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dps
04-21-2009, 09:05 PM
I guess its a step in the right direction.:)
What do you think?

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/04/20/obamas-spending-vs-obamas-spending-cuts-in-pictures/

David

Michael Varin
04-22-2009, 12:02 AM
I think I've lost all respect for anyone who can be fooled by political stunts such as this.

It's bad enough that we let politicians speak out against earmarks and believe they care about spending levels (earmarks are only 1-3% of the budget, and are money that has already been included), but this is really a slap in the face.

I have a question for those comfortable with answering it.

Does anyone who voted for Obama still feel good about their vote? Please, explain why/why not.

David Orange
04-22-2009, 12:51 PM
I have a question for those comfortable with answering it.

Does anyone who voted for Obama still feel good about their vote? Please, explain why/why not.

Yeah, I still feel good about voting for Obama. He's only been in office less than 100 days, so it's a bit premature to be "judging" his performance so far.

Most of the complainers, I notice, didn't make a peep while Bush was trashing the economy and the constitution.

And if I ever think I might have voted wrongly, I just think "President McCain" or "President Sarah Palin" and I know I did the right thing.

David

Marc Abrams
04-22-2009, 01:07 PM
1) The heritage foundation is a right-wing, conservative think tank. Gee, I wonder what kind of position they take.......

2) Which administration got us into this quagmire? Sorry, it was not the Obama administration, nor did the Democratic majority in the last two years of the Village Idiot's administration create this economic quagmire.

3) Both parties have prostituted themselves out to big businesses. Until lobbying, and private political donations are outlawed, no real change will occur.

4) I would vote for President Obama again. He has surrounded himself with very smart people who do not all support one ideology. So far, his administration is doing a FAR BETTER job than the previous administration in every area that I have looked at so far.

5) Earmarks only account for a very small percentage of the overall budget.

Why don't we all just sit tight and give this administration a good year to before we begin to jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, the right-wing conservatives already concluded that this administration was a failure before President Obama took the oath of office!

I NEVER supported the Bush administration. As a matter of fact, I believe that our government should give special tax assessments to the fools who voted for them. Despite my objections, I NEVER wanted this administration to fail, like the right wants.

Marc Abrams

lifeafter2am
04-22-2009, 01:10 PM
I have to agree with David and Marc. I don't get why now, all of a sudden, people are all concerned about government spending when Bush was spending left and right. For most people (not saying this is anyone here, just making a statement) they are okay with it when it is their "team" doing it. The only thing I don't agree with so far, economy wise, is giving GM more money. I know, they employ a lot of people, but they have been setting themselves up for failure for far too long. They will fall eventually, this is just a band-aid on the wound IMO.

I don't whole-heartedly agree with everything on Obama's agenda, but I side with him much more than I sided with McCain. I'm just not right-wing enough for some of the more (IMO of course) crazy right-wing issues; such as gay marriage and stem-cell research. So .... yeah, I am still happy with my vote.

David Orange
04-22-2009, 02:48 PM
Why don't we all just sit tight and give this administration a good year to before we begin to jump to conclusions. Unfortunately, the right-wing conservatives already concluded that this administration was a failure before President Obama took the oath of office!

That would be one thing, but they have actually allied to ensure that it does become a failure.

Thank God they only have like 13% of voters now!

Thanks for your comments, Marc.

David

David Orange
04-22-2009, 02:50 PM
.... yeah, I am still happy with my vote.

It will certainly take a while to clean up from the Bush debacle. Incredible that the ones who boosted that fiasco for eight years now have the nerve to point the finger! It's the inevitable jealousy that a loser feels when he sees the winner carrying on with life.

David

Marc Abrams
04-22-2009, 03:24 PM
David:

I am not that worried about the "right wing.". The neocon's proved themselves to be utter moral, theoretical and practical failures. The old school conservatives would like to "take back" the party but they represent a dying breed of closed-minded, intolerant people. The moderates in the party (some of whom are articulate people with some good ideas) are being drowned out by whiny failures like Cheney, and whiny blowhards like Rush.

As long as President Obama seeks the middle road and continues to marginalize the "far left" and "far right", he will continue to move our country in a better and ultimately healthier place in this world, despite the limitations inherent in having both parties being corrupt to the core.

I had my doubts about President Obama when he started his run for office. I have gained a lot of respect and admiration for President Obama. A person who serves our country should have our best wishes for success regardless of whether we agree with that person's position.

As an aside, since Cheney has talked about how much valuable information "harsh interrogation methods" have yielded, I suggest we subject him to those same methods in order to get him to share some information with the American public that he seems to want to keep secret. :D

Marc Abrams

James Davis
04-22-2009, 05:41 PM
I didn't vote for Obama, but I'm beginning to wonder if it matters at all. Every candidate seems to be telling me the same thing:

"No, we won't leave you alone. We will do whatever we like with your constitutional rights, and we will fill your childrens' heads with whatever beliefs we hold dear. We will ignore history and implement programs that are going to fail. We will confiscate your hard-earned money and use it to kill people who've never done a damned thing to you. We will prop up whatever murderous warlord that will allow us to build a base in his country - with your tax dollars. We will continue to reward those that vote for us, and anyone outside of our tent will be punished. We will continue to allow tax cheats and lawbreakers to go unpunished (and give them high paying jobs that your taxes pay for), while we devise new taxes and new laws that YOU must follow. We will continue buying things that we cannot afford and begging the Chinese to fund our spending. Put down that history book! Listen to us..

...because all the other parties are worse than we are!"

To quote John Galt, "Get the hell out of my way!"

Kristina Morris
05-22-2009, 04:17 PM
On a cable news channel a couple of years ago, a short segment showed former Pres. Clinton and former Pres.Bush (Sr.) out playing golf together. It pretty much summed up for me that there isn't much difference between the two except for the basic ideology

1) the Republican party stimulates the economy by borrowing and cutting taxes
2) the Democratic party stimulates the economy by spending and eventually raising taxes to cover the spending

Though both parties stink in their own special way.....

I still want to live in the U.S.A. more than any other country in the world. Obviously, by way of immigration, illegal or legal, so do a lot of other people.

Kristina

dps
05-23-2009, 07:40 AM
Obama is not changing the way President Bush handled the spending of American tax dollars. Instead of change we can count on, he is following along the same path at an accelerated rate.

Instead of changing the course or slowing down the train he is staying the course and accelerating the train to the inevitable train wreck.

* President Bush expanded the federal budget by a historic $700 billion through 2008. President Obama would add another $1 trillion.
* President Bush began a string of expensive finan­cial bailouts. President Obama is accelerating that course.
* President Bush created a Medicare drug entitle­ment that will cost an estimated $800 billion in its first decade. President Obama has proposed a $634 billion down payment on a new govern­ment health care fund.
* President Bush increased federal education spending 58 percent faster than inflation. Presi­dent Obama would double it.
* President Bush became the first President to spend 3 percent of GDP on federal antipoverty programs. President Obama has already in­creased this spending by 20 percent.

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/03/27/obamas-doubling-of-national-debt-in-pictures/

David

DH
05-25-2009, 03:10 PM
Yeah, I still feel good about voting for Obama. He's only been in office less than 100 days, so it's a bit premature to be "judging" his performance so far.

Most of the complainers, I notice, didn't make a peep while Bush was trashing the economy and the constitution.

And if I ever think I might have voted wrongly, I just think "President McCain" or "President Sarah Palin" and I know I did the right thing.

David
David
Rush, ORielly and many other talk jocks were trashing Bush all over the place for his programs and spending and deals with the Dems. You must have missed the rankor he roused in many republicans who voted for him. On many levels they felt betrayed. The comedy is people thinking these talk jocks were in bed with Bush. When many were getting slammed for being so opposed to what he was doing. Conservatism is NOT a party and its not so simplistic. It's a view and its not for sale-witness the tea pary movement with many Dems involved!

People need to realize this is not a Dem / Republican issue, Nothing delights both sides more than the voters thinking its a part issue. It keeps the dynamic going and the eys off the real issues.
They are spending our money on special interests not our interests. Bush and his "new republicans" proved they could spend more on public programs then the Dems and get us into debt on several fronts!


The general accouting office stated the senior prescription drug program alone could eventually bankrupt the treasury.
The best story I know is of a very welathy business man I deal with. He had senators and a congressman from both sides on his boat. The Dem senator said "David, if the people in this country knew what we were doing in D.C. they would come down and kill us all!"

I agree with Churchill.
"A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is as useless - and as obvious - as a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself out of it."

There are any number of ways the wealthy will avoid paying higher taxes, this to include not investing, not spending, and not creating jobs. They can afford to wait till he's gone-can we?
I have four large projects that would each his up to a few hundred people from Architects, engineers, Contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and would create jobs and pay taxed for several years. Each was funded from 6 million to 16 million dollars. Each developer pulled the plug. One of whom did so just because Obama was elected.
Its anecdotal, sure, but where and when has it become a national view.

Taxing at a high rate; capital gains, income, corporate, etc, means the very people you are going after will not spend it. It has never worked, it does not work, it never will work. When Pill-osy made a comment while discussing the wealthy on the house floor that "We need to find a way to access their money." It sent a loud and clear message. One that had ramifications past far past the wealthy. That was; she intends to spend, spend, spend, and the only way to recover from that is going to be Tax, Tax, Tax.Since the rich will not pay it....you will but it bears repeating that 35%, of something is better than 100% of nothing.
Cailfornia just lost 20 Bill. of income through taxation. It is estimated that 11 bill of that is from the wealthy and the corporations who just simply left the state. Now add New York, Massachusetts, and otherstates to a federal view. It is well known that our corporations suffer under one of the highest Tax rates in the developed world and they are leaving. The governments answer? Tax more and find a way to force them to stay and pay.
Obama...9 trillion over decades and counting will collapse the U.S. economy and turn us into the next third world country. With the stroke of a pen he will do it better, and it will be more final, than any counter culture America hating influence he was ever accused of associating with.
Cheers
Dan

Mike Sigman
05-25-2009, 05:03 PM
Good Heavens. I just read this thread and it's amazing the amount of name-calling done by people who imagine themselves of higher principle than "losers", "neocons", "close-minded", and the like. :D

I tend to agree that it's been too short to tell much about Obama, although N.Korea's setting off of a nuke this morning (and the big missile right during Obama's european trip a few weeks ago) should be enough to tell people that a number of the bad-boyz have already taken a read on Obama where they think he's on the same level as Jimmuh Carter.

However, my question would be more about what Obama has actually done that brings a question to my mind about "high principle". On about the second day Obama was in office, he signed an executive order telling unions that they no longer have to post a notice for union members to see that the union members can protest their dues being used for politics they disagree with. More recently, the Obama admin has defunded the office that investigates union leaders' financial transactions, particularly personal ones (an office that has been the source for many criminal convictions). More recently still, the Obama admin forced a number of Chrysler investors (who put up real money) to take about 30-cents on the dollar and then gave secondary/junior investors, the labor unions, 50-cents on the dollar for the Chrysler buyout. I.e., money was taken from people (actual investors) and given to unions. There is actually a law against this and lawsuits are now being drawn up. So Obama makes no bones about being in the pocket of organized-crime-controlled unions. Does that bother anyone else or is it just something to shrug off as OK because it's, well, you know, tough noogies. ;)

Dan, that was a good quote by Churchill, but Churchill only helped win the war, he didn't help win the hearts of the very liberals who unrepentently got them into WWII. ;) Here's my favorite Churchill quote:

I have taken more out of alcohol than alcohol has taken out of me.

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 11:46 AM
David
Rush, ORielly and many other talk jocks were trashing Bush all over the place for his programs and spending and deals with the Dems. You must have missed the rankor he roused in many republicans who voted for him.

I did. I missed all of that. Of course, my only exposure to Rush, O'Reilly, et al is either stories about them on the internet or when I visit my father in Atlanta and he has Fox News on the big screen. Otherwise, I ignore them. But I don't remember seeing anything about Rush or O'Reilly ever trashing GW.

On many levels they felt betrayed.

I had a column in a local weekly back in 2000. It was called "Ground Zero". When the Repubs chose Bush over McCain in the 2000 primary, I wrote about how Bush was lying around drunk in New Orleans, AWOL from the Air Guard, while McCain was being tortured for his country. I reminded both of my readers how the Repubs had scathed Clinton as a dope-smoking draft-dodger, but then turned around and chose Bush, who was exactly the same kind of thing, as their best hope for the next Presidency.

I could see the whole debacle coming from far, far in the distance.

Why would the Repubs feel betrayed when they picked a guy like that to lead them, instead of McCain? If they had actually believed anything they said about Clinton, they would have told GW to go Cheney himself and picked McCain for their candidate in 2000.

I predicted (not in that column) that Bush would get us into another war like Vietnam (didn't count on TWO wars like VN), that he would ruin the economy, that he would favor the rich on the backs of the poor and that the country would be in a shambles by the time he finished four years. I didn't count on eight years. I thought surely by the time he finished with us over four years even the die-hard GOP would be sick of him as they were with his old man. But he did even more in eight years than even I imagined.

So why didn't the GOP see this coming? I could tell what he was going to do. Why couldn't they?

And as for the economy, eight years after Bush SLASHED the tax rates for the wealthy, why did everything fall apart just as Bush was leaving?

Our economy was BOOMING from Eisenhower on into the 70s, when the wealthy were taxed at something like 90%!

Now we have a nation where corporations pay pretty much nothing, pay their employees as little as possible, simply deny any obligation to pay earned pensions, etc., etc., etc., and everything crashes down. Why did that happen?

As for me, I've been working on an idea for a long time, to build community center severe-weather shelters for all the little rural communities in Alabama where the sturdiest homes were built of chert in the 1930s and the most common home is mobile. I had an idea to bring together grants from federal, state and local sources to fund these shelters through a mix of emergency preparedness funds from FEMA, job training funds from whomever, energy efficiency funding, etc., etc., etc., to train workers to build high-energy-efficiency concrete domes by this method.

While this idea was less than totally practical a year ago, it seems tailor-made for the kinds of investments the government will be making in the next few months. So, suddenly, the time may be arriving for that idea. I still think it's a better way to spend American tax monies than lining the pockets of sheikhs in Iraq and heroin producers in Afghanistan.

If all the hoopla and lies and accusations and flowery claims of the past two years didn't bring us the best person available for the Presidency, I just can't imagine what we're going to do as a nation. I figured our American Democracy was dead when we ended up with a president selected by the Supreme Court (largely installed by the winning candidate's father) based on voting in a state where the winning candidate's brother controlled the vote (and where widespread claims of vote tampering and disenfranchisement were lodged).

But when I think of McCain and Palin running this country, I'm afraid nothing anyone says about Obama can make me worry. However bad he makes things, I just can't imagine that it wouldn't be exponentially worse with McCain and Palin in the White House.

The comedy is people thinking these talk jocks were in bed with Bush. When many were getting slammed for being so opposed to what he was doing.

Well, those talk jocks did 90% of the lying necessary to get that simpleton into the most powerful position in the world, so they deserve a lot of the blame as well as a good punch in the nose.

Conservatism is NOT a party and its not so simplistic. It's a view and its not for sale-witness the tea pary movement with many Dems involved!

With all my liberal views, I'm still a lot more conservative than most people I know in person. For me, you can't have "conservatism" without "conserve" but those who wave the "conservative" flag are the most wasteful and destructive people on the planet. Their signs are extinction, depletion, shortage, waste and the ravaged path of war. I don't see how they have helped us.

People need to realize this is not a Dem / Republican issue, Nothing delights both sides more than the voters thinking its a part issue. It keeps the dynamic going and the eys off the real issues.

I agree quite a bit with that, but come on. The past eight years were absolutely dominated by the juggernaut Republican congress and Presidency (with a Vice President who pointedly ignored all constitutional limits, responsibilities and duties to make himself almost unstoppable). And now that we have a new President, rather than admit the ruin their misguided policies have brought this nation, they think we should listen to them warning us about Obama? They think their constant obstruction of Obama is any smarter than their constant bowing to Bush? No, they are STILL injuring the nation. And to point at Obama as a beacon of abortion because he supports abortion rights, even while they mourn the loss of a man responsible for the deaths of thousands and thousands of born children in Iraq and Afghanistan is either the biggest hypocrisy or the deepest blindness possible.

They are spending our money on special interests not our interests. Bush and his "new republicans" proved they could spend more on public programs then the Dems and get us into debt on several fronts!

But since the economy has been devastated, I don't see a problem with putting the kind of "nation building" money into the United States as we put into Iraq and Afghanistan with no better result than enriching individuals who actually hate us. At least put that kind of money on our roads, bridges, schools, airports, police, fire, etc. We need to make those kinds of upgrades of the thousands of little areas of American life that have been neglected ever since Gore was elected and Bush took office.

The best story I know is of a very welathy business man I deal with. He had senators and a congressman from both sides on his boat. The Dem senator said "David, if the people in this country knew what we were doing in D.C. they would come down and kill us all!"

You should read the book "Long Rifle," by Joe LeBleu, the US sniper with the longest confirmed kill shot in the Iraq war. He was a hell of a soldier and a leader, fighting outside the bases in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Of Iraq, he said, "If the people only knew, Bush and Cheney are getting rich on this war."

Hardly what you'd call a liberal, but he knew that the whole thing was a sham for the enrichment of that class of Americans who make the most but pay, relatively, the least.

I agree with Churchill.
"A nation trying to tax itself into prosperity is as useless - and as obvious - as a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself out of it."

I don't see that Obama is raising taxes significantly.

Second, a tax increase has been long overdue since Bush cut the taxes on the wealthy and then plunged us into two quagmire wars. We spent over $700 billion on Iraq alone. And that's just the figure from the jerrymandered book-keeping the Bush administration used to cover up the true cost. It also does not count the Afghanistan war or the health care for all the veterans who have been horribly wounded and disabled over there. Nor does it count the cost of the destruction wrought by the newly-cheap and more-available-than-ever flood of Heroin in our country.

Taxes HAD to go up after Bush. There was no way around that.

There are any number of ways the wealthy will avoid paying higher taxes, this to include not investing, not spending, and not creating jobs. They can afford to wait till he's gone-can we?

I don't think it's "he" who is causing the problem. And if the wealthy don't like to pay their fair share, we really should let them move to a country where the tax rates are much lower. They already shield so much in other countries, they should live there with their money.

I have four large projects that would each his up to a few hundred people from Architects, engineers, Contractors, suppliers, manufacturers, and would create jobs and pay taxed for several years. Each was funded from 6 million to 16 million dollars. Each developer pulled the plug. One of whom did so just because Obama was elected.
Its anecdotal, sure, but where and when has it become a national view.

With the economy like it is, I'm surprised that any big projects are being carried out now. The one who pulled out because Obama was elected sounds like that doctor who wrote the nasty e-mail to her staff, accusing them of basically stabbing her in the back by voting for Obama. Don't worry about him. I think he'll be putting his money to work in the very favorable climate we're going to be enjoying a few months from now, under Obama's course.

Taxing at a high rate; capital gains, income, corporate, etc, means the very people you are going after will not spend it. It has never worked, it does not work, it never will work.

It seemed to work very well under Eisenhower, when it was about 90%. I think the wealthiest people in this nation, especially the 1-2% who own about 60% of nation's wealth, can afford to pay 39% instead of 36%.

FWIW.

David

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 12:13 PM
Just out of curiosity, David, do you realize how much of your post is involved in villifying people you don't agree with? I'd be interested to hear you argue that you're more highly principled than the people you're personally villifying. ;)

Best.

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 12:21 PM
a number of the bad-boyz have already taken a read on Obama where they think he's on the same level as Jimmuh Carter.

I think that's what they pirates holding that Captain were thinking just before they stopped thinking permanently. And I think Obama is going to fool a lot of people with that kind of attitude. But is it better to be like Jimmy Carter and not be tough enough, or is it better to be like Bush and kill many, many thousands of innocent people in a war that simply never should have been started? He was closer to Barney Fife than he was to Carter and, frankly, I'd rather have Carter.

the Obama admin forced a number of Chrysler investors (who put up real money) to take about 30-cents on the dollar and then gave secondary/junior investors, the labor unions, 50-cents on the dollar for the Chrysler buyout. I.e., money was taken from people (actual investors) and given to unions.

Was it actually "given" to the unions or was that to pay half of what the union members were actually owed--money they had earned many years ago for WORK they did, pensions and healthcare plans that existed when they did the work?

The investors watched the company going down the drain for months and years. They left their money at risk and they are lucky to get anything out of it. Just like the employees of United Airlines who were simply shafted out of money they had earned through hard work. The only difference is that the employees actually did work for those pensions and the investors simply screwed them. And for the investors, it's more like a night at a casino than any real risk to them. They lose, they don't really feel it, but the worker loses and his family is suddenly homeless. Which is really better for America?

Dan, that was a good quote by Churchill, but Churchill only helped win the war, he didn't help win the hearts of the very liberals who unrepentently got them into WWII. ;)

Interesting that right after WWII the Brits created the National Health Service (NHS) that provides excellent health care for all brits--something America should look to as a model. The Brits are far ahead of us on that.

David

David Orange
05-26-2009, 12:34 PM
Just out of curiosity, David, do you realize how much of your post is involved in villifying people you don't agree with? I'd be interested to hear you argue that you're more highly principled than the people you're personally villifying. ;)

I think that's pretty funny. The whole thread is a villification of Obama, starting before he even COULD have done anything, and in the process sweeping away all the waste and corruption that got us to the point at which Obama was elected.

So my comments are only to keep us grounded in real history. Bush DID represent EVERYTHING the republicans hated about Clinton but they elected him anyway. That's just a statement of fact. It's not me villifying Bush or the Republicans, but it's a truth that needs to be seriously considered.

Next, Joe LeBleu, whom no one could call a liberal or coward, really shreds Bush and Cheney and pretty clearly says they're war criminals who started the war in Iraq for personal enrichment. And I accept that as a fact.

I did identify Bush the day he popped up on the national scene and I predicted with absolute accuracy what a disaster his election would be for this nation.

And I am telling you now that Obama is actually very much the opposite and as much as it pains the people who felt betrayed by Bush, Obama is going to clean up the mess Bush/Cheney made and get our economy back on track. He's no "messiah." He's just our President and he's going to be one of the best ever.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
05-26-2009, 12:42 PM
Just out of curiosity, David, do you realize how much of your post is involved in villifying people you don't agree with? I'd be interested to hear you argue that you're more highly principled than the people you're personally villifying. ;)


On one of the local news forums, there's a guy who likes to flaunt how much money he has and how smart he is. And if you ever criticize the Republicans or the super wealthy, he starts harping on "Wealth Envy! Wealth Envy!"

But do we envy crack dealers? Do we envy pimps?

Don't we hate people like that, who develop a lot of money by illegal means?

Isn't it the same (or shouldn't it be) for those who make their fortunes on the backs of the poor and ignorant (like pimps and crack dealers)? Isn't it as bad to make money by immoral means as it is by illegal means?

In our society, the richest, rolling in money people have made their vast fortunes through the most immoral means and they walk free even when their methods were clearly illegal as well, because....why is that again?

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 12:50 PM
On Obama being as soft as Jimmy Carter was:
I think that's what they pirates holding that Captain were thinking just before they stopped thinking permanently. Oh, I dunno.... the fact that it took 4 days should have clued you that Obama was not being decisive, David. Read this email I got:

Having spoken to some SEAL pals here in Virginia Beach yesterday and asking why this thing dragged out for 4 days, I got the following:

1. BHO wouldn't authorize the DEVGRU/NSWC SEAL teams to the scene for 36 hours going against OSC (on scene commander) recommendation.

2. Once they arrived, BHO imposed restrictions on their ROE that they couldn't do anything unless the hostage's life was in "imminent" danger

3. The first time the hostage jumped, the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in, but could not fire due to ROE restriction

4. When the navy RIB came under fire as it approached with supplies, no fire was returned due to ROE restrictions. As the raggies were shooting at the RIB, they were exposed and the SEALS had them all dialed in.

5. BHO specifically denied two rescue plans developed by the Bainbridge CPN and SEAL teams

6. Bainbridge CPN and SEAL team CDR finally decide they have the OpArea and OSC authority to solely determine risk to hostage. 4 hours later, 3 dead raggies

7. BHO immediately claims credit for his "daring and decisive" behavior. As usual with him, it's BS.

So per our last email thread, I'm downgrading Ooh baby's performace to D-. Only reason it's not an F is that the hostage survived..

Read the following accurate account.

Philips' first leap into the warm, dark water of the Indian Ocean hadn't worked out as well. With the Bainbridge in range and a rescue by his country's Navy possible, Philips threw himself off of his lifeboat prison, enabling Navy shooters onboard the destroyer a clear shot at his captors — and none was taken.

The guidance from National Command Authority — the president of the United States , Barack H. Obama — had been clear: a peaceful solution was the only acceptable outcome to this standoff unless the hostage's life was in clear, extreme danger.

The next day, a small Navy boat approaching the floating raft was fired on by the Somali pirates — and again no fire was returned and no pirates killed. This was again due to the cautious stance assumed by Navy personnel thanks to the combination of a lack of clear guidance from Washington and a mandate from the commander in chief's staff not to act until Obama, a man with no background of dealing with such issues and no track record of decisiveness, decided that any outcome other than a "peaceful solution" would be acceptable.

After taking fire from the Somali kidnappers again Saturday night, the on scene commander decided he'd had enough.

Keeping his authority to act in the case of a clear and present danger to the hostage's life and having heard nothing from Washington since yet another request to mount a rescue operation had been denied the day before, the Navy officer — unnamed in all media reports to date — decided the AK47 one captor had leveled at Philips' back was a threat to the hostage's life and ordered the NSWC SEAL team to take their shots.

Three rounds downrange later, all three brigands became enemy KIA and Philips was safe.

There is upside, downside, and spinside to the series of events over the last week that culminated in yesterday's dramatic rescue of an American hostage.

Almost immediately following word of the rescue, the Obama administration and its supporters claimed victory against pirates in the Indian Ocean and [1] declared that the dramatic end to the standoff put paid to questions of the inexperienced president's toughness and decisiveness.

Despite the Obama administration's (and its sycophants') attempt to spin yesterday's success as a result of bold, decisive leadership by the inexperienced president, the reality is nothing of the sort. What should have been a standoff lasting only hours — as long as it took the USS Bainbridge and its team of NSWC operators to steam to the location — became an embarrassing four day and counting
standoff between a ragtag handful of criminals with rifles and a U.S. Navy warship.
Was it actually "given" to the unions or was that to pay half of what the union members were actually owed--money they had earned many years ago for WORK they did, pensions and healthcare plans that existed when they did the work? Is this a joke? Do you understand that you cannot simply *take* money from legitimate investors and give it to someone else, particularly when you threaten the investors? It's their money, David. If Chrysler bankrupts, the actual investor are the senior creditors. Property rights like that are the mainstays of the Constitution. I realize that you're going to rationalize anything Obama does, but that particular stunt was against the law and pretty much every legal scholar involved has said so. Tell me again about your outrage over things of "high principle". ;)
The investors watched the company going down the drain for months and years. They left their money at risk and they are lucky to get anything out of it. Just like the employees of United Airlines who were simply shafted out of money they had earned through hard work. The only difference is that the employees actually did work for those pensions and the investors simply screwed them. And for the investors, it's more like a night at a casino than any real risk to them. They lose, they don't really feel it, but the worker loses and his family is suddenly homeless. Which is really better for America? Holy cow. You have no idea what you're saying, so I'm going to drop this one. There has been a trend in recent years where people have been taught to believe that if they feel something strongly enough, that's the same thing as facts and law. It's not. If people want to get rid of the law, I'm fine with that, but let's all play by the same rules. Hmmmmm.... no, it appears that a lot of people want to apply different rules for themselves and any victim-class they designate. I would suggest people be cautious in wishing for the law to only be applied occasionally... it could come back to haunt.

Interesting that right after WWII the Brits created the National Health Service (NHS) that provides excellent health care for all brits--something America should look to as a model. The Brits are far ahead of us on that. I read an interesting article in one of the Brit papers in 2008 where they were bemused at the way all the articles in Brit papers detailing the horrors of Brit med care were never reported by liberal news-media in the US. Well, if you keep the truth from people I guess you can shape opinion. In Germany that was called "propaganda". In today's MSM it's called "the right thing to do". ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 12:54 PM
I think that's pretty funny. The whole thread is a villification of Obama, ...So the reason why you personally villify people is "because someone else did it"? Sort of a nostalgic excuse. I used to hear that one a lot back in grammar school. There's no excuse for personally smearing someone's character in the manner you did, David. It says far more about you than it does about them and certainly brings into question exactly whose side is supported by the higher moral principle. Can't you make an argument without the personal villification?

Regards,

Mike

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 01:08 PM
Speaking of vilification:
the SEALS had the raggies all sighted in...

I understand that these are not your words Mike, and I also understand (or at least appreciate) the context...but really now...

Best,
Ron

David Orange
05-26-2009, 01:15 PM
So the reason why you personally villify people is "because someone else did it"?

Well, what was your comment about Carter?

What was the whole eight years of republican attacks on Clinton, drawing away his very important attention and throwing monkey wrenches into his efforts to deal with the real problems of Osama bin Laden and al quaeda?

But if I point out that Bush gave the wealthy a tax cut while starting two wars that would benefit the very people who got the tax cut, that's suddenly villification?

There's no excuse for personally smearing someone's character in the manner you did, David.

Please point out which smear concerns you. Is it worse than your describing Obama as "like Jimmuh Carter?" He is also another case where the Republicans decided to destroy his presidency and were willing to ruin the nation to do it. All that goes back to the deep Republican need to revenge Nixon's fall from grace.

But is it worse for me to point out that Bush was AWOL and drunk while McCain was being tortured for his actions in Viet Nam? Or is it worse for Bush actually to DO those things? And is it worse for the Republicans to choose him over McCain? And is it worse for me to say Bush was incompetent at the war or worse for him to send good people to die (and to kill innocent people) through his incompetence?

Sorry, but the whole Republican strategy for the past fifty years has depended first and foremost on the kind of Smear Machine that told rural voters that John McCain had fathered a black child. I don't have to look back to grade school to see a much worse personal villification in the pursuit of power. At least my villification comes from nothing more than being a citizen of this country and watching the greedy, hateful and ignorant feed it to the wealthy of the world--including Saudis, Iraqis and Afghanis. Does it make it worse that I'm saying true things for pure national interest instead of telling lies to get myself elected?

Sorry, but having seen the right wing smear war for the past many decades, I don't see why I should hew to a quieter path.

David

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 01:18 PM
Speaking of vilification:

I understand that these are not your words Mike, and I also understand (or at least appreciate) the context...but really now...
Hi Ron:

Well, a pejorative is not exactly a villification, Ron, although I see your perspective. Calling someone a "raghead" is not the same thing as saying someone was laying around drunk, if you see the difference. If David had included in his remarks something about Bush being a "redneck" it probably wouldn't even have registered with me in the way that calling someone a "loser" would have.

Just as I'd enjoy a discussion sometime to hear something like "their fair share" defined, I'd also enjoy having a semantic argument about what "racist" actually means. But, hey... I enjoy discussions about semantics and etymology. ;)

Best.

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 01:21 PM
Well, what was your comment about Carter?

What was the whole eight years of republican attacks on Clinton, drawing away his very important attention and throwing monkey wrenches into his efforts to deal with the real problems of Osama bin Laden and al quaeda?

But if I point out that Bush gave the wealthy a tax cut while starting two wars that would benefit the very people who got the tax cut, that's suddenly villification?

Please point out which smear concerns you. Is it worse than your describing Obama as "like Jimmuh Carter?" He is also another case where the Republicans decided to destroy his presidency and were willing to ruin the nation to do it. All that goes back to the deep Republican need to revenge Nixon's fall from grace.

But is it worse for me to point out that Bush was AWOL and drunk while McCain was being tortured for his actions in Viet Nam? Or is it worse for Bush actually to DO those things? And is it worse for the Republicans to choose him over McCain? And is it worse for me to say Bush was incompetent at the war or worse for him to send good people to die (and to kill innocent people) through his incompetence?

Sorry, but the whole Republican strategy for the past fifty years has depended first and foremost on the kind of Smear Machine that told rural voters that John McCain had fathered a black child. I don't have to look back to grade school to see a much worse personal villification in the pursuit of power. At least my villification comes from nothing more than being a citizen of this country and watching the greedy, hateful and ignorant feed it to the wealthy of the world--including Saudis, Iraqis and Afghanis. Does it make it worse that I'm saying true things for pure national interest instead of telling lies to get myself elected?

Sorry, but having seen the right wing smear war for the past many decades, I don't see why I should hew to a quieter path.

David
Hmmmmm.... that still reads like "everyone else did it" to me. I guess it's not a subject you can debate very well, then, so I'll leave it as it stands.

Mike

thisisnotreal
05-26-2009, 01:26 PM
NOooooooo.......
Don't do it.

Can't look away.. Like a car accident happening in slow motion...
This thread, that is. ;)

For the record, they're all villains.
Davos men, CFR, Builderberger...etc..

There is a large power shift happening...that goes way beyond US politics.
My 0.02$

All the best,
Josh

p.s. just pulled up a Churchill quote page.
Apparently he said this too:

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Sir Winston Churchill

David Orange
05-26-2009, 01:33 PM
Is this a joke? Do you understand that you cannot simply *take* money from legitimate investors and give it to someone else, particularly when you threaten the investors? It's their money, David.

Sure, it's their money EXCEPT the parts they OWED to the people who had already EARNED it from them. If you do work for me and then I tell you I'm going out of business, I HAVE to pay you EVERYTHING you earned, don't I? What did those investors give the unions that the unions had not earned (through the WORK of all their members? They EARNED all their pay, all their health care, all their pensions, but they were only paid 50% of that. Is that fair?

The investors put their money on the line. They had all the inside information on the company, they went to board meetings and determined compensation for the CEO and everyone else. They couldn't see that they had more obligations than they were ever likely to be able to repay? Or that their cars were inferior?

Sorry, but they put their money at risk and lost.

The unions, however, didn't just put money at risk: they gave their bodies and did the demanding work for those investors. It's not their fault that the investors and their hired guns mismanaged the companies. They are lucky to get a penny back but the workers should have been paid in full. Getting 50%, they lost a lot more than the investors, who were just playing with spare money, the same as if they were going to the Silver Star Casino. You say it "is" "their" money. It's just too bad they hired very bad management to handle "their" money. Obama didn't do that to them.

If Chrysler bankrupts, the actual investor are the senior creditors. Property rights like that are the mainstays of the Constitution.

I think that seniority only kicks in after they've paid the workers for the actual work they've already done--and any contractural debt the company has incurred along the way to bankruptcy.

There has been a trend in recent years where people have been taught to believe that if they feel something strongly enough, that's the same thing as facts and law. It's not. If people want to get rid of the law, I'm fine with that, but let's all play by the same rules.

Sounds like you think Bush and Cheney ought to be held to the same rules as pick-pockets and crack dealers. That's what they deserve. But we've seen decades where the super rich walk away free from whatever they have done and still carrying their money.

.... no, it appears that a lot of people want to apply different rules for themselves and any victim-class they designate. I would suggest people be cautious in wishing for the law to only be applied occasionally... it could come back to haunt.

That's why we need a full and complete investigation of the start of the Iraq war, they monies paid in, the full role of Haliburton (including prosecutions for the soldiers killed by electrical errors on jobs Haliburton was paid to complete), the naming of Valerie Plame as a CIA agent and many, many, many, many other literal crimes, as well. If we follow your suggestion faithfully, Bush will eventually go to prison.

I read an interesting article in one of the Brit papers in 2008 where they were bemused at the way all the articles in Brit papers detailing the horrors of Brit med care were never reported by liberal news-media in the US.

I doubt any country on earth can compete with the United States for health care horror stories. Remember that in the US, health care catastrophes are the leading cause of personal bankruptcies. And the irony is that it's not mainly the uninsured who are ruined by these expenses:it's people who have "good" insurance but who are dropped by their insurance carrier as soon as things start going bad. Maybe Mexico could top us, but I doubt it. I think you have to go to someplace like Guatemala or maybe Khazakstan to get a worse system than we have.

David Orange
05-26-2009, 01:37 PM
Speaking of vilification:

I understand that these are not your words Mike, and I also understand (or at least appreciate) the context...but really now...


And by the way...whose words were those?

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 01:37 PM
Heck, I'm disappointed that the one factual item involving Obama, something which is already on the record (Obama and union patronage/spoils) doesn't seem to evoke any worry at all! How ephemeral are the worries about justice and law. Tsk. ;)

Mike

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 01:39 PM
Josh, I'm going to remember that one!

Mike, understood...but hey, it had to be said.

Best to all,
Ron

David Orange
05-26-2009, 01:40 PM
Well, a pejorative is not exactly a villification...

Sorry. I thought I was using perjoratives earlier.

Calling someone a "raghead" is not the same thing as saying someone was laying around drunk, if you see the difference.

I think it's just an imaginary difference used to allow you to say whatever you want but to try to discredit other people for saying very similar things.

David

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 01:43 PM
Ok, I had to check to see if I was slipping...

vil⋅i⋅fy  /ˈvɪləˌfaɪ/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [vil-uh-fahy] Show IPA
–verb (used with object), -fied, -fy⋅ing. 1. to speak ill of; defame; slander.
2. Obsolete. to make vile.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Origin:
1400–50; late ME < LL vīlificāre. See vile, -fy

Related forms:

vil⋅i⋅fi⋅ca⋅tion, noun
vil⋅i⋅fi⋅er, noun
vil⋅i⋅fy⋅ing⋅ly, adverb

Synonyms:
1. depreciate, disparage, calumniate, malign, abuse, asperse, blacken.


You decide...

B,
R

David Orange
05-26-2009, 01:46 PM
...that still reads like "everyone else did it" to me. I guess it's not a subject you can debate very well, then, so I'll leave it as it stands.

It's not at all a matter of "everyone did it to me" because really, no one has done it to me. But the Republicans have based their entire strategy on just that for the past forty or fifty years and the current mess (both economic, war-wise and in congress) is directly rooted in that.

Anyway, you really should leave it where it stands because so far you're discounting Obama before he's really done anything especially good or bad and you're also discounting all the disastrous decisions by Bush/Cheney that got us into such a horrible mess that the current president is having to take unprecedented actions to get us out of it.

Give him six months and you'll have to admit he's a far better president than either Bush and far, far better than McCain/Palin. And when it comes to war, you'll have to admit that he's a lot sharper than Bush ever will be.

David

David Orange
05-26-2009, 01:50 PM
Heck, I'm disappointed that the one factual item involving Obama, something which is already on the record (Obama and union patronage/spoils) doesn't seem to evoke any worry at all!

Why don't you lay out the union issue a little more deeply if it's that important?

And in a nation where law has been used to destroy justice, it's already gotten to the point where people don't see the point. I mean, it's been so weird to hear Bush go on and on about "the rule of law" when he was walking on the face of Justice.

That's not your strong argument, Mike. Why don't you go back to the thing about unions?

David

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 01:51 PM
Ok, I had to check to see if I was slipping...

You decide...
I decided "defame, slander" was what was going on. ;)

On the other hand:

Main Entry:2pejorative
Function:adjective
Etymology:Late Latin pejoratus, past participle of pejorare to make or become worse, from Latin pejor worse; akin to Sanskrit padyate he falls, Latin ped-, pes foot — more at FOOT
Date:circa 1888

: having negative connotations; especially : tending to disparage or belittle : DEPRECIATORY
–pe£jo£ra£tive£ly adverb

My opinion is that "belittle" is the closest idea of "redneck" or "raggies", or etc. There is not a direct attack on the personal character and habits. The idea is easy to see if you think about the difference between saying "so-and-so is a karate-clown" as opposed to "so-and-so is a drunk" (as an example).

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 01:53 PM
You decide...

But how can you "vile-ify" someone whose own actions have openly demonstrated that he is already "vile"???

I'm not sure being "perjoratived" would be better.

David

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 01:59 PM
Why don't you lay out the union issue a little more deeply if it's that important?

And in a nation where law has been used to destroy justice, it's already gotten to the point where people don't see the point. I mean, it's been so weird to hear Bush go on and on about "the rule of law" when he was walking on the face of Justice.

That's not your strong argument, Mike. Why don't you go back to the thing about unions?

DavidI laid it out what he did. Do you think he did the right thing, David? You seem to be concerned with (well, if you get rid of the character attacks) some perception of fairness and justice. Do you think hiding notices from union members that their union dues can't be used for politics they don't agree with is fair? How about de-funding the office the oversees union management spending (an office that normally prosecutes 200-250 criminal acts a year done by union members)? Do you think that speaks of the sort of ethics you agree with? Your point that investors money can be taken because it is somehow "owed" is simply a non-argument. That's like saying shoplifting is OK because rich-people shop-owners owe it to people to have their money stolen. An impossible position. However, don't forget my idea that if we're going to get rid of the law and say it doesn't count in certain instances to be named by you and your fellow believers, don't be surprised when other people pick the laws they want to ignore.

Oh, and don't get me wrong.... I simply find the times fascinating and the arguments interesting. I'm not invested enough to start name-calling as a replacement for debate.

Best.

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 02:02 PM
The idea is easy to see if you think about the difference between saying "so-and-so is a karate-clown" as opposed to "so-and-so is a drunk" (as an example).

Yes, but we all know that US Grant was a drunk. We know Babe Ruth was a drunk. What's wrong with my saying they're drunks.

We know that Bush failed to appear for his Air Guard duties (while McCain was NOT drunk and was being tortured) and we know that he was declared unfit for duty because he failed his flight physical. Further, everyone knows and GW Bush himself has admitted that he was "a drunk until 40". He has said that, himself, and that's the period I'm talking about. On top of that are the stories that go around that give you a pretty good idea of exactly where he was and what he was doing when McCain was being tortured. It's also very clear that his drinkng and drug use were far beyond anything Clinton ever engaged in and this was also well known in 2000 when the Repubs chose him over John McCain. It may be bad taste to bring it up, but it's national fact that will never go away. You can dispute parts and details of it, but the big picture is a fact: GW Bush was a drunkard who avoided the slimmest chance of ever being sent to Viet Nam (to fight) and because the Republicans jammed him into the presidency with the help of a Supreme Court beholden to GHW Bush, the economy is now in the toilet and we're still bogged down in two wars, with the unnecessary one getting the bulk of the money and materiel. In the necessary war, because Bush ignored it while focusing on his personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein, the Taliban have almost retaken the entire country. So in short, Obama has to re-win a war that we had handily one eight years ago, but which Bush allowed to slide back into near defeat.

So calling someone a redneck is a perjorative, but when someone is a well-known and thoroughly documented drunk, calling them a drunk is just the truth.

David

Ron Tisdale
05-26-2009, 02:15 PM
Ah, I miss the days of Neil and Mike. Say, whatever happened to Neil, anyway?!?

That's it for me folks, I'm going back to merrily skipping down the aiki-path...cough, so to speak.

Best,
Ron (and no, that was not pejorative...) :eek:

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 02:17 PM
Yes, but we all know that US Grant was a drunk. We know Babe Ruth was a drunk. What's wrong with my saying they're drunks. Other than it lacks class, I'd say that attacking a person rather than debating issues is what's wrong with it. I could say "we know you are a so-and-so, David... it's obvious from your posts... so what's wrong with calling you a so-and-so?". You see the point. The argument/debate then becomes ad hominem and unproductive.
We know that Bush failed to appear for his Air Guard duties (while McCain was NOT drunk and was being tortured) and we know that he was declared unfit for duty because he failed his flight physical. No, we don't "know" that, David. You're offering your interpretation of events as facts. It's like the standard "Bush lied" stuff that, when you pin it down, turns out to really be "in my opinion Bush lied at this point", and not a real example of "Bush lied" after all. Further, everyone knows and GW Bush himself has admitted that he was "a drunk until 40". He has said that, himself, and that's the period I'm talking about. OK, there's an actual fact you're presenting using quotation marks. So let's see. Show me where Bush admitted that he was "a drunk until 40". Let's see the citation. On top of that are the stories that go around .... "The stories that go around"???? More from the high moral ground, I suppose. It's also very clear that his drinkng and drug use were far beyond anything Clinton ever engaged in and this was also well known in 2000 when the Repubs chose him over John McCain. It may be bad taste to bring it up, but it's national fact that will never go away. You can dispute parts and details of it, but the big picture is a fact: GW Bush was a drunkard who avoided the slimmest chance of ever being sent to Viet Nam (to fight) and because the Republicans jammed him into the presidency with the help of a Supreme Court beholden to GHW Bush, the economy is now in the toilet and we're still bogged down in two wars, with the unnecessary one getting the bulk of the money and materiel. In the necessary war, because Bush ignored it while focusing on his personal vendetta against Saddam Hussein, the Taliban have almost retaken the entire country. So in short, Obama has to re-win a war that we had handily one eight years ago, but which Bush allowed to slide back into near defeat. Well, all that story proves is that the Far Left has some fine people indeed representing it, David. ;)

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 02:20 PM
Ah, I miss the days of Neil and Mike. Say, whatever happened to Neil, anyway?!?

That's it for me folks, I'm going back to merrily skipping down the aiki-path...cough, so to speak.
Sheesh, Ron... don't go running off when I've got a live one on the hook!!! :D

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 02:20 PM
Your point that investors money can be taken because it is somehow "owed" is simply a non-argument. That's like saying shoplifting is OK because rich-people shop-owners owe it to people to have their money stolen. An impossible position.

Sorry, Mike, but that is the baloniest re-framing I've ever seen.

You work for me, I owe you the money.

The union worked for the investors. The investors owe them the money.

There's no way you can get out of that by logic or even by saying it's like "stealing" the money from the rich. Once a man gives you a portion of his LIFE, working for you, you OWE him every penny he earned, even if you are down to your last penny. You HAVE to pay him for work he's already done. That is a more basic truth of America than anything else you've put forth but the law itself has been used to screw thousands and thousands.

I'll be glad to hear the cries of the rich AFTER they pay what they owe. They don't pay taxes, they don't pay wages, they don't pay health care but they cry. Please.

However, don't forget my idea that if we're going to get rid of the law and say it doesn't count in certain instances to be named by you and your fellow believers, don't be surprised when other people pick the laws they want to ignore.

Mike, I know you've been mainly in the US for the past several years because I've been arguing with you for at least three years. So don't tell me you haven't seen Bush et al cherry-picking facts, laws, "executive signing statements" and everything else that proves that American law is ONLY for the poor. People like Bush simply ignore it and the super wealthy pay a congressman to make it go away. So we've been in that place where YOUR fellow believers have picked and chosen the laws they want to ignore. We've already been there for years. You just seem to dislike it when EVERYONE gets to ignore those laws they don't like.

David

Oh, and don't get me wrong.... I simply find the times fascinating and the arguments interesting. I'm not invested enough to start name-calling as a replacement for debate.

Best.

Mike[/QUOTE]

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 02:45 PM
The union worked for the investors. The investors owe them the money. No, David, the union did not work for the investors and there was never any legal contract saying such an absurd thing. The union worked for Chrysler and they had contracts with Chrysler for future benefits ("legacy costs"); those legacy costs make the unions "junior creditors" under the law. The investors are people who gave Chrysler money, but Chrysler contractually obligated to give something in return for the money; the investors are thus senior creditors. There is such a thing as a legal "contract" any you're supplanting that fact and law (supported by the contracts clause in the U.S. constitution) with your emotional belief about who owes what to whom.

Wait a sec... I just found a good article when I was searching for "contracts clause" and it's about the very Chrysler situation itself:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124217356836613091.html

As I said, you're simply wrong about the facts, regardless of how emotionally invested you are in the idea. Taking money from investors and then giving it to junior creditors is against the law. I.e., Obama broke the law. There are now lawsuits filed. What you haven't thought through very clearly is who those "investors" that you so easily dislike are: it turns out in this case that the investors are ultimately people like school teachers and cops who have invested their retirement funds into Chrysler. So you're now saying it's fine to steal the life-savings of teachers and cops as long as it's the UAW pals of Obama who paved his way into the presidency? High moral principles indeed, David.

BTW.... everything I'm laying out here is supported by facts. Question what you'd like. But please don't continue to argue using assertions and personal inferences in place of facts. Your argument, for instance, of who "owed" money to the UAW was not supported by anything other than emotion and belief. I don't consider that much of a debate position.

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 02:52 PM
Other than it lacks class, I'd say that attacking a person rather than debating issues is what's wrong with it.

Well, blame your Republican heroes for creating the current milleu in which lack of class and attacking people far more vigorously than issues is standard fare. And no one advanced that vile art more than GW Bush and Karl Rove and Dick Cheney.

I could say "we know you are a so-and-so, David... it's obvious from your posts... so what's wrong with calling you a so-and-so?".

If you could find where I said publicly, "I was nothing but a so and so until the age of forty," you might have something going there. If I said it about myself, or if there was appropriate other documentation, you would be correct to say it. George Bush admitted that he was a very bad drunk "until he was forty," supposedly. And since that's the time I'm talking about, it's a fact and it bears on the situation. It shows that although they cried, "Character counts!" the people who backed Bush clearly had NO sense of character. In fact, Bush's whole campaign was that he had overcome his general worthlessness around the age of forty and found Jesus, but all his actions after the election involve lots of people dying--most who had done nothing at all to anyone, and certainly nothig to do with 9/11. So character IS a main issue anytime the subject of George Bush comes up because it was the Republicans' MAIN issue when they were electing him.

No, we don't "know" that, David. You're offering your interpretation of events as facts.

No, Mike. We DO KNOW that GW Bush was absent from much of his Air Guard service and that he was declared unfit for duty for failing flight physical. We "don't" know that it was for alcohol and there is much speculation that it was not alcohol at all but cocaine that had him in such sorry condition that he failed his flight physical.

OK, there's an actual fact you're presenting using quotation marks. So let's see. Show me where Bush admitted that he was "a drunk until 40". Let's see the citation.

Without exhausting search, here's a quick reference that returned for "George Bush + drunk":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush_substance_abuse_controversy

A quote from that article:

"Although Bush states that he was not an alcoholic, he has acknowledged that he was "drinking too much",[1] and that he couldn't remember a day when he hadn't had a drink, including his stay at Phillips Academy, where not only was he underage but alcohol was prohibited on campus, as well as at Yale University where, conversely, "hard drinking" was considered a badge of honor."

and

"On September 4, 1976 (age 30), Bush was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his family's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He admitted his guilt, was fined US$150, and had his driving license in the state suspended for two years, although the White House had claimed 30 days."

So maybe it was just the "White House" that lied in this case, and not GW, himself? You think?

A little more:

"During the 2000 presidential campaign, Bush said that he gave up drinking after waking up with a hangover after his 40th birthday celebration: "I quit drinking in 1986 and haven't had a drop since then." He ascribed the change in part to a 1985 meeting with Reverend Billy Graham, after which he began serious Bible study, as well as to gentle but persistent pressure from his wife, Laura.[5][6][7] Friends recall that Bush said nothing of his decision, even to Laura, until many weeks later when they realized that he had not had so much as a single beer in the interim."

And:

""An editorial letter by Graydon Carter in Vanity Fair for January 2008 quotes a new book about Bush:

"a new book by former British foreign secretary Lord Owen may supply a clue. In The Hubris Syndrome: Bush, Blair, and the Intoxication of Power (ISBN 1842752197), Owen recalls the time in 2002 when the commander in chief collapsed while sitting on a sofa watching a football game. (Official cause: he'd choked on a pretzel.) The presidential head hit a table on the way to the floor, he suffered an abrasion on the left side of his face, and a blood sample was rushed to Johns Hopkins [Hospital] , in Baltimore. Owen says he was told by a British doctor who had visited Johns Hopkins that lab technicians there found that the blood contained significant amounts of alcohol."[8]""

"The stories that go around"???? More from the high moral ground, I suppose.

Nah, just a bunch of crap by people who know him closely and personally and talk about it to some reporter--or just an international news correspondent who actually watches Bush in action. Just eyewitness accounts and such.

So while I have not uncovered the "I was a total, loser drunk until I was forty years old" statement quoting Bush, I think the Wikipedia article gives a great picture of a drunk and drug abuser who somehow bamboozled the Christians of this country into believing that he was "reformed". And the state of the nation today shows us more about his true character than all the campaign slogans the Republicans could produce.

Character does count and Bush is one character who should have been counted "OUT" in 2000. You and your kids and I and my kids and all our grandchildren will be paying for Bush's actions of bad character for decades to come.

David

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 03:04 PM
[[snip more one-sided charges. Every heard of "Bork"?]]
No, Mike. We DO KNOW that GW Bush was absent from much of his Air Guard service and that he was declared unfit for duty for failing flight physical. We "don't" know that it was for alcohol and there is much speculation that it was not alcohol at all but cocaine that had him in such sorry condition that he failed his flight physical. I don't "KNOW" any of that, David. Again, you're asserting something as true. "Absent from much of his Air Guard service"? I'll bet you're fabricating that. Cite please.
Without exhausting search, here's a quick reference that returned for "George Bush + drunk":

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Bush_substance_abuse_controversy So in other words your quotation saying that Bush admitted he was a drunk was false. That's not what that obviously partisan article says at all. At best, that article says that Bush admitted he drank too much when he was young. Bear in mind that I'm not a Bush-fan, David, but when you wrongfully smear someone's reputation, I'd suggest you simply own up to it rather than continue to justify it. Your quotation was wrong.

The main thing I tried to say, a few posts back, was that the amount of venom and personal attack, even hatred, don't do a lot to assure me that you're more principled than the people that you're personally villifying. Can't you build an argument around something other than personal destruction?

Regards,

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 03:07 PM
Wait a sec... I just found a good article when I was searching for "contracts clause" and it's about the very Chrysler situation itself:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124217356836613091.html



I'll read that, but remembering how WSJ has slandered the auto workers for the past several months, I won't be surprised by anything they say.

And, again, these are not "ordinary" times. So much public money has gone into so many private concerns that we're having to balance a LOT of things that have gotten way out of balance during the past eight years when the rich saw their taxes fall by enough to buy autoworkers' children by the dozen. This can't be taken as an ordinary incident in ordinary times. The vast bail-outs of so many companies were justified as necessary to prevent job losses on vast scales. The decision in the Chrysler case has to be something like that. How is it better to comfort the investors and have the thousands of workers both lose their jobs AND their pensions they had already PAID for in labor?

I guess we'll have to let the courts rule on this issue.

But really, we've let the real criminals slither off into the sunset and you are pointing up quite minor and questionable issues compared to the crook you just let go. Not impressive.

David

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 03:13 PM
I'll read that, but remembering how WSJ has slandered the auto workers for the past several months, I won't be surprised by anything they say.

And, again, these are not "ordinary" times. So much public money has gone into so many private concerns that we're having to balance a LOT of things that have gotten way out of balance during the past eight years when the rich saw their taxes fall by enough to buy autoworkers' children by the dozen. This can't be taken as an ordinary incident in ordinary times. The vast bail-outs of so many companies were justified as necessary to prevent job losses on vast scales. The decision in the Chrysler case has to be something like that. How is it better to comfort the investors and have the thousands of workers both lose their jobs AND their pensions they had already PAID for in labor?

I guess we'll have to let the courts rule on this issue.

But really, we've let the real criminals slither off into the sunset and you are pointing up quite minor and questionable issues compared to the crook you just let go. Not impressive.

DavidSo you're not even going to admit that you were wrong about the investors owing money to the UAW? And I note you're opting to avoid acknowledging that the "investors" include union members like schoolteachers and cops. That's rather selective argumentation, David.

Mike

lbb
05-26-2009, 03:24 PM
Sure, it's their money EXCEPT the parts they OWED to the people who had already EARNED it from them. If you do work for me and then I tell you I'm going out of business, I HAVE to pay you EVERYTHING you earned, don't I?
That depends on how you go out of business. If you go Chapter 7, the answer is no (not even if you put it in caps). My one option is to get in line with the rest of your creditors, but as an ordinary employee, my chances of getting anything out of the deal are somewhere between "extremely slim" and "none".

David Orange
05-26-2009, 03:30 PM
"Absent from much of his Air Guard service"? I'll bet you're fabricating that. Cite please.

here's a summary by Salon of the results of extensive FOIA requests made by the Associated Press:

Associated Press did the most work on the issue, filing a whole slew of FOIA requests and lawsuits to get the necessary docs. Salon summarized their findings.

Upon being accepted for pilot training, Bush promised to serve with his parent (Texas) Guard unit for five years once he completed his pilot training.
But Bush served as a pilot with his parent unit for just two years.

In May 1972 Bush left the Houston Guard base for Alabama. According to Air Force regulations, Bush was supposed to obtain prior authorization before leaving Texas to join a new Guard unit in Alabama.
But Bush failed to get the authorization.

In requesting a permanent transfer to a nonflying unit in Alabama in 1972, Bush was supposed to sign an acknowledgment that he received relocation counseling.
But no such document exists.

He was supposed to receive a certification of satisfactory participation from his unit.
But Bush did not.

He was supposed to sign and give a letter of resignation to his Texas unit commander.
But Bush did not.

He was supposed to receive discharge orders from the Texas Air National Guard adjutant general.
But Bush did not.

He was supposed to receive new assignment orders for the Air Force Reserves.
But Bush did not.

On his transfer request Bush was asked to list his "permanent address."
But he wrote down a post office box number for the campaign he was working for on a temporary basis.

On his transfer request Bush was asked to list his Air Force specialty code.
But Bush, an F-102 pilot, erroneously wrote the code for an F-89 or F-94 pilot. Both planes had been retired from service at the time. Bush, an officer, made this mistake more than once on the same form.

On May 26, 1972, Lt. Col. Reese Bricken, commander of the 9921st Air Reserve Squadron at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, informed Bush that a transfer to his nonflying unit would be unsuitable for a fully trained pilot such as he was, and that Bush would not be able to fulfill any of his remaining two years of flight obligation.
But Bush pressed on with his transfer request nonetheless.

Bush's transfer request to the 9921st was eventually denied by the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver, which meant he was still obligated to attend training sessions one weekend a month with his Texas unit in Houston.
But Bush failed to attend weekend drills in May, June, July, August and September. He also failed to request permission to make up those days at the time.

According to Air Force regulations, "[a] member whose attendance record is poor must be closely monitored. When the unexcused absences reach one less than the maximum permitted [sic] he must be counseled and a record made of the counseling. If the member is unavailable he must be advised by personal letter."
But there is no record that Bush ever received such counseling, despite the fact that he missed drills for months on end.

Bush's unit was obligated to report in writing to the Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base whenever a monthly review of records showed unsatisfactory participation for an officer.
But his unit never reported Bush's absenteeism to Randolph Air Force Base.

In July 1972 Bush failed to take a mandatory Guard physical exam, which is a serious offense for a Guard pilot. The move should have prompted the formation of a Flying Evaluation Board to investigation the circumstances surrounding Bush's failure.
But no such FEB was convened.

Once Bush was grounded for failing to take a physical, his commanders could have filed a report on why the suspension should be lifted.
But Bush's commanders made no such request.

On Sept. 15, 1972, Bush was ordered to report to Lt. Col. William Turnipseed, the deputy commander of the 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group in Montgomery, Ala., to participate in training on the weekends of Oct. 7-8 and Nov. 4-5, 1972.
But there's no evidence Bush ever showed up on those dates. In 2000, Turnipseed told the Boston Globe that Bush did not report for duty. (A self-professed Bush supporter, Turnipseed has since backed off from his categorical claim.)

However, according to the White House-released pay records, which are unsigned, Bush was credited for serving in Montgomery on Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 11-14, 1972. Those makeup dates should have produced a paper trail, including Bush's formal request as well as authorization and supervision documents.
But no such documents exist, and the dates he was credited for do not match the dates when the Montgomery unit assembled for drills.

When Guardsmen miss monthly drills, or "unit training assemblies" (UTAs), they are allowed to make them up through substitute service and earn crucial points toward their service record. Drills are worth one point on a weekday and two points on each weekend day. For Bush's substitute service on Nov. 13-14, 1972, he was awarded four points, two for each day.
But Nov. 13 and 14 were both weekdays. He should have been awarded two points.

Bush earned six points for service on Jan. 4-6, 1973 -- a Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
But he should have earned four points, one each for Thursday and Friday, two for Saturday.

Weekday training was the exception in the Guard. For example, from May 1968 to May 1972, when Bush was in good standing, he was not credited with attending a single weekday UTA.
But after 1972, when Bush's absenteeism accelerated, nearly half of his credited UTAs were for weekdays.

To maintain unit cohesiveness, the parameters for substitute service are tightly controlled; drills must be made up within 15 days immediately before, or 30 days immediately after, the originally scheduled drill, according to Guard regulations at the time.
But more than half of the substitute service credits Bush received fell outside that clear time frame. In one case, he made up a drill nine weeks in advance.

On Sept. 29, 1972, Bush was formally grounded for failing to take a flight physical. The letter, written by Maj. Gen. Francis Greenlief, chief of the National Guard Bureau, ordered Bush to acknowledge in writing that he had received word of his grounding.
But no such written acknowledgment exists. In 2000, Bush spokesman Dan Bartlett told the Boston Globe that Bush couldn't remember if he'd ever been grounded.

Bartlett also told the Boston Globe that Bush didn't undergo a physical while in Alabama because his family doctor was in Houston.
But only Air Force flight surgeons can give flight physicals to pilots.

Guard members are required to take a physical exam every 12 months.
But Bush's last Guard physical was in May 1971. Bush was formally discharged from the service in November 1974, which means he went without a required physical for 42 months.

Bush's unsatisfactory participation in the fall of 1972 should have prompted the Texas Air National Guard to write to his local draft board and inform the board that Bush had become eligible for the draft. Guard units across the country contacted draft boards every Sept. 15 to update them on the status of local Guard members. Bush's absenteeism should have prompted what's known as a DD Form 44, "Record of Military Status of Registrant."
But there is no record of any such document having been sent to Bush's draft board in Houston.

Records released by the White House note that Bush received a military dental exam in Alabama on Jan. 6, 1973.
But Bush's request to serve in Alabama covered only September, October and November 1972. Why he would still be serving in Alabama months after that remains unclear.

Each of Bush's numerous substitute service requests should have formed a lengthy paper trail consisting of AF Form 40a's, with the name of the officer who authorized the training in advance, the signature of the officer who supervised the training and Bush's own signature.
But no such documents exist.

During his last year with the Texas Air National Guard, Bush missed nearly two-thirds of his mandatory UTAs and made up some of them with substitute service. Guard regulations allowed substitute service only in circumstances that are "beyond the control" of the Guard member.
But neither Bush nor the Texas Air National Guard has ever explained what the uncontrollable circumstances were that forced him to miss the majority of his assigned drills in his last year.

Bush supposedly returned to his Houston unit in April 1973 and served two days.
But at the end of April, when Bush's Texas commanders had to rate him for their annual report, they wrote that they could not do so: "Lt. Bush has not been observed at this unit during the period of this report."

On June 29, 1973, the Air Reserve Personnel Center in Denver instructed Bush's commanders to get additional information from his Alabama unit, where he had supposedly been training, in order to better evaluate Bush's duty. The ARPC gave Texas a deadline of Aug. 6 to get the information.
But Bush's commanders ignored the request.

Bush was credited for attending four days of UTAs with his Texas unit July 16-19, 1973. That was good for eight crucial points.
But that's not possible. Guard units hold only two UTAs each month -- one on a Saturday and one on a Sunday. Although Bush may well have made up four days, they should not all have been counted as UTAs, since they occur just twice a month. The other days are known as "Appropriate Duty," or APDY.

On July 30, 1973, Bush, preparing to attend Harvard Business School, signed a statement acknowledging it was his responsibility to find another unit in which to serve out the remaining nine months of his commitment.
But Bush never contacted another unit in Massachusetts in which to fulfill his obligation.

This Associated Press story also highlights the White House's shifting explanations (er, lies) trying to explain Bush's refusal to meet his obligations.

There you have it. The record of a shirker in whose place others were sent to Vietnam. A shirker who sent other people who HAD fulfilled their duties on forced extended tours in Iraq while letting Afghanistan slide back into the hands of the enemy.

David

David Orange
05-26-2009, 03:36 PM
So in other words your quotation saying that Bush admitted he was a drunk was false.

No. That's just the first article that came up. And I just glanced through it. There's thousands of tons of information on Bush and I just haven't had time to look through it all. I remember reading where he said he was a drunk until he was 40 and I'm going to continue looking for the quote.

That's not what that obviously partisan article says at all. At best, that article says that Bush admitted he drank too much when he was young.

So how's it a "partisan article"? When you've lived that kind of life, there's bound to be lots of stories like that about you. And how many people accumulate such voluminous lore of that type without being rather a low life?

Bear in mind that I'm not a Bush-fan, David, but when you wrongfully smear someone's reputation, I'd suggest you simply own up to it rather than continue to justify it. Your quotation was wrong.

The quotation may or may not be exact, but the big picture supports my statement.

The main thing I tried to say, a few posts back, was that the amount of venom and personal attack, even hatred, don't do a lot to assure me that you're more principled than the people that you're personally villifying. Can't you build an argument around something other than personal destruction?

Mike, the whole argument is that Bush was elected by people who trumpeted his wonderful "character" even though there was plenty of evidence that he was NOT that kind of positive character at all.

And again, the sorry state of the nation today proves my point.

David

David Orange
05-26-2009, 03:51 PM
So you're not even going to admit that you were wrong about the investors owing money to the UAW? And I note you're opting to avoid acknowledging that the "investors" include union members like schoolteachers and cops.

It's a simplification for discussion purposes, otherwise you'd have to say "you're not even going to admit that you were wrong about the contracturally secured lenders of capital funds to Chrysler owing money to the party of the second part, constituting lawyers, union officials, ......" etc.

The "investors" themselves did not personally owe anything to the individual union members, but you can't divide up a pie among three people when someone else had already paid for a fourth or a half of that pie. The investors didn't pay anything to the union. They just got less out of the pie pan than they wanted.

As for who the investors were, I don't think it matters. Whenever you invest money, you're putting it at risk of ...Oh....I don't know: not getting it back, maybe?

I'm not saying auto workers should be paid severance or continuing benefits (necessarily). The risk workers take is that one day the company could terminate their jobs. They can devote their lives to the company and once they get too old to get another job, their company could go out of business or lay them off. Their risk is whether they will have continued employment in the future.

But there should be no divvying up of "what's left" until all the people who have actually EARNED a piece have been paid.

If you invest in a business, you owe it to yourself to know what's going on and if it continues to be a good investment as time goes by. If you let the board pay the CEO 475 times the salary of the average employee of the company, you ought to know something will go wrong. The investors should have recognized that Chrysler was sinking long ago. But don't try to screw people out of money they actually worked for. Don't screw them out of pensions they worked for. And don't screw them out of health care they were offered and which they paid for through labor.

I believe the courts will end up supporting Obama on this because in this unusual time (caused by eight years of rule by the super wealthy), he had to balance the interests of both the investors and the workers. It's not good for investors to lose money, but it's also very wrong to give them 100% and let them walk away from thousands and thousands of families who suddenly have nothing they thought they had earned with honest work. I'm not too concerned about this issue at all.

David

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 04:15 PM
here's a summary by Salon of the results of extensive FOIA requests made by the Associated Press:
So Salon, a far-left magazine pieced together some reportage in a far-left anti-Bush fashion and that's what you're giving to me? Do you ever get embarrassed enough to wonder whether the side you're own is really the side of the higher moral ground, David? ;)

Here's what I asked you for:

"Absent from much of his Air Guard service"? I'll bet you're fabricating that. Cite please.

So what I'm going to do is snip out the whole long Salon hit-job (documents they couldn't find are always "no such documentation exists")? Every time? Stoppit. Be man enough to be a little embarrassed.

OK, so now in answer to the direct question I made about the *assertion* you made about being absent from "much" of his Air (National) Guard service, we have:

Upon being accepted for pilot training, Bush promised to serve with his parent (Texas) Guard unit for five years once he completed his pilot training.
But Bush served as a pilot with his parent unit for just two years.
and

But Bush failed to attend weekend drills in May, June, July, August and September. He also failed to request permission to make up those days at the time. So out of all that whole long story we have that Bush missed weekend drills (once a month, IIRC) in 5 months. But you said that Bush was absent from "much" of his National Guard service. In other words, your statement was wrong. Again.

So again, I ask how it is that your facts, which include personal attacks on people, turn out to be consistently wrong when challenged. Who is the bad guy here? You or the people you're trying to destroy via their reputations? Maybe you don't see the point, David, but I still think that my suggestion to avoid personal attack and stick to facts is the better road to go. Obviously your opinion differs.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
05-26-2009, 04:21 PM
Hmmmmmm.... I see I'm at risk of arrest by the Dept of Wildlife for shooting fish in a barrel, so I'll cease on that part of it.

Anyone else willing to justify the union stuff that is on the record so far? BTW, given how small a percentage of the US labor force is unionized, I take exception with the union people being lumped in with "American workers" the way Obama does it. It's deliberately misleading. Besides, one point which many people never stop to think about is that forcing the U.S. consumer to pay for more union work or products actually doesn't help the consumer, it penalizes them because of the higher cost of union labor, etc. If you help unions forcing people to support them, it certainly falls on the backs of the actual "poor" and statistically larger "American worker" force because they have to pay more for products.

FWIW

Mike

David Orange
05-26-2009, 04:53 PM
So Salon, a far-left magazine pieced together some reportage in a far-left anti-Bush fashion and that's what you're giving to me?

It's not near as sorry as what Bush has given you, yet you defend him. The article summarized AP's FOIA findings.

Do you ever get embarrassed enough to wonder whether the side you're own is really the side of the higher moral ground, David? ;)

Sure. But then I just look around and remember the past eight years and I realize that you can't get lower than Bush/Cheney/Rove/Gonzalez. You can't be a worse judge of character than someone who would vote for George Bush because "Character counts."

So out of all that whole long story we have that Bush missed weekend drills (once a month, IIRC) in 5 months. But you said that Bush was absent from "much" of his National Guard service. In other words, your statement was wrong. Again.

He was absent from much of his service, he refused to take his flight physical and he was declared unfit for service. Those are facts.

So again, I ask how it is that your facts, which include personal attacks on people, turn out to be consistently wrong when challenged. Who is the bad guy here? You or the people you're trying to destroy via their reputations?

How can I destroy George Bush's reputation?

Did he get Osama Bin Laden? No.

Did Haliburton rake in giant winfalls from the war in Iraq? Yes.

Did Iraq have the WMDs we went to neutralize? NO.

The best you can say about Bush is that he was a party hound, drunk until he was forty and a big user of illicit drugs. You can deny that until the cows come home, but it's true. And the sorry state of the nation today results from eight years of his rule-for-the-rich, including starting a war to enrich himself and Cheney and their wealthy friends at the cost of thousands of fathers of families. He has no reputation to destroy. He's too well known for all this to be denied. The sorry state of the nation today is because people elected a bad character while telling us "character counts."

David Orange
05-26-2009, 04:59 PM
...given how small a percentage of the US labor force is unionized, I take exception with the union people being lumped in with "American workers" the way Obama does it. It's deliberately misleading.

Problem is, most of the big industries that are getting bailed out have two major things in common: the employees are all union workers; and the CEOs are overpaid by at leas a factor of 100. So yeah, we still have to consider the union workers representative of American workers, especially in the major industrial companies that have been getting the bail-outs and even in Chrysler, whose total demise would be bad, but which would be worse if all the workers took too big a hit.

Besides, one point which many people never stop to think about is that forcing the U.S. consumer to pay for more union work or products actually doesn't help the consumer, it penalizes them because of the higher cost of union labor, etc. If you help unions forcing people to support them, it certainly falls on the backs of the actual "poor" and statistically larger "American worker" force because they have to pay more for products.

Odd, but most people would not mind paying the worker and would more likely find fault with a Board of Directors that focuses on paying the CEO as much as they possibly can and making products that are sure to drive them into eventual bankruptcy.

No question that the union complicates the business equation and that unions will sometimes strangle the company that they depend on. But that's irrelevant in this discussion because bad management over more than twenty years is what sunk them. I'm just glad the leisure class didn't just siphon off all the money and leave the workers with nothing of their actual earnings.

David

David Orange
05-26-2009, 05:01 PM
I ask how it is that your facts, which include personal attacks on people, turn out to be consistently wrong when challenged.

You can nit-pick the details, but the overall picture remains. Bush/Cheney are war criminals as well as economic criminals but the system is set up such that they will never answer for their crimes.

Who is the bad guy here? You or the people you're trying to destroy via their reputations? Maybe you don't see the point, David, but I still think that my suggestion to avoid personal attack and stick to facts is the better road to go.

Gee, pot. I feel that you've blackened me. Yours truly, kettle.

HL1978
05-26-2009, 05:19 PM
But if I point out that Bush gave the wealthy a tax cut while starting two wars that would benefit the very people who got the tax cut, that's suddenly villification?



I thought everyone got a tax cut under Bush. I wasn't in the top rate during the first round of tax cuts, but I remember everyone's rates falling, not just top income earners.

Also, given that the "rich" pay a majority of taxes anyways under our current system and therefore be the primary beneficary of any tax cut? It is hard to cut income taxes for those who do pay little or no income (not FICA) taxes.

Now with regards to wether it is the right choice to massively increase spending in a downward economy or if it was the right choice last time around to give tax cuts in the middle of a downwards economy, followed by later cuts around the time we went to war is certainly a matter of debate, but it is disingenious to only state that Bush only gave the wealthy a tax cut.

lbb
05-26-2009, 05:20 PM
I thought everyone got a tax cut under Bush. I wasn't in the top rate during the first round of tax cuts, but I remember everyone's rates falling, not just top income earners.

Didn't work that way. You got a one-time check from the gummint; your rate didn't change if you weren't a heavy hitter.

David Orange
05-26-2009, 06:17 PM
I thought everyone got a tax cut under Bush. I wasn't in the top rate during the first round of tax cuts, but I remember everyone's rates falling, not just top income earners.

It is true, BUT as they say, the rich got enough difference to buy a Porsche while the average American got enough to pay for a muffler.

Also, given that the "rich" pay a majority of taxes anyways under our current system and therefore be the primary beneficary of any tax cut? It is hard to cut income taxes for those who do pay little or no income (not FICA) taxes.

True, but also with some misleading elements. The rate of the cut for the wealthy was a higher rate than the cut for the lowly. And the top 1% of US "earners" actually own something close to 60% of everything in America. So if we had only 100 people, one of them would own 60% of everything. So they have not only the money but the means of getting money...so why should their taxes have been cut at all? Sure, they pay more than I do but it's like saying "I have a diesel truck with a trailer and you have a Volkswagen, but you should carry as much coal as I do so that we'll be equal."

Sure, they pay "a lot" but if you cut off on arm of an ordinary man, it's not the same as cutting off one arm of a man who has eight arms.

And in the case of Bush's tax cuts, the people who got the most from it also saw Bush pump billions of dollars into the other industries they own. So they got a tax cut and a huge income boost, courtesy of George.

Now with regards to wether it is the right choice to massively increase spending in a downward economy or if it was the right choice last time around to give tax cuts in the middle of a downwards economy, followed by later cuts around the time we went to war is certainly a matter of debate, but it is disingenious to only state that Bush only gave the wealthy a tax cut.

No, I didn't say he gave "only" the wealthy a cut. Anyone who was around knows that "everybody" got a cut, but the rich got the REAL cut.

On the other hand, we have all these people talking about how Obama is "raising taxes" as if everyone were getting hit. The rich gained in windfalls and tax cuts under Bush. Now the piper is calling for his due and they don't like it.

David

dps
05-26-2009, 07:36 PM
"We inherited this mess." The debt was 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 1988, President Ronald Reagan's last year in office, the same as at the end of 2008, President George W. Bush's last year in office. If one thinks policies from Reagan to Bush were mistakes does it make any sense to double down on those mistakes, as with the 80 per cent debt-to-GDP level projected when Mr Obama leaves office?" (Bold print is mine. David)

This from an article written by John Taylor for The Financial Times.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/71520770-4a2c-11de-8e7e-00144feabdc0.html

The writer, a professor of economics at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the author of Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis

Keith Larman
05-26-2009, 07:56 PM
Oh, I dunno.... the fact that it took 4 days should have clued you that Obama was not being decisive, David. Read this email I got:

Just fwiw, that e-mail made the rounds a lot and was also the subject of a lot of follow up discussion. There are serious inconsistencies in the account as put out in the e-mail. And there have been some fairly consistent denials as to the veracity of most of the claims.

Snopes has a page on it in case anyone is interested (http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/pirates.asp).

HL1978
05-26-2009, 07:57 PM
Didn't work that way. You got a one-time check from the gummint; your rate didn't change if you weren't a heavy hitter.

There were rebates, but in 01, everyone's rates dropped.

http://archives.cnn.com/2001/ALLPOLITICS/06/07/bush.taxes/


True, but also with some misleading elements. The rate of the cut for the wealthy was a higher rate than the cut for the lowly. And the top 1% of US "earners" actually own something close to 60% of everything in America. So if we had only 100 people, one of them would own 60% of everything. So they have not only the money but the means of getting money...so why should their taxes have been cut at all? Sure, they pay more than I do but it's like saying "I have a diesel truck with a trailer and you have a Volkswagen, but you should carry as much coal as I do so that we'll be equal."

Sure, they pay "a lot" but if you cut off on arm of an ordinary man, it's not the same as cutting off one arm of a man who has eight arms.

I have no intent to mislead here, its just what it is (its more effective to tax those that have cash than those that don't). The truly wealthy, aka the investment class (as in those who can live off investments not income) pays mostly capital gains not regular income like high wage earners (see Warren Buffet's comments with regards to tax inequities). There are reasons as to why investment income is taxed differently, and Bush did cut those rates in 2003, but any discussion of upper level income tax rates is a distraction.


On the other hand, we have all these people talking about how Obama is "raising taxes" as if everyone were getting hit. The rich gained in windfalls and tax cuts under Bush. Now the piper is calling for his due and they don't like it.

David

I'm worried regarding taxes being raised because I live in an area with a high cost of living. Fairfax Va is the #1or #2 richest county in the nation with an average income in excess of 100k, yet housing costs is significantly more than the national average. If I were somehow able to move elsewhere and keep the same salary I would be able to live a rather extravagant lifestyle, yet due to income level, I get lumped into what most consider the rich.

I certainly don't feel rich when housing is 35% of ones salary (I bought before the bubble so I am in better shape than many), and combined federal/state/property tax is another 35%. I could only imagine what it would be like if I had kids and a car payment.

David Orange
05-26-2009, 08:14 PM
"We inherited this mess." The debt was 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 1988, President Ronald Reagan's last year in office, the same as at the end of 2008, President George W. Bush's last year in office. If one thinks policies from Reagan to Bush were mistakes does it make any sense to double down on those mistakes, as with the 80 per cent debt-to-GDP level projected when Mr Obama leaves office?" (Bold print is mine. David)

The difference is that Reagan left a booming economy and Bush (like his father) left a dismal economy.

If you burn out the engine in your car, don't complain when the repair guy hands you the bill.

Our current economic disaster is all George.

David Orange
05-26-2009, 08:17 PM
Just fwiw, that e-mail made the rounds a lot and was also the subject of a lot of follow up discussion. There are serious inconsistencies in the account as put out in the e-mail. And there have been some fairly consistent denials as to the veracity of most of the claims.

Snopes has a page on it in case anyone is interested (http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/pirates.asp).

Very interesting, indeed.

What do you say to that, Mike?

David

David Orange
05-26-2009, 09:05 PM
I have no intent to mislead here, its just what it is (its more effective to tax those that have cash than those that don't). The truly wealthy, aka the investment class (as in those who can live off investments not income) pays mostly capital gains not regular income like high wage earners (see Warren Buffet's comments with regards to tax inequities). There are reasons as to why investment income is taxed differently, and Bush did cut those rates in 2003, but any discussion of upper level income tax rates is a distraction.

I didn't mean you were misleading but that the whole situation had a number of deliberately misleading elements that generally minimized the appearance that the rich were benefitting inequitably, while actually giving them a serious advantage.

I'm worried regarding taxes being raised because I live in an area with a high cost of living. Fairfax Va is the #1or #2 richest county in the nation with an average income in excess of 100k, yet housing costs is significantly more than the national average. If I were somehow able to move elsewhere and keep the same salary I would be able to live a rather extravagant lifestyle, yet due to income level, I get lumped into what most consider the rich.

Well, Obama put the cut-off at $250,000. but I think it actually worked out to $230,000.

If you moved somewhere else, you could take a substantial pay cut and still live a better life than most.

II certainly don't feel rich when housing is 35% of ones salary (I bought before the bubble so I am in better shape than many), and combined federal/state/property tax is another 35%. I could only imagine what it would be like if I had kids and a car payment.

It'd be tough, but what kind of situation do you think most American workers are in right now? Kids, a car, a run-down house with a high payment and you get word that not only are you losing your job, but all the paycheck deductions you put into the retirement fund are also gone....

You work hard, put your body at risk, get to work on time and stay the full time, only to be booted by a CEO who decides over a long golfing weekend that he would get a bigger bonus if he lays off your entire division.

The entire trouble is that Bush wrecked the economy and now Obama has to fix it. The fix will be painful but that's the situation we're in now.

Best to you.

David

dps
05-26-2009, 09:47 PM
Our current economic disaster is all George.

And Obama is continuing to fuel that economic disaster.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 11:11 AM
And Obama is continuing to fuel that economic disaster.

Right. Like he forbade the SEALs to fire on the pirates.

Your reliance on Bush tactics should resonate with uselessness even for you.

David

James Davis
05-27-2009, 11:12 AM
"The Rich" fund all sorts of charitable institutions, even after they've paid half of their money to the government.
"The Rich" front the capital to start businesses.
"The Rich" invest in companies to help them grow.
"The Rich" hire us.


It is true, BUT as they say, the rich got enough difference to buy a Porsche while the average American got enough to pay for a muffler.
David
So they should take that guys Porsche and my muffler away?



True, but also with some misleading elements. The rate of the cut for the wealthy was a higher rate than the cut for the lowly. And the top 1% of US "earners" actually own something close to 60% of everything in America. So if we had only 100 people, one of them would own 60% of everything. So they have not only the money but the means of getting money...so why should their taxes have been cut at all? Sure, they pay more than I do but it's like saying "I have a diesel truck with a trailer and you have a Volkswagen, but you should carry as much coal as I do so that we'll be equal."David

What about the people who carry no coal at all? As long as they vote in the people who force others to carry their share, my Volkswagen is in for some real strain and their Honda Civic is gonna get real tricked out with some nice rims and a sound system.



Sure, they pay "a lot" but if you cut off on arm of an ordinary man, it's not the same as cutting off one arm of a man who has eight arms.David

Yes, it's a different situation entirely. If I'm taxed too much, there's a chance that I could lose my house. If the eeeevil rich are taxed too much, they will fire me and three dozen other people to keep the doors of their business open, and we are virtually guaranteed to lose our houses.



And in the case of Bush's tax cuts, the people who got the most from it also saw Bush pump billions of dollars into the other industries they own. So they got a tax cut and a huge income boost, courtesy of George.David

Yes. Corporate welfare is complete horse puckey. Should only the strong survive?



No, I didn't say he gave "only" the wealthy a cut. Anyone who was around knows that "everybody" got a cut, but the rich got the REAL cut.David

Yes. They did.



On the other hand, we have all these people talking about how Obama is "raising taxes" as if everyone were getting hit. The rich gained in windfalls and tax cuts under Bush. Now the piper is calling for his due and they don't like it.

David

Everyone is getting hit. Our children and grandchildren are getting hit. The piper will be calling for his due for generations to come. Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 11:36 AM
Very interesting, indeed.

What do you say to that, Mike?

DavidI just read the Snopes thing. Sounds like no one knows for sure, doesn't it? Obama certainly authorized lethal force, as the Snopes article indicates, but Snopes seems not to understand that there are degrees of authorization and the original e-mail indicates that the hardest-to-achieve authorization was the only one allowed. In fact, public news accounts support the idea that only in the direst circumstance (life threatening) could they use force. That much was reported. So Obama didn't take bold action after all, did he? Check the new accounts.

Mike

Ron Tisdale
05-27-2009, 11:50 AM
Huh, wait a minute...

The pirates were killed or arrested, the hostage was rescued and is home, but we are squabling over whether or not the president took bold action or not???

This strikes me as one of those useless arguements....
Best,
Ron

David Orange
05-27-2009, 01:05 PM
"The Rich" fund all sorts of charitable institutions, even after they've paid half of their money to the government.

Sorry. They make those donations BEFORE they pay anything to the government. That reduces their taxable income and lets them pay less to the government than they ordinarily would. Let's keep that in perspective.

"The Rich" front the capital to start businesses.

They also crush smaller businesses and eliminate competition with a lot of theat capital. Oh, and buy congressmen to keep their taxes low.

"The Rich" invest in companies to help them grow.

Unless they decide to chop the company into pieces and lay off a bunch of workers to boost the stock price briefly and produce a bigger bonus for the CEO.

"The Rich" hire us.

Or not, as they prefer. Or they hire us until they see some benefit of closing the operation we're in and outsourcing it to India or Viet Nam. And they also give us good retirement programs to contribute to, which will give us reliable incomes in our old ages, after working many years for the company. And sometimes they even let us collect those pension. If they don't decide to suddenly deny that obligation (like United Airlines and many other companies have done) and leave us with pennies on the dollar while the CEO gets yet another multi-million dollar bonus.

So they should take that guys Porsche and my muffler away?

No, they should give you a Porsche and let the guy who makes $5 million a year buy his own Porsche.

What about the people who carry no coal at all?

You know, I hear about those people, but I don't personally know anyone who just really lives off the government. Do you personally know any? Maybe we should give them jobs as torture dummies for the military contractors?

Yes, it's a different situation entirely. If I'm taxed too much, there's a chance that I could lose my house. If the eeeevil rich are taxed too much, they will fire me and three dozen other people to keep the doors of their business open, and we are virtually guaranteed to lose our houses.

Do you know anyone who has lost his home because of high taxes? I don't.

And let's see...if we tax the rich too much, they'll close their businesses and we'll lose our jobs.

But didn't MILLIONS of people just lose their jobs after eight years of the lowest taxes EVER on the super-wealthy?

Yes, they did. So how does your argument work?

I'm afraid it doesn't.

Yes. Corporate welfare is complete horse puckey. Should only the strong survive?

That's what the conservatives have always told us. The old granny whose mother was actually a slave is supposed to pay her own electric bill in the drafty house she can barely afford to rent, but the government will make sure that CEOs don't have to unfold their own napkins before they eat their caviar.

Everyone is getting hit. Our children and grandchildren are getting hit. The piper will be calling for his due for generations to come. Socialism is great until you run out of other people's money.

Socialism? Everything you mentioned is a direct result of eight years of sharp tax reductions for the super rich. The economy was better off when the tax rate for the rich was 39% and it was even better when the tax rate for the rich was 90%.

But we slash their taxes for eight years and the economy goes in the tank and millions of people lose their jobs.

What you're describing is not Socialism as we know it, but Socialism for Rich People, as only they know it.

You're blaming the doctor for cutting off your arm because your heroin dealer sold you some rotten stuff.

Don't blame Obama for the mess Bush created.

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 01:13 PM
I just read the Snopes thing. Sounds like no one knows for sure, doesn't it?

No, it sounds like whoever wrote your e-mail just lied to smear Obama.

Obama certainly authorized lethal force, as the Snopes article indicates, but Snopes seems not to understand that there are degrees of authorization and the original e-mail indicates that the hardest-to-achieve authorization was the only one allowed.

Well, we've established that that e-mail is full of lies, so why don't we just not use that as any kind of reference, shall we?

In fact, public news accounts support the idea that only in the direst circumstance (life threatening) could they use force.

It was a touchy situation. And it came out good in the end.

So Obama didn't take bold action after all, did he?

Bolder action than Bush took when he got the intelligence alert that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack us.

Obama's actions brought the Captain home alive.

Bush's negligence allowed 3000 to die in the twin towers and allowed the Pentagon to be hit.

I'd say Obama 1, Bush 0.

But how do you see your part in delivering that false e-mail to us, Mike?

Was that YOU slandering the President or the was it the guy who wrote it? And if it was him, what do you call it when someone passes along that kind of lie? Is that villification or a perjorative?

David

David Orange
05-27-2009, 01:14 PM
Huh, wait a minute...

The pirates were killed or arrested, the hostage was rescued and is home, but we are squabling over whether or not the president took bold action or not???

This strikes me as one of those useless arguements....


I thought Obama did just what he should have done and I think it's a good omen for what he will do on out from here, both in war and in the economy. There's nowhere for America to go from here but up.

David

dps
05-27-2009, 01:23 PM
I thought Obama did just what he should have done and I think it's a good omen for what he will do on out from here, both in war and in the economy. There's nowhere for America to go from here but up.

And the further in debt Obama sinks us the further up we have to go.

One of the other Davids:)

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 01:29 PM
Bolder action than Bush took when he got the intelligence alert that Osama bin Laden was planning to attack us.
Cite please? I say once again that you're simply making it up. There was an intelligence briefing that said one of the things al Qaida was planning to do (among many others) was to attack inside the US. We knew they'd been planning that for years. So there was no direct information. What information there was, it turns out, was not communicated between agencies because the Clinton admin had established a "wall" between the FBI and the CIA preventing them from sharing intelligence.

One of the truly amazing events in US history was when Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, stole and destroyed Clinton commications prior to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. He didn't destroy documents because they would help his testimony, did he? As usual, the Bush admin was criminally negligent by not pursuing the actions of Berger and Clinton himself, in an attempt to be "bipartisan" and let bygones be bygones. That's why I'm all for having a commission to investigate Bush, Cheney, and so on. If they broke the actual law, fry 'em.

But from now on, let's pursue crooked administrations like Clintons and others to come without the silly "let's be diplomatic" approach that Bush took. Let's fry everyone if we're going to fry anyone, right? At the rate Obama is trying to circumvent the law and democracy, I suspect there's going to be plenty to go after and I would like to feel certain that he is pursued with the same vigor that the Dems are pursuing Bush. Indict Bush!!!! ;)

Mike

David Orange
05-27-2009, 03:42 PM
Cite please? I say once again that you're simply making it up.

Right. And I made up the Viet Nam war, too. And we don't really have a constitution in the US. I made that up, too.

Come off it, Mike. It was widely reported, commented on and discussed throughout the print and broadcast media at the time. Bush had the intelligence briefing and he chose to ignore it. Clinton's people advised him that Osama Bin Laden was going to be the NUMBER ONE concern for the US from 2000 on. And Bush ignored all of that.

One of the truly amazing events in US history was when Clinton's National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger, stole and destroyed Clinton commications prior to his testimony before the 9/11 Commission. He didn't destroy documents because they would help his testimony, did he? As usual, the Bush admin was criminally negligent by not pursuing the actions of Berger and Clinton himself, in an attempt to be "bipartisan" and let bygones be bygones. That's why I'm all for having a commission to investigate Bush, Cheney, and so on. If they broke the actual law, fry 'em.

You've mentioned Berger many times now but you've never made it clear what he did or how it affected anyone. Next to Bush's crimes, Berger jaywalked. You're trying to distract us from a murderer by pointing to a jaywalker!

But from now on, let's pursue crooked administrations like Clintons and others to come without the silly "let's be diplomatic" approach that Bush took.

There must have been something about Bush himself in those papers or he surely would have prosecuted Berger and anyone else he wanted to hit. He put 155 people to death as governor of Texas. Diplomacy and mercy have never been his calling cards. The "compassionate conservative" morphed into the Torturer of Earth but he still smirked and chuckled and still thought it was a big, funny joke.

Let's fry everyone if we're going to fry anyone, right? At the rate Obama is trying to circumvent the law and democracy, I suspect there's going to be plenty to go after and I would like to feel certain that he is pursued with the same vigor that the Dems are pursuing Bush.

When I see them prosecute Bush and Cheney, I'll have concern about how vigorously the Dems are "pursuing" him. Otherwise, we might as well throw open all the prisons in America because only the worst murderers on Death Row match the crimes of GW Bush.

David

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 05:51 PM
Right. And I made up the Viet Nam war, too. And we don't really have a constitution in the US. I made that up, too. At least answer the question with either "I have a citation" or "I don't have a citation" for the assertion you made. Remember.... you're the one pretending to be on the side of high principles. But it looks like you're willing to misrepresent the facts (as I've shown you to do numerous times already) for simple "low politics". If you can't admit you don't have the facts, don't make the quotes.

Mike Sigman

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 05:52 PM
You've mentioned Berger many times now but you've never made it clear what he did or how it affected anyone. Berger stole and destroyed a number of Clinton's documents prior to his testimony to the 9-11 Commission. You tell me... what effect did 9-11 have on anyone?

Mike

James Davis
05-27-2009, 06:00 PM
Sorry. They make those donations BEFORE they pay anything to the government. That reduces their taxable income and lets them pay less to the government than they ordinarily would. Let's keep that in perspective.


Often, when inspired by a good cause, people will write a check without quibbling over the write-off. It happens. 100% of that money gets to the needy in these instances, instead of the approx. 30% through some government programs.


They also crush smaller businesses and eliminate competition with a lot of theat capital. Oh, and buy congressmen to keep their taxes low.
So vote with your dollar and support mom and pop stores, if it's really that important to you. Stay out of Wal-Mart and pay a few more cents for that item. You could be helping someone keep their house.

Gongressmen are often whores; on that we agree.


Unless they decide to chop the company into pieces and lay off a bunch of workers to boost the stock price briefly and produce a bigger bonus for the CEO.

Companies have their own reasons for merging or "chopping" things apart. Often it has something to do with keeping the company going when it's in trouble so at least some people still have a job.


Or not, as they prefer. Or they hire us until they see some benefit of closing the operation we're in and outsourcing it to India or Viet Nam. And they also give us good retirement programs to contribute to, which will give us reliable incomes in our old ages, after working many years for the company. And sometimes they even let us collect those pension. If they don't decide to suddenly deny that obligation (like United Airlines and many other companies have done) and leave us with pennies on the dollar while the CEO gets yet another multi-million dollar bonus.

Please, please don't depend on corporations OR the federal government to take care of you in your old age. You can choose not to contribute, and put the money wherever you choose. Social Security sucks. That's why congressmen aren't on it!

Nothing will make a company outsource jobs faster than a high tax rate.

When a corporations tax rate is raised, they will:

A. Pay their workers less
B. Use cheaper components to lower the quality of what they sell
C. Lay off workers in order to pay their bills
D. Raise the price of what they sell to pass the cost on to their customers

or E. Fire everyone, close their doors, and move operations to Bangladesh.

Politicians in BOTH parties know this, and they are okay with it. They're pretty good and getting people to jump on the bandwagon of class warfare, but every time they raise corporate taxes it hurts the poor. They know this. They l-o-v-e it. Misery wins them votes.


No, they should give you a Porsche and let the guy who makes $5 million a year buy his own Porsche.

I don't need a Porsche! I just want them to get the hell out of my way!


You know, I hear about those people, but I don't personally know anyone who just really lives off the government. Do you personally know any?

Used to. I also knew people who worked under the table and gamed the government for every dime they could get away with. These people thought that going to work and making an honest living made me a sucker, and told me so.

I don't live in that neighborhood any more, but my tax dollars still do. Maybe they were right?


Maybe we should give them jobs as torture dummies for the military contractors?

Where the hell did that come from? That's completely unrelated to the topic at hand.


Do you know anyone who has lost his home because of high taxes? I don't.

Off the top of my head, I know on person who had to sell. He made a small profit, but he has to live in an apartment next to noisey morons again.


Socialism? Everything you mentioned is a direct result of eight years of sharp tax reductions for the super rich. The economy was better off when the tax rate for the rich was 39% and it was even better when the tax rate for the rich was 90%.

But we slash their taxes for eight years and the economy goes in the tank and millions of people lose their jobs.

What you're describing is not Socialism as we know it, but Socialism for Rich People, as only they know it.

You're blaming the doctor for cutting off your arm because your heroin dealer sold you some rotten stuff.

Don't blame Obama for the mess Bush created.

David



The Medicare prescription drug plan and the "No Child Left Alone" act can be laid at the feet of Bush, along with a plethora of other debacles.

The only thing I blame Obama for is not looking back and seeing what happened every time policies were implemented that he's trying to get passed right now. Canadians have socialized medicine, and yet they mob our hospitals in the north. British people are paying through the nose to fly over here for surgeries. Kate Winslett and Leo DeCaprio are starting a fund to pay for the healthcare of the last living survivor of the Titanic, who supposedly has access to socialized medicine!

It's not about fixing anything. It's about control.

Both parties are the same. They LOVE that we fight about this crap online. They ALL suck. All of 'em.

So what do we do about it?:straightf

Mike Sigman
05-27-2009, 06:19 PM
To get back more in line with the subject header of the thread, here's a good article from the Financial Times:

Exploding debt threatens America
John Taylor

Published: May 26 2009 20:48 | Last updated: May 26 2009 20:48

Standard and Poor's decision to downgrade its outlook for British sovereign debt from "stable" to "negative" should be a wake-up call for the US Congress and administration. Let us hope they wake up.

Under President Barack Obama's budget plan, the federal debt is exploding. To be precise, it is rising -- and will continue to rise -- much faster than gross domestic product, a measure of America's ability to service it. The federal debt was equivalent to 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 2008; the Congressional Budget Office projects it will increase to 82 per cent of GDP in 10 years. With no change in policy, it could hit 100 per cent of GDP in just another five years.

EDITOR'S CHOICE
S&P warns UK over high debt level - May-22Chill wind blows for triple A nations - May-24"A government debt burden of that [100 per cent] level, if sustained, would in Standard & Poor's view be incompatible with a triple A rating," as the risk rating agency stated last week.

I believe the risk posed by this debt is systemic and could do more damage to the economy than the recent financial crisis. To understand the size of the risk, take a look at the numbers that Standard and Poor's considers. The deficit in 2019 is expected by the CBO to be $1,200bn (€859bn, £754bn). Income tax revenues are expected to be about $2,000bn that year, so a permanent 60 per cent across-the-board tax increase would be required to balance the budget. Clearly this will not and should not happen. So how else can debt service payments be brought down as a share of GDP?

Inflation will do it. But how much? To bring the debt-to-GDP ratio down to the same level as at the end of 2008 would take a doubling of prices. That 100 per cent increase would make nominal GDP twice as high and thus cut the debt-to-GDP ratio in half, back to 41 from 82 per cent. A 100 per cent increase in the price level means about 10 per cent inflation for 10 years. But it would not be that smooth -- probably more like the great inflation of the late 1960s and 1970s with boom followed by bust and recession every three or four years, and a successively higher inflation rate after each recession.

The fact that the Federal Reserve is now buying longer-term Treasuries in an effort to keep Treasury yields low adds credibility to this scary story, because it suggests that the debt will be monetised. That the Fed may have a difficult task reducing its own ballooning balance sheet to prevent inflation increases the risks considerably. And 100 per cent inflation would, of course, mean a 100 per cent depreciation of the dollar. Americans would have to pay $2.80 for a euro; the Japanese could buy a dollar for Y50; and gold would be $2,000 per ounce. This is not a forecast, because policy can change; rather it is an indication of how much systemic risk the government is now creating.

Why might Washington sleep through this wake-up call? You can already hear the excuses.

"We have an unprecedented financial crisis and we must run unprecedented deficits." While there is debate about whether a large deficit today provides economic stimulus, there is no economic theory or evidence that shows that deficits in five or 10 years will help to get us out of this recession. Such thinking is irresponsible. If you believe deficits are good in bad times, then the responsible policy is to try to balance the budget in good times. The CBO projects that the economy will be back to delivering on its potential growth by 2014. A responsible budget would lay out proposals for balancing the budget by then rather than aim for trillion-dollar deficits.

"But we will cut the deficit in half." CBO analysts project that the deficit will be the same in 2019 as the administration estimates for 2010, a zero per cent cut.

"We inherited this mess." The debt was 41 per cent of GDP at the end of 1988, President Ronald Reagan's last year in office, the same as at the end of 2008, President George W. Bush's last year in office. If one thinks policies from Reagan to Bush were mistakes does it make any sense to double down on those mistakes, as with the 80 per cent debt-to-GDP level projected when Mr Obama leaves office?

The time for such excuses is over. They paint a picture of a government that is not working, one that creates risks rather than reduces them. Good government should be a nonpartisan issue. I have written that government actions and interventions in the past several years caused, prolonged and worsened the financial crisis. The problem is that policy is getting worse not better. Top government officials, including the heads of the US Treasury, the Fed, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Securities and Exchange Commission are calling for the creation of a powerful systemic risk regulator to reign in systemic risk in the private sector. But their government is now the most serious source of systemic risk.

The good news is that it is not too late. There is time to wake up, to make a mid-course correction, to get back on track. Many blame the rating agencies for not telling us about systemic risks in the private sector that lead to this crisis. Let us not ignore them when they try to tell us about the risks in the government sector that will lead to the next one.

The writer, a professor of economics at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, is the author of ‘Getting Off Track: How Government Actions and Interventions Caused, Prolonged, and Worsened the Financial Crisis'
Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2009

HL1978
05-27-2009, 06:25 PM
Socialism? Everything you mentioned is a direct result of eight years of sharp tax reductions for the super rich. The economy was better off when the tax rate for the rich was 39% and it was even better when the tax rate for the rich was 90%.

But we slash their taxes for eight years and the economy goes in the tank and millions of people lose their jobs.

What you're describing is not Socialism as we know it, but Socialism for Rich People, as only they know it.

You're blaming the doctor for cutting off your arm because your heroin dealer sold you some rotten stuff.

Don't blame Obama for the mess Bush created.

David

Bush ran on a policy of tax reductions for everyone, but when they first round came into fruition it was during a recession which made them more palatable. Yes it was not as bad a recession as a current one, but tax rates were down when there was a shrinking economy.

The economy boomed thereafter, but I don't think it was entirely the result of lower taxes, likewise I don't think low taxes, or the perception that the rich/corporations aren't paying enough taxes are the cause of the current recession.

That being said, it is irresponsible for anyone to massively increase spending without raising taxes. It may work for short periods of time, and there is too much reliance on inflation to reduce the impact of those deficits.


Or not, as they prefer. Or they hire us until they see some benefit of closing the operation we're in and outsourcing it to India or Viet Nam. And they also give us good retirement programs to contribute to, which will give us reliable incomes in our old ages, after working many years for the company. And sometimes they even let us collect those pension. If they don't decide to suddenly deny that obligation (like United Airlines and many other companies have done) and leave us with pennies on the dollar while the CEO gets yet another multi-million dollar bonus.

Too many people are speculating on stocks leading to a short term focus rather than investing in stocks that pay dividends. Increasing corporate taxes means that companies are less likely to pay out dividends as that profit money will be taxed. Now while that does result in some benefits to the economy as a whole because there is increased investment in the company. It makes more sense for a corporation to go buy equipment, pay retention bonuses, expand etc to improve the company, or even buy back stock to raise share prices than hand it over to the tax man.

Given that stock owners are speculating rather than investing, it is going to lead to a focus on short term profits, rather than making good long term decisions. Perhaps a different corporate tax policy might encourage more dividends and making long term decisions?

Some might think it is better for the nation/economy as a whole if the more taxes are paid by corporations, but since the corporations have a duty to do what they consider is best for their shareholders (who seem more concerned with short term profits) as a result of their articles of incorporation they are going to spend the money in ways to benefit those shareholders rather than the nation as a whole.

The ways in which executives are compensated with options, the short periods of time in which many CEO's of large firms stay around, the incestuous relationships between boards doesn't help either.

If one wants more taxes from corporations, the tax system would need to be changed and it is going to take more than adjusting rates to actually achieve that outcome.

dps
05-27-2009, 07:07 PM
Bold print is from me,

David

Kevin Hassett
Obama Spending Shocks in Scale, Builds Upon Bush: Kevin Hassett
Share | Email | Print | A A A

Commentary by Kevin Hassett

March 2 (Bloomberg) -- The gap between rhetoric and hype in President Barack Obama's budget is as wide as the Pacific Ocean. Obama has not offered change; he has offered a continuation of George W. Bush's policies.

Obama is not the anti-Bush. He is Bush on steroids.

Bush's policies could be summarized in one sentence: Spend like a drunken sailor and don't pay for it. Obama's policies can be summarized by the same sentence, except that Obama goes beyond drunk to alcohol poisoning.

If Bush policies were disastrous, as Obama claims, then why is he continuing them?

Sure, Obama's fans might say government finally is going to restore some fairness by spending on health care and other problems. Fact is, this was Bush's core belief too, which is why he championed and signed the massive prescription-drug benefit under Medicare. In the end, Bush offered voters juicy benefits without paying for them.

That's exactly what Obama is doing too. Only now, the scale of spending is becoming truly shocking.

In January 2008, the Congressional Budget Office put out a 10-year forecast that included a projection for government spending. The forecast, at the end of the Bush spending spree, saw government spending in 2009 at about $3 trillion, increasing to $4.3 trillion by 2018.

Long-Term Spending

Federal spending for 2009 turned out $900 billion higher than was expected, because of the near-term policies associated with the financial crisis and the recession. Lost amid the hype about Obama cutting the deficit in half, however, is the fact that most of this higher spending sticks. Obama plans to spend $4.9 trillion in 2018, about $550 billion higher than the CBO's projection.

That's right, $550 billion more.

Looking at the entire 10 years, and extrapolating out the CBO number to include an estimate for 2019, Obama has proposed that government spending over the next 10 years be $5.3 trillion higher than the CBO projected just last year.

Those Obama defenders might point out that the CBO baseline assumes government spending only increases with inflation. But holding spending steady after the binge of the last eight years is hardly a radical idea.

And even if we use another baseline -- allowing government spending to increase along with the economy -- Obama's budget would increase spending over the next 10 years by $3.7 trillion relative to what we thought last year.

How about revenue? Many of the Obama's tax increases -- including allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire after 2010 -- were already in the CBO baseline.

Shrinking Revenue

The rash of recent economic bad news wasn't part of the CBO estimate, however, so tax revenue will surely be lower over the entire forecast horizon. Last year at this time, the CBO thought we would collect $4.5 trillion in revenue in 2018. The Obama budget now expects to raise $4.2 trillion.

Even correcting for Obama's admirable honesty concerning a real fix of the alternative minimum tax, and its resulting drop in tax revenue collected, his plan would raise less revenue than we thought we would get last year. And yet he plans to jack up spending.

Bush increased spending because of the Iraq war and because his "compassionate conservatism" expanded the reach of the federal government significantly. Obama will spend less on Iraq and more on other things. The basic principle is the same.

The main difference between Bush and Obama is their position on the marginal tax rate. Bush left the top rate on high incomes at 35 percent. Obama plans to let it return to 39.6 percent. To argue that Obama has offered an ambitious new vision, you have to believe that increasing the marginal tax rate back to where Bill Clinton left it is somehow a revolutionary idea with significant economic consequences.

Not Novel

It is hard to characterize this move as novel. Al Gore opposed the Bush tax cuts in 2000, and John Kerry argued that they should be repealed in 2004. Obama is just delivering on their promises.

And it is hard to make the case that this change will produce any significant economic benefits. On the one hand, the skyrocketing deficit might be a little lower, which might provide some economic benefit. On the other hand, the higher marginal tax rate will discourage work, increase taxes on small businesses and thus produce some economic harm. On net, the policy is probably a small negative.

Obama should stop claiming that Bush policies created the mess that we are in. If they did, then Obama's policies will only make things worse.

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Kevin Hassett at khassett@aei.org
Last Updated: March 2, 2009 00:01 EST

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aYgo3fufKIbI

David Orange
05-28-2009, 02:09 PM
At least answer the question with either "I have a citation" or "I don't have a citation" for the assertion you made. Remember.... you're the one pretending to be on the side of high principles. But it looks like you're willing to misrepresent the facts (as I've shown you to do numerous times already) for simple "low politics". If you can't admit you don't have the facts, don't make the quotes.

Mike Sigman

Sorry, but whatever comment this is in reference to, I now have no idea.

But I do know you circulated that scurrilous e-mail about the pirate situation, so don't pretend you stick to any kind of facts or that you have provided much citation of anything you posit.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 02:13 PM
Berger stole and destroyed a number of Clinton's documents prior to his testimony to the 9-11 Commission. You tell me... what effect did 9-11 have on anyone?

So you're telling me that 9/11 happened because Berger stole some documents?

First, I don't know what he stole. Do you? Can you say that it had any effect, if you don't know what he took?

Second, 9/11 happened under Bush's negligence, so I'm not sure what Clinton had to do with that. But Berger took something before he testified before the 9/11 commission some years after 9/11....so it obviously had no influence on 9/11, so what effect did it have? Nothing?

It's really astounding to watch you spin a big cotton candy out of nothing, then see you spin international mass murder down to the equivalent of a cotton candy puff you caught the Clintons with.

Doesn't wash, Mike. Go tell it to the primates at the zoo. I doubt they'll believe you, either.

Not that Berger shouldn't be punished for it. Anytime you steal from the National Archives, that's serious. But as serious as ordering torture of detainees????

No.

It's a ridiculous comparison.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 02:40 PM
Often, when inspired by a good cause, people will write a check without quibbling over the write-off. It happens. 100% of that money gets to the needy in these instances, instead of the approx. 30% through some government programs.

Sure. I've done it. My father always gave 10% to his church and never claimed it on his taxes (why, I have no idea).

But manyof the big charities give even less of their donations to the needy. You say 30% for the government, but for many big charities it can be less than 10%.

Companies have their own reasons for merging or "chopping" things apart. Often it has something to do with keeping the company going when it's in trouble so at least some people still have a job.

That's a completely different situation than what I mentioned. Very often a company buys another company with the sole intention of chopping it up and selling off the pieces. And very, very often the CEO of a company will lay off a significant number of people and put the burden on the remaining employees to cover the slack, or they'll lose their jobs, too. In the short term, because of the decrease in labor expense while maintaining output, the company looks more profitable, the stock price goes up and the CEO gets a bonus equaling more than the salaries of all the folks he just laid off. Then he takes his golden parachute and leaves, getting severance of maybe hundreds of millions of dollars, before the effects of the lay-offs become unavoidable. They do it for no other reason than self-interest and the super wealthy are people who have proven very well that they have more self-interest than people who value things like "fairness" and "compassion" (and here I mean actual compassion--not the phoney Bush kind).

I saw acomment somewhere recently that sums it up very well: conservatives believe it's a dog-eat-dog world and you have to watch out for #1 while liberals believe we're all in this together and have to watch out for one another.

And that sums it up very well, in fact.

Please, please don't depend on corporations OR the federal government to take care of you in your old age.

I thought I had made it clear on these forums that I don't trust any corporation, so why would I "depend" on them to take care of me in my old age? Corporations will screw you very dependably right now. Why would anyone think they would at some point start taking care of them.

However, the point is that corporations seduce millions of people into devoting their lives to a job with them, partially with the offer of fantastic retirement benefits. These people live with various screwing from the company for twenty or thirty years, and then get the big screw whe the company simply denies its pension obligations and tells them, "Sorry." And of course, they're not even sorry. They're just rich on the backs of the people they screwed.

Nothing will make a company outsource jobs faster than a high tax rate.

Really? Then why has the rate of outsourcing skyrocketed during the past eight years, when they super wealthy had probably the lowest tax rate they'd ever known?

You lose big on that claim.

concerning people who lost homes due to higher taxes
Off the top of my head, I know on person who had to sell. He made a small profit, but he has to live in an apartment next to noisey morons again.

But he made a profit?

Sounds like his eyes were bigger than his wallet when it came to chosing a house. So actually, you don't know of anyone who as really "lost" a home due to higher taxes. Okay.

The Medicare prescription drug plan and the "No Child Left Alone" act can be laid at the feet of Bush, along with a plethora of other debacles.

Debacle, they name is George.

The only thing I blame Obama for is not looking back and seeing what happened every time policies were implemented that he's trying to get passed right now. Canadians have socialized medicine, and yet they mob our hospitals in the north. British people are paying through the nose to fly over here for surgeries. Kate Winslett and Leo DeCaprio are starting a fund to pay for the healthcare of the last living survivor of the Titanic, who supposedly has access to socialized medicine!

I read an analysis just the other day about Canadians coming down here for medical care. The analysis said the numbers had been greatly exaggerated and that it's just a handfull annually.

However, we do see a real flood of Americans getting medications from Canada and Mexico and going to places like Mexico, India and Thailand for medical treatment. That is probably a much greater number than Canadians coming here for treatment that is vastly more expensive than they would get at home. And there are also lots and lots of Americans living in Canada now specifically for the better medical care and access.

So...

So what do we do about it?:straightf

I plan to keep on working, keep on saving and keep on building my skills and abilities. And keep on voting.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 03:00 PM
...I don't think low taxes, or the perception that the rich/corporations aren't paying enough taxes are the cause of the current recession.

No, but it proves that low taxes for the wealthy are not the way to boost the economy. People say if you raise the wealthy's taxes, they'll lay people off. But they've just had eight years of the lowest tax rates in history and suddenly the job market has collapsed and all these billionaires' businesses are getting billions more in tax monies.

That being said, it is irresponsible for anyone to massively increase spending without raising taxes. It may work for short periods of time, and there is too much reliance on inflation to reduce the impact of those deficits.

But what is a "short period of time"? I think we're looking at maybe four or five years. I know there have been projections out to ten years and what the debt could be by then, but if the right moves are made in the next four years, a lot could change for the better and a really strong economy will erase that debt. Remember it was just eight years ago that Clinton left the White House with tons of surpluses, eight years after four-year Bush term had us in economic chaos. So I think we'll see a much better picture in four years, at least, or Obama will be voted out. And I believe he's going to be in for eight years and rebuild the surpluses that Bush ate for breakfast with Cheney and Rumsfeld.

Too many people are speculating on stocks leading to a short term focus rather than investing in stocks that pay dividends. Increasing corporate taxes means that companies are less likely to pay out dividends as that profit money will be taxed.

I don't see what you're saying. The dividends go to individuals who will be taxed. The corporation won't be taxed for the dividends, but they will be taxed on the corporate profits. Are you saying they will refuse to make a profit because they'll pay more taxes? This point is not clear.

Given that stock owners are speculating rather than investing, it is going to lead to a focus on short term profits, rather than making good long term decisions. Perhaps a different corporate tax policy might encourage more dividends and making long term decisions?

Well, but you're talking about the speculating individuals on one hand and the dividend-paying corporations' tax rates. I don't see how one affects the other. Please elaborate.

In any case, the problem of stock speculation is just normal human greed and it seems that the wealthier one is, the sharper the greed becomes, and it also leads to internal corporate manipulation, such as chopping up and selling off, laying off workers to boost the stock price by lowering labor costs (short term).

I think Obama is dealing mostly with individual tax rates for the super wealthy and he's closing some corporate loopholes, such as those that allow companies to claim off-shore basing and avoid taxes on those major profits. I think in general the key would be something like "supporting needs, punishing greed" to incentivize companies for providing jobs, health coverage and pensions and punishing those that outsource to other countries, base themselves off-shore to shelter profits, etc. Punish bad corporate behavior and reward good behavior.

Some might think it is better for the nation/economy as a whole if the more taxes are paid by corporations, but since the corporations have a duty to do what they consider is best for their shareholders (who seem more concerned with short term profits) as a result of their articles of incorporation they are going to spend the money in ways to benefit those shareholders rather than the nation as a whole.

Yes. And the past eight years have been the very, very best years ever for that kind of behavior, but the economy has still gone underwater. So we have to find a way to punish that kind of thinking and help them understand that you can't eat your whole planet and still have a place to live.

The ways in which executives are compensated with options, the short periods of time in which many CEO's of large firms stay around, the incestuous relationships between boards doesn't help either.

Looks like stockholders would really do something about that, but they seem content to let it go on and on.

If one wants more taxes from corporations, the tax system would need to be changed and it is going to take more than adjusting rates to actually achieve that outcome.

I think the rates apply mainly to individuals but that closing loopholes and some rate increases do apply to corporations. But it should be clear to all that the corporate boardrooms are little different from pirate ships and some of those heads are long pas their time to roll.

By the way, what work are you doing in Fairfax?

Here in Birmingham, we have a lot of TV commercials for Jaguar automobiles--selling and leasing--and I just can't imagine who is buying and leasing so many Jaguars that it is profitable fo the company to run so much TV advertising for them. I'm wondering, what in heck are people doing to earn so much money around Birmingham that so many of them are leasing and buying Jaguars that it's worth running TV ads several times a day for them.

Best to you.

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 03:02 PM
Bold print is from me

Boy, is this going to be a long eight years for you.:sorry:

David

Mike Sigman
05-28-2009, 03:34 PM
I saw acomment somewhere recently that sums it up very well: conservatives believe it's a dog-eat-dog world and you have to watch out for #1 while liberals believe we're all in this together and have to watch out for one another.

And that sums it up very well, in fact.And hey.... who's more of a liberal than you? You're the poster boy, David. Logical, caring for others, spiritual, controlled, open to others' views.

:rolleyes:

When next they come for you, they will be driving Priuses and wearing Birkenstocks.

James Davis
05-28-2009, 05:35 PM
Sure. I've done it. My father always gave 10% to his church and never claimed it on his taxes (why, I have no idea).

So we agree that it happens. We can then conclude that charitable contributions are often not made for the tax deduction. In fact, giving away $100 to get $20 knocked off one's taxes is a pretty silly endeavor, in my opinion. We give, often times, because we actually care.


But manyof the big charities give even less of their donations to the needy. You say 30% for the government, but for many big charities it can be less than 10%.

Would you please give me some names of these institutions, so they never see a dime of my money?

Sadly, concerning the federal government, it's not efficient. It's not even charity, not when I'm threatened with imprisonment if I choose not to pay!


I saw acomment somewhere recently that sums it up very well: conservatives believe it's a dog-eat-dog world and you have to watch out for #1 while liberals believe we're all in this together and have to watch out for one another.

And that sums it up very well, in fact.

In my experience, conservatives believe that I am strong enough to do things for myself but will often help me get started if need be. Conservatives that I know believe in family.

Liberals believe that I would be lost without their help, and that I should authorize them to take things away from people who are wealthier than I, so that we're closer to "equality". As long as I keep voting for them, they'll keep punishing those horrible corporations and reminding me of how bad off I am every couple of years to keep getting my vote. Liberals want to encourage dependence. Liberals that I know believe in the collective.


I thought I had made it clear on these forums that I don't trust any corporation, so why would I "depend" on them to take care of me in my old age? Corporations will screw you very dependably right now. Why would anyone think they would at some point start taking care of them.

However, the point is that corporations seduce millions of people into devoting their lives to a job with them, partially with the offer of fantastic retirement benefits. These people live with various screwing from the company for twenty or thirty years, and then get the big screw whe the company simply denies its pension obligations and tells them, "Sorry." And of course, they're not even sorry. They're just rich on the backs of the people they screwed.
There is no Social Security "lock box", no matter how many times Al Gore mentioned it during his bid for the presidency. The government has taken our money and done whatever they felt like with it. That's not much of a retirement program.

Look after yourself and yours. Be the one that others can depend on, and don't put your faith and trust in the feds.


Really? Then why has the rate of outsourcing skyrocketed during the past eight years, when they super wealthy had probably the lowest tax rate they'd ever known?

You lose big on that claim.
As low as their taxes may have been, they were lower someplace else. In some places, taxes are virtually non-existent. Their governments are doing a great job of getting their people employed.

Some see the citizens of these countries as victims, but let's put things in perspective:

While a "sweat shop" job is really tough, it sure beats resorting to prostitution. A little bit of good is being done.


I read an analysis just the other day about Canadians coming down here for medical care. The analysis said the numbers had been greatly exaggerated and that it's just a handfull annually.

However, we do see a real flood of Americans getting medications from Canada and Mexico and going to places like Mexico, India and Thailand for medical treatment. That is probably a much greater number than Canadians coming here for treatment that is vastly more expensive than they would get at home. And there are also lots and lots of Americans living in Canada now specifically for the better medical care and access.



We have the same problem with Canada as we do with Mexico. They often come to our hospitals for emergency care and then refuse to pay. Hospitals in Michigan are closing just like hospitals in Arizona.

The reason that medication is so cheap in Canada is that they don't engage in research and developement. American drug companies spend millions on pharmaceutical studies and are trying to figure out how to get that money back over the years after the drug is approved by the FDA (a process that requires more millions). Canada, who hasn't invested a dime to help in the creation of these drugs, can simply wait for the patent to expire and sell it for a lower price than the American companies are able.

The reason that health care is so expensive in the U.S. is that we are on the cutting edge of new medicines and therapies. If government agencies keep beating pharma companies over the head with ridiculous rules and forcing us to join a socialized healthcare program, we can say goodbye to R&D. On whom will the world depend when this happens? Possibly India, but I'm not familiar with how silly their government may be...

Get this: A drug rep is not allowed to give our office staff ball-point pens with the drug company's name on them because the federal government believes that this would affect the doctors judgement in what drug he would prescribe. Horse puckey! Doctors observe numbers from the studies and use what will keep patients alive with the best quality of life. Period.

It seems to me that too many politicians are scumbags, and they're operating on the assumption that doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are scumbags too.

David Orange
05-28-2009, 07:22 PM
So we agree that it happens. We can then conclude that charitable contributions are often not made for the tax deduction.

I doubt it's really very often. My father is the only person I've ever known to do that.

In fact, giving away $100 to get $20 knocked off one's taxes is a pretty silly endeavor, in my opinion. We give, often times, because we actually care.

But we're not talking about that level of giving. Weren't we talking about "the rich"? They give thousands, hundreds of thousand, millions to charities (many of which do consume 80% or more in overhead). In my own case, I could get tax breaks for donations but it's more trouble to keep up with them than it is to just let it go.

Would you please give me some names of these institutions, so they never see a dime of my money?

I don't keep up with it that much but it was published awhile back. I'm not sure where you would find it. But it's why I usually don't give to charities in general.

Sadly, concerning the federal government, it's not efficient. It's not even charity, not when I'm threatened with imprisonment if I choose not to pay!

No, it's not efficient but someone has to pay for the freeways, the air traffic control system, the military, veterans' care and on and on. Things we all need every day. And a lot of the money gets pumped right back to the states for highways, bridges, police, fire, FEMA (maybe not a good choice). Sure, lots is wasted and we should get all that out. But in an era when we've seen Bush send our men and women into battle without proper armor and vehicles, while the sheikhs, Haliburton and contractors were raking in billions, there is a bigger problem going than mere inefficiency. I recently met a guy who had been over there as a civilian contractor, working on helicopters. He never went outside the lines. I said, "Well, you were always surrounded by armed soldiers, though, right?" He said, "Oh, they were armed. They always had their weapons. But they didn't have any bullets." He said they didn't have enough ammunition for everyone, so lots of people on the basis had guns but no bullets.

That is inefficiency, yes, but again, it's bigger than that.

In my experience, conservatives believe that I am strong enough to do things for myself but will often help me get started if need be. Conservatives that I know believe in family.

That's supposed to be the thing, but conservatism has been hijacked by the Limbaughs and Cheneys of the world. Cheney himself said that Rush is the best voice for the Republican party and the conservative movement. And what I hear from Rush is not what I hear from you. Further, if you try to say anything different from what they say (even rather slightly) you have to apologize to Rush. Look at all the kissy-kissy he's gotten from congressmen lately. Even from Michael Steele. And Rush has never been the give-you-a-fish kind of guy. Or much of what I think of as a family type, either. My approach is to give you a fish if I can and also teach you to fish.

Liberals believe that I would be lost without their help, and that I should authorize them to take things away from people who are wealthier than I, so that we're closer to "equality".

That doesn't sound like the liberalism I know. It sounds like Rush Limbaugh's definition of a liberal.

Neither I nor any liberal I know believes you would be lost without them. What they do believe is that there are some people in this society who do desperately need some help and they try to provide it as they can.

As for taking from those who are wealthier, that counts for getting a raise. That counts for collective bargaining. That counts for requiring the big corporation to provide health coverage and safety equipment for workers. Without that, they'd be sending men into coal mines without respirators and without proper ventilation and working them 12 hours at a shot to save on running the elevator. Those are the kinds of things liberals want from the wealthy: to pay people fairly and when they offer a man a pension and he earns it, then by God, they have to pay it and they should not in any way or by any means be allowed to renege on it. Corporations get (and have always gotten) far more "welfare" from your tax money than the "welfare queens." Corporations are the real welfare queens.

As long as I keep voting for them, they'll keep punishing those horrible corporations and reminding me of how bad off I am every couple of years to keep getting my vote. Liberals want to encourage dependence. Liberals that I know believe in the collective.

Not me or anyone I know. They only want to punish corporations that have cheated. They can only remind you of how bad off you are if you're bad off. Obama could not have influenced me by telling me how bad off I am because I'm doing better now than ever in my life. But if you want to tell me how bad off the country is, I'll be glad to hear because I know the past eight years were theft on a vast scale and Bush' stimulus was a direct upward transfer of wealth from people like you and me up, up, up to the top 1% wealthiest people in the nation. So....And I believe Bush's approach, in many ways, amounted to telling all those super wealthy people how bad off they were under the liberal Clintons, who left the nation in a lot better shape for Bush than Bush left it for Obama.

So it's clear that you're working from a really imaginary idea of what liberals believe and that your idea of what conservatives believe was good maybe twenty years ago but no longer applies at all.

There is no Social Security "lock box", no matter how many times Al Gore mentioned it during his bid for the presidency. The government has taken our money and done whatever they felt like with it. That's not much of a retirement program.

Well, we'll never know if Gore would have gotten his lock box, but I think he would have done it. But Bush has spent that eight years shifting money around and hiding expenses and so on and social security has been a handy tool for manipulating the budget. I have never believed I would ever get a penny of all the money I've paid into Social Security over the past nearly forty years. I doubt I'll ever see any of it.

Look after yourself and yours. Be the one that others can depend on, and don't put your faith and trust in the feds.

Oh, after the supreme court decision that put Bush in the white house, of course, I don't trust the Feds.

As low as their taxes may have been, they were lower someplace else. In some places, taxes are virtually non-existent. Their governments are doing a great job of getting their people employed.

They don't outsource for lower taxes. Surely you understand that. They outsource for cheaper labor. And they get lower taxes as a side benefit. So they keep all the benefits of being American corporations without paying a dime for them. They pay no taxes here and put people out of work so that they can pay miniscule taxes elsewhere and underpay the citizens there.

While a "sweat shop" job is really tough, it sure beats resorting to prostitution. A little bit of good is being done.

Keep those children in the sweatshops and they won't become child prostitutes. It's really nothing but exploitation of the weak.

The reason that medication is so cheap in Canada is that they don't engage in research and developement.

No it isn't. Generally they get their drugs from US companies and the US companies sell them cheaper to them than they do to us.

How can that be? Read on.

American drug companies spend millions on pharmaceutical studies and are trying to figure out how to get that money back over the years after the drug is approved by the FDA (a process that requires more millions). Canada, who hasn't invested a dime to help in the creation of these drugs, can simply wait for the patent to expire and sell it for a lower price than the American companies are able.

What good is a drug for high blood pressure if it costs you half your monthly income for a month's supply? That's the way it is for Americans and the high price is mostly because the drug companies set it up that way with the insurance companies. A hospital will charge an uninsured patient several times as much as it will charge an insured patient's insurance company for the same treatment. Which is probably the biggest reason people skip out on the bills. I know a guy who was cutting trees and he stepped in a hole and broke his ankle. He spent a night in a hospital and got a bill the next day for something like $30,000.00. A guy who makes about $20,000.00 a year. How's he going to pay that?

The reason that health care is so expensive in the U.S. is that we are on the cutting edge of new medicines and therapies.

That's part, but the biggest reason is the insurance companies.

If government agencies keep beating pharma companies over the head with ridiculous rules and forcing us to join a socialized healthcare program, we can say goodbye to R&D.

You have an inflated idea of the regulatory process. They let drugs go through like greased lightning, long before the actual safety and effects of the drugs are known. Such as Vioxx....The company hid the results showing possible heart problems long enough to get approval and then did their real "testing" on American citizens. That kind of thing is supposed to be what the FDA prevents, but now FDA is just a Golden Seal of Approval for any kind of thing the drug companies put out. Sleep aids that cause "DRIVING WHILE ASLEEP" and increased aggressiveness, etc. I can't believe the ads I see on TV and the warnings of the bizarre effects of these modern pharmaceuticals. It's the kind of thing Congress would have been having hearings on if it were attributed to LSD or marijuana.

It is the drug companies and the insurance companies that are strangling America. Not poor Canadians or Mexicans.

Doctors observe numbers from the studies and use what will keep patients alive with the best quality of life.

I guess that's why the big drug companies spend so much flying doctors places and wining and dining them.

It seems to me that too many politicians are scumbags, and they're operating on the assumption that doctors, nurses, and pharmacists are scumbags too.

Not so much the doctors, nurses and pharmacists, but Big Pharma and Big Insurance.

David

Tin Tran
05-28-2009, 08:40 PM
Keep those children in the sweatshops and they won't become child prostitutes. It's really nothing but exploitation of the weak.

David

Butt, er, but, Ark said I have "some power" :) .

In high school, my brothers and I worked in a sweatshop at the same time we worked for Taco Bell, Burger King and Disney (me). I recently visited S.E. Asia, and sweatshop jobs are considered good jobs (relatively stable, not physically dangerous, less extortion from the police, etc.)

Having worked in several, and having relatives and family friends still working for that particular industry, it isn't anywhere as onerous, exploitative or as tough as people without sweatshop experience purport it to be. Just an alternative viewpoint from someone with experience :)

Standards of comfort, hardship, etc. are not universal.

Tin

David Orange
05-28-2009, 08:46 PM
And hey.... who's more of a liberal than you? You're the poster boy, David. Logical, caring for others, spiritual, controlled, open to others' views.

Nobody better to judge me than you, Mike. You stood by for eight years and let Bush lose two wars and the economy without raising a finger. Now that Obama's fixing the mess, you sound off. Good timing, huh?

I don't know about logic but I know a lie when I hear it. Such as that Obama sat back and did nothing during the pirate standoff.

Caring for others? Yeah. Some. Not more than they need.

Spiritual? Enough that I know that torture is no good national policy and that a man whose life has been changed by Jesus would not go and start unnecessary wars....

Controlled? So-so.

Open to others' views?

Open enough at least to read them before I agree or disagree. Not open to claims that torture is the only way to save our country or that the rich that have sucked the blood of American citizens should bet a key to the blood bank.

I'm really a lot more conservative than most people I know. More truly conservative than Rush Limbaugh, who's just a fascist. I don't believe that my personal freedoms as an American give me the right to kill any animal I see until all of them are gone. Or that those same freedoms give me the right to soak any land in oil where no one stops me.

I'm certainly too conservative to argue for armed revolution in the US or seccession from the Union.

Watch out for all those Priuses coming to get you, now. Hear?

David

David Orange
05-28-2009, 08:57 PM
Butt, er, but, Ark said I have "some power" :) .

Glad you didn't hit me, then, if you have "some power" according to Ark.

In high school, my brothers and I worked in a sweatshop at the same time we worked for Taco Bell, Burger King and Disney (me).

Where was that? In the US?

I recently visited S.E. Asia, and sweatshop jobs are considered good jobs (relatively stable, not physically dangerous, less extortion from the police, etc.)
Having worked in several, and having relatives and family friends still working for that particular industry, it isn't anywhere as onerous, exploitative or as tough as people without sweatshop experience purport it to be. Just an alternative viewpoint from someone with experience :) Standards of comfort, hardship, etc. are not universal.

An interesting perspective, but I've also read people's statements that they weren't allowed to go to the restroom when they needed, that they were forced to work unfair hours. And of course, there is the child labor aspect--kids ten years old and less, working long hours for little pay.

Anyway, the companies don't do it for the people. They do it to avoid paying a living wage in America. Americans just can't afford to work for so little. After taxes, they end up having worked for pennies an hour. So we need illegal workers, and the republicans make sure we have an endless supply.

Hope all is well with you.

Thanks.

David

James Davis
05-29-2009, 11:21 AM
I doubt it's really very often. My father is the only person I've ever known to do that.



I hang out with charitable people. It happens.


But we're not talking about that level of giving. Weren't we talking about "the rich"? They give thousands, hundreds of thousand, millions to charities (many of which do consume 80% or more in overhead). In my own case, I could get tax breaks for donations but it's more trouble to keep up with them than it is to just let it go.

I kept the numbers low to keep things simple. My point was that they aren't being reimbursed for the amount of money that they contribute. If they were really as greedy as they're being portrayed, they wouldn't give at all.


No, it's not efficient but someone has to pay for the freeways, the air traffic control system, the military, veterans' care and on and on. Things we all need every day. And a lot of the money gets pumped right back to the states for highways, bridges, police, fire, FEMA (maybe not a good choice). Sure, lots is wasted and we should get all that out. But in an era when we've seen Bush send our men and women into battle without proper armor and vehicles, while the sheikhs, Haliburton and contractors were raking in billions, there is a bigger problem going than mere inefficiency. I recently met a guy who had been over there as a civilian contractor, working on helicopters. He never went outside the lines. I said, "Well, you were always surrounded by armed soldiers, though, right?" He said, "Oh, they were armed. They always had their weapons. But they didn't have any bullets." He said they didn't have enough ammunition for everyone, so lots of people on the basis had guns but no bullets.

That is inefficiency, yes, but again, it's bigger than that.
I'm fine with spending on the infrastructure, firemen, even bullets for the soldiers. I'm not fine with government spending that is designed to appear compassionate.

Giving money to a panhandler is compassion. Pointing a gun at another person and demanding that they give their money to the panhandler is a crime. For some reason, the government is allowed to do it.

One's first impulse might be to say that this is an exageration. Let's look past step one. If I refuse to pay a portion of my taxes on the grounds that I've given money to a more efficient institiution that is better able to help the poor, they will send men with guns to escort me to the courthouse.

For the government, it's not about helping anyone; it's about control, dependence, and layers of government agencies being established for the expansion of the state's power.



Neither I nor any liberal I know believes you would be lost without them. What they do believe is that there are some people in this society who do desperately need some help and they try to provide it as they can.

Okay. Not "me", but "some people". Alrighty. :D


So it's clear that you're working from a really imaginary idea of what liberals believe and that your idea of what conservatives believe was good maybe twenty years ago but no longer applies at all.
It damn sure applies to me. Liberal websites and news sources will usually portray conservatives in a bad light, and vise versa. Both will report some things, and actively choose NOT to report others. I listen to both in an effort to find some little piece of the whole truth.

Wish me luck!:rolleyes:

Like Bruce said, take what is usefull, and discard what isn't.


Well, we'll never know if Gore would have gotten his lock box, but I think he would have done it. But Bush has spent that eight years shifting money around and hiding expenses and so on and social security has been a handy tool for manipulating the budget. I have never believed I would ever get a penny of all the money I've paid into Social Security over the past nearly forty years. I doubt I'll ever see any of it.
A lock box is a great idea. Al spoke of it as if it were already in existence. A whole lot of Americans probably believed him.

You'll get some money from Social Security, unless they decide that you won't. That's the way it's set up.

When looked at in a simplified way, Social Security is a means of moving money away from people who die earlier (poor minorities) to people who live longer (white women). If a man dies, I think his money should go to his children, not to some person that he's never met that will use it to feed her cats.



You have an inflated idea of the regulatory process. They let drugs go through like greased lightning, long before the actual safety and effects of the drugs are known. Such as Vioxx....The company hid the results showing possible heart problems long enough to get approval and then did their real "testing" on American citizens. That kind of thing is supposed to be what the FDA prevents, but now FDA is just a Golden Seal of Approval for any kind of thing the drug companies put out. Sleep aids that cause "DRIVING WHILE ASLEEP" and increased aggressiveness, etc. I can't believe the ads I see on TV and the warnings of the bizarre effects of these modern pharmaceuticals. It's the kind of thing Congress would have been having hearings on if it were attributed to LSD or marijuana.

It is the drug companies and the insurance companies that are strangling America. Not poor Canadians or Mexicans.

I have an intimate view of the regulatory process.

David, we're still finding out about health risks in foods that we've been eating for centuries. Every day, some news story is telling us that something that we thought was good for us yesterday is killing us today, and vise versa.

When a drug displays some life threatening trait that didn't appear during clinical trials, it is then taken off the market.

Research is a drawn out, exhaustive process. It takes a long time to clear a drug with the FDA. Our research dept. is performing multiple studies right now. The only time I've ever seen a drug pushed through in a hurry was when the benefit was so fabulous that the FDA took notice and decided that the life saving capabilities of the drug should be made available as soon as possible.


I guess that's why the big drug companies spend so much flying doctors places and wining and dining them.


I know doctors that speak at these functions. It's called "Continuing Education". The federal government requires it of them.;)

http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2007/10/15/waittimes-fraser.html

A recent article stated that the city of Pittsburgh had MRI machines than the whole of Canada. We are able to receive the best care in the world and have our lives saved without ridiculously long wait times. We're expected to pay for it.:crazy:

jonreading
05-29-2009, 12:26 PM
That's funny... When I clicked on the link that started this thread I didn't read anything about Bush, Cheney or the previous administration. Then when I read the question asking if the information consitituted a step in the right direction, I still didn't see anything about Bush, Cheney, Palin or the previous administration. Then I started reading posts that all ignored the original poster's question and bashed Bush, Cheney, Palin, the previous administration and republications.

To answer the original post:
1. I don't like the current spending - its too much spending borrowed against money we don't have. The stimulus bill is veiled big government pretending to be a booster to the economy. The administration pushed the stimulus bill through largely on a partisan vote (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29179041/).
2. I don't like many of the recession aid packages that have been put into place. I don't like the government running car manufacturers, banks or any private businesss. I don't like my taxes bailing out homeowners in foreclorsure (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522503,00.html). If you do not prefer Fox News, Bloomberg runs a similar article (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aE_j_CA8fCao&refer=home).
3. I don't like the misleading facts about national healthcare and how it will pay for itself (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_11/b4123020532277.htm) (or not).

My biggest disappointment is that so far the Obama administration is showing signs it will be like any other administration, which was not the "change" for which I hoped - partisan politics, political coat tails, and lobbyists dominating the adminstration. I guess the change to which he was referring is a republican administration to a democratic one...

David Orange
05-29-2009, 01:07 PM
I kept the numbers low to keep things simple. My point was that they aren't being reimbursed for the amount of money that they contribute. If they were really as greedy as they're being portrayed, they wouldn't give at all.

Well, the greedy ones do give to cut their taxable income as much as possible.

Please understand that I'm not saying that all wealthy people are greedy or vice versa. I look at people like Richard Branson as excellent examples of people who gained great wealth by hard work at something they loved doing. Branson, of course, began as a music distributor with Virgin Records, made a fortune at that and bought an airline, which became Virgin Airlines. And now he's advancing a lot of ideas to help the environment and the oil situation. For instance, he has suggested that airliners not sit with engines running and taxi out to the runway because that burns a lot of fuel and causes a lot of pollution. I think he has his planes towed to the runway by electrical carts and that they only start their engines just before take-off. And I think he's working with alternative fuels. I have never heard that he has under-age children laboring in any capacity or that he has shifted any functions to a state where labor costs are lower, just to avoid paying a living wage to his own countrymen. And then there's Paul McCartney, who was some kind of musician several years ago and rose by means of that to be one of the wealthiest men in the world.

On the other hand, I believe that most people who have achieved great wealth have done so by entirely different means. The Wall Street traders who "churn" accounts, for instance, getting people to buy and sell stocks (paying them a commission on each transaction) when they would have been better off just holding the stocks they originally had. Also, corporate CEOs who cook the books. We had a great one here in Alabama, Richard Scrushy, who ran the HealthSouth corporation. Although relatively small for today's standards, when it hit the fan, the $2 Billion fraud was pretty shocking. Scrushy signed off on fraudulent financial reports for years. Lots of his underlings went to jail for that but he somehow managed to convince the jury that he didn't know what was happening. But all other testimony indicates that it was his idea and that he directed everything that was done and signed off on it. When all the investors lost everything, Scrushy walked away with millions. He was later ordered to return 52 million in bonuses he took while the fraud was ongoing. Now he has only a few million to live on the rest of his life--just that, some private jets, a luxury yacht, several homes, etc. He is in prison at the moment for bribing our former governor but he remains one of the top 1% of wealthy people in the US. Along with him place people like the Enron directors who padded their pockets and sold off their stock while barring employees from dumping Enron stock. Most people know what happened there.

So of the wealthiest 2% in America, I estimate that 1% of those are actually honestly wealthy.

One other story: when my father was President of the Jefferson County (Alabama) Commission, he was in charge of the finances for the whole county. The county had balanced books and a useable accounting system. An old political-friend-turned-political-enemy recruited a woman to run against him--a multimillionaire named Mary Buckalew. She ran a dirty campaign and won my father's seat. Over the next few years, she took some relatively cheap gifts--expensive shoes and a handbag plus a luxury spa treatment--and in turn gave the New York banker a lot of County business and got us involved in "interest rate swaps" and bizarre financing to pay for court-ordered sewer improvements. The commission added about $1 billion dollars of sewer projects not required by the court order and also financed that. Now, today, directly because of those sewer projects and the bizarre financial deals that started with a simple, cheap bribe of someone who was already independently wealthy, Jefferson County has a bigger debt than Orange County California had when it became the biggest governmental default in US history. So Jefferson County is now the biggest governmental default in US history, starting with that one bribe of someone who could have bought the bribe materials with the change in her purse. She's under indictment for all that right now.

So I do believe that most of the super-wealthy (by far) are motivated by greed and will do literally anything they think they can get away with to get more, more, more.

I'm fine with spending on the infrastructure, firemen, even bullets for the soldiers. I'm not fine with government spending that is designed to appear compassionate. Giving money to a panhandler is compassion. Pointing a gun at another person and demanding that they give their money to the panhandler is a crime. For some reason, the government is allowed to do it.

What? Are you sure you wouldn't like to rephrase that? Let's not go past the moon in hyperbole, shall we?

One's first impulse might be to say that this is an exageration.

So you're saying this is not an exaggeration? Has anyone ever pointed a tgun at you and made you give money to a panhandler?

Let's look past step one. If I refuse to pay a portion of my taxes on the grounds that I've given money to a more efficient institiution that is better able to help the poor, they will send men with guns to escort me to the courthouse.

Ah...and then they literally take your money and give it literally to panhandlers?

Of course not. What you're really objecting to is your perception that wherever they are spending your money is either not efficient or it helps people you don't want to help.

What if I have paid a portion of my money to some peace group and I don't want any of my money going to pay for any war?

What if I don't want any black people to benefit from my taxes (and let's face it--that is the absolute main ground of Rush Limbaugh's appeal to America: don't pay the welfare queens)? And speaking of ill-gotten gains, there is one man who has been willing to risk starting a race war in America just to become a big fat millionaire. He's right in the same class with Louis Farrakhan and Perez Hilton. He's like Perez Hilton in the closet and Perez Hilton is Rush Limbaugh out of the closet. They should get married.

What if I don't want any of my money to go to any Jews? Or to help people with AIDS because I think they got AIDS by being immoral--despite our knowledge that many, many AIDS victims were never homosexual?

We cannot pick and choose where our taxes go. We can only do that by voting and then we have to just hang on and ride out whatever happens (or impeach the politician who has cheated us).

For the government, it's not about helping anyone; it's about control, dependence, and layers of government agencies being established for the expansion of the state's power.

But for pure abuse, corruption and lies, we can't beat the very previous administration. Servicemen following orders at Abu Grhaib are now serving prison terms for what they did. And at that time, Bush looked the nation in the eye and said "America does not torture." But then we found that his own AG had actually approved the use of interrogation methods that Japanese were executed for. Having watched all that flow by with scarcely a ripple, why would anyone jump on the current administration as it tries to dig the nation out of the truly great disaster that has befallen us? Geez! For expanding power and control of the nation????? You can't get worse than Bush and Cheney unless you do go into a literal Dictatorship. Why cry about government expansion and control now?

concerning "liberals'" belief that some people desperately need help:
Okay. Not "me", but "some people".

Earlier, you said that conservatives think you are strong enough to do for yourself but they will help you get started. What about people whom no one ever helped "get started" and who are now too old, poor and broken down to do much of anything for themselves? People who worked the best jobs they could find (who would voluntarily stay with a worse job when they could get a better job?) but who never were able to get anywhere in life. In Alabama, we had a very rigid "separate but equal" education system where blacks went to schools up in the hills and got very little of the resources available to us in the white schools. That got better while I was in high school, but look back to the thirties and forties. I knew plenty of people when I was a kid, who were already too old and uneducated ever to have a hope of anything much better than a shovel and some mud, but if you would pay them and give them a sandwich, they would labor like mules and say "Thank you, sir," when you paid them. So yeah, there are plenty of people who deserve more than they get from society, but their share goes to the tax cheats who already have 1000 times what would support a normal family for the rest of their lives.

It damn sure applies to me. Liberal websites and news sources will usually portray conservatives in a bad light, and vise versa. Both will report some things, and actively choose NOT to report others. I listen to both in an effort to find some little piece of the whole truth.

Well, I do have a very strong conservative streak, but not like the conservatism of Cheney and Limbaugh. That's nothing but greed on a platter with endive and a cigar. I believe we should fend for ourselves as much as we can but that we should also look out for others. I also believe that the land itself is sacred and we shouldn't dig for oil in pristine wilderness just so that bored teenagers can drive SUVs to the mall. I believe that the diversity of animal life is important to continued human life on the planet. But we hear the champions of the American conservative movement tell us that if we can profit from it, we should dig up the wildlife reserve. If we enjoy doing it, we should be able to kill any animal in any numbers we want because it's our right. We should be able to dump our chemicals into rivers and streams and the ocean because we're big businesses and we create "good jobs".

That is the effect the "conservative movement" in America has had since Reagan came along. It includes invading any country we feel like invading if it suits "our interests," which invariably turn out to be the interests of some huge corporation or the oil companies (to which the conservative leaders invariably have strong financial ties).

If you and Dan want the conservative movement in America to gain some acceptance again, these elements of "conservatism" have to be corrected. Liberty (liberal) and Justice for all.

Like Bruce said, take what is usefull, and discard what isn't.

I'm afraid Bruce was another of those very short-term thinkers and he ended up discarding some very useful things without ever recognizing their value. He's not a very good example of anything.

A lock box is a great idea. Al spoke of it as if it were already in existence. A whole lot of Americans probably believed him.

I don't think so. He always said, "I will put SS in a lockbox." I doubt anyone thought it had already been done because everyone knew that there was a rapidly evolving problem with the program. That's why they were debating it and the question was "What will you do to fix SS?" And Gore said "I will put it in a lockbox."

You'll get some money from Social Security, unless they decide that you won't. That's the way it's set up.

That's what I mean. I'm pretty sure they will decide I won't before I get old enough. They've already upped the age at which people can retire, requiring you to go on until age 69, now, I think. They may make that 72 in a few years. Or 75. Then, maybe 80.

David, we're still finding out about health risks in foods that we've been eating for centuries. Every day, some news story is telling us that something that we thought was good for us yesterday is killing us today, and vise versa.

Yeah, but that's food. Like eggs, salt, fish oil, etc. Not drugs. The FDA is supposed to insure that these new "scientific inventions" (i.ei, NOT natural substances) that the drug companies are aggressively marketing to us on TV are actually proven safe and effective before they allowed to be given to the public. And they are not doing it.

When a drug displays some life threatening trait that didn't appear during clinical trials, it is then taken off the market.

The problem is that even if problems are noted during the trials, the FDA frequently still allows the drug to go to the market. There were clear indications of cardiovascular dangers in vioxx in trials. A US research director for Merck said cardiovascular problems with the drug "are clearly there" in a 2000 clinical trial. But the drug was allowed to go to market. It's crazy.

Research is a drawn out, exhaustive process. It takes a long time to clear a drug with the FDA.

Obviously not quite long enough in many cases. Too many literally deadly drugs are allowed to be aggressively marketed to the public and the companies are seldom made to pay for actual damages caused by those drugs. They don't test the drugs thoroughly enough before using American citizens as drug company guinea pigs. And the companies will pay millions to lawyers to avoid paying hundreds of thousands to people harmed by the medications because otherwise, hundreds of thousands of people would be demanding hundreds of thousands of dollars each. It's cheaper for them to screw people and pay lawyers than to pay just settlements to their victims.

Our research dept. is performing multiple studies right now. The only time I've ever seen a drug pushed through in a hurry was when the benefit was so fabulous that the FDA took notice and decided that the life saving capabilities of the drug should be made available as soon as possible.

Clearly, if a drug gets to market and kills people it has been "rushed" through the process. If a deadly substance gets through, it was not thoroughly reviewed. Incomplete review, as drugs like Vioxx clearly got, is a rush through the system.

I know doctors that speak at these functions. It's called "Continuing Education". The federal government requires it of them.

"Continuing Education" is not paid for by drug companies. It's paid for by the doctor's institution and it's not conducted at drug company soirees but at Universities, and by organizations such as the New York Academy of Sciences. We're talking aobut literal junket vacations for doctors paid for top to bottom by pharmaceutical companies that want to persuade the doctors to sell their drugs for them. That is not continuing education.

A recent article stated that the city of Pittsburgh had MRI machines than the whole of Canada. We are able to receive the best care in the world and have our lives saved without ridiculously long wait times. We're expected to pay for it.:crazy:

So a canadian is said to wait 18.3 weeks for a surgery. But when I recently changed my wife's "primary care physician," we were told we couldn't get in to see the new physician for about 12 weeks. And she would have to wait 12 weeks to have her condition evaluated. If she then needed surgery, how much longer would she have to wait for that?

And let's not forget about all the patients that have the wrong leg or the wrong testical cut off because of the negligence that our over-technologized and under-humanized American medical system breeds.

I'm not out to trash it, but we need to wake up to the facts that there are some very extremely serious problems in the American medical system and that extreme expense is only one of them. Medical costs are the leading cause of American financial ruin today.

Best wishes.

David

Mike Sigman
05-29-2009, 05:01 PM
That's funny... When I clicked on the link that started this thread I didn't read anything about Bush, Cheney or the previous administration. Then when I read the question asking if the information consitituted a step in the right direction, I still didn't see anything about Bush, Cheney, Palin or the previous administration. Then I started reading posts that all ignored the original poster's question and bashed Bush, Cheney, Palin, the previous administration and republications.

To answer the original post:
1. I don't like the current spending - its too much spending borrowed against money we don't have. The stimulus bill is veiled big government pretending to be a booster to the economy. The administration pushed the stimulus bill through largely on a partisan vote (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/29179041/).
2. I don't like many of the recession aid packages that have been put into place. I don't like the government running car manufacturers, banks or any private businesss. I don't like my taxes bailing out homeowners in foreclorsure (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,522503,00.html). If you do not prefer Fox News, Bloomberg runs a similar article (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aE_j_CA8fCao&refer=home).
3. I don't like the misleading facts about national healthcare and how it will pay for itself (http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_11/b4123020532277.htm) (or not).

My biggest disappointment is that so far the Obama administration is showing signs it will be like any other administration, which was not the "change" for which I hoped - partisan politics, political coat tails, and lobbyists dominating the adminstration. I guess the change to which he was referring is a republican administration to a democratic one...I was watching Arnold Schwarzenegger announce yesterday that California was bankrupt and that he was going to try to stop paying welfare because they don't have the money. California has been in the forefront of taxing the wealthy and paying for all sorts of social costs like welfare, healthcare for illegal immigrants, environmental concerns, union wages and pension plans, and so on. Gradually the social entitlement costs have risen and the taxes have risen. At some point in time it becomes unfeasible to have money and live in California, to start a business in California, or to continue doing business in California. Why invest your money in any business when there is no profit to be made? You're often better off, instead of starting a new business and putting in 70 hours a week to make it work, to simply go work as a cashier at Wal-Mart if all you can make is $30K a year. And so businesses and people have been leaving California in droves... because the "share the wealth" idea ultimately doesn't work if the wealthy are penalized for taking the risk to become wealthy. Incidentally, there is no fixed "wealthy class"... there is a constant turnover in who is wealthy at any given time. So hating "The Rich" is a bit of a joke.

But, if the old saying "As goes California, so goes the rest of the country" is true, then pretty soon we'll understand what the fantasy of "share the wealth" actually does. Ask Sweden why they had to desperately change a number of laws.

FWIW

Mike

dps
05-29-2009, 08:58 PM
From Russia With Love, people who have been there and done that.

So it should be no surprise, that the American president has followed this up with a "bold" move of declaring that he and another group of unelected, chosen stooges will now redesign the entire automotive industry and will even be the guarantee of automobile policies. I am sure that if given the chance, they would happily try and redesign it for the whole of the world, too. Prime Minister Putin, less then two months ago, warned Obama and UK's Blair, not to follow the path to Marxism, it only leads to disaster. Apparently, even though we suffered 70 years of this Western sponsored horror show, we know nothing, as foolish, drunken Russians, so let our "wise" Anglo-Saxon fools find out the folly of their own pride.

http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-0/

David

dps
05-30-2009, 02:29 AM
Obama's Wall Street cabinet
6 April 2009

A series of articles published over the weekend, based on financial disclosure reports released by the Obama administration last Friday concerning top White House officials, documents the extent to which the administration, in both its personnel and policies, is a political instrument of Wall Street.

Policies that are extraordinarily favorable to the financial elite that were put in place over the past month by the Obama administration have fed a surge in share values on Wall Street. These include the scheme to use hundreds of billions of dollars in public funds to pay hedge funds to buy up the banks' toxic assets at inflated prices, the Auto Task Force's rejection of the recovery plans of Chrysler and General Motors and its demand for even more brutal layoffs, wage cuts and attacks on workers' health benefits and pensions, and the decision by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to weaken "mark-to-market" accounting rules and permit banks to inflate the value of their toxic assets........

........The new financial disclosures reveal that top Obama advisors directly involved in setting these policies have received millions from Wall Street firms, including those that have received huge taxpayer bailouts.

World Socialist Web Site
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/apr2009/pers-a06.shtml

David

David Orange
05-30-2009, 09:59 AM
That's funny... When I clicked on the link that started this thread I didn't read anything about Bush, Cheney or the previous administration. Then when I read the question asking if the information consitituted a step in the right direction, I still didn't see anything about Bush, Cheney, Palin or the previous administration. Then I started reading posts that all ignored the original poster's question and bashed Bush, Cheney, Palin, the previous administration and republications.

That's because most people recognize that you guys are pretending this is the same economic climate Bush inherited from Clinton--normal times where everything is stable and everyone's busy and working happily, making good money and feeding their families. And along comes this Obama fellow, nobody knows how he got into the government in the first place, and out of nowhere, on a clean slate, he just starts wasting everyone's money.

Unfortunately (very terribly unfortunately) we are not in the economic climate Bush inherited from Clinton.

We are now in the worst economic situation since the Great Depression, according to all involved. After eight years of feeding chocolates to the super wealthy, one of Bush's last acts in the Presidency was to hand over 700 billion to the banks because if he hadn't, the economy was going bust. Along with his 700 billion on Iraq (up to that point, and minus tremendous related expenses he never accounted) that's 1.4 TRILLION right there. That bank bailout was endorsed by Bush himself, by John McCain and by Obama. So it's very deeply and firmly and inextricably rooted in the Republican policies and decisions of the Bush administration and it would have been on McCain's hands had he been elected.

Now that Obama is in charge of rescuing the entire economy (including all citizens and not merely the banks and Wall Street), those same Republicans only want to obstruct and nay-say as if they had nothing to do with the whole destruction of the entire US economy.

And that's why not too many people bothered to deal with the original intent of this thread to slander and discredit the man on whose shoulders the entire weight is placed. Bush just shrugged early on and was never bothered by that kind of thing again. He just fed the rich and fed fear and hatred and envy and here is where we are today.

So don't cry too much about Obama. If you ever pause to think about what just walked out the door, you'll remember that you're barking up the wrong tree.

Don't like what Obama is doing? You should have taken action eight years ago when George and Jeb were jerrymandering and election to put Rob Blagojevich to shame.

Concerned that congress is passing things on a partisan basis? Ah....would that be because the nation cast out the Republicans almost en masse? Could it be because the Republicans' positions are more of the same things that destroyed the economy and their numbers are so weak and extreme that they just don't count anymore?

That is, in fact, the case.

David

dps
05-30-2009, 10:08 AM
Okay David, we know you hate Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rush, Hannity, all people conservative.
My original post was about Obama asking his cabinet to cut out 100 million dollars from their budget when he is spending trillions of dollars.

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/04/20/obamas-spending-vs-obamas-spending-cuts-in-pictures/

Seriously, what is your opinion of this and how is putting the country even further into debt by trillions going to help the country?

David

David Orange
05-30-2009, 10:23 AM
I was watching Arnold Schwarzenegger announce yesterday that California was bankrupt and that he was going to try to stop paying welfare because they don't have the money. California has been in the forefront of taxing the wealthy and paying for all sorts of social costs like welfare, healthcare for illegal immigrants, environmental concerns, union wages and pension plans, and so on.

But, Mike: haven't you noticed that the Federal government, which has been soaking the rich with a flood of money and has use "the environment" as one big outdoor toilet, is also broke?

Both the far right conservative nation and the far left (as you would have it) state of California have gone bankrupt.

So what does that tell you?

It means that something is fundamentally wrong with the entire nation.

Several years back there was a book by some economist predicting another great depression, probably in the early 1990s, I believe. His point was that when the richest 1% of the nation owns a greater and greater share of the total wealth of the nation (and that's what it means when "the rich get richer") we naturally move toward an economic breakdown. And in the last eight years, the rich have gotten richer at a faster rate than ever in history. And behold. The economist missed the timeline, but he seems to have been right about the over-accumulation of wealth in the top 1% of citizens.

On top of that, we have developed a very fragile social situation with people driving 60 miles per day, each way, to work, in vehicles that get 10-15 mpg, living in huge McMansions that suck up utility resources like sponges. This would be pointing a finger if there were only fifty or a hundred such people in America. You could say I'm singling them out, but in fact, this is the way hundreds of thousands, if not millions of Americans have been living for the past many years. Our enemies grow strong on these negligent "lifestyles" and our air becomes filthy while companies profiting from it pay almost literally nothing in taxes.

And look at where it's finally gotten us.

Only extreme and bold action is going to help us out of this: and it can't be just a financial paste-over. It has to be a real re-structuring of how we operate. Nothing less will matter. McCain would have played the likeable old Calvin Coolidge of the 21st Century and Palin would have satiated the right-wingers' need for what she brings, and in four years, we would have had a new dustbowl of an economy throughout the United States. Of course, he would have kept the military up to snuff and the citizens would all stand quietly in the bread lines.

More on the rest of your comments later.

David

Mike Sigman
05-30-2009, 01:30 PM
More on the rest of your comments later.Er, David... unless you can pull back from the totally bizarre hyperbole, please don't bother. I wasn't addressing you, but the thread topic in general.

Mike

David Orange
05-30-2009, 09:43 PM
[QUOTE=David Skaggs;231341]Okay David, we know you hate Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rush, Hannity, all people conservative.[\quote]

Conservative?

None of those people are real conservatives at all. Unless you define "conservatism" as being "a right-wing nut."

As for what steps we should take to correct the current economic situation, I am sure that McCain would have taken a Herbert Hoover kind of let-nature-take-its-course strategy. Like McCain, Hoover assured Americans that the "fundamentals of the economy are sound," and he left the disaster more or less untreated for almost four years.

I think Obama's strategy is fine.

The only alternative I've seen anyone suggest was basically to follow McCain's strategy.

And the Republicans, ridiculously, obstruct Obama in favor of just keeping on doing as we've been doing for the past eight years.

So my suggestion is just to hang on and mind your business, work your butt off and save every penny you can. Got an SUV? That may be a bit of very bad luck since now they're very hard to get rid of. Live sixty miles from work? You might have a hard row ahead. But if you get your affairs in order and take care of business, you'll probably be okay until the recovery kicks in within the next couple of years. If we'd left it in McCain's hands, the recovery would have probably taken twelve years.

I think Obama is doing the right thing.

David

David Orange
05-30-2009, 09:48 PM
Er, David... unless you can pull back from the totally bizarre hyperbole, please don't bother. I wasn't addressing you, but the thread topic in general.

Okay, so you point out how the left-wing Californians are now broke because they're left-wing, but it's "hyperbole" for me to point out that the whole US is also broke because it's right-wing?

Are we only supposed to see the facts you present and ignore all the other just-as-potent facts? But that would mean that only your conclusion can be reached, wouldn't it?

Seems like your intent. And my hyperbole is only flying in formation with yours. So....your cherry-picking of the intelligence is pretty bizarre in itself.

David

David Orange
05-30-2009, 10:13 PM
At some point in time it becomes unfeasible to have money and live in California, to start a business in California, or to continue doing business in California. Why invest your money in any business when there is no profit to be made?

Yet on a national level, when everything was set up on a red carpet for the exclusive benefit of big business, taxes were slashed for them and regulations were eliminated, they still "fled" by moving off-shore, where they could get even lower taxes and pay lower wages and boost their profits to the obscene level. Likewise, those that stay in the US but export all the jobs.

Normal growth is good, but growth that goes out of control is cancer and American capitalism (on the big scale) has long since become a cancer on our society and on the minds of American citizens.

And so businesses and people have been leaving California in droves... because the "share the wealth" idea ultimately doesn't work if the wealthy are penalized for taking the risk to become wealthy.

Or is it really that they just wanted less tax, lower wages and a cancerous level of profit?

Incidentally, there is no fixed "wealthy class"... there is a constant turnover in who is wealthy at any given time. So hating "The Rich" is a bit of a joke.

It is and it isn't. People enter and leave the top 1% of wealth all the time, but that's on a fringe level. There is a hard core in that 1% that goes back to the founding of this country and there are families that haven't done any actual labor since the left England or wherever they came from. You get people like Bill Gates and Steven Jobs who become super-wealthy and stay there a long time. And there are those that come and go and maybe come back.

But as a class, the top 1%, owning a sizeable majority of all the real wealth in the nation, also own a lot of the lawmakers and judges and exert tremendous influence to bend the lesser classes to their will, very successfully. And they also have a cancerous influence on the wannabe rich who mimic their ruthless ways in the thousands of small businesses that nickel and dime their workers and cheat them out of their rightful earnings--such as pensions they pay into but never get paid back from. Right wingers always talk like class warfare is the poor against the wealthy, but the truth is that the wealthy make a constant subtle warfare against everyone poorer than themselves. So you're right, "the rich" are not always the same people, but the core of that class has been remarkably stable for many long years.

But, if the old saying "As goes California, so goes the rest of the country" is true, then pretty soon we'll understand what the fantasy of "share the wealth" actually does.

A good point since we saw the right-wing version of that just before Bush left office, handing the largest transfer of wealth in history from poor taxpayers to the super wealthy bankers. Want to talk socialism? He's already out the door. Welcome to the aftermath of Bush.

David

dps
05-30-2009, 10:30 PM
Okay David, we know you hate Bush, Cheney, Rove, Rush, Hannity, all people conservative.
My original post was about Obama asking his cabinet to cut out 100 million dollars from their budget when he is spending trillions of dollars.

http://blog.heritage.org/2009/04/20/obamas-spending-vs-obamas-spending-cuts-in-pictures/

Seriously, what is your opinion of this and how is putting the country even further into debt by trillions going to help the country?

David


Conservative?

None of those people are real conservatives at all. Unless you define "conservatism" as being "a right-wing nut."

I think Obama's strategy is fine........

........I think Obama is doing the right thing.

David

Okay, you responded to part of my post but did not answer the rest of it. What do you think of Obama asking his cabinet to cut 100 million from their budgets while he is spending trillions and how is going deeper into debt by trillions going to help the country?

David

David

David Orange
05-31-2009, 10:07 PM
Okay, you responded to part of my post but did not answer the rest of it. What do you think of Obama asking his cabinet to cut 100 million from their budgets while he is spending trillions and how is going deeper into debt by trillions going to help the country?

He's the President. He has to make the decisions and it looks to me like he's doing fine. So what if he tells his cabinet to cut budgets and spends elsewhere?

And how is going into debt by trillions going to help the country?

Again, I ask, why didn't you carp like that while Bush was wasting the surpluses of 2000 and running up 1.4 trillion in debt? He's left so much destruction behind, and so many real costs hidden, I think borrowing is the only way to get out of it now. Sure, we could take the "conservative" approach and do nothing, and let the current trouble snowball into what would have become known as a "real McCain of a Depression" but thank God that Obama isn't waiting around and listening to the same people who caused the mess.

Actually, this is a great segue into the health care issue.

Do you realize that one of the leading causes of personal bankruptcy in the US is medical catastrophe? And we're not talking about people without insurance, but families with great insurance. Then one of the earning members gets cancer or some other debilitating disease. He or she has to quit work if it gets bad enough and the family is hard pressed even to pay the co-pay for treatments for that member. Then the insurance company drops the whole family.

Think it's a joke? It happens probably thousands of times per year in the US. Then any treatment the sick family member receives must be paid in full by the family and with American medical costs, the family is very soon bankrupt and possibly homeless, maybe with a cancer patient to deal with as well.

To relate that to Bush and Obama, well obviously, the US got infected with a severe cancer in the past eight years and now we have been wiped out. All of our financial systems have slowed to a crawl and many of our industries are threatened, while job losses reached epic levels before Bush made his escape.

Now Obama is handing you the bill for what it's going to take to fix this sorry situation that could have been avoided simply by letting the winner of the 2000 election hold office.

But since we got cancer, instead, now we're facing an enormous bill to recover.

Say you're in shock at the bill? Where have you been living? I've been warning for years that Bush was going to drive the nation off a cliff, and here we are in freefall. And now you choose to notice.

It's time for everyone to pay up. Sad but true.

David

dps
06-01-2009, 12:35 AM
He's the President. He has to make the decisions and it looks to me like he's doing fine. So what if he tells his cabinet to cut budgets and spends elsewhere?

So what if he tells his cabinet to cut budgets (by 100 million) and spends elsewhere (by trillions).

One hundred million seconds is 3.2 years
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

It seems absurd.

Does anyone know how going into debt trillions of dollars will help the country.

David

David Orange
06-01-2009, 07:46 AM
One hundred million seconds is 3.2 years
A trillion seconds is 31,688 years.

It seems absurd.


What's absurd is you don't mind Bush wasting 1.4 trillion but when Obama has to clean it up, then it gets absurd?

For eight years Bush neglected the real needs of this nation while he squandered our national wealth on an unnecessary war and transferred billions from the citizens of the United States to the super wealthy via corporations. And now we're in the worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.

And you want to go on following the people who created the disaster.

You can look up this thread again a year from now and you'll realize how absurd your own thinking is on this subject.

Meanwhile, enjoy!

David

Marc Abrams
06-01-2009, 07:55 AM
I propose the following solution to this vexing problem. We start off with the government surplus that existed with President Clinton took office. We then calculate the difference between the deficit when President Bush left office with the surplus. We then do the following:

1) We calculate the total number of US citizens that voted for President Bush and the total number of corporations and groups that contributed to one of his campaigns.

2) We calculate the total number of US citizens that voted for President Bush and the total number of corporations and groups that contributed to both of his campaigns.

3) To group one we add a one-time surcharge to their US taxes. To group two, we add a one-time surcharge (double of group 1) to their US taxes. The total amount of the surcharge would equal the difference between the surplus when President Bush took office and the deficit when President Bush left office.

I cannot see why responsible citizens would not agree to this sound financial proposal :D . After all, those griping about the government spending now should FIRST live up to their previous fiscal responsible nature.

Marc Abrams

ps.- The Heritage Foundation is an ultraconservative think tank whose skewed ideas would fit well within the John Birch Society.

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 08:41 AM
I dunno. I'm not allied with right-wing conservatives, but the heavy reliance on intellectual dishonesty (maybe from depending on class-warfare statements to appeal to their 'base', which is generally ignorant?) of the left is bothersome.

Looking back in recent posts, I see a common idea where Bush's "surplus" is lost. But always when liberals mention the lost surplus they simply refuse to include any mention of the effects the 9/11 attack had on the economy. The economy went to its knees and trillions were lost. But it's never mentioned... the whole blame is placed on Bush.

Then there's the current economic disaster. The disaster was called the "Subprime Mortgage Meltdown". What that meant was that a lot of people quit paying their mortgages and because so many of those mortgages had been "securitized" as valid trading interests, they pulled everything down. Now, you can go on YouTube or do a little research on Google and the records are there that the Dems blocked (by using a spurious tactic of 60% vote to block things from getting out of committee) any regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because many people saw the crisis coming and warned of it. It didn't just happen. The Dems wanted poor people to have homes and since F-Mae and F-Mac are essentially arms of the Dem party, the qualifications to get a mortgage were dropped and "subprime" (unqualified) mortgages grew in number. Now the record is still easily available to show that this happened and even some Dems admit that it happened (one U.S. Representative went on TV, puzzled that the Dems wouldn't take credit because they're the ones that did it). So the lie is that Bush did this, when it was actually the Dems. And Obama voted with the Dems. Watch how he very carefully says "different people say there were different causes for the economic collapse". Pooh. He knows. Anyone who doesn't know the sequenced of events is either ignorant or lying, because the facts are still so easily available.

So when it comes to blaming Bush, if you're going to do it, you need to at least acknowledge that the 9/11 attack brought the country to its economic knees and the currenet "subprime"-caused mess.... if you don't acknowledge the Dems' role, the role of Fannie Mae, etc., then it comes down to the pretense of high-principle again. Or low politics. ;)

Mike

dps
06-01-2009, 08:59 AM
What's absurd is you don't mind Bush wasting 1.4 trillion but when Obama has to clean it up, then it gets absurd?.....
...And you want to go on following the people who created the disaster.


If you go with your explanation of the cause of the mess then Obama is following the people who created the disaster.

You don't clean up a mess by continuing to do something that makes the mess worse. Its like pouring gas on a fire to put the fire out.

David

Marc Abrams
06-01-2009, 09:01 AM
I dunno. I'm not allied with right-wing conservatives, but the heavy reliance on intellectual dishonesty (maybe from depending on class-warfare statements to appeal to their 'base', which is generally ignorant?) of the left is bothersome.

Looking back in recent posts, I see a common idea where Bush's "surplus" is lost. But always when liberals mention the lost surplus they simply refuse to include any mention of the effects the 9/11 attack had on the economy. The economy went to its knees and trillions were lost. But it's never mentioned... the whole blame is placed on Bush.

Then there's the current economic disaster. The disaster was called the "Subprime Mortgage Meltdown". What that meant was that a lot of people quit paying their mortgages and because so many of those mortgages had been "securitized" as valid trading interests, they pulled everything down. Now, you can go on YouTube or do a little research on Google and the records are there that the Dems blocked (by using a spurious tactic of 60% vote to block things from getting out of committee) any regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because many people saw the crisis coming and warned of it. It didn't just happen. The Dems wanted poor people to have homes and since F-Mae and F-Mac are essentially arms of the Dem party, the qualifications to get a mortgage were dropped and "subprime" (unqualified) mortgages grew in number. Now the record is still easily available to show that this happened and even some Dems admit that it happened (one U.S. Representative went on TV, puzzled that the Dems wouldn't take credit because they're the ones that did it). So the lie is that Bush did this, when it was actually the Dems. And Obama voted with the Dems. Watch how he very carefully says "different people say there were different causes for the economic collapse". Pooh. He knows. Anyone who doesn't know the sequenced of events is either ignorant or lying, because the facts are still so easily available.

So when it comes to blaming Bush, if you're going to do it, you need to at least acknowledge that the 9/11 attack brought the country to its economic knees and the currenet "subprime"-caused mess.... if you don't acknowledge the Dems' role, the role of Fannie Mae, etc., then it comes down to the pretense of high-principle again. Or low politics. ;)

Mike

Mike:

The far left and far right are simply zealots. Too much hot air released and too much oxygen wasted.

No one is saying that 9/11 did not cause an economic crisis in this country. Compare that situation to the money WASTED starting a war with a country that frankly did a far better job killing and controlling fundamentalist Muslim terrorists than we did. Let us look deeper into how the Bush administration ignored, postponed, and generally minimized any of the pre- 9/11 intelligence warnings about those terrorists and we can make a reasoned conclusion that some degree of responsibility rests with that administration. The only non governmental plane in the US airspace on 9/12 was a plane allowing Saudi nationals (including Bin Laden family members) to leave this country without having been genuinely interrogated. Our country is so beholden to the Saudis that we have yet to truly explore the link between that country and the terrorists from 9/11. That is a whole other story....

As to the subprime meltdown: Yes, this process starting during the Clinton era. It went OUT OF CONTROL during the Bush administration. To blame the Democrats for this problem is intellectual dishonesty at it's worst. The Republicans controlled the government for SIX years. The Democrats only controlled the legislative branch for TWO years. The deregulation that went on during the Republican control along with other forms of handouts to big businesses seems to escape the attention of those who would only like to look at the last two years of the Bush administration.

Simply calculate how much money we spent in Iraq each and every month and the simple conclusion is that we were a financial wreck of a nation without the inevitable economic downturn that took place. Both political parties have so prostituted themselves out to big businesses that they each share responsibility in the economic collapse and in making it difficult to create proper governance so that we do not re-create this collapse at some point in the all-to-near future.

Frankly speaking, this is not a problem of the "left" or "right." In my opinion, the only way in which our country stands a snowballs chance in hell of truly fixing itself is if the following two political regulations are enacted:
1) All forms of lobbying are outlawed.
2) Government funds all political campaigns equally. Any and all forms of contributions are what they are- bribery.

Until these changes are enacted, we may as well make changes in our constitution to accurately reflect today's reality. The change should read "We The People, Inc..."

Marc Abrams

mathewjgano
06-01-2009, 10:15 AM
I think I get the gist of the stimulus plan. It's basic economics: invest in order to generate wealth. Beyond that, it's mostly Greek to me.
Personally, I think the largest part of the blame for the economic situation we're in should be placed on the culture of greed and entitlement (from top to bottom). This is where the disproportion between wealth and work starts (the presumption being that you have to put in work to generate wealth). In my opinion, the wealthy generally have an inflated sense of self-value. Class warfare? Not really...just an opinion based on what little I'm able to observe. Considering the notion that it's easier for the wealthy to make money (it takes money to make money, as they say), I think they deserve higher taxes to level the field a bit. Where the line should be drawn I don't know, but they always seem to forget that much of their wealth is the product of the situation around them as much as from their own hard work...until the bottom falls out from under them and they "need" more money to stay afloat. Suddenly it's the situation's fault. I know I'm quite ignorant of economics (a thing chaotiticians like to study because it's so complex [despite so many simple "answers"]), but oil exemplifies the problem in my mind: when the cost of oil goes up to a relatively large degree they throw up their hands and say "it's the market that's making it harder to pay for gas, not us" all the while making record profits. Seems disproportionate to me...no give and take, just take and take.
Two things:
I agree with Marc that lobbying is bribery. It negates the democratic-oriented republic we're supposed to have formed because it creates a new royalty out of the wealthy. Simply put, my voice is less important than someone who can afford large contributions (ironically that somehow rarely gets called class-warfare like asking the rich to pay larger taxes).
Secondly, as unrealistic as it may be, I'd love to see the draft applied to politics. Make it like jury duty and maybe we won't have to worry as much about our leaders being out of touch with the populace.
Ok, three things, maybe four:
Like David, all my worst predictions came true when Dick and George came into power (I was willing to be proved wrong). That may be pure coincidence...I could have been right for all the wrong reasons, but god bless me if it's not a compelling reason to think I've got at least a tiny bit of insight into the nature of party politics...one party at least (they're both more or less the same, I think).
...not to imply I'm a Democrat. Like everyone else seems to be, I'm not on their team...Mongo just pawn in game of life.
And I've never known a pajorative that wasn't a form of villification.
I think I'm done here now...this is more depressing than a thousand "Aikido doesn't work in a real fight" threads...but that's politics isn't it.
Take care and may you all sort it out.
Sincerely,
Matt
p.s. I realize I'm only tangentially addressing the topic of Obama spending vs spending cuts, but my points seem to be geared toward much of the real issue here in my opinion...or so it seems so far.

dps
06-01-2009, 10:52 AM
ps.- The Heritage Foundation is an ultraconservative think tank whose skewed ideas would fit well within the John Birch Society.

How about the World Socialist Website
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/apr2009/pers-a06.shtml

Pravada.ru
http://english.pravda.ru/opinion/columnists/107459-0/

The Bloomberg Report
http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601039&sid=aYgo3fufKIbI

Finicial Times
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/71520770-4a2c-11de-8e7e-00144feabdc0.html?nclick_check=1

David

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 12:53 PM
No one is saying that 9/11 did not cause an economic crisis in this country. But no one mentioned it, while at the same time laying all the troubles on Bush's head. It's in the posts for everyone to read and it is quite frankly not an encouraging sign for exactly who is on the high-moral ground. ;) Compare that situation to the money WASTED starting a war with a country that frankly did a far better job killing and controlling fundamentalist Muslim terrorists than we did. Let us look deeper into how the Bush administration ignored, postponed, and generally minimized any of the pre- 9/11 intelligence warnings about those terrorists and we can make a reasoned conclusion that some degree of responsibility rests with that administration. That's all speculation and opinion. I was talking about *fact* (9/11 crippled the economy) and the idea that while speculation and opinion run rampant, the facts are often ignored in favor of a partisan position; often that deliberate not mentioning of facts appears to be simple dishonesty.

The only non governmental plane in the US airspace on 9/12 was a plane allowing Saudi nationals (including Bin Laden family members) to leave this country without having been genuinely interrogated. Our country is so beholden to the Saudis that we have yet to truly explore the link between that country and the terrorists from 9/11. That is a whole other story.... Again, whether they hustled Arabs out of the country so no one would be lynched is interesting, but seems to be off the point I made.

As to the subprime meltdown: Yes, this process starting during the Clinton era. It went OUT OF CONTROL during the Bush administration. To blame the Democrats for this problem is intellectual dishonesty at it's worst. The Republicans controlled the government for SIX years. The Democrats only controlled the legislative branch for TWO years. Actually, the Community Reinvestment Act (which has a lot to do with ACORN, BTW) was the inception of "subprime mortgages" and it started in the late seventies. Under Clinton, the program was massively enlarged, despite reservations. The Republicans were actually in charge of the Congress during the attempts to regulate Fannie Mae, etc., but the Dems blocked every attempt to do so by using a procedural maneuver of requiring a 60% vote to get legislation out of the *committee*. I.e., they pulled a stunt (it's in the news and the Republicans objected loudly to it) that allowed a minority to block legislation from ever getting an up or down vote on the floor. The news media was helpful in not playing this trick up, so guess what... many people are unaware of the stunt. However, Google and YouTube will bring it up almost immediately. The Dems blocked regulation of Fannie and Freddie, Barney Frank swore everything was solvent and fine and then boom, the bottom fell out. The Dems and the media desperately try to avoid any reference to the role the Dems had in the disaster (not saying Wall Street and others didn't take advantage of the laxity of the rules, once the Dems and Fannie and Freddie forced that laxness). Whaddya want... me to do the research? It's been on the news to some degree, so I assume rather that blaming the Republicans, any knowledgeable person is going to admit that the "subprime mortgage meltdown" came from giving too many unqualified people mortgages....and everyone knows that's been a Dem program since the late 70's.

Frankly speaking, this is not a problem of the "left" or "right." In my opinion, the only way in which our country stands a snowballs chance in hell of truly fixing itself is if the following two political regulations are enacted:
1) All forms of lobbying are outlawed.
2) Government funds all political campaigns equally. Any and all forms of contributions are what they are- bribery.

Until these changes are enacted, we may as well make changes in our constitution to accurately reflect today's reality. The change should read "We The People, Inc..."
My comment had to do with the fact that Bush was dishonestly being blamed for 9/11's economic phenomena and the current "subprime mortgage meltdown" was being laid at Bush's feet without anyone mentioning that the Republicans were thwarted *every time* by Dem maneuvering in committee. What's bothersome to me is the consistent dishonesty in liberal positions. History keeps being re-written despite the actual facts.

FWIW

Mike

Marc Abrams
06-01-2009, 01:52 PM
Mike:

You seem to be a conservative with issues against liberals. The gutting of regulations for almost every industry clearly lies at the feet of the Bush administration. The minority members of congress bear little responsibility for that. Alan Greenspan's "faulty" philosophy also helped foster an arena of rampant greed with little to no oversight. It total, both political parties are simply corrupt and responsible for what went wrong. The Republicans were in charge. Leaders typically take responsibility for successes and failures. In Japan, leaders resign for actions and inactions that pale in comparison to what happened while under the Bush watch. Leaders are rightly judged by how they lead through good times and bad times. The Bush administration clearly failed on that account and the Obama administration is a chapter yet written.

The cost of the folly in Iraq is not speculation or opinion. Depending upon what source you want to look at, you are talking 5 to 15 BILLION dollars a month. Our economy recovered from the economic downturn from 9/11. Heck, we had a government balance sheet that helped to defray the costs and get our country back on our feet. The same could not be said for the lack of funds that were not available to help us out of this current mess. We seemed to have squandered quite a bit oversees. Then again, there are a lot of Iraqis with beautiful villas in Europe who don't see our funds as having been squandered!

Would that history that you talk about include the myth started by the Bush administration that linked Iraq to 9/11?

Bottom line has nothing to do with our opinions. The facts of where our country was before Bush took office are clear and after he took office are clear. This new administration will also be judged accordingly when President Obama leaves office.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 02:27 PM
You seem to be a conservative with issues against liberals. Not really. If the press and conservatives had a large recent history of misreporting facts, I'd be all over them, too. As a matter of fact, I didn't have any qualms about raising the same issue in a local paper once about them not reporting some shenanigans a local right-wing preacher had gotten into. When someone simply lies about the facts or lies through omission while they're presenting an opinion, I'll always say something. Rest assured. Of course, let's not forget the old Armenian proverb, "He who always tells the truth must always have one foot in the stirrup.". ;) The gutting of regulations for almost every industry clearly lies at the feet of the Bush administration. The minority members of congress bear little responsibility for that. So what was the cause of the economic collapse, then, if you don't think the way the Dems blocked regulation of Fannie and Freddie was? Do you think the "subprime mortgage meltdown" was not the cause of subprime mortgages not being paid? It certainly was. Alan Greenspan's "faulty" philosophy also helped foster an arena of rampant greed with little to no oversight. It total, both political parties are simply corrupt and responsible for what went wrong. The Republicans were in charge. Leaders typically take responsibility for successes and failures. In Japan, leaders resign for actions and inactions that pale in comparison to what happened while under the Bush watch. Leaders are rightly judged by how they lead through good times and bad times. The Bush administration clearly failed on that account and the Obama administration is a chapter yet written. Why not just say "in my opinion" instead of "clearly this" and "clearly that"? It sounds like you're offering simple opinions as facts.
The cost of the folly in Iraq is not speculation or opinion. Depending upon what source you want to look at, you are talking 5 to 15 BILLION dollars a month. Our economy recovered from the economic downturn from 9/11. Heck, we had a government balance sheet that helped to defray the costs and get our country back on our feet. The same could not be said for the lack of funds that were not available to help us out of this current mess. We seemed to have squandered quite a bit oversees. Then again, there are a lot of Iraqis with beautiful villas in Europe who don't see our funds as having been squandered! Hey... please don't try to get me involved in the Iraq war. I couldn't care less. I see both sides of the issue, much in the same way I see both sides of the issue about whether we should have ever gotten involved in WWII, Vietnam, Bosnia, etc. I think we should have stayed out of all of them and to hell with any diplomatic commitments we made. I'm an isolationist. The return on our getting involved in wars while europe sits on its butt and does little in its own defense is minimal. We should simply stop and withdraw all our troops from around the world. Howzat? Would that history that you talk about include the myth started by the Bush administration that linked Iraq to 9/11? What myth, exactly, did the Bush administration start? Are you sure you have a myth started by the Bush admin or is this going to be another David Orange story that omits large facts? ;) Bottom line has nothing to do with our opinions. The facts of where our country was before Bush took office are clear and after he took office are clear. This new administration will also be judged accordingly when President Obama leaves office. Oh, I dunno. The Bush admin was certainly not responsible for the "wall" that Jamie Gorelock increased, which did not allow for the flow of information between the CIA and the FBI. I notice that within the last year even more of the actual truth about her hand in the "wall" has come out and the MSM wouldn't touch it.

I don't mind pointing out things that Bush did. I never cared for him, personally. My point was that I really think even less of people who don't tell the truth, lie through omission, etc., yet who try to appear to be more morally superior than Bush et al.

One last point.... notice how the header is about Obama... yet the conversation keeps going to Bush. Obama has flip-flopped and lied more than Bush ever did, so why keep pointing at the guy who is out of office? Look at his campaign promises and how many of them he's had to "change" because he found out that what sounded good to the rubes wouldn't work out in reality. Some things were simple lies (e.g., his promises about ending NAFTA while sending an emissary to Canada to tell them not to worry because he was just lying to get votes). Obama's motto seems to be, "I cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you". Whatever it takes, eh? Chicago "machine" politics at its best.

Mike

David Orange
06-01-2009, 02:35 PM
I dunno. I'm not allied with right-wing conservatives, but the heavy reliance on intellectual dishonesty...of the left is bothersome.

Yeah, but I think in your case, anything between the middle of the right wing and the far end of the left wing, including the body of the bird, is all "left wing."



Of course, the blame is placed on Bush. Under Al Gore, the 9/11 attacks would not have happened because when the Clinton administration was leaving the White House, they warned Bush that Osama Bin Laden was going to be the biggest national security problem Bush would face. And Bush turned his attention to the Reagan budget-buster so fancifully called "Star Wars" and he paid no further attention to OBL, whatsoever.

In fact, when the second plane hit the WTC, my thoughts were that this was a Russian action, showing Bush "See? Your missile defense is nothing against the mighty Socialist nation of Russia! You defend against missiles? We hit you with your own airplanes!"

But then I realized, "Russians don't usually do suicide missions" and I began to realize, "This was some kind of religious nut." And, of course, from there it was an easy step to "Osama bin Laden."

I was in the Department of Epidemiology offices, watching the coverage live on a TV with bunches of other people, including a muslim woman from Eritrea, who turned to me and said, "Who could have done this?" and I said, "Osama bin Laden."

She gasped and put her hand to her mouth and said, "No! Do you really think so?"

Later, she told me, she had come to believe it, herself.

And that was the situation on 9/10, as they say, when Bush was the perfect poster child for the 9/10 Mentality.

He was as you describe the liberals today, "fat, dumb, happy" and completely unconcerned. He dismissed the intelligence Clinton passed to him, ignored Clinton's experience, the Cole bombing, all the European train bombings, AQ's propensity to turn the items of daily life into instruments of horror, and started pouring Clinton's surpluses into Star Wars and the threat from Russia.

So even without 9/11, he was going to eliminate any available money and his full intent was also to invade Iraq, come hell or high water. 9/11 just gave him the perfect opportunity and Afghanistan was nothing but a stepping stone to his real desire.

He pursued that by stirring panic, fear and anxiety in the populace but the bin Laden family were given a quick pass out of the country as soon as the airways re-opened (if not maybe before that).

So I think Bush really exacerbated the apparent losses to the economy at that time and, in any case, it was going great guns in 2003, 2004 and on up to 2006, when house prices began falling, so I don't think those losses must have been as big as was claimed.

And if they were that big? Then it puts Obama's borrowing into much better perspective. The 9/11 economic disaster had largely abated in a couple of years. So Obama, with a less war-based economy, should be able to rebalance the budget within his term in office and make a silk purse out of Bush's pig ear.

[QUOTE=Mike Sigman;231490]Then there's the current economic disaster. The disaster was called the "Subprime Mortgage Meltdown". What that meant was that a lot of people quit paying their mortgages and because so many of those mortgages had been "securitized" as valid trading interests, they pulled everything down.

Gravity pulled those securities down. First, deregulation allowed them to be created when they were never safe; billions were made by issuing unpayable debt to people with histories of not paying debt, and the ones who made the money on those loans profited again when they sold the loans. And the loans were then sold again and again by people taking cuts at every step until the last buyer discovered they were worthless--or that they might be worthless because, with the instruments that were created in CDOs, it's almost impossible to tell which particular mortgages you even own. And many of those CDOs are made up of 'parts' of many different mortgages. It's the craziest system anyone ever dreamed up. So home buyers were sold mortgages and paid fees and closing costs for loans that the brokers knew full well the borrower would never be able to repay. And they sold these mortgages and were paid again, know that the buyer would never get his money.

So the homeowners lost because they couldn't keep the homes they thought they were buying (having been confused by the broker into all kinds of crazy loans and having been told they could afford them).

The brokers all walked off like bandits, having profited twice on every loan they made.

The investment houses were bailed out for the very stupid investments they made in CDOs.

But the taxpayers, the home buyers and many of the investors were screwed while some already-very-wealthy people doubled their net worth in a few weeks.

Now, you can go on YouTube or do a little research on Google and the records are there that the Dems blocked (by using a spurious tactic of 60% vote to block things from getting out of committee) any regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac because many people saw the crisis coming and warned of it. It didn't just happen. The Dems wanted poor people to have homes and since F-Mae and F-Mac are essentially arms of the Dem party, the qualifications to get a mortgage were dropped and "subprime" (unqualified) mortgages grew in number.

But the roots run a lot deeper than that, to the banking deregulation of the Reagan era. F-Mae and F-Mac arose from that compost.

Now the record is still easily available to show that this happened and even some Dems admit that it happened (one U.S. Representative went on TV, puzzled that the Dems wouldn't take credit because they're the ones that did it). So the lie is that Bush did this, when it was actually the Dems.

No, it was Reagan and the whole financial industry that is founded in his deregulation. The subprime crisis grew like a weed in that manure. People said when Reagan deregulated the banks that he was setting the stage for a New Depression because this same kind of thing was rampant leading to the crash of 1929, but the Republicans said, "No, no. That can't happen again. There are too many safeguards." So they handed business everything they wanted and it started going down pretty quickly, when GHW Bush presided over the S&L disaster, when Neil Bush walked away with profits from the collapse of Silverado.

http://rationalrevolution.net/war/bush_family_and_the_s.htm

And Obama voted with the Dems. Watch how he very carefully says "different people say there were different causes for the economic collapse". Pooh. He knows. Anyone who doesn't know the sequenced of events is either ignorant or lying, because the facts are still so easily available.

Or maybe they're just looking at the flower and ignoring the roots in Reaganomics. Or Voodoo Economics as GHW called it.

So when it comes to blaming Bush, if you're going to do it, you need to at least acknowledge that the 9/11 attack brought the country to its economic knees…

Yes, it did. Briefly. And Obama's debt should be pretty easy to clear up in light of that.

...and the currenet "subprime"-caused mess.... if you don't acknowledge the Dems' role, the role of Fannie Mae, etc., then it comes down to the pretense of high-principle again. Or low politics.

Sure. The Dems are part of the mix, but the whole thing goes back to Reagan, with a focus on the wealthy and underground profit potential, and the Dem involvement focused on increasing home ownership as Credit Unions had traditionally done.

So...all in all...Obama still looks better on every level than any Republican and any other Democrat on the scene.

Cheers.

David

David Orange
06-01-2009, 02:39 PM
If you go with your explanation of the cause of the mess then Obama is following the people who created the disaster.

You don't clean up a mess by continuing to do something that makes the mess worse. Its like pouring gas on a fire to put the fire out.

David

With an oil well fire, you blow up dynamite right above the well head. That's more like what Obama is doing.

The big difference is that Bush poured money down the drain and into foreign pockets, while Obama will spend it in and on this nation. So that money will come back to us. IF Bush's money comes back to us, it will be in bombs and poison gas.

David

dps
06-01-2009, 03:45 PM
..... while Obama will spend it in and on this nation. .

"Michael Froman, deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, worked for Citigroup and received more than $7.4 million from the bank from January of 2008 until he entered the Obama administration this year. This included a $2.25 million year-end bonus handed him this past January, within weeks of his joining the Obama administration."

"David Axelrod, the Obama campaign's top strategist and now senior adviser to the president, was paid $1.55 million last year from two consulting firms he controls. He has agreed to buyouts that will garner him another $3 million over the next five years. His disclosure claims personal assets of between $7 and $10 million."

"Obama's deputy national security adviser, Thomas E. Donilon, was paid $3.9 million by a Washington law firm whose major clients include Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and the private equity firm Apollo Management."

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/apr2009/pers-a06.shtml

Boy, I am glad to see that the money is spent here at home.

David

Marc Abrams
06-01-2009, 04:57 PM
David:

If those guys fix our economic woes than I see that the money was well spent.

How about ex-vp Cheney and the money that he made from Halliburton? Was that money well spent?

The financial games are played on both sides of the political aisle.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 05:06 PM
How about ex-vp Cheney and the money that he made from Halliburton? What about the money he made from Halliburton? That's actually not related to political elections, even though it was a big talking point among liberals. Axelrod and others have an honest web of political connections that no liberal is calling to be tracked at all. Again, I point to the one-sidedness of people who are claiming the high moral ground.

Halliburton, BTW, is one of 3 companies in the world that can multi-task on a massive scale and that's why they're picked (often on a non-competitive contract basis) to supplement the military. The other two companies are a French company and a Russian company. Bill Clinton used Halliburton, on a non-competition contract basis for the Bosnian war (a war that we had less basis to fight in than Iraq.... but the so-called anti-war crowd uttered not a peep, showing once again that they are really simply political partisans).

But if you want to claim that Cheney had something other than a past association with Halliburton and that somehow there was corruption, please let's discuss it. Then maybe we can get back to Obama's ties to the unions and how he is muscling people in the unions' favor. I haven't seen anyone on the "anti-Bush" side say "Wow... that's troubling that Obama is obviously playing favorites with the unions". Not A Word. Moral high ground.

FWIW

Mike

Marc Abrams
06-01-2009, 05:18 PM
What about the money he made from Halliburton? That's actually not related to political elections, even though it was a big talking point among liberals. Axelrod and others have an honest web of political connections that no liberal is calling to be tracked at all. Again, I point to the one-sidedness of people who are claiming the high moral ground.

Halliburton, BTW, is one of 3 companies in the world that can multi-task on a massive scale and that's why they're picked (often on a non-competitive contract basis) to supplement the military. The other two companies are a French company and a Russian company. Bill Clinton used Halliburton, on a non-competition contract basis for the Bosnian war (a war that we had less basis to fight in than Iraq.... but the so-called anti-war crowd uttered not a peep, showing once again that they are really simply political partisans).

But if you want to claim that Cheney had something other than a past association with Halliburton and that somehow there was corruption, please let's discuss it. Then maybe we can get back to Obama's ties to the unions and how he is muscling people in the unions' favor. I haven't seen anyone on the "anti-Bush" side say "Wow... that's troubling that Obama is obviously playing favorites with the unions". Not A Word. Moral high ground.

FWIW

Mike

Mike:

With all due respect, that is simply absurd! Halliburton had everything to do with politics. NO BID contracts, illegal activities in which investigators were stopped in their tracks. A "BLIND" trust that stood everything to gain from all of those contracts. I wish my investments were are "blindly" managed as those were.

There would be more companies if not for no-bid contracts and a whole lot of other untidy things that prevent real competition among companies. These mega corporations are knee deep in politics and keep a lot of politicians on both sides of the aisle well fed.

Read my previous post about cleaning up government. Until that happens, do not expect honesty and integrity as the rule of thumb amongst politicians and big business. These companies are simply the brothels and the politicians are employed by them both during and after their "duty" as elected officials.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 05:35 PM
With all due respect, that is simply absurd! Halliburton had everything to do with politics. NO BID contracts, illegal activities in which investigators were stopped in their tracks. A "BLIND" trust that stood everything to gain from all of those contracts. I wish my investments were are "blindly" managed as those were. Sorry, but I was asking for something besides a simple assertion that Cheney made money illicitly via Halliburton. Your comments don't do a single thing to support your assertion. Are you saying "maybe he made some money illicitly"? In other words, is your assertion really only an opinion being presented as a fact?

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 05:39 PM
Still not the least concern about Obama's relationship with the unions? Something that has actually been demonstrated and not "supposed"? Goodness. All this concern about fair and honest doesn't really seem to be fair and honest! :D

Mike

Marc Abrams
06-01-2009, 08:29 PM
Sorry, but I was asking for something besides a simple assertion that Cheney made money illicitly via Halliburton. Your comments don't do a single thing to support your assertion. Are you saying "maybe he made some money illicitly"? In other words, is your assertion really only an opinion being presented as a fact?

Regards,

Mike

Mike:

Please do not distort my words. I did not say that Cheney made money illicitly. I frankly consider his "legal" gains to be quite distasteful. I BELIEVE that if there were total disclosure of all of Cheney's activities during his tenure, I would not be surprised to find examples of illegal activities in a number of areas. That of course is simply my opinion. Facts seem to be missing (aka - e-mails) and so much more is simply kept from public view. As to Haliburton's illegal activities, they are well documented, as are the squashing of investigations into those activities.

Marc Abrams

Marc Abrams
06-01-2009, 08:34 PM
Still not the least concern about Obama's relationship with the unions? Something that has actually been demonstrated and not "supposed"? Goodness. All this concern about fair and honest doesn't really seem to be fair and honest! :D

Mike

Mike:

Your attempts to distort my views are just that. President Obama's relationships with unions may or may not be a bad thing. Time will tell. Time has certainly showed us what the Bush administration's "cozy" relationship with many big businesses has brought us.

Once again, go back to my previous post about "fixing" government. That applies to both parties, which I consider to be both corrupted to the very core. The only question seems to be: Which brothels have what degree of influence with what political parties brothel contract workers?

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 08:54 PM
Mike:

Please do not distort my words. I did not say that Cheney made money illicitly. I frankly consider his "legal" gains to be quite distasteful. I BELIEVE that if there were total disclosure of all of Cheney's activities during his tenure, I would not be surprised to find examples of illegal activities in a number of areas. That of course is simply my opinion. Facts seem to be missing (aka - e-mails) and so much more is simply kept from public view. As to Haliburton's illegal activities, they are well documented, as are the squashing of investigations into those activities.
Marc, can you give me a cite on the "well-documented" illegal activities that Cheney was involved in? In return, I'll send you some "well-documented" acitivities that Chiropractors have been caught in. Oh... maybe you're not involved in those activities, so I'll be careful and not imply that you are involved in the activities of all Chiropractors.

In terms of the "emails" that have been a liberal talking point, the problem which has been factually ignored by many liberals is that a member of the U.S. Congress or the administration is not allowed to use official government email for political purposes. So what the Democrats did was insist that Republican members of the administration not only adhere to the law and not use government email for private purposes, they also wanted the private RNC emails to be made available for inspection. In other words, this also seems a bit like hypocrisy for you to bring up. Is it because you didn't understand the facts about the email or is it because you thought it was a valid point to make a "gotcha"? Seriously... I've been having a real problem with the intellectual honesty (or not) of many liberals over the last few years so I'd like to know if you already understood about the email situation before *you* brought it up.

Regards,

Mike

Mike Sigman
06-01-2009, 09:57 PM
BTW, look at Obama's comments about Justice Roberts when Obama tried to filibuster Roberts (despite his current calls for everyone to be "morally superior" and get past that stuff that he did as a Senator). Remember that despite being a simple "lecturer" on the staff, Obama calls himself a member of the faculty (notice that his colleagues point out that Obama was not even invited to get on a tenure track, even though the implication in the press is that he was a "professor"):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124390047073474499.html

The problem I have with this is the same sort of problem I'd have with George W. Bush if he implied that he was an "Ace" as a fighter pilot. He was at best, and even less as was Obama, an "also-ran". The BS needs to stop somewhere. Bush at least made no postures of exceeding-grandeur. While some people think that "minorities" are entitled to some excesses, I tend to ask "so what about the 'equality'?".

Mike

Marc Abrams
06-02-2009, 07:54 AM
Marc, can you give me a cite on the "well-documented" illegal activities that Cheney was involved in? In return, I'll send you some "well-documented" acitivities that Chiropractors have been caught in. Oh... maybe you're not involved in those activities, so I'll be careful and not imply that you are involved in the activities of all Chiropractors.

In terms of the "emails" that have been a liberal talking point, the problem which has been factually ignored by many liberals is that a member of the U.S. Congress or the administration is not allowed to use official government email for political purposes. So what the Democrats did was insist that Republican members of the administration not only adhere to the law and not use government email for private purposes, they also wanted the private RNC emails to be made available for inspection. In other words, this also seems a bit like hypocrisy for you to bring up. Is it because you didn't understand the facts about the email or is it because you thought it was a valid point to make a "gotcha"? Seriously... I've been having a real problem with the intellectual honesty (or not) of many liberals over the last few years so I'd like to know if you already understood about the email situation before *you* brought it up.

Regards,

Mike

Mike:

Cheney's passion for secrecy makes good documentation impossible. If there were any full disclosure regarding the leak of the CIA agent would be one area. The convenience of deleted e-mails during a period of probable wrong doing smells worse than a septic tank- to me of course. These are the e-mails that I am referring to. Of course you can believe that the official e-mail deletions were simply accidental, or......(those are the -mails that I am referring to. Not the political ones. Although I would venture that lines are crossed with that alleged distinction with people from both political parties) It is sad that one of the most honorable people around the VP at that time became the fall guy. ex-VP Cheney seemed to have no problems claiming status in both the legislative branch and the executive branch in order to skirt around uncomfortable areas. The convenience of deleted e-mails during a period of probable wrong doing smells worse than a septic tank- to me of course.

The only decent documentation we are likely to get is the cherry-picked material that will accompany Cheney's book that attempts to portray himself as something other than evil-incarnate (my opinion).

You seem to be stuck on linking me to being a liberal. You are far off base on that one.

Marc Abrams

Mike Sigman
06-02-2009, 08:32 AM
Cheney's passion for secrecy makes good documentation impossible. If there were any full disclosure regarding the leak of the CIA agent would be one area. The convenience of deleted e-mails during a period of probable wrong doing smells worse than a septic tank- to me of course. These are the e-mails that I am referring to. Of course you can believe that the official e-mail deletions were simply accidental, or......(those are the -mails that I am referring to. Not the political ones. Although I would venture that lines are crossed with that alleged distinction with people from both political parties) It is sad that one of the most honorable people around the VP at that time became the fall guy. ex-VP Cheney seemed to have no problems claiming status in both the legislative branch and the executive branch in order to skirt around uncomfortable areas. The convenience of deleted e-mails during a period of probable wrong doing smells worse than a septic tank- to me of course.

The only decent documentation we are likely to get is the cherry-picked material that will accompany Cheney's book that attempts to portray himself as something other than evil-incarnate (my opinion).

You seem to be stuck on linking me to being a liberal. You are far off base on that one.I'm not sure what the emails have to do with the Valerie Plame deal. Richard Armitage, the anti-war assistant of Collin Powell finally publicly admitted that he was the one who leaked Valerie Plame's name. He was not prosecuted because it turned out that she was NOT technically a covert agent. In the meantime a disagreement about what Scooter Libby remembers and what else someone else remembered was enough to land Scooter in jail, since there was a very liberal D.C. jury in his trial... sort of a reverse O.J. Simpson jury. So Scooter went to jail basically as the fall guy and the real guy got let off because there was no crime. It's the sort of horror story that has a lot of people saying "enough... we need to clean house".

Mike

Marc Abrams
06-02-2009, 08:58 AM
I'm not sure what the emails have to do with the Valerie Plame deal. Richard Armitage, the anti-war assistant of Collin Powell finally publicly admitted that he was the one who leaked Valerie Plame's name. He was not prosecuted because it turned out that she was NOT technically a covert agent. In the meantime a disagreement about what Scooter Libby remembers and what else someone else remembered was enough to land Scooter in jail, since there was a very liberal D.C. jury in his trial... sort of a reverse O.J. Simpson jury. So Scooter went to jail basically as the fall guy and the real guy got let off because there was no crime. It's the sort of horror story that has a lot of people saying "enough... we need to clean house".

Mike

Mike:

We agree that we need to clean house :D ! I do not care what political party or what leaning (conservative or liberal) they seem to have in Washington, they all seem to use the same cologne Eau to Feces :yuck: . A politician that is not beholden to some interest has become the unicorn. Corruption is rampant and the truth is the silent victim whom we seldom hear about.

One of my father's patients was a famous political reporter during the seventies. Before he died, he told my father that if the American people knew just 1% of how things really operated in Washington, there would be riots in the streets the next day. Frightening to think that this was around thirty years ago and things have definitely not gotten better.

Marc Abrams

jonreading
06-04-2009, 12:34 PM
40 posts later and we still don't have responses to the thread starter question about Obama's spending habits. I'll add to my earlier post some additional facts that concern me...

1. National debt is related to GDP. The percentage of debt to GDP is more important to analyzing the danger of carrying that debt then the actual debt itself. So many analysts look at the percentage and who holds the debt to evaluate how dangerous is a debt situation. In 2007, that percentage was in the mid-60% range; many economists project the ratio to exceed 100% within the next 3 years. That means we will have a government that owes more money that it makes. While the information is available through a variety of sources, I liked this one best (http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_national_debt_chart.html). I don't like making the top-20 list for debt ratios - let alone where we'll rate in the next few years.
2. The current administration is applying a federal spending program to raise the GDP to reduce the ratio of debt to GDP. They are not reducing debt, only the percentage of debt to GDP. Again, there are many articles out there, I felt this NY Times article (http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/11/business/economy/11view.html)to be simple enough outlining the concern I share. I am not a fan of spending more to make our bottom line look better; a similar tactic that private businesses used previously (and look where that got us).
3. The current administration is not prioritizing national debt reduction. Almost 1/3 of our debt is held by foreign investors, China chief amongst those investors (http://www.forbes.com/fdc/welcome_mjx.shtml). I would like to see us concentrate as much (if not more) on reducing our national debt.

As I am sure someone will quickly point out several reasons why the Obama administration is not at fault for any of these concerns, I am much more interested in how the administration is addressing these issues. The country elected Obama to change the way government works but the majority of responses I have read in this post are based upon "because the person before him did it," as an answer.

I am also pointing out that the Clinton administration held the highest average debt to GDP ratio of our current presidental terms. So while Obama may have inherited a large debt number from the Bush Administration he did not inherit a large debt ratio, that distinction would be for the Bush Administration following the Clinton administration (Excel is a wonderful tool). Just like consumers, carrying debt is not necessarily bad if you can pay it back. Where problems arise is when we can no longer pay back the debt we have accrued.

Mike Sigman
06-04-2009, 07:39 PM
BTW.... here's a good article showing that problem with a lot of the partisan "facts" that some of the foaming-mouthed fanatics buy into without questioning things (because it suits their mindset):

http://meganmcardle.theatlantic.com/archives/2009/06/elizabeth_warren_and_the_terri.php

dps
06-05-2009, 05:49 AM
The information about Obama's spending and the effects it will have are not just from right wing sources. You can find it across the political spectrum of right wing conservatives to left wing socialist, marxist, communist.

What economic theory is Obama and his people operating from?

What person, family, group, city, county, state, country or company has been able to spend borrowed money way beyond thier means to pay back and survive economically?

....... save every penny you can......
The best advice Obama could possibly follow.

David