays close to 90 without any heating. you’de only need it if you were using it in the winter, or if you had an attached spa. in my experience heating a pool in the winter is a waste of money.

Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 4:14 PM
Comment #280581

Crusader, how about an across the board reduction in income taxes for businesses to help defray the costs? Businesses will then have the option to use the money to either buy carbon dioxided emission permits or convert to renewable sources of energy. If they convert early on, they stand to benefit later by selling excess permits to others who have not been able to adapt so quickly.

This way we avoid complicating the tax code even further.

dbs,

the car replaced the horse because it was cheaper and more cost effective

Actually, the automobile was unable to stand on its own until the government started to subsidize it. For the first few decades after its introduction, the automobile was nearly unusable because of the lack of paved roads and refueling stations. For example, the first transcontinental automobile trip suffered from numerous break downs and lasted two months (compared to less than a week by train).

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 19, 2009 4:32 PM
Comment #280585

we better get on subject dbs, It has a beautiful spa i bought it from a young lady with three kids and a state job, She had just divorced some numbskull from the amount of holes in the walls and doors from fists and big mean dogs and what the neighbors told me she was right i think he unhooked the heater anyways it was sitting there for a long time and i helped her out she made some money and bought a little condo and i got a fair deal, I never heat the pool with the heater it’s a 500,000 btu heater !!

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 5:50 PM
Comment #280586

Everyone,
Discussions of the Tax Day Tea Parties have stated that we were not really protesting taxation without representation. In fact that is NOT TRUE. Our children, our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children have had their earnings claimed by politicians today. They do not vote and have had no say, nor any representaion for the taxation they will be forced to endure. The British government of the 1770s, as odious as we saw it to be, never imagined such a criminal enterprise as we are embarked upon today.

Warped Reality,

Wouldn’t that comment have been more appropriate a few years ago when the Bush tax cuts were passed while being financed with debt?
People keeping THEIR OWN MONEY is not “financed” by anything. Government spending money it does not have is what makes deficits.

It is here that discussions of money confuse the issue. Economics, that is production and consumption, happens in real time. Money is merely an arbitrary, easily manipulable, icon for a promise. Government hijacks a certain amount of production for the consumption of its political constituencies with promises that “we the people” will produce more than we consume for our debt holders later. As long as those who produced on the assurance those promises would be honored believe they will be honored all is well.

Real conservatives have been saying for a long time, since long before the Carter administration in fact, that elements of our nation’s promises would be impossible to keep. Every major revision of Social Security since the late sixties, for example has been an exercise in shortsightedness and fiscal irrationality.

The trillions spent in the so-called “war on poverty” has been a contemptible folly that has left the families and neighborhoods of poor communities devastated and their spirits crushed. Neighborhoods that once looked up to the minority businesses and business owners that employed well over half of their people now look up to the drug dealers and pimps who scavenge amid their devastation. It is routine that many congressional districts most persistently controlled by Democrats look like war zones.

Medicare has ballooned into a program costing what would have been unimagineable sums of money to those who acquiesced to the pressure to start it, yet the sums it pays doctors and hospitals are so feeble that were the entire nation’s medical system to depend on Medicare it would collapse. Recent estimates are that nearly half of the cost of private insurance is subsidy for shortfalls in government payments.

Were we to have sufficient sums of “money” in the bank (as defined by the standards the federal government insists private corporations live by) to cover our obligations represented in government general obligations, Social Security, and Medicare combined, we would have 100 TRILLION dollars in untouchable cash in the bank. Effectively, in fact, we have nothing.

The partizans of snake-oil government, regardless of what label they wore at the time, have told you there was nothing to worry about. The people, like witless sheep, believed them.

You think Bernie Madoff’s “investors” look stupid…

This morning the media has been crowing at John McCain’s daughter saying elements of the right are “…scared ****less of the future.” No surprise to find the child of a snake-oil government partizan toeing the snake-oil government party line. No surprise, either, that the media foghorn for snake-oil government would trot her out to embarrass the right.

The fact remains, however, the promises represented in our national debt are made of fairy dust, wishes, and hallucinations. In a decade no amount of placebo effect will be able to make them come true. For that reason it is imperitive to keep the focus of our discussion on the powers government has and the capacity government has for increasing those powers without our consent. Elections are irrelevant to this discussion. Stalin, Mao, Lenin, and countless other tyrants have routinely won elections by ‘astonishing’ majorities. The partizans of government will assure themselves they can win any election so long as we permit them to make fraud undetectable, and standards unenforceable.

When the bill comes due, and it is obvious it will not and cannot be paid, will the partizans of governmet have so consolidated their hold on power that the people no longer can change their priorities?

We are deciding that now.

I believe much of the United States is so lost in self delusion they will not see the truth no matter how frankly it presents itself to them. If that is true the nation is unsustainable. I don’t think that is true in Texas.

While only a little over one in six Texans would vote to secede today, (That is an astonishingly large percentage, when you think of it.) that percentage could well rise as we get closer to the truth of our nation’s incapacity to live up to two generations of imaginating.

It is well to think seriously under what conditions we stepped away from the burden of tyrants before. That might help America’s leaders of the next decade or so to recognize the line in the sand beyond which we the people are not willing to permit them to go.

And it would point us to the course we must take if they decide to step past that line.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 19, 2009 5:57 PM
Comment #280587

Warped Reality,

Actually, the automobile was unable to stand on its own until the government started to subsidize it. For the first few decades after its introduction, the automobile was nearly unusable because of the lack of paved roads and refueling stations. For example, the first transcontinental automobile trip suffered from numerous break downs and lasted two months (compared to less than a week by train).
So, INFRASTRUCTURE, the one thing government does really brilliantly, is a susidy? This is a remarkable piece of logic, because it can be used to negate the validity of ANY private enterprise.

Think of it. Cobblers could not function on their own withour leather, which would be impossible to raise if there were no protection from cattle rustling by government.

But did government innovate shoes? No. Clothes? No. Trains? No. Cars, or the hydrocarbon fuels the wade availbility of which really was the catalyzing innovation? No.

Government innovated none of those things, nor even tens of thousands of other things that make our infrastructure, government’s dim-witted brute appliance of society, necessary.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 19, 2009 6:21 PM
Comment #280588

The Ford model T car and ford tractors then history was changed forever. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fordson quote “”The Fordson succeeded in being cheaper to maintain than horses, as the Ford Model T had previously done. A government test concluded that farmers spent $.95 per acre plowing with a Fordson compared to feeding eight horses for a year and paying two drivers which cost $1.46 per acre.[9]”“”

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 6:22 PM
Comment #280589

dbs-
It’s only in the short term that current fossil fuel energy choices are cost-efficient. I mean, think back a year ago at what gas cost! Now a great deal of that was artificial. But when this current economic climate warms up, so to speak, and folks are back buying oil as a commodity, the price will rise. Unfortunately, at that point, if we don’t start building the alternative infrastructure, it’ll be much more costly to change over.

There are parts of the country where for years, it was more practical simply to walk, to catch public transportation, or still ride horses. The transition wasn’t instant, the market didn’t develop in a moment, and part of what helped get this going was the post war boom that came in part from a huge infusion of capital into the manufacturing sector during WWII. We turned the factories that made tanks and fighters into factories that made passenger planes and autos.

We also, in addition to everything else, infused a ****load of American Taxpayer dollars into the interstate system, making it more economical to go cross country, to spread out the population.

The problem that this solved was the range and speed that the average American could travel.

We didn’t wait for the market to make it a problem. We solved it, and moved this country forward. We didn’t wait for the vested interests of the market to tell us what to do. They’ll always vote for the status quo, with a nice, relaxed, assured market for what they sell. The Buggy Whip manufacturer’s not going to tell you to put him out of business.

The truth is, we waited for the market to tell us when to move things forward, and the market’s already told us its time. But folks like you are going to argue, why are we going to move to alternatives? Well, we had a rather nasty taste of what it’s like to mix low efficiency vehicles with high fuel prices. The question is, do we want this transition to move fast or go slow? Why are we taking our time? Are we waiting for the next energy shortage?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 19, 2009 7:35 PM
Comment #280591

stephen

“capital into the manufacturing sector during WWII. We turned the factories that made tanks and fighters into factories that made passenger planes and autos.”

actually it was the other way around. the factories that made cars and civilian goods were switched over to military production. there was a period during the war when no new cars were built. many companies were contracted to make other goods. singer, rockolla, american signal produced firearms, so while gov’t money may have been pumped into these industries for war production the manufacturing capabilities had already existed.

“We also, in addition to everything else, infused a ****load of American Taxpayer dollars into the interstate system, making it more economical to go cross country, to spread out the population.”

the interstate system was designed originally as a part of our defense, and it was mandated that every so many miles of roadway had to be straight so that aircraft could be landed, or launched from it in an emergency.

“The problem that this solved was the range and speed that the average American could travel.”

once gain the primary intention of the interstate system was for security.

“The truth is, we waited for the market to tell us when to move things forward, and the market’s already told us its time. But folks like you are going to argue, why are we going to move to alternatives? Well, we had a rather nasty taste of what it’s like to mix low efficiency vehicles with high fuel prices. The question is, do we want this transition to move fast or go slow? Why are we taking our time? Are we waiting for the next energy shortage?”

folks like me believe things come about when the market, and the technology to support them, make them more practicle then current technologies. the truth is we have vast supplies of untapped resources such as natural gas, and oil, and have the technologies to retrieve them with very little risk. we have last i heard enough coal to last for hundreds of years. we need to utilize them. when the evolution of other technologies make them a better option there will be folks lining up to invest in them, and make them available, they will then replace current energy technologies the same way the steam locomotive was replaced by the deisel electric. it was just far more cost efficient. the same will be true with energy technology.


Posted by: dbs at April 19, 2009 8:40 PM
Comment #280592

Stephen, “”” The last supply glut in natural gas came to an end in 2002. Prices climbed, and producers began drilling more, finding new ways to pull natural gas from places previously considered unreachable.

For example, in the layered sedimentary rock known as shale, bountiful in a region stretching from Texas and Oklahoma into Appalachia, drillers learned how to free gas by forcing water into small boreholes and fracturing the rock.

””“”Five straight years of record activity turned into 148,000 new wells, according to the American Gas Association.”“”“

Then came the recession, and the drilling rush came crashing to a halt. Rigs are still being pulled from the ground at a record rate. Active rig use in North America is at the lowest level in five years.

The government’s Energy Information Association says the volume of gas in storage around the country, a staggering 1.67 trillion cubic feet, is 35 percent more than it was last year.

“Storage is full. There is no place for gas to go,” said Ron Denhardt, vice president of natural gas services “”” we have so much natural gas here in upstate ny Stephen there capping of wells and have stopped drilling they sunk a huge monster across the road from me that thing was burning off gas for three months now it’s capped.around $3.55 a unit now.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 9:10 PM
Comment #280593

dbs is on my mom worked at Remington Rand a few years before the war typewriters she had a special knack and did piecework and made a lot of money, then the war came they converted making .45 cal semi autos and Ordinance of course her wages went back down then after the war back to typewriters.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 9:33 PM
Comment #280595

Lee Jamison-

Discussions of the Tax Day Tea Parties have stated that we were not really protesting taxation without representation.In fact that is NOT TRUE. Our children, our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children have had their earnings claimed by politicians today. They do not vote and have had no say, nor any representaion for the taxation they will be forced to endure. The British government of the 1770s, as odious as we saw it to be, never imagined such a criminal enterprise as we are embarked upon today.

Oh, won’t somebody think of the children? You’re right, you haven’t thought of the children. When Reagan got into office, he skyrocketed the national debt. When Bush 43 got into office, he did it, too! He doubled it.

Oh, but they were giving money back to the people, right? Their money! I mean, like you say:

People keeping THEIR OWN MONEY is not “financed” by anything. Government spending money it does not have is what makes deficits.

This would be nice if it wasn’t dead wrong. The Bush White House, unless they had counterfeiting as one of their newfound powers under the CINC clause of the constitution, had to finance this debt with other people’s money.

Some were Americans, but much of it came from the Chinese, Japanese, Arabs, brits, and other groups. It doesn’t matter what you call what you’re doing, you’re not financing your deficit spending, and therefore your tax cuts, any differently.

You HAD to borrow to finance those tax cuts. Therefore, you weren’t really giving people back any money. You were taking out a payday loan in their name instead.

It is here that discussions of money confuse the issue. Economics, that is production and consumption, happens in real time.

Economics is not merely production and consumption. It’s the forces in the real world that get in the way of each. Money is one of those things. Most of us don’t trade sheeps and goats anymore, so we rely on money, and more importantly, the flow of money in order to grow our economy.

You say it’s easily manipulateable, but it’s really not. The rest of the economy doesn’t just arbitrarily spring from the cracked-open forehead of Ben Bernanke. People have already set prices, prices they need to charge to make enough money to keep their businesses open and their employees paid. The banks big hitch in their giddyup has meant that in many places, the needed credit isn’t showing up, and the ability of the businesses to function as normal, even if they are trustworthy borrowers and good earners.

Government hijacks a certain amount of production for the consumption of its political constituencies with promises that “we the people” will produce more than we consume for our debt holders later.

Hijacks. You seem to be talking of what has been, throughout history, an accepted, normal activity of government. Maybe in a dream world, the government can do all that it needs to do according to you, and do just those things, without having to burden their citizens with any taxation.

But we are not in a dream world.

The war on poverty actually worked. Poverty, which once claimed 20% of the population, now only claims 12%. It could have been better managed, but America’s wealthier and happier for it.

Neighborhoods that once looked up to the minority businesses and business owners that employed well over half of their people now look up to the drug dealers and pimps who scavenge amid their devastation. It is routine that many congressional districts most persistently controlled by Democrats look like war zones.

No, it couldn’t be that people moved out to the suburbs, or anything like that. We can remember the inner cities being crime-ridden in the early seventies, well before the Great Society programs had the chance to do much work.

What’s going to make medicare more expensive is what make healthcare more expensive: the bureacratic, ineffective private system which is rapidly getting more expensive.

I believe much of the United States is so lost in self delusion they will not see the truth no matter how frankly it presents itself to them. If that is true the nation is unsustainable. I don’t think that is true in Texas.

When Bush won in 2000, that was not the signal for me to head up North to Canada, nor for me to give up on my country altogether. I did not, at that time, think that I should move to a liberal state and there advocate for the secession of that state.

I’m proud to be a Texan, but prouder still to be an American. And such talk of secession just makes me ill. We fought the bloodiest war in American history to settle this question, and most people, wisely enough, have considered the matter settled.

But this treasonous idea seems to have popped back up because a few are highly resentful of the fact that their people weren’t accepted back into the arms of the voters with apologies for ever having doubted them.

Yeah, lets threaten the destruction of the union, if we can’t get what we want. That really worked the last time. That really did our country good the last time.

Tell me: can you look at your party and call it the Party of Lincoln any longer with a straight face, having put that B.S. on the table? You should be bloody appalled at this idea! The apples of the Republican Party have fallen pretty far from its tree.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 19, 2009 9:55 PM
Comment #280596

Rodney Brown-
The big problem is that the fluid used in this fracturing of the rock is often toxic, and the fracturing of the rock itself often brings natural gas and the fluid into the water table.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 19, 2009 9:58 PM
Comment #280597

SD yes i know and the state was right there until a watchdog agency complained a few years ago there in now they’ve made progress or at least that’s what they claim on the waste and there building a huge pipeline called the Millennium. http://www.millenniumpipeline.com/maps.htm

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 10:18 PM
Comment #280598

where you see the big U in the line that’s about where i live they had to go a few miles north of me and a few hundred folks thank Goodness.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 19, 2009 10:34 PM
Comment #280599

“Our children, our children’s children, and our children’s children’s children have had their earnings claimed by politicians today. They do not vote and have had no say, nor any representaion for the taxation they will be forced to endure.”

So where do we draw the line Lee? It is hard to argue the concept that we are stewards of the earth for the future generations, both economically and environmentally. How do we deal with this new found concern from the right of future generations in a better way than Gov.Perry has chosen?

It seems to me there is more to this sudden inclination to secede from the Union. I mean you have just listed decades of grievances yet no Governor of any state has publicly mentioned seceding from the Union at previous tax protests. Since repubs/conservatives have contributed as much or more to this debt/defict that the dems one could think this debt accumulation was deliberate economic policy for repubs/conservatives.

I would ask that you consider the intentions of some leaders of the conservative movement. It seems they have intentionally worked towards this point for some time, and the first to fall for it is the governor of Texas.

“We are trying to change the tones in the state capitals-and turn them toward bitter nastiness and partisanship.”

— Grover Norquist
http://www.ndol.org/print.cfm?contentid=251788

Posted by: j2t2 at April 19, 2009 10:54 PM
Comment #280600

Lee,
You said “People keeping THEIR OWN MONEY is not “financed” by anything.” However, I strongly have to disagree with you as a Learned Citizen. For is it not the Wealth of Barons and Governments that finance People having the Opportunity to make THEIR OWN MONEY?

For I do believe that even Rush and Company are feeling the effects when the Top 5% of Society dicide Commerce and Industry to change.

Dbs,
Why History can tell us what our ancestors did when faced with problems; however, are the Children of the 70’s going to hold President Obama and Congress to those same Principles and Standards that “We the People” know are wrong?

Because staring at the problem of building from strach a 1.5 Giga Watt National Power Grid and the replacement of Americas’ Transportation System in 10-15 years J do believe some out of the box political thinking is called for in dealing with the Cap and Trade Issue.

For why coal and fossil fueldominate the Energy Market, the lure of a new source of Personal Income should be more than enough incentive between Labor and Management to come to terms with the fact that it is in the Inherent Best Interest of the Corporation to become Self-Sufficient. Because why it is nice to have the Luxury of leaning on Family and Friends, I do believe that Commercial and Industries Complexes will find that producing their own power from Renewable Energy Sources is not only profitable, but also by its very Nature cost effective.

And why a Mad Rush would really throw the Market into a tail spin, I do believe that the Republicans would be a better Loyal Opposition Party if they would start to address how such a transformation on the very Foundation America was born out of the Wildeness on will be dealt with by The Adults and Parents of Society.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 19, 2009 11:02 PM
Comment #280602

Lee, most parents go into debt to provide their children a better future. Almost every generation in the history of this nation has inherited debt of preceding generations. This is not something new, except to those with no knowledge of American economic history.

But, suddenly, upon Democrats being handed power by the majority of voters in response to the mess left by Republican rule, Republicans act like debt is something Democrats invented.

Republicans inherited 5.65 trillion in debt in 2001. Pres. Bush left office with over 12 trillion in debt accrued and a failing economy and capitalist markets run amok threatening the global economy.

Fixing this mess requires money. Money which Republicans failed to provide with their ideology dictating tax cuts in the good times and tax cuts in the bad times, leaving nothing but debt behind them. This, more than any other, is why Republicans are no longer in power.

All these attempts to now chide Democrats for spending to fix the Republican mess left behind sounds so much like sour grapes, that even logical and rational arguments for fiscal discipline after the economy recovers sounds like sour grapes from Republicans.

Meghan McCain is right. There is a civil war coming in the GOP between the FREC’s and traditional fiscal-individual freedom conservatives. Ya’ll can let the rest of us know when that war is won, and who won, and then, depending on who won, the rest of the population may choose to listen to what victors have to say about how to manage America’s future.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 19, 2009 11:54 PM
Comment #280604

Lee said: “Government spending money it does not have is what makes deficits.”

And spending money it doesn’t have is a result of BOTH too much spending and not enough tax revenues. Arithmetic rules are not partisan. Spend more than you have, or, fail to tax enough to pay for spending, both equal deficits.

Republicans did both, spend more than they had and cut their revenues below their spending. They employed a lot of hoodwink measures to deceive the public in the process, as well, like keeping massive deficit spending off the budgetary process, hidden from public view allowing them to project lower deficits and debt than they were actually accruing.

I hate Democrats bi-partisan pork spending, but, their putting the cost of the wars into the budget, and accurately assessing and reporting the fiscal year’s budget deficit, is like vastly more honest and transparent a handling of taxpayer’s dollars than Republicans offered.

And I don’t give a crap what you our others say is the true conservative principles. They don’t mean crap if they are not practiced in governance, and the GOP completely failed to practice what they preached when given the trust of power by the people.

Therein lies the reason for Obama’s and Democrat’s higher approval ratings in the face of their deficit spending, and the dismal public opinion of Republicans handling of economic affairs for America. Democrats are pig spenders. But, they are capitalizing on Republican dishonesty by proffering an honest set of figures of what it is costing to put America’s economy back on its feet.

In a very real sense, the Republicans the GOP elected gave the entire show to Democrats on a silver platter. And a party is what its elected representatives do in government, all rhetoric to the contrary is meaningless.

Posted by: David R. Remer at April 20, 2009 12:09 AM
Comment #280613

stephen

“No, it couldn’t be that people moved out to the suburbs, or anything like that. We can remember the inner cities being crime-ridden in the early seventies, well before the Great Society programs had the chance to do much work.”

no it couldn’t. many of us who remember the 60s and 70s don’t see it that way. the great society programs had done plenty by the early 70s mostly eliminating the incentive to work to get ahead, because you could sit on your arse and collect a check every month. while i’ll give johnson credit for advancing equal rights for black americans, creating a welfare entitlement has been an expensive disaster. BTW stephen it was your democrats that put up the majority of oposition to equal rights for blacks, and one of them was al gores father.

Posted by: dbs at April 20, 2009 8:44 AM
Comment #280614

henry

when the markets are ready, and those technologies become competitive, efficient, and have the capacity to replace current technology they will take over, but not until then. until then we need to fully utilize the energy sources we now have, and punishing the use of them in order to force the use of others that are not as cost efficient at this point in time will hurt our economy.

Posted by: dbs at April 20, 2009 8:54 AM
Comment #280617

I am getting tired of “Bush did it!” as an aswer to all the proposed spending. I don’t think anyone has any doubt that Bush made some serious mistakes, bailouts being one of those. There was some corruption there as well (no bid contracts in Iraq, corrupt congressmen etc). Weren’t those mistakes the reason behind Democrats taking over Congress in 2006, extending their gains in 2008 and capturing the White House in 2008? I distinctly remember Nancy Pelosi promissing to change the Republican culture of corruption.

Obama run his campaign strictly on the two principles - no to last 8 years of Bush and Change. He is doing exactly what Bush’s biggest mistake was - TARP, but he has doubled it with Spendulus and Omnibus. TARP was ~$750 billion. Our Democrat brethren added another $850 billion and another $490 billion. If that wasn’t enough, they are proposing $4 trillion budget.

The TEA Parties had one message behind it - no more spending. I was at one and I didn’t see a single sign asking to impeach President Obama (I do recall many at the “Peace Protests” directed at Pres. Bush and Iraq war). There were thee prevailing messages: vote the incumbents out (not party specific), no more spending and no more big government.

You can call these people rednecks, you can call them racist, you can call them all the names your heart desires but obviously they are strong in their conviction that the course the Bush plotted and Obama and Democrats continue is not to their liking. We were promised a change. What we got was the same old. Not one thing has changed from the Bush administration except the address of the special interest who receives the government cheese. Now, instead of Halliburton it’s Acorn who gets the government billions, and instead of some oil company it’s an environmentalist group studying mating habits of rodents. How is that any different?

We are told that Pres. Obama cut taxes for 95% of the Americans. Really? Have you talked to your accountant lately? That supposed “tax cut” is an advance on your taxes paid in 2009. If you don’t change your withholdings, you will either owe government taxes next year or you will receive ~$500 less in refund. Last time I checked that isn’t a tax cut, that is called letting you have your own money. Which makes it even more ridiculous is that with a tax refund you get a chunk of money which you can use to invest, pay down debt or make a large purchase. Right now we are getting what, $15 per paycheck? That is one trip to fricking Taco Bell.

I always admired the collective intellect of the American people. We vote when we are angry and we vote when we are concerned. In 2006 and 2008, Americans voted out of anger and frustration, right now the voters came out on the streets because of the concern.

My wife is 9 mo pregnant and wanted to come to the TEA party. She went to the protest for her children. I will be honest, I had different reason for going there, I am against Socialism which has been promoted by Pres. Bush and which is pushed down our throats by the new regime. When Jessey Ventura starts to make more sense than a Washington politician, you know you have a problem in D.C.

There is a saying “Two wrongs don’t make it right!” We are being fed a different line “When they did it it was wrong, when we do it it’s right!” Enough with blaming Bush. He is no longer in the White House. If anyone should blame Bush it’s Republicans because he buried their chances of getting some political traction for at least 3 election cycle.

I think this is a good chance for Libertarians to get on the bus. I don’t agree with their social policies but I think right now we got much bigger fish to fry. People are sick of Republicans and they are getting sick of Democrats, a fresh alternative might be just what the doctor ordered. I think it will be a nice balance in the House with Libertarians holding back the spending frenzy of the last 20 years.

Posted by: Crusader at April 20, 2009 12:08 PM
Comment #280623

dbs-
First and foremost, what has eliminated the incentive to work to get ahead? I live and work in a office full of people from the city, blacks, hispanics and otherwise, who are self-evidently working to get ahead. Heck, the director of the organization I work for is an African American.

There are plenty of people who are willing to work to get ahead.

BTW stephen it was your democrats that put up the majority of oposition to equal rights for blacks, and one of them was al gores father.

Yes, I acknowledge that. But I would tell you that many, if not most of those Democrats fled the Democratic party and joined the Republicans, who took a long standing pro-civil rights and federalist attitude, and exchanged it for those views to get votes from the South.

Crusader-
The bailouts in and of themselves were not mistakes. They were just badly mismanaged. The real mistake was letting Lehman Brothers collapse. That’s when we reached the tipping point on the current crisis.

Obama run his campaign strictly on the two principles - no to last 8 years of Bush and Change.

He also ran on many of the issues that you are now shocked (shocked!) that he’s coming through on.

I was at one and I didn’t see a single sign asking to impeach President Obama

There were plenty of signs documented at these tea parties that included one saying that taxpayers were Jews for Obama’s Oven, calling taxes white slavery, making a “homey don’t play dat” joke about Obama’s spending, and so on and so forther. I’m sure I could link you to some pretty horrid ones if I felt inclined.

Now, instead of Halliburton it’s Acorn who gets the government billions, and instead of some oil company it’s an environmentalist group studying mating habits of rodents. How is that any different?

If you did a decent amount of research, you could quickly discover that there was no substance to the charges in question, especially the ACORN one.

On the tax question? The Withholding is being changed, but you’re getting the credit as well. In essence, these are advances on that credit, paid out week by week. Do you think Barack Obama would be stupid enough to drop that kind of anvil on the taxpayers?

Trust me, the money is welcome. I’m using it to save up for a program I’ve been needing. that amount of money can also buy you a few more meals, at today’s prices.

But trust me on this: it will get spent. And that’s the bloody point of it. Rather than putting forward a lump sum that most people will put toward their credit card balance or bill that they’re behind on, this will go to all the miscellaneous businesses that such money would be useful for.

As far as libertarians go, I think this is the worst possible time for them to offer themselves up as the alternative. People are not in the mood for people to say the problem is “more government” We’ve been hearing the call for smaller government for decades now, and the people making it, pushing for looser regulations and greater freedoms for Wall Street, told us Wall Street would police itself if we let it.

It did not.

I think the main problem re: socialism is that you don’t have a real good sense of what socialism really is to begin with. All you’ve been told is that it resembles our policies.

Not really. But that’s convenient shorthand for those at such an extreme themselves that they’d just as soon believe that Democratic Party Policy is Socialism.

Democrats are actually pretty popular, and where they’re not, its usually because they haven’t gone as far as people like.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 20, 2009 1:28 PM
Comment #280630


IMO, the greatest threat to the continuation of the U.S. of A. is the lack of job production due to the way in which globalization was approached by our corporations and government.

Unless we do something about it, this condition is going to continue and worsen. And, IMO, government doled corporate green energy will not reverse this condition.

If we, as a nation, continue to become more dependent on a centralized corporate economy, the job production situation will worsen. We must find a better balance between the corporate economy and a more decentralized, localized economy.If we do not do this, the numbers of people willing to listen to seccessionist or revolutionary demogogues will swell.

If the present trend is allowed to continue, I would say we have 20 + or - 5 years.

Posted by: jlw at April 20, 2009 2:27 PM
Comment #280632

stephen

the war on poverty is an abysmal failure. not only does it remove the incentive to work, but has also has had a devistating effect on the black community as a whole.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/wicks3.html

“Government welfare has helped cause more black suffering that just about any other government policy in the past 50 years.”

“What of the effect of welfare? The automatic safety net provided by welfare meant that women no longer had to be as concerned with the material repercussions of promiscuity. It also meant that men no longer had to experience the shame of having their own flesh and blood begging in the streets or starving to death (and the corresponding worldly costs of becoming a pariah in their own communities).”

Posted by: dbs at April 20, 2009 4:03 PM
Comment #280634

dbs-
I don’t suppose he’s excluding Jim Crow, Housing associations meant to keep blacks out of white neighborhoods in the suburbs or anything like that.

Simple facts: Poverty in 1959: 22.4 percent. Today, about twelve. Cutting poverty in half, evidently, is not a worthy feat by their standards.

Poverty for Blacks, in addition, has declined. In 1966, 41.8 percent of African Americans were in poverty. Forty years later, most of them under the great society programs, that number has dropped to 24 percent. High compared to Whites, but nonetheless a hell of a lot better than they were doing before.

The truth of the matter is, there will always be some people who don’t like to work, who are lazy, resist efforts at educating them, and who will just gladly sit around procreating if you let them. But if you look at the statistics, and see such a steep decline in those poverty numbers, then you must acknowledge that at the very least these people have considerable motivation on their own.

If Welfare was such an unbearable temptation, would the numbers not sustain themselves or spike upwards?

In my experience, people tell themselves a lot of compelling stories, but the compelling nature of a narrative, the truthiness as Stephen Colbert so pithily calls it, doesn’t not guarantee its truthfulness. We are sometimes victims of our own biases, and as such need to check our long held beliefs against the facts.

The Republican claim is that given the chance, folks presented with Welfare as a safety net will just become lazy sluggards. But does that reflect the population as a whole? No, it does not.

A war on poverty that reduces poverty from an affliction of almost a quarter of the population down to about an eighth is hardly a losing battle.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 20, 2009 5:22 PM
Comment #280635

Free Texas to go where? It’s not like California, it can’t just float away! Will it join Mexico? You realize if you did that all the Mexicans would come on up to Texas. I personally wouldn’y mind, as I love Fiestas, but in all seriousness, get serious!

Posted by: Aaron Hughes at April 20, 2009 5:32 PM
Comment #280640

Unlike you, I lived under the socialist regime and I know exactly how it works. I got most of my high school education in Germany, which I would argue is a western socialist country and was born and raised in the USSR. So, please, no more insinuations that I repeat what I’ve been told, I speak from my experience.

Not one of those signs you described imply that President Obama needs to resign or be impeached. I didn’t think a literary allegory would be a foreign concept for you. I told you, I wore a David’s Star which instead of “Juden” had “Right Wing Extremist” written in it. What does that mean?

I didn’t vote for the guy so I am not surprised. I called him a Socialist because that’s what he is. I don’t know why people get bent out of shape over it. There are many explanations of socialism but they all have the same bases:

“A theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.”

Sounds good. My problem is how they want to achieve it. “Socialism denotes an economic system of state ownership and/or worker ownership of the MEANS OF PRODUCTION and DISTRIBUTION.” You argue that Obama is not a socialist, yet he stated the following about the shortcomings of the Civil Rights movement “… the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in the society…”. I don’t understand why are Democrats so scared of their own true colors. I am a conservative, thought I am called a racist, a separatist, an extremist and all the other wonderful names under the sun, I do not hide that fact.

President Obama wants to spread the wealth around. He doesn’t see America as a one nation. He sees poor America, middle class America and rich America. He wants to take from the wealthy and with that money provide the “social justice” for the poor. That is a noble idea. Own up to it already!

I see America as a one nation where each individual has a right to reach the limits of his/her incompetence. President Bill Clinton and President Barak Obama are the perfect examples of what this country is all about.

I had a discussion with my uncle during one of the visits back in my country of birth. He told me that even though America is a great country some discrimination still exists. The same opportunities aren’t available for the children of wealthy and the poor. I disagreed. I always thought that the only limit placed on me is one I place on myself. For example, my new goal is to argue a case before the US Supreme Court. In the fall I am starting a journey to graduate from a law school. Guess what, I am sure if I work hard and I have enough aptitude, I will achieve that goal. How can anyone say that there isn’t a social justice in this country?

Example of socialist thinking. Last night I watched a program on TV regarding 401Ks. The premise of the program was how evil corporations swindled it’s employees by replacing pension funds with matched 401Ks. The argument was that regular Joe doesn’t know how to invest and they get ripped off.

Here is the deal. I have a 401K. My company that I work for offered me 401K but since I was not an employee I wouldn’t get matched contribution but I was allowed to invest to the max limit. I am as far from investment world as you can find. But, before making a decision I read up about it, I got a FREE consultation from a financial planner and made my decision not to invest into their Roth IRA. The fees are to high, 1.7% I believe for the fund I was looking at, which is almost double the industry average. I learned this by consulting a person who makes money giving the advice to ignorant people such as my self in the matters of investment and retirement planning. Unfortunately, most people didn’t ask for advice and jumped into the 401Ks blindly. Now they got screwed and they are crying about how unfair things are. Is it their responsibility to educate themselves about what are they getting themselves into or is it governments responsibility to bail them out?

When you nurture the idea that the government will bail you out, you create a person who is a cattle that know only how to eat and shit.

Posted by: Crusader at April 20, 2009 6:43 PM
Comment #280641

crusader

“most people didn’t ask for advice and jumped into the 401Ks blindly. Now they got screwed and they are crying about how unfair things are. Is it their responsibility to educate themselves about what are they getting themselves into or is it governments responsibility to bail them out?”

sounds similar to the way obama got elected. the problem is now we’re all screwed, and so are our posterity. and soon we will hand over the jar with americas balls in it to some socialist world authority. pretty sad huh?


Posted by: dbs at April 20, 2009 7:02 PM
Comment #280643

Not so fast.

As I said, most Americans voted in 2006 and 2008 out of anger and rightly so. Bush really took a giant crap on our collective heads. Now anger is going away and reason is setting in.

As you can see, they restrained Nancy Pelosi from doing public appearances because she is total whack job. Harry Reid is in hiding not want to draw much attention. They are sensing the undertaker.

I think 2010 will set things in right direction. I just hope libertarians put up a good fight for congress. We do need a neutralizing force in there that will keep both Democratic and Republican crazies under check.

Gotta give props to blue-dog Democrats. They put the President and AG in their place on 2nd amendment. They are dialing down on assault weapon ban.

Posted by: Crusader at April 20, 2009 7:39 PM
Comment #280650

crusader

“As I said, most Americans voted in 2006 and 2008 out of anger and rightly so.”

won’t argue with this. thats been my theory as well, although the liberal participants here believe it was a belief in liberalism that got them elected.

“Gotta give props to blue-dog Democrats. They put the President and AG in their place on 2nd amendment. They are dialing down on assault weapon ban.”

they did, but i don’t believe it will do much good. the next step will be to sign on to some world non proliferation in arms treaty that will take it out of OUR hands. they will side step our const. when they can,t get what they want. i don’t disagree with you though about the blue dogs. i think the liberal wing of the democrat party forgets how they gained a lot of those republican seats, and it wasn’t with liberals. i agree with you about the 2010 election cycle, i too think the pendulem will start to swing the other way.

i too would like to see more libertarian influence in our gov’t, but the only way to do that is to give them the opportunity to participate in the national debates. it’s an issue of exposure as i see it.

Posted by: dbs at April 20, 2009 8:21 PM
Comment #280651

Crusader-
Obama’s policies, comparatively speaking, are no more socialist than many staunch anti-communists were. I believe I made this point in an entry some time ago.

You have personal experience of socialism and communism. Okay. It’s not something you’ve really elaborated before in any great detail, but I’ll respect that. But I’ll point out to you that George Soros had the same experience as you, and so did any number of men who became liberals.

I’ll also point out that you’ve accepted a number of premises for the argument that Obama is a socialist that are not well founded. Experience with America’s political system and the Right Wing’s tendency to exaggerate the leftiness of the left in this country would be useful for you.

I’m a former Republican. And part of what drove me away was the imprecise and counterfactual tendencies of their propaganda. I respect facts. I respect rational arguments. I don’t respect bullies and liars because I don’t like being intimidated or gulled.

You take that quote for instance. He was talking about the excessive focus of civil rights movement figures on the courts, in their quest to right the economic wrongs of the previous era.

The fact is, you see the Democrat’s true colors every day. But folks have been telling you things, bad things, about us for so damn long that you’ve likely adopted the notion that what we say here is just a cloak and dagger cover for what we really feel.

Positively annoying, really, to argue with those who think you don’t mean what you mean.

I see the difference in taxation not in terms of socialism, but in terms of a practical economic argument: the burden is easiest on the broadest shoulders.

I also see the issue of wealth redistribution differently. The truth of the matter is, as long as top marginal rates are kept moderate, the money finds its way back to the rich anyways. That’s the nature of the economy. Money always circulates. When it circulates through the middle class well, we enjoy prosperity, stability. When you suck those people dry and hand money to the wealthy, the system gets arteriosclerosis, and it becomes weaker.

It’s not that middle class folk and rich folk are superior to one another. It’s simply that a system that benefits the middle class more will still hand much of the money to the rich anyways, but will have the added benefit of not creating instances, as now, where the capitalist system runs out of gas.

He sees it as one nation, but one nation that has to work cooperatively more than it has been, not with the rich and the not rich at each other’s throat. Right now, he’s bending over backwards to help the financial companies recover, even as it causes great annoyance to his supporters. He’s counseling patience when everybody else wants to take out the belt, and start wearing hide off of their backsides.

As far as the 401k thing goes, 401k’s were actually never designed to be pension plan replacements. They’re just a tax deductible kind of savings account. In fact, their name refers to the provision in the tax code that covers them.

I would argue for a pension, really.
The idea is to have a stable benefit going into middle age. If you have to have somebody invest safely on your account, that’s probably the much better idea. Unfortunately, it was one of those things that businesses looking to create cosmetic changes in the books began to target in order to make the stock look better, instead of actually creating new value, new productivity.

You have this notion that people like myself are socialists. Well, you can construct a narrative that fits that from the facts, but the truth is, most people like myself are looking for a refined kind of capitalism, one which benefits the cheaters and the speculators less, and the greater masses more.

If you look at the history of our nation, the Middle Class exploded and grew during the time that the Democrats held power. The trouble came with the Great Society and Vietnam expenditures not because we couldn’t pay for it all, but because the damn fool LBJ played games with the books, trying to cover up how much one or the other cost.

Sound familar? When I read David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest, it was one of several dismal similarities between Bush’s policies and those of JFK and LBJ that struck me.

I don’t want to nurture a culture of bailouts. Many, if not most Democrats want to do an FDIC-style takeover and then sell the good parts back to the private market on the spot. We are holding few illusions about just how little we can afford to keep this up.

My thinking on 401K’s and the like is that it just doesn’t make any sense to shape policy with the expectation that most people are suddenly going to become experts in a given field. Nobody’s got the time, much less the inclination to learn everything and be everything. It’s the fantasy of permanent academics

We got to shape policy less on ideology, and more on practical measures and expectations.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 20, 2009 9:20 PM
Comment #280653

Dbs,
Care to explain to your children and grandchildren why they have to live and pay for 20th Century Technology for the next 20-40 years when History has shown us that is how long it took our ancestors to move out of the 19th Century into the 20th Century.

Sounds to me like Megan McCain was right about the Old School of the Republican Party. For faced with an ever increasing cost of prices, lower wages, the lose of Home Value, and a whole list of things I wonder what My Reoublican Peers are going to do when a loaf of breaf cost $5.00 and gas is selling for $10.00/gal. Because than how much Profit are we talking about Labor and Management making for the Market?

So please, give me all the excuses about why Americans should not work toward making Government and Society Self-Sufficient. For short of saying that you wish that not All Humans on Earth become Self-Sufficient through Economic and Financial means, I do believe My Peers need to rethink Their Idelogy of Living in a Finite World. Especially since young men and women like Megan McCain have grown up knowing better.

My question to her and those Children of the 21st Century that know “We the People” can build a Sustainable Green Civilized World. Is how far do you think your Parents and Powers-that-Be will allow them to challenge the Youth of the 60’s and Silver Spoons of the 70’s?

For why some children may have to ask their peers and community elders why their parents and powers-that-be will not allow me to make every 10-year-old child a million dollars a year through the new source of Persoonal Income. Seeing that the Charlatans and Vagabonds of Washington are driven by Profit and not Greed, I’ll stand up to your lower standard of living and raise you the Sky. Since I can only imagine what ideas are running through the minds who learned the Life Lesson of the Sons and Daughters of the Great Depression.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at April 20, 2009 10:08 PM
Comment #280656

You accuse me of making assumptions but aren’t you doing the same?

You think the democrats have wings on their backs and all they think is how to help the people which is furthest thing from the truth.

Angels and saints do not go into politics, because when they do the get corrupted by the temptation of power. Half the congress votes for bills which they don’t read. That is a fact. Other half votes because they got cheese stuffed in them. That is a fact as well.

Heck, one of the top cheese merchants was a Republican in the last Omnibus bill who voted against his own party just to make sure the cheese got to the destination.

I don’t believe in the inherent goodness of a politician, just as much as I would have a hard time believing a prostitute if she told me that she liked me.

I don’t believe them because I am proven every day that they would sell their own mother for the power. I don’t have to name names, do I?

There was an idea mentioned earlier that President Obama signed spendulus and omnibus bills to gain “favors”. Why does a very popular president need favors from the congress which had 12% favorable rating? Isn’t the mandate of the people favor enough? If the Democrats in the Congress are loosing sleep over the welfare of the little man, why does he need to trade favors with them?

The reality is neither care about a little man. Congress cares about power, about getting re-elected and making sure if they don’t they have enough favors stacked away to make a comfortable living as a lobbyist or a consultant.

President Obama, on the other hand, seriously thinks that he can change people by giving speeches and he is going to be the greatest president in the history of the US. The greats didn’t decide they were going to be great, they did the right thing and greatness found them.

You can’t help everyone. That is an impossibility. We have this mess on our hands precisely because we tried to help everyone to own a house. It started with Clinton administration and was doubled down by the Bush administration and Congress. I pointed it out to you when and how did it happened. I didn’t like President Clinton as a man, he didn’t have integrity but he was one of the best presidents the US had because he did have an understanding that you can’t be all things to all people. One of the best things he did was deregulating Technology market. He was the first president since the Eisenhower who actually created jobs, not just claim to have done so. He created the whole industry.

I happened to have an outside and an inside prospective of the US presidents. The US prospers when it has a pragmatic president (Truman, Clinton, Nixon, Eisenhower) or an idealist (Reagan, JFK). When we have nice guys who want to please everyone we loose and get weaker (Bush, Obama, Ford, Carter, LBJ, Wilson). Reason for that is simple, since the WWII the US is looked at as a leader of the Democracy and the Free World. The key is THE LEADER. Leaders inspire or compell to follow. Nice guys do neither.

You don’t seem to be infected with a disease of cynicism and I envy you. I wish I could see things through the rosy glasses but I had to pull my own weight since I was 8 years old and I do not have much trust in the “good intentions”. Heck, we had one perfect man in the history of the humanity and we managed to crucify him and there are some who even go as far as cursing him. So, sorry, I don’t have much trust for a politician, especially one that requests a specific jet to fly home without landing in the mid-west paid with my hard earned money.

What I trust is less of the politicians and more of individuals. No one knows what is good for me better than I. The same goes for you. To think otherwise would be arrogant on my part. Unfortunately, as the founding fathers forewarned us, there will be a time when the majority will not be happy with their share of the pie and their interests will coincide with those who have power. This is the time when a republic must stand strong and the representatives must protect us from the harm of this violent faction. This was the thoughts of James Madison, who saw this moment coming almost 230 years ago. Here we are today.

The Communists tried to brainwash me into believing that community prosperity is the NIRVANA and they failed. I don’t think you can convince me that Robin Hood approach to the society is the right one. That is the wonderful thing about the US. We can believe in what we wish to believe, with one difference - I am a racist redneck who hates that a black man is in the White House. It’s getting dark, I got some crosses to burn, so good luck and let’s hope I am wrong.

Posted by: Cusader at April 21, 2009 1:06 AM
Comment #280674

Crusader-

You accuse me of making assumptions but aren’t you doing the same?

You think the democrats have wings on their backs and all they think is how to help the people which is furthest thing from the truth.

No, I don’t think that. That’s one of your assumptions.

You’re basing far too much of what you say and believe on what people on the right talk about. Your posts are rife with these talking points, stuff that people like me debunked months ago during prior debates. Take this “bill wasn’t read” claim. What real evidence is there to back that up? It was out there for weeks. It’s just the Republican’s justification for slamming the door on the bill.

I can understand that you have encountered the absolute extremes of leftism in your lifetime. But it seems to have lead you to make the mistake of believing that if Communism and European Socialism are wrong, then only their polar opposite can be right. No such thing, though, is true. We’ve tried laissez faire economics in America, on multiple occasions. It simply doesn’t work in an economy as complex as ours.

But unfortunately, those people who have advocated this of late are bitter about the fact that people are rejecting their thinking, as it has once again come to crisis.

So people like the author start floating this secession idea, for some odd reason, trying to browbeat people with the notion that the conservative parts of this country can just take their ball and go home. Do you understand that this is precisely what the Framers sought to avoid, what this party’s founder, Lincoln, fought to prevent from being successful?

It’s even worse if this is just a political gambit, because ultimately, it encourages a rancid kind of refusal to accept the common responsibility to honor elections and political consequences that don’t go your way. It is an attack on the legitimacy of majority rule in a constitutional, democratic republic.

We, the Democrats, had to suffer as a minority party, had to see so many of our hopes and dreams be crushed. But we endured, because we knew that the pendulum swings both ways in politics. Sure enough, the Republicans fumbled the ball, and we picked it up.

The irony of the Democrats you list, is that if our policies were socialist, theirs would be positively communist by comparison, economically speaking. Those presidents had sky-high, confiscatory rates, and they favored Government intervention on a scale that would have detonated your eyeballs, given your reaction to Obama.

Yet you list them, praise them as practical. Perhaps its because they’re safely in the past. The truth is, you are criticizing policies that are moderate by comparison. Hell, Obama’s taxes are about at Clinton’s level, which were in turn lower than Reagans! (and by extension, much lower than JFK, Nixon’s, Truman’s or Eisenhower’s)

Which brings me to the inherent contradiction in current Republican arguments: We won the Cold War as a Bastion of Capitalism with policies that you accuse, in their current, watered-down versions, of being equivalent to socialism. If the diluted version is socialism or communism, does it mean we won the Cold War merely by exercising a different version of communism?

Or, are the Republicans and right wingers just operating with an exaggerated sense of how far left those policies really are, having had a generation to forget what real communism and hardline socialism looks like?

Obama’s not a socialist. The Republicans are merely so wrapped up in their own extremist rhetoric that they couldn’t tell a socialist from staunch anti-communist of one walked up to them and socked them into the face.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 21, 2009 9:12 AM
Comment #280676

Dear Henry Schlatman,

You might have not noticed it but as of 2006, Republican pork merchants aren’t in power in Congress and as of right now, Democrats got constitutional majority in House and super majority in the Senate and they got their guy in the White House.

I honestly think as Americans, we over did it and the damage this socialist will do to the long term prosperity of the country might be irreversible.

Our system was designed to prevent these type of radical changes be it to the left or to the right. Right now, popular outrage is that the rich aren’t taxed enough. When we find out that it isn’t the rich that aren’t taxed enough but it’s the government spending out of control, we are going to have a revolt on our hands. We have already developed a lazy class who lives off government subsides. I lived in the neighborhood that had section 8 housings, I know what most of those people were all about. Where a young man didn’t have enough self respect to ask me for money and when I told him I would pay him to wash my car he took it as an insult.

Imagine what will happen when money runs out? The rich own politicians, they aren’t going to pay too much, fear not. It will be our duty as the middle class to fund all the proposed spending and pay down the debt.

Now imagine the companies which will start because the government funding in the alternative energy field and when funding runs out what happens to them?

Today, solar energy is the example of exactly that. It is so heavily subsidized that they would rather not sell than make a marketable product. RoI on solar energy today is about 18 years. Do you know the kind of margins the companies are working with? About 55-65% if not more. They don’t have an incentive to sell. I am telling you this from the experience. You know who their best customers are? Universities because they buy this things with government funding and they don’t really care about the margins they pay. For government it makes sense to spend 1 million today and cut the next years energy consumption by 10% because what gets reported is 10% energy savings but the fact that 10% amounts to about $10000 doesn’t matter.

That is what happens when government gets involved in new technology development. They don’t look at RoI, they have a constant flow of money from us, the taxpayers. They look at what will get the best headline so they can claim the credit.

Posted by: crusader at April 21, 2009 9:30 AM
Comment #280689

Crusader, Thomas Woodrow Wilson was very much a Progressive and Idealist you’re putting many of Those great men in a box.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 11:33 AM
Comment #280703

Happy San Jacinto Day!

Aaron Hughes,

Free Texas to go where? It’s not like California, it can’t just float away! Will it join Mexico? You realize if you did that all the Mexicans would come on up to Texas. I personally wouldn’y mind, as I love Fiestas, but in all seriousness, get serious!
If independent Texas would be one of the largest economies on Earth, better able to stand on its own than, say, Spain. It is already the only state in the union with an autonomous electrical distribution system, and a population 2/3rds that of Canada.

Don’t put Texas down. To my knowledge there has been one nation on earth that established a peaceful constitutional government after seceding from a geographically contiguous nation by force. We’re it.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at April 21, 2009 12:42 PM
Comment #280707

Dear Stephen,

Specific examples please, rhetoric is not welcome by me. We can discuss and analyze examples, hard to discuss and analyze rhetoric’s.

Dear Rodney Brown,

As for President Wilson, he is one of those controversial figures such as FDR. Yes, the progressive movement of the early 20th century was very important for our history though not all ideas that came out of it were good, imho.

But I find myself hard pressed to say a man is great when I know full well that he didn’t view every US citizen as an equal. His idealism was limited to those he accepted as equals. I wouldn’t want to devalue his contribution but that is a lot to overlook when calling a person great.

One of the reasons why I see Richard Nixon as one of the best US Presidents is his ability to rise above the partisanship and do the right thing even if it’s against his party ideals. Same goes for Bill Clinton. That is what I expect from the president, pragmatism or idealism. President Wilson’s idealism was not color blind which has absolutely no value in my eyes.

You can somewhat understand the racism associated with the founding fathers, you can’t condone it but you can understand it. But I can’t, for the life of me, understand the racism of 20th century. That is just wrong. I think that is a big enough stain on President Wilson’s legacy not to qualify him as a great in my book.

Posted by: Crusasder at April 21, 2009 12:53 PM
Comment #280735

Don’t forget Australia, India, Mexico, Cuba and all the others.

Posted by: Aaron Hughes at April 21, 2009 4:08 PM
Comment #280751

I’d consider wilson as near great his record on race was not good at all as he brought back Jim crow to DC IMHO.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 6:15 PM
Comment #280754

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/us_elections/article5055404.ece This poll is closer than IMHO I think, Lincoln / Washington it’s so hard with those two! and polk is to high.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at April 21, 2009 7:12 PM
Comment #280826

Crusader-
Some examples? Look at the tax rates of everybody before Reagan and after FDR. We spent the entirety of the Cold War under much tougher taxes than Obama has even proposed. Hell, he’d have to get much worse to even approach what Eisenhower had Americans paying.

Additionally, What Republican deregulated from were policies that ran from FDR’s America up to Reagan’s. I don’t need to be specific about Liberalism’s grip on America’s policy making, and the fact that Obama’s current policies are tame by comparison for the same reason a Nuclear bomb doesn’t need to be aimed with a sniper sight.

If Obama’s policies are socialist, then the history of the twentieth century has America descending into communism. As a person who grew up seeing the decline of the old liberalism, I can tell you from experience just how much the Republicans have forgotten about how things were.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 22, 2009 10:16 PM
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