Third Party & Independents Archives

Who Was Obama Talking to in Colorado?

And as Hillary went “nuclear” on Trump as the headline in Politico gleefully proclaimed, Obama gravely warned America not to become isolationist. The BC tag team has finally swaggered into the ring and are flexing their lathered-up rhetoric before El Donaldo has even paraded down the aisle and stepped up onto the canvas.

We’re weeks away from the conventions, Sanders is convincing a few superdelegates to come into his corner, California hasn’t even voted yet, and La Great Lucha Libre is already ringing the bells.

Foreign policy will ring in the opening rounds it seems. How will Trump respond to Clinton's feisty speech in San Diego and Obama's wonkish warnings from the Air Force Academy in Colorado?

He could start by pointing out that the two tag-team teammates are fighting different battles.

Clinton is closer to being a hawk than not being one. Obama is an apologist and a grand ... conciliator. At least in his own view. One that even as he begins to take digs at Trump, is mostly concerned with justifying his own very mixed legacy.

Like Syria. Where both Hillary and Barack have skin the game. To use an unfortunate metaphor for the region's bloodiest arena. That Syria has been supposedly cleansed of chemical weapons is a great diplomatic victory according to Obama. That Syria burns with conventional weapons doing the damage does not seem to cause the President much doubt as to the righteousness of his cause. And the correctness of his strategy of appeasement.

How would an Obama-free (or Obama-lite) Hillary manage a place like Syria? Benghazi does not offer much hope in that regard. But one can assume she might be more likely to send troops in. Something Obama explicitly criticized in his speech to the Air Force Academy graduates. For Obama, the Cold War was won by the power of America's ideas. Not really by Reagan's defense spending and willingness to put that spending to work should it be necessary. As if the Soviet Union hadn't realized that America was a democracy during President Carter's administration.

So that might be a question worth asking by Trump: who is Obama really going after in terms of foreign policy: himself or Hillary? It's a question of Obama's legacy after all. Even if Hillary's legacy at State needs more than a little whitewashing as well. Because Hillary will have to choose between her supposed inner-hawk and Obama's righteous apologies.

Posted by AllardK at June 3, 2016 2:53 PM
Comments
Comment #405088

This independent column has no meaning anymore. Rarely do we see anything about an independent or third party option. It would be nice to see something about Gary Johnson or Jill Stein. All we get is the same things as the Republican & Conservatives column, Obama bad, Clinton bad, liberals bad. Even Roy who used to present some arguments about a third party, now seems to have gone all in for Trump as of late.

It would be nice to see something about an independent or third party posting that didn’t focus on downplaying anything liberal or about our current President or the current Democrat candidate. Criticism is due from people who disagree with them however we don’t see that but instead get this drivel about Obama and Hillary being bad people. Not even a good critique of Trump ever even. Come on WB independent and third party posters, please give us a reprieve from constant dwelling on Hillary’s emails or President Obama’s shortfalls and tell us what an independent or third party candidate can do for our country. We already have a column that trashes our President, our presumed candidate, and any liberal progressive ideas. This column is becoming redundant.

Posted by: Speak4all at June 3, 2016 3:14 PM
Comment #405090

Watchblog appears to be void of ideas lately. People seem to come here to repeat what their favorite media sources are telling them to believe.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 3, 2016 7:21 PM
Comment #405092

In defense of true third parties, there just aren’t that many of them. The Libertarians, Greens, and a handful of others make up perhaps 5% of the electorate. A lot of the so-called independents are just embarrassed Republicans. They are conservatives who voted for Bush- twice- and cheered on the Clinton impeachment, because, you know, nothing is more important than character. Now they find themselves in the untenable position of supporting the newest Republican candidate, Donald Trump, a man who has publicly bragged about his extramarital affairs, and has stated his battle with venereal disease was his “own personal Viet Nam.” It’s just an impossible for any ‘independent’ to defend in writing.

I have wondered if the Libertarians could do better this election cycle. They have two decent candidates, both Republican ex-governors. So far, no dice.

Posted by: phx8 at June 3, 2016 7:56 PM
Comment #405098

But…but…but… Phx8, The Donald is just being open and honest about the trials and tribulations of his life so far. I mean it took a lot, IMHO, a lot of character to tell the American people of his personal Viet Nam/STD’s. It is the type of character we have come to expect from conservatives in this country. Really when you think about it we had so many young people serving in the jungles of Viet Nam while poor Donald was getting penicillin shots stateside. I can understand how his followers would see this as a badge of honor. GWB, Cheney, Rummy and others have blazed the trail Trump follows haven’t they?

It sure beats talking about issues important to the country when the morally bankrupt Conservative movement has nothing but failed ideologies and reality TV going for them. I mean when the best we can talk about is Clinton running against Obama on foreign policy venereal disease is the response from the repub camp!

Posted by: j2t2 at June 4, 2016 11:12 AM
Comment #405099

Perhaps some Leftie can recall the Honorable Bill Clinton impeachment that they defend, while being critical of Trump?

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 4, 2016 4:19 PM
Comment #405100

“California is planning to make it illegal for you, your business, or anyone else, to disagree with the liberal opinion on man-made climate change/global warming.”

Just love these Leftie freaks and their defense of liberty.

http://freedomoutpost.com/fascist-california-seeks-to-outlaw-global-warming-skeptics-and-their-guns/

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 4, 2016 4:56 PM
Comment #405101

Clinton lied under oath about a consensual affair that he wanted to keep secret. Trump bragged about his affairs to the whole world. Clinton stayed married. Trump is on his third wife. As far as I know, Clinton never talked about venereal disease. Trump describes his battles with STD’s as his “own personal Viet Nam.”

Personally, I consider these kinds of things to be private matters. I do not believe they belong in the public sphere in the first place. Bill Clinton’s conduct was between him and his wife. It did not affect his ability to govern. Given a choice, he would have kept it private, but conservative Republicans decided otherwise. They decided a president’s sexual conduct was worth publicly questioning under oath.

Trump keep his philandering private. He publicizes his extramarital affairs as a way of promoting himself. Don’t ask me to explain that. It does not make sense to me, but that is what Trump does. I would prefer Trump not brag about his s*xual conquests or refer to the size of his genitals on stage during a nationally televised debate, but it is way too late now.

I would just ask that conservatives who feel justified in judging such matters be consistent and non-partisan. I may disagree with it, but I respect principle and consistency; what I do not respect is hypocrisy.

Posted by: phx8 at June 4, 2016 5:00 PM
Comment #405102

Presenting…the most articulate Democrat/Liberal/Socialist ever…

http://freedomoutpost.com/bizarre-obama-meltdown-as-speech-dissolves-into-stuttering-presidents-programming-breaking-down/

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 4, 2016 5:01 PM
Comment #405103

phx8 forgets one important fact in his comparison of Obama and Trump in his comment above.

Clinton was in the office of the POTUS on taxpayer time when he behaved like a PIG.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 4, 2016 5:07 PM
Comment #405104

As for the CA UCL motion, it has already died in the CA Senate. As far as I can tell, the purpose of the law was to prosecute companies like Exxon, which knew from its own research that Global Warming was a fact, and occurring because of the burning of fossil fuels. Exxon took internal actions based on that knowledge, but willfully and intentionally misrepresented the truth to external investors and consumers.

Posted by: phx8 at June 4, 2016 5:10 PM
Comment #405105

“As for the CA UCL motion, it has already died in the CA Senate.” I wonder if phx8 would have like this bill to pass and become law.

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 4, 2016 5:21 PM
Comment #405106

The stature of limitations would make it a very questionable law.

“Clinton was in the office of the POTUS on taxpayer time when he behaved like a PIG.”

So does this judgment apply to any public official on the taxpayer dime, or only the president? What about the VP? Senators?

Donald Trump declared that Hillary Clinton was “guilty as hell” concerning the e-mail issue and should “go to jail.” If she was not indicted, Trump said he would have his AG go after her. This is pretty shocking all by itself. As far as I know, we have never had a presidential nominee threaten to prosecute and jail his opponent.

But let’s move along for a moment. Senator Ted Cruz was accused of having five mistresses. Would it be appropriate for a Trump AG to investigate Ted Cruz, put him under oath, and see if he was on the taxpayer dime while behaving like a PIG? If it was appropriate for a president, why not a Senator?

Posted by: phx8 at June 4, 2016 5:38 PM
Comment #405107

“So does this judgment apply to any public official on the taxpayer dime, or only the president? What about the VP? Senators?”

It applies to any and all. PIGS ARE PIGS

Posted by: Royal Flush at June 4, 2016 5:42 PM
Comment #405108

When did 5 women produce stained dresses to the media? Was Cruz in office when he stained these dresses? I believe he is a first term Senator, is this correct? Cruz must really work fast to have 5 stained dresses hanging on his bedpost in the space of less than 6 years.

Or, perhaps it’s just plain slander.

Didn’t someone say something about parroting news stories?

Posted by: Weary Willie at June 4, 2016 6:41 PM
Comment #405109

Royal, you forgot the kitchen sink my friend. While you have been throwing all these deflections around you still haven’t been willing to talk about serious issues. What does Bill Clinton’s infidelity have to so with this election cycle? Are you asking us to judge Hilary based upon the actions of Bill Clinton? Because throwing Ivanka … oops I mean Marla…oh wait not her… I mean Melania under the bus to get at Hilary seems foolish to me. This election isn’t about character because conservatives have none. This was proved when the conservatives in Congress were having affairs of their own while conducting the witch hunt and subsequent impeachment of Bill Clinton.

So after such a long time of nothing but Clinton bashing from conservatives I have come to the conclusion issues don’t matter to you guys, you can’t run on them, you can’t let the American people off the God guns and gays hook for fear of conservatism falling off the face of the earth.

I suggest conservatives just blame Obama and nothing else this election cycle cause it is all you have, myths misinformation half truths and outright lies to manipulate the American people with. Yep every question every comment offer only two words “Because Obama” and nothing else. I know it doesn’t make sense but neither does the whole Bill Clinton thing or the other two faux scandals you guys focus so much on.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 4, 2016 7:49 PM
Comment #405110

WW,
The infamous dress was not produced until after Clinton testified. So using the same criteria, it would be reasonable to put Cruz on the witness stand. He could certainly have enjoyed relations with those women- and they were identified by name- in a few years. Who knows? Perhaps there are five stained dresses! The original suit brought against Bill Clinton was essentially a ‘he said, she said’ harassment lawsuit brought by a woman named Paula Jones- NOT Monica Lewinsky.

Personally, I do not believe that story about the mistresses, although Donald Trump certainly thought the media should pursue it. The abuses of the Special Prosecutors by the GOP in the 90’s was stopped by both sides by mutual agreement after the impeachment of Bill Clinton. But today, Trump is so wildly outside the boundaries of the legal system, it is hard to know where that will go. Trump has already opined that Hillary Clinton is “guilty as hell” (of what crime?) and that she should “go to jail,” and he has said he would have his Attorney General go after her should the present administration not indict her (for something).

That is astonishing. I can think of no presidential nominee in modern times that threatened to jail his opponent if he won. That is just incredible. At first, I thought it was just one of those wild things that pop up on the internet, but Trump really said it. And I can think of no presidential nominee in modern times that accused a U.S. District Court judge of being biased solely due to the judge’s ethnicity. And make no mistake- this is not just a one-off statement- Trump has repeated it. He is going to build a wall. Therefore a judge of ‘Mexican heritage’ should not be able to preside over his case.

Posted by: phx8 at June 4, 2016 7:57 PM
Comment #405111

Weary, putting your fingers in your ears and yelling “LaLaLaLa” until you turn blue still doesn’t help my friend. It’s time to forget about the stained dress and the three G’s and demand the issues facing the country in this century be addressed. Deflection is not the answer.

I know you don’t believe it coming from a commie like myself so here it is from a conservative-
https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/right-turn/wp/2016/06/03/everything-old-line-conservatives-tell-themselves-is-wrong/

Posted by: j2t2 at June 4, 2016 10:33 PM
Comment #405112

Good link, j2t2. Surprising to see an article like that from Jennifer Rubin, but a lot of conservatives have been coming to the same conclusion. Liberals too. Her analysis of the problem looks sound. Her proposed solution does not seem likely. She wants the current opposition party to turn into a somewhat conservative version of the Democratic party. Hillary Clinton should be her perfect candidate. The theory is that the Democrats will split into a Socialist wing following Bernie Sanders and others, and a moderate Hillary Clinton wing will form the new core of the Republican Party.

Well, I suppose it could happen.

Trump represents nothing other than Trump, but he is tremendously destructive to both the GOP and the country as a whole. He degrades the political process, constantly engages in name calling, and incites hateful behavior aimed at minorities and foreigners. This is what a potential dictator looks like. But I think he will be crushed at the polls. I have a lot of confidence that the vast majority of Americans, including conservative Republicans, will turn their backs on Trump and what he represents.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2016 1:08 AM
Comment #405115

Sadly phx8 I still think repubs/conservatives voters will come around to Trump come November. They have worked to hard suppressing the vote, gerrymandering and digging up faux scandals to do the right thing. I suspect they will all be marching lock step to the polls shouting Heil Trump as the bad taste of Trumps far right primary campaign is forgotten as the propagandist start turning the “truth” to their benefit. I mean their is no proof of untreated venereal disease affecting Trump’s mental ability to hold office…right?

As we have seen in other countries we would have considered safe from the lure of fascism turning the electorate to the extreme right,it can happen here.

Especially when you consider it was a mere 61,000 votes that kept the fascist out of office, hell with the voter suppression laws on the books and in the process of becoming law it won’t take much to suppress 3% of the dem vote.

With Clinton on the dems side the choice is not that great for many Americans tired of Wall Street dictating law and corrupting politicians.

I think conservative movement leaders will keep their followers in line with the sweet lure of authoritarian fascism’s nationalism and religious persecution. Throw in a bit of race baiting and sexist rhetoric which Trump is especially good at… and the next thing we know we have another businessman in the white house making government small.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 5, 2016 9:48 AM
Comment #405116

The Rubin blog was interesting in that conservatives cannot see the trees for the forest normally. She has conservative bona fides and has given them a bit to think about but judging from the conservative response in the comment section of the blog it was clear she was pissing in the wind as many conservatives have become more and more extreme over the years… Trump just states conservative values clearly and in your face instead of hiding behind words like Freedom and Liberty.

Rubin’s comments went right over the head of most if not all of the conservative commentators. Because suppressing the vote is freedom… right? Because freedom is finite and we must keep it from the minorities and poor and oh yes the middle class…. right? Because freedom is a small government that can’t do anything right….right? Because freedom is building a wall on the border….right? Because freedom is voodoo economics that benefit only the rich…. right? Hey… sounds like Putin talking doesn’t it?

Anyway Zeig Heil my friend, Trump uber alles and Heil Trump, we may need to get used to saying these things.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 5, 2016 10:14 AM
Comment #405118

j2t2,
Another conservative columnist in this morning’s paper gave yet another take on what will happen to the GOP. His theory is that most of the Republican politicians will ultimately support Trump because their jobs depend on it. Christie & Rubio will both be unemployed after November. Many others represent districts or states in which they have no choice but to go along with what is happening. Pundits, however, do not have their jobs depending on staying in line with the party, no matter what; instead, they feel free to pursue ideology and put their own moral compass ahead of their personal pocketbooks.

The problem, of course, is that Trump will destroy the GOP and those who will be associated with him. When one of the most powerful Republicans in the party, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, said he would vote for Trump, that should have dominated the news cycle. Instead, the Trump University fraud case received all the attention, and Trump made everything worse for everyone by declaring a U.S. District Court judge was unfit to take the case due to his ‘Mexican heritage.’ Hoo boy. It made Ryan look weak. Ryan immediately tried to distance himself from this overt racism, along with other GOP leaders. Ryan said the comment was “out of left field”; the candidate he just endorsed for president used “… reasoning I don’t relate to. I completely disagree with the thinking behind that.”

And Trump just won’t stop dropping racist and bigoted pronouncements. When asked if a Muslim judge would be acceptable, Trump ruled that out too.

Anyone with an ounce of decency will distance themselves from him, because Trump will drag down everyone associated with him.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2016 3:10 PM
Comment #405119

Taxpayer Dime? During the government shutdown?

From the Washington Post article:

Donald Trump’s vicious anti-immigrant, misogynistic and racist rhetoric — whether “authentic” or simply to garner nonstop attention

Trump Drumpf at one point seemed to be admitting his own inauthenticity, but probably realizes now that he has to keep up the persona for the poorly educated, and now that he’s being attacked and prosecuted, he’s dialing it up to 11.

The old right is selling manual typewriters in the age of smartphones.

This is the basic issue. We are all going into the future, whether anyone likes it or not. I don’t think that people who don’t want to go into the future, because it doesn’t look like the past, are ever going to be a majority in this country.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 5, 2016 3:20 PM
Comment #405120

While it may appear to some that Trump is destroying the GOP I would suggest he isn’t to blame. Trump is the messenger. Trump won the primary by explaining the Conservative message so succinctly it couldn’t be mistaken for the American flag and apple pie. He told the truth and in doing so exposed “small government” “free market” “Liberty” and “Freedom” (as used by conservatives) for what they are to movement leaders, tools to serve the wealthy donors corrupting the country. He deserves credit and has received credit by way of the vote of many who tell us of his honesty. Trump is guilty of truth and honesty.

The GOP/conservatives did the rest when it comes to shooting their collective selves in the foot, IMHO. They threw out the moderates and elected the extremist, not Trump. The GOP/conservatism lowered taxes on the wealthy raised taxes on the middle class and redistributed wealth to the top one per cent. The GOP/ conservative ideology went to war on a credit card, while lowering taxes. The GOP/conservative principles lead the do nothing Congress for years. The GOP turned Americans against other Americans for religious or racial issues, not Trump. He just told us honestly he wanted to continue the persecution.

Of course they did this to appease their big money backers, which IMHO dems should pay attention to. It’s not like corruption is just a GOP issue. If the dems continue to back Wall Street at the expense of Main Street, or continue moving to the right they could be seeing a backlash from the voters as well. All of us are tired of the corruption of our system of government by billionaires and large corporations.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 5, 2016 5:12 PM
Comment #405121

ohrealy,
“… now that he’s being attacked and prosecuted, he’s dialing it up to 11.”

Exactly. It is his nature. He can not help it. That part of his presentation is not an act. He really does have a temperament that makes him utterly unfit for the White House.

j2ts,
“Trump is guilty of truth and honesty.”

Well, he certainly cut to the chase. Other conservative columnists came out against Trump to the extent that they wanted people to vote for Hillary Clinton. They preferred to lose, and lose big, in order to make sure the GOP would never again nominate a bigoted, xenophobic reality show star. And by the way, I am not throwing around any terms about Trump that conservative Republicans are not using on a routine basis. Anyway, the idea is to punish the base for straying from conservative ideology.

The problem is that the columnists have turned out to be generals without an army, exemplified by the 23 articles by 23 different conservatives in the National Review which made not one whit of difference. Most of the base never really cared about tax cuts and small government, other than to make sure minorities did not get free stuff. When Trump attacked minorities, he cut out the richest of the rich who were benefiting from that conservative ideology. Instead, Trump appealed to the underlying emotions of the base, namely, hatred and fear.

And you are right, the Democrats would do well to learn from this. It was one of the chief benefits of Sanders running so strongly. It held Hillary Clinton’s feet to the fire, and fight for progressive issues.

I still think Hillary Clinton will win in a landslide, and the GOP faces a break-up. The Republicans will pay a steep price for going along with the Birthers, opposing Obama at every step, and entertaining conspiracy theories for so long. It is hard to see how the current GOP can ever recreate a competitive coalition.

Posted by: phx8 at June 5, 2016 5:56 PM
Comment #405126
Most of the base never really cared about tax cuts and small government, other than to make sure minorities did not get free stuff.
This is the core of the American dilemna, people who don’t believe that we’re all here together. McConnell-R-KY almost outed himself as a liberal yesterday, saying that we all came from somewhere else. Drumpf really thinks he’s something special. I used to think he was a knickerbocker, until John Oliver. I’m more of an American than he is. Go back to Germany, you useless leach! Posted by: ohrealy at June 6, 2016 3:03 PM
Comment #405127

Dishonestly associating ‘tax cuts and small government,’ and defining ‘we’re all here together’ with money, have proven to be some of the lefts most effective propaganda.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2016 3:36 PM
Comment #405128

Dishonestly associating ‘tax cuts and small government’ with racism, and defining ‘we’re all here together’ with money, have proven to be some of the lefts most effective propaganda.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2016 3:38 PM
Comment #405129

“Most of the base never really cared about tax cuts and small government, other than to make sure minorities did not get free stuff.”

Absolutely correct, phx8. Conservative writers and pundits seem surprised by the rejection of principled conservatives and their policies in the Republican primaries. They could have avoided their angst if they simply visited a local bar and listened to the Average Joe talk about the reasons for his conservative vote.

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2016 4:21 PM
Comment #405130

So, Conservatives and others on the right would support high taxes and huge government if white people were the only ones receiving freebies?
Let me guess, if not for minorities, we all would also support Hillary in getting rid of the 2nd Amendment too?

FFS. If even half of the normal people spent as much time thinking about race as liberals do, this country would already be at war with itself.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2016 4:57 PM
Comment #405131

I might add that Trump was not surprised by what motivated the majority of conservative voters. He understood it exactly and gave them what they wanted to hear without any code language.

A good example is the Obama birther issue. It makes little sense for a reasonably intelligent person to give it any credence, let alone spend money on investigating it. Yet, Donald Trump made it a big deal in 2011 when he was thinking about a presidential run in 2012. It got a lot of media coverage. This is what he said about the issue: “I don’t think I went overboard. Actually, I think it made me very popular… I do think I know what I’m doing,” Trump said in 2013. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/donald-trumps-history-raising-birther-questions-president-obama/story?id=33861832

Yes, he does know what he is doing. Let the buyer beware.

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2016 5:00 PM
Comment #405132

Rich,
I always figured the 2016 GOP nominee would be the most extreme one in the field, and I thought that would be Senator Ted Cruz. Who could have predicted Trump? According to one story, Trump never intended for things to go so far. He just wanted to do some self-promotion, pump up the brand, get his name out there. The campaign took off when he went after illegal immigrants. But Trump could not and would not stop there, and why should he? It worked. It appealed to the deep hatred and bigotry of the base.

When Senator Marco Rubio spearheaded immigration reform, it was ultimately destroyed by extremists in the House, lead by Congressman King from IA, who famously said that for every child of illegal immigrants “who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.” King was put in charge of immigration reform in the House, along with Michele Bachmann. The writing has been on the wall just waiting for a GOP presidential nominee to read it, and Trump not only read it, he repeated it out loud, again and again.

It is not just illegal immigrants, or Mexicans, or Hispanics; the hatred and bigotry apply across the board to virtually every minority that is not white (and preferably male).

Republicans are going to own this one for a long time. It is just an impossible situation for them. They need to endorse and support Trump in order to remain in the good graces of the party, and yet, doing so will ultimately destroy them and the party as well.

Scarcely a day goes by when Trump does not attack the media. They are not abstract attacks, either, they are very mean and personal attacks. Trump refuses to listen to anyone else. His organization is nearly non-existent, and that is how Trump wants it, since that led to his success in the first place- saying whatever popped into his mind. It resulted in free coverage, but with these personal attacks on members of the media, one after another, it is only a matter of time before the media turns against him en masse. Trump also attacks the judiciary, and he attacks the judicial process. He has declared his political opponent to be “guilty as hell,” so she should “go to jail,” and if there is no indictment by the DOJ then he will send his own AG after her. I mean, it is incredible. And by that, I mean incredibly bad.

I thought this was a very good article. I have always been interested in the mechanics of presidential campaigns. The ability to create a national organization from scratch, staff it with top people, and run it are very good indicators of whether a person will make a good president, and how they will go about governing.

http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/donald-trump-does-not-have-campaign

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2016 5:02 PM
Comment #405133

kctim,

Does it not strike you as odd that the majority of conservative voters support Social Security, Medicare and a large standing military? Are those three not the epitome of big government?

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2016 5:10 PM
Comment #405134
Conservatives and others on the right would support high taxes and huge government if white people were the only ones receiving freebies?

How do you think the social programs in England came to be? They’re just hillbillies with a slightly better education thanks to socialism, but unfortunately just as addicted to pop culture, and incredibly more addicted to alcohol. Unfortunately, many of these drunks are now expecting to get kidney/liver/pancreas/whatever transplants at the ripe old age of 35 or so rather than dropping dead like good American hillbillies.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 6, 2016 5:11 PM
Comment #405135

It would be laughable that conservatives are shocked at the blatant display of overt racism by the presumptive Republican nominee, that has been perpetuated by many commenters on this blog for years, if it hadn’t been so evident for so many years to some of us, telling them just that. And even still today some just don’t and never will get it. I can only hope that this blatant display will cause some to become circumspect of their self consciousness that endows them with human dignity and perhaps help them to find a better way to understand the world around them. But many will never be able to make that connection and still more will ignore it since they have no ability to recognize the truth that has been subverted by the information sources they seek out and then use to defend their racist, misogynistic, bigoted and hateful position.

Posted by: Speak4all at June 6, 2016 5:14 PM
Comment #405136

On Drumpf’s campaign, you have to go back and take a look at Berlusconi, who started his own party to make Italy great again. Drumpf just took over the Rpblcn party instead, because he’s not as rich as Berlusconi.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 6, 2016 5:17 PM
Comment #405137

Rich,
All Americans have been conditioned to accept and be dependent on all three of those things.

The majority of conservative voters support Social Security, Medicare and a large standing military? How is that possible when minorities also benefit from them?

Fact is, no matter how much the left has attacked people over the past ten plus years, disagreeing with leftist policy is NOT racism, sexism, homophobia etc…, and Trump is capitalizing on that.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2016 5:30 PM
Comment #405138

How about some FACTUAL examples of ACTUAL racist, misogynistic, bigoted and hateful positions?

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2016 5:33 PM
Comment #405139

phx8,

Trump is an egomaniac. It explains a lot.

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2016 5:45 PM
Comment #405140

ohrealy,
You mentioned Berlusconi before, and I saw another comment elsewhere go on about that. Apparently the Italians are laughing at us, because now it is our turn to follow a rich, loud, crooked buffoon.

kctim,
Trump does not attack leftist policies. He does not really have any policies at all, other than building a wall and making Mexico pay for it, and starting trade wars. Most of what he says involve name-calling, “bizarre rants, personal feuds, and outright lies.” On issues like the minimum wage he was on both sides of the issue four times in a matter of days. He has been making rapid reversals on Libya too.

Posted by: phx8 at June 6, 2016 5:45 PM
Comment #405141

Phx8,
I didn’t say that Trump was attacking leftist policy, I said he was capitalizing on this sickening leftist transformation of the country that has been occurring over the past few decades.

The left, as they typically do, would rather blame made-up stories of rampant racism, sexism, bigotry and homophobia, than believe people actually reject leftist policy.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2016 5:55 PM
Comment #405142

“All Americans have been conditioned to accept and be dependent on all three of those things.”

Come on, kctim! Are you saying that Americans, including conservatives, have been brain washed into supporting Social Security, Medicare and the military? They can’t figure out that support of those programs is big government?

Posted by: Rich at June 6, 2016 6:31 PM
Comment #405143
How is that possible when minorities also benefit from them?

Social Security and Medicare are a wealth transfer from young Americans to elderly ones. Older Americans are more likely to be white. This means that Social Security also represents a massive transfer of wealth from nonwhite Americans to white Americans.

The military exists to protect the wealth and assets of Americans. Because nonwhites are less wealthy than whites, the military also represents a transfer of wealth from nonwhite Americans to white Americans.

This is the racism of Trump’s base. Between 1930 and 1960, these people supported a plethora of statist programs as part of the New Deal Coalition. Of course, this support came about because nonwhites were excluded from many of those socialist programs. Once the discrimination ceased in the mid-sixties, these people stopped supporting the statist programs and began voting for conservative candidates in elections.

disagreeing with leftist policy is NOT racism, sexism, homophobia etc
A strawman argument. No one of prominence has ever alleged that mere disagreement is akin to those things. Rather, the Left judiciously identified evidence of racism, sexism, etc underlying certain particular groups of people.

For instance, the people who propagated conspiracies regarding Obama’s birth are undoubtedly prejudiced. They were judging Obama by the color of his skin, the creed of his father, the linguistics of his name instead of the content of his character.

For a long time, I was willing to look the other way when this was limited to a few examples such as the birther conspiracy. However, the rise of Trump has pulled away the curtains. Ted Cruz’s defeat proves that the Republican Party’s base cares not for principled conservatism. Instead, we get massive waves of support from the Republican base cheering on an openly racist lunatic.

And it isn’t just me, prominent conservative activists such as Erik Erickson, Leon Wolfe and others have condemned Trump just the same. As a refresher, Trump has said claimed the following:

—The majority of Mexican-American immigrants are rapists, murderers and drug traffickers.

—New Jersey Muslims celebrated the 9/11 attacks contrary to the memory of Chris Christie

—Not knowing enough about David Duke to be able to condemn him

By themselves, perhaps one of these things could be forgivable. However, all 3 occurred within the span of a year, which I think is quite improbable.

How about some FACTUAL examples of ACTUAL racist, misogynistic, bigoted and hateful positions?

Do you disagree with the assessment of Leon Wolfe, Eric Erickson and other prominent conservatives that Trump’s words express racism?

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 6, 2016 11:14 PM
Comment #405145

Rich,
Social Security and Medicare require a government mandate to fund. Government mandates strip away individual rights, and those programs faced major opposition at their beginning.
To counter that opposition, the programs were sold as aiding our most vulnerable. Over time, with TONS of government promotion, Social Security has become THE retirement plan for most Americans and now, with the same kind of government promotion, the push is on for Medicare to become THE health care system for all.

The vast majority of Americans now unquestionably accept Social Security and Medicare, and they unquestionably embrace and plan on those programs for their future needs.
Conditioning and dependency.

If you have proof that either of those two things are not true, I would love to see it.

As far as big government and some peoples hypocrisy, the answer is simple: Those programs have become ingrained into our society, people have been forced to support them and are dependent on them. It’s too late to get rid of those programs, so they are left with only fighting against more programs like them.

Posted by: kctim at June 7, 2016 9:26 AM
Comment #405146
It’s too late to get rid of those programs, so they are left with only fighting against more programs like them.

Wrong! Nothing in the Constitution prevents those programs from ending tomorrow. All it takes is a President and a majority in each house of Congress. 11 years ago, Republicans had control of those very levers of power. Bush tried to dismantle Social Security, but his effort failed because the GOP base revolted. Evidently, big government is something these people like when they feel it benefits them.

Chris Christie, Rand Paul and others ran for President recently with platforms calling for a significant paring back of SS. All those candidates lost terribly to Trump who has made the defense of entitlements a mainstay of his campaign.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 7, 2016 10:09 AM
Comment #405147

Warren,
So Americans actually support and embrace socialist policy, but reject it because of racism? Not because of the constant growth of government and its control over our lives and loss of individual rights that leftist policy requires, but simply because they are racist?
No wonder you guys have to pretend that today is no different than the 50s and 60s.

“the people who propagated conspiracies regarding Obama’s birth are undoubtedly prejudiced. They were judging Obama by the color of his skin…”

So why doesn’t skin color matter when a person agrees with their political beliefs?
There is no doubt that there are some people, on both sides of the aisle, that are racist, but to lump the whole in with the few as the left does is for nothing more than politics.

I’m not a Trump supporter, but if the left is going to go after him by trying to pass off opinionated BS rhetoric as fact, it should be pointed out.

He was talking about illegal aliens, not Mexican-Americans.
Some Muslims did celebrate the 9/11 attacks.
The David Duke nonsense makes you guys look desperate.

“Do you disagree with the assessment of Leon Wolfe, Eric Erickson and other prominent conservatives that Trump’s words express racism?”

Yes, at this point I do disagree.
While Trump may bumble his words or not use PC wording, there has been nothing said that indicates Trump believes his own race is superior to other races.

Posted by: kctim at June 7, 2016 10:09 AM
Comment #405148

The Trump U fraud case became a lot more dangerous for Trump. In Florida, an investigation into fraud in the name of over 60 FL citizens was dropped by AG Pam Bondi in exchange for a $25,000 donation:

“Florida’s attorney general personally solicited a political contribution from Donald Trump around the same time her office deliberated joining an investigation of alleged fraud at Trump University and its affiliates

The new disclosure from Attorney General Pam Bondi’s spokesman to The Associated Press on Monday provides additional details around the unusual circumstances of Trump’s $25,000 donation to Bondi.

The money came from a Trump family foundation in apparent violation of rules surrounding political activities by charities. A political group backing Bondi’s re-election, called And Justice for All, reported receiving the check Sept. 17, 2013 — four days after Bondi’s office publicly announced she was considering joining a New York state probe of Trump University’s activities, according to a 2013 report in the Orlando Sentinel.

After the check came in, Bondi’s office nixed suing Trump, citing insufficient grounds to proceed.”

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e16a8223c24048d290883370dc6abe5b/florida-ag-asked-trump-donation-nixing-fraud-case

kctim,
American citizens can vote to change or reject Social Security and Medicare. If you will recall, George W Bush used the political capital from his re-election in 2004 to declare a crisis, and stump for a plan that would have privatized and ultimately destroyed Social Security by allowing citizens to opt out of the traditional fund, and place their money in the stock market. The more Bush traveled around the country promoting it, the less people liked it. Bush finally gave up. The stock market crashed at the end of his term, losing 50% of its value between 2007 to 2009, so it his proposal had been implemented, anyone retiring in 2009 would have been creamed.

We all pay taxes for things we dislike. That is part of living in a society.

Posted by: phx8 at June 7, 2016 10:47 AM
Comment #405149

Phx8,
Rich and I were discussing the progression of the peoples attitudes towards those programs, not the programs themselves.
Bush has nothing to do with those attitudes, though I’m sure you will still find a way to blame them on him.

Posted by: kctim at June 7, 2016 11:26 AM
Comment #405150

Sorry. I know it is totally unfair to bring up anything the last conservative president did.

The hostile attitude of some conservatives towards Social Security was manifested in the actions of Bush after the 2005 election. We saw the Achilles heel of Libertarian thought in action with the Bush plan. The assumption is that if government does not provide retirement funding, individuals will do better by relying on individual initiative. Of course, power abhors a vacuum, and corporations and Wall Street will take over where the government left off, to disastrous effect. And even if government and Wall Street could somehow be kept out of retirement planning, and everyone just put their money under a mattress, we would see a situation like the one that existed prior to such programs. Old age was something to fear, and illness a catastrophe. The short life expectancies up until last century were largely due to lack of technologies and knowledge we know take for granted, but they were also in part due to the lack of programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

For many, life without Social Security and MediCare would be nasty, brutish, and short.

Posted by: phx8 at June 7, 2016 11:35 AM
Comment #405151

“Sorry. I know it is totally unfair to bring up anything the last conservative president did.”

Pfft. Wouldn’t be half as bad if you guys held liberals to even half of the same standards you require of everybody else.

I am well aware of all the doom and gloom predictions and fear mongering that come from the left when it comes to looking at personal responsibility and government programs.

And the hostile attitude of some conservatives towards Social Security type programs was manifested in the explosion of our debt, the ever increasing size and power of our government, and the continued loss of our individual rights. Screaming ‘racism’ or ‘Bush wants to destroy SS’ is nothing but an attempt to ignore those facts.

Posted by: kctim at June 7, 2016 12:24 PM
Comment #405152
quote textSo Americans actually support and embrace socialist policy, but reject it because of racism? Not because of the constant growth of government and its control over our lives and loss of individual rights that leftist policy requires, but simply because they are racist? No wonder you guys have to pretend that today is no different than the 50s and 60s.

It is not appropriate to discuss Americans as if they are a monolithic group. However, I will say there is a substantial bloc of white voters who support statism when whites are the beneficiaries and oppose statism when nonwhites are the beneficiaries. Racism is the driver of these seemingly contradictory policies. I really cannot see any other explanation. Principled loyalty to small I didn’t

For a long time, I believed that this bloc of voters was far too small to be of any importance, which is why I discouraged accusations of racism regarding Obama’s political opposition. However, the rise of Trump has demonstrated that this belief was wrong. Racism has infected the GOP base far deeper than I thought. It’s rather unfortunate for non-racists like you, Mitt Romney and others on the right.

So why doesn’t skin color matter when a person agrees with their political beliefs?
I don’t think there is any significant bloc of people who disagree with Obama’s political beliefs, but continue to support him purely because of his skin color.
He was talking about illegal aliens, not Mexican-Americans.
“When Mexico sends its people” refers to anyone in this country with Mexican heritage. Any distinction between illegal aliens and others is completely absent from that sentence. Additionally, there is zero evidence that illegal aliens commit these crimes at a higher rate than native born Americans. In fact, studies have shown that immigrants are less likely than natal Americans to commit crime.
Some Muslims did celebrate the 9/11 attacks
But not thousands and thousands as Trump claimed.
Yes, at this point I do disagree

Add Paul Ryan and Lindsey Graham to the list.

there has been nothing said that indicates Trump believes his own race is superior to other races.
I admit that it is possible to construe lame excuse after lame excuse to find non-racist explanations for individual Trump comments. However, taken holistically, there is a striking pattern:
The one small problem with Trump’s strategy of questioning the robot’s objectivity is that it creates one more point of confirmation bias that Trump is a racist. Here’s what we have so far:

1. Trump wants to protect the melting pot that is America from the non-Americans who want to get into the country illegally. That’s the job of the President, and yet…it sounds a bit racist. That’s point-one of confirmation bias.

2. Trump said immigrants from Mexico are rapists. Under normal circumstances, a listener would understand him to mean that the socioeconomic circumstances of being an immigrant are correlated with higher-than-average crime rates of all types. But because you think Trump is a racist, your cognitive dissonance turned it into an accusation that all Mexican men, women, children, and unborn babies are rapists.

To make things worse, Trump is pro-life. The implication is that Trump believes one-month-old fetuses from Mexico somehow escape the womb at night to do their raping. It sounds implausible, but once you know Trump is a racist who thinks every single Mexican is a rapist, you have to assume he was talking about the fetuses too. That’s a tell for confirmation bias.

3. During one CNN interview Trump did not disavow the KKK in a clear and quick fashion that viewers expected. He did disavow the KKK and David Duke before the interview, and plenty of times afterwards. But that one time on live television he didn’t hear the question (he says) and he responded inadequately. It seems implausible that a candidate for president would intentionally avoid disavowing the KKK on live TV, but once you assume Trump is a racist, confirmation bias kicks in, and you assume he did just that.

4. Trump suggested a temporary ban on Muslim immigration until we can figure out what’s going on. That sounds totally racist…unless you know that Islam is open to all ethnicities…and as practiced in many places is incompatible with the Constitution of the United States. And ISIS is trying to get terrorists into the country by posing as immigrants. Viewed in isolation, the ban on Muslim immigration is offensive and problematic. But viewed in context with all of the other confirmation bias about Trump, it turns into evidence of racism.


5. And now Trump believes a judge might be biased because his parents grew up in Mexico. On one hand, every person in the world thinks that is a legitimate risk. On the other hand, when viewed in context of all of Trump’s other confirmation bias, it looks racist as hell.

I’m probably leaving out a few points of confirmation bias. But you get the point. Once you see Trump as a probable racist, you see “evidence” everywhere, even if there is none. That’s confirmation bias.

If we approach this from a Bayesian standpoint, it seems quite improbable that Trump would say these things without believing (or wishing to appear as if he believes) that:
1)Hispanics are predisposed to commit crime at higher rates than Whites.
2)Muslims are predisposed to endorse terrorism than other faiths (technically religious intolerance rather than racism)
3)Neither Hispanics nor Muslims are capable of giving Trump a courtroom trial as fair as a White Judge

Any of these three things expresses a belief in the superiority of Whites/Christians over other groups.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 7, 2016 2:22 PM
Comment #405153

From the MSNBC link that pdx8 posted, people think Drumpf is suffering from sleep deprivation, dehydration, and exhaustion due to the fact that he doesn’t trust anyone else to campaign for him. I never thought he was anything more than annoying. This election cycle is pretty hard to believe. There’s a reason that Drumpf and Sanders are outsiders. They don’t play well with others. It’s entirely possible that Drumpf won’t be nominated by the Rpblcn party, but as Ryan said, he’s their guy, the racist comments are wrong, but so what.

Sanders, the aged revolutionary, seems to think that his power of persuasion can change votes already cast.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 7, 2016 4:45 PM
Comment #405154

“However, I will say there is a substantial bloc of white voters who support statism when whites are the beneficiaries and oppose statism when nonwhites are the beneficiaries.

As a representative Republic our government is to treat all equally. What you are referring to is people who do not support special treatment to those of ‘special’ groups.

“Racism is the driver of these seemingly contradictory policies. I really cannot see any other explanation.”

You don’t want to see any other explanation.

“Racism has infected the GOP base far deeper than I thought.”

No, the ‘GOP base’ refuses to accept progressive definitions and you need something to blame. Illegal aliens are a problem. Islamic terrorism is a problem. Our spending and debt is a problem. For proud Americans, all this PC BS is a problem.

“I don’t think there is any significant bloc of people who disagree with Obama’s political beliefs, but continue to support him purely because of his skin color.”

Keyes, Watts, Powell, Rice, Cain, Carson, Rubio, Cruz etc… ALL ‘people of color’ who were/are supported for their right-wing beliefs at one time or another. IF the ‘GOP base’ were all racists as you guys say, that would not be the case.

““When Mexico sends its people” refers to anyone in this country with Mexican heritage.”

Um, no.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…”

THAT clearly refers to the Mexican government sending their problems across the border for us to deal with.

“Additionally, there is zero evidence that illegal aliens commit these crimes at a higher rate than native born Americans.”

Which means nothing. The fact is that the crimes would not have happened IF they weren’t in the country in the first place.

“However, taken holistically”

Hogwash. The left needs people to see only the overview of the whole which they have created. They know most Americans are lazy and will not research the individual parts that actually make up and define the truth.

“If we approach this from a Bayesian standpoint”

Why approach it from politically influenced probability rather than actuality?

1)Illegal aliens have committed a crime.
2)Muslims from certain parts of the world are more likely to be sympathetic to terrorism and actual terrorists are seeking to take advantage of our immigration system.
3)Using a judges background to question their fairness and integrity is hardly anything new.

These three things are facts, but since they do not support purely partisan opinions of racism, they are ignored.

Posted by: kctim at June 7, 2016 4:52 PM
Comment #405155

I don’t really think that Trump is a racist. I think he is a clever opportunist and an egomaniac.

He understood the prejudices of the conservative base and exploited them to win in the primaries. Like he said about his birther investigations, he knew what he was doing and it made him more popular.

The “Mexican” judge thing is probably less about racism and more about his egomania, temper, thin skin and civility. He can’t believe that some judge legitimately ruled against him. How dare he! Like with every other opponent, he lashes out with vulgar and derogatory insults without consideration of the person’s office and integrity. If the judge was short in stature, he might have called him “Little Gonzalo” a la “Little Rubio.” The Mexican heritage was a convenient excuse to hang his hat on and maybe in his mind even rational.

What makes Trump dangerous in my mind is not the possible racism but the inability to handle criticism and setbacks in a calm and rational manner. The president of the US faces these issues every day.


Posted by: Rich at June 7, 2016 5:21 PM
Comment #405162
As a representative Republic our government is to treat all equally. What you are referring to is people who do not support special treatment to those of ‘special’ groups.
This whole distinction between “special rights” and “equal rights” is a myth spun up by the right. There really is no such thing.
You don’t want to see any other explanation.
Try me. Why is Social Security so much popular with the GOP base than food stamps? Both are wealth-transfer social welfare program, but with different beneficiaries. Why hasn’t the conditioning worked equally in both cases?
the ‘GOP base’ refuses to accept progressive definitions
Why does the GOP base refuse to accept factually correct definitions? As Rubio said last year, it’s not about being politically correct, but about being correct. We need to recognize that certain memes that exist in people’s minds are false. Illegal immigration is not related to other varieties of crime; the association between the two comes solely from the legacy of the racist idea that whites are morally superior than other races, which justified why nonwhites had greater propensity to be arrested for crimes.

Likewise, referring to groups of people in monolithic terms (eg “the Blacks”, “the Jews”, etc) robs members of those minority groups of their individuality, reducing them to mere pieces of a larger entity. It would be far more appropriate to refer to these people as “members of the Jewish community” or “Black Americans”, “people of color” etc. That way, the personhood of these people is affirmed as it should.

Keyes, Watts, Powell, Rice, Cain, Carson, Rubio, Cruz etc… ALL ‘people of color’ who were/are supported for their right-wing beliefs at one time or another. IF the ‘GOP base’ were all racists as you guys say, that would not be the case.

None of these people are Muslim nor are any of them immigrants from Mexico, which are the two groups targeted by Trump’s white supremacist pandering. Indeed, many of these people have pandered to prejudice by maligning American Muslims and/or Mexican Immigrants.

That said, I never claimed the GOP base “were all racists”. The #NeverTrump movement clearly demonstrates that there are plenty of non-racists in the party. In fact, I think non-racists are a majority of the party, but they need to grow a pair and stand up to the racists more vigorously.

THAT clearly refers to the Mexican government sending their problems across the border for us to deal with.
This isn’t the Mariel boatlift. Everyone, including Trump, knows the Mexican government is not intentionally incentivizing the illegal emigration of problematic citizens. Therefore this cannot be the correct interpretation of his words. The only other way to read them is to believe that his reference to “Mexico” is an abstract reference to the Mexican people as a whole rather than just the government.
Which means nothing. The fact is that the crimes would not have happened IF they weren’t in the country in the first place.
We’ve argued this before, but your thinking remains flawed. There is a still larger number of crimes that would not have happened if natal Americans weren’t in the country in the first place. That doesn’t justify demonizing anyone or deporting everyone born in this country in exchange for immigrants less likely to break the law.
Illegal aliens have committed a crime.
So have motorists who have been caught speeding. Yet, somehow we don’t talk about how speeding motorists are causing rape, murder and drug trafficking. Obviously, something else is driving Trump’s targeting of these people.
Muslims from certain parts of the world are more likely to be sympathetic to terrorism and actual terrorists are seeking to take advantage of our immigration system
Completely false. Terrorism is a tactic used by people of all creeds when circumstances are right. All religions have adherents sympathizing with terrorism. Just look at the disgusting comments many American Christrians wrote sympathizing with Robert Lewis Dear. The same could be said for Christians in Northern Ireland or parts of Africa. In Latin America, Liberation Theology has sympathized with many terrorist groups there.
Using a judges background to question their fairness and integrity is hardly anything new.
If it were, why is Paul Ryan calling it a textbook case of racism? Posted by: Warren Porter at June 8, 2016 7:41 AM
Comment #405163

Jonathan Chait expresses my sentiments well:

There is nothing inherently racist about Ryan’s policy agenda. The arguments for enormous, regressive tax cuts, deregulation of finance and carbon pollution, and large reductions in spending assistance for the poor may be unpersuasive, but they have no intellectual connection to racism. The trouble for Republicans is that building a real-world constituency for these policies does rely on racism. Conservatives stopped the momentum of the New Deal in the mid-1960s only when they associated it with support for the black underclass.
Posted by: Warren Porter at June 8, 2016 9:48 AM
Comment #405165

“This whole distinction between “special rights” and “equal rights” is a myth spun up by the right. There really is no such thing.”

When you create programs and laws that benefit one person but not another, that person is receiving special treatment.

“Try me. Why is Social Security so much popular with the GOP base than food stamps?”

Because of return on ‘investment.’ People are forced to contribute money to SS with the promise of it being there later for them to use.

“Both are wealth-transfer social welfare program, but with different beneficiaries.”

ALL Americans are the ‘beneficiaries’ of both programs. If the trailer parks and backwoods voted liberal, the left would not be trying to make it all about race.

“Why hasn’t the conditioning worked equally in both cases?”

For half of you, it has. For the other half, the fact that it is abused, creates dependency, and has become a way of life, it has not.

“Why does the GOP base refuse to accept factually correct definitions?”

Because what the left demands is for everybody to accept leftist opinions and definitions as “factually correct” and they resort to lies and hyperbole to attack anybody who disagrees.
Illegal immigration IS a crime and it is a fact that those guilty of ‘other varieties of crime’ also illegally enter this country. Unfettered access to the country IS a problem, Warren. And the left intentionally clouding the issue for votes only ignores that problem.

“the association between the two comes solely from the legacy of the racist idea that whites are morally superior than other races,”

BS. The association come from the fact that criminals are just as free to illegally enter the country as the person seeking to better their life are.

“Likewise, referring to groups of people in monolithic terms (eg “the Blacks”, “the Jews”, etc) robs members of those minority groups of their individuality, reducing them to mere pieces of a larger entity.”

I totally agree. So why is the left most guilty of doing this? It’s not any different just because you throw a hyphen in there and claiming it is somehow more appropriate to do so, is ridiculous. Putting people into special groups in order to reward them is no different than putting them into groups to demean them.
We are all Americans.

“That said, I never claimed the GOP base “were all racists”. The #NeverTrump movement clearly demonstrates that there are plenty of non-racists in the party.”

People are not going to stand up to racism based on the lefts opinions of what defines racism. They are going to do it when there is actual racism.

“Everyone, including Trump, knows the Mexican government is not intentionally incentivizing the illegal emigration of problematic citizens.”

Everyone, including you, knows the Mexican government does not do what it can do to stop its people from illegally crossing the border, and that includes its problematic citizens.

“We’ve argued this before, but your thinking remains flawed. There is a still larger number of crimes that would not have happened if natal Americans weren’t in the country in the first place.”

This IS America and Americans have the right to be here and are expected to here. Dealing with the crimes of Americans is our responsibility. Illegal aliens are NOT Americans, they have no right to on our soil, and we have the right to prevent their criminal behavior.
That justifies targeting illegal aliens and deporting them, no matter how less likely they are to break further laws.

“Obviously, something else is driving Trump’s targeting of these people.”

Yep. Those speeders, rapists, murderers and drug trafficking people are all Americans, illegal aliens are not.

“Completely false.”

Sorry, but 100% true. If it wasn’t, the IS would not exist. Their primary recruiting areas are those middle eastern countries. That is fact, Warren.
Trying to equate a few fringe Christians or a couple of small Christian groups with the IS is nothing but trying to cloud the issue for personal and political gain.

“If it were, why is Paul Ryan calling it a textbook case of racism?”

Maybe because he thinks it is?

I don’t know Trump, Warren. I am not saying he is or is not racist, sexist or anything else. IF he does or says something that is actually racist, I will call him on it.
Right now though, all we have is political incorrectness and hurt feelings.

Posted by: kctim at June 8, 2016 11:12 AM
Comment #405167

“Right now though, all we have is political incorrectness and hurt feelings.”

No, kctim, what we have is a candidate that made a facially racial argument for why a federal judge ruled against him. Why do you think that the leaders of the Republican party have called it by definition a racial argument? Do you really think that they would call out their presumptive nominee for racism if it were not true? What they want is for Trump to realize what he has done and apologize for it before it is too late.

Posted by: Rich at June 8, 2016 1:47 PM
Comment #405171
When you create programs and laws that benefit one person but not another, that person is receiving special treatment.

Apart from affirmative action, give me an example of this “special treatment”. For instance, how does the law treat homosexuals any differently than it treats heterosexuals?

Because of return on ‘investment.’ People are forced to contribute money to SS with the promise of it being there later for them to use.
Wrong. SS is not an investment. It is a wealth transfer program from workers to retirees and it has always been that way. Never has there been any promise that an individual’s FICA taxes were being placed in a private investment account.

Here’s the real explanation for why SS has much broader support than Food Stamps. Even though you or I may argue against food stamps from purely philosophical precepts, most Americans who oppose those programs because the violate their morals. In particular, conservatives associate antipoverty programs with unfairness. They oppose the idea of subsidizing a stranger’s laziness. That said, these same people can be very generous with other people they know personally or otherwise self-identify with. Knowing that someone else shares the same faith or ancestry somehow convinces us to trust them not to exploit the generosity. Ultimately, the average Republican supports SS because he or she personally knows many of the beneficiaries are good, hardworking people and not miserable lazy slobs. Conversely, these people do not have many connections with food stamp beneficiaries. Without the personal evidence to refute it, prejudice and stereotyping take control. Of course, ancient memes regarding lazy Black people or crooked Mexicans take root and convince the individual that these welfare programs mostly subsidize immoral lifestyles that contrast greatly with the supposedly morally upright lives of their own parents or grandparents. This is exactly why “cultural homogeneity” is a common excuse for the success of Nordic social welfare systems.

ALL Americans are the ‘beneficiaries’ of both programs.
Au Contraire, SS explicitly prohibits me from receiving benefits for at least 40 years. AND, my benefits are most likely to be a fraction of what people are getting nowadays.

Illegal immigration IS a crime and it is a fact that those guilty of ‘other varieties of crime’ also illegally enter this country.
Rape, murder and the rest are felonies. Illegal immigration is a misdeneamor and conflating it with these felonies is NOT an accurate representation of the facts.

Unfettered access to the country IS a problem, Warren
There’s zero evidence that giving Latin Americans and Asians the same opportunity that was given to Europeans 100 years ago would be a problem.
The association come from the fact that criminals are just as free to illegally enter the country as the person seeking to better their life are.
Then why don’t people associate native born Americans with their criminal brethren?
It’s not any different just because you throw a hyphen in there and claiming it is somehow more appropriate to do so, is ridiculous. Putting people into special groups in order to reward them is no different than putting them into groups to demean them. We are all Americans.
It’s not ridiculous when the politically correct term is used because the PC terms always emphasize that race/creed/$ex/whatever is merely description while identity is always American/Person/Individual. Hence, “The Blacks” should be avoided in favor of “People of Color” or “Americans of African Descent” as the latter terms emphasizes their personhood or American nationality. If you can’t tell the difference between “The Jews” and “Jewish Americans”, then you need to pay more attention to the world around you.
People are not going to stand up to racism based on the lefts opinions of what defines racism. They are going to do it when there is actual racism..
So, the comments by Paul Ryan and other prominent Republicans condemning Trump’s comments as racist indicates that the man has moved beyond mere political incorrectness into the realm of hate and intolerance?
Everyone, including you, knows the Mexican government does not do what it can do to stop its people from illegally crossing the border, and that includes its problematic citizens.
Mexico does not treat its problematic citizens any differently than normal ones on this issue.
This IS America and Americans have the right to be here and are expected to here. Dealing with the crimes of Americans is our responsibility. Illegal aliens are NOT Americans, they have no right to on our soil, and we have the right to prevent their criminal behavior. That justifies targeting illegal aliens and deporting them, no matter how less likely they are to break further laws.

I remember the part of our declaration of independence which says that all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights. I must’ve forgotten the part where certain rights are granted conditionally by the whim of government. Because we are a nation of immigrants, I reject the idea that an individual born overseas has fewer rights than I do on an issue so basic as deciding where to reside. Of course, I support barring admittance to foreigners with criminal records or communicable diseases. And I support enforcing laws to ensure that all overseas people who want to move here are properly vetted to ensure that they have neither criminal motivations nor pose a health risk. What I oppose is protectionist laws that seek to unduly regulate the market for labor.

Yep. Those speeders, rapists, murderers and drug trafficking people are all Americans, illegal aliens are not.
If someone comes here, learns our language and culture, and works for many years without violating any other laws, that person is an American. Would we not be better off deporting the native born felon instead of the immigrant guilty of nothing other than a single misdemeanor?
If it wasn’t, the IS would not exist. Their primary recruiting areas are those middle eastern countries.

Why did the IRA waste so much effort recruiting members in Belfast when (according to you) they would have found a much more receptive audience in Damascus?

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 8, 2016 3:44 PM
Comment #405178
When you create programs and laws that benefit one person but not another, that person is receiving special treatment.

So kctim, lets be specific here. Allowing a person of color the same right to an education as a white person is not giving special treatment to a minority that the majority doesn’t have it is giving equal treatment.

The only thing I can think of that would support your claim of special treatment is a person getting charged with a hate crime in addition to murder for killing a gay guy when were it a straight guy killed there would be no hate crime.

Am I mistaken in this? What other instances are you talking about that would give “special treatment” in lieu of equal treatment?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 8, 2016 9:30 PM
Comment #405188

j2t2,

There’s also affirmative action, but that’s it as far as I can tell.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 9, 2016 9:44 AM
Comment #405191

Rich, is Judge Gonzalo Curiel of Mexican heritage? Is he against building a wall along our Mexican border? Or a member of any group that opposes building a wall?

Is questioning a judges ability to be impartial, something only Trump has done?

This is not proof of racism. The question the left should be putting into peoples minds is “Is Trump really trying to get a fair trial, or is he putting his money first and trying to protect it?

Posted by: kctim at June 9, 2016 10:25 AM
Comment #405192

Warren,

“Apart from affirmative action, give me an example of this “special treatment”.

So, apart from what does give special treatment, give you more examples of special treatment? LOL.

“For instance, how does the law treat homosexuals any differently than it treats heterosexuals?”

By being used to accommodate the desires of homosexuals over the desires of heterosexuals.

“Wrong. SS is not an investment. It is a wealth transfer program from workers to retirees and it has always been that way.”

SSA - Budget FY2017
“…so that we continue to invest in our economic future…”

“Never has there been any promise that an individual’s FICA taxes were being placed in a private investment account.”

Demoracts.org - Retirement Security
“For 75 years, Social Security has been an enduring promise to America’s seniors.”

To pretend that I was referring to private investment accounts is beneath you, Warren.

“In particular, conservatives associate antipoverty programs with unfairness. They oppose the idea of subsidizing a stranger’s laziness.”

Of course they do. You are taking something from one person who worked for it and giving it to somebody for doing nothing.

“Knowing that someone else shares the same faith or ancestry somehow convinces us to trust them not to exploit the generosity.”

Faith? Yes. Ancestry though is a stretch. I’m not sure how many Conservative you actually know, but I don’t know a single one who believes white people in an inner-city ghetto, trailer park or the backwoods deserve money for nothing, but non-white people don’t.

“Ultimately, the average Republican supports SS because he or she personally knows many of the beneficiaries are good, hardworking people and not miserable lazy slobs.”

So then why is it involuntary?

“Conversely, these people do not have many connections with food stamp beneficiaries.”

Sorry Warren, but we actually do know people who rely on government programs and we aren’t lining up at the IRS to pay more taxes for them simply because most of them are white.

“Without the personal evidence to refute it, prejudice and stereotyping take control.”

Much like you are doing here, no?

“Au Contraire, SS explicitly prohibits me from receiving benefits for at least 40 years. AND, my benefits are most likely to be a fraction of what people are getting nowadays.”

Does that somehow make you NOT a beneficiary?

“Rape, murder and the rest are felonies. Illegal immigration is a misdeneamor and conflating it with these felonies is NOT an accurate representation of the facts.”

misdemeanor
law : a crime that is not very serious : a crime that is less serious than a felony

It’s still a crime, Warren. And the facts are that those guilty of more serious crimes have the EXACT same opportunity to illegally enter our country.
The only ‘conflating’ going on is coming from those trying justify illegal immigration with ‘not all are felons.’

“There’s zero evidence that giving Latin Americans and Asians the same opportunity that was given to Europeans 100 years ago would be a problem.”

In 1916 they did not receive the same tax dollars and services they get now. In 1916 we didn’t face the terrorist threat we face today.
Would you consider oppressive taxation, cutting government services to American citizens, and mass murders to be ‘a problem.’

“It’s not ridiculous when the politically correct term is used because the PC terms always emphasize that race/creed/$ex/whatever is merely description while identity is always American/Person/Individual.”

The problem you all on the left are facing is that descriptive has taken priority over identity.

“So, the comments by Paul Ryan and other prominent Republicans condemning Trump’s comments as racist…”

Those are politicians with an agenda, not the regular people who’s votes are needed. Personally, I believe the country has moved so far left that this nonsense will wrongly be seen as actual racism and will hurt Trump. Not that it really mattered.

“I must’ve forgotten the part where certain rights are granted conditionally by the whim of government.”

Like freedom of religion? Taxation? To keep and bear arms? To property?

“Because we are a nation of immigrants, I reject the idea that an individual born overseas has fewer rights than I do on an issue so basic as deciding where to reside.”

I reject the idea that an individual born overseas somehow has been given a right to my property.

“If someone comes here, learns our language and culture, and works for many years without violating any other laws, that person is an American.”

No, they are not. There are rules for becoming an American and breaking the law to take advantage of our system is not one of them.

“Would we not be better off deporting the native born felon instead of the immigrant guilty of nothing other than a single misdemeanor?”

No. American citizens are entitled to the rights granted to them by our Constitution.

“Why did the IRA waste so much effort recruiting members in Belfast when (according to you) they would have found a much more receptive audience in Damascus?”

FFS.
Why do the Green Bay Packers recruit from college football instead of little league baseball?

Posted by: kctim at June 9, 2016 12:25 PM
Comment #405193

J2,
Allowing a minority the same opportunity as that of the majority is not special treatment. Using criteria to include one person and exclude another in order to provide something, is giving special treatment.

We changed our marriage and bathroom laws to appease one group of people over another.
Our government provides benefits, loans and grants to one group of people over another.

Posted by: kctim at June 9, 2016 12:39 PM
Comment #405194
We changed our marriage and bathroom laws to appease one group of people over another.

Which federal laws were changed? I think some conservatives in Congress may be trying to do this now but I am unaware of any other federal laws that are meant to appease one group over another. I mean allowing blacks and whites to marry only seems to give the couple equal rights special rights.


It seems to me any criminal or civil law may meet this definition so please be specific, I am wondering if perhaps you are exaggerating a bit.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 9, 2016 2:42 PM
Comment #405195

kctim,

I don’t support social security any more than I support food stamps (which is to say my support is quite weak), so there’s a lot of it that doesn’t make much sense to me. However, I continue to believe that SS has more political support than food stamps because most Americans have personal relationships with SS recipients who are not exploiting the taxpayer’s generosity. This cannot be said of food stamps as most taxpayers are rarely exposed to upright moral recipients. Instead, they only encounter the rare bad actor and the impression sticks.

You continue to claim that the average American is too stupid to figure out that SS is not an individual investment account. You cited expository writing describing SS’s “promises” and “investments”. I don’t dispute that there is a “promise” associated with SS, but I would never confuse the promise of someday becoming a beneficiary with the promise of a “return on investment”.

Faith? Yes. Ancestry though is a stretch. I’m not sure how many Conservative you actually know, but I don’t know a single one who believes white people in an inner-city ghetto, trailer park or the backwoods deserve money for nothing, but non-white people don’t.
(emphasis mine)

Notice what you did there. You described people who live lifestyles far different than your own, which I believe was quite intentional. I am guessing that conservatives railing against antipoverty programs don’t live those lifestyles either. In order for generosity to occur, a certain level of empathy must be reached between the donor and beneficiary. The Republican who supports SS, but not food stamps can empathize with the old lady down the street because the two of them share common experiences and lifestyles. However, a distant person struggling in a ghetto or backwoods trailer park does not have the same sort of connection.


The Budget makes critical investments in our domestic and national security priorities while
adhering to the bipartisan budget agreement signed into law last fall, and it lifts sequestration in
future years so that we continue to invest in our economic future and our national security

Although you cited a sentence from the introduction to the SSA’s budget, context clearly shows that the reference is to the US budget as a whole.

Does that somehow make you NOT a beneficiary?
If I die tomorrow, how many “benefits” will I have accrued? Zero. It would not be accurate to consider me a beneficiary until I actually begin receiving checks in 40 years (assuming the program still exists).
And the facts are that those guilty of more serious crimes have the EXACT same opportunity to illegally enter our country
As long as illegal immigration is nonzero, felons and innocent economic refugees will always have the same opportunity to illegally enter the country. The best solution here is to funnel those economic refugees into our legal immigration system because no matter how many walls you build, illegal immigration will never be zero.
In 1916 they did not receive the same tax dollars and services they get now. In 1916 we didn’t face the terrorist threat we face today.

You ignore the massive terrorist threat posed by European anarchist and socialists. You also ignore that immigrants pay much more in tax dollars than the services they consume.

Would you consider oppressive taxation, cutting government services to American citizens, and mass murders to be ‘a problem.’
If it were true, it would be a problem. Fortunately, taxation remains quite modest, government services have grown over the past 7 years and the homicide rate has never been lower since at least the unrest of the ’60s.
The problem you all on the left are facing is that descriptive has taken priority over identity.

Has it? Personquote textstrong> of color. Female Voter , Hispanic immigrant…

PC terminology always strives to put an individual’s humanity as the subject of its sentences. Contrast this with Trump’s language, which always puts the descriptor as the sentence’s subject.

Like freedom of religion? Taxation? To keep and bear arms? To property?
None of our these rights exist as a whim of government. They are all unalienable and endowed by our Creator. That said, sometimes two different people’s rights can come into conflict and government resolves that by deciding which right takes precedence, but that is not the same thing.
I reject the idea that an individual born overseas somehow has been given a right to my property.
They don’t. They have a right to come here, work hard and buy property of their own. Nobody advocates seizing your property and giving it to a lazy non-working immigrant.
There are rules for becoming an American and breaking the law to take advantage of our system is not one of them.
A majority of Americans think those rules ought to be changed.
American citizens are entitled to the rights granted to them by our Constitution.
Are individual rights no longer a thing? Are our rights contingent upon our membership within a certain group (Americans)? I reject the notion of group rights. All individuals have the same rights no matter their circumstances (except those lawfully convicted of serious crimes).
FFS. Why do the Green Bay Packers recruit from college football instead of little league baseball?

I know it is absurd, but that was exactly my point. Firstly, unlike little league baseball and college football, there is no relevant difference in the physical abilities of the Irish and the Syrians, so clearly you don’t understand what is going on either. Clearly, being Catholic isn’t a disincentive for Irish youth joining the IRA. It’s no different for Muslim Syrians who join DAESH. Terrorism is a tactic that has been used universally by people of all faiths and cultures when they have felt oppressed by a foe with strong military capabilities. There is nothing unique about Islamic terrorism other than the fact that it happens to be well-funded at the moment and that it has been responsible for the most recent attacks. But the existence of Islamic Terrorism is just an unfortunate function of history and current events. Subject another group of people to the same pressures and give them the same funding stream and that other group would begin seeking to terrorize American civilians just the same.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 9, 2016 3:31 PM
Comment #405199

I totally support our Social Security programs and food stamp programs. I was also told back in the ‘60’s that Social Security was not going to be there for me, by Republicans and conservatives. They could not have been more wrong and that is one of the contributing factors of my adamant objection to that same rhetoric today. It was an attempt to frighten voters into choosing the lies, deceit and dishonesty of Republicans and conservatives over Democrats and liberals, just as it was used then.

If it were left up to Republicans and conservatives I am certain Social Security would not be there for me now. It is there for me now and I believe it is there because of the hard work by Democrats and liberals to keep the idea protected from the idiocy of the Republican and conservatives nonsense. This will continue to be the case as it has benefited many, many people and will continue to do so.

Trump has ripped the curtain back from the wizard’s lair, unintentionally. Republicans and conservatives are bereft of any ideas that can help the middle class and his futile attempts to paint a different picture will become all to evident but to the most uninformed voters.

President Obama has formally endorsed Hillary Clinton for president today. I look forward to this years campaign and look for her to win the election and be our next president.

Posted by: Speak4all at June 9, 2016 4:41 PM
Comment #405202

Speak4all,

You are correct about Social Security. When it was in trouble during the 80s, it was reformed to not only address its problems at the time but to make it viable for the anticipated retirement of the baby boomers and beyond.

People, believe it or not, understood demographics in the early 80s and they were also willing to act to assure continued full benefits in the future. They were not infallible, however. One assumption made by the Greenspan Commission turned out not to be true. That assumption was that FICA taxes would capture 90% of earned income going forward as it had in the past. It did not and does not due to the skewing of increased income toward the higher income categories escaping FICA due to the cap. Address that problem by removing or raising the cap and much of the anticipated future problems will be resolved.

Social Security is a massively important issue. It is fast becoming the only defined benefit retirement plan for many Americans. The traditional pension is going the way of the dodo bird. IRAs and 401Ks were originally designed to be supplements to private pensions and SS. Now, they are fast becoming the only game in town and they are woefully inadequate to the task. They are voluntary, allow early withdrawals and loans and are subject to market fluctuations.

What is needed is not simply reform of SS but also of the IRA and 401K plans in order to maintain a reasonably funded retirement system for Americans in the future. It is hardly impossible. In fact, there is already available a functioning alternative: The two tiered Railroad Retirement System which provides SS equivalent investment and benefits (Tier One) and a private sector investment fund (Tier Two).

Posted by: Rich at June 9, 2016 6:57 PM
Comment #405205

I’m ambivalent about SS. It’s purpose has certainly shifted from what it was originally imagined to be 80 years ago. For far too many people, it ends up being a crutch, impeding people from saving for their own retirements. The demise of defined benefit retirement pensions has certainly jostled the middle class, but I don’t know if strengthening SS is the right response. Municipalities across the country are discovering the costs of defined benefit requirement pensions, which have bankrupted several local governments. Is it really fair to expect an employer to take on 100% of the marketplace risk? I don’t think so.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 9, 2016 8:45 PM
Comment #405206

Warren,

Social Security is a forced saving plan for retirement and forced premium payment for a disability and survivor benefit plan.

I would suggest that the two tiered Railroad Retirement plan is actually a better option than the current arrangement of SS and voluntary IRA and 401K plans.

With regard to the fact that such plans may be a crutch for retirement saving, GOOD. Do you really think that without such forced saving that the majority will have the discipline to adequately prepare for retirement? Even if so, there will always be a substantial minority that have not voluntarily prepared resulting in a massive social problem. SS is a social fail safe. It is indispensable.

Posted by: Rich at June 9, 2016 9:34 PM
Comment #405208
Social Security is a forced saving plan for retirement and forced premium payment for a disability and survivor benefit plan.

When it was established, SS was marketed as an insurance program to hedge against the “risk” of living to old age. Now, virtually everyone lives to be old and the insurance concept is defunct. Currently, there’s no savings involved with SS. The money I pay in FICA taxes funds the benefits of some retired person today. My benefits are conditioned on the existence worker who isn’t even born yet paying FICA taxes just as I do today.

I would suggest that the two tiered Railroad Retirement plan is actually a better option than the current arrangement of SS and voluntary IRA and 401K plans.
This is probably true. I am not going to dispute this.
Do you really think that without such forced saving that the majority will have the discipline to adequately prepare for retirement?
Nope! Many people are too stupid to plan ahead like that. Whether or not an involuntary program makes any sense is a fundamental philosophical debate. On one hand, forced participation allows the government’s relatively superior decision-making to substitute for some individuals’ inferior decision-making. On the other hand, it allows the government’s relatively inferior decision-making to substitute for some individuals’ superior decision-making. I have no idea which option has greater utility. Posted by: Warren Porter at June 9, 2016 10:46 PM
Comment #405209

The bottom line, Warren, is that a national pension, disability and survivor benefit program is not an option.

Posted by: Rich at June 9, 2016 11:31 PM
Comment #405213
For far too many people, it ends up being a crutch, impeding people from saving for their own retirements

For starters the savings rate paid by banks is what >1%, you can save forever and still not have anything. SO you cannot save for retirement unless you decide to gamble on the stock market. To think of investing in the stock market as “good decision making” or “bad decision making” is a misnomer, it is gambling.

About 17 years ago I started two UGMA accounts a few months apart then 18 months later another account, same fund, for a third grandchild. Two market crashes and costs for the mutual funds etc., the money still hasn’t even doubled for the two original accounts and the third hasn’t even made it up 50% over the time span. Timing is everything in stocks, timing and luck.

Insurance companies will let you invest in annuities and other scams, I know of a person who did for years but ended up getting screwed by the fine print in the contract when it came time to cash out the money mostly eaten up in fees and such.

Company pension plans have turned out to be wealth transfer corporate welfare plans for many people as the corporate raiders have taken the money and ran or underfunded just like city, county and state funds are doing now.

With our current economic system/wealth transfer to the rich scheme/tax policies we are seeing stagnant wages becoming the norm. Underemployed, unemployed and low wage employment is the norm for the majority of Americans, they live paycheck to paycheck one week out of work from living in the street, saving for retirement is a joke.

To tell us SS is a crutch is very elitist and inaccurate IMHO. Telling someone to go get a Masters or PHD so they can earn a better living is good for some but not everyone can be the CEO. To think SS “impedes” someone from funding their own retirement is silly Warren.

The answer for SS isn’t that hard the will to do right by the people of this country is hard. The repubs/conservatives intentionally work to destroy SS not fix it.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 10, 2016 10:18 AM
Comment #405217

Rich,

It all depends on what social contract we agree to adhere to. Without these programs, life expectancy and the financial security of the elderly would plummet. On the other hand, people would have a bit more freedom to run their own lives as they see fit when they are younger.

It remains beyond my expertise to judge whether that teeny bit of financial freedom for the young worker is worth more than the massive amount of financial security afforded to the retiree. However, I do know that Benjamin Franklin once remarked, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”

j2t2,
At risk of exposing the naivete of my youth, I will share my thoughts.

For starters the savings rate paid by banks is what >1%, you can save forever and still not have anything. SO you cannot save for retirement unless you decide to gamble on the stock market. To think of investing in the stock market as “good decision making” or “bad decision making” is a misnomer, it is gambling.

This ignores the wide array of financial investment products that are out there. In particular, US government bonds which contain none of the stock market’s risks and can pay a decent interest rate. Of course, superior decision making would lead an investor to select a diverse portfolio of investments. Only a fool would put all eggs in one basket. Some people have the smarts and sense to save enough money and to appropriately distribute the funds into stocks, corporate bonds, government bonds and other investments. It’s only gambling if you are trying to pick individual winners and losers, but if you invest in the market as a whole, you will always win in the long run (>20 yrs).

they live paycheck to paycheck one week out of work from living in the street, saving for retirement is a joke.
If SS were abolished, would it not be true that these people would no longer be living paycheck to paycheck as they would be able to keep their FICA contributions (as well as the employer’s share)? Posted by: Warren Porter at June 10, 2016 3:12 PM
Comment #405221

Warren,

Giving younger people that “teeny bit of financial freedom” would be a real mistake. Life doesn’t get less expensive as you get older, it gets substantially more expensive. Mortgages, children, divorce, unemployment, sickness, accidents, etc.

The temptation to spend every dime on keeping afloat is overwhelming for many. The forced contributions toward SS and Medicare beginning at a young age assures that there will be at least a minimal level of income and medical care for many in their retirement years.

Posted by: Rich at June 10, 2016 7:27 PM
Comment #405222
The temptation to spend every dime on keeping afloat is overwhelming for many.

Those dimes wouldn’t be spent staying afloat as these people seem to be staying above water with their current incomes. What you are actually saying is that the temptation of a higher standard of living is too great for many people who lack the discipline to save. Many Americans lack the foresight to save those dimes and will spend them on unnecessary luxuries.

I can get on board with an intellectually honest argument that society benefits when government fiat forces the young to spend money funding their elders’ retirements rather than their own luxury spending. But the idea that it is impossible for these people to conceivably save money is flat wrong.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 10, 2016 8:39 PM
Comment #405223

Perhaps the timing was bad Warren but read this link and consider the possibilities were you retiring next week with only government bonds,and whatever other investments you put your eggs into over the years, to fall back on. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing with enough of a financial cushion but with stagnant wages, temp jobs imported labor employer based insurance hikes year after year, changing careers 3 times in your lifetime and the additional schooling, getting the financial cushion is probably out of reach for most Americans.


Posted by: j2t2 at June 10, 2016 10:21 PM
Comment #405224

j2t2,

Any retirement plan that relies on high rates of return in the final years before retirement is a poor plan indeed.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 10, 2016 11:09 PM
Comment #405225

Of course it is Warren. What is worse is betting your retirement on your employers 401k program. Which was my point in my earlier comment. 18 years of letting money grow in a mutual fund managed by professionals and they cannot even double the money. Someone just starting off with little funds has only luck going for them when it comes to stocks, bonds and treasuries.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 11, 2016 12:24 AM
Comment #405226

Since its inception in 1928, the S&P 500 has averaged an annual return of roughly 10%. Inflation has been usually around 3%, so this is actually more like 7%, but it is still pretty good. At this rate, an investment will double in 10.25 years. $10,000 invested in one’s mid-twenties will be worth $150,000 40 years later when a person is in his or her mid-sixties. To reduce the risks by a market downturn shortly before retirement, one can shift the investment from stocks to government bonds. This forsakes a few years’ interest at the very end, but in exchange for financial security it is quite a good deal.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 11, 2016 2:00 AM
Comment #405230

All these other types of investments are uninsured. Gambling is based on most people losing and very few people winning, other than the operators of the system, and those who consort and collude with them. Most stocks do nothing. Even people who had solid investments paying good dividends lost half their incomes after 2008. People whose main investment was real estate lost even more, sometimes their whole investment.

Posted by: ohrealy at June 11, 2016 11:58 AM
Comment #405234

Yes, lots of people lost money in ‘08. But today, the market has regained all of those losses and then some. Anyone who desperately needed that money in the intervening years should have parked at least enough money to hold them over for the recession in a more stable investment such as US Treasury Bonds.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 11, 2016 3:04 PM
Comment #405235

In 2007, the S&P 500 peaked in value at 1565 on October 10. Today, it is 2,096. That’s a 35% return over a 8.669 years. That’s an average annual return of a hair more than 4%, which is pretty great considering we are not even a decade after worst stock market crash since 1929.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 11, 2016 7:44 PM
Comment #405236

So it seems Warren we have several ifs to deal with as we try to justify privatizing Social Security. If the average 20 year old is smart enough, If the stock market doesn’t crash at the wrong time, If you only invested in treasuries before the crash, If the treasuries didn’t crash because you and all others did the same in order to preserve capital during rough times in the stock market, IF you have enough capital to make 4% when inflation is 3%. If you are fortunate enough to do all of these investments exactly right and don’t get disabled before you retire. If your young children are self sufficient enough to start saving at 1 year old in case you pass away before you retire.

Now I’m not saying investing isn’t something you shouldn’t do, but to invest your FICA money in anything but SS isn’t prudent. Social Security is hedging your bet.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 11, 2016 8:29 PM
Comment #405237

“Now I’m not saying investing isn’t something you shouldn’t do, but to invest your FICA money in anything but SS isn’t prudent. Social Security is hedging your bet.”

Well said, jt2t.

Posted by: Rich at June 11, 2016 8:57 PM
Comment #405238

Warren, Interesting link for your perusal.

http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~adamodar/New_Home_Page/datafile/histretSP.html

Posted by: j2t2 at June 11, 2016 9:02 PM
Comment #405239
At this rate, an investment will double in 10.25 years.

So using the S&P as you suggested and starting in the stock market, as I did for 3 grandkids, in 1999 you will find that after 17 years the money still hasn’t doubled. Yet the S&P averages tell us it should have. In fact in 17 years each $1K invested should have been roughly $2.7k but that wasn’t the case.

Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest but remember it is gambling, unless you are doing mutual finds then it is gaming.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 11, 2016 9:13 PM
Comment #405242

j2t2,

OK, the economy sucked under GWB. But that is among the worst 7.5 year stretch in the history of the stock market. Only the Great Depression was worse.

But, if one adopts a very simplistic portfolio with a 50/50 split between stocks and bonds, the returns are always positive.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 12, 2016 10:40 PM
Comment #405246

But if, here we go again Warren another “if” to deal with to justify privatizing Social Security. So I’ll add another one as well, if only Wall St. were honest and worked for the clients would we have had to bail out the TBTF giants a few years back? OH here is another one, If only the USA had handled the bail out like Iceland did and jailed the banksters and bailed out the little guy….and 4% minus 3% is 1% or a savings account that doesn’t grow enough to retire upon…right? According to the link in my previous comment $100 invested in government bonds in 1928 is worth >8k today, some 90 years later. Better off just giving you money to the banksters or tithing at a church in hopes of retirement handouts IMHO.

Anyway nothing you have used to justify your position, from the perfect 20 something to the perfect market seems to pan out over time anymore. Except of course SS is still there despite the best efforts of conservatives and libertarians to destroy it.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 13, 2016 7:33 AM
Comment #405248

J2t2,

You do realize that the internal rate of return for SS is rarely more than 4 or 5 percent? Whereas the 50/50 portfolio only does that badly in the worst 10 year periods. A prudent retirement investment is made for much longer, at least 40 years. There’s no historical precedent for a 40 year period that contains more than one of these rotten 10 year spans. In fact, those rotten timed tend to be followed by excellent bull markets:

Coming off those terrible 10 year periods in the past, the subsequent annual 10 year returns ranged from solid to spectacular (in chronological order): 8.7%, 6.6%, 8.5%, 12.7%, 14.6% and a shortened 5 year 17.7% from 2009 with the rest still to be determined.
.
Granted, that’s for a pure investment in the s&p 500, but the way to invest prudently is to begin mostly in stocks and gradually shift to mostly bonds as one ages. The 50/50 is only contrived to make a comparison with SS.

Posted by: Warren Porter at June 13, 2016 8:13 AM
Comment #405266

Warren,

SS is not simply a retirement vehicle, it is also a disability and survivor benefit plan. You should think hard and long about this issue. Combined with SSI, it is the nation’s fail safe social safety net.

That said, I don’t think anyone disagrees with you about the wisdom of saving and balanced investing in the private markets for retirement. In the past, employer defined benefit pension funds with contributions from both employers and employees served this purpose. Today, there is the need for an alternative to the traditional pension plans. The most reasonable alternative, in my opinion, is the Railroad Retirement Tier Two approach which uses paycheck contributions from employers and employees to fund an independent non-profit investment trust which invests those funds in the private sector markets. In essence, what I am suggesting is a national pension fund in addition to SS rather than a replacement for SS.

Posted by: Rich at June 13, 2016 7:13 PM
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