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Old 05-27-2009, 04:51 PM   #76
Mike Sigman
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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
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Old 05-27-2009, 04:52 PM   #77
Mike Sigman
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:00 PM   #78
James Davis
 
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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!

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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?

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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?

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:19 PM   #79
Mike Sigman
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

To get back more in line with the subject header of the thread, here's a good article from the Financial Times:

Quote:
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
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Old 05-27-2009, 05:25 PM   #80
HL1978
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 05-27-2009, 06:07 PM   #81
dps
 
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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?p...d=aYgo3fufKIbI

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:09 PM   #82
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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Mike Sigman wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:13 PM   #83
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 05-28-2009, 01:40 PM   #84
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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%.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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
Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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...

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
So what do we do about it?
I plan to keep on working, keep on saving and keep on building my skills and abilities. And keep on voting.

David

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

www.esotericorange.com
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Old 05-28-2009, 02:00 PM   #85
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
...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.

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
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.

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
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.

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
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.

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
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.

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Hunter Lonsberry wrote: View Post
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

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:02 PM   #86
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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Bold print is from me
Boy, is this going to be a long eight years for you.

David

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Old 05-28-2009, 02:34 PM   #87
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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.



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Old 05-28-2009, 04:35 PM   #88
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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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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!

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 05-28-2009, 06:22 PM   #89
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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?

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

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James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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

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Old 05-28-2009, 07:40 PM   #90
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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
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Old 05-28-2009, 07:46 PM   #91
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

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Old 05-28-2009, 07:57 PM   #92
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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Butt, er, but, Ark said I have "some power" .
Glad you didn't hit me, then, if you have "some power" according to Ark.

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Tin Tran wrote: View Post
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?

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Tin Tran wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
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Old 05-29-2009, 10:21 AM   #93
James Davis
 
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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

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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.

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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.

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David Orange wrote: View Post
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/...es-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.

"The only difference between Congress and drunken sailors is that drunken sailors spend their own money." -Tom Feeney, representative from Florida
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Old 05-29-2009, 11:26 AM   #94
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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.
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. If you do not prefer Fox News, Bloomberg runs a similar article.
3. I don't like the misleading facts about national healthcare and how it will pay for itself (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...
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Old 05-29-2009, 12:07 PM   #95
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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?

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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?

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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).

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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:
Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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."

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.

Quote:
James Davis, Jr. wrote: View Post
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.
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 05-29-2009, 04:01 PM   #96
Mike Sigman
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
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.
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. If you do not prefer Fox News, Bloomberg runs a similar article.
3. I don't like the misleading facts about national healthcare and how it will pay for itself (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
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:58 PM   #97
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 05-30-2009, 01:29 AM   #98
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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/ap...pers-a06.shtml

David

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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Old 05-30-2009, 08:59 AM   #99
David Orange
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

Quote:
Jon Reading wrote: View Post
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

"That which has no substance can enter where there is no room."
Lao Tzu

"Eternity forever!"

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Old 05-30-2009, 09:08 AM   #100
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Re: Obama's Spending vs Obama's Spending Cuts

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/...s-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

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events not of words. Trust movement. --Alfred Adler
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