Third Party & Independents Archives

Trust? What happened to compromise

Why is it politics is called the art of the compromise and yet the politicians in Washington DC cannot come to an agreement on the budget for this year? My guess is ideology. With a measure of ego and special interest thrown in. Yes the Tea Party caucus.

I hold the Tea Party responsible for the inability of our elected representatives to reach any sort of reasonable compromise on the budget. They want the government shut down. They have a rigid no holds barred ideology that prevents then from compromising and they have the ability to stand on the sidelines during the negotiations and hold the Republican leadership to account.

The frenzied mob of Tea Partiers that were recently elected to Congress believes it is the will of the American people to drastically downsize the Government at any price. They have intentionally put more and more obstacles in the path of the budget negotiators in order to shut the government down.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a figure who commands deep respect among the most conservative Republicans, urged his House colleagues on Wednesday to drop their insistence on budget “riders” that block funding for everything from the EPA to Planned Parenthood.

One can only hope the Republican leadership will stand up to these extremist and reach a compromise on the 2011 budget.

Posted by j2t2 at April 6, 2011 6:49 PM
Comments
Comment #321169

“Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), a figure who commands deep respect among the most conservative Republicans, urged his House colleagues on Wednesday to drop their insistence on budget “riders” that block funding for everything from the EPA to Planned Parenthood.”

Chuck Schumer also told the democrats how to attack the Tea Party, should we listen to him? Or better yet, do you agree with him?

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/knucklehead_chuck_CZpf1dHEUAC2e1r008Qy3J?CMP=OTC-rss&FEEDNAME=

j2t2, you do understand that the Tea Party is not actually a party, don’t you? It is made up of Americans from all walks of life, not just conservatives.

Check this out: “48% Say Their Views Closer to Tea Party Than Congress”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/april_2011/48_say_their_views_closer_to_tea_party_than_congress

Or perhaps this: “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of Likely U.S. Voters believe America is overtaxed. Twenty-four percent (24%) disagree, and 11% are undecided.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/business/taxes/april_2011/64_say_americans_are_overtaxed_political_class_disagrees

Or perhaps this: “63% of the country is going in the wrong direction and 28% think the right”

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/other/direction_of_country-902.html

The point is, the American voter does not like what is happening in America. Perhaps you could tell me who sent these Tea Party politcians to DC?

Posted by: 1776 at April 6, 2011 10:52 PM
Comment #321171

1776,
You are a conservative Republican. But you don’t want to be called a conservative Republican, because you don’t want to be held responsible for the War in Iraq or the Bush tax cuts or the deregulation of the financial sector or the debt or the deficits or the unemployment or free trade or the ensuing economic disaster. You don’t want to say “my bad.” So! You call yourself a member of the Tea Party… which is, of course, the GOP. All Tea Party members of the House and Senate are Republicans. Now, you protest the real world consequences of your beliefs, the hideous results of what you pushed for so hard during the Bush years, but the truth is, you haven’t changed your thinking. Not at all. You still want exactly the same things you conservative Republicans pushed for these past years.

I suppose it is in the power of the House GOP to shut down the government. The calculation seems to be that it’s worth harming the country if it will harm the Obama presidency. No amount of compromise on the President’s part or the Democrats will be good enough. Fine. Give it a go. Let’s see what happens.

Posted by: phx8 at April 6, 2011 11:57 PM
Comment #321180

“Chuck Schumer also told the democrats how to attack the Tea Party, should we listen to him? Or better yet, do you agree with him?”

First of all 17 before we run off on tangents let me say Coburn is giving pragmatic advice to the Tea Party caucus. They would do well to listen IMHO. They are not the only people representing the people of this Country despite what they tell you.

Schumer is right these people are extremist. I would think that just judging from previous comments I have made here you would realize I am not fooled by the standard Tea Party tripe such as “It is made up of Americans from all walks of life, not just conservatives.” The movement leaders have hoodwinked many decent Americans into believing many conservative ideological myths that are akin to Glenn Beck trying to convince us the Wall street bailouts are the work of socialist and communist. So yes the dems should shine the light of truth on “Freedom Works” and the pseudo-grassroots Tea Party that is not a party.

“j2t2, you do understand that the Tea Party is not actually a party, don’t you?”

Yes I do, hence the sentence “Yes the Tea Party caucus.” in the first paragraph.

“The point is, the American voter does not like what is happening in America.”

Who would? That is why compromise would seem to be the rule of the day.

There are many reasons to think the Country is headed in the wrong direction, after all we just elected enough Tea Party candidates to remind me of Germany in the early ‘30’s. We continue to be led down the path of corporate fascism by both parties, although the repubs certainly seem to do it with more zest. We have a SCOTUS that gave us bribery as free speech. Health Insurance premiums have quadrupled the previous decade and yet Medicare premiums have not increased at all and the system is wallowing in debt because the repubs “reformed” it in ‘03. That’s just for starters.

“Perhaps you could tell me who sent these Tea Party politcians to DC?”

The Koch Brothers and the “Koch suckers” that believe their propaganda.

So after that tangent 17 it is still my opinion the Tea Party caucus is irresponsible and unable to negotiate in good faith as politicians have done for years in order to reach a compromise on the Federal budget.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 7, 2011 10:30 AM
Comment #321184

Phx8; actually I am a tea party conservative. I like many others with the same ideology did not agree with Bush or Republicans, especially during Bush’s last 4 years. When I voted for Bush, it was because the alternative (swift boat Kerry and Crazy Al) was out of the question. As a conservative, I was against the Iraq war and most certainly am against this war with Libya. As for who is blamed for a government shutdown, the most recent polls show Obama and Republicans evenly blamed. As for my personal beliefs, I say shut it down. America could do with a break from out of touch politicians stealing our rights and spending our money. As per the “financial sector”, regulation or deregulation, it doesn’t matter. The financial sector does what they want, with the knowledge that politicians are more than willing to bail them out, and the flow of bonuses and benefits will continue to flow. Fannie and Freddie are an example; they can be blamed for the meltdown and for all the talk, they still got their huge pay packages and huge bonuses.

J2t2; the point of Schumer’s comments was an orchestrated effort to create talking points against the tea party. He said to use the word “extreme”, not because they are extreme, but because if you use the word extreme enough times, it might stick. Using Senator Coburn’s advice to the tea party caucus is not binding and means nothing. You seemed to have missed the point; Schumer advised his people to use the word extreme, do or should all the members take his advice. Advice is just that; advice.

You say, “I would think that just judging from previous comments I have made here you would realize I am not fooled by the standard Tea Party tripe such as “It is made up of Americans from all walks of life, not just conservatives.” The movement leaders have hoodwinked many decent Americans into believing many conservative ideological myths that are akin to Glenn Beck trying to convince us the Wall street bailouts are the work of socialist and communist. So yes the dems should shine the light of truth on “Freedom Works” and the pseudo-grassroots Tea Party that is not a party.”

National polls disagree with your assessment of who is part of the tea party movement:

“In 2010, 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, down five percentage points from just two years ago and tied for the lowest annual average Gallup has measured in the last 22 years. While Democrats still outnumber Republicans by two points, the percentage identifying as independents increased to 38%, on the high end of what Gallup has measured in the last two decades”

http://www.gallup.com/poll/145463/Democratic-Party-Drops-2010-Tying-Year-Low.aspx

According to Gallup, in 2010 only 29 % of voters were Republican, 31% democrat, and 38 are independent, but the poll I posted earlier said, “48% Say Their Views Closer to Tea Party Than Congress”. This means there are more than just Republicans in the Tea Party movement.

We also find an evenly divided field as to who is responsible for a government shutdown:

“If the federal government does shut down, the poll finds Americans divided over who would be more to blame. Thirty-nine percent say Republicans would be more to blame, while 36 percent say the Obama administration and another 16 percent say they would blame both sides equally.”

http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/04/poll-more-democrats-than-republicans-favor-compromise-on-budget/

Now you can call the Tea Party movement a “pseudo-grassroots” movement if you want, but almost half of America agrees with their beliefs. Your opinion doesn’t change anything. You can also use the time tested method of accusing conservative Americans of being hood-winked, ignorant, or duped. But this doesn’t change the fact that almost half of America supports Tea Party conservative ideals. What gives the left the right to say conservatives are at fault for not compromising with socialists?

“The Koch Brothers and the “Koch suckers” that believe their propaganda.”

This statement is uncalled for, ignorant, and childish. Since you are incapable of understanding American politics; it was the American voters who sent tea party conservatives to Washington.

This statement shows us who the extremist are…

Posted by: 1776 at April 7, 2011 12:09 PM
Comment #321186

According to the U.S. Treasury, during the month of March alone, the federal government spent more than eight times its monthly revenue! Imagine trying to run your household budget that way?

Posted by: Royal Flush at April 7, 2011 12:33 PM
Comment #321187

RF, Can you stop using the false analogy between government budgets and household budgets? Although there are certainly problems with too much debt in both circumstances, the manifestation of these problems is very different. When the country has too much debt, inflation skyrockets. When a family has too much debt they declare bankruptcy. The government has the power to change its income and expenditures at will, a household does not have this option.

1776,

Or perhaps this: “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 64% of Likely U.S. Voters believe America is overtaxed. Twenty-four percent (24%) disagree, and 11% are undecided.”

Yet taxes as a % of gdp are lower than any point in the last 60 years. I think a few too many people are consuming spoon-fed propaganda rather than thinking for themselves.

jt2t,
You are absolutely right about the inability of the right to compromise. Every time the Left has moved rightward to attempt the compromise, the GOP has only shifted further right. The perfect example of this was the PPACA, which originated as a conservative alternative to the Clintonian proposal back in the ’90s. Now, we see the same ideas that went into the PPACA revived by Paul Ryan in his budget plan for the future of Medicare/Medicaid. Personally, I don’t mind the idea of cutting spending so much, but the pain of cuts should be spread throughout the nation. If he had put the wealthy’s tax cuts up for elimination, Paul Ryan would have had my full support. Instead, Ryan went for for ideological rigidity instead of pragmatic flexibility. Fortunately, Obama seems to be much more the latter than the former. Also, we are fortunate that most Americans favor compromise.

Another radical thing the GOP could do to ensure they get to cut spending as much as the Tea Party wants would be to add Cap & Trade or a carbon tax. A Carbon tax is regressive, so that should please the wealthy; it’ll also raise revenue to help lower the deficit. I’d sign onto any proposal that both dramatically cut spending as well as raised revenues in order to lower our debt. And it would prevent any problems associated with climate change! Wow!

Posted by: Warped Reality at April 7, 2011 12:49 PM
Comment #321189
“…drastically downsize the government.”

The federal government drastically increased government spending in the hands of Republicans. Namely it was the years 2005-2007 when total outlays went from $2.4T to $2.8T as a result of:

  • Medicare Part D
  • Wars and defense spending
  • Veterans spending
  • No Child Left Behind

This resulted in Republicans getting hammered in the 2006 and 2008 elections and in came the Democrats. What did they do? They doubled down on all the spending, continued the wars, and gave us ARRA. Heck, they even started a new war! Now we are starting with $3.8T proposed budget and are arguing over a $100B or so in cuts.

If we went back to the “good ol days”, Clinton’s last budget of $1.788, and took a 5% per year increase in outlays (the rate of big spender Bush) we would be looking at $3.0T this year. Heck, if Johnson had been President (he was the biggest of the spenders) and we ran 6% increases we would still only be at $3.4T.

So where is this drastic downsizing of government? If you cut one part of government, and increase another, have you downsized anything? Has there ever been a period when total outlays actually went down? Maybe Ike, but I’m not sure….

Posted by: George at April 7, 2011 1:11 PM
Comment #321193

“the point of Schumer’s comments was an orchestrated effort to create talking points against the tea party. He said to use the word “extreme”, not because they are extreme, but because if you use the word extreme enough times, it might stick.:

But 17 they want to shutdown the government, isn’t that extreme? It seems to me Shumer is advocating for the use of conservative methods by dems. The real question is why wait until now as this constant repeating method has been used effectively by conservatives for many years.

“You can also use the time tested method of accusing conservative Americans of being hood-winked, ignorant, or duped.”

17, the Tea Party is funded by Koch and other JBS types that are far right extremist. It is not as they like to believe a grass roots organization of Americans who just came together in some kind of Kumbaya moment. They were hornswoggled by organizations such as Freedom Works and others into believing they were. They are as you say part of the repub party, hardly grassroots.


“But this doesn’t change the fact that almost half of America supports Tea Party conservative ideals.”

Nor does it change the fact that the more than half of Americans don’t support the Tea Party actions nor the “conservative ideals” they espouse.


” What gives the left the right to say conservatives are at fault for not compromising with socialists?”

With socialist 17! They are not negotiating in good faith with repubs and dems either. The right to say this comes from the fact that the more than half of Americans don’t support the Tea Party actions nor the “conservative ideals” they espouse.

“This statement is uncalled for, ignorant, and childish.”

Yes it is 17 but then so is many of the conservatives “repeaters” such as …well you know them well as you seem to use them quite a bit.

George, I agree we need to curb the costs of the Federal government. We must do this in a way that doesn’t put the economic recovery in jeopardy. We must realize that after the binge of the ‘00’s we will need to pay the piper. Medicare premiums have not been adjusted to accommodate the Medicare part D nor to accommodate the dramatic rise in health care costs over the years. We carded 2 wars for 6 years while cutting taxes we need to get the military involved in the budget reductions. If we cannot afford to fight the wars it is time to bring the troops home from Iraq, Afghanistan and most other outposts. We need to raise taxes to the Clinton era rates to pay off the unfunded wars.

My point,George, is the Tea Party caucus is using the budget to shut down government based upon ideology and political gains. It will do more damage than good IMHO. They need to come to the table and resolve the budget battle in a realistic way or face losing the war.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 7, 2011 1:55 PM
Comment #321198

1776-
On Chuck Schumer being advised to use the word extreme to characterize the Tea Party?

Well, when the Tea Party held a sparsely attended rally in Washington, they were cheering the idea of a Government shut down, and as a general rule, they are against any compromises. They routinely push their partisan agenda with blatant disregard and disrespect for everybody else’s agenda. Their members regularly get caught saying obnoxious and provocative things, like the infamous “second amendment remedies” line.

Extreme? Yes. Chuck Schumer was well-advised, literally, to use that word, because it fits quite nicely.

On your first Rasmussen Link:
The wording of the question concerning ties to Tea Party members is this:

Do you consider yourself part of the Tea Party Movement? (If “no” or “not sure”): Do you have any close friends or family members who are part of the Tea Party Movement?

The question is ambiguous, because that can include plenty of people who aren’t truly aligned with Tea Party Members. If you don’t see the problem, try asking that question with “Obama supporters” exchanged for “Tea Party Movement.” There are plenty of Conservative parents, uncles and aunts, and grandparents who would be gathered up in that dragnet. With friends it can even get vaguer.

On Favorables, the Tea Party has fairly low support, and fairly high negatives. Or, put another way, Their negatives are about as high as Obama’s positives, and their positives account for less than a third of the country. Your own Rasmussen survey says that Tea Partiers only make up for a little under a quarter of voters, so if we’re really honest, and we suppose that Tea Party Members aren’t disapproving of themselves, then maybe ten to twelve percent of people actually think the Tea Party’s an unambiguous good, besides the Tea Partiers themselves.

The issue of whether the Tea Party’s done some good… Well, if you’re of a certain ideological bent, of course it’s done some good. Those high disapprovals, though, show that people are split on the question, and the low approvals show that they aren’t unambiguously thrilled with what the Tea Party has done.

Your political position, in other words, is weaker than you think.

The views question? Ambiguous as well. Are we Talking Tea Party members in Congress, or in the general population?

Also, in presenting the numbers the way they did, Rasmussen hides an important fact: Majorities don’t buy either assertion, to one degree or another about the Tea Party. By making it binary, rather than hashing out percentages on views known to be Tea Party views, we’re given a rather slippery grasp on how strong the support or the affinity really is. If the other polling is any indication, that vagueness makes for a misleading picture of Tea Party popularity.

As for the “America overtaxed” argument?

The wording of the question is revealing in its non-specificity: “As a nation, is America overtaxed?”

See, the trick here is, we’re talking America as a whole here. But what happens if we get more specific?

A year ago, Gallup did just that.

Gallup measured responses in terms of Too high, About right, Too low, and No opinion.

Asking folks what they thought of their own tax burden:

48, 45, 3, 4.

Okay, we’re expecting that. But asked whether their taxes were fair? 59% said they were, 36% said they weren’t.

So, to recap so far, asked whether their taxes were too high, just right, or too high, 48% said yes, 45% said just right, 3% said too low, and 4% didn’t have an opinion.

Americans, in other words, were split on the matter of their own taxes, between those who did and those who did not feel their taxes were too high.

But, overwhelmingly, they consider those tax levels fair? Yes they did. What’s going on? My guess is that for the average person, effective taxes aren’t that high. Most of their taxes are withheld from their checks. They’d like to see more money, but they’re really not hoping mad about it. They may want to keep more income (who wouldn’t?) but they’re not suffering so much from it that it’s a high priority.

When you look at the income levels, a particularly interesting set of distinctions comes up.

For poor folks, the breakdown is 35, 39, 22, 4

Or in plain language, 35% think the poor pay their fair share, 39% think they pay too much, and a mere 22% think they’re underpaying.

For Middle Class people, the results last year were 49, 43, 6, 2

49% think the middle class pays its fair share, 43% too much, 6%, just 6% think it pays too little.

Then we get to rich people and the corporations. Oh boy.

The rich come down 26, 15, 55, 4, and the corporations come down 22, 9, 62, 7. It’s not even close.

Respectively, the rich and big business only have 26% and 22% of Americans thinking they’re paying their fair share. 15% and 9% Think they pay too much, and 55% and 62% think they pay too little.

The Republican policies are in direct contradiction to the results, and more importantly for our purposes here, they always have been. There has never been a time in the last twenty years where tax cuts for the rich or for corporations were seen as necessary by the vast majority of the population. People have consistently, in the majority, said they haven’t been taxed enough. The poor, meanwhile, have been consistently seen as bearing too much of the burden.

Middle Class opinions on taxes have been less stable, but in the last decade, they’ve switched from feeling that there’s too much of a tax burden to feeling it’s just right.

The difference for most people, over time, is not that terribly much, in comparison to their income. The structure of the tax brackets, as revised by the Bush Tax cuts, ensured it. So the territory we’re venturing into is one where the psychology of tax cuts seems to matter more than the reality. I bet you, if you asked people to estimate their effective taxes, they’d miss high rather than low.

They miss truly ****ing high.

86.5% of all Americans pay less than ten percent of their income to Uncle Sam. Another 13% pay between 10-20% of their income. Only six tenths of a percent pay more than that.

But how do they estimate it? The distribution, actually, is more even, as they imagine it. I’ll give you the sources later, but people have a similarly skewed notion of who has what share of wealth in America. I don’t think the two are unconnected.

Thirty or forty years of taking the side of the wealthy in this country in taxes has left people feeling they pay more taxes than they actually do, and that they make more money, compared to those richer folks, than they actually do.

So the real question is, if people’s sense of how much wealth they as the middle class actually held, and their sense of how much they pay in taxes were actually reconciled, what kind of government would they support, and at whose expense?

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 7, 2011 4:20 PM
Comment #321200

Here’s the source on income inequality The difference between how people think the income is distributed, and how it is is startling, but not as startling as what they would like it to be. I would suggest to Republicans that their policies are not in sync with public thought, but terribly out of sync. What they’ve succeeded in doing is not convincing people that their elitism-driven policies are the ideal, that the results are for the best. What they’ve succeeded in doing is fooling people into believing that the differences are less extreme than they really are.

Every event, every report that puts a crack in this illusion is bad news for the Republicans. Already, 2008’s events have made people bitterly unsympathetic to the financial sector, and to executives in charge.

The Republicans must depend on mass ignorance to sell their policies. If people realize what they were really buying into, they’ll balk.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 7, 2011 4:39 PM
Comment #321207

As usual SD, you twist words around to fit your own agenda. The results were:

“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters say when it comes to the major issues facing the country, their views are closer to the average Tea Party member as opposed to the average member of Congress.”

Based upon the question #3 below:

“3* When you think about the major issues facing the country, whose views are closest to your own – those of the average Tea Party member or those of the average member of Congress?”


So Mr. Daugherty, do you believe the taxpayers can change their minds in a year time period?

Posted by: 1776 at April 7, 2011 6:02 PM
Comment #321209


Ask likely voters what a tea party member of Congress thinks should be done about the major issues.

Ask them what Rand Paul’s position is on each of the major issues. How many of the like voters even have a clue? I watch what’s going on closer than many and I don’t know what his position is on each issue. I imagine quite a number of those that voted for him don’t know either.

I know, conservative pollsters word their questions to get to the truth of the matter while liberal pollsters manipulate the questions to get the results they want.

Posted by: jlw at April 7, 2011 7:43 PM
Comment #321213

Phx8

We should not have gotten into Iraq, but it seemed like everybody was behind it back then, including most Democrats.

We did make mistakes early on, but we kicked the terrorist butt in 2007 and on. Today Iraq is the closest thing to a democracy in the Arab world. I don’t mind being associated with the good and the bad of this policy.

The tax cuts, especially the 2003 cuts worked well. We had record revenues in 2006. The problem is that spending increased by even more. To the extent that conservatives are responsible, I feel bad, but Democrats have been worse.

Re shut down - Democrats failed to pass a budget at all when they controlled both the House and the Senate. What a FUBAR! Now they want to pretend they did and call “cuts” from what they never passed. If the government shuts down, it is up to the Democrats.

I don’t know what the solution could be. We are spending way more money than we have. Democrats want to keep on writing rubber checks. It is simply irresponsible.

Posted by: C&J at April 7, 2011 8:26 PM
Comment #321215

“The tax cuts, especially the 2003 cuts worked well. We had record revenues in 2006. The problem is that spending increased by even more.”

C&J,

Come on! The Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 are not correlated eith significant GDP growth. In fact, it was the worst performance since WWII. That fact holds even when the period after 2007 is excluded. http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/18/were-the-bush-tax-cuts-good-for-growth/

Posted by: Rich at April 7, 2011 8:50 PM
Comment #321217


Those distribution of wealth charts and the tax charts show that a majority of Americans are almost as misinformed as a majority of tea party members.

86.5% tithe less than 10% to Uncle Sam?

The distribution chart explains why the top 20% of the bottom 90% are so mad at the liberals for redistributing some of their wealth to the 20% at the very bottom of the bottom 90%.

Stephen, conservatives don’t hanker to wealth distribution figures, they prefer the mean.

The Republican budget plan has about a 30% tax reduction for the top tax bracket, from 35% down to 25%. That is good news for some of those in the top 0.6%.

Posted by: jlw at April 7, 2011 9:01 PM
Comment #321221

C&J,
If the Bush tax cuts and the War in Iraq were your ideas of successess, I’d hate to see your idea of a failure.

At the beginning of the Clinton presidency, the Democrats increased taxes. Conservatives warned of dire consequences. Conservatives were wrong. The economy boomed and the stock market roared and by the end of Clinton’s second term, 23 million jobs were created. We were running a budget surplus, the national debt stabilized, and we were projecting a $10 trillion surplus over the next ten years.

That is success.

At the beginning of the Bush presidency, the GOP cut taxes. Liberals warned of dire consequences. Conservatives were wrong again. Liberals were right again. The economy tanked twice, and by the end of Bush’s second term, the stock market blew up and only one million jobs were created. Debts and deficits skyrocketed.

That is failure.

That is reality. That is what happened.

Go back and look at the Heritage Foundation projections. See how horribly, horribly wrong they turned out to be.

Posted by: phx8 at April 7, 2011 10:37 PM
Comment #321222


Dick Cheney made the decision to go to war in Iraq.

Dick Cheney presented a detailed plan for the Invasion at the very first meeting of the Security Council held by the Bush Administration.

Dick Cheney brought the oil companies on board in 2001.

Dick Cheney then preceded to manufacture bogus intelligence reports that supposedly incriminated Saddam Husein.

The Repocrats went along with the plans.

The American people did not support that war.


“To the extent that conservatives are responsible, I feel bad, but Democrats have been worse.”

The Republicans controlled both houses of Congress and the White House in 2006, they wrote that budget and the one for 2007. The economy collapsed in March 2008.

When have Democrats been worse? 1933? 2009? When have Democrats been worse?

C&J, you know exactly what to do. Raise taxes, re institute some fiscal discipline such as pay go, work toward paying off the debt, work towards a balanced budget, get rid of the current lot of politicians and replace them with new management.

We can do this, it’s not that big a deal. But, we will continue the war until wealth has no further use for the U.S. other than repatriating their profits out of here.

Posted by: jlw at April 7, 2011 10:44 PM
Comment #321253

Wake up people. Democrats and Republicans can’t fix our government or themselves.

Wake up America. It’s time…

Posted by: morpheus at April 8, 2011 5:07 PM
Comment #321262

phx8

They were reasonable decisions at the time they were made.

Re the surpluses of the 1990s - We had a Republican congress that made this happen. Democrats would have raised spending enough to overcome it. The highest revenues ever recorder were in 2006. The revenue side is not the problem.

jlw

I wouldn’t mind SOME higher taxes. I have advocated bringing spending down to 1999 levels (adjusted for inflation). Is that unreasonable? We all claim that those were good times.

Re war - I dislike war and like to avoid it. Sometimes you have limited choices. Almost all Democrats were in favor of the Afghan war and most also supported action in Iraq when it started. In retrospect, we should not have into Iraq in 2003, but by 2006 we needed to beat the bad guys and we did. As you may recall, I spent 2007-8 in Anbar province in Iraq, so I am not just talking about risking other people’s health.

Posted by: C&J at April 8, 2011 7:02 PM
Comment #321270

“The highest revenues ever recorder were in 2006. The revenue side is not the problem.”

C&J, Why would we think revenue is not the problem if you are using revenue from 5 years ago? Hasn’t revenue fallen considerably since the financial collapse of ‘08? Hasn’t the dollar declined in value since ‘06? Hasn’t inflation taken it’s toll over the last 5 years? Perhaps we should consider the revenue side as well as the spending side if we are to ever bring the deficit in line, not to mention the debt built up during the conservative binge of the ‘00’s.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 8, 2011 8:11 PM
Comment #321276

j2t2

My point was that revenues rise with the growing economy. The economy grew in the 1990s and government spending did not rise. That is why we had a surplus. Congress (controlled most of the time by Republicans) started spending again too much. Despite the growing economy in 2003-6 and despite record revenue received, we had a deficit. If the tax cut was the problem, we would not have produced record revenue. If spending was the problem we would have a deficit despite record revenue.

The Democrats took control of Congress - both houses - in 2006. Then they showed Republicans that they were only pikers when it came to spending.

As I told others, I would be happy to go back to the spending and taxes levels of 1999, adjusted for inflation and population growth. Return to those “good old days”. But until we get spending under control, extra tax money is like pouring water down a rat hole. It would just empower the politicians to piss away more money. Do you really trust people like Nancy Pelosi not to waste money if we give her a blank check? I don’t trust Republicans with the blank check either.

Posted by: C&J at April 8, 2011 8:26 PM
Comment #321281

C&J,

The major federal expenditure problem going forward is expanding health care costs. If you were to review data from Reagan on, it is clear that health care expenditures are taking an increasingly larger share of the budget. http://www.visualeconomics.com/presidential-spending-expenditures-by-year/ That will only increase in the future. It is not the number of Medicare retirees or poor Medicaid recipients, it is the runaway health care inflation that is the issue. Any serious proposals for addressing the spending side must address health care costs. Ryan’s proposal for capping the Medicare/Medicaid budget and providing fixed vouchers is one proposal. I happen to think that it will be unacceptable politically. It simply shifts the government’s fiscal problem to fixed income seniors. So, in my opinion, we will come inevitably back to health care reform. That is the elephant in the room.

Posted by: Rich at April 8, 2011 9:22 PM
Comment #321282

C&J, in 2008 and 2009 the revenue of the Federal government fell considerably due to the recession. The 5 years prior to 2006 Revenue as a percentage of GDP was down considerably as well. So it seems during the past decade revenue was down all but 2 years when comparing revenue as a percentage of the GDP. The unfunded wars, the big pharma give away and the bailouts as well as the stimulus have increased the deficit considerably. We need to look at revenue as well as spending cuts or force the bill on the next generation.

In addition we now are faced with the baby boomer swell hitting SS and Medicare. It is time to raise the Medicare rates on payroll and time to return SS rates to a sustainable level and raise the ceiling as well. It is also time to get rid of the Bush tax cuts. The party is over it is time to pay the piper, or stick the future generations with the tab.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 8, 2011 10:08 PM
Comment #321286

“In addition we now are faced with the baby boomer swell hitting SS and Medicare. It is time to raise the Medicare rates on payroll..”

The baby boomer swell is not the problem for Medicare. It is the unrelenting cost escalation in health care which far exceeds general inflation. http://www.ncpssm.org/news/archive/vp_entitlements/

Increased payroll taxes have been the solution in the past and will probably be the preferred solution again. However, there is a limit to that strategy. Ultimately, the only solution is to seriously address cost containment.

Posted by: Rich at April 9, 2011 6:58 AM
Comment #321287

What part does illegal aliens play in the rise of the cost of healthcare? This article was written 3 years ago and undoubtedly is higher today:

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2008-01-21-immigrant-healthcare_N.htm

Healthcare is not free; the costs are passed on to those who have insurance or can pay. Hospitals all over the country have closed or are closing because of the cost of treating illegal aliens. This article is 7 years old and it’s worse today.

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/08/21/national/21hospitals.html

Posted by: 1776 at April 9, 2011 9:21 AM
Comment #321288

Rich, thanks for the link, I stand corrected.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 9, 2011 9:24 AM
Comment #321293


C&J, I will go for the 1999 spending levels.

Let’s start with defence spending, how do we get that back to 1999 levels? It has doubled since 99.

Which taxes would you raise?

Can we get Medicare costs back to 99 levels, adjusted for inflation, without significant cuts in services or eligibility requirements? If I read the article, posted by Rich, correctly, health care inflation was significantly higher that what could be accounted for by increased use.

Why was there an expiration date on the Bush tax cuts?

Two reasons, one was to make an attempt to hide the actual size of the revenue losses and two, for propaganda purposes, by repealing the Bush tax cuts, the Democrats will be CREATING the biggest tax increase in history.

Returning to 1999 spending levels sounds good, but I think that in terms of practicality, it is primarily just another talking point for regressives.

Can we return to 1990’s population levels? Can we bring back those higher paying jobs from China and India?


Posted by: jlw at April 9, 2011 2:47 PM
Comment #321366

1776-
The converse point of saying that 48% of Americans feel closer to your average Tea Partier than your average Congress critter is that 52% don’t.

The question is so vague and convoluted, it’s not funny. It’s generic, so you don’t have to suffer the consequences of asking about an actual tea partier, who might have actually offended people.

Additionally, it doesn’t ask whether the average Tea Partier is a politician or just one of the protestors. People might have more sympathy for the protestors, but that doesn’t mean they like what the folks in the State, Local, and Federal governments are doing.

It also smudges things out as far as the true level of affinity goes, because instead of asking flatly what people think of the Tea Party, it invites a comparison. Add in the fact that the comparison is vague on who the Tea Partiers we’re talking about here are, and generic on the question of who the Congresspersons are, and you have a nice, mushy question that really doesn’t nail down anybody’s point of view all that securely.

When just plain asked, only 22% of Americans are Tea Partiers themselves, and their approvals are in the thirties, with disapproval in the high forties.

So, if we take both polls at face value, what we see here is that the wording of your poll, especially with question #3 is masking the Tea Partier’s real challenges in convincing people they are right, that their policies and actions aren’t extreme.

I would say, you want to know when your message isn’t going over well with people. It may be to Rasmussen and the Conservative media’s interest to keep people keyed into the Tea Party Movement, but it’s not to the average Tea Partier’s interest to be in the dark about their own popularity.

How do we know when we need to offer an apology, or break down and compromise, rather than endure a fight to get everything we want? If our media flatters us rather than informs us, we pay the price for the mistakes that follow.

C&J-
Argument by dates is a ridiculous substitute for the facts. First, the Republicans, by your own admission, were not so graceful in the minority as the Democrats were. You justify this in various ways, but the fact remains that your people set about the job of preserving the status quo, and for the first two years, you had Bush on your side, in the White House, to help threaten vetoes when anything endangering their agenda came up.

That’s why people were so eager to elect Democrats. But then Republicans pulled the same crap. It would have been nice to see what reforms a Democratic Congress that didn’t have 80% of its legislation killed by filibuster would have achieved, but then, we had to satisfy the extraconstitutional supermajority requirement of the Republicans.

Yes, you had record Revenues in 2006. But the inequality of the economic activity that created it is reflected in the talk in those times of a jobless recovery, and of more and more Americans being employed below their educational and vocational capacity. The fact that this record revenue market of yours was in the tank two years later, the bubble in the finance and housing sectors that drove it burst, should not be overlooked.

The problem in the Bush decade was not just too little taxation, or too much spending, but both. Fiscal conservatives, whatever party they belonged to, allowed the two terms that determine whether a budget is balanced to part ways.

It should have been immediately obvious that the Medicare drug plan wasn’t going to be as cheap as hoped, that the war was going to be costly and that the tax cuts weren’t going to pay for themselves. The deficits came about predictably, and they could have been dealt with much more easily had the Republicans had any give on the issue. There’s nothing to make a situation worse like a reality unacknowledged.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at April 10, 2011 9:25 AM
Comment #321372


“It should have been immediately obvious that the Medicare drug plan wasn’t going to be as cheap as hoped, that the war was going to be costly and that the tax cuts weren’t going to pay for themselves.”

Stephen, it was immediately obvious. Why can’t you understand that.

“The deficits came about predictably,” That’s right, they did.

The promises didn’t match the results? Did you ever stop to think that the promises made were lies?

Don’t you think that it was obvious to those politicians? They knew exactly what they were doing.

You don’t convince people that social spending must be greatly reduced if the government is running a surplus.

But if the government suddenly, in less than a decade, has a massive debt problem and a significant revenue problem you may be able to.

The only thing we are waiting on now is how much more the Democrats are willing to compromise away.

You think the Republicans were mistaken. I think they acted deliberately.

Posted by: jlw at April 10, 2011 2:15 PM
Comment #321375

jlw, such conspiracy theories!!

Beck has been fired. We are losing a good fighter, IMO. He has stirred the debate pot bigtime.

Who might replace him? Napolitano, Dobbs, Jenaine, Rivero, Stossel? Compared to Beck they seem issue oriented. Beck presented the ‘big picture’ starting with the Founder’s. I liked his lessons on American history. Others will cry for change at the fringe, taxes, immigration, healthcare, etc, as noted in this thread. We have to look at the big pix and history to realize that the overiding isssue is corporate personhood. Period.

Otherwise - - -

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 10, 2011 2:35 PM
Comment #321380

Stephen, the only poll that counts is the one that says only 20% of Americans identify themselves as liberal. You’ll have a hard time denying, obfuscating, complaining about how the poll was worded, claiming it was a conservative skewed poll, it was from Rasmussen (the evil poll taker), or any other non-intelligent answer you have to the polls you don’t agree with.

Posted by: 1776 at April 10, 2011 2:53 PM
Comment #321387

Roy did Beck ever rant about the history of corporate personhood? Or declare corporate personhood to be a conspiracy that is the cause of many of the problems he attributes to the progressive era?

Posted by: j2t2 at April 10, 2011 4:41 PM
Comment #321389

“the only poll that counts is the one that says only 20% of Americans identify themselves as liberal.”

I would agree 17, especially since Stephen was correct about the vagueness of the Rasmussen poll you looked to for support. The average tea party member and the average member of Congress. Really? Who is the person that would be considered the average person in Congress? I am sure it is a different person to most of us. The same can be said for the average tea party member.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 10, 2011 4:50 PM
Comment #321410

No, j2t2, he didn’t as far as I know. I could throw out a conspiracy theory that he felt he couldn’t go that far without being fired. He will still be around, radio and the internet, theblaze.com I believe. So, he may break bad on the corpocracy yet.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 10, 2011 9:48 PM
Comment #321415

Don’t hold your breath Roy. Glenn Beck is the problem not the solution. He is to busy selling false histories and fake conspiracies to actually speak truth to power.

Posted by: j2t2 at April 10, 2011 11:32 PM
Comment #321417


I thought Glen just quit Fox to spend more time with the family.

He got to far out man.

Posted by: jlw at April 10, 2011 11:51 PM
Comment #321419


Roy, Stossel, he is about as nutty as Glen and myself.

By the way, a huge majority of the people don’t have a clue who Glen Beck is.

I have made it a habit of asking people if they know who he is and it has been no one so far. Only ten to twelve people though.

Posted by: jlw at April 10, 2011 11:58 PM
Comment #321477

well, FOX has lost their fire, IMO. I don’t see Napolitano or Stossel carrying the water. They might build Dobb’s into a pretty good show, but none shall touch Beck for draw. They should have canned Hannity and given Beck two hours, IMO. No other show has been able to put crowds in the street like the Beckmister.

Posted by: Roy Ellis at April 11, 2011 7:58 PM
Comment #321570


Roy, what part of cancelled because of low ratings don’t you understand?

“none shall touch Beck for draw.” Perhaps this is true in some alternate universe.

Just imagine if rather that the Capitol, Beck and his tea party had marched from Selma to Montgomery. They would not have been attacked by the authorities with clubs, dogs, and fire hoses.

The hippies didn’t need a TV show to walk all over Beck’s accomplishment.

I say good riddance to the little Hitler.

Posted by: jlw at April 13, 2011 3:37 PM
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