Thursday, April 16

A Honest,Sincere Letter to the Tea Partiers from a Damn, Dirty Democrat

Crossposted on Dailykos

I'm going to try something unusual today, I'm writing a serious and sincere letter to the Tea Partiers.

Yeah, yeah, I know - it's unlikely that any of them will be willing to listen, will give a RIP what I - a damn, dirty DEMOCRAT with centrist/progressive leanings - might have to say, but I think it's important to drop the snark, drop the cheap double-entendres for a moment and attempt a real conversation.

How about some basic ground rules, I won't call you guys "Tea-baggers" or "Nut-Balls" (anymore), if you drop the "Socialist/Fascist" stuff, ok? Can we agree to that?

Fine.

Let's start with the fact that, whether you realize it or not, most of us from the center to the left actually Agree that Government Spending has been out of control for quite some time. WE'VE BEEN SAYING SO for at least 7 years, some of us - like myslef - for much longer.

But even though we all essentially agree on that point - there are reasons why you guys aren't being taken seriously. Valid reasons. You need to come to grips with those, and not just whine about "Liberal Bias" but really get serious in order to be taken seriously. Right now, you're coming off like the people who say "9-11 Was An Inside Job" or that "Elvis has been only playing Possum" and "Area 51 has Alien Bodies Stashed in it".

I'm not saying that to bust your balls - it's just not that credible.

But your underlying premise, that we need to get government spending under control ISN'T WRONG, it's right - unfortunately it's been misdirected and misguided.

For example Tea Partiers have railed against the Stimulus Bill, when most of that bill - was Tax Cuts for individuals and small business.

You Guys were Protesting Taxes, Immediately after your Taxes Were Cut.

That's not logical.

The people that cut your taxes, were not Republicans. Every republican voted against the Stimulus bill. Now, I would not say that bill was perfect, it had some flaws --but it did some things correctly and we should be happy about that. YOU SHOULD BE HAPPY, but instead you spit on the bill?

Again, how is everyone else to take that?

So, let's at least come to a basic agreement that the problem here is bi-partisan - ok? Democrats have messed up. Republicans have messed up. See - that wasn't hard was it? What the rest us are wondering is - what's your solution?

"Stop government spending."

Ok, which part? Which part of the armed forces, police, fire-departments, teachers, road-workers and hospitals are you going to lay-off? Who else are you going to put out on the street?

See, this issue didn't start yesterday, it's one that been with of for quite some time. I myself got on this political merry-go-round with the Gingrich Congress of '94, and watched pretty closely through that entire period, including both government shutdowns, the mandate for a "date-certain" balanced budget and the eventual surplus that was created largely by President Clinton's efforts, then destroyed by Bush.

Exactly as was pointed out by this Democrat at the Pensacola Tea Party



(Crowd applauds as he takes the microphone)
All right. Thank you very much.

I want to start also by honoring the service of our veterans, our current servicemembers, our Gold Star parents, thank you so much for what all you've done for this country. (Crowd cheers)

I also want to say, a little history lesson here, back in 2000, there was a budget surplus in the country. (Man in crowd: Yeah!) And during the next eight years, (Man in crowd: What happened?) it was destroyed by the profligate spending of the Bush administration. (Crowd reacts)

And so here we are today, here we are today in a situation ... let me ask you this: Cheer if you make less than 250,000 dollars a year. Just cheer. (Crowd cheers) Your taxes are going to be cut under the current budget. Congratulations!

I was laid off in September because my employer had to make budget cuts. That was before the election, okay? So let's remember, that if you're going to argue about more taxes and less spending, to place the blame where the blame belongs, and that's squarely in the hands of the Republican Congress until 2006 (Crowd starts to react) and the Bush administration. (Crowd boos)


Why was this so difficult to simply agree with? I'm not saying that Democrats don't share in the blame, clearly - THEY DO - but this guy wasn't wrong.

Again, I constant read claims by Tea Partiers that "This isn't Partisan", but when someone points out specific things that Republicans did to put us where we are - you ARGUE about it.

Many partier comments have been defensively claiming "this isn't about Democrats" immediately followed by a long list of Democrats to blame like Barney Frank (with dosses of "Fag" thrown in) and Maxine Waters ("Bitch"). What's up with that?

You complain about being called "Racist" when you've got pictures of the President with Buckteeth and Giant- "EarMarx". You do that stuff and you lose you're right to complain about Janeane Garafalo and some bad fellatio jokes. I mean really, think about it.

Many Democrats deserve some criticism, that we can agree on, particularly those who voted along with Bush Deficit Busting Cuts, and those who back in 1998 voted to repeal Glass-Steagal the act that had created a a firewall between regular banks and investment banks. Without that firewall people were able to take you're mortgage and play with it on the stock market - it gave an incentive to get creative and crazy with financing and we don't need newer, flashier ways to flush our money down the toilet, we really don't. President Clinton deserves blame here also, since he signed this bill into law.

Only Byron Dorgan saw the writing on the wall.



I want to sound a warning call today about this legislation. I think this legislation is just fundamentally terrible. I hear all these words about the industry remaking itself--banks, security firms and insurance companies, and that we'd better catch up and put a fence around where they are or at least build a pasture in the vicinity of where they are grazing. What a terrible idea.

What is it that sparks this need to modernize our financial system? And what does modernization mean? This chart shows bank mergers in 1998, in just 1 year, last year, the top 10 bank mergers. We have discovered all these corporations have fallen in love and decided to get married. Citicorp, with an insurance company--that is a big one--$698 billion in combined assets; NationsBank--BankAmerica, $570 million; and the list goes on. This is a massive concentration through mergers.

Is it good for the consumers? I don't think so. Better service, lower prices, lower fees? I don't think so. Bigger profits? You bet.

....

I am not anti-bank, anti-security or anti-insurance. All of them play a constructive role and important role in this country. But this country will be better served with aggressive antitrust enforcement, with, in my judgment, fewer mergers, with fewer companies moving in to the ``too big to fail'' category of the Federal Reserve Board, with less concentration.

This country will be better served if we have tighter controls, not firewalls that allow these companies to come together and do inherently risky things adjacent to banking enterprises, but to decide the lessons of the 1930s are indelible transcendental lessons we ought to learn and ought to remember.


Byron is a Democrat, but I'm not gloating. 38 Democrats in the Senate voted for this bill. They messed up, not just Phil Gramm - all of them.

Even without the Community Reinvestment Act, monetizing mortgages would have been a problem. Even without ACORN, even without rampant immigration. Glass-Steagal was put in place to prevent a repeat of the Original Great Depression. Pulling it out almost gave us a second one - and only 8 Senators voted against it.

I've read a number of discussions about the Pensacola video beyond where it was originally posted (on Dailykos) and I've seriously seen people argue that There Was No Surplus.

This is what most of us outside of Fox News World call - "CRAZY TALK!"

Ok, I'm not a CPA or a government accountant, but I did make an attempt at finding out the numbers for myself. This is what I found from Treasury Dept.

Dec 1997 5,502,388
Dec 1998 5,614,217
Dec 1999 5,776,091
Dec 2000 5,662,216
Dec 2001 5,871,413

See that drop in 2000? That's what happens when you have - say it with me now - A SURPLUS of government funds. I will admit that it wasn't that much, but it was definately there, and the primary point that Pensacola man was trying to make was that the downward trend was initially reversed by Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy.

Here's another chart which shows both the ratio between growth of wealth for the largest earners in America and the top tax rate (which during the 50's was 93%).



Barack Obama has simply preposed letting the Bush cuts expire - which they will in 2010 - and going back to the rates that Clinton had. That's a 3% change. THREE PERCENT. In response he's been called a "Fascist" and a "Socialist".

I know it's not fun to be called "Crazy" or a "Racists" but responding with "Socialist" doesn't help - particularly when you've got a Barack Obama The Nazi poster in your hand.

Here's another controversial Video - one from Chicago with a CNN reporter, the first part of which was broadcast on air, the second part where the reporter is confronted by a "NormaL" Tea Party protester was not.



The first guy in this video (and there is another sequence from before this one with the Barack-Nazi Guy I just mentioned) is not answering her question about his sign stating that his child si already in debt at two-years-old.

This is a point I've made myself, in fact - for years I've called it The Birth Tax - so, yet again, we're in agreement on the core point, but the problem begins once he opens his mouth and starts to rail indirectly about Obama by misquoting Lincoln.

Man: Lincoln believed that people had the right to share in the fruits of their own labor and that government should not take it


So basically he's saying tha Lincoln was against taxation? Uh....no.

Lincoln wasn't talking about Taxes, he was talking about Slavery!

Indeed, work was as fundamental a value as freedom, argued Mr. Lincoln. In 1854, Mr. Lincoln wrote: "The ant, who has toiled and dragged a crumb to his nest, will furiously defend the fruit of his labor, against whatever robber assails him. So plain, that the most dumb and stupid slave that ever toiled for a master, does constantly know that he is wronged. So plain that no one, high or low, ever does mistake it, except in a plainly selfish way; for although volume upon volume is written to prove slavery a very good thing, we never hear of the man who wishes to take the good of it, by being a slave himself."9

"I believe each individual is naturally entitled to do as he pleases with himself and the fruits of his labor, so far as it in no wise interferes with any other man's rights,"


He was talking about being PAID for you work, the fruits of your labor. This is at least partially why the reporter blows him off - cuz yet again - he's spouting CRAZY TALK.

No, sorry it's not just a "matter of opinion", and he's not entitled to "his view", not when he's just making SHIT UP! And it wasn't even neccesary because he was already correct about the Birth Tax to start with.

Every time you guys do this stuff, the rest of us tune you out!

Now, following Mr. Lincoln-Guy comes the real discussion - which is really just a complaint about the bias of CNN going out of their way to ignore the legitimate arguments being brought forth in order to just highlight the "crazy people". Here's the problem with that - the Crazies are always going to stand out, that's what they DO. It's like asking the News to ignore the guy on fire and instead pay attention to the girl sitting in the corner with a book. THAT'S NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

The reporter says the crowd is "Anti-CNN", to which the people in the crowd respond that CNN is "Anti-Them".

Here are some of the comments to this video from the Not-so-Anti-CNN people.


Cammie2035 (1 hour ago)
CNN = socialist, anti-free thinking SCUM

freeserb (1 hour ago)
CNN is dead last in ratings.

The Tea Party movement is universal.
How many laid off teachers and govt workers will join the Tea Party movement?

It's no longer Left/Right, Dem/Rep, it's more like working people who've been crushed vs. the arrogant state employees who are racist scum.
CNN is a branch of the state.

Anybody who says "tea-bagger" is a vile, disgusting perverted pedophile.

danspeaks (1 day ago)
anti-CNN, way to be a victim lady... i was there and hardly anyone paid attention to them or cared... anti govt... more like pro-freedom

TV media is crap


Anyone see the irony here?

Look, I don't watch CNN and frankly can't stand it - but this isn't helpful.

And is really saying...

The Federal Reserve Runs this Nation... We do have not representation...they're getting all our money, they all need to be thrown out.


...all that much better? You DO have representation. You may not like your respresentative, but you have one, actually THREE of them. All the Republicans voted against the Stimulus - AND LOST. You just plain lost, that's all.

What you need to do, is learn how to WIN again - and what I'm saying to you, in all seriousness, is that a temper tantrum is not a winning strategy. You need convincing rational arguements, not conspiracy theories about the Federal Reserve, or ACORN, or Obama-the-Socialist.

Really you don't. Look we just won two sets of elections 2006/2008 in a row - we kind of know what we're saying. Places like Dailykos DON'T ALLOW CONSPIRACY THEORISTS, they really don't - and there's good reason for that.

Take a hint.

Here's one last example, via a discussion of the impact of the Tea Parties on C-Span which was posted oby Michelle Malkin.



Malkin's Comments

Watch this. Liberal toady James Wolcott argues that since he didn’t see big Tea Party crowds on his favorite left-wing tv stations and didn’t read front-page stories about the protests in his favorite left-wing newspapers, they weren’t newsworthy and no one really turned out except at the ones Fox News covered. C-SPAN host Susan Swain then displays front page after front page of local news coverage showing thousands of Tea Party participants:

“Does that change your view?”

Wolcott: Er, no.


Again, let's talk common sense. Wolcott is saying that the Tea Party crowd simply wasn't all that impressive - and Malkin is putting words in his mouth making assumptions about the papers he reads in New york. Does she know for a fact that one of those papers isn't the New York Post or the Wall Street Journal? No. Did either of these papers have a front page picture of 100,000 TeaParty protestores? No, they didn't becaue at BEST the entire nation wide number of Tea partier's was about 240,000 - but look at this picture, this is from the 2006 immigration protests in Los Angeles, which -in that one city alone - included 500,000 people.

Crowds like these are what completely derailed both the plans of Tom Tancredo to aggresively shut down the border and the plans of President Bush for a more "comprehensive" approach to immigration. THIS was impressive, you guys were not.

I know it's a natural tendency, I can't say I haven't done it myself, but my point is that viciously Insulting people - that at the core actually agree with your point on deficit reduction - is not how you go from 200,000 to 500,000 to 1 Million to winning elections. Are you starting to feel me here?

Now Obama has promised to reduce the deficit by 50% by the end of his first term. According to OMB projections, he just might do that. CBO - which uses different assumptions says that the defecits will continue and increase for decades?

Also note that a key driver of the new CBO deficit numbers after 2014 are estimates about long-term economic growth—where CBO is somewhat more pessimistic than the consensus. For example, CBO projects long-term real economic growth that declines to 2.2 percent per year. Blue Chip pegs long-term real growth at 2.6 percent per year and the Federal Reserve forecasts long-term real growth of between 2.5 and 2.7 percent—the same as the Administration, which is projecting real long-term growth of 2.6 percent. These differences may not seem big, but over time they accumulate


Whose Right?

It's hard to say, but from the experience we had during the Clinton years in the 90's, Clinton relied on OMB and the Gingrich Congress relied on CBO. Who was right then?

I think you see my point.

Since Obama's been President this is what has happened to the Dow Jones.


We've gained back everything we lost prior to January 20th, and are continuing to gain ground. Companies like Citigroup are starting to show a profit, and since we are now share-holders in these companies - WE ARE GOING TO SHOW A PROFIT.

So let me say it again - CALM DOWN! Now is not the time to panic.

A lot of us understand your frustration, really we do - we've been there, but right now is when things are finally starting to get a little better, not worse.

What you guys really don't want to do, is turn into what Evangelical Frank Scheaffer describes - the crazy guy in the corner annoying everyone.



Consider this a wake-up call. This is your future, for many of you - it's already the present. I'm not saying this to put you down, it's a chance to recognize where you're going and change direction. If you really do care about your country, and not just your own ass, then calm down - take a breath - and get involved in a real, honest and open discussion of these issues.

The time is now, but it's you choice.

Vyan

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well thought out piece, but you're correct in that no right winger will ever ever admit to any of your points. It's too close to being "wrong" which doesn't exist in their vernacular. It's far too easy to blame Obama then take a good hard look at one's own (erroneous) viewpoints. That takes individualism and courage.

Vyan said...

Maybe, Probably, I hope not.

Vyan

Michael said...

What you don't understand (understandably) is that this is not a Republican-Democrat issue. It's a Libertarian one. Unfortunately people like Sean Hannity have jumped onto the Tea party bandwagon, because yes, they are anti-liberal. They are also anti-republican. Not anti-conservative, but the republican party has not been conservative in a long time.

You say that we complain about high taxes, even though our taxes have just been cut? We are not protesting high taxes, we are protesting income taxes. Income taxes are stolen from the people to fuel the monster that is Washington, DC. The founding fathers left income taxes out of the Constitution for a reason.

And what jobs would I cut? I would cut the teachers, the road-workers, and the hospitals. These are things that the government has no business in in the first place.

"Since there is no such entity as 'the public,' since the public is merely a number of individuals, the idea that 'the public interest' supersedes private interests and rights can have but one meaning: that the interests and rights of some individuals take precedence over the interests and rights of others." -Ayn Rand

Vyan said...

Actually I do get the Libertarian point of view on this, I just disagree with it.

You say that we complain about high taxes, even though our taxes have just been cut? We are not protesting high taxes, we are protesting income taxes. Income taxes are stolen from the people to fuel the monster that is Washington, DC. The founding fathers left income taxes out of the Constitution for a reason.Well, that's the basis for a Constitutional Suite against Income Taxes. Good luck with that.

And what jobs would I cut? I would cut the teachers, the road-workers, and the hospitals. These are things that the government has no business in in the first place.Not according to Preamble to the Consitution.

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.Police, Hospitals and Road are the *CORE* of ability for function and service, if that isn't for the "General Welfare" what is?

Vyan

Michael said...

No one ever said that hospitals and roads shouldn't exist, just that they shouldn't exist by the government's doing. I think that they should be privately owned and operated. Interpreting the phrase 'promote the general welfare' to mean that the government should build roads, schools, and hospitals specifically is a very, very loose interpretation.

And no, there is no technical legal ground for a constitutional suit against income taxes because there is an amendment that provides for them. That doesn't make it right at all.

The government does not grant freedom, it only protects and ensures it; therefore, it cannot take it away. The only legitimate purpose of government is to protect its people's freedoms. I understand that things take money to run, but if the government were doing what it was designed to do, it would only be a miniscule sales tax.

Phill said...

On the political scale, if 0 were most Democratic and 10 were most Republican, I would be between 6 and 7. And I just want to say your post is a breath of fresh air in this cloudy smog of insults and flaming. Thank you for being polite, posting facts, and making excellent points. I didn't read the entire article, but the first half-or-so was excellent, and I agree entirely with what you say.

We need to start working together to get out of this slump. Regardless of political affiliation.

Anonymous said...

Mike, do you THINK about what you post? If the govt did not pay for roads, who would? EVERYONE. We would pay tolls to go anywhere. Not only would that probably cost almost as much money as it does now, it would probably hurt tourism, which many areas rely on to survive.

you do not seem to realize that as a country expands, so does its infrastructure. That costs money. yes the govt wastes money but then I do not know ONE person who does not. I bet you waste money don't you. Sure you do, is a computer a life requirement? No it is not. You have one though. I bet you have other things that are not required to live.

So now that you have hopefully been enlightened, maybe you will actually THINK before you post?

OH, btw, I will probably not see this at all.

Anonymous said...

You blame Clinton for repealing Glass-Steagal yet it passed with enough votes so he couldn't veto it.

WTF kind of logic is that?

Vyan said...

No one ever said that hospitals and roads shouldn't exist, just that they shouldn't exist by the government's doing. I think that they should be privately owned and operated. Interpreting the phrase 'promote the general welfare' to mean that the government should build roads, schools, and hospitals specifically is a very, very loose interpretation.But that's is exactly what you would have, only those who could afford it could have access to the hospitals and the roads - life and travel would only be available based on your ability to pay for it. You would reduce us to Feudalism the land of the Robber-Barons, Lords and Serfs where the rich remain rich for generation after generation while the poor remain poor, destitute and hopeless. Allowing private control of essential services blocks the pathway from poverty to properity. Part of the core of America is establishing and protecting that path, because protecting that path protects freedom.

Government can't and shouldn't be trusted to do everything, but neither should private entities - both have strengths, both have weaknesses.

And no, there is no technical legal ground for a constitutional suit against income taxes because there is an amendment that provides for them. That doesn't make it right at all.Ok, um - Amendments are still Contitutional even if you don't agree with them.

The government does not grant freedom, it only protects and ensures it; therefore, it cannot take it away.Absolutely agreed. But part of protecting that freedom, isn't just from government itself - it's involves not allowing other individuals, or corporations to take that freedom away either. Private companies are not Kingdoms until themselves.

I understand that things take money to run, but if the government were doing what it was designed to do, it would only be a miniscule sales tax.Times have changed since the nation was founded. Doing thing the way you suggest, putting us back into the Wild West and the 19th Century, really didn't work so well about 1931. We really don't need to be in such a rush to return to soup lines and the dust bowl.

Vyan

Michael said...

Yes I do think. You are the one who does not. I am not interested in having things handed to me; you, on the other hand, desire a world where the government holds your hand everywhere you go.

Do you think that no road has ever been built by anyone other than the government? Do men not do things out of necessity? Apparently not. Even if every road were tolled, I would prefer that to government owned roads.

Your point about possessions is a completely irrelevant attempt to distract from the actual subject. I am not asking anyone to give up possessions. That would be evil, and stupid. Why do I have many possessions? Because I have worked hard for them. I have exchanged my production for another's.

For someone like me, who does not believe in charity, all of this government spending is evil. I have no interest in giving free medicine or money to those who have not earned it. So in a country where I am free to define my own morals, is it moral to make me violate them by forcefully taking the fruit of my labor and giving it to someone else? Even if, as the altruist would say, it is for the greater good? Does the end justify the means? No. It does not.

Vyan said...

You blame Clinton for repealing Glass-Steagal yet it passed with enough votes so he couldn't veto it.I don't see you point, he obviously SUPPORTED the idea. He never lobbied against it, if he had he might have flipped some votes and/or been able to block a veto override, he didn't even bat an eye when this came across his desk. Most Democrats (except for 7) and nearly all Republicans (except for 1) didn't either. The bill was a mistake, one that we're paying for right now - he deserves credit for deficit reduction, but he also deserves blame for this as well - it's not like people are all perfect and all flawed, everyone is a bit of both.

Vyan

Michael said...

Ok Vyan, I was trying to be polite. But you are an idiot.

"Ok, um - Amendments are still Contitutional even if you don't agree with them." That is exactly what I was saying. There is no ground for a lawsuit, as YOU suggested. I do not agree with the amendment; that is not an assertion that it is unconstitutional.

You are suggesting that I have said things that I have not, or misinterpreting what I have completely.

"Absolutely agreed. But part of protecting that freedom, isn't just from government itself - it's involves not allowing other individuals, or corporations to take that freedom away either. Private companies are not Kingdoms until themselves." I never said that government is only there to protect us from itself. Think about what you just implied. Had I said that, I would have been suggesting that the sole purpose of creating an entity is to protect us from itself. Does that make sense? No, private companies are not kingdoms unto themselves, and I never said they were. They should, however, enjoy all the rights of the individual. We would not be sent back to feudalism, because that's what the constitution is for. To protect our rights. No one is forced to work for anyone. If a company is taking advantage of its workers, then why on earth would anyone work there? That company would soon go out of business.

I have no idea what you are trying to say about 1931. Are you suggesting that deregulation of the economy caused the Great Depression? That is a fool's misconception. If you think, like they have told you, that Hoover was a die hard laissez-faire man, you are sadly mistaken. He was so liberal in his policies that even FDR called him a socialist while campaigning against him. And what did FDR do when he got into office? The exact same thing as Hoover, except he called it The New Deal. There are two years you want to look at before you ever talk about economics again. 1913. The creation of the Federal Reserve. 1921. The mini-depression that no one knows about. That no one wants you to know about. It lasted less than a year. Why? Because the government was even quicker to jump in and intervene with stimulus packages? No. Because the ailing business were allowed to fail, and the economy was allowed to correct itself.

Vyan said...

Yes I do think. You are the one who does not. I am not interested in having things handed to me; you, on the other hand, desire a world where the government holds your hand everywhere you go.You're not being "HANDED" anything, we pay for these things through taxes - it's not a "GIFT" You don't seem to understand that our society, and for that matter our economy *depends* on our infrastructure. Private industry is using the interstate highway system built by Eisenhower to get tomatos to your local market. Walmart may be large, but even they can't afford to build their own highway system - it wouldn't happen. The internet we're using right now didn't come into being through private means, the technology was developed as part of a government project with defense contractors and universities, this laid the groundwork for $Billions in private growth. We wouldn't have these computers, laptops, cellphones and iPods if not for the microcircuitry work original done by the Space Program. If you take all this away, private industry - our economy - and individual would lose an incredible amount of oppurtunity - and freedom.

Vyan

news said...

The US treasury publishes end of year debt numbers. The fiscal year ends in September.

The national debt has not declined on a fiscal year-to-year basis since the Eisenhower government.

I understand why you picked end of calendar year numbers but they don't actually tell the story.

The government during the Clinton era did a better job in the 2nd term than most recent National governments but there wasn't an actual surplus that actually reduced the total national debt.

See here http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt.htm

Both political parties have run up large debts because no president and congress member wants to have their hands tied by austerity during their turn at making history. Neither party deserves another turn in office at this point.

We need to stop all off budget accounting. Why does anything need to be off budget if not to hide it?

We need to reduce our defense commitments, increase retirement ages, and reduce entitlement program payments. I've heard people say that this is politically impossible but I believe it is only a matter of time before an actual leader steps up.

If not then we'll get to live a real version of the old John Ritter movie called Americathon where the US is so bankrupt they run a telethon to raise money.

Michael said...

I'm sorry. You're really digging too deep to make non-existent connections in that reply. You seem to think that if the government hadn't created these technologies no one else would have. I am sorry for having wasted my time arguing with you. You will never see. I'm done now.

Vyan said...

There is no ground for a lawsuit, as YOU suggested. I do not agree with the amendment; that is not an assertion that it is unconstitutional.

You are suggesting that I have said things that I have not, or misinterpreting what I have completely.
Touchy aren't cha?

I never said that government is only there to protect us from itself. Think about what you just implied. Had I said that, I would have been suggesting that the sole purpose of creating an entity is to protect us from itself. Does that make sense?You said taxation was "wrong" - what's the basis for that other than your opinion? If we agree it's Constitutional, why is it "wrong" then?


Since you're on the subject of "misinterpreting" - I never said anything about having things "Handed" to me or anyone else, so should I get upset that you put words in my mouth?


No, I'm not - it happens.


I never said that government is only there to protect us from itself.I Didn't say that you did - you're not
the only person here - I was just pointing out the implication (inferrance) was there and covering that base after you said "The only legitimate purpose of government is to protect its people's freedoms." I happen to feel that one of the main dangers to people freedoms, is often the government itself.


Do men not do things out of necessity? Sure they do, but that also requires means, which goes back to the point that sometimes there are NATIONAL (or State) needs at stake, yet private industry simply does not have the means. How many working private space programs have their been? How many private nuclear programs? How many private highways systems?


Now, we may disagree over what those national needs and priorities may be, clearly we do, therefore the democratic process comes into play to resolves that conflict.


No, private companies are not kingdoms unto themselves, and I never said they were. They should, however, enjoy all the rights of the individual.No, they really shouldn't - corporations are not people, people are people. The problem though is that as it stands now, corporations have *MORE* rights than people do, while have protections from responsiblity for their own actions - that's a recipe for mischief, malfeasance and failure (Enron, Aldelphia, Merck, Global Crossing, Bear Sterns, Lehman Bros....etc)


We would not be sent back to feudalism, because that's what the constitution is for. To protect our rights. No one is forced to work for anyone. If a company is taking advantage of its workers, then why on earth would anyone work there? That company would soon go out of business.No, actually they wouldn't be and have NEVER been. Case in point: WALMART. You can be very profitable if you stiff the crap out of your employees, force them onto public healthcare so you don't have to worry about the overhead, undermine local business with cheap imported goods and ridiculous low prices and put every mom and pop competitor out of business in the process. Lousy work conditions never stopped the industries like coal-mining from trapping their employees in perpetual debt and dependancy either.


Now, don't jump the conclusion that I'm anti-capital or anti-corporate, I'm not. I believe in both responsible government, responsible corporations and responsible individuals - and that the only way to achieve that is to have each element of this triangle balanced against the others. We get into problems when one pair of the legs starts working in tandem against the third party - no matter which one it is.


Are you suggesting that deregulation of the economy caused the Great Depression?I think that reasonable rules of the road regulation, (stopping corporations from infringing on the rights and freedoms of individuals) could have stopped it, and will help prevent a repeat of that catastrophe. Until Glass-Steagle and other measure, we tended to go from boom to bust cycle every 10-15 years - afterward we had relative calm for the next 50 years. I'm not seriously going to entertain the idea that FDR was no different from Hoover - sorry. I'm not against allowing businesses to fail and rebuild, far from it, but i question the national security implications of having companies so large that when they fail - they take the entire country (and world) down with them.


I'm sorry. You're really digging too deep to make non-existent connections in that reply. You seem to think that if the government hadn't created these technologies no one else would have. I am sorry for having wasted my time arguing with you. You will never see. I'm done now.That's pretty much trying to prove a negative isn't it. Privates entities *didn't* do this - so therefore they obviously could have if only government hadn't already done it?


Yeah, right.


The main problem your having is that you're trying *convince* me of your point of view, instead of realizing we aren't going to see eye to eye, but recognizing that either of our views can be used to test and improve the other. I don't presume to already know everything, apparently you do.

Vyan

Vyan said...

The national debt has not declined on a fiscal year-to-year basis since the Eisenhower government.

I understand why you picked end of calendar year numbers but they don't actually tell the story.
That's a fair point, because i didn't exactly remember when the fiscal year ended. When you actually look at the month-to-month totals there's more than one period of shrinking during those years. He's the thing, if it went down AT ALL, EVER, that's an indication that we had more revenue coming in than went out. My entire arguement is that that is a GOOD THING, and we should strive to do that again - right?

Vyan

Vyan said...

We need to stop all off budget accounting. Why does anything need to be off budget if not to hide it?

We need to reduce our defense commitments, increase retirement ages, and reduce entitlement program payments. I've heard people say that this is politically impossible but I believe it is only a matter of time before an actual leader steps up.
I agree with about half of that. By entitlement programs you probably mean healthcare, and although there is indeed a major demographic problem coming up in the the out years - the bigger issue is and remain the cost inflation for medical services which are nearly double the GDP for the U.S. than they are for every other industrialied nation. If we get the cost of medical care down to size, a ton of these other problems disappear.

Vyan

Hillary said...

This entire piece if chock-full of moral relativism. You compare the apparent lack of people gathering for the tea parties to the masses showing up for the immigration rallies - while the comparison of numbers is valid, the people gathered for the tea parties were protesting wrongs they feel are being perpetrated on them, their kids, their grandkids. The immigration rallies featured people, primarily hispanics, stating their discontent over 20+ million illegal immigrants not being given adequate rights in their new country. So the tea baggers are saying "we're legal residents, we deserve respect", while the immigration rallies only served to say "we are illegal aliens, screw you, we're going to take what we want no matter what you say". Based on the media and government response (for the most part), in addition to new statements spewed by Janet Napolitano, tea baggers are now enemies of the state. Do you, or the left wingers, think US citizens should just roll over and accept your apparent reality? I'm sorry, but in the immortal words of Rob Halford and Judas Priest, "you've got another thing comin'".

wru said...

but you DO advocate socialist policy!

Vyan said...

This entire piece if chock-full of moral relativism. You compare the apparent lack of people gathering for the tea parties to the masses showing up for the immigration rallies - while the comparison of numbers is valid, the people gathered for the tea parties were protesting wrongs they feel are being perpetrated on them, their kids, their grandkids. The immigration rallies featured people, primarily hispanics, stating their discontent over 20+ million illegal immigrants not being given adequate rights in their new country.I take that point, but I don't think that's how *they* neccesarily looked at it. From the link i provided.

The demonstrators oppose legislation passed by the U.S. House that would make it a felony to be in the U.S. illegally. It also would impose new penalties on employers who hire illegal immigrants, require churches to check the legal status of parishioners before helping them and erect fences along one-third of the U.S.-Mexican border.

“I think it’s just inhumane. ... Everybody deserves the right to a better life,” said Elger Aloy of Riverside, a 26-year-old premed student who was pushing his 8-month-old son in a stroller at the Los Angeles march.

Their view wasn't that they weren't being given "rights" it was they were about to become HUNTED, and suffer serious penalties from trying to have a better life than was possible in their homeland. No we do agree that immigrating illegally is a problem, where we probably disagree on is what exactly to do about it. I myself think a lot of the problem start with immigration laws and requirements which favor richer countries and punish the poor. It's not that the poor aren't deserving, and wouldn't mostly make good and loyal Americans - most of them do - but the law blocks them in favor of others, and doesn't address either the needs of the people or the needs of the economy.

Dealing with those who are already here, is a sticky problem - separating American born children from their parents and such. I favor a reasonable fine and penalties for breaking the law, expatriation when feasable, plus being placed at the back of the line for Visas and citizenship - but we really need to review the policy to make it more fair all around - the current law is flawed - and far too likely to help feed the underground economy of illegal employment and gangsters.

As far as contrasting them with the tea partiers, I think most of their legitimate concerns about the spending and deficit are actually in the process of being addressed - while much of the rest are hardly credible.

in addition to new statements spewed by Janet Napolitano, tea baggers are now enemies of the state. Actually no, the new DHS report was in the works before either Obama or Napolitano, and it doesn't automatically state that conservatives or libertarians are "enemies of the state" - it does however state that there are increased risk from the *MOST EXTREME* elements of the right-wing. And there aren't just making this up, as I've written in previous posts there was James Adkisson who shot 5 and killed 2 people in a Unitarian church because "they were Liberals", there was James Cummings in Maine who was making a dirty bomb with radioactive materials and planned to attack the left-wing, minorities and liberals with it - except his wife shot him first. And lastly there was the Pittsburgh Cop-Killer who among other things was terrified that "Obama would take his guns" - when nothing of the sort is even being discussed by anyone, and even the suggestion is making *DEMOCRATS IN CONGRESS* push back.


So you said the tea partiers are being targeted and unfairly treated? How about the Quakers and Non-Violent Peace activists who were illegally survielled, placed on the No-Fly and watch list? You think YOU Got it bad? Please.

Vyan

Anonymous said...

Nice post. Just one comment about Citygroup: the ONLY reason they posted a profit is due to the change in accounting rules that allows them to keep their toxic assets on the books at what they think it should be worth. Again: the mark-to-market rules were changed! Banks can now legally keep assets on their books marked to a model (i.e whatever they think it's worth). Of course, if you don't have to recognize losses, then you can keep all the money you make and post a profit.

We are in a deep hole and both Dems+Repubs have gotten us there. And changing accounting rules and spending ridiculous amounts of money on bailouts won't solve the problem (the first bailout is just as wrong IMHO as Obamas). And frankly I think it's highly unlikely that Obama will balance the budget by the end of the first term (though I'd love to see that happen).

Check this out:
http://www.treas.gov/press/releases/tg10.htm

God help us...

Vyan said...

Let me warn you some of my older posts are not nearly as concilliatory as this one. Just so you know, like most of us - I've played "hardball" on these issues just like everyone else. Still - I'm willing to hope other ignore the intensity of the comments and snark, and focus on the content. Appreciated in advance.

Vyan

Vyan said...

Nice post. Just one comment about Citygroup: the ONLY reason they posted a profit is due to the change in accounting rules that allows them to keep their toxic assets on the books at what they think it should be worth. Again: the mark-to-market rules were changed! Banks can now legally keep assets on their books marked to a model (i.e whatever they think it's worth). Of course, if you don't have to recognize losses, then you can keep all the money you make and post a profit.Ok, fair point - there is no magic bullet.

vyan