Third Party & Independents Archives

January 04, 2008

Atypical Iowa

It is foolish of pundits, at this point in time, to project Iowa’s Caucus results as trends for the rest of the nation. Iowa and its Caucuses are not typical of the rest of America in a number of ways. It may prove by Feb. 5, when nearly half of the states will have voted, that the Iowa results are reflective of a national paradigm and generational shift. But, it is premature to make that projection.

Iowa Caucuses had the benefit of months of intense campaigning by the candidates in face to face forums with the people of Iowa. That is not going to be the case for most other states conducting primaries between now and Feb. 5. I say Feb. 5, because many analysts speak as if the outcome of the primaries will likely be known by the time the tallies are in on Feb. 5, with nearly half of the states having voted.

Iowa is a predominantly White state with a relatively small African American population compared to many other states. African Americans have been tracking in the polls more with Hillary Clinton than with Barack Obama. A significant difference which may deny projections of Iowa's results on other state's electoral delegate results.

The organizational structures to get out the youth vote in Iowa was significant in Obama's successful bid in Iowa. It remains to be seen whether the Obama campaign will be able to create that kind of youth vote momentum in most of the other states.

Huckabee's success was in no small measure due to the White Evangelical Christian turnout in Iowa. Many other states don't have such concentrations of White Evangelical Christians. Hence, it may too be too early to project Mike Huckabee's Iowa success on a great many other large delegate states.

Also, Huckabee's foreign policy positions and economic record as Governor of Arkansas, are not endearing large numbers of GOP voters to the Huckabee camp. Republicans throughout America are weighing the decision of electability in November as heavily as Evangelical Christians weighed the religious parameter of the GOP candidates in Iowa.

Chris Matthews of MSNBC last night made numerous references to a generational and racial values shift taking place as a result of the Iowa campaign and results. Matthews may be proven correct in his assessment. But, for the reasons outlined above, there appears to be insufficient evidence or data to support such a projection from the results of the Iowa Caucuses.

Also, many pundit's projections for the New Hampshire, Michigan, S. Carolina and Florida rest upon the assumption that the media will bias voters in those states with the Iowa results. The assumption being that Obama's and Huckabee's victories in Iowa will influence positively their perceived electability in Nov of this year. That is a very tentative assumption which may prove false by a number of other variables in voter's minds between now and Feb. 5.

While there is historical evidence that the media coverage of the Iowa results can have a very positive effect for Iowa's winners, there are many other variables that could easily negate that effect. Some of these were discussed above, like Evangelical Christian concentrations and the protracted campaigning season in Iowa which will not be the case in many other states.

One thing is for sure. The managers of the Obama and Huckabee campaigns would like very much for voters around the country to believe that Iowa has already decided each of the Party's candidates for the November Presidential election. They will do whatever they can to promote that psychology in the voters of the other 49 states. But, it remains to be seen if the voters of the other 49 states will herd as directed.

Last, but not least, is the fact that Iowa's Caucuses are not Primaries. Primaries are far more democratic and permit the infirm, the overseas military, the out of state residents all to participate in the primary process. Not so with the very exclusive Caucuses which demand much more of voters in terms of time, distance, and the capacity to speak and debate for their choice in a public group. The Caucuses remind me of a meeting amongst 19th century distant farmers gathering as time and distance will permit, in a neighbor's barn to decide on their rural district's delegate for the nominee for President. This structural difference between Caucus and Primary can have dramatically different results.

Posted by David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 07:08 AM
Comments
Comment #242155

David,
I agree that last night was just 1 of 50 that a Candidate must win; however, if Iowa and New Hampshire is suppose to represent “The Old Guard of America” than I do believe that the Independents and the Youth of America made their voice heard loud and clear.

Now, what I want to see is what will happen to the first Candidate on both sides that want to go Negative in an attempt to “Buy the Vote”

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at January 4, 2008 08:47 AM
Comment #242156

Henry, I want to know whether that Independent and Youth vote turnout were a result of months of campaigning effort in Iowa, or a national movement. There just isn’t any evidence to know one way or the other, at this moment, that I am aware of. We will know by S. Carolina and Florida whether this is a national trend or just a result of prolonged preparation efforts in Iowa.

Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 08:55 AM
Comment #242159

Let us remember that both Reagan and Clinton lost Iowa and went on to win their first Presidential elections.
Reagan Lost 5 other primaries in 1980.
Clinton also lost New Hampshire.

Posted by: Rocky at January 4, 2008 09:29 AM
Comment #242170

My take is a little different. Aside from the exciting victory of white Americans (young and old) proving that they can and do support the candidacy of a strong, intelligent and inclusive black leader, I see the results of the Iowa Caucuses as something of a victory for (and a possible shift toward) economic populism. One that we may well see sweep across the country.

On the Left we have heard both Obama and Edwards acknowledging the plight of the middle class and working poor. On the Right we have Huckabee, who in addition to his authoritarian christianist views (which of course played well among Iowa Republicans), has been one of the few to acknowledge the tight squeeze that the majority of Americans have been feeling over the long and painful course of the Bush years.

I don’t know how others here feel, but I really enjoyed seeing those who spent the most money (because they have the most to spend), and who are clearly corporatists, lose in Iowa last night.

Are we at last to see a total repudiation of the Trickle-Down Economics that has overwhelmingly benefited the wealthy? Are we witnessing the first instance of a nationwide rejection of Corporate America being allowed to influence, or even write, so much legislation for their own benefit at the expense of We the People, as they have been?

Who knows, but it’d be really great to think so, wouldn’t it?

Posted by: veritas vincit at January 4, 2008 11:37 AM
Comment #242177

David,
Why I do not know of any man-made data that I can show to prove that the Youth of America and the Children of the 70’s are ready to take on the Establishment of their Parents. I do not dare explain why I believe that the Hierarchy of Society in America and Humanity is in for a Rude Awakening if they insist on keeping their head in the sand.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at January 4, 2008 12:16 PM
Comment #242187

Henry
Now, what I want to see is what will happen to the first Candidate on both sides that want to go Negative in an attempt to “Buy the Vote”

I would bet on Romney and Hillary. Romney has already gone quite negative. Hillary is, well, Hillary. I got a kick out of Huckabee showing a negative ad about Romney just so he could claim the moral high ground by not running it.

Posted by: Silima at January 4, 2008 01:05 PM
Comment #242188

As for your wondering about a youth movement, I wouldn’t count to much on it. We’re all too busy listening to our ipods while blogging and playing Guitar Hero 3.

And I’m an 18 year old Political Science major.

Posted by: Silima at January 4, 2008 01:07 PM
Comment #242190

  • Huckabee supports a very regressive 30% National Sales Tax (which will seriously worsen this 30+ year trend). Even Ron Paul has backed away from this nutty 30% National Sales Tax fraud.

  • Obama is bass-ackwards on illegal immigration (grade: D-). Obama has a dismal voting record on illegal immigration and wants to give illegal aliens drivers’ licenses (strangely, after criticizing Hillary Clinton for it?).
  • How is (a)regressive taxation and (b)despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other not squeezing the majority of Americans and worsening the 30+ year disparity trend?

    Mick Huckabee’s Voting Record/Statements/Positions:

    • Three Strikes based more on revenge than restoration. (Jan 2007) {that may be why each time we hear about another child molestation, it’s the 3rd, 4th, 5th, or more time it has occurred}

    • Gay tolerance reflects lack of fixed societal standards. (Jun 2007)
    • {So gays should not be tolerated? At least Huckabee is honest about his bigotry, but there goes a few tens of millions of votes}
    • USA has gone from Barney Fife to Barney Frank. (Jan 2007) {Barney Frank is gay. This is another condemnation of gays?}

    • Nonsense of Three-Strikes makes system overrun with people. (Sep 2007) {Really? Better to let repeat offenders out to commit more crimes over and over?}

    • Build more prisons, and privatize their management. (Nov 2002) {privatize prisons? Bad idea. Now politicians want to turn the justice system over to corporations too?}

    • More drug courts & rehab, instead of incarceration. (Sep 2007) { … yet …} Huckabee said: Drug education fails; drug punishment works. (Jun 2007) { … and …} Stricter penalties for drug-related crimes. (Nov 2002) {So which is it?}

    • Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling. (Sep 2007)
    • {Hmmmm, and how about Islamic or Buddhist schooling? … Doesn’t the 1st Amendment state: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, … Huckabee clearly doesn’t have a clue about the 1st Amendment.}
    • Ending school prayer was one step in society’s moral decay. (Jun 2007) {Right. So which prayer shall we use? Christian? Jewish? Islamic? Buddhist? Atheist? Shinto? Hindu? Unitarianism ? Mormon? Paganist? Zoroastrianist? Baha’i? Jainism ? Taoist? … again, Huckabee doesn’t have a clue aobut the 1st Amendment. People can pray anytime they want and no one can stop them from it. What Huckabee is talking about is organizing and institutionalizing it. OK. Which religious prayer shall it be? And what about the agnostics and atheists? Will they be forced to participate? Why does religion have to be institutionalized in public schools. If were are going to allow one, we must allow all. And now the problem is all too obvious. You can’t have freedom of religion by forcing it on people. }

    • Does not believe in evolution. (May 2007) {That’s his choice. It’s not a crime and that belief hurts no one else. So why does he feel compelled to tell others that? Are those that disagree somehow less moral or subhuman?}

    • Incorporate character education into school curriculum. (Jan 2007) {Hmmmm … will that include, as Huckabee stated elsewhere: “Tax-credited programs for Christian schooling?” }

    • Support displaying the Ten Commandments in public schools. (Nov 2002) {Hmmmm … from which religion? Does he realize that the Ten Commandments vary by religion? Again, is Huckabee trying to promote moral values or proselytize HIS religion?}

    • We answer to our Constitution, not to international law. (Sep 2007) {Really? Then what about Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which ALL 535 Congress persons are currently violating? What aobut abuse of eminent domain laws? Habeas Corpus? Spying on citizens without civil oversight? Regressive taxation? etc., etc., etc.?}

    • This country can never yield its sovereignty for any reason. (Sep 2007) {Then why are the borders still nearly open and immigration laws still not being enforced? Why are politicians despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes?}

    • China trade contingent on human rights & product safety. (Sep 2007) {Really? The U.S. trade deficit with China alone is the largest in U.S. history with one country ($201 billion). That deficit has cost an estimated 410,000 U.S. jobs and job opportunities in the past two years alone (according to the Economic Policy Institute). The U.S. trade deficit is further increased by China’s manipulation of its currency, the yuan. But I guess late is better than never?}

    • Farm subsidies are OK because Europe & Asia do same. (Jan 2007) {Right? Check out these (farm.ewg.org/sites/farmbill2007/top_recips1614.php?fips=00000&progcode=farmprog&enttype=indv&enttype=entity) farm subsidies. How is it not pork-barrel, graft, and corporate welfare? Where’s my subsidy? I want a subsidy!}

    • Ok if church identifies candidates who favor its principles. (Sep 2007) {Fine, but they should then be subject to the same FEC rules like everyone else if they want to engage in the political process and influence government.}

    • Attacking others’ integrity reflects people’s own immorality. (Jun 2007) {That’s B.S. Not if it is TRUE and verifiable.}

    • Honor the Tenth Amendment & strengthen the states. (May 2007) {Really? But then ignore Article V? If only Congress controls the amendment process, it controls the Constitution. So how about Article V, which is being violated?}

    • Limit campaign contributions, but no public funding. (Nov 2002) {Of course not! Cha - ching ! }

    • Disclose political gifts, but don’t prohibit them. (Oct 2000) {Of course not! Cha - ching ! }

    • Dems want government in charge; GOP want consumers in charge. (Jun 2007) {Really?From all the corporate welfare, pork-barrel, graft, and bloat, it’s hard to tell. BOTH parties do it plenty. When BOTH are so corrupt, does it matter much which is more corrupt? Fueling the partisan-warfare is just a clever mechanism to distract voters from the massive corruption of most (if not all) incumbent politicians in BOTH parties.}

    • Guantanamo prisoners are treated very well. (Jun 2007) {Really? Have you asked Spc. Sean Baker (www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,120890,00.html)}

    • Better to make mistakes at Guantanamo to protect Americans. (Jun 2007) {Is Huckabee so certain they are all criminals? Some have been found to NOT be.}

    • Change rule barring immigrants from running for president. (May 2007) {What? Seriously?}

    • Path to citizenship if illegals admit guilt & pay fine. (Jan 2007) {Clearly, Huckabee has more compassion for illegal aliens than American citizens? }

    • Import farm workers from Mexico. (Sep 2001) {Yes, we can’t have anything stopping the massive inflow of cheap labor for profits?}

    • Supports farm subsidies & fully-funded crop insurance. (Sep 2007) {A lot of these are corporations, and a lot of it is corporate welfare.}

    • Plenty of choices for candidates who don’t believe in God. (Jun 2007) {Interesting. Why did Huckabee feel it was necessary to tell us that?}

    • One worldview will prevail: God-centered or human-centered. (Jun 2007)

    • Pastors & politicians have same skill set in common. (Jun 2007) {I won’t argue with that.}

    • Ten Commandments are basis for appropriate behavior. (Jun 2007) {Which Ten Commmandments? Again, they vary by religion (see above).}

    • A “grace Christian”: dislikes “law Christians” AND liberals. (Jun 2007)

    • My faith does affect my decision process; it explains me. (May 2007) {That’s fine. So? Are others with other faiths less moral? }

    • We are a nation of faith, and we are stewards of God’s world. (Jan 2007) (Really? What about atheists and agnostics? Are they citizens? Or does Huckabee question citizenship and patriotism based on religion as George George H. W. Bush (41) does, who stated: “No, I don’t know that atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God.” ?}

    • George W. George Bush (43) has done a magnificent job. (Jan 2007) {Really? What planet has Huckabee been on for the last 7 years??}

    • Replace payroll tax & fund Social Security with FairTax. (Sep 2007) {I can not vote for Huckabee or anyone who supports a regressive (one-simple-idea.com/FairTaxFraud1.htm) 30% National Sales Tax. All flat sales taxes are regressive unless everyone spends the same percentage of their income, despite a prebate that merely untaxes the lowest income levels. It’s not that complicated. There is a better and faster way by simplifying the current system.}

    • FairTax eliminates all taxes on productivity & saving. (Sep 2007) {Nonsense. There is nothing fair or productive about any regressive 30% Sale Tax.}

    • Gut this incredibly complex and arcane tax code. (Aug 2007) {Yes, but not with a regressive 30% Sales Tax}

    • No national sales tax or VAT. (Feb 2000) {So, in year 2000, Huckabee was against a sales or VAT tax. But the FairTax.org plan is just that with a prebate; after the prebate (e.g. $2400 runs out, it’s still a regressive tax. There’s a big difference between taxing spending and taxing income.}

    • More bible; less blogs; more music; less network TV. (Jan 2007) {More bible? Is that Huckabee’s place to tell others to do that?}

    • Supports Internet sales tax. (Nov 2002) {All sales taxes are regressive. Huckabee doesn’t have a clue when it comes to taxation.}

    • Don’t judge Iraq war while we’re in the middle of the war. (May 2007) {Nonsense. It should be judged, measured, and scrutinized every step of the way.}

    • Opposing George Bush (43)’s troop surge is a dangerous position. (Jan 2007) {Really? Dangerous? For who? So George Bush (43) thought that up all on his own? Perhaps what is dangerous is blindly following without questioning or ever opposing; especially someone who said about the U.S. Constitution: “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” (source: Capitol Hill Blue)?}

    • Supports Charitable Choice for funding faith-based providers. (Dec 2006) {Doesn’t the 1st Amendment state: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, …}

    Barack Obama’s Voting Record/Statements/Positions:

    • Voted NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006) {A minor?}

    • Supports affirmative action in colleges and government. (Jul 1998){Doesn’t this discriminate based on race?}

    • Tax incentives for corporate responsibility. (Jun 2004) {Tax, tax, tax. How about not taxing corporations at all, since they are merely passed on as hidden, regressive sales taxes to consumers, and doesn’t help competitiveness domestically and internationally?}

    • Close tax loopholes for US companies relocating abroad. (Jun 2004) {Tax loop-holes? How about not giving them subsidies and rewarding them for doing it? How about an end to importing cheap labor? }

    • Voted YES on repealing tax subsidy for companies which move US jobs offshore. (Mar 2005) {Duh !}

    • Some heinous crimes justify the ultimate punishment. (Oct 2006); But, Battles legislatively against the death penalty. (Jul 2004) {So, which is it?}

    • Do not lower drinking age from 21 to 18. (Sep 2007) {You are old enough to be drafted, vote, and die, but not drink?}

    • Smokes cigarettes now; smoked some pot in high school. (Feb 2007); Admitted marijuana use in high school & college. (Jan 2007) {Both bad habits.}

    • Pay “master teachers” extra, but with buy-in from teachers. (Aug 2007) {Funny! While the Master Cheaters (Congress) give themselves a raise almost every year (9 times between 1997 and 2007) }

    • Sends kids to private school; but wants good schools for all. (Jul 2007) {Really? By undermining public school with private schools?}

    • Nuclear power ok if we safeguard against waste & terrorism. (Sep 2007) {Make a mental note: Mistakes happen (e.g. Chernobyl, Three Mile Island, etc.)}

    • Barack stated that he is willing to meet with Fidel Castro, Kim Jung Il & Hugo Chavez. (Nov 2007) { }

    • Barack Obama’s Immigration (grades.betterimmigration.com/compare.php3?District=IL&Category=0&Status=Career&VIPID=1162) Report Card: D- (and he wants drivers’ licenses for illegal aleins).
    • Invest in our relationship with Mexico. (Sep 2007) {Translation: please send us more cheap labor, so that we can continue to despicably pit American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits.}

    • Focus on corruption to improve African development. (Oct 2006) {How about focusing on corruption in our own FOR-SALE, do-nothing, irresponsible government?}

    • Money is the original sin in politics and I am not sinless. (Nov 2007) {No $#!+ , and we are supposed to be impressed with that honesty?}

    • Ok to take $5 donations from drug company employees. (Sep 2007) {Cha Ching!}

    • Create “Google for Government” to track government spending. (Aug 2007) {CAGW.ORG does that too, and Barack Obama scored a very low 30% on the Pork-Barrel Score Card; however, it is better than Hillary’s dismal 14%; but both are pathetic.}

    • Campaigns last too long & cost too much. (Aug 2007) {Funny! And the 2008 campaign started over a year in advance.}

    • Say he doesn’t take PAC money or federal lobbyists’ money. (Jul 2007) {FactCheck: no lobbyist money, but does take money from bundlers who lobby. Clever, eh? (Jul 2007)}

    • Lobbyist influence comes from access, not money. (Oct 2006) {Really? And who if forcing them to accept the money?}

    • Tackle insurance companies on reimbursement system. (Oct 2007) {Hmmmm … the problem is too many middlemen (i.e. insurance companies); if government is going to provide healthcare, they had better eliminate one of the unnecessary middlemen: insurance companies.}

    • Government healthcare like members of Congress have. (Sep 2007) {Whooooohoooo! That would be wonderful. And how about a cu$hy retirement system too? And a raise every year? And some other cu$hy perk$ like Do-Nothing Congress has?}

    • Increase competition in the insurance and drug markets. (Aug 2007) {Good luck.}

    • Give people the choice to buy affordable health care. (Jun 2007) {A choice? What choice? Government meddling, greedy insurance companies (unnecessary middlemen), and obscene gouging by greedy hospitals, free medical coverage, and welfare for 32% of illegal aliens is part of what is driving up costs. Not to mention that 27% of all incarcerated in Federal prisons are illegal aliens (source: Page 2 GAO-05-337R)}

    • Take on insurance companies; drive down health care costs. (Jun 2007) {Well, which is it? Obama is all over the place.}

    • Address minority health needs by more coverage & targeting. (Mar 2007) {Based on race?}

    • Health care tied to balancing costs and taxes nation wide. (Jun 2006) {Nevermind that Congress gives itself a raise 9 of the last 10 years for the fine job they are doing, have excellent healthcare, and cu$hy pension systems. Hypocrites.}

    • Believes health care is a right, not a privilege for the few. (Sep 2004) {That’s debatable, since someone has to pay for it. Who? With a $9.2 Trillion National Debt? With $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from Social Security with a 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching? With a $450 Billion debt in the PBGC pension system? With hundreds of billions in unfunded liabiliites for Medicare? For a war in Afghanistan? And an unnecessary war based on lies and exaggerations in Iraq? With a REGRESSIVE tax system? etc., etc., etc.?}

    • No need to mandate coverage; just let people afford it. (Jul 2007) {Sure. It’s magic! Don’t pay any attention to the massive debt and greedy insurance companies behind the corporate-welfare and pandering curtain.}

    • America cannot sanction torture; no loopholes or exceptions. (Sep 2007) {So, why is torture tolerated? Hasn’t a law been broken? Then why isn’t someone held accountable? Where are the impeachment proceedings? Not to mention Article V is being violated too.}

    • Support veterans via the Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act. (Aug 2007) {Interesting. Nevermind Congress giving itself 9 raises in 10 years, cu$hy perk$ and benefits while our troops go without armor, adequate medical care, and promised benefits.}

    • Register women for draft, but not for combat. (Jul 2007) {Really? The draft? To go fight more unnecessary wars? Draft for what? Iraq? }

    • Address the deficiencies in the VA system. (Jun 2007) {Absolutely! Right after Congress gives itself another raise, and some more cu$hy perks, and unfair incumbent advantages. }

    • We are currently inspecting 3% of all incoming cargo. (Oct 2004) {UUhhmmmm … what about the borders? But then, Barack wants to give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens?}

    • Voted YES on requiring CIA reports on detainees & interrogation methods. (Sep 2006) {Yet, they have destroyed tapes? Yet, no one is accountable.}

    • Voted YES on reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act. (Mar 2006) {Interesting. }

    • Barack says comprehensive immigration solution includes employers & borders. (Nov 2007) {Really? The borders are near wide-open. Yet Obama is concerned that only 3% of cargo coming into our ports is not inspected?}

    • Undocumented workers come here to work, not to drive. (Nov 2007) {Really? Then why are they? Have you looked at the statistics of illegal aliens arrested for drunk driving and homicide via drunk driving? Visit VOIAC.ORG to see a small sample of the thousands of Americans killed annually by drunk driving illegal aliens.}

    • Yet, Barack Obama supports granting driver’s licenses to illegal immigrants. (Nov 2007) {Nothing like despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits, eh? Besides, most Americans will reward Congress with 95% to 99% re-election rates anyway. Schmucks!}

    • Give immigrants who are here a rigorous path to citizenship. (Jun 2007) {You bet! That’s tens of millions of Democrat votes! Duh! We need to get that amnesty passed before Nov-2008 !}

    • Extend welfare and Medicaid to immigrants. (Jul 1998) {32% of illegal aliens receive welfare}

    • Voted YES on comprehensive immigration reform. (Jun 2007) {The SHAMNESTY BILL which was defeated.}

    • Voted NO on declaring English as the official language of the US government. (Jun 2007) {Interesting. So, we must print everything in 50 different languages?}

    • Voted YES on establishing a Guest Worker program. (May 2006) {You bet! Need to keep the inflow of cheap labor to keep wages depressed. Besides, those immigrants will become good little Democrat (one-simple-idea.com/VoteDemocrat.gif).}

    • Voted YES on allowing illegal aliens to participate in Social Security. (May 2006) {Wonderful. Especially with the 77 million baby boomer bubble approaching and $12.8 Trillion borrowed and spent from the Social Security system. But, it buys votes, and the voters will reward us for all of it anyway with 95% to 99% re-election rates.}

    • Voted YES on giving Guest Workers a path to citizenship. (May 2006) {Yep! Nothing like pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other. }

    • Owes unions who endorsed him; that’s why he’s in politics. (Oct 2006) {Cha Ching! So how have the unions been helped lately? By selling out American workers almost daily?}

    • The wealthy should pay a bit more on the payroll tax. (Oct 2007) {A bit more? Warren Buffet’s income tax rate on $46 Million is 17.7% but the income tax rate on his secretary making $60,000 is 30% ? The tax curve is regressive due to a myriad of tax loop-holes for the wealthy. Just ask Warren Buffet, the 2nd wealthiest person in the U.S.}

    • No privatization; but consider earning cap over $97,500. (Jul 2007) {Duh! And how about getting rid of the REGRESSIVE tax loop holes ?}

    • Voted NO on establishing reserve funds & pre-funding for Social Security. (Mar 2007) {Figures. Keep plundering the surpluses.}

    • Hopes to remove all troops from Iraq by 2013, but no pledge. (Sep 2007)

    • Obama said invade Pakistan to get al Qaeda. (Aug 2007)

    • Voted to fund war until 2006; now wants no blank check. (Nov 2007)
    I don’t see any real populists.
    It is somewhat refressing to see the politicians with the biggest campaign war-chests fall behind, but 90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usually incumbents).
    If any populists really existed (based on polls), they would:
    • (01)
    • enforce existing immigration laws; enforce the laws and secure the borders 1st (we’ve already been tricked by the shamnesty of 1986 which more than quadrupled the problem).
    • (02)
    • Greatly simplify the currently regressive (e.g. Warren Buffet made $46 Million in 2006 and paid a 17.7% income tax rate, but his secretary made $60,000 and paid a 30% income tax rate?) income tax system (make it NEUTRAL at the very least). Should there be caps on Social Security taxes (e.g. $97,500)?
    • (03)
    • Find a way out of Iraq. Most voters do not want to occupy Iraq for the next 57 years (like Korea). The U.S. has had 7 wars in the past 90 years. And the war in Iraq was largely based on lies and exagerations.
    • (04)
    • Healthcare is not only increasingly unaffordable, but dangerous too! Pharmaceutical corporations and the FDA are becoming pill pushers that are killing hundreds of thousands in the U.S. (annually). That does not even include the huge number of patients that are irreversibly damaged and maimed. JAMA reported that over 2.2 million hospitalized patients in 1994 had serious Adverse Drug Reactions (ADRs) and 106,000 were fatal, making these drug reactions the 5th or 6th leading cause of death in the U.S.! JAMA’s conclusion was that “the incidence of serious and fatal ADRs in U.S. hospitals was found to be extremely high”. On 27-July-2004, HealthGrades.com reported that “An average of 195,000 people in the U.S. died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001 and 2002, according to a new study of 37 million patient records”. Healthcare solutions are needed. There are too many middlemen (e.g. insurance companies), government meddling has created many problems, and illegal immigration is placing huge burdens on the healthcare system. Illegal aliens are over-running our ERs, hospitals, Medicaid, and welfare. Hundreds of hospitals are closing (84 in California alone).
    • (05)
    • Campaign Finanace Reform; Our government is FOR-SALE !. It is a plutocracy, as evidenced by 99.85% of all 200 million eligible voters that are vastly out-spent by an extremely tiny 0.15% of all 200 million voters who make 83% of all federal campaign donations (of $200 or more; source: www.opensecrets.org/pressreleases/DonorDemographics02.asp). How can the remaining 99.85% of all 200 Million eligible voters hope to out-spend the vastly wealthy who abuse their wealth to control and influence government? 90% of all elections are won by the candidate that spends the most money (usually the incumbent). A government that is FOR-SALE is increasingly corrupt and plutocratic.
    • (06)
    • Stop plundering the Social Security system surpluses have been plundered for decades (e.g. $12.8 Trillion has been borrowed and spent from Social Security).
    • (07)
    • Stop the massive waste, fraud, pork-barrel, and graft that is growing the $9.2 Trillion National Debt to nightmare proportions.
    • (08)
    • The U.S. Dollar is falling like a rock. A U.S. Dollar from year 1950 is now worth less than 11 cents! The Federal Reserve has created incessant inflation since World War 2. The privately owned Federal Reserve Bank creates money out of thin (89% of each new loan) and keeps the interest on the loans. Nation-wide personal debt exceeds $20 Trillion. The money system is corrupt; it has no intentions of targeting ZERO inflation. Who benefits from this excessive money-printing? It’s like playing the game of Monopoly in which one person can print all the money they want; before long, everyone else is broke or deep in-debt.
    • (09)
    • Pass a ONE-PURPOSE-PER-BILL amendment to greatly reduce pork-barrel, graft, and massive waste.
    • (10)
    • Many laws are being ignored. Illegal immigration laws are blatantly being ignored (for profits and votes). Also, the Constitution is being violated. The Congress is blatantly violating Article V, despite 567 amendment applications by all 50 states (on 2/3 are required). U.S. and Geneva Convention laws are being violated. Incriminating evidence is being destroyed. Not to Habeas Corpus, spying on citizens without civil oversight, executive orders, bribery, abused Presidential pardons and commutations putting politicians above the law, abuse of eminent domain laws, and other selective enforcement of many laws; all causing the Transparency International Corruption Index score of the U.S. to fall.
    All of these manifestations of unchecked greed (above) will continue to worsen the disparity-trend of the past 30+ years as long as too many voters continue to reward irresponsible incumbent politicians with 95%-to-99% re-election rates. Unfortunately, these issues will be forgotten amidst the election races and partisan-warfare. The only consolation is that the trend will end someday (probably too late; a decade from now) when it all finally becomes too painful.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 4, 2008 01:12 PM
    Comment #242199

    Thank you for the cut and paste litany once again d.a.n., our little politisphere here at watchblog hasn’t affected anything important as of yet, and I doubt that it will, but just keep posting away the Goebbels fashion content, and eventually someone might drink it down and be swayed. The very nature of your source makes me roll my eyes at the Obama criticisms as well and I am revolted by his positions on almost everything, from his New legal Age for consentual sex to totally open borders.

    It seems to me that what you should be campaigning for is the overturning of our representative democracy - since all you want is pure poopulism. That’s probably why your positions are overwhelmingly liberal (based on the posts I’ve read) because you seem to prefer that delivery: the “I-shouldn’t-speak-until-I-conduct-a-poll” politicians… ahem- Democrats.

    The one thing was evidenced was an almost doubling of the typical voter turn-out, and THAT is encouraging news. One could only hope that trend would catch on like a brush-fire and burn the apathy out of every community in America. Problem is, according to NBC, the media has devoted more coverage to this election cycle ALREADY than any other Presidential race before, and the election is almost a year away. People are going to get burned out sooner rather than later - who knows, maybe that’s the idea.

    Posted by: Yukon Jake at January 4, 2008 01:46 PM
    Comment #242206

    Silma, you will get an even bigger kick hearing that that Ad actually ran 10 times on four stations in Iowa. So, much for “Honest Huck”, huh?

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 02:16 PM
    Comment #242211
    Yukon Jake wrote: Thank you for the cut and paste litany once again d.a.n.,
    You’re welcome.
    Yukon Jake wrote: … just keep posting away the Goebbels fashion content
    Goebbels was a NAZI propagandist.

    The items above are public record (those persons own statements and voting records). There’s a difference.

    Yukon Jake wrote: The very nature of your source makes me roll my eyes at the Obama criticisms as well and I am revolted by his positions on almost everything, from his New legal Age for consentual sex to totally open borders.
    If any of the facts above are false, please let me (or OnTheIssues.ORG) know, and I’m sure they will be happy to make the corrections.

    If you are revolted by Obama’s positions, then why denigrate the “source” (Obama / Huckabee) of the information (especially if it is true)?

    As I recall, you are a Huckabee supporter?

    Yukon Jake wrote: It seems to me that what you should be campaigning for is the overturning of our representative democracy - since all you want is pure populism. That’s probably why your positions are overwhelmingly liberal (based on the posts I’ve read) because you seem to prefer that delivery: the “I-shouldn’t-speak-until-I-conduct-a-poll” politicians… ahem- Democrats.
    Nonsense.

    I used to be a Republican, but I’ve never been a Democrat,
    As far as being liberal, that’s not what my positions and philosophies reveal. While it may be convenient for some people, it is not as easy as they think to label and categorize people.
    Ever heard the saying: “Location, Location, Location” ?
    Well,

    • Voting Records, Actions, Writings, and Statements.

    • Voting Records, Actions, Writings, and Statements.

    • Voting Records, Actions, Writings, and Statements.
    That is why it is important to look at their Voting Records, Actions, Writings, and Statements.

    At any rate, a pure democracy can not exist, because once the electorate learns it can vote anything it wants from the treasury, it is doomed to fiscal and moral bankruptcy. I’d say we are close to that (or already there) now. I do think politicians should represent the people that elect them, but they should also be fiscally and morally responsible too. Can you name 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, or even 268 (of 535) in Congress that are responsible and accountable? Yet, my disdain for that is liberal?
    All I’m saying is the politicians really don’t represent us at all any more because they can do what ever they want and 95% to 99% of those in Congress are still rewarded with re-election.
    Unfortunately, there is a Voter Paradox:

    • Most voters complain and give Congress dismally low approval ratings (as low as 11%),

    • But most voters still reward Congress with 95%-to-99% re-election rates.
    Huckabee’s support of the 30% Sales Tax plan may be his demise.
    Obama’s position on illegal immigration may be his demise.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 4, 2008 02:36 PM
    Comment #242218
    So, much for “Honest Huck”, huh?

    Many ethical questions about Huckabee. His chairman shouldn’t be mistaken for too much of a saint, either.

    Posted by: veritas vincit at January 4, 2008 02:55 PM
    Comment #242230

    “Iowa’s Caucuses are not Primaries.”

    How true David, sort of more like a cross between a tupperware party and a county fair.

    One thing changed for me. With Biden and Dodd dropping their bids for the presidency I’ll be sending my paltry campaign contributions to Edwards ……… and hoping that the Green’s will come up with a strong alternative.

    Posted by: KansasDem at January 4, 2008 05:18 PM
    Comment #242231

    “Huckabee’s support of the 30% Sales Tax plan may be his demise.”

    Now, now d.a.n. it’s 23%. If I charge you $200.00 for something that used to cost $100.00 it’s only a 50% increase, right?

    And I still have that ocean front property near Wichita up for sale.

    Generally if someone uses a dishonest sales technique to sell his goods he’s a dishonest man ………. period!

    Sadly the same is true of both the Obama and Clinton health care plans and their related costs.

    Posted by: KansasDem at January 4, 2008 05:29 PM
    Comment #242232

    d.a.n said: “Obama’s position on illegal immigration may be his demise.”

    True, in addition to his pie in the sky proposal to give the middle class tax cuts while saving SS and providing universal health care coverage. What school of illogic did he graduate from, again? Or, does he plan to fulfill those objectives by maxing out the National Credit limits with foreign nation’s like China, UAE, and Saudi Arabia? Either way, the man is not making arithmetic sense.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 05:34 PM
    Comment #242233
    Huckabee’s support of the 30% Sales Tax plan may be his demise.

    Or success. I think many people have seen the result of an income tax and are ready to see all of the taxes they are paying…

    Time will tell.

    Posted by: Rhinehold at January 4, 2008 05:37 PM
    Comment #242234

    KD, last I looked, 23% wouldn’t even cover the current spending, let alone the $44 Trillion in unfunded mandates for Medicare and SS, and that’s without Universal Health Care. Huck may have graduated from the same school of illogic as Obama.

    As for the costs, neither Obama nor Clinton have detailed what those costs would be and how they would realistically bring them down to an affordable level. The implication being that voters should just “TRUST THEM”. BullCrap! Trust? All spent. Show Me!

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 05:40 PM
    Comment #242235

    Rhinehold, nope. It will be his demise. When voters learn Warren Buffet will pay 1/10th, or less, of his income in taxes than his $60,000/year Secretary will, it will be a deal breaker. When voters learn that the poorer you are 100% of your income is subject to the sales tax, while the very wealthy will see only a fraction of their income subject to taxation, they will reject it.

    Regressive taxation has that effect on voters, like the rebuke of Republicans taking place now and since the 2006 elections for profiting the wealthy like Warren Buffet at 17.7% tax rate (before loopholes) while his secretary is subject to over 20%. It just doesn’t seem fair to voters. Fairly obvious why, too!

    The National Sales Tax is dead in the water as soon as the general public gets both sides of the story.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 4, 2008 05:49 PM
    Comment #242241

    Less than 17% in Congress support the 30% National Sales Tax plan.

    Sales taxes are almost always regressive (not just theoretically, but in practice) and a rebate won’t change that except at the very bottom-most portion of the tax curve; creating a tax curve that is essentially the top half of a circle. That is, a $2400 rebate (for a single person), and a $5902 rebate (for a family of four) become insignificant as income increases. That is, those rebates are insignifican to persons with incomes over $100K per year.

    The funny thing about the 30% Sales Tax/Rebate proponents is that great lengths that they go to in order to prove that the plan is progressive relative to income.
    Therefore, if the goal is to prove that the tax plan is progressive relative to income, then it is apparent that the effective income tax is important.
    If taxing effective income tax is important, then why tax spending?
    If the goal is to effectively tax income equally, then why not tax income equally (i.e. an equal 17%)?
    The problem with taxing spending is that effective income tax can never be equal unless everyone spends the same amount of their income.

    I understand the Libertarian philosophy to have more choice. However, the 30% Sales Tax/Rebate System is quite simply unfair because people that spend a majority of their income (the middle-class) will end up paying the highest effective tax rates (relavite to income).
    It isn’t hard to see how the middle income class is going to get hammered.
    For example:

  • Annual Income=$2 Million

  • Spending=$200K

  • 30% Sales Tax on Spending=$60K; minus $2,400 prebate=$57,600 total taxes

  • —————————————————————————————————-

  • Effective Income Tax = 2.88%

  • _______________________________________________________

  • Annual Income=$50K

  • Spending=$40K

  • 30% Sales Tax on Spending=$40K; minus $2,400 prebate=$9,600 total taxes

  • —————————————————————————————————-

  • Effective Income Tax = 19.2%
  • The problem with taxing spending is that it can never be proven to tax income equally (as a percentage of income).

    There is no mystery why some people like the idea of the 30% Sales Tax/Rebate system, because they probably don’t spend much, already have a home, car, and other property that is already bought and paid for long ago. And since capital gains and interest income would no longer be taxed, the wealthy would be able to live nearly tax free on interest income and capital gains alone. Since my two homes, automobiles, and other property are all paid for, I would stand to benefit nicely from this 30% Sales Tax/Rebate System. But most Americans would bet hammered, and would end up paying the highest effective income tax rates (far, far higher than the wealthy).

    Fortunately, 83% of even the dimmest nitwits in Congress understand this. It’s also very interesting that mostly only Republicans support this 30% Sales Tax/Rebate system; perhaps one more piece of proof that the Republicans only look out for the wealthy.

    Despite most Americans that are complacent, apathetic, disinterested, or have resigned to futility, it is very unlikely they are stupid enough to fall for this 30% Sales Tax/Rebate System. Hence, 83% of those in Congress oppose it.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 4, 2008 06:42 PM
    Comment #242247

    Precisely dan. It is NOT an income tax, it is a consumption tax. Instead of penalizing productivity as our system currently does, it encourages it.

    As for Huckabee’s school of illogic, a little news flash for the head honcho here - psst- Huckabee didn’t author the FairTax.

    I know, I know, you’re suprised - glad to educate you.

    The FairTax was authored by a TEAM of economic powerhouses at MIT. That’s the Massachusets Institute of Technology if you didn’t know the reference; arguably one of the most amazing collegiate institutions in the world.

    The fact that the idea has tremendous merit, and Huckabee is on board doesn’t mean ANYTHING about Huckabee’s intelligence as you imply. Rather, well, I’ll just stop there.

    On a side note, as for the 17% of Congress that supports the FairTax - so what. What makes you think that 100% of congress has researched the viability of the FairTax and has therefore made an informed decision? Calling them dimwits on one hand, and then taking their stance on things as evidence seems to be a pretty laughable argument to me.

    But then again, I’m just a crazy Fair Tax / Huckabee supporter. :-)

    Posted by: Yukon Jake at January 4, 2008 07:22 PM
    Comment #242248

    Silima,
    As a Political Science Major, do you want to debate the Youth of America over your Parents’ Belief that they have the Unalienable Right to be Stupid and My Guaranteed Civil and Constitutional Rights as an Unlearned Unbridled Anti-Authoritarian Child of the 70’s by Freewill & Self-Nature to prove them wrong?

    Posted by: Henry Schlatman at January 4, 2008 07:32 PM
    Comment #242251

    “I know, I know, you’re suprised - glad to educate you.”

    Yukon Jake,

    I hope, I mean I really, really hope, that d.a.n. has the time and patience to educate you.

    His plan is much, much better, although I’d prefer that the first 150% of poverty level income be exempt rather than just beginning at poverty level and then begin taxing at 17% from there. 17% would be a good starting point but a progression toward 25% seems reasonable to me.

    Otherwise I’ve read d.a.n.’s plan and it does seem to cover most eventualities such as the “marriage penalty”, estate tax, etc. But I DO lack the ability to KNOW if it will meet spending requirements. I DO know that what we’re doing now is NOT working.

    The national sales tax is a load of hokum! Those with huge incomes would pay little because they do have loads of money to save or invest offshore but the working class would bear nearly ALL of America’s tax burden. Then the GOP would have to dust off that “Mission Accomplished” banner.

    St. Reagan began the starvation of the beast with tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts, and then ………. wham, the most regressive tax ever ————- increase Social Security withholding to “keep the program solvent FOREVER”!

    Where is that f@!*^%g money?

    Posted by: KansasDem at January 4, 2008 08:14 PM
    Comment #242253

    Yes, because since one d.a.n. head is more knowledgeable than many MIT heads, it makes sense that dan has seen and addressed all shortcomings.

    Read the book, the Fair Tax. READ IT. If all you do is spew the word UNFAIR and REGRESSIVE (always in capitals) but never read how the fair tax handles all of these issues, then all you do is waste hours of your time for nothing. I’m sure the anger and frustration is therapeutic though.

    Posted by: Yukon Jake at January 4, 2008 09:30 PM
    Comment #242274

    Yukon Jake, MIT folks are just folks with their own personal agendas, left, right, and in the middle. One should be very careful about folks with credentials. Hitler had a devotee with an M.D. too. Just because some folks at Brookings, or AEI or some other think tank or wall hangings say something or come out in favor of something doesn’t mean it should be accepted without scrutiny and critical analysis, especially by peers of opposing camps. That is how science tends to shake out the hidden agendas and biases which can taint results or interpret them either falsely or erroneously.

    One doesn’t need a Ph.D. to recognize the sales tax is a windfall for the wealthy and potentially lethal to the economy and government in times of recession and large national debt, since it would have to rely on consumers for increasing revenues when needed and during a recession, the consumers are the last people you want to increase taxes on.

    One just needs high school math and logic to and an Econ 101 course to recognize the enormous flaws and regressivity of the national sales tax. Sure, some folks will come up with rationalizations and explanations and projections which will make it appear to work on paper because they have a vested interest selling it. But, it really doesn’t take much more than common sense question to peel back the assumptions and overestimates and rationalization masking the inherent weaknesses in the UnFair sales tax plan.

    Take a simple scenario. It is 2020, and national sales tax rates are 27%, the national debt is 18 trillion, and the we are experiencing what Larry Kudlow calls a natural cyclical correction of 10% in the markets, and a mild recession. A major natural disaster hits and China says it is fed up with American nuclear missiled submarines off its coast and dumps its 1.5 trillion greenbacks on the open market and chooses not to buy any more treasury bonds and begins floating its treasury bonds on the open market, threatening to cause our mild recession to become a deep and protracted one.

    Raising the national sales tax, even if Congress could get it by voters, would in fact, make the entire economic picture worse by curtailing consumerism domestically and choking domestic sectors of economy, causing layoffs and cutbacks. At the same time that American corporations and investors in them, doing business in foreign lands, are raking in profits hand over fist and the top 5% of the America’s wealthiest are increasing their wealth by double digits every 5 years. All untouchable to save the nation or the economy because of the national sales tax plan.

    This is potentially a very a real scenario. And there are a host of others, some conditioned on OPEC, some conditioned natural disasters, some conditioned on terrorist attacks of many different kinds. All could potentially render the economy and government in desperate need of increased revenues at a time when the only primary source for those are domestic or foreign at exorbident rates, like CitiBank which last week which had to go hat in hand to Dubai to acquire an 11% loan to keep itself afloat through this write down period.

    Do you have any idea how absolutely incredibly high 11% is for such a huge corporation like CitiBank? And Dubai is our economic friend and ally. The same kind of rates on governmental borrowing are becoming increasingly possible as we move toward into the entitlement crisis and well past the 11 trillion level in national debt.

    The national sales tax is simply not flexible enough to allow the U.S. to manage financial and economic challenges, without shooting itself in the foot if it has to turn to consumers with rate increases during times or slowing or negative growth.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 5, 2008 12:22 AM
    Comment #242278

    Yukon said: “it is a consumption tax. Instead of penalizing productivity as our system currently does, it encourages it.”

    No. It penalizes consumption, which is 3/4 of our economic base. Fine when the GDP growth rate is 3% or more per year. Very UnFine when GDP growth retracts from that level given current deficits, debt, service on that debt, and the unfunded mandates. And the UnFair Tax people have NOT calculate the tax rate for universal health care coverage which is now a near certainty in our near future. Given what’s coming, $44 trillion in unfunded mandates, the UnFair tax folks quote of 23% is in the realm of fantasy. 35% is more like it, with potential short term peaks of 45% during economic challenging periods. That translates into 10’s of million of Americans being thrown into poverty and thus, dramatic losses in government revenues. Which btw, is certainly one of the hidden agendas of some National Sales Tax proponents.

    It is no accident that the same people who laud the National Sales Tax also laud tax cuts at the very same time that deficits are driving up national debt and service costs on that debt at unprecedented rates. That speaks volumes as to the motive and agenda of some of the proponents. What do they care if the American government or economy bankrupts, their 10’s of millions are good for an excellent lifestyle overseas if push comes to shove. They really have nothing to lose by causing economic collapse in order to shave taxes off their income. Their tax savings will more than cover the cost of moving to a foreign land if need be. Gratuitous greed in politics has brought down many a number of great civilizations, or weakened them, for successful invasion or takeover.

    We should not allow that to happen here. And I doubt the American people will. They know a fat cat tax plan when they see one. And the UnFair Tax Plan is just that, one which will benefit the fat cats, and leave everyone else scrapping with each purchase they make to lower their standard of living in order to make ends meet.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 5, 2008 12:39 AM
    Comment #242279

    David,

    I apologize for going “off-topic” but why is Fox shutting out Ron Paul?

    http://tinyurl.com/2vat7k

    While I’m no Ron Paul fan yesterdays caucus and recent fund raising efforts definitely put him IN the running.

    WTF? (silence the minority?)

    Posted by: KansasDem at January 5, 2008 12:46 AM
    Comment #242283

    Everyone, there are a number of topics in the article written here. Please steer your comments and debate BACK to the topics in the article. Staying on topic is one of WatchBlog’s rules. Everyone’s, including David’s, cooperation and compliance with this rule will be appreciated.

    Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at January 5, 2008 01:05 AM
    Comment #242284

    “Read the book, the Fair Tax. READ IT.”

    I have and it’s my conclusion that the so called fair tax further shifts the tax burden onto the working class. If implemented I’d give it two years before we dissolved into violent protests reminiscent of the late 60’s and early 70’s.

    We’d also see the IRS devolve into a modern day “Untouchables”, truly preying upon citizens that they expected were buying or selling goods under the table.

    BTW, where is that money that Reagan said would save Social Security for all time? Ya know we’re gonna need it starting in just a very few years.

    Posted by: KansasDem at January 5, 2008 01:14 AM
    Comment #242285

    Oops, we overlapped. My apologies.

    Posted by: KansasDem at January 5, 2008 01:17 AM
    Comment #242310
    Huckabee’s success was in no small measure due to the White Evangelical Christian turnout in Iowa. Many other states don’t have such concentrations of White Evangelical Christians. Hence, it may too be too early to project Mike Huckabee’s Iowa success on a great many other large delegate states.
    Exactly.

    Huckabee might go over well in IOWA (no insult intended to IOWA; it’s their choice), but not in all of the other 49 states.

    It is good to see that those that spent the most money fell behind.

    But there’s 11 months to go, and IOWA is not really a good indication of who will finally be elected.

    Regardless of who is elected to President/Vice President, it won’t mean squat as long as the majority in the Do-Nothing, FOR-SALE, corrupt Congress continue to squeeze the middle class with a number of perverse systems (that did not all come about by mere coincidence), and are perpetually rewarded for all of it with party seat-retention rates of 95% to 99% (despite dismally low approval ratings; some as low as 11% (www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSN1844140220070919)).

    … I’d prefer that the first 150% of poverty level income be exempt rather than just beginning at poverty level …
    KansasDem, The 150% might be possible (i.e. an N factor of 1.5 times the poverty level), which would lessen the burden more at the bottom of the tax curve, but might require the 17% to be larger (to raise sufficient revenues), or spending cuts somewhere. Regarding the 30%, different percentages are used, but a 30% Sales Tax is strictly based on the $30 sales tax on a $100 purchase (which is a 30% Sales tax). It can be called a 23% FairTax if it is calculated as [$30 / ($30 + $100)] = 23.0769% . This has fooled a lot of people in thinking that the Sales Tax is 23%, when technically, it is the Inclusive Tax is 23.0769%. As for the lowering of costs of items, that is all very difficult to prove, and it may be all relative. For one thing, incomes may decrease too. The funny thing about all of it is the effort spent to prove a tax on spending is effectively a progressive tax relative to income.
    But I DO lack the ability to KNOW if it will meet spending requirements.
    The 17% is partly based on studies done by the “NATIONAL CENTER FOR POLICY ANALYSIS” and the Freedom and Fairness Restoration Act; BILL: H.R. 4585 (www.ncpa.org/ba/ba136.html). Also, another estimate is based on 17% of $13.5 Trillion GDP, which is $2.3 Trillion (which is close to the total federal tax revenues of $2.407 Trillion in annual tax revenues for year 2006).

    It doesn’t appear that Huckabee has really done the math on the tax plan he (and others) supports, because it will get severely raked over the coals by 83% of Congress. Or, if he has done the math, and truly understands it, then the label of Hucksterbee is more appropriate.
    While American voters are often too complacent, apathetic, and disinterested, hopefully they won’t fall for the regressive tax plan that Huckabee is promoting (which will worsen the ongoing 30+ year disparity trend). However, it appears most Americans are waking up to the fact that the current tax system regressive, and it appears unlikely they will fall for another tax plan that is even more regressive. We’ll see. Like I said, with my two homes, automobiles, and property all paid for, I’ll probably benefit nicely from a regressive tax system, but I don’t think it is good for America. At any rate, whatever voters choose, they’ll have the government that they deserve.

    Unfortunately, none of the candidates seem truly committed to dealing with illegal immigration, despite the majority of Americans that want the borders secured and/or the existing laws enforced first and recall that they have already been fooled once by the shamnesty of 1986 (which more that quadrupled the problem).

    Who among the Democrat candidates has a good record on illegal immigration? Obama wants to give drivers’ licenses to illegal aliens and supports another amnesty. His BetterImmigration.com Voting Record is a dismal “D-” (and so is Hillary’s).

    And Hucksterbee is overselling his record of cracking down on illegal aliens as governor, claiming that he ordered his state police to arrest illegal aliens, when in fact Huckabee never signed the agreement with federal authorities that would have allowed it. Fortunately, the new Governor Beebe has picked up and followed through where Huckabee failed to do so (Hucksterbee claiming that he ran out of time, despite 20 months before he left office). Also, Huckabee backed scholarships and tuition breaks for illegal aliens, and fought legislation to required proof of citizenship.

    A lot of people have complained that the campaigning of the next election has started sooner than ever before, but that might be a very good thing to get to really know the candidates’ and their voting records and positions much better.

  • Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2008 12:31 PM
    Comment #242327

    d.a.n, I find Huckabee’s comments in NH now a bit disturbing. He is promoting small government, more tax cuts, and less regulation. A very familiar Republican meme. The same campaign promises we got from the current lot of Republicans in office who gave us the largest government in history, the largest tax revenues in history, and all kinds of new unconstitutional regulations like allowing torture, while absolutely failing to regulate the hedge fund and sub-prime mortgage industry which is now costing Americans and the economy 2 trillion dollars in losses.

    Citibank had to go seek borrowing last week for a 1.5 billion dollar write down due to the sub-prime mess. Best deal they could make was an 11% interest loan from a Middle Eastern country. Shouldn’t that be front page news and a dire warning of what is coming for debt laden America? 11% is a monumentally high interest rate for one of the largest financial corporations in the world.

    I have concluded that Huckabee is quite simply a liar who has decided power would be fun. Fact Check has him lying many times to get elected. And he appears to be completely non-plussed in promoting himself as a change agent while touting the same old incomprehensible Republican yarn about a growing economy and population concurrently with lower taxes, smaller government, and less regulation. That incongruity is a bald faced lie. That, or he is too intellectually challenged to recognize the incongruity, which also disqualifies him in my book.

    BTW, Obama too is becoming very long on promises and ideals and extremely short on details and step by step plans to achieve them. I hope N.H. will demand some details from him and reject him if continues to come up short on them. Illegal immigration and border security are topics of concern to New Hampshire folks. Will we hear from Obama on these topics? Somehow, I doubt it.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 5, 2008 03:22 PM
    Comment #242339

    David,

    $1.5 Billion write down for CitiBank?
    Interesting.
    Yet, the ROSY predictions still abound?
    It reminds me of an old TV Advertisement where the stock broker says: “Did I say sell? No! I meant BUY! BUY! BUY!

    Personal nation-wide debt is over $20 Trillion.
    The falling U.S. Dollar is one of the obvious consequences.
    Nevermind that China reported over a year ago that it would start reducing its exposure to the falling U.S. Dollar. It seemed to fall on completely deaf ears.
    Now look at the U.S. Dollar.

    Foreclosures for 2008 are being predicted to exceed 2007.
    Credit card debt is growing.
    That may be the next shoe to drop?
    The majority of consumers are near being tapped out.
    Savings rates are negative.
    December (of all months) showed a rise in unemployment.
    New jobs are paying less than the previous jobs.
    All of this is understandable after 30+ years of bad fiscal policies.

    I find Huckabee’s comments in NH now a bit disturbing.
    I find a lot of Huckabee’s statements and positions disturbing, and the next 11 months will give us plenty of time to examine all of it very closely. Yes, I think he is a liar too (see my previous comment about his actions as Governor with regard to illegal immigration).

    Yes, Obama, Clinton, and Edwards must be on another planet not to understand the voters’ anger about illegal immigration. They have been pandering to the illegal alien vote for so long, they don’t seem to be even remotely in touch with the majority of Americans on the illegal alien issue. Americans are sick and tired of hearing about scholarships, welfare (an estimated 32% of illegal aliens receive welfare), tuition breaks, and pandering to illegal aliens (for votes and cheap labor) that essentially pits (despicably) American citiezens and illegal aliens against each other. Democrats have been pandering to the illegal aliens for decades. It will be interesting to see if the Democrat voters can bring themselves to overlook their candidates’ pathetic positions on illegal immigration (despite the majority of Americans, Democrat and Republican alike) that want border security and/or existing immigration laws enforced first. That’s going to be a hard sell for Democrats with D and F immigration report card grades.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 5, 2008 06:29 PM
    Comment #242351

    “Credit card debt is growing.
    That may be the next shoe to drop?”

    d.a.n.

    If bankruptcy filings are any indication I think that shoe is already dropping.

    Posted by: KansasDem at January 5, 2008 11:36 PM
    Comment #242382

    d.a.n and KD, quite right, the numbers of defaults on Credit Cards for December are up sharply year over year and month over month.

    I wrote about this some time ago that the Credit Card bubble was growing and has a good probability of bursting in 2008. Craig will likely say, no, it won’t happen, like when I wrote about the mortgage industry bubble nearly a year before it burst. But, the naysayers don’t stop reality from forging ahead. Debt exacts its cost one way or another.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 6, 2008 12:40 PM
    Comment #242422

    David, Your predictions seem to be correct.
    It’s not surprising with so many economic factors looking worse each day (i.e. inflation, federal debt, wars, personal debt, foreclosures, the 77 million baby boomer bubble, warfare on the middle-class, etc., etc., etc.).

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 6, 2008 07:00 PM
    Comment #242444

    d.a.n, Bloomberg says the markets now have a recession occurring at over 50% probability. It is possible we are in one now given the unemployment figures, but, it will take a few months for all the rear looking data to come in to know for sure.

    There is no doubt however, that unemployment is going to result in additional credit card defaults as AR mortgages already have forcing folks to choose between mortgage payment and credit card payments. A growing number have been choosing to stay in their homes and let the credit cards go unpaid in order to afford daily living essentials.

    The government would prefer folks remain in their homes for a number of economic reasons. Hence, the credit card industry is going to carry an increasing brunt of the effect from the sub-prime mortgage industry’s deceptive, and irresponsible lending practices which so front loaded profits for them. They in turn sold those mortgages like hot potatoes to investors, REIT’s, and hedge fund managers, who are now taking the write downs and having to seek loans at 11% interest for the likes of CitiBank.

    That spread between the Fed funds rate and commercial loans to cover write downs and write offs, is unprecedented in modern times. And it is impeding hiring and employment retention in a widening circle of industries. As recession liklihood increases, consumers will contract consumption as a hedge against lower wage growth or higher risk of being laid off. Which in turn, could spur more layoffs and business contraction, especially for small cap companies which typically do business only in the U.S.

    We are seeing evidence of this already with the largest market losses by the Russell 2000. The large international corporations are much better protected by overseas growth and expansion and profitability, for the time being.

    No doubt however, this economic bad news is going to become a big factor in this year’s election. Democrats with their focus on domestic issues and shoring up the middle class, appear best poised to reap the political benefit. Especially with the Republicans so insistent on exporting taxpayer’s dollars to Iraq in perpetuity.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 7, 2008 09:52 AM
    Comment #242483

    David,

    The tinkering with money-supply (and inflation) may have delayed a recession, but will also make recovery more difficult. And if they tinker with it some more, the worse it will be later. But that’s what they often do to try to make their term(s) in office look good.

    Yes, the Democrat politicians are better poised to reap political benefit, but it is unlikely they’ll do anything constructive to truly improve domestic issues. Especially when most of it will require more spending and growing government ever larger.

    Yes, Republicans desire to occupy Iraq indefinitely will hurt them, but I’m not sure many Democrat politicians are serious about leaving Iraq any time soon either (based on the Democrat debates where they talked about staying in Iraq until 2012 or later).

    I don’t see how any one can paint a rosy economic picture (for the majority of Americans) for several years to come, with the following that will eventually have painful consequences:

    • $9.2 Trillion National Debt,

    • huge trade deficits,

    • a war in Iraq,

    • a war in Afghanistan,

    • the approaching 77 million baby boomer bubble,

    • hundreds of billions of dollars for unfunded Medicare liabilites,

    • unaffordable healthcare,

    • unaffordable health insurance,

    • too many middlemen (government and insurance companies) in the healthcare system,

    • inflation,

    • excessive money printing,

    • government FOR-SALE,

    • energy vulnerabilities,

    • increasing nation-wide personal debt,

    • increasing foreclosures,

    • increasing bankruptcies,

    • the worsening disparity trend,

    • declining quality and rising cost of public education,

    • illegal immigration that despicably pits American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for profits and votes,

    • rampant corpocrisy and corporatism, selling out Americans, and other manifestations of unchecked greed,

    • regressive and unfair taxation,

    • etc., etc., etc.
    So, which candidate has paid much effort (if any) to these issues?
  • The Democrat politicians are truly messed up on the issue of illegal immigration.

  • The Republican politicians are all messed up on Iraq and their desire to occupy Iraq indefinitely (it’s obviously about the oil).

  • The Democrat politicians are messed up on pork-barrel and wasteful spending (based on cagw.org scores for all Congress persons).

  • The Republican politicians are truly messed up on taxes too (wanting more tax cuts for the wealthy when the tax system is already regressive). 86 even support a 30% Sales Tax/Rebate system.

  • Both are about equally messed up on the other issues.

  • And both will use healthcare to bribe the one-issue voters (they’re easy to manipulate).
    Healthcare might be affordable if many of the things on the list above were properly addressed (such as inflation, regressive taxation, and government/insurance companies meddling in the healthcare system). Looking at Medicare, and with so much federal debt, it’s hard to understand how a government healthcare system will be affordable. It may be the last straw.
  • But, if things can’t get better until they get much worse, then perhaps it is a good thing?

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 7, 2008 03:26 PM
    Comment #242530

    d.a.n said: “Yes, the Democrat politicians are better poised to reap political benefit, but it is unlikely they’ll do anything constructive to truly improve domestic issues. Especially when most of it will require more spending and growing government ever larger.”

    I agree from what I have heard from the Dem candidates. They aren’t out there touting balanced budgets on the campaign trail, are there?

    Obama has promised 16 or 18 months to pull out. Hillary says pull them out but, I don’t think she has set a time frame. Richardson says as soon as possible as in six months. I believe Edwards promised within one year of being elected. So, I would have to disagree that there is no difference on time frames ‘tween Republicans and Dems.

    Additionally, Obama and Edwards have committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq. You won’t get that from any Republican except Ron Paul.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 8, 2008 03:38 AM
    Comment #242544
    So, I would have to disagree that there is no difference on time frames ‘tween Republicans and Dems.
    True, what they say varies (6 months, 12 months, 16 to 18 months, no time limit, etc.).

    They don’t sound very oonvincing do they?
    And what they say and what they actually do are too often two different things.

    After all, Nixon campaigned to leave Vietnam and then escalated the war.

    Yes, on the other hand, few Republicans are serious about leaving Iraq anytime soon, except for Ron Paul.

    Since it is about the oil, I doubt an exit from Iraq will come anytime soon, regardless of who is president.

    After all, the slight Democrat majority in Congress has not done much (if anything) since 07-NOV-2006, to effect an exit from Iraq, despite many campaign promises to extricate the U.S. from Iraq.

    Another BIG reason Democrats won control of Congress in 07-NOV-2006 was because they campaigned against corpocrisy, corporatism, NAFTA-style trade scams, selling out American workers, etc. Yet, Pelosi and 108 Democrats joined G.W. Bush in the passage of another trade scam (this time, with Peru), giving another victory to G.W. Bush and Corporate America (over the People of America).

    In fact, I’ve been amazed to see Democrats:

    • vote to allow more wire-tapping without civil oversight,

    • approve Mukasey who doesn’t know that water-boarding is torture and illegal based on both the Geneva convention and U.S. law, and believes that Bush has the inherent power to ignore American laws.

    • refuse to do anything to extricate the U.S. from Iraq or set any time limits whatsoever,

    • continue to ignore Habeas Corpus,

    • continue to ignore Eminent Domain abuse,

    • continue to ignore Article V,

    • continue to ignore war profiteering,

    • continue to ignore huge hedge fund operators, tax loop holes, and scandals,

    • continue to ignore a tax system that is obviously regressive,

    • continue to ignore the growing plutocracy; government is FOR-SALE

    • continue to ignore the AMT tax that will help to hammer the already beleagered middle-income-class,

    • continue to do nothing to stop these 10 regressive/oppressive systems that are growing the 30+ year disparity trend
    The cave-in Democrat politicians appear to be weaker than even I ever predicted.

    The Democrat politicians have not only failed to stand up to several Bush power grabs, but have actually helped him continue to do it! (especially by passing laws to allow spying on U.S. citizens without civil oversight).

    And of course, almost ALL Democrat politicians are diametrically opposed to the majority of Americans on illegal immigration. The Democrat politicians want an amnesty before the Nov-2008 election. Nothing like despicably pitting American citizens and illegal aliens against each other for votes and profits from cheap labor.

    PREDICTION: Democrat politicians are weak, cave-in experts, or sell-out wolves in sheep skins, and the U.S. will occupy Iraq beyond 2012, regardless of who is elected to president.

    It is no longer amusing to watch and listen to all of the two-face politicians proclaim that they are the agents of change. More like agents of the status quo. Besides, we hear this “agent of change” stuff every election, and the status quo continues to fuel the decline of the U.S. in many areas (inflation, falling dollar, unfair taxation, illegal immigration, debt, regressive/oppressive systems, etc.).

    If Americans really want change, it won’t ever come about by repeatedly rewarding Do-Nothing Congress with 95%-to-99% re-election rates.

    Posted by: d.a.n at January 8, 2008 09:45 AM
    Comment #242578

    d.a.n said: “Since it is about the oil, I doubt an exit from Iraq will come anytime soon, regardless of who is president.”

    Is is mostly about oil. But, there are two schools of thought out there, one traditional held by Republicans, and a novel one gaining ground in academic circles and getting some notice by Democrats.

    The traditional view is that OPEC is a cartel, cartels are contrary to free trade, therefore, a military threat must be imposed to insure the cartel does not act in opposition to our supply needs for our addiction to their product. That is the Republican view. Human life is expendable, the economy and profits from oil are not.

    The growing novel view which can be viewed on the Eco Channel, is that disruption of supplies of oil and ever increasing petro pricing is precisely what the U.S. needs to invest in and seek energy independence with all the enormous economic benefits that attend becoming the energy independence leader in the world. If the government and taxpayers are willing to invest in this independence, the public suffering from inevitable shortages and disruptions as we transition from petro to alternative energy, can and will be mitigated and individuals caught in the pinch, can be helped along the way as needed while the transition takes place.

    This is why it is so very important in my view, that the entrenched traditional incumbents in Congress must be replaced, mine, yours, theirs, all who fixated on the past’s view of energy. And why it is so very important to elect a president who is open and embracing of change, new paradigms, and new ways of seeing opportunity in the face of challenges to be resolved.

    This is why Obama’s message is bringing home the bacon. He is making the case, and making it convincingly by all accounts. In this regard, he has no equal amongst the front-runners and its showing in the primaries, as Democrats turn out in larger numbers than Republicans, and larger numbers of Democrats, independents, and Republicans turn out for Obama over any other candidate.

    If it continues, and Obama lives up to this mandate by the younger generation, it will mark a paradigm shift in government policy that supercedes the old divisive party lines and arguments of gridlock. I find a fair amount of optimism in this potential scenario. But, it rests on dumping the old guard from the controls of government and electing challengers focused on the future and opportunity, not the past and intractable political divides.

    The days of the evangelical Christians abortion divide and conquer strategy, and that of the extreme Left’s socialized medicine may indeed be numbered, if we the voters vote to number them. There are signs this may be happening in Iowa and New Hampshire.

    Posted by: David R. Remer at January 8, 2008 04:36 PM
    Comment #242606
    Is is mostly about oil. But, there are two schools of thought out there, one traditional held by Republicans, and a novel one gaining ground in academic circles and getting some notice by Democrats. …
    Hope so, because thus far, there doesn’t seem to be much difference. It was surprising to see the Democrat majority of incumbent politicians going along with Iraq, and a number of other things.
    This is why it is so very important in my view, that the entrenched traditional incumbents in Congress must be replaced …
    That day will come, eventually, when the status quo finally becomes too painful (which may be getting closer every day). BTW, have you noticed the fewer and less convincing rosy predictions lately?
    This is why Obama’s message is bringing home the bacon…
    Maybe for the moment, but Obama is all messed up on illegal immigration (as are most Democrat politicians). If Obama keeps talking about giving drivers’ licenses and a path-to-citizenship (a.k.a. amnesty) to illegal aliens, he’ll be toast. Iowa and New Hampshire don’t really appreciate the problems down here on the border states.
    If it continues, and Obama lives up to this mandate by the younger generation, …
    Hmmmmm … the smallest group of voters, that actually vote, are young voters between the ages of 18 and 24. The largest group of voters are white caucasians of age 55 or older.
    … it will mark a paradigm shift in government policy that supercedes the old divisive party lines and arguments of gridlock. I find a fair amount of optimism in this potential scenario. But, it rests on dumping the old guard from the controls of government and electing challengers focused on the future and opportunity, not the past and intractable political divides.
    And there’s the problem; the Voter Paradox:
    • (a) voters whine and complain and give the president and Congress dismally (record)low approval ratings,
    • (b) but those same voters (that even bother to vote) repeatedly reward Congress with 95%-to-99% re-election rates.
    The days of the evangelical Christians abortion divide and conquer strategy, and that of the extreme Left’s socialized medicine may indeed be numbered, if we the voters vote to number them.
    The number of days are unknown, but the day it happens will be when the painful consequences of the electorate’s complacency and apathy finally provides the motivation for reforms. Most Americans will be much less complacent and apathetic when they are jobless, homeless, and hungry.
    There are signs this may be happening in Iowa and New Hampshire.
    Well, maybe in those two states, but I doubt real reforms will come from any of it for seven reasons:
    • (1) Those two states do not accurately reflect the whole of the U.S. (especially with regard to illegal immigration).
    • (2) The electorate’s road to more pain (worsening disparity trend) has just started. There’s more already in the pipe-line.
    • (3) None of the candidates for president truly represent change for the better.
    • (4) Congress and the two-party duopoly will still enjoy a cu$hy seat-retention rate of over 90%.
    • (5) The next president will inherit a huge mess and a dysfunctional, FOR-SALE, corrupt, Do-Nothing Congress that will continue to FUBAR everything it touches.
    • (6) The electorate is still far too complacent and apathetic, and most of those that will vote will abdicate their responsibility to choose candidate to THEIR party (mostly incumbents).
    • (7) And a nationalized healthcare system will probably fail miserably (as probably will Social Security and Medicare) if we stay on the current course we’re on now, and the drastic reforms, common-sense, no-brainer reforms, and bi-partisan cooperation are about as likely as Congress obeying the Constitution and calling an Article V Convention.
    Things will probably have to get much worse before they can get better (if ever; if we’re already too far down the path of plutocracy). That may sound pesimistic, but the probability of pain ahead is very high, and progress is excruciatingly slow: 2.00 steps forward, and 1.99 steps backward.
      Posted by: d.a.n at January 8, 2008 09:56 PM
      Comment #242615

      d.a.n said: “Hmmmmm … the smallest group of voters, that actually vote, are young voters between the ages of 18 and 24. The largest group of voters are white caucasians of age 55 or older.”

      The Iowa and N.H. statistics clearly indicate that has changed in these two states.

      You are quite right, that Iowa and N.H. are not predictive or representative in many ways for the other 48 states. But, many a time in our past, a wave of change and reform arises from the electorate that mark turning points in American history without civil war or internal devastation.

      Before a change, there is always far more evidence that no change will come. Yet, change arrives, on occasion, nonetheless. The early 1960’s marked such a change in attitudes and demographics despite all evidence to the contrary. America is a very different culture and international country for it, as a result.

      A black American is a viable candidate for the highest office of power in the land. They said that would never happen in 1960, when they were also saying a Catholic could never be elected President. JFK was elected nonetheless. And an American of African American descent is contending for rather successfully for president, so far.

      Never underestimate the power of hope. It is a phrase I find myself having to revisit and entertain when clouds shut out the sunlight for too long.

      Posted by: David R. Remer at January 9, 2008 01:30 AM
      Comment #242652
      The Iowa and N.H. statistics clearly indicate that has changed in these two states.
      Hmmmm … more younger voters are getting involved? Well, hopefully it happen more and on NOV-2008, and yeild a better result. However, little will change if voters fail to also focus on Congress and continue to repeatedly reward Do-Nothing Congress and the two-party duopoly with with 96.5% seat-retention rates.
      Before a change, there is always far more evidence that no change will come. Yet, change arrives, on occasion, nonetheless… . A black American is a viable candidate for the highest office of power in the land. They said that would never happen in 1960, when they were also saying a Catholic could never be elected President. JFK was elected nonetheless. And an American of African American descent is contending for rather successfully for president, so far.
      True, there has been a little progress on some fronts (i.e. 2.00 steps forward and 1.99 steps backward).

      But there has been significant decline in other areas (especially economically and fiscally, which is usually the first indicator of decline).

      But I hope you are right; that the younger voters become more involved and that it is nation-wide and sustained for years to come, because that is what it will take not just from younger voters, but most voters. And if that happens, it will be something that has seldom (if ever) occurred before within the electorate. That is, two of the few periods in history with the largest anti-incumbent voting sentiment were during the Civil War and the Great Depression.

      Therefore, unless voters are much less complacent and apathetic than recent years, there is a high probability that the voters will (again) wait too long to vote-out large numbers of corrupt, irresponsible, and incompetent incumbent politicians.

      Also, even if the voter turnout increases amongst younger voters, will they merely pull the party-lever and help to continue to repeatedly reward irresponsible, FOR-SALE, and corrupt incumbent politicians? That is, regardless of who is president, that president won’t be of much use with a Do-Nothing Congress that is still FOR-SALE, corrupt, and dysfunctional.

      The election for President is NOT the only election, but it alone distracts from the much bigger problem in the Do-Nothing Congress.

      Never underestimate the power of hope. It is a phrase I find myself having to revisit and entertain when clouds shut out the sunlight for too long.
      Yes, giving up will never accomplish anything.

      Giving up will only guarantee our demise.
      So, continuing to try to make a difference is the only logical thing left to do.

      Either way, we will get our education, and the government that we deserve.

      But of all voters that should be less complacent, apathetic, and disinterested, it is probably the younger voters that are having H_U_G_E debt being heaped upon them; threatening their future and security.

      Posted by: d.a.n at January 9, 2008 01:13 PM
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