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BUDGET: Is GOP just posturing on cuts?

Letter by Chuck Burton, Steilacoom on Feb. 14, 2011 at 4:24 pm with 91 Comments »
February 14, 2011 4:24 pm

Take away entitlements, interest and military spending and what remains is around 16 percent for everything else in the entire federal budget. And now the new Republican House is going after what is left with a meat cleaver. PBS, NPR, Planned Parenthood, extended unemployment benefits. Wiped out completely. But are these people really serious about balancing the budget and avoiding national bankruptcy?

Our military expenditures are equal to the rest of the world’s combined. Billions and billions for high-tech weapon systems and aircraft carriers that even the Pentagon doesn’t want and that we don’t need.

Why is General Dynamics paying young Afghanistan contractors with high school degrees and few skills $140,000 plus per diem plus housing, more than half of which is tax free? And how much profit is GD making on the deal?
By the way, exactly why are we still in Afghanistan?

I will be happy to listen to the tea partiers when they stop their penny ante posturing which furthers only their own social issues agenda and they start to deal with the actual serious financial crisis of the nation.

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  1. denismenis says:

    Exactly. Eisenhower warned of the consumption of America by the “military industrial complex”. Now it has morphed into the form of “contractors”. I’d like to see Blackwater, GD, Halliburton, KBR and the other numerous “no-bid” contracts canned before you start with anything else.

    Are you listening, TP?

  2. aislander says:

    I’d be happy to, Chuck. With the advent of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, et al, any honest person with a slide rule (back then) and access to trends in life expectancy and population growth (which, one would think, the government had) could see that those programs would become unsustainable, so I am very happy to stop pruning around the margins. Hell, I’d even accept cuts in defense spending if we could turn Social Security into a program of personal investment, and run the other programs on the basis of sound underwriting principles (although I don’t believe that is possible with Medicaid). Failing that, we have to end those programs before they end the country…

  3. aislander its not social services that has put our country at risk. Are you insane?
    Who put America at risk?
    1. Reagan.. increased the deficit by 189%
    2. Reagan gave America to the corps
    3. Reagan DEVALUED LABOR
    4. 30 years of Republican econ ideology
    5. Bush .. 2 wars NOT IN THE BUDGET
    6. Bush increased spending by 104%
    7.Bush Grew the size of govt by 42%
    8.Bush lost 9 billion dollars in cash
    9. DOD Budget
    ………………………………………………….and you have the audacity to try to assert helping American citizens is what is hurting our country? On the contrary, a strong good moral country helps its citizens and will not fail.A country whose spends most of their money on making weapons to sell… will fail. The last thing we need is any more aherence to the sociopathic republicans and their ideology.

  4. Chuck, rest easy. The Senate and the President’s veto pen will put a stop to any nonsense the right tries to get through. They are only kissing up to their base which would take us back to the dark ages if they had their way. Not going to happen with Obama in office.

  5. aislander says:

    Take a look at Greece, Sue. Or California…

  6. gmborting says:

    I forget, is there a difference between a democrat and a republican?

  7. I see aislander is promoting Coolidge’s “sound” fiscal policies as the path……

    gmborting – Ya beat me to it.

  8. SFKemerson says:

    Chuck is right, in that you can’t balance the budget and take all the sacred cows off the chopping block.

    I’m not sure why he obsesses over military contractors (as oppossed to the entire military), but ignores the looming obligations of social security, medicare and medicaid? I don’t think it’s posturing to start with the $100 million lowest impact cuts, as a sign of good faith to the taxpayers, and work down from there. I’d go deeper now because I think they currently have public support to do more, but I wouldn’t say its just posturing. A journey of eating an elephant is never the wrong time to do the right thing… yada, yada, yada… pick whatever Confusious type, grandfatherly advice you like.

    My personal opinion is our military is top heavy and we could spend less and have a strong force by eliminating some brass. More competative bidding and eliminating hurdles so other companys can compete for bids is an idea Chuck and I would probably agree on.

    Ultimately, to fill a $1.5 trillion hole (and its $14 trillion big brother) we need to have 100% of programs on the table, military included. The question is how do you cut and still maintain a functional fighting force in these chotic times? I just gave you two freebees. Unfortunately, we don’t have the European luxury of another America defending the world from despots for us. So global comparing to other nations military spending is a futile, academic exercise.

    In there zeal to win the daily political battle fought in the 24 hour news cycle, Chuck and sue1234 miss an obvious point. We just came out of a period with a democrat president, fillibuster proof democrat senate and a strong democrat majority in the House. They could have solved every one of the world’s ills with zero republican support.

    Chuck, Denis and Sue can talk all they want, but budgets are passed by Congress. Reagan didn’t spend one penny not passed by a democrat house majority. GW Bush didn’t pass a single thing without 6 democrat votes in the senate.

    Politico… the President doesn’t have line item veto power. He has to take the budget as an all or none. You are correct that he could veto it and we’d have a government shutdown, like the Clinton/Gingrich game of chicken, but I doubt Pres. Obama is willing to spend political capital defending the cuts the GOP is proposing. My guess is he’ll keep his powder dry till 2012. Next year, not coincidently coensiding with the election, the GOP budget will most likely defund Obamacare. That, you could argue. would be posturing.

  9. @SFKemerson – Reagan had control of the Senate from 1981 to 1987. It was his proposals (i.e. Star Wars program, tax cuts) that ballooned the deficit.

    If you have $100, give away $20 of it, and put another $25 on a credit card, you’ve increased the deficit by nearly 50%. Clinton raised taxes and balanced the budget. That pisses off the OG Tea Party as the only way to balance the budget is to cut social programs (not the military).

    Social Security and Medicare do need to be reformed, tackling benefits and taxes. We also need to talk about the military spending. We also need to talk about tax breaks for those making over $250,000 a year. Sorry, if you make that much money, you don’t need a tax break. That’s eight times what I make and I am doing just fine. It makes absolutely no sense to talk about taking reduced lunch funding from hungry children in the same breath as tax breaks for the wealthy. That’s downright criminal.

  10. Twenty percent across the board! No sacred cows to include total defunding of PBS, NPR, Planned parenthood , Dept of Commerce, Dept of Education, Dept of Human Svcs, EPA, Dept of Agriculture, the list goes on and on. Cut off any aid to any city or state that does not enforce immigration laws. Bring troops home from all foreign countries and station them on our borders. How’s that for a start?

  11. BlaineCGarver says:

    That’s funny, the Republician budget has not been released yet.
    All those painful cuts to the poor, hungry, schools, etc are in Obama’s budget that was just released.

  12. Gummyworm says:

    There has never, in the history of the world, been a growing economy, balanced budget, and tax rates this low. If you’re lucky, you can get 2 outta 3 (although if you’re unlucky, you can get 0 or 1 out of 3).

    Obama has 2 out of 3 (taxes this low, growing economy).
    Bush Jr had 1 out of 3 (taxes this low)
    Clinton had 2 out of 3 (growing economy, balanced budget)
    Reagan had 1 out of 3 (growing economy, except in 1988, when his only 1 was taxes this low…his average marginal tax rate was 48%, not the 36% of today).

    Congress has to decide which 2 they want, because all 3 just can’t happen.

  13. aislander says:

    Gummyworm writes: “There has never, in the history of the world, been a growing economy, balanced budget, and tax rates this low.”

    Really? Is the first hundred-plus years of this country’s existence included in “the history of the world?”

  14. aislander says:

    So…how much did revenues fall during the first decade of this millennium, after the Bush tax cuts, if we can’t afford to have low rates for the people who provide your jobs? Not talking about government parasites, here: judging from some of the comments above, they are blind to economic realities…

  15. menopaws says:

    Here is the real reality check. Basic bookkeeping teaches the principle of account payable versus accounts receivable. The Republicans want their tax cuts and after their fat cat Wall Street buddies tanked everyone’s pensions and 401K’s,now they want to cut “entitlement” programs. Social security and Medicare are talked about with disdain for the drain on the federal budget……We seniors are just a bunch of freeloaders bankrupting the government and our grandkids future. Not a word about oil depletion allowances being cut, tax cuts for corporations that ship jobs overseas, or the true elephant in the room—-BIG FAT DEFENSE CONTRACTS. let’s just screw the old, the poor, the educational system and the environment. They are liars, they are hypocrites and those people who wanted “less” government need to remember that when they have to help support their aging parents or their unemployed brother-in-law whose job got shipped to Sri Lanka, with a tax break for the company that did it. All those rich people had two damn years with those tax cuts to start hiring–didn’t happen. Talk about a Ponzi scheme–that is today’s Republican party!

  16. My 401K tanked, but now it is better than it was before the crash. If you didn’t sell, you didn’t lose. So you only have yourself to blame.

    And why would fat cat Wall Street dudes want the market to tank? Don’t you think they might take a hit too?

    Koolaid……

  17. @aislander – I knew the Tea Party would show up. In the first hundred years of our nation, we had no standing Army, land was free (so long as you moved West) and we were, for the most part, subsistence farmers. This is a pathetic analogy. Your understanding of history is sad.

  18. SFKemerson says:

    @JAvision, I’m tired of giving free civics lessons, so please research what you say so I don’t have to correct it.

    Budgets (like any bill) must pass both chambers, thus Tip O’Neill’s majority would have had to approve any budget Reagan spent.

    I’m not sure how SDI, a program that never got implement ran up the debt, but thanks for trying.

    The Senate has what is called cloture… In 1975, the supermajority Democrats amended the cloture rules to lower the required votes to end debate from 2/3 of senators present to 60 votes. Thus, a governing majority in the U.S. is 60 votes. Reagan, would have needed a minimum of 6 D Senators and a D House to pass anything.

    Please research federal revenue returns by year following tax returns. The most prominent example is JFK’s tax cuts. The immediate year (sometimes 2) following the cuts, income tax receipts fall. By years 3 to 5, income tax receipts far exceed

  19. SFKemerson says:

    … some glich… sorry

    anyway, receipts far exceed projects. It did for JFK, Reagan & Bush 43.

    Clinton & a D supermajority congress raised taxes in ’93. ’94, GOP swept the elections. ’95, the government shutdown due to Clinton vetoing the budget 3 times before finally relenting on cuts and welfare reform. The budget didn’t balance till ’98. Technically, it didn’t even balance then. We only had a balanced budget because we raided the Social Security Trust Fund. We stuck IOUs in there and spent the money which was supposed to be invested to fund future SS obligations on paper clips and business cards.

    Both parties are responsible for the current spending problem. I would argue Democrats are more than the Republicans because at the time the biggest drains on the budget passed (New Deal & Great Society), they had supermajorities in congress and had the White House. That isn’t to let Republicans off the hook, only to point out the history you accuse others of not understanding.

  20. Isldr, how many jobs have been created by the untaxed rich? One would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb to believe that tax breaks for the rich will stimulate our economy.

    Roll_on, Most people I known have not been so fortunate.

  21. Gummyworm says:

    aislander –

    You seemed to have missed my point.

    Colonial America was immensely dependent on tariffs for it’s income. If you don’t think tariffs are a tax, then this discussion is pointless.

    Gummyworm

  22. “My 401K tanked, but now it is better than it was before the crash. If you didn’t sell, you didn’t lose. So you only have yourself to blame.”

    Well, I’m glad the stock market has rebounded. I wonder if the crash, or the rebound, or both, will be added to GWB’s legacy? Or…?

  23. My 401K tanked, but now it is better than it was before the crash. If you didn’t sell, you didn’t lose. So you only have yourself to blame.

    Yep…..those stupid retired people who were counting on their 401Ks to pay their monthly expenses – if only they learned to get along without food, medicine or housing until the Market rebounded…….

  24. to:

    BlaineCGarver says:
    February 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm
    Read more: http://blog.thenewstribune.com/letters/2011/02/14/solving-problems-or-posturing/#ixzz1E8JUlYFa

    The Republicans will not submit a budget. They will just say that Obama’s is wrong.

  25. Yes beerBoy, those retired people were stupid if they still had their money in stocks when they retired. They should have moved it to a fixed income in the years before they retired.

  26. aislander says:

    xring wrote: “Isldr, how many jobs have been created by the untaxed rich?”

    Just ONE example, xring: I don’t believe he is “untaxed,” but Bill Gates has created jobs easily numbered into the hundreds of thousands, but probably into the millions. One must count those jobs at Microsoft, of course, but all those PCs that are sold and repaired around the world, all the software that is MS-compatible, all the work accomplished by those PCs and that software, and, I’m certain other effects that I have not been able to consider add to the total. And that’s one rich guy.

    I’ll turn your question around, xring: how many jobs have been created by the (truly) untaxed poor?

  27. aislander says:

    Gummyworm: You specified “taxes this low.” I would have said “taxes this high,” since when you count ALL taxes at ALL levels of government, including hidden taxes, Americans, contrary to the myth now being promulgated by the left, are among the highest-taxed people in the world. Other nations with putatively higher tax rates don’t tax at the lower levels of government as we do here…

  28. aislander says:

    The highest tariff rates (The so-called Tariff of Abominations and, much later, Smoot-Hawley) were about 50% on certain items. Those rates affected many fewer people than the pervasive taxes of today, but, like any tax, they were damaging to the economy. The damage done by Smoot-Hawley was in the deepening and extending of the Great Depression, of course. I doubt that contraction would have earned its adjective without Smoot-Hawley and other efforts of government…

  29. SFK. Re SDI – research and development costs were astronomical.

    Roll_on, what about the people who were expecting to retire in the next few years but now must continue to work BECAUSE THE RETIREMENT PLANS WERE WIPED OUT.

    Isldr, oh you were almost there. The problem is not that there are no jobs being created, it’s that the jobs are not being created in THIS COUNTRY. And the Repubicon party seems to want to think the answer to high unemployment it to put even more people out of work.

    In terms of per cent of GNP taxes are lower now than they have been in the last 60 years.

  30. aislander says:

    Actually, xring, our manufacturing and exports are UP and we are still the largest manufacturing economy in the world (It’s not surprising that exports are up, considering what the Obama admin is doing to the dollar…). But never mind all that. Did you even READ my post, xring? Surely you are not saying that all the job categories I mentioned exist solely outside our borders…

  31. aislander says:

    xring writes: “In terms of per cent of GNP taxes are lower now than they have been in the last 60 years.”

    Please provide substantiation for that assertion, xring. I have heard it from quite a few lefties, but have not been able to find the actual statistic, including state and local taxes. I have been able to find the NATIONAL rate at about 28%, but that doesn’t provide the comparison you cited…

  32. aislander says:

    …and, xring, the stats I HAVE been able to find are of actual REVENUES, not rates. Revenues fall during times of economic contraction. Historically, revenues stay within a range of 15 to 20% of GDP, regardless of rates, and that’s where they are now…

  33. @SFKemerson – Thanks for the civics lesson! Clearly, you’re the expert on all things. However, your statesments are apocryphal.

    SDI was never implemented. We spent billions on studies and R&D.

    Now, for your lesson in politics. Are you soft on terrorists? I doubt it. You’d vote for the Patriot Act in 2001, whether you thought it was legal or not. If you voted against it, you’d be soft on terrorists.

    In the 80s, Democrats in Congress would’ve been going soft on the Soviets had they not supported Reagan’s budget that increased defense spending. They also got their tails kicked in both presidential elections and didn’t have much choice other than supporting Reagan’s tax cuts.

    Now, for data. Here are Reagan’s deficits (starting with 1982 – his first real budget year – and ending with the 1989 budget) in 2005 dollars (billions): 249.2, 385.3, 326.6, 361.8, 367.5, 241.1, 242.5 and 230.1.

    Here’s where I got the data – http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxfacts/displayafact.cfm?Docid=200

    Now, Clinton’s deficits dropped yearly until 1998. You were correct the budget was not balanced until 1998. However, after the Bush tax cuts in 2001, the surplus was gone and we have been in the red since. The site also shows massive deficits projected through the next six years. That’s a problem we can all agree needs to be addressed.

  34. aislander says:

    The 28% number may include other-than-Federal taxes, but I have not been able to substantiate that. Federal revenues in the last decade have been in the middle-to-high side of average until the recent downturn. Am I to infer that you believe raising taxes during a weak “recovery” will HELP the economy?

  35. aislander says:

    So…”@”JAvison…Did revenues go up or down after the Bush tax cuts were implemented? Actually they went up AND down, but new revenue records were set during the 2000s–so, mostly up, until the current downturn. Are you saying revenues would have been higher if tax rates were higher? That is impossible to prove, since higher rates NEVER translate into higher revenues, as a percentage of GDP. It is, as it always has been, a spending problem; a spending problem; a spending problem…

  36. @aislander – I don’t. I don’t think raising taxes on those earning less than $250k right now is a good idea.

    Conversely, I don’t think massive spending cuts are a good idea either. I don’t see how pulling billions out of the economy is a good idea. What we should be doing is reforming large benefit programs Social Security and Medicare. We must talk benefits as well as funding for these programs. In doing so, we can provide more certainty for the private sector (improving confidence), reduce costs and reduce the deficit.

  37. aislander says:

    The money the government spends must come from SOMEWHERE, which is why Keynesian stimulation never works. If that money comes from taxpayers, it is removed from the economy. If it is borrowed, that has other effects on the economy, such as competing with the private sector for credit and increasing that portion of the budget dedicated to servicing the debt, the effects of which we are now experiencing–along with Greece, Ireland, Portugal, California, Illinois, ad infinitum…

  38. aislander says:

    Modest proposal: Eliminate ALL Federal spending that is not consistent with an HONEST reading of the Constitution and its supporting documents and history (the latter necessary for the “honest” part…)…

  39. Islander, if our exports are up why has our trade deficient grown to $60.6 BILLION and unemployment still over 9%?

  40. aislander says:

    Exports can grow, but if imports also grow, the growth in the former will not be reflected in the trade deficit. As for unemployment, that is strictly a function of uncertainty created by government, and the additional liabilities employers take on with each employee, also created by government. Let’s try cutting government spending, regulation, and taxes and open up the country to energy exploration and extraction, and the unemployment problem will be solved. Works every time!

  41. aislander says:

    I forgot to mention, in my reply to JAvison, above, that if the government just decides to print the money it spends, THAT becomes the extremely regressive tax called inflation. If the rate of inflation was being calculated the way it was in the ’70s and ’80s, we would–right now–be at over 9% annually. By changing the calculation, Uncle gets out of paying COLAs to seniors, as well as getting to say with a straight face that there is no inflation…

  42. @aislander – you’re right. Revenue as a percentage of GDP went up and down during the Bush2 era. In fact, they went down so far that revenues were at the lowest levels as a percentage of GDP in nearly 60 years. In 2009, federal receipts were 14.8% of GDP. Scroll up on the link I gave before, and you’ll see that 1950 was the last year where revenues were that low.

    If spending is your concern, let’s look at Reagan again. Expenditures as a percentage of GDP from 1982 through 1989 hovered around 23%. Clinton dropped them to abotu 18%. Bush2 increased them to 24% in his final budget (2009).

  43. aislander says:

    I am no apologist for Bush-era spending levels, but I DO remember every budget proposed by the Reagan administration being described as “DOA” by chortling Dems. In any case, bad behavior cannot be justified by pointing to other bad behavior. 2009 revenues reflect the economic situation, but if you want to cherry-pick, 2007 was an all-time record high…

  44. aislander says:

    …besides, if we are talking about revenues as a percentage of GDP, I should think a LOWER percentage would be preferable…

  45. 2007 was an “all-time record high” in gross receipts. It was not a record high as a percentage of GDP. 2007 was, however, a decent budget year. Clearly, there was still a deficit, but it wasn’t the $1.2 trillion seen in 2009. I agree, not all of that can be attributed to policies set by the feds/states.

  46. aislander says:

    I had to laugh at a comment made by menopaws (whose screen name may be more revelatory than intended, with respect to the coherence (or lack thereof) of the posts made under it.

    To wit: “Basic bookkeeping teaches the principle of account payable versus accounts receivable. The Republicans want their tax cuts and after their fat cat Wall Street buddies tanked everyone’s pensions and 401K’s,now they want to cut “entitlement” programs.”

    Tax rates have nothing to do with revenues versus expenditures, so “tax cuts” have no relationship to “entitlements.” It is like comparing a salesperson’s rate of commission to his yearly expenses: meaningless. Add to that those Wall Street types are more closely aligned with the Dems, and, well, bless your heart…

  47. Social Security is not an entitlement. It’s an insurance paid by the employee and employer. If we are going to parse words about tax cuts, let’s get entitlements right.

  48. aislander says:

    h21589 writes: “Social Security is not an entitlement. It’s an insurance paid by the employee and employer. If we are going to parse words about tax cuts, let’s get entitlements right.”

    I would be very interested in how Social Security is viewed as an insurance program. Any private insurer that conducted its business the way SSA conducts ITS business would be sued by policyholders and stockholders alike, liquidated and its executives indicted for criminal activity…

  49. Fibonacci says:

    aislander’
    Wall street types are Democrats? On what planet?

  50. aislander says:

    The majority of Wall Street political contributions went to Dems. Most rich people are Dems. The richest people in Congress are Dems. The wealthiest zip codes vote Dem.

  51. xring, if the “people who were expecting to retire in the next few years but now must continue to work BECAUSE THE RETIREMENT PLANS WERE WIPED OUT” weren’t prepared by not having their money in fixed assets that close to retirement, then, well, they were stupid…..

    The exception would be those that were forced to only have company stock in their plans. Then I agree, they got wiped out.

  52. moved their assets to fixed assets……like real estate? Or maybe savings accounts – at least they wouldn’t lose any money earning 0% interest……

  53. R_O, your compassion overwhelms me, and is matched only by your intellect which is rivaled only by that of islander.

  54. Correct bB. At 0% interest they would still have their money.

  55. Oh, and xring, isn’t compassion what got us into this mess in the first place?

  56. r_o, NO! it was the immoral blood sucking greed of the rich and corporate bosses

  57. aislander says:

    really, xring? Try losing the slogans and cliches, and think for yourself. Do you REALLY think we’d be in this fiscal mess if it weren’t for progressive programs? Remember the $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities in addition to the $14 trillion national debt. And I don’t know (and don’t really have the heart to pursue) if that first number includes pensions and health care for the workers of state governments. I have a strong instinct it does not…

  58. Roll_On at 0% interest they wouldn’t lose any money IF there was no inflation.

  59. And…….earning no money on your assets is kinda anti-capitalist dontcha think?

  60. Do you REALLY think we’d be in this fiscal mess if it weren’t for progressive programs?

    Are you claiming that Derivatives are progressive programs?

  61. asldr, we are where we are because of trickle down economics, two unnecessary wars, deregulation, tax breaks for the rich, corporate welfareism, and deregulation/non-enforcement.

  62. aislander says:

    I’m talking only about the national debt and unfunded liabilities, mostly the result of various types of welfare. The people who make the country work just don’t have enough money to keep the promises you guys made. Trouble is: those promises don’t obligate the lefty politicians who made them; they obligate the American people. I await your next slogan…

  63. “unfunded liabilities”

    Clearly that doesn’t include Social Security……

    And I’m not sure how you can possibly sort out which liabilities are funded from the unfunded……My 1040 doesn’t differentiate what part of my taxes goes to pay Haliburton and which part pays for corn subsidies….

  64. Since you are looking to balance the budget, is it safe to assume that the “various types of welfare” that you are most concerned with are of the corporate nature since they are what costs the most.

  65. The people who make this country work are the workers and middle classes. The idle Rich are hording billions of dollars or using it to fund jobs overseas while the corporations are milking governments at all levels for big fat cost plus contracts.

  66. aislander says:

    You know I am against any involvement of government with business, whichever way it goes. As for unfunded liabilities, please don’t be willfully obtuse. You know that Social Security is in the red right now, and, as for Medicare and Medicaid, they are a looming disaster. And the money for those IS counted separately…

  67. @aislander – thanks for the banal talking points.

  68. If the Tea Partiers prefer no government regulation, a screwed up environment, low wages and fend-for-yourself mentality, move to a third world country. You can take your $40k with you and live like a king!

    Business who allow for unsafe working conditions should be held accountable. People who dump toxic sludge into our bodies of water should be penalized. Sweat shops are in humane and should not exist anywhere. If someone steals your car, a police officer should track that person down and bring ‘em to justice. If you disagree with any of these public services, then move.

  69. aislander says:

    Banal talking points? Have ya read ANY of xring’s posts? Idle rich, indeed. The rich people I know work seventy to a hundred hours a week. The truly idle (and damaging) rich are the trust-fund Democrats who get themselves elected to the Senate…

  70. I don’t think you know what “banal” means, but that’s okay. Are you now trying to imply that the Democrats are the party of the uber-wealthy? That’s interesting…and calumny.

  71. aislander says:

    …and true. Most second and later generation rich are liberals. Those would be, for xring’s benefit, the idle rich. And thanks for the patronizing comment…

  72. I’m glad you picked up on that. I’m laying it on pretty thick.

    If Democrats are the party of the uber-rich (and “idle rich”) as you claim, why do they support the estate tax? Oh, sorry. The Tea Party calls it a “death tax.” So, why do Democrats who inherrited their money support a tax that would impact them the most? I don’t follow your logic…

    Please also understand, the proding is all in bonhomie, so don’t take it personally :)

  73. aislander says:

    I have a boat to catch, so I don’t have a lot of time to pursue this, but the foundations set up by the rich are one way of avoiding the estate tax, and there other mechanisms as well. But, look at the Dems in the Senate who support it and have supported it: Most notoriously, Ted Kennedy, and then John Kerrey, Diane Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, et al. They all inherited or married wealth or both…

  74. Isn’t it honorable that they believe they too should be paying more out of their inheritance? And even still, that’s four people. You imply that it is Democrats (myself included) that support an estate tax while also inheriting money. I did not inherit money. I don’t stand to either. I worked my way through college and am paying for it still years later. I don’t see how the Democrats are the party of the rich.

    If you continue to attenuate your argument, you will wind up making yourself even more obscure…

  75. Roncella says:

    Aislander, The liberal dems. in the Congress are trying to push through funding for a New Kennedy Library, paid for by the Tax Payers.

    Its time that those that want to build synbols to their heros get the money from private sources, Not The Tax Payers.

    In the case of building a library in Kennedy’s honor, let the Kennedy Vault be opened and let the Kennedy family use some of their millions to build all the buildings they want to in order to remember their hero and family member,

    Don’t force the TaxPayers to fork up the Money !!!!

  76. Part of the problem with Medicare and Medicaid is that the Bush NeoCon Congress pushed through a law that PROHIBITS the government from negotiating drug prices but forces it to pay whatever price the drug companies want, and PROBIBITS the re-importation of U.S. manudactured drugs from Canada and other countries.

    Roncella, shall we talk about the spare engine for the F-35 jet. Defense and the Air Force do not what the F-35, and there is no need for a spare engine. But Speaker Boehner and his puppet master Cantor support both projects – maybe because the spare engines would be made in their home states, and in Cantor’s case his home district.

  77. Funny how the guys who yell “class warfare” whenever liberals suggest something that doesn’t benefit the uber-rich oftentimes complain that liberals are rich.

  78. Roncella says:

    xring, I heard yesterday that funding has not been approved for those projects. Both Republicans and Dems. voting against funding them.

  79. Roncella, The spare engine was cut, but the plane itself is being debated today.

    Anyhow the two cardinal points are:

    Republicons push pork just as much the Dems.

    The spare engine pork was cut down by a group of dems, tea party, and repubs, that voted against in for various reasons.

    I hope to see happening a lot more and I agree that personal libraries should not be funded by the Federal Government

  80. aislander says:

    beerBoy writes: “Funny how the guys who yell “class warfare” whenever liberals suggest something that doesn’t benefit the uber-rich oftentimes complain that liberals are rich.”

    That wasn’t the question, bB. xring associated the “idle rich” with Republicans. My point was that those rich people most likely to fit that description are also most likely to be Dems. Republican rich tend to have earned their money, and are looked down upon as nouveau and declasse (Sorry I didn’t want to go to the trouble of activating the diacritical marks…).

  81. xring says; “Part of the problem with Medicare and Medicaid is that the Bush NeoCon Congress pushed through a law that PROHIBITS the government from negotiating drug prices…”

    So when the Dems had a super majority, why didn’t they change that law?

  82. xring, you and Obama have to stop blaming Bush for everything. The Dems had a super majority and they could have passed/revised ANYTHING they wanted to. Why don’t you ask Patty and Maria about that?

  83. islander, the typical Republican Rich earned their wealth the old fashion way – they INHERITED IT. Even among the nouveau riche the vast majority came from well to do to affluent backgrounds (few if any rags to riches – except for star athletics, drug dealers, and politicians), and the majority tend to be right wing pro-businness rather than progressive / liberal.

    R_O, the dems never had a super majority in the Senate, and the party of hell no blocked every bill that threatened the drug companies’ obscene profits.

  84. Senate makeup in 2009

    http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_Makeup_of_2009_US_Senate

    58 Democrats, 40 Republicans, 2 Independents (Republicans got Dominated)

    The “Independents” always voted with the Democrats. They could have done what they wanted.

    I am not going to get into a piss’n match with you. You have your beliefs and understandings, and I have mine.

    Peace, and enjoy your evening.

  85. Republican rich tend to have earned their money

    Evidence to support this assertion?

  86. Whereas:

    The majority of ‘think tanks’ support republican, big business, and right wing political positions, and

    The majority of lobbyists support republican, big business, and right wing political positions, and

    The majority of political action groups support republican, big business, and right wing political positions, and

    The majority of radio talk shows support republican, big business, and right wing political positions:

    Either the majority of the rich/wealthy support republican, big business, and right wing political positions, OR The government has convinced the American Public that WAR is PEACE, and PEACE is WAR.

    R_O, reality check, there were about 6 to 8 blue dog dems that could be expected to vote against their party which is why the republicans were able to turn the senate in to a parking lot for any bill that did not support their ideology.

  87. Roncella says:

    xring, The majority of news outlets from ABC, CBS, NPR, NBC, MSNBC, CNN, all the major newsrags nation wide, late night clown shows like saturday night live, letterman, stewart, all lean left to far left.

  88. Roncella, All major networks are owned by very large corporations which are far from left leaning.

  89. xring – reality and facts have little bearing on truthiness.

  90. bB, yes, “truth” is what a person believes, “reality” is how things actually are.

  91. Roncella says:

    xrng, beerBoy, Come on now I believe you both are smarter than your last posts above about The Main Stream Media.

    You believe that they are not left leaning ???

    Your not living in the real world, and that is the truth.

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