Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Defending Democracy

We learned from last month’s CNN poll that an overwhelming 86% of Americans agree that, “Elected officials in Washington are mostly influenced by the pressure they receive on issues from major campaign contributors”.

This number has increased over the past decade and is a hopeful indication that most Americans want their democracy back, despite the Right’s hysteria about “wanting their country back”, whoever “their” means, and whatever “country” means. We may reasonably suspect they don’t mean us, or the majority of Americans.

The good news is Americans are waking up.

There are growing grass roots efforts to defend democracy from corporate personhood and money as free speech. Kaitlin Sopoci-Belknap serves as Field Organizing Coordinator on the Executive Committee of Move To Amend, a “a national coalition of hundreds of organizations and over 113,000 individuals”. She tells us, “In April, voters in Madison and Dane County, WI overwhelmingly approved measures calling for an end to corporate personhood and the legal status of money as speech by 84% and 78%respectively.”

At their website we see the statement of their mission:

We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

* Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.

* Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our vote and participation count.

* Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate "preemption" actions by global, national, and state governments.
The Supreme Court is misguided in principle, and wrong on the law. In a democracy, the people rule.


They are at the front of our struggle for democracy and freedom, with the mission to “end corporate rule” and “legalize democracy”.

Please check them out and help them however you are able to do so.

There are more signs of an “American Awakening” in today’s release of a Washington Post-ABC News Poll under the headline, “Obama Tops GOP on Helping Middle Class”.

Asked who cares more about the financial concerns of middle-class Americans, Obama has a big advantage, 53 percent to 35 percent, over the Republicans in Congress. He’s up 47 percent to 37 percent when poll respondents were asked about themselves and their families. On protecting the interests of small businesses, 48 percent of Americans say Obama cares more; 39 percent say so of the GOP.

Majorities across party lines see the GOP as caring more than Obama about Wall Street and big business.


I find this quite encouraging, especially knowing how difficult it is to get our message out in an environment where most national media are under the control of Corporate America.

As We the People rise to the task of defending democracy, we can expect the forces of plutocracy and tyranny of the minority to resist the will of the people even more tenaciously. They will not surrender. They must be defeated. If today’s Americans love freedom and democracy as much as our Founders did, we will prevail.

”I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”- Thomas Jefferson

130 comments:

free0352 said...

Its funny that had Citizens United vs FEC not found like it had, as a 501c orginization "Move to Amend" could not produce electioneering broadcasts and would be subject to the restrictions they claim to want lol.

Move to Amend are *ghasp* lobbiests - to include lobbying groups (listed on their own website per the link YOU provided) such as

A New Way Forward

Family Farm Defenders

Wisconsin Democracy Campaign

Association of Federal, State, County & Municipal Employees

The Center for Corporate Policy

The Ohio Conference of Fair Trade

The AFL-CIO

Sierra Club


Excuse me if the hipocracy is deafaning.

I've got a quesiton.... have you actually read the majority opinion (very well writen I may add) by Justice Kennedy in the CU vs FEC case? Are you even aware that the term corporate personhood doesn't even apear in the opinion?

Stop listening to the MEDIA you clame to hate so much... and try thinking for your self. You're making a good case that americans are too stupid to think on their own, and require government "proteciton" from their own brains.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Free0352, you condescendingly said...

"Are you even aware that the term corporate personhood doesn't even apear [sic] in the opinion?"

Of course it wasn't! Haven't you been paying attention? As previously mentioned in the comments from the last post, you'll never hear that term spoken publicly -- from the media (MSNBC included), from the politicians, from the ivory towers of corporate America. It's the Medusa of our age. Just uttering, or writing, those words will cut you off at the knees and bury your career opportunities with you.

But, there was legal precedent that our illustrious five referred to, and ultimately it stemmed from Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad -- as fraudulent as it was. Google it and read about it. You might learn something useful today.

Sue said...

the new polls are giving me hope too Dave. Now if only the extremists on the left would calm down and show some trust AND patience we could have a blockbuster re-election in 2012.

I asked you a question on my blog...

John Myste said...

This post seems like the rest of the prior post, which felt like the conclusion to the post before that.

This post feels very much like a grandpost.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
There goes that Krazy Koolade, inducing your dyslexia again. As I told you, this is about the “cumulative effects of CU v FEC, along with Santa Clara County vs. The Union Pacific Railroad and Buckley v. Valeo. Together they create corporate personhood and money as free speech, and this is why we need an amendment to the Constitution to undo the damage to democracy.”

The same goes for your reading disabilities that made you miss what I wrote about lobbying. “I think editorials and lobbying are more than enough opportunities for political speech by non-persons. Notice how this does not "shut up" or abridge any citizen's right of free speech.”

I should let you know at this point I will not repeat myself as I have been, just for you, because of your lack of comprehension. Please have someone who is not drinking your tea-flavored Koolade read and write for you.

Then maybe I wouldn’t be compelled to reply to your comments with, “You need someone to read for you...again.”

JG,
I think Free suffers more from tea-flavored Koolade dyslexia than ADD.

Sue,
I don't know if there enough extremists on the left to make a difference, one way or another.

Dave Dubya said...

John,
It's just my little "Democracy Trilogy". Sort of like Lord of the Rings, but scarier and more real. Republicans would frighten the denizens of Mordor.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Sue, you claimed...

"Now if only the extremists on the left would calm down and show some trust AND patience we could have a blockbuster re-election in 2012."

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

No, Mr. Obama has shown me his true colors. He's a corporatist through-and-through. One might argue that he's, for all practical purposes, just another neocon -- except this time, in democratic clothing.

free0352 said...

You're right, I am confused. You want to amend the constitution to do what exaclty? You agree with the Citizen's United ruling, then you don't. You're against lobbiests, then you're not. You don't want "corporate personhood" yet you want corporations to be able to do everything a person can do. You don't think money should be used to fund free speech, then you do a post that supports lobbiests looking for money to use it for speech.

Yeah dude, it seems to me since you're on every side of this issue, that the real stance here is... corporations, unions, and 501c corporations can do pretty much what ever they want and say whatever they want and spend whatever they want... so long as they don't drink "tea" koolaide or vote republican. It sounds to me you don't know what you want, you just don't like rich people.

Another class warrior, lame.

S.W. Anderson said...

Those are encouraging numbers. I hope they will translate before long into meaningful political action, meaningful changes.

I'm not going to get my hopes up, though. I've seen encouraging signs before, only to have them recede into nowhere.

Americans any more tend to be fickle, distracted and easily propagandized by whoever shouts and repeats lies the loudest and longest. Too many are uninformed, poorly informed or misinformed. Most lean one way or another, but without political roots and sensible convictions. ("I don't get involved with either party; I vote for the person, yada, yada.") In truth, a whole lot of voters don't tune in until way late in the game, and many tend to go with whoever seems to be ahead. An even stronger motivation is to vote against someone whose looks or voice they don't like, or of a party they're blaming for the nation's problems of the moment.

This is how we get a Michelle Bachmann being taken seriously. It's how we got George W. Bush for a president. It's how we could end up with Rick Perry in the White House.

Maybe the tide really is turning. If so, I will welcome it and do all I can to help it along. Maybe I've just gotten my hopes up once too often in the past.

The Future Was Yesterday said...

Sue said in part: "....if only the extremists on the left would calm down and show some trust AND patience...."

May I amend that to include BOTH parties {sic} as well as the brain damaged offshoot of the GOP, the pee on me "party." Corporations are comprised of people who choose to create a non breathing. thinking, speaking entity.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

The funny thing is..the friggin R's are still saying the public supports their positions..which we know is shit..but you know the rule:

Repeat a lie long enough and it becomes the truth.

Tweety had idiot extraordinaire Michael Steele on yesterday..he too repeated the 'the people are behind us on this' fuckery. Tweety finally called in on it..demanding to know which poll he was quoting since over a dozen in the last month say otherwise..

He couldn't of course..and stammered and stuttered like a kid asking the beauty queen out for a date. He finally just blurted out the name of a polling company. Right jackass.

But then..Tweety just left it at that and moved on. GAH! Now I can't stand Tweety but I really thought he was gonna bitchslap Steele..I was sorely disappointed.

free0352 said...

the friggin R's are still saying the public supports their positions

Maybe, especially maybe where you live. People where I live don't think they're going far enough. I'm sure we'll find out for sure whose more popular in 2012. In the mean time, if they want a prayer in 2012, the new Republicans had better do what we elected them to do. So far, it's iffy but with them it always is. I'm of course with the other people where I live, and I'd like to see a lot more beast starving.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

I am talking about the national polls and there have been dozens of those fuckers in the last month. The general consensus is that anywhere from 65-80% of Americans want the rich fucks to pay their fair share and feel the pain as well.

What in the blue hell is wrong w/that? Everything is coming up roses for them right now..whereas the middle and lower classes are suffering like there is no end in sight.

We don't have a spending problem, we have a revenue problem. When the damn economy is in the shitter, no one BUT the upper class is spending fer chrissakes. It's not rocket science.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Oh and my happy ass lives in the reddest part of Cali. So if these rubes are bitching about the top two percent not doing their fair share..I think it's a pretty fair statement to say the majority of the population probably does agree.

free0352 said...

Damn government gets nearly 200 billion a month in tax rev, when is enough, enough? Wait, don't answer that, I don't think I want to know.

As for poll numbers, I have a degree in that (political science) and I can take any question you want to ask and get you any percentage you want. Bottom line is democrat numbers also aren't very good, especially obamas. The only real test that counts is going to be on election day. If republicans want to recapture the magic that was 2010, they'd better make the Tea Party happy... Its not like you guys would cross over for them lol

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

70% of our economy is based on consumer spending. If the bottom 98% aren't spending..there goes the revenue. I don't have to be a math major to see that equation.

And they aren't spending. Its not a secret for chrissakes. The revenue isn't going to be there after Aug 2nd. That isn't a fake date, its a real date.

Letting the US default on their bills is fucking stupid and how many of those teabagging fucks don't pay their personal bills? It would actually drive up the damn deficit, not to mention interest rates.

Why do you have such a hard-on for what the govt takes in and what it spends? You think old ladies don't need medical insurance or soc sec checks? You think sick kids should be thrown to the wayside in favor of rich folks getting an even bigger tax break? The Soc Sec cutting crowd is ridiculous as the Soc Sec fund is healthy as a fucking horse until the year 2029 or some shit. IT DOES NOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE NATIONAL DEBT..yet everyone wants to cut it NOW.

Or even this: the top 2% aren't creating jobs..they are socking away all the money they have made since the stock market started surging upwards again last year.

When no one is buying..the businesses can't expand. I am talking about the real job creators..not the top 2%.

T. Paine said...

What in the hell has happened to this country?

First, Dusty, the reddest part of California where you live is probably still left of the most liberal district in Texas, which I would guess is probably the Houston district represented by that colossal idiot Sheila Jackson Lee. I say that only half-jokingly. California is hardly a good example of what the nation as a whole feels on any given issue.

The repeating a lie long enough certainly has worked for progressives and their media allies though. Hell, we have become so out of touch with reality that Jeff’s Guardian thinks that one can argue that OBAMA is just another neo-con.

And the class warfare misinformation and rhetoric are getting really old. Especially since it is flat out wrong, and I know that the powers that be know this. In other words they are lying rat bastards. The tax burden of the top 1% richest Americans now exceeds that of the bottom 95%.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/taxdata/show/24955.html

At what freaking point is their “paying their fair share” reached for you, Dusty? 99% or 100%? 47% of Americans either pay no federal taxes or actually receive net gains in benefits. Isn’t that a big of enough safety net for you? I really don’t think that nearly half of our nation cannot provide for themselves, despite the destruction of our economy that the Democrats and the big government Republicans like George W. Bush has wrought. I don’t know why we don’t just finish off what the hell Obama and the Marxists, errr… I mean Democrats, started and either federalize the rest of the private companies or outlaw the ones we don’t “like”. That way EVERYONE can work for the government and be safe from the evil conservatives actually expecting us to live within our means.

Dave Dubya said...

I must say I’m impressed with the zeal of our Rightist friends, as they defend their beloved corporatocracy and engage in open antagonism towards democracy.

Free,
“You want to amend the constitution to do what exactly?”

It’s there for you to read, or you may have someone read it for you.

You’re not confused. You are confusing. You’re now resorting to the typical Rightist tactics of obfuscation, distraction, and hate-baiting.

“Class warrior” to the Right is anyone who resists the class war against the majority of Americans.

“Make the Tea Party happy” is proof you are opposed to democracy in favor of a tyranny of the minority.

SW,
”Americans... propagandized by whoever shouts and repeats lies the loudest and longest.”

Bingo! And we all know who is loudest when money is free speech.

TFWY,
And who do the enemies of democracy want to dominate our government? Non breathing. thinking, speaking entities

Dusty,
The Right clings to the Big Lie in opposition to democracy, just like the fascists of the last century.

Tweety is paid to be nice to his Republican MSNBC colleague.

There’s a word the radical Rightists have for those of us wanting the elites to pay previous tax rates. Commies. Yup, that is their Orwellian newspeak for Liberals. If we want the same tax rates we had under Reagan, we are Commies. Their Orwellian newspeak is now shoving “job creators” down our throats as the term for all those elites who are NOT creating jobs. I’m pretty sure it will soon be politically incorrect for them to even say the oldspeak word “rich”.

TP,
“What in the hell has happened to this country?”

Corporatism has been crushing democracy. The economic elites have taken over and are prospering wildly as most Americans’ see a decline in standard of living.

“Repeating a lie long enough certainly has worked for progressives and their media allies though.”

Beautiful. The Right Wing Big Lie wrapped in projection.

“One can argue that OBAMA is just another neo-con.”

If Obama escalates war, suppresses investigation into pre-Iraq war intelligence manipulation, dismisses the accountability of the Neocon criminals who tortured, detained without charges, and started war on falsehoods, continues the Patriot Act, and behaves like a Neocon in so many ways, why shouldn’t he be compared to a Neocon?

” class warfare misinformation and rhetoric are getting really old. Especially since it is flat out wrong.”

See under: “What in the hell has happened to this country?”

”evil conservatives actually expecting us to live within our means”

And of course, you just had to jump on the hate-baiting bandwagon too. Good Rightist!

” federalize the rest of the private companies”

I bet you’re talking about GM, although you offer no specifics in any of your rant. At any rate, you will ignore the fact that the U.S. government's stake in GM dropped to about 32 percent from 61 percent since its IPO.

T. Paine said...

The fact that we taxpayers are still on the hook for 32%, according to your sources, of a previously PRIVATE company like GM doesn't horrify you speaks volumes.

All this did was kick the problem down the road awhile, although that seems to be the modus operandi of the Democrats.

"Let's not bother to solve any problems. Let's just delay them so that our kids and grandkids can deal with the aftermath." Sure would be nice to put some more adults in congress and the White House instead of The One that is in there telling US to eat our peas, as if he were being responsible.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

First, Dusty, the reddest part of California where you live is probably still left of the most liberal district in Texas, which I would guess is probably the Houston district represented by that colossal idiot Sheila Jackson Lee. I say that only half-jokingly. California is hardly a good example of what the nation as a whole feels on any given issue. Thanks for assuming. Really says alot about you and your pov. Evidently you have no clue as to where I live or the history of the region. I guess I shouldn't expect anything different from the likes of you.

T. Paine said...

I used to live in Ventura County and my wife lived and grew up in Orange County. I have an idea of which I speak, Dusty.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

And I live nowhere near those two areas. What is your trip?

You want to argue about where I live and it's political history?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

T. Paine, you said...

"The fact that we taxpayers are still on the hook for 32%, according to your sources, of a previously PRIVATE company like GM doesn't horrify you speaks volumes."

And what, exactly, horrifies you about the TARP bailout and the ongoing siphoning of billions of dollars from the Fed to banks around the world? Anything?

and this...

"...instead of The One that is in there telling US to eat our peas, as if he were being responsible.

According to most recent polls, more Americans (by a long shot) believe he's the adult in the room. I'd have to agree.

Hey, Mr. Paine, you haven't kissed The Heathen Republican's ass once today! You're slipping. ;-)

free0352 said...

I like how they don't factor in the inflation, which hits everyone VERY hard, especially the poor.

Anonymous said...

OHHH. Dusty is feeling her woman power today. She is ready to take on the world. She is in her "I am woman hear me roar" phase of the month. You go girl!

You know what I would like to have happen, all the non liberals just not vote next election. See how long before uncontrolled liberalism wipes what is left of our economy.
Anyone one want to bet that as the decline continued, the libtards like JG would be blaming Corporations, Bush and conservaitives for the mess they would have total rsponsablity for having created? Naa, not on this blog.
You see, liberalism is great until it runs out of other people's money to spend.

The Heathen Republican said...

Dave, I just have to laugh at you saying that it's difficult for you guys on the left to "get your message out." All I hear is that Obama is winning the debt ceiling fight. Message successfully deployed.

I wouldn't put too much trust in polls, and SW Anderson, you say you think the tide might really be turning. You guys had a big tide-turn in 2008. After two years of seeing what a Democratic Senate, House, and White House will do, the tide turned again in 2010.

Now that the rest of the masses have seen how progressives govern, your tide won't come in again for at least a decade. We need time to forget how bad it can really get before we'll give you a chance to govern by yourselves again.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

The Heather Republican, you commented...

"I wouldn't put too much trust in polls..."

Tell me, why not?

The Heathen Republican said...

Why not put too much trust in polls? Lots of reasons... you can't extrapolate from "those polled" to "all Americans"... poll takers are all self-selecting... most samples aren't representative of the voting population... so polling companies engage in sample correction. I have a post on this, but my point wasn't to promote my own blog.

Not to mention a poll of "who cares more about the financial concerns of middle-class Americans" is of negligible value. Or who cares more about small businesses. Polls like that have no real value; they're just put out to sell partisan talking points (and yes, both parties do it).

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Oh Anon..you putz:

Anonymous comments, particularly ones that are the most vehement, are the work of cowards.

Now go get a life and leave mine alone.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

But it's ok for the R's to keep screeching that the public supports them and when you ask them how they know this..they say..da polls. But if you ask them which polls..like tweety did to Michael Steele recently, he couldn't quote one poll that supports the republican ideology on letting our debts go unpaid.

Funny how that works.

Dave Dubya said...

Free, TP, and HR,
Say, that's some kind of smooth, classy, "compassionate conservative" buddy you got hiding over in the weeds.

Do you think he's doing a good job for your team, representing your fellow "real Americans" and the party of "values"?

I imagine you have far more respect for his sound reasoning and clarity of ideas than for the senseless drivel I write.

Why don't you give him an "attaboy" and make him feel important?

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
Since when does Obama speak for the "left"? Didn't you see us comparing him to the Neocons?

We remember what those corporatists around him called the "professionsl left". Some kind of "F'ing Retards", I believe.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, JG, when you come out of your drug endued stupor, give em hell. Or something, but make sure someone else pays for it, right, the good old socialist way.
Remember sharing the wealth works great until you run out of other peoples wealth to spread around.
Then JG and David, you might have to work for a living for once. A real one, a private sector job to produce something of worth.

Anonymous said...

"Hey, Mr. Paine, you haven't kissed The Heathen Republican's ass once today! You're slipping. ;-)"

Classy libtard JG at his best, but the little wink makes all ok, right JG?

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Since he's anonymous, he feels he can slap us all around a bit. What a bag of shit..no respect and nothing of substance coming out of his piehole. At least Paine has dignity and respects everyone that comments here..even if he can be condescending at times. ;-P

S.W. Anderson said...

”evil conservatives, suddenly expecting us to live within our means”

Fixed.

free0352 said...

I'm pretty sure the party of "values" is thr republican party dave, I'm in the party of "liberty."

In the end, all thee parties have core values. Mine would be freedom, the democrats would be equality, and republicans would be responsibility. Libertarians think people can do whatever they want so long as they don't hurt anyone else. Democrats endlessly seek equality, not jist under the law, but also equality of result. Republicans are a hybred. While democrats want government to regulate everything under the sun in the name of fairness to insure equality of people and libertarians seek the opposite pretty much on all issues, republicans seem to have no problem using government as a tool so long as it doest interfere with their wallets.

T. Paine said...

Dusty writes “Oh and my happy ass lives in the reddest part of Cali. So if these rubes are bitching about the top two percent not doing their fair share..I think it's a pretty fair statement to say the majority of the population probably does agree.” I thought the point you were making was that the tide is going your way as even the “idiots” in the most conservative parts of California are saying so. I wasn’t arguing where you live, but merely pointing out that I am familiar with some of the arguably most conservative areas of California such as Orange County. My personal assessment is that in comparison to most of middle America, they are still left of center, Ms. Dusty.

Next, Jeff’s Guard writes, “And what, exactly, horrifies you about the TARP bailout and the ongoing siphoning of billions of dollars from the Fed to banks around the world? Anything?” My reply to this is EVERYTHING! The World Bank and the IMF are as egregious in their management of global economic affairs as the Fed and Obama have been of the United States.

“Hey, Mr. Paine, you haven't kissed The Heathen Republican's ass once today! You're slipping.” If giving kudos to someone who is speaking logically with facts to back up his assertions is your definition of “kissing ass” then I guess I am guilty as charged. I can understand if you are a little jealous though, sir. Nobody wants to kiss your ass if you are full of s*#%@. :)

The Heathen Republican said...

"Since when does Obama speak for the "left"? Didn't you see us comparing him to the Neocons?"

Dave, we don't get to pick and choose who is with us or against us ideologically. There must be a common language otherwise none of us can communicate.

Obama is without a doubt left of center. Just because you are further left than Obama does not make him centrist or a neocon. It just makes you further left than Obama.

Weaseldog said...

free0352 said... "Its funny that had Citizens United vs FEC not found like it had, as a 501c orginization "Move to Amend" could not produce electioneering broadcasts and would be subject to the restrictions they claim to want lol.

Move to Amend are *ghasp* lobbiests - to include lobbying groups (listed on their own website per the link YOU provided) such as

....

Excuse me if the hipocracy is deafaning."

'Hypocrisy' doesn't mean what you think it means. It would be hypocrisy if they exempted themselves. By including themselves, they are acting in an ethical and moral manner.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine says, "At what freaking point is their “paying their fair share” reached for you, Dusty? 99% or 100%? 47% of Americans either pay no federal taxes or actually receive net gains in benefits. Isn’t that a big of enough safety net for you?"

A lot of that money ends up in the hands of corporations like J.P. Morgan. They handle food stamps and other forms of welfare payouts.

The big banks are the lobbyists that are behind much of the worst excesses of these programs as they skim as much as 30% off the top.

You've got an uphill battle in combating the abuses of these programs as they have many millions in free speech dollars they can pour into the politician's pockets every year.

Subsidies pouring into corporate coffers, then a little graft going back into the Congress, the Senate and The Supreme Court to keep the subsidies flowing, against your opinion and your vote, that's always in support of their candidate.

So long as you support Republicans that want to keep the corporate subsidies flowing, the welfare waste and fraud will continue.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said... "The fact that we taxpayers are still on the hook for 32%, according to your sources, of a previously PRIVATE company like GM doesn't horrify you speaks volumes."

I'm a little surprised to see you bashing a Bush / Cheney plan.

the GM bailout began with Bush with Bush approving the first $13.4 billion in payouts.

Those Republicans Socialists and their Nationalization Plan really suck eggs, don't they?

Bush and Cheney Socialist Communist Nationalists through and through. That's probably why the Republican Party chose the color red for communism.

Weaseldog said...

Anonymous says, "Anyone one want to bet that as the decline continued, the libtards like JG would be blaming Corporations, Bush and conservaitives for the mess they would have total rsponsablity for having created? Naa, not on this blog."

The GM Bailout and TARP are Republican Plans, engineered under the direction of the Bush / Cheney administration. So clearly it's the Democrat's fault.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "I wouldn't put too much trust in polls,"

Thanks for the heads up in what to expect in the next election.

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
Obama is without a doubt left of center.

You're right, he does occasionally "speak" for the left. Only in words, not in deeds. His words appeal to the left, but his triangulating deeds reek of Clinton, the best Republican president ever.

Corporatists are not left of center. They cannot be.

Our government has become primarily an institutionalized Right Wing engine of empire and corporatocracy. The Military Industrial Complex has a dominant voice in foreign policy and even in domestic policy. The power of corporate free speech money is constantly pushing the government far to the right of where most Americans are.

Remember most Americans want us out of the wars. Most Americans want safety nets. Most Americans want previous tax rates restored to the elites, and most voted for Obama. Where does that out the real center?

If Obama truly spoke for the left he would have pressed for single payer health care, would have demanded investigations and accountability for war based on falsehoods and torture. He would demand a halt to warrantless surveillance of citizens. If he and the corporate media were half as liberal as the Right portrays them, they would be demanding the Constitutional reforms of corporate personhood and free speech money. We hear nothing of the sort from them.

In this environment Nixon would be left of center. That does not make him, or Obama, speak for the left.

The US government with its corporate sponsored politicians is far to the right of the people. And that would mean the so-called “center” is also to the right of most people. The center of power is not the center of public consensus.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "After two years of seeing what a Democratic Senate, House, and White House will do, the tide turned again in 2010."

Yeah, it looks like Bush / Cheney never left the White House. Bush morphed into a black man and Cheney grew a few inches.

Weaseldog said...

T.Paine asks of the Republican Plan engineered under the direction of Bush and Cheney, "Next, Jeff’s Guard writes, “And what, exactly, horrifies you about the TARP bailout and the ongoing siphoning of billions of dollars from the Fed to banks around the world? Anything?” My reply to this is EVERYTHING! The World Bank and the IMF are as egregious in their management of global economic affairs as the Fed and Obama have been of the United States."

So you think this'll get fixed if the men who designed and sold this plan, are put back in office to expand it?

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "Obama is without a doubt left of center."

Yes, he's left of Bush and way right of Ronald Reagan.

by today's standards, Ronald Reagan is dyed in the wool commie.

Dave Dubya said...

Free,
Actually the Democratic Party is supposed to be the party of democracy, but we know the've really become the junior party of corporatocracy.

Ironically, as a civil libertarian, I often agree more with the Libertarian Party than the D's or R's. Unfortunately the tendencies of all the parties to represent the economic elites over public interests leave me with poor choices all around.

It's a bit lonely out here having sympathies for both the NRA and ACLU.

I guess I'm just too centrist.

Weaseldog said...

Here's a heart warming conservative story. This is certainly a solution for the expanding population of disabled veterans that are soaking up all that welfare money.

"NH GOP State Congressman Says Disabled and Mentally Ill Are ‘Defective People’ And Should Be Shipped To Siberia"

http://www.addictinginfo.org/2011/03/11/nh-gop-senator-says-the-disabled-and-mentally-ill-are-%E2%80%98defective-people%E2%80%99-that-should-be-shipped-off-to-siberia/

The Heathen Republican said...

That NH GOP state congressman doesn't speak for the right. He's clearly a lefty, way to the left of any mainstream conservative.

free0352 said...

We live in a republic, not a democracy. Democracy is mob rule. I saw thast in somalia, no thanks. But we do elect our representatives, and I'm unaware of any party advocating getins away from that.

Dave Dubya said...

Wease,
Now there's your "fair and balanced" Republican. He thinks like both Stalin and Hitler.

HR,
That jerk is a Republican.

clearly a lefty Nice try.

We all know how much cons want to gut mental health or any other services. And you're right, we don't get to pick and choose who is with us or against us ideologically.

We do, however, get to pick where we are ideologically. And you chose your fellow Republican's side.

Free,
We were intended to be a democratic republic, with the people having the right to democratically vote for their representatives. That's history. We now live in a corporatocray where Republicans are doing their best to disenfranchise voters. They are the enemies of democracy and want a tyranny of the minority.

The Heathen Republican said...

Dave, I'm just applying your logic. As I recall, Obama is a jerk Democrat, yet you don't think he's on the left. If you don't have to own your fanatics, why do I have to own mine?

Dave Dubya said...

HR,
That would be a false equivalancy, my friend, not only on the scale of "jerkness" but due to the fact I am not a democrat.

You haven't explained how he is more left than you, either. Do you simply prefer to gas the mentally ill instead of sending them to Siberia?

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "Dave, I'm just applying your logic. As I recall, Obama is a jerk Democrat, yet you don't think he's on the left. If you don't have to own your fanatics, why do I have to own mine?"

He's a Democrat, because he filled out a form and got himself bonafide.

But his politics are right wing.

Just like the Republicans in Wis. that filed in the local election as Democrats. If they had won they would've been right wing Republican Democrats. Like Obama.

T. Paine said...

“I'm a little surprised to see you bashing a Bush / Cheney plan…. the GM bailout began with Bush with Bush approving the first $13.4 billion in payouts. Those Republicans Socialists and their Nationalization Plan really suck eggs, don't they?” says Weasel, to which I respond hell yes they sucked eggs! Evidently you made an erroneous assumption that I supported Bush’s domestic economic agenda because he claimed to be a Republican. If you had been paying attention in the past months you would have seen me on many an occasion deride him for his economic foolishness and how his policies were the beginning of the end of our downfall. This is because Bush governed domestically like an old school Democrat! Obama came in and just accelerated the process.

“I guess I'm just too centrist.” Dubya, I love ya brother but that is the funniest damned thing I have read all week long, my friend! :)

“NH GOP State Congressman Says Disabled and Mentally Ill Are ‘Defective People’ And Should Be Shipped To Siberia" If he was referring to about 90% of congress, I would find myself in agreement with him.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Heathan Republican, amazingly you claimed...

"Obama is without a doubt left of center. Just because you are further left than Obama does not make him centrist or a neocon."

Your second sentence could be true, although your being so much further right of center than Obama doesn't make him a liberal. It just makes him left of you.

I think Dave Dubya already showed sufficient justification indicating that Obama could be considered a neoconservative. Here's some
more
.

You also claimed...

"That NH GOP state congressman doesn't speak for the right. He's clearly a lefty, way to the left of any mainstream conservative."

Huh?

Hey, if you can't even be honest with yourself, how can we ever expect you to be honest with us?

The Heathen Republican said...

Jesus, is the sarcasm lost on you? I was trying to make the point that if Dave get's to claim Obama is a neocon because he (Dave) is actually on the left, then I get to claim that NH Republican is on the left since I am actually on the right. I thought my point was obvious...

Let's do this another way: I take people at their word as to their ideology. If you were to ask Obama if he is a liberal/progressive, he would say yes. If you were to ask if he is on the left, right, or center, I suspect he would say he is left of center.

So you don't get to disown him just because you think he's on the right. Feel free to disown him, but don't try to suggest he's on the right just because you guys are so far left you wouldn't recognize the right if it walked up to you.

Anonymous said...

"So long as you support Republicans that want to keep the corporate subsidies flowing, the welfare waste and fraud will continue."

The problem is the people who hand out the goodies not the fact that goodies are being handed out? If the goodies weer handed put by "community organizers" then all would be good?

More pretzel logic from the left wing.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican says, "So you don't get to disown him just because you think he's on the right. Feel free to disown him, but don't try to suggest he's on the right just because you guys are so far left you wouldn't recognize the right if it walked up to you."

I'm not a Democrat.

The Heathen Republican also says, "Let's do this another way: I take people at their word as to their ideology."

The State senator in question says he's a Republican. He's registered as a Republican and he's vetted by the Republican Party.

You disown this guy and call him a leftist and insist he's not a Republican because you take people at their word about their ideology?

Dave has been clear that he's a not a Democrat, yet you keep calling him one.

I think it's clear, you only trust Democrats to tell the truth. You think everyone else is a liar.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Yo, Paine..When the tax rate for the top 2% is the lowest it's been in 50 years and we are in the worst recession of the last 50 years..Let me get this straight..You think the top 2% should continue to get those corporate welfare breaks with the economy in the shitter? Do you really believe that?

Weaseldog said...

Anonymous gives us pretzel logic from the left wing, "The problem is the people who hand out the goodies not the fact that goodies are being handed out? If the goodies weer handed put by "community organizers" then all would be good?"

You left wingers are really strange.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "Jesus, is the sarcasm lost on you? I was trying to make the point that if Dave get's to claim Obama is a neocon because he (Dave) is actually on the left, then I get to claim that NH Republican is on the left since I am actually on the right. I thought my point was obvious..."

Except that David isn't on the left.

That's where you keep screwing up.

I peg Obama as a neocon, not because he's left or right of me, but because he does what neocons do.

I don't fib about taking people on their word about their ideology. I watch what they do. Obama loves war and torture.

A true left winger is completely anti-war and anti-violence. Remember the whole, "Make Love, Not War" thing? "Love thy brother", and all of that other lefty stuff?

The Heathen Republican said...

Weasel, just stop it, we're off topic here. I was disowning that NH Republican using sarcasm based on Dave's earlier point. Wake up.

And kindly go back and find a quote where I call Dave a Democrat. Hint: that quote doesn't exist because I know that Dave does not call himself a Democrat.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

I peg Obama as a neocon, not because he's left or right of me, but because he does what neocons do. Thank You! He has never been a liberal, and anyone that thinks he is/was/might be is deluded and they didn't listen to him on the campaign trail when he said he would ramp up the Afghan War. He said it more than once..so it's not some weird-ass glitch.

Obama also voted, as a Senator, against raising the debt ceiling. How is that a liberal ideology?

I haven't been registered as a Democrat for over 20 years. That is how long it's been since I realized that a Politician is first and foremost a Politician. Party membership has nothing to do w/it...they are all, with a few exceptions..Politicians first.

S.W. Anderson said...

Heathen Republican wrote: "After two years of seeing what a Democratic Senate, House, and White House will do, the tide turned again in 2010."

That wasn't a tide turning. It was a feel-good/tantrum/spite exercise coupled with Democrats' patented process for losing elections.

Dick Armey, the Koch brothers and God knows who else bankrolled and deployed Astroturf groups of ignorant yahoos who were joined by irate know-nothings. They targeted the party in power at an especially opportune time for that because of the ongoing economic pain left behind by many years of conservative Republican misleadership and misrule.

Hired yahoos and know-nothings, just as all Americans, like and expect instant results and happy endings. When those aren't forthcoming, it's going to be hell to pay for someone, including someone left holding the bag while the bad guys slipped to the sidelines so they could focus on revising history and shifting blame.
(Continues)

S.W. Anderson said...

(continued from above)
To top all that off, a whole lot of liberal Democrats and Democrat-leaning independents who should've known better gave in to their feelings of dissatisfaction with Obama's lack of convictions and unique approach to bargaining, and disgust at how divided and seemingly impotent congressional Democrats were. So, lots of liberals and Dem-leaning independents didn't bother to work, or even vote, for Democratic candidates last year.

All the above added to the cyclical undertow that often means losses for the in party two years after a decisive presidential-year win added up to what we got in November 2010.

That kind of thing could conceivably happen again, especially if Obama goes along with gutting Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. I think it much more likely we'll see a reaction against tea party pols and others judged to not be serious and knowledgeable, with Republicans running away from them as if the yahoos were spreading the plague. That groundswell, if it materializes, will be made up of a whole lot of independents and moderate Dems.

Ironically, as a liberal, I look on such a development as a mixed blessing. It would reinforce Obama in his compulsion to come up with compromises in which he gives away the store before the hard bargaining even begins. That kind of groundswell victory would also provide no political continuing momentum for the Democratic Party and progressive causes going forward. Politically, it would be a foundation of wet sand.

Weaseldog said...

when the next Republican president can't deliver, it will be Obama's fault, just as Obama and Clinton are blamed for the failures of the Bush presidency.

The Heathen Republican said...

SW Anderson, I don't think you understand the people who attended the Tea Party rallies. You call them Astroturf because you disagree with them, but they are at least as genuine as any anti-war, green, or union rally.

You can call them hired yahoos and know-nothings, but it's more likely that these were people who once cared little for politics, and started to pay attention once the Democrat triumvirate took over.

One poll that I am interested in is the one in November 2012. I wonder, if Obama loses, will you then admit that the Tea Party was genuine, not Astroturf, and made up of people who know what they're doing? Or is this one of those items of faith that will never be disproven in your mind.

For example, I would be willing to bet on the Tea Party. If Obama wins a second term in 2012, I will admit that the Tea Party was a passing fad and not a genuine political force. Are you willing to wager the opposite, or are you prevented by your faith?

The Heathen Republican said...

@Weasel "when the next Republican president can't deliver, it will be Obama's fault..."
And just as Obama not delivering is all Bush's fault?

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Heathen Republican, you replied to me and said...

"So you don't get to disown him just because you think he's on the right."

Sure I do!

"Feel free to disown him, but don't try to suggest he's on the right just because you guys are so far left you wouldn't recognize the right if it walked up to you."

You just contradicted yourself, but I'll let it slide.

I sense, because you were born in, or around, 1973, that you really don't have a clue as to what a "liberal" really is. The last liberal Democrat that ran for president was in 1972, so your preconceived notion of what a "liberal" stands for is based upon the likes of Obama, Gore, Clinton, etc. These guys weren't, and aren't, "liberals" -- they were, and are, corporatists, though, just as the vast majority of Republicans and Democrats who run our country, write our laws, and rule on "constitutionality".

But you haven't figured this out yet. But, you will. You're young and naive. You'll figure it out soon enough.

Oh, and by the way, no, I didn't pick up on your sarcastic humor. It's tough to do so in the written form (and hence, the embrace of emoticons), and even tougher when your adversary is predisposed to exaggeration and repeating untruths.

Tom Harper said...

T. Paine: "the reddest part of California where you live is probably still left of the most liberal district in Texas...California is hardly a good example of what the nation as a whole feels on any given issue."

Not true. Some of the interior regions of California (and that goes for the other two Left Coast states too) are as far to the Right as any part of the Midwest or Deep South.

BTW, I was stationed in Ventura County in the early '70s.

Anyway: Move To Amend sounds great. I hope the public support doesn't wane after the corporate "media" tells everyone how evil and dangerous this idea is.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

I forgot about that crack from Paine. Thanks Tom.

If you even try to compare Orange County to Kern County or the San Joaquin valley in general then you know nothing of Cali politics. The San Joaquin valley is the biggest reddest part of the state and their core values are no different than those of Oklahoma nutters. The history of the region is that most residents come from OK stock.

Trying to compare a huge metro area to a huge rural area..apples and oranges on any issue.

The Heathen Republican said...

Jefferson, I'm sure that anyone else here who is younger than me is happy to hear that their opinions don't matter either and that they are too young and naive to share them here. Instead of trying to discredit someone because of their age, I prefer to discuss ideas and let them stand or fall on their own. Join me, if you would.

My use of the term "liberal" is a concession to those here who call themselves liberal. My rule is to use the word "progressive" primarily because that is what progressives now want to be called. According to these same progressives, the right has turned the word "liberal" into a pejorative.

I consider myself to be a classical liberal, but as the language evolves, so must we. Now I call myself a conservative, the home of classical liberals. Because we can always get bogged down in semantics... liberal, conservative, progressive, left, right, Democrat, Republican... I find it best to simply use the words as they are commonly understood.

To demonstrate, Hayek is a good example of a classical liberal or modern day conservative, but of course, he said he'll never be a conservative. Words evolve.

Dave Dubya said...

Tom,
We're pretty sure the corporate media will either completely ignore "Move to Amend" and similar efforts to reverse corporate personhood and free speech cash, or they will dismiss them as "not serious" or "not grounded in reality". You know, like they did with the alternatives to the Ryan plan to gut Medicare.

HR,
OK, thanks for the context. As I'm such a sarcastic SOB, I rarely expect it from others.

You make a good point on the liquidity of terms. This goes back to the "liberal" corporate media and beyond. One side clearly gains an advantage when unilaterally redefining terms. “Death taxes” and “death panels” come to mind foremost. Maybe you can cite where the left has done so, but I doubt you'd find as many as from the Right.

This is the reason why I define Corporatist Republicanism as the antithesis of democracy. I say define instead of redefine because I have not seen the term elsewhere.

And this is why Rightists need to redefine democracy as "mob rule", ignoring the Constitutional rule of law designed to protect the rights of the minority.

Corporatist Republicanism is clearly intent on rule by a minority. In fact that is closer to dictatorship than democracy is to mob rule.

TP,
I'm delighted that you see some humor here. It's healthy as long as it's not directed as personal digs. I'm curious what you'd call someone supporting both the NRA and ACLU, apart from "Confused", that is. We would claim to be Constitutional civil libertarians with a strong dislike for both the Republican and Democratic Parties.

You see, I'm closer to your views on some things than I am to most progressives.

It's not easy being a defender of us “little guys”, the Bill of Rights, and democracy.

No wonder nobody understands me. ;-)

The Heathen Republican said...

T.Paine has a good list of redefined terms if you haven't seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

"That wasn't a tide turning. It was a feel-good/tantrum/spite exercise coupled with Democrats' patented process for losing elections.'

Isn't this over looking the fact in poll after poll, less that 35% of American call them selves liberals.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Heathen Republican, you said...

"I'm sure that anyone else here who is younger than me is happy to hear that their opinions don't matter either and that they are too young and naive to share them here. Instead of trying to discredit someone because of their age...

Heathen, I never mentioned that anybody here wasn't free to express their ideas or thoughts, whether young or naive, or otherwise. I believe those are your words, only. You certainly inferred something that I never implied.

Now, I did mention your relatively young age because, frankly, I've noticed an unusual trend in this nation where young ("younger") people have begun subscribing to conservative thoughts, ideas, and ideals. I attribute this to their living and growing up in a society dominated by right-wing thought and right-wing propaganda, predominately over the course of the last thirty years or so. My conclusion is that because they've never experienced government when true liberalism (in the modern context) was at the helm, they have nothing to compare it to -- other than ultra Right conservatives, or "lite" versions in the form of recent Democratic presidents. I think this may be because the Democratic Party (the "liberal" wing of the single Corporatist Party) has mainly played the role of the "play along to get along" weaker sibling.

You continued with...

"I prefer to discuss ideas and let them stand or fall on their own."

That's a very noble and forthright gesture, however I find it not to be the case. Instead, it seems you shy away from uncomfortable viewpoints (the concept of "corporatist", for example, or the idea that Obama just may be a right-winger like yourself).

As for the economic philosophies of Hayek (and von Mises and Friedman) I believe his classicism was relevant at one time (well, not Friedman's) but is dated due to the emergence of mega-multinational corporations and the resultant corporate state. That's a main sticking point between us. Otherwise, I agree with, probably, the majority of your social theories.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "And just as Obama not delivering is all Bush's fault?"

If that's what you think you're welcome to your opinion.

I guess you have to project blame somewhere.

My opinion is that each President is responsible for their own messes. A true party faithful though, wouldn't agree with me.

The Heathen Republican said...

"...it seems you shy away from uncomfortable viewpoints (the... idea that Obama just may be a right-winger like yourself..."

Jefferson, let me make sure I have this right. If I disagree with you that Obama is a right-winger, I am shying away from an uncomfortable viewpoint? You make it sound like I'm denying some kind of concrete and independently verifiable fact, but that's just your opinion.

I'll tell you what, in order level-set our conversation of Obama being a right-winger, perhaps you would do me a quick favor and visit this link and tell me where you think Obama fits on the ideological spectrum. I'd be curious where everyone else claiming that Obama is not a lefty/liberal/progressive would place him on this spectrum.

I would place put him left of center of the blue bell curve. If you can tell me where you would place him, we might have a better idea of how far apart we are.

The Heathen Republican said...

Weasel, are you drinking right now? All I did was extend your statement out to Obama and his constant blaming of Bush.

I actually agree with you that each president is responsible for what they do, just as each congress is responsible for what they do. But you make it sound like poor Democrats always get blamed for what Republicans do, and you seem to ignore when Democrats blame Republicans.

This wasn't about me projecting blame. It was your statement.

Jefferson's Guardian said...

Sorry, Heathen, but before we discuss anything related to the political spectrum, wouldn't it be fair to first agree to the "shape of the table"?

Just the Facts said...

Since the far lefties who hang out on this blog feel the nation's problems could be solved if only the solutions were more liberal, I'd like to ask them to post their solutions to what they think are the largest problems facing our country at this time.
Be specific, don't say something like the biggest problem is there too many conservatives. Or we spend too much money on the "drug war". Explain why and what would be different with your plan if enacted.
Here's your chance to share your solutions.

John Myste said...

The biggest problem is that 79 members of the House of Representatives feel they should dictatorially decide how to handle the debt fictitious crisis and also the real budget deficit crisis and Obama is too fragile to stand up to them.

[The End]

John Myste said...

OK, that was not the end. this is:

The fictitious debt crisis. The debt is a problem, not a crisis. The deficit is a crisis in the making. I assume that 79 people should get to solve it the best way there grade school economics tells them they should.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

John Myste..no friggin way you made a comment that short.

Just.No.Fucking.Way!

But I agree that a small insignificant bunch of extremists can hold their breath like a three year old..and capture all the attention and probably none of the blow back that will occur if they get their wish.

Jack Jodell said...

What a powerful, hopeful post, Dave. I am copying and pasting it in an email I am sending to all my friends and relatives.

You can fool some of the people some of the time; but a growing number of us are sick of being fooled!

Just the Facts! said...

The 1st reply to my post of July 21, 2011 11:40 PM is from John Myste.
1. "The biggest problem is that 79 members of the House of Representatives feel they should dictatorially decide how to handle the debt fictitious crisis and also the real budget deficit crisis and Obama is too fragile to stand up to them."

Thanks John for sharing. Could you offer a solution to what you feel is our biggest problem?

T. Paine said...

John Myste writes, “The fictitious debt crisis. The debt is a problem, not a crisis. The deficit is a crisis in the making. I assume that 79 people should get to solve it the best way there grade school economics tells them they should.”

First let me give the caveat that I really do like and respect John, despite his often misguided personal political convictions. That said, his statement is PRECISELY the problem with the left. Debt is not a crisis to the left. The deficit is mildly worrying to them, but we still need government spending to bring us out of this recession, even though such actions have not worked throughout history, and typically only extend the recession like FDR did. How the hell are we supposed to fix something that they do not even acknowledge as the critical problem that it is?

Jeff’s Guard, so do you think that liberals like McGovern, had he been elected, would have made America a better place for all? Is this the kind of liberal of which you speak? He was so far extreme that even back then the folks realized what an unqualified disaster a McGovern presidency would bring to the country. Sometimes with age, wisdom does not always follow.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Paine, it wasn't a crisis to the R's when Bush raised the ceiling 7 times or St Ronnie Of Reagan did it 18 times. It's bullshit on a stick for them to do it now. It's being used as a political football by those fucks and you know it.

Or your being your usual obtuse self and kicking the folks here for pointing it out.

Who the fuck are you to say Myste's politics are misguided? No one is wrong/misguided here because it's their pov. Like you, some folks pov is based on fallacies however if they try to paint this debt ceiling fuckery as a crisis.

The Crisis is our economy NOW, now 10 years down the road when all this tiny-assed 'fixes' would start whittling away at those least able to afford the shit being foisted upon them. Or the ridiculous cuts being proposed to Soc Security which has no effect on the debt what-so-fucking-ever until 25 years from now.

Soc Sec is the only solvent program the fed govt has right now. These assholes want to fuck w/it because they see an opportunity to do so. They think it's too generous. What a fucking crock.

And what, no smart-assed comeback from you about the politics of Cali's inland? You acted as if I had lost my mind to suggest the inland politics were identical to the idiots in the deep south or midwest.

Weaseldog said...

The Heathen Republican said... "Republicans do, and you seem to ignore when Democrats blame Republicans."

There are few instances here of Democrats here that are blaming Republicans for things that a Democrat has done.
If there were, I'd be happy to bash them too.

But there are Republicans here blaming Obama for creating TARP and the GM Bailouts. And it's a verifiable fact that Bush championed these programs while he was president.

the problem that you and your Republican friends here have is that there really aren't any Democrats participating on this forum. Your opponents are various flavors of independents.

This forum consists of Republicans, shadow boxing Democratic Strawmen to an audience of Independents.

It's entertaining.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

This forum consists of Republicans, shadow boxing Democratic Strawmen to an audience of Independents. Very true, as all the regulars here are not shy about taking to task all the D's that are Politicians first and defenders of the general populations need's second.

Weaseldog said...

Lets' examine the things that make Obama a liberal.

1. Agrees with Bush that the constitution doesn't apply to him.
2. Like Bush is a champion of hte Patriot Act.
3. Like Bush, is pro-war.
4. Like Bush, he's started new wars.
5. Like Bush, uses scary bogey men to promote his agenda.
6. Promotes Bush's bailouts, even extending it to the insurance industry.
7. Continues to promote and extend Bush's support of banking profits through subsidy programs.
8. Like Bush, he promotes torture.
9. Tells a lot of lies like Bush did.
10. Like Bush, doesn't seem to have a clue about economics or just doesn't care.
11. Like Bush, wants to expand wire tapping and eaves dropping on Americans.


Yeah, I guess like Bush, he is a liberal.

Weaseldog said...

When we get a Republican President, we won't have a debt crisis anymore. A republican president can safely extend the debt to the stars but a Democrat can't.

Bush's record breaking deficits were sweet and angelic, because he's a Republican. Obama's are nasty and demonic, because he's a Democrat.

When we have a Republican president again, they'll bust the debt ceiling safely, over and over and run the deficit of to hundreds of trillions of dollars, safely, all through the magic of partisanship.

Weaseldog said...

Just the Facts said... "Since the far lefties who hang out on this blog feel the nation's problems could be solved if only the solutions were more liberal,..."

Perhaps you should save that question for the day when some far lefties start participating.

What you have right now are loyal Republicans and folks that believe that Republicans and Democrats are lying hypocrites.

Perhaps you could invite some lefties to participate here?

John Myste said...

@ T. Paine,

I don’t have time to get embroiled in this debate, so I should not speak at all. I believe I pointed this out to you on your site. Stop provoking me! Debt is only a crisis when it can destroy the economy in short term. Otherwise, it is a problem. No matter how emotionally you state that it is a crisis, it doesn’t make it so. If we balance the budget and start paying down the debt slowly, there is no crisis. A crisis would be defined as the inability to do that. The debt is always considered historically high and massive by every drama-queen that analyzes it, because it is usually higher than it used to be. Debt is worse when when our ability to pay it is less than it used to be. A crisis would be an inability to pay the debt, like Greece had, for instance. If you emotionally declare every problem you don’t like to be a crisis, you are susceptible to irrational and emotional reactions. Don’t worry, I am not claiming your Tea Party reaction to be irrational and emotional. I think they are pulling your strings like a skill owner of finely tuned marionette in a very calculated way in order to gain influence and credibility.

Stay tuned. My response to Just is also a response to you.

John Myste said...

@Just,

Paul Ryan’s budget gutted 80 years of “entitlement” programs, aka social programs, aka, programs that allow the less fortunate in America to survive, and it made slight cuts to “defense,” aka our war-making budget. The argument he makes is that painful cuts must happen everywhere if we are to solve the problem, and in good faith, he guts social programs the right have resented for 80 years. A good first step would be to admit that you making are labeling a problem to be handled as a crisis so you can you attack an 80 year old elderly foe that has thus far defeated you at every turn.

Since you are lost and seek my help in this matter, I will quickly give you a place to start. The Myste budget involves generating more revenue. I know that is an horrific idea because some long ago discredited economists say if you generate more revenue, you have less, and through the use of carefully crafted post hoc fallacies, Ryan has “verified” that this true.

1. It involves closing loopholes, even if we have to summarily close them, meaning that we remove almost all tax incentives, then put the ones we want back back in an organized way.

2. Close all corporate tax loopholes.

3. Implement a small tolerable increase in the top marginal tax rate. It is NEAR historical lows now. No increase at all below the top marginal rates.

4. Remove the concept of long term capital gains ceilings. They are 15%, which is equivalent to the top marginal rate we tax poor people. Long term capital gains should be treated as income, just as short term capital gains is. I guess this is similar to closing loopholes and removing incentives, but it is deserves a separate point.

5. Review our welfare system (I include disability here). Probably as much as half of it (around half a billion dollars) goes toward paying people who can make almost as much not working as they can make working, and so choose not to work. DO NOT cut our welfare budget, however, unless or until, we can show a surplus at some point. Welfare keeps children from living on the street and starving in the heat in the summer and in the cold in the winter. They are not guilty of the malingering of some parents, and just so you know, plenty of parents receiving welfare benefits are not guilty of this either, just as my VERY hard-working mother was not when she received benefits. No one wants an America that tolerates children living on the streets, just so we can make sure no one takes advantage of the system, right?

I will not even try to tell you how much revenue that would generate. I will say that common sense tells us that it would exceed the savings Ryan’s assault on the poor, the elderly and the unhealthy would generate.

When the Myste plan in implemented, the budget will be balanced. No response is needed, because I have no time to respond to your response and I already listened to Fox’s take on the issues, so I have heard your response in advance. However, if you want to notify your congress persons, I would much appreciate it. I am sure we are all gratified to learn the real motive behind our handling of the “debt crisis,” and any of the unicorns it carries with it, and we are also happy to understand the differences between catastrophic deficits, and debt, and a debt to income ratio problem. As an aside, if you look at historical charts, you will find that debt to income ratio always suffers when supply side philosophy is enacted. (http://zfacts.com/p/318.html).

In summary, the Myste plan recognizes that Budgets contain revenue and expenses and that America is about more than just maintaining the haves and making war.

Weaseldog said...

John, applaud your latest arguments.

I'll argue with you on this one though.

Myste say, "5. Review our welfare system (I include disability here). Probably as much as half of it (around half a billion dollars) goes toward paying people who can make almost as much not working as they can make working, and so choose not to work"

The number of people who get welfare and can work but don't is very small.

Most of the welfare goes to people with jobs, that earn too little to both pay rent and eat.

Walmart is one of the biggest beneficiaries of these welfare programs. they actually hold classes to train their employees how to apply for and qualify for welfare benefits, as service to make up for low pay scales.

I think what we're going to to see is new legislation to cut welfare benefits, then before it goes into effect, an flurry of exemptions for employees of many well connected corporations like WalMart.

The effect of the changes will be a much more complicated business environment that will favor those corporations that can pay to have exemptions codified specifically for them.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

YAY John! No one highlights issues and things better than you m'dear friend. But Weaseldog does come in a close second. Speaking of Wease..he highlights an important fact:

Most of the welfare goes to people with jobs, that earn too little to both pay rent and eat. The so-called poverty level does indeed serve to provide financial help to those working for minimum wage in areas where the cost-of-living just a bare bones life outweighs what minimum wage pays.

This is where the R's start their crap. They don't give a rat's ass that, by no fault of their own, many in America are not upwardly mobile and barely subsist on crumbs..but they DO WORK.

The GOP shows it's true colors by not giving a shit about those people. I believe they call it 'natural selection' which is a Darwinian term for thinning the herd. These are people..not animals in an eco-system that is being strained by over-feeding or any other calamity that faces the eco-system in the wild.

T. Paine said...

“Yeah, I guess like Bush, he is a liberal.” I think I have argued that very point, Weasel, when I proclaimed that Bush governed like an old school Democrat on domestic matters.

“Bush's record breaking deficits were sweet and angelic, because he's a Republican. Obama's are nasty and demonic, because he's a Democrat.” Where did you see ANYONE here say that? I know I have never said that and I damned sure know that Free doesn’t feel that way either, after all he works in the cubicle next to me, remember? At the risk of speaking for Heathen and JTF too, I’d be willing to be that they don’t think that way either and also have issues with Bush’s spending domestically.

It seems to me you are assuming that you are debating against Republicans partisans. Shadowboxing indeed! While I do at times vote Republican, that is not always the case, particularly in primaries. Your self-labeling of independent is fine and I accept what you tell me there at face value; however, based on what you have written I’d say you are far more radically left than the mainstream Democrats are today.

Ms. Dusty, I will relent to your assertion regarding inland California politics as I am not as knowledgeable about the topic admittedly and further I really don’t care enough to do any research on the topic. Next, while Social Security is currently solvent, if not reformed in some manner in the not-too-distant future, it certainly won’t be as the rest of the offspring of the Greatest Generation retire. We are now paying out more money than we are taking in for this program and will be past the point of a zero balance, if not reformed.

Next, I fully acknowledge AGAIN that the debt ceiling being raised under Bush and all other previous administrations before Lord Obama took the throne is a fact. It should not have been so. This is not a partisan issue for me, although Weasel’s assertion to the contrary, some of you “independents” sure seem to be carrying the water for the Democrats on this issue. The debt ceiling and unconstitutional spending by ANY administration and congress is an egregious break with principle for me.

Why it matters now is not because the Republicans say it is so. It is because we are at a point where Obama and the Democrats have added more than $4 Trillion dollars in debt in two years in power. It is unsustainable and we are at the point of having horrible repercussions because of it, especially considering the REAL unemployment rate. Within a decade the federal government is projected to spend the equivalent of 100% of our GDP if kept on this track. I guarantee you we will collapse before that point. The difference is we are at that point where we turn back from the precipice now or we continue forward and at best mortgage my kids and grandkids future into oblivion. At worst, we destroy our economy and become a very large banana republic.

Mr. Myste, I would agree with points one and two of your plan. I am open to point three, even though Dusty and everyone else ignored my question regarding how much is enough of the “rich’s” fair share of the federal tax burden considering the top 1% now pay more than the bottom 95% combined.

I think entitlements need to be looked at and reformed to cut waste and fraud and yet still protect those folks that are not ABLE to make it without assistance. Not those that don’t want to work because they make more with those entitlements.

T. Paine said...

Dusty, for the record, I don't have a problem with some welfare subsidizing of folks that are working and not able to make ends meet within certain specific guidelines.

I don't think it is a matter of most Republicans not caring. It is that most conservatives don't think it is government's job to provide for people from the womb to the tomb.

Indeed, Republicans give far more of their own money to charity than typical Democrats. The Democrats seem to think that goverment should be taking care of that charity with other taxpayers' money, I guess.

And before Dubya complains about a source:


http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/03/conservatives_more_liberal_giv.html

John Myste said...

@Weasel,

It cracks me up that you were the first one to offer a rebuttal . I cannot remember a time we were in complete agreement on anything, but then, as you once pointed out, I am Republican!

My “argument” that welfare often goes to those who are not in need is based mostly on non-scientific narrow observation. It is therefore, by definition, fallacious, and yet, it is still what I believe.

My history is one of poverty. I grew up among the poor and most everyone I knew received some form of government assistance. Among those, many of them explained why they did not work or did not work much, and the reason they would give is that work does not pay well enough to justify the sacrifice of time.

Sometimes, they would work intermittently. So, the number of people who actually take advantage of the system is unknowable, and I could easily be way high. I consider it irrelevant as a budgetary question, however. They are many who have a genuine need that cannot be met, and in order to have those children eat, we must have a welfare system. Therefore, slashing the budget should not be an option unless the slashed funds come from the illumination of “gaming the system.”

I say the question is irrelevant for budgetary concerns, because reducing needed benefits should not be an option. The argument that gutting social programs in needed to solve the budget deficit is a lie the Tea Party and FOX news has told everyone, because the budget can again be balance without it. The argument that the debt crisis can and should be solved by gutting social programs is a lie because you cannot address that which does not exist.

free0352 said...

Obama is Bush on steroids... ok. Next?

John Myste said...

@T. Paine,

Mr, Paine, I did not ignore your 1% comment. As God as my witness, if there is a God, I logged a task in my system that said: "Once again explain to T. Paine why the top 1% argument is bogus."

In short, percentages matter, not dollars and granny should not have to help body builders lift boulders any more than her ability to will allow. If this makes no sense, you will have to wait a while for the full answer. The percentage paid in dollars by each "group" in America, including your arbitrary calculation, is totally irrelevant and has nothing to do with fairness. I will address this, once again, but not now.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Oh fuck, be still my heart..Paine won't argue my point because he could give a shit, not because I am correct. Thank you for that left-handed admission that you were wrong Paine.


I didn't ignore your ridiculous question about how much is enough. I answered it, and apparently you don't like my answer. Not my problem then as you just move on when you have no response on any given point.

As per your usual, you respond in a condescending manner to everything else, without providing any facts to support your pov in your last comment here.

Obama put the forever-wars in the budget, Bush43 did not. Doing away with the Bush43 tax cuts would wipe out a huge part of that 4 T you are attributing to Obama.Yes, The Big O bought the tax cuts now as he kept them intact. But you fail to recognize their part in building the deficit in the first placed when Bush43 implemented them.

Once again..the tax level for the top 2% is the lowest it's been in 50 years and we are having the worst recession in the last 50 years dude. So if you want to sign on to supporting such fuckery..just say it.

Soc Sec must be addressed..no shit? But using it NOW to validate cutting down the deficit is pure unadulterated bullshit as it provides NOTHING w/respect to the current deficit.

Its a smoke screen by the GOP and Obama to cut the legs out from under the elderly and the disabled among us...they are the least able to 'do more' about fixing the deficit..whereas the top 2% who are enjoying a banner fucking year can obviously afford to 'do more' at this point in the recession and with regards to the deficit that suddenly is a big fucking deal to the GOP and their minions.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine says, “Bush's record breaking deficits were sweet and angelic, because he's a Republican. Obama's are nasty and demonic, because he's a Democrat.” Where did you see ANYONE here say that?

It's inferred in some comments made about the current Deficit Vaudeville and Voodoo Show. If a Republican were president, the debt ceiling would be hiked again and again with little fanfare.

"I’d say you are far more radically left than the mainstream Democrats are today."

You're probably right. There is no difference between Democrats and Republicans in Washington in matters of policy on anything but the fringe issues.

When it comes to economics, domestic and foreign policy, law enforcement, law, judicial matters, social policy, etc... they are in almost complete agreement.

This entire deficit performance is intended to give the different performers a chance to get in the spotlight, and show what they can do. It's a sideshow act and a bit of an audition for the upcoming elections.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

I don't think it is a matter of most Republicans not caring. It is that most conservatives don't think it is government's job to provide for people from the womb to the tomb. Generalizations again. First you agree that people who work yet still live below the poverty level deserve help..then you generalize that it's not the fed govt's job to take care of them...so which is it? Can't have it both ways.

Indeed, Republicans give far more of their own money to charity than typical Democrats. What Georgie Will glosses over is the main thrust of the original article he uses was that RELIGIOUS conservatives give more, not just conservatives in general. And I doubt it's the extreme right religious folks..more the 'normal' religious folks.

So I fixed that for you Paine.

And wtf that has any of what you said,to do w/fixing the deficit is beyond me at this point..other than justifying the slash and burn techniques offered up by the GOP and Obama w/regard to hitting the least comfortable vs the most comfortable among us.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine says, "The debt ceiling and unconstitutional spending by ANY administration and congress is an egregious break with principle for me."

I'd like to hear your arguments on why you think it's unconstitutional.

I think I could make a left-handed case but I have a strong impression that your view is much different.

As to your argument that the deficit is out of control is one I agree with. Bush taught me though that the whole world is more than willing to go along with infinite deficit expansion, money printing and indefinite infinite welfare payouts to bankers and other corporate giants.

Back in 2001 I first started penning my thoughts on how exponential deficit growth in a time of resource contraction would work out. I came to realize that it create a huge parasitic banking system that could only survive by exponential growth in the money supply. And that this system would drain the industrial side until the actual working economy collapses.

It seems that things are working according to those early models.

At that time, the only solution I saw to avoid the traps was to crank down the money supply, raise interest rates. Engage in some level of rational protectionism and begin retooling our society so that it doesn't need exponential growth to function.

No politician could ever implement such a system. Politicians can only get elected if they preach infinite growth. So such a plan or any variant of it is a non-starter.

So we only had one path. That's a steady exponential increase in debt.

As to you solution of paying it off, by design that's impossible. Because money is only created by borrowing, and debts must be repaid with interest, there is never enough money to pay down all of the debt. If you borrow $100 at 10% flat interest, then you have to pay back $110. The extra $10 isn't created from nothing. It's introduced into the system when someone else borrows.

If everyone tried to pay back their debts at once, there wouldn't be enough money to do it. If the gov tries to pay down it's debt, it will have to suck money out of the rest of the economy, creating a shortage.

The hugely gigantic financial system overhang is unsustainable. and it's growing.

Where the US gov used to borrow directly from the Federal Reserve, now the biggest banks borrow the money first at near zero interest, then loan it to the gov at a higher interest rate. They don't provide any value, but it allows them to parasitically skim the interest payments which keep growing and growing.

This system is going to suck all of the life out of the existing economy as the Gov and the banks can outbid anyone in the private sector for goods and services. As the problem of Delcine resources and a growing population increases, businesses in the private sector will have to deal with a decline in materials quantity and quality as prices continue to rise.

We've long passed point where a transition could be made without severe economic and social upheaval.

Now the only way out is collapse. So every administration is going to have the same tax. Find ways to make the problem bigger and bigger without it collapsing.

The USA is not doing this in a vacuum. The whole world is playing this game. At some point, someone will blink. Then we'll have a cascade of failures and likely an expanded world war.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

We are now paying out more money than we are taking in for this program and will be past the point of a zero balance, if not reformed. Why are we paying out more? Lets look at that then:

Starting in 2015 and continuing thereafter, program expenses are expected to exceed cash revenues. This is due to the aging of the baby-boom generation (resulting in a lower ratio of paying workers to retirees),[2] expected continuing low birth rate (compared to the baby-boom period), and increasing life expectancy. Further, the government has borrowed and spent the accumulated surplus funds, called the Social Security Trust Fund.[2]

That last sentence..that is the crux of the issue about why it's not going to be solvent and how it should be fixed...not on the backs of those that use it to survive.

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine said... "Indeed, Republicans give far more of their own money to charity than typical Democrats. The Democrats seem to think that goverment should be taking care of that charity with other taxpayers' money, I guess."

A big part of that charitable giving is a backdoor form of bribery.

Here's how you do it if you're a politician.

You help you spouse or a cousin set up a charity to do work in Africa. You set up offshore accounts so that the finances can't be tracked after the money leaves the US. The banks in Dubai are designed for this.

Your lobbyist friends, donate a few million dollars to the charity. The money goes overseas, then is routed through a few shell corporations and into your wife's bank account as a consulting fee.

Voila! Records being broken charitable giving!

Weaseldog said...

T. Paine, "Mr. Myste, I would agree with points one and two of your plan. I am open to point three, even though Dusty and everyone else ignored my question regarding how much is enough of the “rich’s” fair share of the federal tax burden considering the top 1% now pay more than the bottom 95% combined."

Reaganomics argues that lower the taxes are for the wealthy, will create jobs and strengthen the economy.

So taxes for the wealthy have steadily declined, proving that right now we have the best job market and the best economy ever!

Or not...

The fact is the rich haven't used their savings to create jobs. And why should they? Why should they just give it away? They aren't stupid.

Creating jobs is hard work. You have manage a business, hire workers, manage workers, pay expenses etc... That's the old fashioned way of doing it. And this way was encouraged when you didn't want to show a lot of profits for fear of being taxed. You reinvested your earnings and turned them into bone, muscle, brick and mortar.

Now that's unnecessary. The bankers for instance get $billions in free money from the Gov. every year. They pay little in taxes so there's no need to reinvest it, to convert it from profits to expenses. and there's no reason to loan it out, because it's free. And it's a guaranteed growing income.

Why work when the living is easy? It'd be stupid for them to get into the hard work of creating jobs and managing people when they could be going to parties, traveling the world and visiting sunny locales.

But back to your point. Yes, as jobs continue to be lost and the rich continue to get free money for nothing, we'll end up with most Americans paying little in taxes, because they don't have income.

Then the argument about why shouldn't people who have no money pay their fair share, why is that the rich people have to pay so much, will become even more strident.

Exciting times are coming.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Off topic..but not really, a new poll dissected by CNN:

President Obama's approval rating falls to 45%, driven in part by dissatisfaction from the left with Obama's track record, a new CNN/ORC International poll released today suggests.

The new poll shows that 38% disapprove of Obama because he has been too liberal, but 13% percent say he has not been liberal enough, nearly double those who felt that way in May. His approval rating among liberals is at 71%, an all-time low for his presidency. Overall, those who disapprove of Obama is at 54%, tying an all-time low hit just before November's midterm elections.

Poll respondents' negative opinions weren't reserved just for the president, though -- 55% of all Americans have an unfavorable view of the Republican Party, a 7-point increase since March. And only 37% feel the GOP's policies would move the country in the right direction, a 9-point drop since the start of the year.
Of course I notice the GOP has larger hate numbers than The Big O and their approval numbers have taken a 9 pt hit as well.

Weaseldog said...

John Myste said... "My history is one of poverty. I grew up among the poor and most everyone I knew received some form of government assistance. Among those, many of them explained why they did not work or did not work much, and the reason they would give is that work does not pay well enough to justify the sacrifice of time."

Those people exist. Since Reagan the system has done a better job of weeding them out.

It's possible thought that I'm behind the times and J.P. Morgan has manged to turn this back into a growth industry. It would make good business sense for them to promote expansion of our welfare system, as they are getting a cut of every payout.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

To say the top 1 or 2% are paying MORE than their fair share is pure bullshit and a strawman if you look at the distribution of the wealth over the last decade.

It is widely believed that taxes are highly progressive and, furthermore, that the top several percent of income earners pay most of the taxes received by the federal government. Both ideas are wrong because they focus on official, rather than "effective" tax rates and ignore payroll taxes, which are mostly paid by those with incomes below $100,000 per year.

But what matters in terms of a power analysis is what percentage of their income people at different income levels pay to all levels of government (federal, state, and local) in taxes. If the less-well-off majority is somehow able to wield power, we would expect that the high earners would pay a bigger percentage of their income in taxes, because the majority figures the well-to-do would still have plenty left after taxes to make new investments and lead the good life. If the high earners have the most power, we'd expect them to pay about the same as everybody else, or less.

Citizens for Tax Justice, a research group that's been studying tax issues from its offices in Washington since 1979, provides the information we need. When all taxes (not just income taxes) are taken into account, the lowest 20% of earners (who average about $12,400 per year), paid 16.0% of their income to taxes in 2009; and the next 20% (about $25,000/year), paid 20.5% in taxes. So if we only examine these first two steps, the tax system looks like it is going to be progressive.

And it keeps looking progressive as we move further up the ladder: the middle 20% (about $33,400/year) give 25.3% of their income to various forms of taxation, and the next 20% (about $66,000/year) pay 28.5%. So taxes are progressive for the bottom 80%. But if we break the top 20% down into smaller chunks, we find that progressivity starts to slow down, then it stops, and then it slips backwards for the top 1%.

Specifically, the next 10% (about $100,000/year) pay 30.2% of their income as taxes; the next 5% ($141,000/year) dole out 31.2% of their earnings for taxes; and the next 4% ($245,000/year) pay 31.6% to taxes. You'll note that the progressivity is slowing down. As for the top 1% -- those who take in $1.3 million per year on average -- they pay 30.8% of their income to taxes, which is a little less than what the 9% just below them pay, and only a tiny bit more than what the segment between the 80th and 90th percentile pays.


Source: http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html

Weaseldog said...

I have an acquaintance that loves to brag about making several million a year, and pays no taxes.

He says that thanks to all of the loopholes the Republicans enacted when Bush was president, he;s able to get out of paying taxes altogether.

He says that anyone paying taxes at his income level, deserves to, because they're a stupid dumb-shit.

He tells me that he'd like to see the official tax rate for his bracket go to zero, because he'd like to fire his $60,000 / year accountant.

Dave Dubya said...

Everyone else ignored my question regarding how much is enough of the “rich’s” fair share of the federal tax burden considering the top 1% now pay more than the bottom 95% combined.

This is TP’s favorite tactic in defending his Mammonite Masters. He loves to suggest his beloved and revered rich suffer a terrible burden. Oh, the intolerable pain! Never does he admit the rich are far, far wealthier than ever, and pay a lower tax rate than ever. Never does he suggest the rest of us are facing a lower standard of living in contrast to his thriving, elite, neo-feudal lords. Never does he mention what their “fair share” should be.

We all know what the “fair share” is by corporate and aristocratic standards. Zero. Yes zero taxes are often the reward of corporate personhood and cash as free speech. Yet TP never complains that these corporate parasites use our public infrastructure and legal system in every possible way to their advantage. All for free while we “little people” of the Middle Class pay the cost.

No it’s much more gratifying to call any of us who want the Bush/Obama tax rates on the elites to revert to former levels as “anti-American”, “Marxist socialists” or some such emotion-baiting and false term.

In fact TP’s claim is not even honest.

According to the conservative Tax Foundation the top 1% pay 38% of income taxes. The top 50% pay 97% of income taxes. And this does not include Social Security and Medicare.

T. Paine said...

“The USA is not doing this in a vacuum. The whole world is playing this game. At some point, someone will blink. Then we'll have a cascade of failures and likely an expanded world war.” Weasel, while I don’t even want to delve into all of your economic analysis, some of which I agree is true and some not, I am afraid that your preceding sentence is indeed the likely outcome.

Dusty writes, “Further, the government has borrowed and spent the accumulated surplus funds, called the Social Security Trust Fund.[2] That last sentence..that is the crux of the issue about why it's not going to be solvent and how it should be fixed...not on the backs of those that use it to survive.” I absolutely agree with you on this completely, Dusty. Further, I don’t advocate making this or Medicare solvent on the backs of those least able to afford it. The fact remains though that if we do not do something to correct the current trends for both programs, they will indeed become insolvent. Reformation of these programs must happen or those that depend upon them will suffer.

By the way, I am always perplexed why you think I come across as condescending to you, Ms. Dusty. You obviously are quite bright, even though we disagree on most issues. I cannot recall ever having intentionally talked down to you or anyone else on a personal level. Perhaps my sarcasm or an occasional acerbic response comes across that way. Believe me when I tell you that I don’t think I am better than you, even though I do think my pov is often far better. (That is meant as a joke, by the way so don’t flay me for it please!) 

Weasel next writes, “The fact is the rich haven't used their savings to create jobs. And why should they? Why should they just give it away? They aren't stupid. I have an acquaintance that loves to brag about making several million a year, and pays no taxes. He says that thanks to all of the loopholes the Republicans enacted when Bush was president, he;s able to get out of paying taxes altogether.” First off, your acquaintance is a part of the problem. I absolutely agree that tax loop holes for personal income taxes and corporations must be abolished. We need to streamline the tax code and get rid of 95% of the deductions accordingly. Just by doing that, we can likely bring down marginal rates and yet still have increased federal revenue. Shame on your acquaintance! By the way, if these loopholes were so damned pernicious to the left, why the hell didn’t they close them when they owned the Senate, House, and Presidency?

That said, as a small business owner or even that of an ethical large corporation, I sure as hell don’t blame them for NOT spending money to hire more people or expand business right now. With the coming tax increases to fund the un-constitutional Obamacare and myriads of other economic uncertainties created by congress and the President, business has no idea what their future outlays are going to be. Expansion and hiring more employees in such an uncertain economic climate is not necessarily due to greed, but rather due to prudent business sense. After all, without making a profit, Mom & Pop Hardware and even General Motors will eventually have to close shop.

Dubya, yes, the top 1% pay nearly 40 percent of the taxes on about 20% of the country’s wealth, as I recall. The Tax Foundation data that states that the tax burden of the top 1% exceeding that of the bottom 95% is accurate. Your saying it is false without any supporting evidence does not make your statement true. As for me, I think their paying 95% of the burden is more than fair, Dave. How about you, sir? Do you think they should be paying 99.999% of that burden?

Just the Facts! said...

Perhaps you could invite some lefties to participate here.

Dear lefties, please participate.

Thank you.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

Paine..on the intertoobs it is not obvious what tone someone takes when writing a response/comment. So your sarcasm might be lost on me..or I just don't like it perhaps..dunno.I try to make my sarcasm very obvious.

As a female, in a largely male blogdom, I am used to be talked down to and do not tolerate it. Therefore, it might make me a tad quick to jump to conclusions.

That said..your framing of Obama, whom I have little if ANY love for, rubs me the wrong way. I always try to refer to Bush43 as Bush43 or just Bush. Try, being the operative word.

Your last commment called him "Lord Obama". That is the specious kind of crap that jerks my chain and forces me to defend him when many times I wouldn't.On my own blog I refer to him and Bush in much uglier terms..but when I am on this blog (or others) having a huge-ass discussion I think it's petty, childish, whatever to call him anything other that Obama or the current President.

Dusty,Hells most vocal Bitch said...

And although your pov is sadly flawed and/or downright wrong..I still accept it as your pov. ;-D

Dave Dubya said...

TP,
"Your saying it is false without any supporting evidence does not make your statement true."

I agree, my saying so doesn't make it true.

But your statements without any supporting evidence are to be taken as true? I at least gave a reference. You did not. You gave us a number pulled out of your...wherever you pull them.

Go see for yourself where I got my numbers.

http://www.taxfoundation.org/news/show/250.html

So what is a fair tax on those who would get by just fine on half their wealth? You still won't tell us. Are you waiting for your revered ones to tell you what's fair? I already told you what they think is fair. Zero.

What is your idea of fair, and who will pay for the offsets of such "fairness"? Who gets the austerity shoved down their throats to pay for the elite's notion of what's fair?

And how much representation do they get for that? Your "burdened and suffering" one percent own the Republican Party. In fact they own the politicians of both parties. Shouldn't they at least pay for them?

And when will you admit the rich are far, far wealthier than ever, and pay a lower tax rate than ever?

But you can't admit that, can you?

The Heathen Republican said...

Weasel, I want to address your list of eleven things that make Obama not-a-liberal. First, I think you’re wrong to equate Bush with “the right” so saying that Obama does something Bush did does not make him a man of the right. Second, you list several items that are failings of all politicians, not just those on the right, so you can’t claim that Obama is on the right just because he does what politicians do.

Anyway, you listed eleven Bush policies that Obama continues with, and propose that these items are evidence that Obama is on the right. Let me offer a different plausible explanation: When a person becomes president, s/he is hit in the face with reality and has to move beyond ideological beliefs.

#1 The Constitution doesn't apply to him... First, this isn’t a belief of the right. Second, both Bush and Obama believe the Constitution applies to them and both swore to uphold it.

#2 Obama is a champion of the Patriot Act... I think Obama was a firm opponent of the Patriot Act, then he learned the truth about the Islamists who want to kill Americans. Knowing he must protect Americans, he is doing what is right.

#3 Obama is pro-war... Something I have learned from our fellow bloggers is that not everyone on the left is anti-war. It was news to me, but I am now convinced. Plus, I’m pretty sure Obama would say he is still anti-war, but that war is sometimes necessary. Neither position is evidence that Obama is on the right.

#4 Obama started new wars... See #3

#5 Obama uses scare bogey men to promote his agenda... "Scary bogey men" are rhetorical devices used by both right and left (I suspect even you have resorted to this tactic in the past), so it does not prove that Obama is on the right.

#6 Obama promotes bailouts and extends them to the insurance industry... I can't explain Bush's bailouts. The way I remember history (as we all lived through it) is Bush was within months of leaving office, invited Obama to the White House to discuss options, and did the bailouts with Obama's blessing. I'm not sure why you think bailouts are a right-wing thing to do.

#7 Obama promotes banking profits through subsidy programs... Just my opinion: TARP was launched because people in government (e.g.Bush) truly believed the financial system needed to be bailed out. Once things stabilized, Obama saw all those unused TARP funds and couldn't contain his glee. But again, I'm not sure why you think TARP is de facto right wing.

#8 Obama promotes torture... False on both counts. Bush didn't authorize torture and Obama hasn't authorized torture. You're probably referring to enhanced interrogation, which isn't torture, and I refer to my earlier point that Obama was ideologically against it and then got access to top secret information about the people who hate us and decided to do the right thing.

#9 Obama tells lies like Bush did... First, I'm not aware of any confirmed lies from Bush (please don’t trot out the “lied us into war” tripe). Second, I agree that Obama lies, but I'm a partisan so you can't take my word for it. But since when is lying restricted only to the right wing?

#10 Obama wants to expand wire tapping and eaves dropping... Again, I would suggest that Obama is truly ideologically against the wire-tapping program, but as he learned more about our enemies, he has been confronted with reality and is doing his Constitutional duty to protect Americans.

If we look at the things that aren’t simply political, your disagreement with Obama seems to be around anti-terror policies that keep the country safe. I can tell you, Bush’s economic decisions in the last 5 months of his administration were not ideologically-right policies, so you can’t use those as evidence. As I read your list, I just see Obama and Bush confronting reality with practical solutions, not right-wing ideology.

The Heathen Republican said...

"...before we discuss anything related to the political spectrum, wouldn't it be fair to first agree to the shape of the table?"

@Jefferson, returning to this thread, you had an opportunity to move the discussion forward, but you chose to quibble over the shape of the table. Of course I'd prefer that we agree on the scale used, but we agree on so little that we can't hold things up over minor disagreements.

What I asked was where do you think Obama fits on this scale. Even if you don't entirely agree with it, surely you can read the chart and estimate where you think Obama belongs. Dave and Weasel (and everyone else claiming Obama is not a liberal, I would really love to hear where you think Obama fits, too).

But if it's so important that we agree on the shape of the table, I'll make things simple for you:

1) Choose any other scale/spectrum of ideology and tell me where you think Obama fits on that scale. I can do the same and we can compare notes.

2) Choose any other scale and tell me where he fits on your scale and on my scale. I'll do the same, we compare notes.

3) You could suck it up and just tell me where Obama fits on my two intersecting bell curves.

John Myste said...

You can have some of my soup, Dave.

John Myste said...

@Heathen,

Re: Obama, you made several decent points. This is not one of them: You're probably referring to enhanced interrogation, which isn't torture.

Intentionally inflicting agony on someone is not torturing them, torturing them is. How silly.

I know you visit Fair and Unbalanced. Read Burr Deming's very well-written treatment of this topic, and learn from it. You can learn from a liberal, right?

John Myste said...

Oh, and has for enhanced methods, Obama was right the first time. America is not about torture, or wasn't. I want to go back to the other America, the one that made me proud to be identified as an American.

The America that likes to torture is not my America.

The Heathen Republican said...

"I know you visit Fair and Unbalanced. Read Burr Deming's very well-written treatment of this topic, and learn from it. You can learn from a liberal, right?"

Thanks John, and I'm always happy to learn from liberals. In this case, I learned that when you equate "torture" with "enhanced interrogation," enhanced interrogation becomes evil.

Of course, when we don't redefine our words, then we can differentiate and see that torture is evil and enhanced interrogation is a legal and useful tool in the war on terror.

Burr offers several excellent examples why the U.S. does not use enhanced interrogation techniques to extract confessions from alleged terrorists. As we all know, people will confess to all kinds of things under the right kind of duress.

Instead, we use enhanced interrogation to break the will of bad people, after which they are free to provide us useful intelligence under no duress whatsoever. For a first hand account, I would recommend Courting Disaster by Marc Thiessen.

John Myste said...

@Heathen,

Unlike Burr, I do not argue that torture is ineffective. Therefore I don't need to read your composition fallacy showing it worked once.

Unlike you, I don't argue that intentionally inflicting agony on a human is not torture.

Therefore, I don't need to determine if "enhanced interrogation" is equal to torture. I can simply declare that torture is torture, and by any other name, it still smells foul.

Dave Dubya said...

Of course, when we don't redefine our words, then we can differentiate and see that torture is evil and enhanced interrogation is a legal and useful tool in the war on terror.

As I’ve indicated numerous times with plenty of examples, Republicans need to redefine terms to win a debate or push policy.

Republican redefinition of torture is exactly what “enhanced interrogation” is. Thiessen is nothing but a lackey speech writer and apologist for Bush/Cheney. He is no journalist and no authority on intelligence. He is as objective and “fair and balanced” as FOX(R).

Jane Mayer, a real investigative journalist, reviews “Courting Disaster” in the New Yorker. Here are excerpts.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2010/03/29/100329crbo_books_mayer?currentPage=all#ixzz0ivG0nFWN

The book, whose cover features a blurb from Cheney, has become the unofficial Bible of torture apologists.

Tellingly, Thiessen does not address the many false confessions given by detainees under torturous pressure, some of which have led the U.S. tragically astray. Nowhere in this book, for instance, does the name Ibn Sheikh al-Libi appear. In 2002, the C.I.A., under an expanded policy of extraordinary rendition, turned Libi over to Egypt to be brutalized. Under duress, Libi falsely linked Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s alleged biochemical-weapons program, in Iraq. In February, 2003, former Secretary of State Colin Powell gave an influential speech in which he made the case for going to war against Iraq and prominently cited this evidence.

Thiessen’s effort to rewrite the history of the C.I.A.’s interrogation program comes not long after a Presidential race in which both the Republican and the Democratic nominees agreed that state-sponsored cruelty had damaged and dishonored America. The publication of “Courting Disaster” suggests that Obama’s avowed determination “to look forward, not back” has laid the recent past open to partisan reinterpretation. By holding no one accountable for past abuse, and by convening no commission on what did and didn’t protect the country, President Obama has left the telling of this dark chapter in American history to those who most want to whitewash it.


I suggest reading the entire review. She also has no kind words for Obama, just in case someone wants to accuse her of being as partisan as Thiessen.