Change that USW Can Believe In

Over the last couple of years, the debate here at SUFA, and realistically across the entire country, has been over federal government spending and the ways to pay for said madness. There are all kinds of statements that get thrown around in this arena. We have the folks on the left, who espouse raising the income tax rate on the top earners in America as a way to increase revenue and help us “get out of the hole we are in.” We have the folks on the right who espouse lowering the tax on top earners as they are the job creators and thus will be the ones to get us out of the hole. And that has been the basic framework of the debate in American politics today. But both sides are equally flawed. And true to the American political spectrum, both sides falsely vilify the other, while neither side wants to admit that it is the drunken Uncle Sam feeling up your cousin that is the real villain…

I didn’t vote for Barack Obama (I know that shocks so many of you), despite his saying exactly what I wanted to hear. “Change We Can Believe In,” was the mantra. He promised to fundamentally change the way that Washington operates. Is there anyone who could honestly say they don’t want a change in the way that Washington operates? Of course our versions of preferred change is drastically different from one person to the next. But I didn’t vote for him because I believed one of two things: He was either full of crap or his version of fundamental change was going to be VERY different from what I would desire. I had read his books after all, and I recognized far left when I saw it.

Turns out I was right on both counts. He is full of crap (as I said I think he is perhaps the most proficient liar of any President thus far, and that is quite an accomplishment given his predecessors). Further, his vision of fundamental change is a far cry from the fundamental change that I would want in Washington DC. His fundamental change was dramatic increases in spending and in the size and scope of government. I would posit that his version of fundamental change was not in line with a vast majority of average American’s hopes.

As a very quick side note, allow me to say that I have grown weary of the claims that his spending and government growth are a necessary result of the state that Bush left this country in. On the contrary, I believe that he hasn’t spent as much as he would have liked or grown government as much as he would have preferred. The reality is the opposite of those claims, in my opinion. He came in wanting to spend and grow, and the state of the USA after Bush was a perfect opportunity to do so while claiming he had no choice. It was all to “save” us. I say bull. He would have tried to spend and grow no matter what. He just wasn’t going to waste a crisis.

Back to my article…

I have made no bones about stating that I do not support increased taxes. I don’t support them on the upper income earners. I don’t support them on the middle class. I don’t support them on the lower income earners. And it is an easy argument for me to make based on the principles and values that I personally believe, that increasing the level of punishment you heap on those who succeed is not going to foster an environment that breeds success. Further, increasing the burden on the middle and lower class certainly isn’t going to be acceptable. I will address those issues more in the future with more targeted articles on different subjects. That is not the point of today’s article.

No today’s article is completely based around a single prevalent belief among those who gravitate towards the left side of the spectrum. That belief is the concept of shared pain to fix what ails America. We hear it in many ways espoused. President Obama loves to throw around the term “shared sacrifice,” while most of those on the left cannot stop themselves from uttering the mantra, “the rich need to pay their fair share,” despite the fact that the wealthy in American pay an overwhelming majority of the taxes. That isn’t enough, claims the left. The wealthy should be willing to sacrifice more because they can afford to sacrifice more.

As an answer, I am going to say precisely how I feel about the concept of raising taxes on me, USWeapon, in today’s environment. Mrs. Weapon and I are not poor. We certainly aren’t anywhere near “wealthy,” either. We both make good money and we operate within a budget that is in line with our income. When you ask me to sacrifice more so that things can be better for all Americans, I am not the heartless bastard that so many think I am (despite the fact that I do, in fact, support the concept of social Darwinism).

I know that most of you are good people. If they really needed it, I have no doubt that many of you would allow someone to borrow your car if they needed to. What if that friend in need had a list of moving violations as long as your arm? What if the reason that they don’t have a car is because they have had 22 accidents in the last 10 years. They have shown that they are incapable of driving a car responsibly. Would you still lend them your car? I wouldn’t.

Suppose you own a small business. You have an acquaintance that is really, really in need of a job. The reason they cannot get a job is because they have been fired from every job they have held in the last ten years. They habitually don’t show up for work, do a poor job when they do decide to attend, take advantage of every offer of good faith help. In short they are a nightmare employee. Would you offer them a position in your ten person business that is barely able to meet its expenses versus revenue? Me either.

Perhaps you send your child off to college. You give them $2000 in a bank account and tell them that is all their spending money for the entire year. At the end of the first year they have spent $4000. You have a talk with them. They tell you all about their necessary costs and you explain to them the importance of operating within a budget and making tough choices about what is important. You compromise and give them $3000 for the next year. At the end of the year they have spent $6000. How many years do you continue to increase the amount of money you take out of your retirement account to fund their reckless spending and lack of fiscal discipline?

You are right, that last one can really hit home, can’t it? The federal government is that wayward college student. Every year they bring in more revenue. And every year they find a way to spend 40-50% more than they bring in. After showing us nothing but fiscal recklessness for decades, they have the audacity to come to us and tell us that the American people have to share in the sacrifice of getting America to fiscal solvency again. They won’t promise to operate within their budget, but they will give us their word that, this time I will try to limit the amount of money that I plan to spend above what I am allocated.” Why should I be willing to help a group of people that has no interest in doing the right thing, but instead promises to do a “slightly less wrong” thing?

And there is the crux of the problem with where we are today. Despite the fact that so many in the world of political dialogue seem to have no issue with allocating a greater burden to “other people”, (as long as it isn’t them that pays more), I cannot sign on to forcing anyone to pay more to help a federal government that simply isn’t willing to alter the systemic fiscal problems that put us here in the first place.

To be honest, I would not have an issue with raising taxes for a short term, say 5 years or ten years, if I really believed that it would make a significant difference in the future for all Americans. I personally am willing to sacrifice some in order to get things turned around. But that isn’t the reality of what we are being asked to do, is it? No, of course it isn’t.

What we are being asked to do is contribute more, or to sanction others to contribute more, to an entity that will, no matter how much the American people sacrifice, continue to increase their spending and grow. What do you think will really happen if the government suddenly found that it brought in $3 Trillion a year in revenue from Income taxes instead of the current $2 Trillion? Do you believe that they would apply it towards paying off our debt? If you believe that you are naive, at best. They would simply find new things to spend money on, as they have always done. More pet projects to fund. More aid to give to countries that hate us. More new weapons to develop. More cabinet positions to fill. More entitlement programs intent on making Americans dependent on government. More bullshit.

Because the government doesn’t care about you. They care about the “worker” only so far as necessary to secure the voting endorsement of the union. They care about the immigrant only so far as to secure the immigrant vote in the next election. They care about unborn children only so far as to secure the vote of the Christian right. They care about the poor only so far as necessary to ensure that the ever-increasing ranks are kept satiated enough to prevent a revolution. The government only cares about the government.

That is what government does. And for those who self-righteously attempt to lecture me about how other people should be willing to sacrifice more for the betterment of the country, I tell you that everyone, from the top earner to the bottom earner has already sacrificed more than enough for this government. In return, we are the laughing stock of the Congressional watering holes. They sit around laughing as they decide how they can next manipulate us into supporting their next great expansion of power and spending.

The President of the United States wrote a book called The Audacity of Hope. That is quite a fitting name. Audacity is an apt word for a man who had the gall to stand before the American people and talk of a shared sacrifice to get to a better America. It is an apt title for a book from a man who despite a campaign of “Hope and Change,” has realistically offered Americans little more than hope, and hope alone.

Here’s a tip: When a politician speaks to you of shared sacrifice, what he or she means is the other people sacrifice. When he speaks of shared pain, he means that your pain will be living with less of your income, while his pain will be that he operates with one less aid to wipe his ass for him. There is no shared sacrifice. There is only your sacrifice. The government has no intention of sacrificing anything.

So I say to all of you who keep touting the idea that we need to raise taxes on this group or that group, save your breath. I am unwilling to sacrifice any more than the already substantial amounts of the fruits of my labor that I fork over to a government intent on spending like Pac Man Jones in a strip club (make it rain!!!!). You want anything more from me, prove that you are going to be responsible going forward. And that STARTS with passing a balanced budget amendment, but that is an article for next week…

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Comments

  1. Because the government doesn’t care about you. They care about the “worker” only so far as necessary to secure the voting endorsement of the union. They care about the immigrant only so far as to secure the immigrant vote in the next election. They care about unborn children only so far as to secure the vote of the Christian right. They care about the poor only so far as necessary to ensure that the ever-increasing ranks are kept satiated enough to prevent a revolution. The government only cares about the government

    The government is there for corporations, for their bottom line: profit. It is capitalism that created this government (to protect private property and assets) … many here “claim” they are against government and some even acknowledge how much influence corporate America has with government, then champion the same system that created it (capitalism). It seems to be a somewhat confused argument. What you mention in this article is true enough, USW (and entitlements are probably more likely a bone thrown to the masses for the sake of keeping revolution at bay), but why tout the system (capitalism) that bolsters the government? I would think shared sacrifice would include shared profit, but that’s unacceptable in a capitalist society. A guy or gal works hard and starts business and if the dominoes fall right and things take off, their hard work is rewarded by others doing the work for them at significantly less wages … those workers then become dependent on the jobs they work and should an “owner” decide to seek cheaper labor elsewhere (for the profit capitalism demands), those workers are the ones doing even more sacrificing. The widget factory, for instance, moves to India/China/Southeast Asia, etc., the widget workers (those who actually produced the widgets) are left to find new work/retrain/go on welfare while the owner of the widget factory lives in luxury. How does that owner protect his private interests? Hello government …

    I guess I’m asking what is it you want? Do you support corporate America? They’re the ones running the government. Take a listen to this guy for a few minutes. I’m curious what you think about what he has to say.

    • Where on earth did you see any support whatsoever of corporations in that post? We all know that a bunch of ruling class power brokers are running thngs, some are corporate leaders, some are politicians, and some are filthy rich investors whose fortunes never arose from the sweat of their brow or the brilliance of innovation, but from the application of inherited fortunes on manipulation and power brokering. It really doesnt matter whether it is the corporate guy pulling government strings of the government guy pulling corporate purse stings or wall street bankers playing the field like a fiddle. What matters is that scads of money is being wasted and/or gobbled up by those people, and taxation is just one of many ways they are getting their hands on it. I would think that a person whose eyes are as yours are concerning the powers that be would absolutely abhor the very thought of any more money being taken from anyone. If nothing else, you should at least realize that payroll taxes DO NOT affect any of the fat cats you despise. Corporate taxes dont either, as they can just pass allong the expense to consumers.

      So what is it that YOU support? A removal of the free market? Ok, how does that work exactly? With a controlling government? Where has that EVER worked? You rail against capitalism, yet everywhere with restricted markets has more poor, fewer middle class, and worse conditions for all but the rulers. Show me a workable solution or all you are doing is whining about the imperfections of humanity.

      • I give Jon’s post 5 stars!

        *****

      • Jon,

        Doesn’t this also apply to you?

        Show me a workable solution or all you are doing is whining about the imperfections of humanity.

        PS – and it applies to me and everyone else here too! :)

        • True. I have posted something along this line before, and rather than finding it and referencing it, I would probably be better off rewriting it as I have worked on the idea more since then. There is a lot to consider. Of course, there will certainly be a debate over what defines “workable” since I support more social darwinism than some, but I will put something together. I need to get back to writing anyway. We should have a competition, everyone post their best idea for a workable society.

      • Jon, I put a few on the last post to get USW’s reaction to Noam Chomsky. I ignored the bigger post because there’s nothing to say about it (for me). I believe in “shared wealth” since I don’t believe any one person can “earn” profits on his or her own (just because they are the owner of something). I believe the people doing the actual work (white collar or blue) are the ones who should share in teh reward. So while the rich pay X amount of taxes, they do not share their profits … a guy earning $635,000 an hour (Gates) is absurd to me.

        I’m curious what USW thinks about Chomsky’s theory on capitalism and the tea party. So far he hasn’t dealt with Chomsky (Open Mic or here).

      • Before Jon gets anymore stars … I don’t think I’ve been vague about what I want. Social-democracy. End of story. Nationalize everything; a more level playing field based on the belief that nobody is worth a gazilion more than anybody else (work product or otherwise). Yes, it would mean the powerful have to give up their unearned privilege … but they can go to sleep at night (or blow their brains out) knowing it’s all for the greater good.

        Good night, Gracie …

        • Very true. What I have always wondered about is the mechanics of that, and how you rectify it with every case of nationalism in history. Or more importantly, how you rectify it with your distaste of power and the knowledge that those who appear to be in power are just being manipulated by those with even more. How do you keep that from happening? How do you remove the wealth from the current owners without it all turning into a corrupt pile of violence like the Bolshevik revolution? How do you keep those who control profit levels and distribution from skimming for themselves? How do you open the door to innovation and motivate hard work without the possibility of profit? How do you fund retirements when all you can do is trade hours for dollars since only “workers” get paid? Even if “workers” get even stake of a company’s profits, how do you sort out the higher profit industries, that often require less “hard work” from the lower profit ones? How do you justify the new worker making as much as the experienced worker? I can make this post as long as you like and still not run out of questions. From what I see, what you want will only work if everyone does their best and is moral. If that were the case, Capitalism would owrk too, because no one would take advantage of anyone else.

          • And by “nationalism” I meant “nationalizing”. Sorry if that was confusing…

          • The power issue is a good point and is why I’m leaning toward an anarchism that promotes a more communal economy (no capitalism). I’m getting swayed in that direction mostly because of the power issue; meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Now, one of the people moving me there is Noam Chomsky, although I haven’t bought it all the way as of yet, but he claims (and has written several books showing the statistics, that socialism in fact did work better than what it’s been portrayed here by the propaganda machine (capitalist propaganda machine). Knowing how much power money has in this society, I tend to agree with his assessments. The difference in Cuba for its people today vs. Batista is pretty striking (unless you ignore the statistics), so I know it can be better. I doubt capitalism will go down without a fight (hell, it is winning the propaganda war here), but it is a doomed methodology that will be further enhanced by globalization (i think) … sooner rather than later, there will be far too many people to even have jobs in this country (unless we’re all cutting the lawn of the rich with scissors).

            Nationalization, it Cuba, worked as regards what the benefits were to their people (health & education). Could it be better? What can’t improve. Imagine all the resources of this country put to a greater good use rather than for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the very many (and growing)? I know, it gives you nightmares … couldn’t resist. :)

            • Charlie,

              My question would be on the difference in scale. Cuba at a population of 11,204,000 versus the USA population of 309,975,000 is much more manageable I would think.

              Would the USA need to break down into more regional “nations” under a Cuba style mix they’re gravitating to instead of one massive nation? I don’t see where the government’s “influence” would overcome the faults of capitalism/corporatism………..

              • Yes, JAC, is would definitely be a problem (size matters) … I don’t think for a second it would be easy here at all but perhaps a scaled down version. I’m not a proponent of people sitting on their asses and collecting (I think you know that). But I’m less of a proponent of people collecting profits for sitting on their asses. I know it’s not a popular sentiment here, but it’s how I feel. I think we can scale it down some so the richest percentage don’t have to have that much power and influence. I might even put that to the side if corporations could shed the protections they have and pay their fare share. The fact they get subsidies and can outsource is insane to me. No outsourcing would be my policy. No way, Jose. You want to leave, then do it. I’d ban sales of products made by companies that left, tax the shit out of them before they left and then put a new workforce in to operate nationalized. Especially manufacturing jobs …

        • Charlie stated:”Before Jon gets anymore stars … I don’t think I’ve been vague about what I want. Social-democracy. End of story. Nationalize everything; a more level playing field based on the belief that nobody is worth a gazilion more than anybody else (work product or otherwise). Yes, it would mean the powerful have to give up their unearned privilege … but they can go to sleep at night (or blow their brains out) knowing it’s all for the greater good.”

          TC:”Charlie would you not be taking down the powerful to replace them with more powerful in your example?

    • Esom's Nation says:

      Jaysus Charlie!!!!!

      I can’t even come up with a coherent response to that Socialist\Communist drivel.

      So I won’t try.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Charlie,

      Until you un-confound the nature of capitalism from the nature of corporatism/mercantilism, we can’t really have a useful discussion of economic systems. Stop using the Michael Moore definition of Capitalism and start using the correct definition.

      See, the thing is, I TOTALLY agree with you that the corporations and the banks run the government. Where I vehemently disagree is when you say that “capitalism” caused this to come about.

      If you actually read, and perhaps understood, what BF writes and what I write and what several others here write, you would already know the distinction between free-market capitalism and the system which we have had since about 1860 or so in this country (which at best only bears passing resemblance to free-market capitalism).

      Yet, I find it difficult to have a meaningful discussion with you because you keep insisting that the system that we HAVE is indeed “free market capitalism” and then you ascribe our current problems to THAT system.

      So, to sum it up, I AGREE with you on what many of the current problems are, but I totally disagree with you on their source, and it is my opinion that the source of our disagreement is our inability to agree on the definitions of certain terms which are critical to the ability to have a meaningful discussion about the situation.

      • Excuse my ignorance, Mr. Peter B. I prefer listening to a vaunted genius named Noam Chomsky than BF … sorry if that disturbs your sense of loyalty … but I knew of Chomsky going back to my college days 35 years ago. I just met BF here and frankly, his arguments, while loaded with articulate diatribe, aren’t finding a buyer here. Chomsky says pure Capitalism wouldn’t last 5 minutes and points to the third world as an example (of what would happen–the rich abusing the poor). That’s been pretty much my opinion for 30+ years, including when I voted against my best interests and cast ballots for both major parties. I don’t see how you separate capitalism from corporatism (i.e., what caused corporatism). Men bonded together to protect their private property (and formed governments to form corporations, etc.). I don’t see how you walk around that.

  2. AA+. Finally the emporer has no clothes. Shared sacrifice..let’s get it on! Sacrifice universal health care. Welfare recipients, move in with your family, Government workers, figure something else out. It’s unsustainable..why is that so hard to see? Picture the world with no money. Do you really think you’re going to survive with nothing to bring to the table? You must have something to offer…then it becomes shared prosperity. ITS SIMPLE.

    Good Morning All

    • Mathius™ says:

      hahahaha

      AA+ means the emperor has not clothes? HAHAHAHAHHAA

      AA+ is defined as “High grade.” It’s the second highest rating possible.

      Oh my! Yes, that’s really showing how completely and utterly bankrupt we are..

      What a joke.

      Our bond rating should be, at best, BBB.

      • Fine. In SUFA land the emporer has had no clothes for a long time. Ask me..the rating should be F..FAIL. But then there’s Geithner..in denial because it came on his watch. Franks is blaming the military..they blame everyone but themselves. To you downgrading to AA+ means nothing. To TPTB it means everything. Nothing will change though……

      • Ray Hawkins says:

        But Mathius – I thought they also rated the repacked mortgage securities that nearly collapsed the entire global financial system as AAA? And now “we” are rated less?

        Here comes the shock…..

        Its coming…..

        It coming…..

        Aw screw it – we were hosed with or w/o S&P/Moody’s no?

        • Yes, I believe we were-but at least Steyn gives some comedic relief while I read about it. :)

          August 6, 2011 10:00 A.M.
          Mad Debt
          A threat to liberty.

          On Thursday, in honor of Barack Obama’s 50th birthday, the Dow dropped ten points for every year he has walked among us. It was the ninth largest drop in history. We should be relieved he wasn’t turning eighty.

          The markets are apparently concerned that the entire global economy may be “stalling.” You don’t say? Observant fellows, these market chappies.

          And yet, in a certain sense, these are still the good times. At the end of the week, U.S. Treasury yields plunged to Eisenhower-era rates. America, explained Ethan Harris of Bank of America Merrill Lynch, “still gets the safe haven money.” That’s to say, as crazy as Washington is, Europe is perceived to be crazier. In confirmation of the point, over in Italy, which is (believe it or not) a G7 economy, police raided Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s over allegations that all the meanie things that the rating agencies have been saying about the Italian economy were having an impact on Italian stock prices. Apparently that’s a crime in Italy. They’re not yet shooting the messenger. But they are dragging him through the streets in chains pour encourager les autres. Good luck with that.

          But I wonder if “the safe haven money” is quite as safe as its investors assume. Under the “historic” “resolution” of the debt crisis (and don’t those very words “debt crisis” already feel so last week?), America will be cutting federal spending by $900 billion over ten years. “Cutting federal spending by $900 billion over ten years” is Washington-speak for increasing federal spending by $7 trillion over ten years. And, as they’d originally planned to increase it by eight trillion, that counts as a cut. If they’d planned to increase it by $20 trillion and then settled for merely $15 trillion, they could have saved five trillion. See how easy this is?

          As part of this historic “cut,” we’ve now raised the “debt ceiling” — or, more accurately, lowered the debt abyss. Do you ever discuss the debt with your neighbor? Do you think he has any serious intention to repay the 15 trillion racked up in his and your name? Does your congressman? Does your senator? Look into their eyes. You can see the answer. And, if none of these parties seem inclined to pay down the debt now, what are the chances they’ll feel like doing so by 2020 when, under these historic “cuts,” it’s up to 23-25 trillion?

          Like America’s political class, I have also been thinking about America circa 2020. Indeed, I’ve written a book on the subject. My prognosis is not as rosy as the Boehner-Obama deal, as attentive readers might just be able to deduce from the subtle clues in the title: After America: Get Ready For Armageddon. Oh, don’t worry, I’m not one of these “declinists.” I’m way beyond that, and in the express lane to total societal collapse. The fecklessness of Washington is an existential threat not only to the solvency of the republic but to the entire global order. If Ireland goes under, it’s lights out on Galway Bay. When America goes under, it drags the rest of the developed world down with it. When I go around the country saying stuff like this, a lot of folks agree. Somewhere or other, they’ve a vague memory of having seen a newspaper story accompanied by a Congressional Budget Office graph with the line disappearing off the top of the page and running up the wall and into the rafters circa mid-century. So they usually say, “Well, fortunately I won’t live to see it.” And I always reply that, unless you’re a centenarian with priority boarding for the ObamaCare death panel, you will live to see it. Forget about mid-century. We’ve got until mid-decade to turn this thing around.

          Otherwise, by 2020 just the interest payments on the debt will be larger than the U.S. military budget. That’s not paying down the debt, but merely staying current on the servicing — like when you get your MasterCard statement and you can’t afford to pay off any of what you borrowed but you can just about cover the monthly interest charge. Except in this case the interest charge for U.S. taxpayers will be greater than the military budgets of China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel combined.

          When interest payments consume about 20 percent of federal revenues, that means a fifth of your taxes are entirely wasted. Pious celebrities often simper that they’d be willing to pay more in taxes for better government services. But a fifth of what you pay won’t be going to government services at all, unless by “government services” you mean the People’s Liberation Army of China, which will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers by about 2015. When the Visigoths laid siege to Rome in 408, the imperial Senate hastily bought off the barbarian king Alaric with 5,000 pounds of gold and 30,000 pounds of silver. But they didn’t budget for Roman taxpayers picking up the tab for the entire Visigoth military as a permanent feature of life.

          And even those numbers pre-suppose interest rates will remain at their present historic low. Last week, the firm of Macroeconomic Advisors, one of the Obama administration’s favorite economic analysts, predicted that interest rates on ten-year U.S. Treasury notes would be just shy of nine percent by 2021. If that number is right, there are two possibilities: The Chinese will be able to quintuple the size of their armed forces and stick us with the tab. Or we’ll be living in a Mad Max theme park. I’d bet on the latter myself.

          Did you know there’s a U.S. Bureau of the Public Debt? Hey, why not? There’s a bureaucracy for everything else. I’m sure somewhere or other there’s a CBO graph showing that by 2050 all federal revenues will be going either to the Chinese Politburo or to the lavish pension plans of retired officials of the Bureau of the Public Debt. At any rate, the BPD is headquartered in Parkersburg, West Virginia, and it’s easy to find because it’s the only building in the state other than the Klan lodge not named after Robert C. Byrd. The Bureau uses as its motto the words of Alexander Hamilton: “The United States debt, foreign and domestic, was the price of liberty.”

          But in the early 21st century foreign and domestic debt is a threat to liberty. As the Brokest Nation in History drowns in its profligacy, its commissars will grow ever more rapacious and desperate. If you think Obama’s dreary attempt to blame America’s woes on corporate-jet owners is unbecoming to the chief of state, wait till he’s reduced to complaining about two-car families. By the way, if you’re reading this out on the runway at O’Hare, what’s the difference between a corporate jet landing and Obama flying in? With Air Force One, even when they switch the engines off, all you can hear is the whining.

          No author writes a dystopian apocalyptic doomsday book because he wants it to happen: Apart from anything else, the collapse of the banking system makes it hard to cash the royalty check. You write a doomsday book in hopes you can stop it happening. But time is running short. If you think we’ve got until 2050 or 2025, you’re part of the problem.

          http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/273876/mad-debt-mark-steyn

  3. Do not panic…..AA+ means nothing except to academia……the market will fall and rally again….there is no one else out there. The Euro will tank long before the USD…and everyone will still buy our treasuries and I doubt you will see much of a rise in interest rates. Cash is still King and those who have it……. will weather the storm. Those living off credit cards will pay the price of living off credit cards. Until you get liquid or assets backed…..you will have problems.

    Oh, to Charlie….sir….debt is not a fault of corporations….debt is individual and no one needs credit cards other than for convenience.

    Let the markets do what they want…..jobs will still go overseas until the playing field is level………hell even our GOVERNMENT is sending jobs overseas.

  4. Mathius, Buck, Ray and Todd.

    Not sure where you all fall in the age spectrum, and including Ray in this is stretching but wanted to share with you.

    I watched Margaret Hoover last night discuss her book on the “Millennial Generation”. She loosely defined this as those under 30 but it could go a little over. Generally those who’s first political awareness was probably of Reagan. Her book is about why the Republican party needs to capture this generation and how to do it. She made a good case that basic Republican values coincide with this generation but nobody is making an articulate connection. That is nobody except the “young guns” of the party, Marco Rubio for example.

    What struck me was her characterization of this “generation” and how well it seemed to fit with some of your statements and arguments.

    Essentially “pragmatic” in nature and not ideological, majority is non-partisan (50% call themselves independent moderates), faith in Govt (just needs tweaking), racially diverse (40% non-white) and supports gay marriage.

    She had voting and demographic data showing that most of this group voted for Bush the first time around but then started to sour, splitting their vote by his re-election. They voted overwhelmingly for Obama because his rhetoric matched almost “perfectly” with their characteristics, but have now soured on Mr. Obama.

    Here was her key point. The “proper” Republican could re-capture this generation in 2012, but if they don’t. If the R’s alienate this group, it will be lost forever. That is because data shows the majority of people form their political affiliations by the time they participate in three election cycles. I thought this very interesting given the number of folks at SUFA, like me, who started out Democrats and gradually moved to the “conservative”, “libertarian” or generally more to the Republican side.

    You may be glad to know that she DID NOT see the “right” Republican in the current field. Surprised me a bit as I thought Romney might fit.

    Don’t want to be accused of hijacking the topic today so I am declaring that this fits with USW’s article. Although loosely.

    Best wishes to you all this fine Monday.

    • Ray Hawkins says:

      Nice add JAC – I have heard Hoover a few times on the Chris Stigall show (radio) out of Philadelphia. I will be 40 this year, but in many ways fit more with the so-called Millenials. I’ve generally steered clear of the R’s because I perceive there to be too much predominance towards culture war – supposed values hidden behind economic conservatism.

      Voting-wise….

      Obama
      Kerry
      Gore
      Clinton
      Clinton

      Supported Bush I, supported Reagan – anything before that I was too young.

      I consider myself Independent – no longer a registered Democrat.

      I’ll just say I don’t want to be “captured” – I’ll see through any slick packaging b.s.

      I’m afraid I may end up unable to vote for anyone in 2012.

      • Ray

        If you have heard Hoover before then you know she is not advocating “capture” via some slick “packaging”.. Basically she is telling the R’s that the traditional American, and Republican, values of individualism match the Millennials quite well. AND, the R’s need to STOP the “culture war” stuff.

        As for your last sentence…………. Currently I find myself in this same spot. But then again, I really don’t care about the POTUS. Congress will make or break this country. MORE TEA for me please.

    • Mathius™ says:

      Generally those who’s first political awareness was probably of Reagan. Hmm.. my first political awareness was during the Clinton impeachment..

      Too young to vote for Gore.
      Voted for Kerry (in PA)
      Voted for Obama
      Currently looks like I’ll be voting for Obama again, but we’ll see..

      AND, the R’s need to STOP the “culture war” stuff. DING DING DING DING DING!! And JAC wins a prize.

      I would seriously consider voting Red Shirt, except that the way they are anti-gay, anti-immigrant, and anti-choice scares the bejeezus out of me. They’re also a little too fanatical for my taste in some aspects, not that the Blue Shirts aren’t, but in terms of willingness to compromise, I see that the Red Shirts generally refuse to budge, and that’s just a piss-poor way of governing, in my humble opinion (not that caving in at the drop of a hat is a good way either, ahem, Blue Shirts).

      From our here on the left, it looks like the Red Shirt party is controlled by the Christian-Right and the Tea Party, and those are two groups I just can’t align myself with. (The Blue Shirts are certainly aligned with lunatics as well, but they don’t generally exert the same kind of control, or so it appears to me.)

      Unless they back away from the extremists and learn how to compromise, I’ll just be another statistic in the “millenial generation” ..

      • Mathius

        I will pick on one of your comments today. It has been bugging me as it is bandied around the media lately. Namely this issue of compromise, or as you put it, the unwillingness of the “right wingers” to compromise.

        Right believes govt is far to big and should be very small.

        Left believes govt is not big enough and wants govt insurance, health care etc.

        So in your view, and that of others, the Right is uncompromising if it does not allow the left to impose what it wants. But the Left is not uncompromising if it prevents the Right from trimming back any govt program.

        In reality, any compromise on these issues results in a Dem party win. Not outright but it gains a step in that direction. In other terms of our resident pirate, one drop of sewage in a glass of clean water gives you sewage.

        To put it yet another way; When good compromises with evil, evil wins. When right compromises with wrong, wrong wins.

        This idiotic belief that there MUST be compromise on all issues is just that, idiotic. It is in fact what caused the committee on horse design to create a camel.

      • Hey Mathius before you vote for Obama do a lil reading just for the hell of it at the site…

        http://www.theobamafile.com/

    • JAC,
      I’m even older than Ray!

      Essentially “pragmatic” in nature and not ideological, majority is non-partisan (50% call themselves independent moderates), faith in Govt (just needs tweaking), racially diverse (40% non-white) and supports gay marriage.

      Does this sound like any Republican? Especially with the Tea Party pulling the Republicans further right?

      Just one example – our very own D13thecolonel. He’s running his own little quisi police-state in Texas. Keeping tabs on all them Mexicans…and of course anyone else who breaks the law (wink, wink)…because apparently he can tell the difference between a legal and ill-legal Mexican (I mean immigrant of any race) by looking at them…

      That doesn’t go over very good with the “40% non-white” – and their friends. Or the “pragmatic”. Or the “not ideological”. Or the “non-partisan”. Or the “moderates”.

      And D13thecolonel is proud of how Texas is growing. But I don’t think he stops to consider how it is growing…

      And Republicans think the problem is they ‘Sounded Anti-Immigrant’…as opposed to maybe actually being ‘Anti-Immigrant’?

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/05/ed-gillespie-republican-strategist-gop-anti-immigrant_n_919342.html

      Of course all these Republican problems will most likely be tempered by the Democrats inability to put out a consistent message – and stick to it.

      • TSK TSK Todd…..I am not running it…just part of it and proud to be so.and it is working.However, I will be the first to opt out as soon as my government takes up the task….they are not.

        NOw Todd……not anti immigrant……just anti ILLEGAL immigrant…and very anti at that….

        However, I will defer to you if you can show me a better way. So, I stand ready to listen to your suggestions. But make sure your suggestions address the problem. Just one problem so you can keep focused here……..stop illegal immigration and the drain on the resources…..how would you propose to do that. I wait…..with bated breath.

        And, another question, why are you so against people doing what the law enforcement is not doing? When does it become our job? Never?

        • Oh…sorry…you also have to solve the problem without throwing money at it…..sorry. No tax increase.

        • Hi D13thecolonel,
          I was just pointing out a perfect example why the Republicans are losing the “Millennial Generation”. Your response just confirms that.

          I have not looked at the immigration problem close enough to have a solution. But I do not have to have the “perfect” solution in order to know that your solution is flawed. And when you set artificial restraints on the possible solutions, it shows your approach to problem solving in general is flawed.

          Hope you’re having a good day – and not too cold for you!

          • @ Todd,

            What percentage of the “millenial generation” do you think supports Ron Paul?
            Ron Paul is running for the Republican ticket even though he is more republican/libertarian to the right with his views than what the Republicans have evolved into.

        • Colonel,

          Did you read over my older posting on immigration reform? I believe I offered some viable ideas and I’m wondering what your thoughts of the proposals are?

          In case you need the link again: http://gmanfortruth.wordpress.com/2011/03/29/mother-may-i-immigration-reform/

        • I’m proud of you for the time and effort you put into helping Texas Colonel.
          You’ve got my weapon if you ever need it.

      • Todd

        Most YOUNG Republicans I know share the following:

        1. Understanding of how freedom, liberty and justice relate to the need for smaller Fed Govt.

        2. Belief in the need for Fed govt in some areas and the need to make it more efficient and effective.

        3. Oppose abortion but do not support the Fed Govt imposing a ban. Want the issue resolved by individual choice. But do oppose Fed Govt funding for abortions.

        4. Support allowing gays to marry as an issue of equal justice.

        5. Want major tax reform, such as flat tax or fair tax. Lower rates with ZERO deductions.

        6. Want major reductions in Fed spending and regulations. Again focused on increasing efficiency and effectiveness.

        7. Want a reduced military presence in the world, but recognize that the threat of Islamic Terrorism is REAL.

        8. Think the “safety net” should be reduced to benefit only those who are truly incapable of caring for themselves.

        9. Christians, but don’t go around pushing it on others and don’t want others denigrating their beliefs either. Prayer in school is not important to them, except being allowed to do so if they wish.

        10. Support “State’s Rights”.

        I am guessing that many of these beliefs, or positions, are shared by their peers who claim themselves to be “non-partisan moderates”.

        I also see similarities with those Republicans and Blue Dog Dems elected in 2010. The supposed “Tea Party” Republicans are not dominated by the “social conservatives”, in my opinion. Their primary focus is significantly reducing Federal Spending and reforming the Tax Code.

        You seem to keep trying to put the Tea Party into a single category or group Todd. It simply won’t work. At least not right now. The folks associated with the name are simply far to diverse in their values to be lumped together on most issues beyond the fiscal matters.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Where the YOUNG Republicans get it wrong, to me, a (relatively) young Democrat:

          1) Freedom liberty and justice are not diametrically opposed to a larger government
          2) Actually I agree with No. 2 – but again, this does not correlate to a drastically reduced government
          3) The issue IS resolved by individual choice (which is why abortion must remain a legal choice) and the Fed Gov’t does not fund abortions (except of course in certain, very limited, circumstances)
          4) Agreed
          5) A flat tax IS NOT a fair tax. I can get behind tax reform, but I would argue for more tax brackets, not fewer (or even worse, none)
          6) A blanket reduction is spending and regulations does not make sense — targeted reductions, increasing efficiency/effectiveness, sure, but not reductions for reductions sake
          7) Even if I were to say the threat of Islamic Terrorism is REAL, this requires a diplomacy and law enforcement mechanism as well as some military presence; but I do support a reduction in military presence throughout the world
          8) Ok, there does need to be a safety net to provide for those who are truly incapable. But there also needs to be universal health care!
          9) Nope, not Christian. Sorry. And can we please stop with this War on Christmas bs I see every year (not to mention the more general War on Christians found throughout the year)
          10) Meh.

          The difference between the millenial generation and the GOP party today is much much more than what is trying to be portrayed here. From my vantage, the millenial generation is not aligning with the GOP party because the GOP party does NOT represent their beliefs and ideals.

          • Buck the Wala stated:”From my vantage, the millenial generation is not aligning with the GOP party because the GOP party does NOT represent their beliefs and ideals.”

            Sorry Buck but didn’t you mean to post: “From my vantage, the millenial generation is not aligning with the Gop party because the GOP party does NOT represent their LACK of socially beneficial beliefs and ideals.”

            • Buck the Wala says:

              A different belief/ideal does not equate to lack of one, nor does my having different beliefs/ideals than your own mean that mine are not ‘socially beneficial.’

              • Well why don’t we break down our individual beliefs/ideals and determine which are socially beneficial Buck?
                I can tell you right out of the chute that your belief of taking from one producer to give to a non-producer with violence or the threat of violence is just flat out morally wrong. Last time I checked the definition of theft it was defined in criminal law as, the illegal taking of another person’s property without that person’s freely-given consent.

          • “1) Freedom liberty and justice are not diametrically opposed to a larger government”
            Justice, may not necessarily be, but freedom is. Larger government is more expensive and involves more regulation and control. These things require more individual property/earnings to be turned over to government and more restrictions (regulations and control) of what people can do. Thus, less freedom, any way you slice it.

            “2) Actually I agree with No. 2 – but again, this does not correlate to a drastically reduced government”
            No, but it means a less expensive one, which is the primary definition emplyed by many supporting “smaller” government.

            “3) The issue IS resolved by individual choice (which is why abortion must remain a legal choice) and the Fed Gov’t does not fund abortions (except of course in certain, very limited, circumstances)”
            Agreed, tho even those limited circumstances should be eliminated to avoid the possibility of forcing someone into a moral delima through law.

            “4) Agreed”
            Yay :)

            “5) A flat tax IS NOT a fair tax. I can get behind tax reform, but I would argue for more tax brackets, not fewer (or even worse, none)”
            Depends on how you define fair. Since when did fair mean one person pays more than another? A flat tax is a flat percentage, meaning all pay the same percentage, if you make little, you pay little. If you make a lot, you pay a lot.

            “6) A blanket reduction is spending and regulations does not make sense — targeted reductions, increasing efficiency/effectiveness, sure, but not reductions for reductions sake”
            True, but a proper audit of efficiency, purchasing procuedures, effectiveness, productivity, etc. would likely cut a massive amount off of nearly every federal deparment.

            “7) Even if I were to say the threat of Islamic Terrorism is REAL, this requires a diplomacy and law enforcement mechanism as well as some military presence; but I do support a reduction in military presence throughout the world Ok, there does need to be a safety net to provide for those who are truly incapable. But there also needs to be universal health care!”
            I think there should be less military presence than most, including you, I think. And I am aware that many threats are real, that does not mean I give up my freedom or someone elses freedom to mitigate those risks. And your last sentence made me throw up in my mouth a little bit, lol.

            “9) Nope, not Christian. Sorry. And can we please stop with this War on Christmas bs I see every year (not to mention the more general War on Christians found throughout the year)”
            Whatever, there is a movement against Christianity in our culture, but there are a lot of things on the other side too that are just as distasteful. Just because something does not bother you does not mean it does not happen.

            “10) Meh.”
            Then why have States at all. Its important, whether you feel like thinking about it because of the propoganda against it or not.

            “The difference between the millenial generation and the GOP party today is much much more than what is trying to be portrayed here. From my vantage, the millenial generation is not aligning with the GOP party because the GOP party does NOT represent their beliefs and ideals.”
            Agreed

            • Buck the Wala says:

              1) True, larger government does generally mean more regulation and control. But it does not necessarily mean a lack or diminuition of freedom. Depends on how you define freedom I guess. But I see where you’re going with this and why you would equate the two.

              2) All I can say is that smaller is not necessarily better.

              3) You can’t get rid of every single limited circumstance. But regardless going back to the point of it being individual choice (whether or not you personally support/oppose that choice), I take it you then agree with Roe v. Wade?

              4) :)

              5) True, it does depend on how you define fair. Fair to me in this context is how much one can pay. Let’s assume a 20% across the board tax rate. The guy making $20,000 is going to have a hell of a time with this and supporting his family on the difference. The guy making $2,000,000, not nearly so much.

              6) If we’re solely cutting out the waste, I’m all for it. I’ve never said otherwise.

              7 and 8 – they got combined for some reason) Thought you would like that one!

              9) A movement against Christianity? Maybe you can classify it as an increased movement to keep your beliefs where they belong, in private, but not a movement against Christianity.

              10) Sure states rights are important. But lets also remember that we are a single COUNTRY. And that’s pretty damn important too.

              • if you put an “8” followed by an “)” it makes a smiley face with shades on it.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Well that just makes things difficult and confusing, now doesn’t it? I was wondering where my 8 went!

              • 1 – If you never wanted to do anything outside of the regulations, it would not seem to affect your freedom, but making options illegal is still an impact on freedom. Now, that does not mean I don’t think anything should be illegal, its just a matter of definitions, but I think we are on the same page with this one.

                2 – I think it is, but I understand that you do not. And I also get that smaller for the sake of smaller is not better. Mantras, like “smaller government” often oversimplify the real goals. For instance, Europe has a smaller per capita government than us, largely because they have low military spending (why bother when they can use ours?). This does not mean I want to copy them, because they are smaller due to lack of military but still as large or larger in other areas, so the overall “smaller” factor does not make it better.

                3 – I withhold opinion on Roe V. Wade. As far as I am concerned it still comes down to when human life begins and what rights a person has from that point versus an adult. I would certainly like to see abortion be unsupported by any government funding or grants, including education of it, since that is too easily biased. In either direction.

                5 – Who decides that tho? Is the guy making 200k in manhattan with 4 kids better off than the guy in the Ozarks making 20k? Does the guy working at a high level law firm really need to spend 5k a year on suits? Maybe he does. Does the guy working at Kmart and having a hard time making ends meet really need 150 cable channels and a big tv? Maybe he doesnt. I have lived on 3k for a whole year when I was in school. Sure, I was only paying 200 in rent and had 4 roomates, but I did it, and I was not unhealthy in my living conditions or diet. Maybe the multimillionaire can afford more than the 20k a year guy, but who decides on need? Who has a right to decide how much? And what about the unintended consequences? What about the fact that multimillionaires are job creators? What about the fact that they can afford to up and leave to avoid the taxes and then you get nothing from them at all. I would take a flat percentage from something over a jacked up percentage of nothing.

                6 – True, you havent, in fact I think its something everyone who is not doing the wasting or profitting from it would be behind removing the waste. Its just that I never hear the big government fans seriously proposing an audit. Of course, the so-called “conservatives” in Washington arent pushing that either. I am a fan of the Tea Party not compromising on revenue increases, but I would think they should have gone after an audit proposal to find and eliminate waste rather than going after spending cuts first. We need to get rid of a LOT of stuff we are spending money on, but if we can first cut costs without cutting benefits, that would go a long way to building trust.

                9 – Beliefs are a personal matter, but that does not mean they are a private matter. If someone wants to make their beliefs known, that is their right. That is part of what free speech is all about. The problem is too many people are easily offended. I get that you don’t want to have someone push beliefs on you, but is it really so bad to see a nativity scene? Being accosted on a streetcorner and loaded down with propoganda is annoying at best, and I understand distaste for that, but if you cant walk by a nativity scene or a plaque of the Ten Commandments without getting your panties in a wad then you have a personal problem and you should see a therapist. Even if you just see it as foolishness and fiction, its no different than any other form of fiction or stupidity. Hell, its got more historic credibility than global warming, but no one seems to mind that particular work of fiction, even tho it is being used to affect our lives and our laws just as much as any other religion.

                10 – We are a long way from forgetting we are one nation. The whole point was to have competing states with no borders, so that people could go where they had the best opportunities. If that means a nanny state like NY, go there, and deal with the taxes. If it means a logging state like Oregon, go, since thats what you are good at. If it means a freer state like Texas, have at it. Its your choice. The federal government handles foreign disputes and border protection. The rest of this stuff is for the States to handle. If they cannot do it, then its because it is being done wrong, or it doesnt work at all. You dont fix stupid by scaling it up and making everyone suffer for it.

              • yea, thats why I had to start doing the 8 – instead of the 8 ) :)

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Seems we keep whittling this list down…

                3) I’m all for keeping government out of it — I know this isn’t where you are going, but I can’t stand some of these restrictions being instituted by some states, for instance the educational statements/pamphlets that must be provided that provide ‘facts’ not based on any scientific evidence.

                5) Sure there is some subjectivity. But overall there is no question in my mind that a flat tax falls hardest on the poor and lower middle class. And can we agree to stop referring to multimillionares as the vaunted ‘job creators’? Sure, some are (as are many middle class non-multi-millionaires). But many are also not.

                6) I’d be ok with an audit. But it better not be politically motivated, and we all know that just isn’t going to happen.

                9) Yes, beliefs are a personal thing. And I have no problem with you putting up a nativity scene on your property, nor with you trying to hand me a pamphlet as I walk past (completely ignoring you, no offense) you trying to transfer trains. But this all goes back to the individual and the freedom of the individual. My problem arises when it is the government doing the ‘talking’. If the government wants to put up a nativity scene in the public park using my tax dollars, thats fine – but there better be included other denominations, or at the very least a generic ‘Seasons Greetings’ as opposed to only a “Merry Xmas”.

                10) States rights. I am torn on the issue of how much independence each state should have. States rights are important and fundamental to our country. However, there does also need to be a measure of uniformity. I don’t know where that line should be drawn.

              • A movement against Christianity? Maybe you can classify it as an increased movement to keep your beliefs where they belong, in private, but not a movement against Christianity.

                Here we go-How about you keep your religion(in everything but naming a God) in it’s proper place-or how about you respect my opinions on issues enough to stop claiming my stances are based on nothing but my religion. I speak against abortion-I have reasons based on reason-my religion agrees with me-doesn’t make my reasons wrong. Doesn’t make my arguments moot. Which is what the left tries to do with arguments on the right against certain practices. All people of religion don’t agree. and our giving our input on moral issues is just as valid as yours. The fact that you don’t invoke a God-doesn’t make your arguments right or more reasonable or any more susceptible to being pegged as just a moral stance.

                The libertarians and the anarchist use Freedom as their sole argument on issues-but some of us on the right and the left use other values to make our arguments and they both go against true freedom. So please stop with the damning of our reasoning by claiming it’s nothing more than religion) while calling yours just pure logic. It is hypocritical and annoying. You want to argue my points do so-you want to argue my religion makes my points irrelevant than just realize I can do the same with yours.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                VH, Not sure where you’re getting this rant from my posting.

                I have never said you can’t use your religion or any other beliefs towards informing your opinions on public matters. You should use everything at your disposal to reach your reasoned opinion and argue those reasoned opinions. On the issue you bring up though, there are those that revert to saying ‘because the Bible says so’ as the be-all-end-all of their ‘political argument’ (namely when it comes to gay marriage from what I have seen). This absolutely has no place in public debate, as it has no merit — we don’t get to make laws based solely on the Bible. Or if we do, where is the law that calls for stoning as the appropriate punishment for someone who commits adultery?

              • It may not be your personal intent but it is the intent of many in the democrat party and it is the end result. I do not deny that there are some who simply look at the Bible and invoke “God says”-but there are many on the left who invoke their moral values without any arguments other than their view of “fair”. They call many things “rights” based not on a true definition of a right but on their moral opinion of right and wrong. There is no difference.

                Just your stance that being against gay marriage is based on nothing but religion-proves my point. You may not agree with the arguments and that’s fine but it isn’t okay to boil it down to nothing but a religious stance. There are many people who are not religious at ALL who are against gay marriage. I don’t know what the statistics are right now on gay marriage but for years our society has been against by a pretty big majority-do you really believe that all those people are religious or base their views on the Bible or any other holy book.

                The end result is that people are using the word Christian and religion to identify the party on the right as nothing more than the religious party-that wants to take away your freedom solely based on a religious text instead of logic. It is no more right than the people who call all who follow Islam terrorist. It is pigeonholing people as all the same-it is an attempt to make any arguments against something irrelevant by calling it nothing more than a religious concept.

                I should ignore the stoning comment-but if we interpreted the Bible as telling us we should stone people( and I don’t, I suppose some people might-although I don’t see how) if we are all only arguing based on the Bible and we all are the same -where are those laws.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                “Just your stance that being against gay marriage is based on nothing but religion…”

                That is not my stance at all. I was using gay marriage as an example of where some individuals — not all, but some — revert automatically to ‘because the Bible says so’ as their argument against gay marriage. This is the issue where I have seen this ‘argument’ used the most.

                Re: stoning — I was mistaken from a quick Google search. The quote is not that they should be stoned, but rather that they should be put to death (perhaps stoning was just the preferred method at the time?). The point here is that if we are going to legislate based solely on what the Bible says — why is ‘gay marriage’ not up for interpretation, but killing adulterers is up for interpretation??

              • Who said gay marriage isn’t up for debate-it is-based on ones interpretation of the Bible-based on ones views of personal beliefs and whether those beliefs should effect the laws of the land. That is the point Buck. You can’t just say religion and group us all as of one mind. Or use our religion to make our arguments moot.

                My church’s stance-says I interpret his word in prayer with God to guide me-I do not just blindly follow a man lead church. And the Bible is talking to believers-why would anyone who believes in a religion based on choice think you should be forced as a non believer to follow his word.

        • JAC,
          Why would you guess that “young non-partisan moderates” share the beliefs and positions of the YOUNG Republicans. If they did, wouldn’t they be Young Republicans?

          I keep hearing that the Tea Party is not dominated by the “social conservatives”, doesn’t have a social agenda, etc. But that doesn’t fit with the message I hear and see. There are some out there using the Tea Party to push their agenda. That will continue until the “Real” Tea Party (whatever that is) comes up with the “true” Tea Party “agenda.”

          • Todd

            I think they are not Republicans for a variety of reasons. Some don’t know they have shared views. Others don’t pay attention. Others only hear what the Dem propaganda says about the R’s. And still others may simply cherish their “independence” even if they lean one way or the other. I am guessing the biggest barrier is the “social issues”. The independents see the general party image but don’t realize the young R’s are not of the same cloth.

            But, quite frankly, the Young R’s may quit the party if the party continues to ignore them. The only thing stopping them is NO ALTERNATIVE.

            I know many who have flirted with the Libertarians. But they have problems with legalizing ALL drugs or Zero regulation of business or Zero Govt control over pollution..

            Re the tea party. I am not sure there ever will be a “real” tea party. I have tried to explain this many times at SUFA. There is no THE tea party. The closest thing to the “real” tea party that I know of is the Tea Party Patriot web site. I posted their agenda last week and if you notice there were no social issues included.

            Here is another way to look at it. To me the Tea Party is similar to the “Silent Majority” mentioned in the past. While an organized group might develop to help them have a voice, those who make up the “silent majority” usually don’t become “members” in that organization, like a normal party. But they will become active, as in they may campaign, donate money and vote. Where they may have just sat around complaining in the past.

            Time will tell what happens with this movement. I am not certain except that the establishment on both sides is working hard to make them irrelevant. Although for different reasons.

        • I agree with you except for #4 as it goes against my social beliefs. My belief in an Eternal Law and Natural Law will not allow me to condone behavior that is inherently bad for society. Before we enter the debate of what Natural law and Eternal Law are defined as I am going to post it below for you.

          Aquinas bases his doctine on the natural law, as one would expect, on his understanding of God and His relation to His creation. He grounds his theory of natural law in the notion of an eternal law (in God). In asking whether there is an eternal law, he begins by stating a general definition of all law: Law is a dictate of reason from the ruler for the community he rules. This dictate of reason is first and foremost within the reason or intellect of the ruler. It is the idea of what should be done to insure the well ordered functioning of whatever community the ruler has care for. (It is a fundamental tenet of Aquinas’ political theory that rulers rule for the sake of the governed, i.e. for the good and well-being of those subject to the ruler.) Since he has elsewhere shown that God rules the world with his reason (since he is the cause of its being (cf. ST Ia 22, 1-2), Aquinas concludes that God has in His intellect an idea by which He governs the world. This Idea, in God, for the governance of things is the eternal law. (Summa TheologiaeI-IIae, 91, 1)

          Next, Aquinas asks whether there is in us a natural law. First, he makes a distinction: A law is not only in the reason of a ruler, but may also be in the thing that is ruled. In the case of the Eternal Law, the things of creation that are ruled by that Law have it imprinted on the them through their nature or essence. Since things act according to their nature, they derive their proper acts and ends (final cause) according to the law that is written into their nature. Everything in nature, insofar as they reflects the order by which God directs them through their nature for their own benefit, reflects the Eternal Law in their own natures. (S.T. I-IIae, 91, 2)

          The Natural Law, as applied to the case of human beings, requires greater precision because of the fact that we have reason and free will. It is the our nature humans to act freely (i.e. to be provident for ourselves and others) by being inclined toward our proper acts and end. That is, we human beings must exercise our natural reason to discover what is best for us in order to acheive the end to which their nature inclines. Furhtermore, we must exercise our freedom, by choosing what reason determines to naturally suited to us, i.e. what is best for our nature. The natural inclination of humans to acheive their proper end through reason and free will is the natural law. Formally defined, the Natural Law is humans’ participation in the Eternal Law, through reason and will. Humans actively participate in the eternal law of God (the governance of the world) by using reason in conformity with the Natural Law to discern what is good and evil.

          In applying this universal notion of Natural Law to the human person, one first must decide what it is that God has ordained human nature to be inclined toward. Since each thing has a nature given it by God, and each thing has a natural end, so there is a fulfillment to human activity of living. When a person discovers by reason what the purpose of living is, he or she discover his or her natural end is. Accepting the medieval dictum “happiness is what all desire” a person is happy when he or she achieves this natural end.

          Aquinas distinguishes different levels of precepts or commands that the Natural Law entails. The most universal is the command “Good is to be done and pursued and evil avoided.” This applies to everything and everyone, so much so that some consider it to be more of a description or definition of what we mean by “good.” For these philosophers, a thing is “good” just in case it is pursued or done by someone. Aquinas would agree with this to a certain extent; but he would say that that is a definition of an apparent good. Thus, this position of Aquinas has a certain phenomenological appeal: a person does anything and everything he or she does only because that thing at least “appears” to be good. Even when I choose something that I know is bad for myself, I nevertheless chooses it under some aspect of good, i.e. as some kind of good. I know the cake is fattening, for example, and I don’t choose to eat it as fattening. I do, however, choose to eat it as tasty (which is an apparent, though not a true, good).

          On the level that we share with all substances, the Natural Law commands that we preserve ourselves in being. Therefore, one of the most basic precepts of the Natural Law is to not commit suicide. (Nevertheless, suicide can, sadly, be chosen as an apparent good, e.g. as the sessation of pain.) On the level we share with all living things, the Natural Law commands that we take care of our life, and transmit that life to the next generation. Thus, almost as basic as the preservation of our lives, the Natural Law commands us to rear and care for offspring. On the level that is most specific to humans, the fulfillment of the Natural Law consists in the exercize those activities that are unique of humans, i.e. knowledge and love, and in a state that is also natural to human persons, i.e. society. The Natural Law, thus, commands us to develop our rational and moral capacities by growing in the virtues of intellect (prudence, art, and science) and will (justice, courage, temperance). Natural law also commands those things that make for the harmonious functioning of society (“Thou shalt not kill,” “Thou shalt not steal.”) Human nature also shows that each of us have a destiny beyond this world, too. Man’s infinite capacity to know and love shows that he is destined to know and love an infinite being, God.

          All of these levels of precepts so far outlined are only the most basic. “The good is to be done and pursued and evil is to be avoided” is not very helpful for making actual choices. Therefore, Aquinas believes that one needs one’s reason to be perfected by the virtues, especially prudence, in order to discover precepts of the Natural Law that are more proximate to the choices that one has to make on a day to day basis.

          The Thomistic notion of Natural Law has its roots, then, in a quite basic understanding of the universe as caused and cared for by God, and the basic notion of what a law is. It is a fairly sophisticated notion by which to ground the legitimacy of human law in something more universal than the mere agreement and decree of legislators. Yet, it allows that what the Natural Law commands or allows is not perfectly obvious when one gets to the proximate level of commanding or forbidding specific acts. It grounds the notion that there are some things that are wrong, always and everywhere, i.e. “crimes against humanity,” while avoiding the obvious dificulties of claiming that this is determined by any sort of human concensus. Nevertheless, it still sees the interplay of people in social and rational discourse as necessary to determine what in particular the Natural Law requires.

          • texaschem,

            How does gay marriage violate this Eternal Law and Natural Law?

            How is gay marriage inherently bad for society?

            • Gay marriage condones the idea that a homosexual family should be socially accepted even though it goes against the natural law of perpetuation of the species which can be tied to eternal law that all species propagate to insure their survival.
              Look at it in this manner. The social welfare programs of this country have created a culture in which its members are tied into and made dependent upon the state for their means. If we condone any negative idea into our society it will increase that negativity in our society. Agree?
              Would the next Einstein never be born because Adam and Steve were indoctrinated at an early age in a homosexual family to believe that is how a normal family is supposed to be and never have a relationship with Eve and Amy? Homosexuality goes against natural law and hence normal human behavior. It should not be taught in our schools or in our society that it is a good thing to be accepted. If someone wants to be gay, then fine, be gay. They can be gay in their version of reality all they want. Do not teach its acceptance as normal behavior to children or throw it into my face and say it compares to traditional marriage. There is no comparison there at all!

              • texaschem,

                Gay marriage condones the idea that a homosexual family should be socially accepted even though it goes against the natural law of perpetuation of the species which can be tied to eternal law that all species propagate to insure their survival.

                Unless that homosexual family adopts a child that otherwise might have been left to flounder on the streets.

                Look at it in this manner. The social welfare programs of this country have created a culture in which its members are tied into and made dependent upon the state for their means. If we condone any negative idea into our society it will increase that negativity in our society.

                No, I don’t agree. You paint too simplistic (and negative) a view of the social welfare programs.

                Would the next Einstein never be born…

                No way to tell. The next Einstein could be born into an abusive traditional family and never reach his full potential. Or he might be adopted by Adam and Steve and nurtured in a loving home so that he reaches his full potential.

                There is no comparison there at all!

                That’s only because you assume the best in every traditional family and the worst in every homosexual family.

                And don’t throw your beliefs in my face like you have a lock on right vs wrong.

              • Todd stated:”Unless that homosexual family adopts a child that otherwise might have been left to flounder on the streets.”

                TC:”As if traditional families haven’t been doing this very same thing for thousands of years!”

                Todd stated:”No, I don’t agree. You paint too simplistic (and negative) a view of the social welfare programs”

                TC:”If you cannot understand that it is not possible to sustain a society by continuing to burden producers with more and more non producers then I suggest taking a math course.
                Let me simplify it for you. 1=1, 1 does not = 2. 2=2, 2 does not =3. If I have one producer he can not support 2 non-producers and himself. Get it?

                Todd stated:”No way to tell. The next Einstein could be born into an abusive traditional family and never reach his full potential. Or he might be adopted by Adam and Steve and nurtured in a loving home so that he reaches his full potential.”

                TC:”Ok Todd wheres your proof that aAdam and Steve would do a better job than Adam and Eve?

              • Toddstated:”And don’t throw your beliefs in my face like you have a lock on right vs wrong.”

                TC: “I am not saying I have a lock on right or wrong Todd. I am saying I have the reasoning ability to determine right/wrong as all human beings on this rock hurtling through space do!”

              • Todd stated:”Unless that homosexual family adopts a child that otherwise might have been left to flounder on the streets.”

                TC:”As if traditional families haven’t been doing this very same thing for thousands of years!”

                Yes, and there’s no reason to believe homosexual families will not do the same.

                Todd stated:”No, I don’t agree. You paint too simplistic (and negative) a view of the social welfare programs”

                TC:”If you cannot understand that it is not possible to sustain a society by continuing to burden producers with more and more non producers then I suggest taking a math course.
                Let me simplify it for you. 1=1, 1 does not = 2. 2=2, 2 does not =3. If I have one producer he can not support 2 non-producers and himself. Get it?

                I think Bill Gates could support 2 non-producers and himself. Once again your example is too simplistic (and negative).

                Todd stated:”No way to tell. The next Einstein could be born into an abusive traditional family and never reach his full potential. Or he might be adopted by Adam and Steve and nurtured in a loving home so that he reaches his full potential.”

                TC:”Ok Todd wheres your proof that aAdam and Steve would do a better job than Adam and Eve?

                Proof? Impossible to prove. Notice I used words like “could” and “might”. Where’s your proof?

                As you said, traditional families have been raising families for thousands of years. Maybe they’re the ones who got us into the current mess?

                Homosexual families have been around for a decade or two? And in really small numbers. Do you really think they’re the problem?

              • I’m gonna say one more thing and be done with this thread hijack Todd.
                How anyone can support a minority social group that has given rise to groups such as NAMBLA is beyond belief. Are we going to have debates happening in fifty years as to whether or not the legal consensual age for sex should be dropped to 14, 13, 12? I mean hell NAMBLA members are a social minority shouldn’t they get their rights as well? For those of you that believe that would never happen…well I thought the same thing in regards to same sex marriage a few years ago. Where are you going to draw the line at Todd? How do you individually percieve right/wrong?

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Texaschem,

                Serious (albeit loaded) question: What would you do if your son or daughter (or grandson or granddaughter) came up to you and told you they were gay?

                Would you kick them out of the house? Chastise them for this horrible and socially destructive ‘choice’? Force them to see a therapist or religious leader to ‘pray away the gay’? Or accept them with love as they are?

                Despite your rhetoric, I’m willing to bet (or at least hope) that you would treat them no differently than you had the day before, fully accepting their homosexuality, inviting them and their loved one over for family dinner, etc. If this is the case, and again I truly hope it is, then why such vitriol against homosexuality? Why such a bitter outcry against their right to marry their loved one? Why the slippery slope arguments towards NAMBLA, trying to equate the acceptance of two consenting adults with an adult forcing himself upon a child?

              • Buck stated:”Serious (albeit loaded) question: What would you do if your son or daughter (or grandson or granddaughter) came up to you and told you they were gay?”

                TC:”Buck I do not have to worry about that happening ever. You see I am of firm belief that ALL human behavior and knowledge has to be learned. As long as you teach your children the correct social skills they need to be contributors to a positive society, keep them from being exposed to negative/detrimental behavior. Correct them in their interpretation of negative behavior, (bad influences from school…including liberal leftist teachers, TV programs condoning detrimental behavior etc.) :then you have nothing to worry about!
                Not to thump the Bible at you by any means but this is advice I would give to any parent. I feel like a broken record but if you want to deny the wisdom contained within the Bible keep on trucking man, I would at least attempt to understand the teachings before I denied them if those teachings were unknown or not understood. Me and mine are going to continue on following the path I have determined.

                Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
                AND
                Deuteronomy 4:9 However, be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you don’t forget the things which you have seen with your own eyes. Don’t let them fade from your memory as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                TC, I’m not (as you put it) ‘denying the wisdom contained within the Bible’. I am asking you a serious question about how you believe you would react to a given scenario, which you have chose to evade instead of providing an answer.

                You can believe all you want that, since you teach your children and grandchilden that homosexuality is wrong, they could never wind up being homosexual. But that just isn’t the case, like it or not. Care to try again at answering the question posed?

      • USWeapon says:

        @Todd… A very small, but very important correction or distinction, but one I imagine most conservatives would deem very important. They are not anti-immigrant, they are anti-ILLEGAL immigrant. As I said, one small word, but a word that completely alters the conversation. I don’t know any, not one, person who is anti-immigrant. We all understand that this is a country of immigrants. But I do know a lot of folks who are wholeheartedly against illegal immigrants.

        • Hey USWeapon,

          I wasn’t trying to be real “factual”. Just weaving a little storyline. And I did say “apparently he can tell the difference between a legal and ill-legal Mexican…”.

          You may be right that they’re “anti-ILLEGAL immigrant”, but the good Colonel seems more concerned with catching illegal immigrants than protecting the rights of legal immigrants. “Due Process” is such a hassle, especially when you’re just a vigilantly.

          I’ll bet it feels like “anti-immigrant” to the local Hispanic community.

          • Todd…shame on you. You know me better than that. I am against martial law and I am against vigilantes. You will have to really stretch the vigilante definition to include our veterans groups…..but I expect labels from the left, however, I suggest you dig a little deeper into this down here and you will find that the Hispanic community by over 75 percent are also ANTI ILLEGAL immigrant. We all recognize that we are a Nation of Immigrants…but we ALSO recognize that we are a Nation of Laws…..like it or not. If you consider it vigilantism to want to enforce our laws….that is your privilege….but I personally believe that enforcing our laws not only falls on the shoulders of law enforcement but the public at large. Allow me to offer an example…….If you know your neighbor is out of town and you notice someone breaking the law by breaking into his home…..you call the police ( or should). Is that Vigilantism? Vigilantism is one taking the law into their own hands and forming hanging parties and holding mock kangaroo courts or being a Charles Bronson type of person. I do not support that at all and never will. But, show me the vigilante style actions in what we are doing? We do not interfere in the operations of any business….we do not gather in large groups and throw trash on the ground…we do not urinate on the sides of buildings….we do not step in to the streets waving wildly in an effort to get hired….we do not hire these people and pay cash, therefore,avoiding paying income taxes, FICA taxes, Unemployment taxes, health care…thereby throwing them on the public dole.

            We do not trample or even trod or even, by the slightest measure, infringe the rights of any legal immigrant by any stretch of the imagination. We have watched very closely the police driving up to a Home Depot and the scattering like quail, of the “qualified workers” into the landscape. We have watched the police stop pick up trucks that were severely overloaded with people to the detriment of normal public safety and not one of them could produce on scrap of evidence of legality.

            You cannot show me ONE instance of any of us that have violated the rights of any legal immigrant ( you have made an assumption here and nothing I wrote points to that). I have not seen very many legal immigrants congregating outside of Home Depots or Lowes and if they do…….they do not run from the police at all. They just produce their ID and the police walk away……no different than you producing a drivers license when you are stopped for any reason or producing an ID to prove that you are over 21 to get into a bar.

            I suppose you would call a neighborhood watch group a vigilante if they write down license numbers of strange vehicles in their neighborhoods or question the appearance of large groups of non residence individuals in neighborhood play areas.

            Here is a challenge for you. Come down here and ask the store managers if they disapprove….better yet…ask the local police if they disapprove of our efforts. They see it as a help and not a hindrance. Ask the local Hispanic Groups if they think we are anti legal immigrant. Go to the hospital administrators and ask if we are a hindrance or if we have impeded their work at all and ask them if we are there without permission.

            It appears that you have a “Hollywood” image in your head of what we are doing….and we all know what Hollywood does. So, I challenge you to come and see.

            A question for you…….why do you see it a vigilante if citizens take a step to protect and help……citizens. Come on down and see what happens and why there is profiling….come to a border state and watch and investigate then ask that question. You are welcome here and you do not have to pledge allegiance to Texas, or wear cowboy boots, or drive a pick up, or wear a cowboy hat, or even say ya’ll. But you MUST justify to me that citizens, legal citizens, do not have a right to protect public and/or private property and help enforce laws through vigilance and surveillance……not through violence and taking the laws into our own hands.

            Otherwise, I suggest that you are beating the mantra of the left.

          • Murphy's Law says:

            Wow, Todd.

            Did you really call D13, or anyone else who wants to take measures to stop illegal immigration a……VIGILANTE?

            When did you join the ranks of the right? Everyone knows they are the only ones who use emotional arguments…. ;-)

            Murf

    • Romney might fit?
      Holy smokes JaC please go do some research on Romney. He is the epitome of “the establishment”.

      Ron Paul or Herman Cain will get my vote.
      Perry is an establishment Republican as well no matter how he is trying to spin himself off. You dont get invited to a Bilderberg session otherwise…but hell if were going to vote on the lesser of the evils…feck I just really dun know. The “systems” a mixed collage of perfume and shit every election cycle. I’m quite fed up with it.

      • texaschem,
        Do you understand what the conversation is about? JAC was saying Romney might appeal to the “Millennial Generation”, with their less-than-you-conservative (RINO?) values.

        • Umm…yeah purdy sure I been following the gossipin’ goin on pardner…did you miss my post to Buck?

          Buck the Wala stated:”From my vantage, the millenial generation is not aligning with the GOP party because the GOP party does NOT represent their beliefs and ideals.”

          Sorry Buck but didn’t you mean to post: “From my vantage, the millenial generation is not aligning with the Gop party because the GOP party does NOT represent their LACK of socially beneficial beliefs and ideals.”

  5. USW

    I agree with your assessment and conclusions. Well done sir.

    The only thing I will add is that it is all OUR fault.

    We can’t simply lay it at the feet of “congress”. Not unless we are going to claim that our govt is in fact a separate entity and not the Constitutional Republic we claim it to be.

    • JAC,

      It is not “our” fault – we are not the government, nor are you the ones who select government, nor are you the ones who implemented the laws, nor spent the money nor determined the policies.

      All you did was agree to the system – it that, it may be your fault – but that is more an example of misplaced faith then an act.

      • BF

        Sorry, but I simply disagree. While we do not directly spend the money or make the laws, WE THE PEOPLE make the demands upon those who do so. We all participate in a myriad of ways, directly and indirectly, that have acted to create the situation we are in today.

        While our supposed “intellectual leaders” may be more directly to blame, in our system of govt the buck stops with US.

        • JAC,

          Those demands were manufactured by the government – a Faustian deal. Those demands did not exist until government created them on your behalf.

          There were no protests for “Social Security to be implemented. It was created by a government brain.
          There were no protests to go to war with Iraq. It was chosen solely by government brains.
          etc. etc.

    • USWeapon says:

      @JAC Thank you sir. The only issue that I have is that you added a single word into your statement: The only thing I will add is that it is all OUR fault . The only caveat that I would add is that it isn’t all our fault. The reality is that government has done quite a bit to hide what they do and divert the attention of anyone other than those who do the most persistent digging. While WE are absolutely at fault, let’s not take away any fault from the crooks in DC.

      • USWep,

        The only thing I will add is that it is all OUR fault

        Not my fault at all – though I may join in the suffering, unfortunately.

        “No one can find a safe way out for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interests, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle. None can stand aside with unconcern; the interests of everyone hang on the result.” — Ludwig von Mises

  6. USW – you copying Cavuto or is he copying you?

    http://www.therightscoop.com/cavuto-owns-a-congressman-on-shared-sacrifice/

    • @Kathy…

      Thanks for sharing this! I actually wrote this article at about the same time I am guessing. The time stamp on the Cavuta piece is Wednesday, which is about when I started working on it. Neil is a pretty smart guy, so I am not surprised that he has come to a pretty similar position. But, since my article actually PUBLISHED this morning and his last week, I guess the final answer would have to be I am copying Cavuto :)

  7. The only choice – default – will be delayed until such a default will be the most painful.

    Be prepared.

    • Best guess timeline?

    • Kathy,

      Ah, the essence of economics – unlike physical sciences – it has no “time” axis. Thus, you hear from me words like “eventually”…..

      Because economics is a science of human action, it becomes impossible to give accurate time lines because humans can work in utter futility for a very long time – humans are incredibly resilient, even in the face of eventual disaster.

      So the default can be held off for years….

      I would say the US will avoid default until after the 2012 election – they will pull out all stops to avoid the default during a Presidential race.

      But after that….

      But that does not mean some market force could not happen to cause a default sooner – such as a failure of the Euro, etc.

      Thus, do not wait to prepare. Do it now.

      Regret is knowing what you should have done, but failing to have exercised it in time.

  8. The stimulus must be working after all … I’m back to work domani … another slave to wages … oy vey.

    So you won’t have Stella to kick around anymore (not from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. or so) … but it’s only contract work and will probably end around October … unless they recognize my super star talent and charming personality … and they have more work, of course. We shall see.

    • Kathy

      Excellent find.

      Isn’t it amazing how political and media types give credence to the words of those whom the record shows were fools, or liars. Yes, Mr. Bernanke and Krugman. I am talking about you.

  9. Oh no….Charlie…..the Stella man…….what am I going to do? You have joined the ranks of the working class…..and…..will become and thus a………………………………………………………conservative.

  10. :|

  11. Your SUFA gold ticker here..in the last hour..up $48 to 1711!

  12. I’m re-posting this from Sunday-encase anyone missed it!
    “We have been pretending – with ever more manic protestations – that this could go on for ever”

    Janet Daley
    If we are to survive the looming catastrophe, we need to face the truth
    The idea that a capitalist economy can support a socialist welfare state is collapsing before our eyes, says Janet Daley.

    By Janet Daley

    9:00PM BST 06 Aug 2011

    CommentsComments

    Which of these is the most important question to ask in the present economic crisis: how can we promote growth? Should we pay off government debt more or less quickly? Is the US in worse trouble than Europe? Answer: none of the above.

    The truly fundamental question that is at the heart of the disaster toward which we are racing is being debated only in America: is it possible for a free market economy to support a democratic socialist society? On this side of the Atlantic, the model of a national welfare system with comprehensive entitlements, which is paid for by the wealth created through capitalist endeavour, has been accepted (even by parties of the centre-Right) as the essence of post-war political enlightenment.

    This was the heaven on earth for which liberal democracy had been striving: a system of wealth redistribution that was merciful but not Marxist, and a guarantee of lifelong economic and social security for everyone that did not involve totalitarian government. This was the ideal the European Union was designed to entrench. It was the dream of Blairism, which adopted it as a replacement for the state socialism of Old Labour. And it is the aspiration of President Obama and his liberal Democrats, who want the United States to become a European-style social democracy.

    But the US has a very different historical experience from European countries, with their accretions of national remorse and class guilt: it has a far stronger and more resilient belief in the moral value of liberty and the dangers of state power. This is a political as much as an economic crisis, but not for the reasons that Mr Obama believes. The ruckus that nearly paralysed the US economy last week, and led to the loss of its AAA rating from Standard & Poor’s, arose from a confrontation over the most basic principles of American life.

    Contrary to what the Obama Democrats claimed, the face-off in Congress did not mean that the nation’s politics were “dysfunctional”. The politics of the US were functioning precisely as the Founding Fathers intended: the legislature was acting as a check on the power of the executive.

    The Tea Party faction within the Republican party was demanding that, before any further steps were taken, there must be a debate about where all this was going. They had seen the future toward which they were being pushed, and it didn’t work. They were convinced that the entitlement culture and benefits programmes which the Democrats were determined to preserve and extend with tax rises could only lead to the diminution of that robust economic freedom that had created the American historical miracle.

    And, again contrary to prevailing wisdom, their view is not naive and parochial: it is corroborated by the European experience. By rights, it should be Europe that is immersed in this debate, but its leaders are so steeped in the sacred texts of social democracy that they cannot admit the force of the contradictions which they are now hopelessly trying to evade.

    No, it is not just the preposterousness of the euro project that is being exposed. (Let’s merge the currencies of lots of countries with wildly differing economic conditions and lock them all into the interest rate of the most successful. What could possibly go wrong?)

    Also collapsing before our eyes is the lodestone of the Christian Socialist doctrine that has underpinned the EU’s political philosophy: the idea that a capitalist economy can support an ever-expanding socialist welfare state.

    As the EU leadership is (almost) admitting now, the next step to ensure the survival of the world as we know it will involve moving toward a command economy, in which individual countries and their electorates will lose significant degrees of freedom and self-determination.

    We have arrived at the endgame of what was an untenable doctrine: to pay for the kind of entitlements that populations have been led to expect by their politicians, the wealth-creating sector has to be taxed to a degree that makes it almost impossible for it to create the wealth that is needed to pay for the entitlements that populations have been led to expect, etc, etc.

    The only way that state benefit programmes could be extended in the ways that are forecast for Europe’s ageing population would be by government seizing all the levers of the economy and producing as much (externally) worthless currency as was needed – in the manner of the old Soviet Union.

    That is the problem. So profound is its challenge to the received wisdom of postwar Western democratic life that it is unutterable in the EU circles in which the crucial decisions are being made – or rather, not being made.

    The solution that is being offered to the political side of the dilemma is benign oligarchy. Ignoring national public opinion and turbulent political minorities has always been at least half the point of the EU bureaucratic putsch. But that does not settle the economic predicament.

    What is to be done about all those assurances that governments have provided for generations about state-subsidised security in old age, universal health provision (in Britain, almost uniquely, completely free), and a guaranteed living standard for the unemployed?

    We have been pretending – with ever more manic protestations – that this could go on for ever. Even when it became clear that European state pensions (and the US social security system) were gigantic Ponzi schemes in which the present beneficiaries were spending the money of the current generation of contributors, and that health provision was creating impossible demands on tax revenue, and that benefit dependency was becoming a substitute for wealth-creating employment, the lesson would not be learnt. We have been living on tick and wishful thinking.

    So what are the most important truths we should be addressing if we are to avert – or survive – the looming catastrophe? Raising retirement ages across Europe (not just in Greece) is imperative, as is raising thresholds for out-of-work benefit entitlements.

    Lowering the tax burden for both wealth-creators and consumers is essential. In Britain, finding private sources of revenue for health care is a matter of urgency.

    A general correction of the imbalance between wealth production and wealth redistribution is now a matter of basic necessity, not ideological preference.

    The hardest obstacle to overcome will be the idea that anyone who challenges the prevailing consensus of the past 50 years is irrational and irresponsible. That is what is being said about the Tea Partiers. In fact, what is irrational and irresponsible is the assumption that we can go on as we are.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/columnists/janetdaley/8685945/If-we-are-to-survive-the-looming-catastrophe-we-need-to-face-the-truth.html

  13. Ray Hawkins says:
  14. I don’t know about the rest of you but I just lost my ass in my company sposored 401k with the stock market slide.
    I am a bit pissed. With some asshole makiing a bet of a billion dollars at 10 to 1 odds the US credit rating would be downgraded and making 10 billion off of it I just have to beg the question of whether or not this has all been some great plan. Call me a conspiracy theorist if you like I don’t give a damn. There is just too much of a connection with D.C. and Wallstreet to think otherwise. There should be a congressional hearing to determine foul play on every single person that made money with this downgrade and market slide.

    Lets take a minute to look at the two previous administrations.
    The Bush administration was heavily influenced by the defense contractor business. Make no doubt of this fact. The US ends up in two wars with a frickn enemy that has not been very well defined these past years. Do you believe this was by chance? I have friends that worked for some of these contractors and I know for a fact they are corrupt. If you’re in the middle of the desert and you drive a truck and never do preventive maintenance such as changing the oil because the company you work for tells you to drive it till it wont drive anymore then pull it off on the side of the road and set it on fire (since the company will get reimbursed by the government for the full price of the truck at government prices no less, 150k to 200k) what other conclusion can you make? Government money = taxpayer money. The citizens money. Our government spends it like there is a money tree planted in every taxpaying citizens backyard because they are getting kickbacks in some manner from it! Is it a coincidence that our representatives are so financially well off? Research their tax statements from the year they entered office till now and then make your conclusion.

    The Obama administration is heavily influenced by the fatcat bankers Obama likes to pretend are the “bad guys”. You can link a lot of the members of his administration to them if you research it. The main fat-ass is Soros. He has sponsored in some manner all, ALL, ALL of the liberal leftist organizations and unions (Move-On, SEIU, Tides etc…)in this country that have led up to him getting his puppet in the white house. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Soros is the mystery better that just made billions with the market slide and I have no doubt the Obama administration is tied directly to it in some manner. The green energy movement, cap n trade carbon emissions, EPA regulations of co2 all are allowing some investor to make money in other markets. Our government is so heavily corrupt I do not doubt that the very devil himself would care to take these demons in D.C. on toe to toe!

    • And another thing…

      All of this shit is going on directly under peoples noses, they are blind to it for being led around the ring by their noses with the propoganda from our media like some 2,000lb. bull that just doesn’t know that with a little effort on his part he would fell a little pain but be able to crush his frickn tormentor.

    • texaschem,

      I don’t know about the rest of you but I just lost my ass in my company sposored 401k with the stock market slide.

      Seriously, you didn’t see this coming and change your investments?

      Maybe you should be pissed at the Tea Party and Republicans who pushed the Debt Ceiling issue to the edge and caused the market slide of the past two weeks?

      • Who pushed it to the edge? Are you stating that the Democrats that wanted to increase the Debt Ceiling in the first place without cuts to their spending had no play in this debacle at all? Take your blinders off jack-ass! You’re about to run the wagon into the ditch!

      • I am not psychic so no I did not see this coming. It was announced on friday and I could not change my investments over the weekend. I did not believe the credit rating of the US would be downgraded by any means. I do believe this to be another “unprecedented event in history” Obama can claim under his belt though. We will know for certain come 2012 elections.

        • The markets don’t like uncertainty. They’ve been dropping the past two weeks because of the “political theater” around raising the debt ceiling. The Tea Party’s demands of “no new taxes/revenue” was one of the main reasons for the market crash – and the down-grade.

          Who’s steering for the ditch?

          • They’ve been dropping, yes. I made the mistake of thinking our congress would pass a bill that would be fiscally correct and address the debt and that the markets would rebound.
            How stupid of me.
            I balance my accounts every day. I know the amount of revenue I take in yearly. I live comfortably within my means without the need for more immediate revenue. I believe our government knows their yearly revenue and should remain fixed in their spending accordingly without the need for more revenue/taxes.

            • I believe our government knows their yearly revenue

              Probably.

              and should remain fixed in their spending accordingly without the need for more revenue/taxes.

              Then you haven’t been paying attention for the past 30 years…

          • Todd

            Democrat party talking points. I expected better of you.

            Standard and Poor’s press release contained one comment about the unwillingness of the R’s to raise taxes. It had several about the Dems unwillingness to cut costs and address “entitlements”. But the story line from the left is that it was the Tea Party’s fault.

            And of course, the Global meltdown has absolutely nothing to do with the market slide.

            And of course, the uncertainty and near default followed by downgrade just devastated the bond market……..OOPS, NOT.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              But lets remember JAC — the Dems were willing to put entitlements on the table (too much so in my opinion). But it was a nonstarter as the Tea Party was unwilling to even consider the revenue side of the equation.

              • Buck

                The Dems were NOT willing to put those programs on the table. Great political move by the White House, Pelosi and Reid though. I give them credit for creating the appearance.

                And lets not forget. The current Obama Tax Cuts expire in Dec 2012. The Dems knew this and so did the Tea Party. So the idea that tax increases needed to be part of the debt ceiling deal was ridiculous. Unless the Dems were willing to address the entire tax code issue. Their was absolutely no time for that and they knew it.

                Great political theater and positioning by the left. And effective. As I said then, the Republican leadership strikes me as stupid most of the time.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Todd,

        It is nice to see that you completely buy the inane left-wing talking point that 65 brand-new members of congress somehow CAUSED the credit-rating downgrade.

        Laughable…

  15. Salary of the US President ……………….$400,000
    Salary of retired US Presidents ………….$180,000
    Salary of House/Senate ……………………$174,0​00
    Salary of Speaker of the House …………..$223,500
    Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders …….. .$193,400 …Plus all get expense accounts, and the best medical, retirement “plans” in the world! Not to mention kickbacks from thier friends with benefits such as insider trading, corporate buy-offs…etc.
    Any ideas on where some budget cuts may need to start?

  16. Todd,

    The Tea Party’s demands of “no new taxes/revenue” was one of the main reasons for the market crash – and the down-grade.

    Nonsense.

    The market “crash” is due to not dealing with the debt – taxes are too high as it is and the market knows this. Any new tax will increase the already disastrous unemployment and deepen the recession.

    The only real solution – and the one that will not be done – is cutting -drastic cutting- of government spending.

    • Good morning BF…….it astounds me that not very many see any correlation to debt…..and raising revenues through taxes…creates more long term debt. I don’t get it. It is not only the left that does not understand economics but the entrenched right does not either.

      I guess Todd did not see the S&P interview where they said the main reason was not controlling the debt and no long term plan or solution to solving the debt. The same guy said that taxing at 100 percent would have done nothing to stave off the rating…..raising revenues does not solve anything except short term and they have been warning Congress ever since the spending started. Over a year now. This is nothing new but the left wants to think it is new and beat the shit out of the new kid on the block. Unbelievable.

      Last night the Moody guys are saying the same thing.

    • Yep and the guy calling 911 to report the house fire across the street is now responsible for the fire.

      Todd, I’m assuming you were trying to make a funny? If not, and you are of the John Kerry camp, you clearly haven’t learned anything during your time here at SUFA.

  17. Well now it looks like it is not D.C. sacrificing but the taxpayer once again USW! If they can’t raise taxes one way they’ll back-door us.Un-frickn believable !
    Tax Incentives/Deductions on the Block as Lawmakers Eye Deficit Reduction…

    Democrats and Republicans could cut federal deficit up to $1.3 trillion by nixing certain tax perks, such as tax-free health coverage, if the two parties can find common ground…
    Here are some highlights from the article…

    Cutting subsidies and deductions in the tax code such as subsidies for ethanol, tax breaks for oil companies etc.
    BUT, the biggest deductions are far more popular and used by tens of millions of regular taxpayers. Hint, hint— the middle class. Here we go…more taxes.
    The largest is making employer-provided health insurance no longer tax free. If taxed, that alone would bring in $282 billion a year from workers and their employers.
    The home mortgage interest deduction is the second largest at $89 billion a year, followed by tax-free 401(k) savings at $63 billion. That’s followed closely by deductions for charitable contributions at $40 billion and deductions for state and local taxes at $38 billion a year.
    a lot of programs for the poor are also handled through the tax code.
    “We have chosen to run a significant portion of the safety net through the tax code,” said Marron, who points to the earned income tax credit, child credit and deductions for some child care expenses.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/08/tax-incentives-on-block-as-lawmakers-eye-deficit-reduction/#ixzz1UVfBOKxH

    • Prepare for “Barackalypse Now”.

    • TC…..taxing employer based health premiums is nothing new….EXCEPT…..they have proposed taxing the recipient and not allowing the deduction on corporate taxes. A double hit. But it is coming because it is another nail in the coffin of health care and a big step towards the single payer system. That is the only reason. I am convinced now, that there is an aim to destroy our health system in favor of a single payer system. You want to see more financial panic? Eliminate our health system and install a tax and penalty based single payer system.

    • Esom's Nation says:

      I hope we at least enjoy the kiss before that screwing we’re fixing to get.

  18. Economics 102……… When the public panics and sells, people with cash buy. One person’s fear is another person’s opportunity.

    Just sayin’………………………………..

  19. Esom's Nation says:

    Just a few thoughts.

    1. This is a Tea Party downgrade. I won’t even respond to that BULLSHIT! What a piece of Toilet Tissue to even say that!!

    2. Raise taxes? Are you freakin’ kidding me??? Why don’t you a-holes try cutting your spending? Let’s start with your exhorbitant salaries and those of your employees that wipe your asses for you. Then let’s move on to that big-ass Healthcare Plan we couldn’t afford and is unfunded before it even gets off the damn ground. Oh; and let’s not forget those 3 wars we are involved in with absolutely no intention of winning. Mind, I am not opposed to our soldiers being there. I’m sure they would like to come home. I am opposed to the politicians tying both hands behind their backs and THEN expecting them to win. Screw the Arabs. Let them kill each other off and save the world the trouble.

    3. Throw Tim Giethner so far out the front door it takes a week for his ass to catch up with him. I would say do the same for Obama, but we’re just gonna have to wait until 2012 for that. Even though somw don’t think the Republicans have a chance, just let Obama keep on and Rush Limbaugh will be able to beat him.

    PEACE OUT!

  20. off topic………Police in London are considering using plastic bullets to curb rioting…….sorta like pissing on the Chicago fire.

  21. You still out shopping LOI?

    First tax-free holiday in Arkansas a boon for business

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/08/us-arkansas-taxholiday-idUSTRE7773GY20110808

    • Been wondering where he has gotten too-Jon’s back so that’s good-hopefully LOI will show up soon. :)

  22. VH

    8) 8) 8)…regarding your comments to Buck the Atheist

    • Mathius™ says:

      Buck’s an atheist? That’s news to me.

      Wonder what he was doing at all those Hillel dinners…? Probably just there to mooch free food.

      • Fine. Buck the Hater of Public Mention of Faith………..you get the point…….

        • Mathius™ says:

          Nope, sorry, I’m a bit slow, eh.

          Buck’s propblem (and mine too) is the use of ones faith as a debate tactic. “I believe X” therefore X is best. Or “the good book says X” therefore X is best.

          • Whatever. VH already handled that answer. Can you refute her response..logically?

            • Mathius™ says:

              Sorry.. I’m jumping into this argument late.. can you tell me what/where V.H. said? (there’s a lot of posts.. I haven’t read everything, much as I’d like to)

              • JAC @ 2:36 yesterday:9. Christians, but don’t go around pushing it on others and don’t want others denigrating their beliefs either. Prayer in school is not important to them, except being allowed to do so if they wish.
                Buck@3:02 yesterday 9) Nope, not Christian. Sorry. And can we please stop with this War on Christmas bs I see every year (not to mention the more general War on Christians found throughout the year)
                Buck @8:21 today 9) A movement against Christianity? Maybe you can classify it as an increased movement to keep your beliefs where they belong, in private, but not a movement against Christianity.
                VH @ 10:07 today A movement against Christianity? Maybe you can classify it as an increased movement to keep your beliefs where they belong, in private, but not a movement against Christianity.

                Here we go-How about you keep your religion(in everything but naming a God) in it’s proper place-or how about you respect my opinions on issues enough to stop claiming my stances are based on nothing but my religion. I speak against abortion-I have reasons based on reason-my religion agrees with me-doesn’t make my reasons wrong. Doesn’t make my arguments moot. Which is what the left tries to do with arguments on the right against certain practices. All people of religion don’t agree. and our giving our input on moral issues is just as valid as yours. The fact that you don’t invoke a God-doesn’t make your arguments right or more reasonable or any more susceptible to being pegged as just a moral stance.

                The libertarians and the anarchist use Freedom as their sole argument on issues-but some of us on the right and the left use other values to make our arguments and they both go against true freedom. So please stop with the damning of our reasoning by claiming it’s nothing more than religion) while calling yours just pure logic. It is hypocritical and annoying. You want to argue my points do so-you want to argue my religion makes my points irrelevant than just realize I can do the same with yours.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I see we’re feisty today..

                OK, so yes, I agree with, generally, what VH said. That is, she can have a stance against, say, abortion which is consistent with her religion but justified secularly. Though I have reached a different conclusion, I respect a position reached in such a manner and am just fine with advocating it politically. I certainly see the convenience of advocating it through the churches, since they (a) agree (b) are numerous (c) are already organized, etc. I just wish they’d advocate it purely secularly, and I don’t think that can be done through a Christian-right approach. When I see non-religious campaigns to end abortion, though again I disagree, I have no problem with them. But when a bible group shows up and argues the secular side AND that the bible is against it (it isn’t, but that’s neither here nor there), then I have a hard time distinguishing whether the agenda is secular or religious. I guess, though, that this is my failing.

                Just as we have the annoyingly vocal idiots on our side, you have annoyingly vocal religious fanatics on your side – frequently, it is only these people that we see on the opposite side. When I think of the anti-abortion protesters, I invariably conjure an image of bible thumpers with signs with chapters and verses on them and God hates baby killer or shirts that say “every sperm is sacred” – I don’t picture reasoned people making the moral argument of right to life based on a secular framework. I know the later is out there, but we see the former and it gains for more attention. So it’s easy for us to lump you all together and just dismiss it all in one fell swoop as “religious nuts.”

                The converse, of course, holds true as well, where you generally only notice the lunatic fringe on the left. Our reasonable contingent gets similarly drowned out. No need to go into it unless you disagree, I’ll save my typing and move on.

                Re Buck and the “war on x-mas” or the broader “war on Christians”, I think my previous post clarified that (Mathius™ says:
                August 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm). There is no war on Christians or Christmas, but we do find it offensive in some ways that Christians seem to behave as if theirs is or should be the official religion of the US. Why is it that Christmas (a purely Christian holiday) should be an official government holiday, while Yom Kippur is not? Why is it that you guys are just fine exempting Churches from noise laws so you can ring church bells Sunday morning while I’m trying to sleep, but the idea of a Muslim call-to-prayer is unthinkable? Why is “one nation under God” on our money but you’d be appalled at the though of “one nation under the Gods”?

                Where’s not attacking you or your religion or your holidays – we’re trying to defend ourselves.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Thank you for clarifying much of what I’ve been saying. Coffee is just not working for me today. I would try a Red Bull but I am seriously scared of the results.

              • Matt, Sorry I missed your reply til now. So..Yeah, VH ROCKS! Heehee!

          • And that is fine -but if you believe that is all the left is arguing, that they aren’t intentionally or not-demonizing those who are religious -or attacking Christianity in particular as a political tool than we are going to have to strongly disagree -it seems to be okay for every organization in America to have a political imput except the church-I could go back right now and pull out comments Buck made-and than turned around and said that is not my stance. I didn’t because I don’t think it’s his intent but it is his stance, he just doesn’t seem to realize it. But both of you ,go ahead go back and read the words and then the denial of what he just said, and look at the true implications of his words.

            • Mathius™ says:

              There are some on the left (Jon Stewart did a great bit blasting them the other day), who are anti-religion in the way you describe. They are, however, a small (if annoyingly vocal) minority. The rest of us just want everyone to keep their private religions out of the government since the government impacts everyone.

              For a thought experiment, consider how you would feel if the country had a large Hindu contingent and they were pushing the government to ban beef. You’d be just fine with them personally refraining from eating it. You’d be just fine with them preaching it. But if they tried to outlaw it, you’d scream bloody murder. And they’d just argue that their religion tells them cows are sacred. You don’t think cows are sacred, but you do think cows are tasty. This is how we feel more often than not.

              You say that everyone is allowed political input except churches… maybe. I have no problem – none – with churches pushing a secular agenda in government. Say, for lower taxes or higher taxes or greater transparency or an end to war. But if they push anti-abortion or homophobic agendas just because the bible tells then to, then that’s a no-no.

              The reason why, generally, it may appear that the left is stricter on Christians than, say, Jews is because of the amount of power wielded in this country by Christians and by their respective churches and PACs. Jews don’t really have the numbers to, for example, pass laws to ban the sale of liquor on the Sabbath, but do you know who does? Christians. And they did in many places. It’s always the biggest player who draws the most fire – I recognize why this may seem unfair, but it’s unnecessary for the left to fight against the Hindu anti-beef campaign (which I’m sure is being pushed by someone) because it just isn’t a plausible threat, whereas Christianity’s slightest whim could very realistically be written into law and imposed on the rest of us. Does this make sense? I do see where you’re coming from, and I do see why it might seem unfair – in some ways, I agree that it’s unfair – but it’s not because we’re trying to pick on you, it’s because we’re afraid of you. And justifiably so.

              • I’m not going to completely disagree with you-because I acknowledge that a large majority can affect what laws are passed but at the same time it seems a minority can too-in this country. But the left seems fine with those who are religious that vote on the democrat side of an argument. They do not seem to question whether or not they agree based on their religion or not. And my guess is that a large percentage of the religious vote with the democrats in this country. I know many of them-drives me nuts :) but they do. They seem to just want to show religion and faith based voting only on the right and paint it all as nothing more than an Attitude “of God said so”. Which when it comes to politics -I agree-God said so is not a good enough reason. But then neither is the argument that a certain way is “fair” when the fair is based on a persons personal determination of right and wrong and nothing else.

              • Mathius™ says:

                same time it seems a minority can too True, but not as readily – it takes a concerted effort to even have a chance. A toy poodle may be able to kill you if it bites your throat, but it makes far more sense to worry about the pit bull.

                the left seems fine with those who are religious that vote on the democrat side of an argument True. People rarely question those with different motives if they’re on the same side. Do you question the motives of those who are against abortion for purely religious reasons? Do you look at them and say, no, you have to have a better logic than “God said so,” or do you just side with them because a vote is a vote and your goals are aligned? For the record, I am not ok with anyone, on my side or not, who tries to base laws that affect me off some appeal to authority whether it be God, the voice in their head, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I want logic. But sometimes, in a pinch, you take what you can get. We’re both just as guilty of this.

                a large percentage of the religious vote with the democrats in this country I sincerely doubt that. I’d love to see a statistic if you felt like doing some digging. Rather, I agree that there are many liberals who are religious, but I’d be willing to bet that, of those who are “strongly” religious, they skew heavily to the right.

                But then neither is the argument that a certain way is “fair” when the fair is based on a persons personal determination of right and wrong and nothing else. Good point, but a fight for another day.

              • Mathius™ says:

                [S]tates with more conservatives are considerably more religious than liberal-leaning states. The correlation between conservative political affiliation and religion (the share of state population for which religion is an important part of daily life) is considerable (.63).

                r = .63.. that’s a fairly solid correlation between conservatism and being strongly religious (the share of state population for which religion is an important part of daily life).

                That map sure does resemble red/blue voting trends…

              • Alot of factors that make people conservative other than religion-but I think it is safe to say that Christians also vote on the side of democrats but by what percentage-who knows-not sure there is a way to get a true %-seem to remember alot of discussion about Catholics in particular voting with the left at different times in history.-and as we all know with our two party system -one can vote for a party without agreeing with all their stances. And that map-hasn’t it changed during different election cycles-it’s those independents we all talk about-wonder what the % of religious vs non-religious is when it comes to independents.

              • I see your point, and it is a VERY good one. However, there is more to it than that. It is not just political. It is personal for a very large number of people. I have seen people listne to a person and agree with EVERYTHING they say until they mention they are Christian then they discount every single argument. I have seen them blow up at the “audacity” of a christian display or a person preaching on a streetcorner. Its not just political threat. Sure, that may be part of the enhanced annoyance. It may be that the fear is partly political, but I seriously think at least some of the fear is a fear that they are right. That may be simply rooted in cultural teaching and pressure since christianity is so prevelant here and so many here have it drummed into them in their formative years. Still, the fact that people are in a teenage-like rebellious stage towards a Christian culture is a lousy justification. Or if it is deeper and it is an anger at either being lied to or a guilt for not toeing the line, there is still more to the “anti=christian” thing than just fear of political power. If you don’t see that, then you are in a much more Christian tolerant part of the country than I am. Which would be a bit surprising for a VA resident….

              • I came back to check-I can’t believe you didn’t get a response-I figured that remark about” fear they might be right”-would ruffle a few feathers. :)

      • Buck the Wala says:

        Yup, for the free food.

        Buck the Atheist kinda works. I guess really more agnostic because I acknowledge that I can’t know for certain – just as I can’t know for certain whether or not there is an invisible big purple dinosaur spinning out there in space…

    • Mathius, Buck, V.H., Anita.

      Regarding Religion as a basis of argument.

      I just love this. The guys who want “Govt provided health care” and expect the outcome of such a thing to be Better, or Good or even Functional in the long run are criticizing the Christians for having views based on nothing more than their FAITH in a Religion.

  23. Buck,
    *blink*

    1) True, larger government does generally mean more regulation and control. But it does not necessarily mean a lack or diminuition of freedom. Depends on how you define freedom I guess. But I see where you’re going with this and why you would equate the two.

    *blink*
    Larger government MUST COME AT THE EXPENSE OF FREEDOM, Buck.

    Only the most twisted, brainwashed people believe government=freedom.

    2) All I can say is that smaller is not necessarily better.

    Here I agree for that cannot be.
    Government MUST grow – it consumes all authority by extending its authority constantly – thus any concept of “small” government is a fallacy.

    Better and best, no government.

    5) True, it does depend on how you define fair.

    Any measure of “fair” is subjective and wholly unworthy as a justification for action upon anyone.

    6) If we’re solely cutting out the waste, I’m all for it. I’ve never said otherwise.

    As this is in an economic reference, you cannot eliminate waste of government because you cannot measure it. There is no profit and loss from which to measure political choice.

    Thus, the only thing you think is “waste” are political choices you do not agree with, and you think “this is not a waste” about political choices you do agree with. Neither of these make any economic sense.

    10) Sure states rights are important. But lets also remember that we are a single COUNTRY. And that’s pretty damn important too.

    Why?

    What is the desire to be ruled by men 2,000 miles away?

    • Mathius™ says:

      What is the desire to be ruled by men 2,000 miles away?

      It’s only about 260 miles from here…

      Adding, what possible relevance can physical distance have? Just 30 years ago, it might have been significant, but in today’s world?

      • Perhaps not distance, but population matters. We have far fewer representatives per capita than we used to have. And, more importantly, the ones we have are far more removed from those they represent. Perhaps this is not a distance thing, but it does appear to be a location thing, or at least a culture thing.

      • Mathius,

        possible relevance can physical distance have

        Because I do not deal with you, but I have to deal with my neighbor.

        All politics is local and that is where it should stay.

        A problem in New York is not a problem in Texas
        A problem in Dallas is not a problem in Austin
        A problem in a neighborhood of Dallas is probably not a problem in another neighborhood

    • Buck the Wala says:

      1) I never said government = freedom. I said the two are not diametrically opposed. More government does not necessarily mean less freedom, though it can. It depends on how you are defining/approaching freedom. Certain government regualtions may be said to restrict and limit freedom, because they restrict individual choice. But those same regualtions may be said to afford greater protection to the public at large to ensure their freedom as a whole.

      2) I will take your agreement and ignore the huge difference in why you agree with me.

      5) Yes, I have agreed that fair is subjective. But by the same token any argument that a ‘flat tax is a fair tax’ is equally subjective.

      6)Sure some political choices would have to be made in cutting ‘waste’, but ‘waste’ can be defined to limit the use of it as a purely political tool. Clearly there is inefficiency leading to greater cost that can be saved.

      10) What is the desire to be ruled by people in your own state’s capital that, for some, is even further away from Washington DC? What is the desire to be ruled by people in your own state’s capital that are even further removed (culturally) from you than those in DC? But I’m with Mathius – in this day and age, physical distance is pretty much meaningless.

      • Buck

        You made this mistake yesterday and again today, so I will correct it. I said the young Republicans, and many in the tea party, would prefer a flat tax or fair tax.

        One or the other. I did not say that a flat tax was a fair tax. Although I would argue it is a Just tax, or a “fair” means of taxing income using the traditional view of “fairness” relative to the role of our Federal Govt. Thus the use of the term “General Welfare”, as in equal to all. The “progressive” system assumes to impose the subjective “fair” upon a system that can not determine what is “fair” and what is not. Therefore it should be based on some “objective” standard, such as 15% of Gross Income.

        My reference to fair tax was the “fair tax” proposal offered by some as an alternative to the current income tax.

        • Buck the Wala says:

          Fair enough — I’ve heard many GOP talking points along the lines of “A flat tax is a fair tax” so thought you had been going down that same route. My point remains the same though and I would oppose both proposals.

          • Buck

            Yes, they do say that, and I agree. But my comment about the TWO Proposals.

            I know you would oppose a Flat Tax but do not understand your opposition to THE Fair Tax proposal.

            • Buck the Wala says:

              I would have to read up on it some more. Have a good concise link? Based on the little I’ve read, not a big fan. But I’ll do some more homework if you point me there.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                Thanks. Will get back to you on it.

              • I don’t think Buck would support the fair tax because he would have to find a new job. He won’t like the idea anymore than the politicians do.

              • Buck the Wala says:

                While this may be true, my opposition to the fair tax stems from my view that it would create a much larger burden on the poor and lower middle class.

                Again, need to read more up on it.

                But as far as my job is concerned — would the fair tax necessarily mean no estate tax?

              • While you guys are discussing the fair tax-I just wanted to say one thing I really like about the idea- is that no one can get out of paying. If you don’t file on your income because you are doing something illegal-you still pay. You can’t lie or cheat your way out of paying with fancy loop holes.

              • Buck,
                In theory, the Fair Tax idea would be only an impact on the middle class and above, not one the poor, and not on “necessities” (enter can of worms), but it would be far more “fair” than almost anything else, even by many aspects of your definition. Because it is generally a consumption tax, it is more likely to hit the extreme upper class because there are no special deductions. If one of the super-rich buys a ten million dollar house, they get hit for it, whether that was earned on investment, or payroll, or by inheritance, or windfall, or whatever. It is, in fact, more likely to affect the extreme upper class that everyone thinks of when someone says “rich” than the current system, since the very rich can avoid taxes easily. It would be a huge boost for saving and investing since that would be the only way to have income not be taxed.

                V, you are almost right about non-avoidance. The exeption is the black market. Sure, you make money on the black market and still have to pay taxes on legit purchases, but you can bet a lot more barter and black market purchasing would occur. Under-the-table money for products and services to avoid taxes, or even direct trade. Of course I have no problem with that, but it does mess with the revenue math a little, so be prepared for that argument. Remember that people will not avoid taxes that are not too high. If they are too high, there will be avoidance. If you want less avoidance, lower the taxes. If that is not enough revenue, you are spending too much. That applies regardless of the tax or revenue system. :)

  24. VH, I have missed your points, they never disappoint!
    Buck, V is dead on with this religion argument. You cannot discount an argument because it is based solely on a belief without also discounting other arguments based in similar fashion. Meaning arguments based on “fairness”, “experts say”, ” the consensus is”, “the science is settled”, “the debate is over”, or any of the quotes of famous people are no more credible than “the Bible says so”. They may be more credible to YOU, or they may be less. “Ayn Rand says so” is no different, nor is a “panel of experts” or “The UN”. I get it, I dont like arguments based on “my beliefs say so” either, but beliefs cannot be seperated from people, because we all have them.

    There is no such thing as objectivity, not in government, nor journalism, nor anything else. There will be bias based on one’s beliefs. This does not mean bias should be ignored, and all arguments presumed valid, but neither does it mean that bias can rule out an argument on the basis that it is biased. If it is illogical, fine, but even those who are logical without knowing it should be considered. In other words, it may not be logical to base something on the Bible, but if the argument is a good one, it should still stand. The fact that your opponent does not know why it makes sense or cannot articulate it does not mean their argument it moot, it should still be considered on its real merits.

    Even logic is not always credible. Like math, even perfectly executed logic fails when not all factors are known or considered. It is logical to walk across a road that is between you and your destination if it is not known that it is dangerous to do so because one is not aware of cars. So not all arguments are simply a matter of logic.

    Another thing you have to watch for is using the argument of “who it affects” or “it affects us all”. That gets used for global warming and a variety of other things. But does not morality affect us all? Not Christian morality even, but how humanity treats each other. Of course, what is moral varies based on belief, but it inarguably affects us all. So can it be discounted because it is part of some religion? I think not.

    • Thank you-Glad you are back :)

      • Me too, sorry for the unannounced sabatical. Work swamped me overnight (a good thing in many ways), and I think I needed a break anyway, but I would like to get back to writing. Hopefully I am still welcome as a guest poster when my stuff is up to standards. Im out of practice, so who knows… :)
        Anyway, thanks for the welcome! Its great to see the old faces, even if they are just typefaces….

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Missed this earlier….

      While you do raise a very valid point, there is a huge difference (at least in my mind) between the statements “Because the Bible says so” and “Scientists have found”. One is based on facts and evidence. The other is based on….

      • In theory, I could agree with that, but it must be clear by now that not all science is science. Not all is based on facts or evidence. And like I said before, even that based on reason and deduction when key factors are ignored is as worthless as blind faith. There is a lot of junk science running around these days, and there is a lot of it based on samples too small.

        More importantly there is a LOT of claims of science that are not credible. Even a lot of scientists are embarrassed by the portrayal of their discoveries because even they did not claim to know anything, only that they saw possibilities, theories, or holes in previously established science. And, like anything else, science is not incorruptible. Follow the money trail works as well on grants as it does on corporate profits. If you don’t get that you are being FAR too naive. Besides all that, much of what comes out of academia these days is so far removed from common sense that even an idiot can smell a rat. The best professors I have ever had, or known anyone else to speak of, have always been those who had recently worked in the “real world” or those who still did. Too much of so-called “science” is ascribed to the works and theoretical ramblings of academics, rather than to real science in the true spirit and definition of science.

        So yea, in theory I could agree with that, but a good scientific approach shows that those claiming “scientists have found” are far too often no more credible or based in fact than those whose mantra is “the Bible says so”.

  25. BF..could you have at this post please/..Federal Reserve Charter Expires..It’s a private company, can there even be an expiration date?

    http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread599998/pg1

    • Anita

      Per my understanding there is NO Federal Reserve “Charter”.

      Each Fed Reserve Bank is chartered separately, and as you say has a perpetual charter like any corporation. Except the original Act limits the charter to “unless removed by another Act of Congress” or if the charter bank violates the law.

      What we call the FED is the combination of the Chartered Fed Reserve Banks and the Fed Reserve Governing Board which oversees and coordinates activities among the banks.

    • Anita, JAC

      The Federal Reserve Charter – a grant from government – was originally for only 20 years.

      However, this 20-year corporate life was changed to perpetual in 1927 by Act of Feb. 25, 1927 (44 Stat. 1234) as follows:

      To have succession after February 25, 1927, until dissolved by Act of Congress or until forfeiture of franchise for violation of law.

      This is codified in the United States Code, 12 U.S.C. § 341.

  26. Complete desperation by the bloated (literally!) AGW blowhard. Not pretty!

    Al Gore Launches Tirade Against Climate “Pseudoscientists”

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/08/09/al_gore_rants_against_climate_pseudoscientists.html

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      Al Gore wouldn’t know the difference between a scientist and a pseudo-scientist. The man is a blithering idiot.

  27. PeterB in Indianapolis says:
  28. Hey JAC – you out and about today and get caught up in the 11 vehicle convoy for the Robinson family get together?

    Michelle Obama Takes Secret Vacation to Oregon

    http://www.whitehousedossier.com/2011/08/09/michelle-obama-takes-secret-vacation-oregon/

    • Kathy

      Thank God I missed it. They are a little more than an hour south of me. Been busy loading furniture and stuff this afternoon. Hauling load this weekend to get daughter settled at college.

      Just found out that a full size one ton pickup isn’t enough to move everything. So I either make two trips or keep stacking to the Bev. Hillbilly Limit. :) :)

      Any updates on the RECALL ELECTION?????

      Seems the lefties are full of themselves and seem very confident.

      • Allow me to try my talents at prognostication:

        WI recall election results in Dems taking over this week………………….and losing it next week. :)

        Now, betting on my prognostication is about as healthy as eating a double bacon cheeseburger with super-sized fries and a coke (mmmmm, that does sound good though). lol

      • Keep stackin JAC..too bad you didn’t move to Arkansas, you’d be just another load of hillbillies! Wait didn’t you start from there? :)

      • I don’t know. Not personally in a recall district. Tons of outside money – millions and millions of $$$. Insane. Ads are vicious. Hoping we can hold on or this state will really get ugly and we may be looking to move to Texas.

    • Van Jones, Shakowsky, Moveon.org – I really wonder what their version of the American Dream is?

    • plainly

      Since you haven’t yet, I will share with you guys the comment I left at Huff Po on this topic, earlier today.

      ““Typical Progressiv­e posturing.

      Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for ALL. Pure poppycock.

      The manifesto is quite clear. Life Liberty and Happiness for us but not for you. WE will decide who deserves life, liberty and happiness. In fact, WE will decide what life, liberty and happiness means for each of you.

      Here is a lesson in logic my dear Progressiv­e neighbors. A RIGHT can not conflict with another RIGHT. Your claim that you have a RIGHT to “affordabl­e health care” can not be achieved without imposing upon my RIGHT to pursue my own happiness. It directly conflicts with my RIGHT to my own property.

      Your supposed Contract will do nothing but continue to pit one segment of society against another in a perpetual race to control the power of Govt. Each side trying to better its position by the use of force upon others.

      And by the way, Progressiv­es were Republican­s in the beginning.” ”

      If I get time later I will construct the various threads of discussion in response to my opinion piece.

      • I’d love to see the discussion

      • JAC,

        My initial response on reading it was “what are they smoking?” I see nothing but extreme positions that haven’t flown yet and are unlikely too this fall, or anytime soon for that matter. Are they really able to believe that in the current fiscal mess of this economy they stand any real chance of such extreme propositions getting implemented.

        Another factor was this comment in the article, “calls for direct intervention to prevent layoffs on the local level of teachers and police.” It clearly shows that they believe only a national government should be running things and are willing to trample all over rights of the States. There is, as we know, nothing in the Constitution that would support such interference (and no – statements in the Preamble are NOT law).

  29. Buck

    I said the two are not diametrically opposed.

    They are diametrically opposed

    Today I can do “this” – tomorrow, a law is made to stop me from doing “this”.

    More government does not necessarily mean less freedom, though it can.

    Government is authority in application – there is NO CASE where more government does not mean less freedom.

    It depends on how you are defining/approaching freedom.

    As usual, your argument depends on changing the definitions.

    Certain government regualtions may be said to restrict and limit freedom, because they restrict individual choice. But those same regualtions may be said to afford greater protection to the public at large to ensure their freedom as a whole.

    You cannot improve freedom by destroying it.

    2) I will take your agreement and ignore the huge difference in why you agree with me.

    The difference is the key – because you accidentally arrive at a right answer does not mean you understand anything.

    5) Yes, I have agreed that fair is subjective. But by the same token any argument that a ‘flat tax is a fair tax’ is equally subjective.

    There exists no such thing as a “fair” tax.

    All tax is theft – that is, for someone to get money means someone has lost it.

    6)Sure some political choices would have to be made in cutting ‘waste’, but ‘waste’ can be defined to limit the use of it as a purely political tool. Clearly there is inefficiency leading to greater cost that can be saved.

    How do you measure “inefficiency”?
    What is your tool?

    I have asked this often of you, and my bet, you will still not come up with an answer.

    10) What is the desire to be ruled by people in your own state’s capital that, for some, is even further away from Washington DC?

    None.

    What is the desire to be ruled by people in your own state’s capital that are even further removed (culturally) from you than those in DC? But I’m with Mathius – in this day and age, physical distance is pretty much meaningless.

    Distance matters little to those who believe centralization of violence is important.

  30. Buck’s plan

    • And Buck’s children are not even born yet! Interest is racking up before they’re born. LMAO..but it’s sad……

  31. Gotta say I’m a little suspicious here. Yesterday Charlie says he has a short term job – contract work I believe he called it. Did he mention anything about flying across the pond for this work? Hired out to protest perhaps? These quotes sound like they could come right out of his mouth! Damn those rich people!

    London rioters: ‘Showing the rich we do what we want’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14458424

  32. USW..could you place the “recent comments” box on the comment page instead of the homepage? That would save a lot of clicking around. Just sayin……..

  33. @ Buck……DO NOT try a Red Bull….after my first one….I talked to Elvis.

    • Try a lil’ Grey Goose Vodka in it next time Colonel. You’ll be talking to Einstein, Plato and Socrates…all at the same time!

      • Whaaaaaaat? TC, I went to click on a comment of yours and accidentally clicked on your gravatar. It was huge in my face. I’ve been ASSuming all this time that it said intel inside and thought it suited you fine. What it says suits you fine, and it suits me too!

      • Pshaw, only a good Gin will have you talking to great minds. That or a good bottle of red….

    • Buck the Wala says:

      Back when I was studying abroad, used to drink red bull and vodka all the time — how else was I supposed to stay up at the clubs at 2 in the morning before trekking up the hill back to the dorms!

      Now, I think I’ll pass. Don’t even want to think what it would do to me!

      • I’ve recently switched from Crown Reserve to sipping Courvoisier VSOP before bedtime…haven’t been speaking with ghosts yet though…

      • It ain’t gonna hurt you, just dont pound them all the time like Matthius…

        Seriously, it will make you feel all energetic if you dont do it too much. Unless you drink a lot of coffee, then its really not much different unless your diet is seriously lacking in B vitamins and/or sugar. I still do one a week or so, tho I prefer Monster….I dont think I am that much younger than you either…You’re only as old as you are afraid you are.

  34. Somebody want to tell me again how it is the Tea Party who is unwilling to take the debt seriously.

    From Michelle Malkin’s site:

    ” Sen. Harry Reid has made his picks for the deficit super committee whose task it is to recommend with $1.5 trillion in federal spending cuts over 10 years — Senators John Kerry of Massachusetts, Patty Murray of Washington State and Max Baucus of Montana.

    Several news outlets reported Tuesday afternoon that they learned the names from Democratic sources. The committee will have 12 members, three more named by Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, and six named by House Republicans and Democrats.”

    First time I looked at a crowd and Baucus appeared to be a modertate.

  35. Mathius stated:” There is no war on Christians or Christmas, but we do find it offensive in some ways that Christians seem to behave as if theirs is or should be the official religion of the US. Why is it that Christmas (a purely Christian holiday) should be an official government holiday, while Yom Kippur is not? Why is it that you guys are just fine exempting Churches from noise laws so you can ring church bells Sunday morning while I’m trying to sleep, but the idea of a Muslim call-to-prayer is unthinkable? Why is “one nation under God” on our money but you’d be appalled at the though of “one nation under the Gods”?
    Where’s not attacking you or your religion or your holidays – we’re trying to defend ourselves.”

    TC:”Ummmmmmmmm Mathius haven’t I heard you espouse that the United States was founded as a Christian theocracy a time or two? Hrmmmmm lemmee think about that a sec…YUP! Certainly you can answer your own questions stated above my good sir!

  36. OK, you have to check this out for some good comedy.

    Just got home and checking out the sites to see how the recalls are going here in the state and came across this. You have got to watch MSNBC’s new hire, the Rev Al. OMG!

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/08/09/open-thread-total-recall/

    Hahahahahaha! I think he downed some Grey Goose, Gin, Crown Reserve all at once!

  37. Jon Smith

    For all you on the left who think certain people don’t pay enough taxes, Jon Nails it.

    “Remember that people will not avoid taxes that are not too high. If they are too high, there will be avoidance. If you want less avoidance, lower the taxes. If that is not enough revenue, you are spending too much. That applies regardless of the tax or revenue system. ”

    This is another truism stated by the Founders by the way. Can’t remember which one at the moment. But essentially, you know when your govt is just because the people will willingly support it.

  38. Uhhh Ohhh Toto…were not in Kansas any more…

    White House links to deliberate forgery from Snopes.com, thinking it was real…

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=331525

    Court tells Hawaii officials to explain Obama’s birth records
    ‘Show cause’ hearing will determine why subpoena rejected…Evidently Taitz argued to a federal judge and got her hands on a subpoena and Hawaii still wouldn’t comply with the order for her to examine it with two professionals.

    http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=331517

    Taitz said in her arguement the state’s “privacy” regulations should be ignored, as Obama already has released what the White House purported to be a copy of the document to the public.

    @ Buck is that a valid arguement? :)

  39. Wow! Wonder how long this anchor will keep his job at MSNBC? Love this rant!

    Ratigan blows up and spells it out! Both parties are bought and paid for!

    • OMG guys this is great! I’m not gonna lie I’ve never heard of this guy, but he had me cheering out loud midway through his rant! I did a li’l research and he seems to be hardcore democratic but damn he just tells it like it is! Look at the surprise on the panel members faces…they just have to be thinking “This dude has flipped out and is definitely gonna lose his job!”

      • Wow! Good for him to not only finally get it – but to speak it out loud – on MSNBC! Too bad they don’t have more than 10 viewers to watch this!

    • Amazing! We have bashed Ratigan here in the past for his defense of the system. I have to give credit where it is due. Good job.

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