Notice: Forums will be shutdown by June 2019

To focus on better serving our members, we've decided to shut down the POF forums.

While regular posting is now disabled, you can continue to view all threads until the end of June 2019. Event Hosts can still create and promote events while we work on a new and improved event creation service for you.

Thank you!

Plentyoffish dating forums are a place to meet singles and get dating advice or share dating experiences etc. Hopefully you will all have fun meeting singles and try out this online dating thing... Remember that we are the largest free online dating service, so you will never have to pay a dime to meet your soulmate.
     
Show ALL Forums  > California  > The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?      Home login  
 AUTHOR
 MermaidSari
Joined: 2/4/2007
Msg: 1
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?Page 1 of 17    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090214/ap_on_go_co/stimulus_stakes_who_gets_what

Above is a link for how the latest stimulus affects 'you' personally.

I don't know about anyone here hearing about the facts, but have you figured out what you are going to do with that whopping extra $13.00 extra per pay check?



It leaves one wondering what those in poverty will do with their extra $25.00 in food stamps too!

For further consideration about the months it took the U.S. legislature to come up with this jewel of a plan...does anyone here know how much it costs taxpayers to keep the capital buildings 'alone' up an running (not including salaries)? Cut and pasted below:

--It all adds up to about $422,075 a day to keep the White House and Capitol Buildings and grounds going. And they don't take American Express.--
http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/costs/aa040500a.htm

Mathematicians please correct me if in error...but how much could taxpayers' save shutting down these offices? Drum roll please...$19,500,000.00 per month...or 2.34 bill a year spent?

Not high enough for ya?Well the above figures are 9 years old (from 2000)...add at least 4% for inflation and more than this for energy costs

...and we are going to fix our problems by making government larger...Hmmm.

What are your thoughts about the new stimulus package and how are you going to spend that $13.oo extra per pay check each month? Vacation plans? Getting that new big screen you had your eye on?
 DianeB63
Joined: 1/20/2009
Msg: 2
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/15/2009 9:31:11 PM
I'm going to make a wild guess that you voted Republican in the recent election.

The country's in a right ugly mess and it's going to be expensive to fix it. We're all going to have to suck it up and do our part. I make pretty good money and frankly I'm willing to pay higher taxes than I do. I think people in my income bracket should pay higher taxes than we do. I have reaped the benefits of living in this wonderful country and I'm more than willing to pitch in to do my part to get us back on the right track, with a functioning economy that provides opportunities for people who want to work to have decent lives.

I'm none too worried about what the stimulus puts in my personal pocket. At my income level, most of the benefits are phased out, anyway. I guess I'm just fundamentally neither greedy nor selfish.

I would guess that poor people on food stamps will use the extra $25/month to buy food. Multiply that by all the poor families on food stamps, and there will be a lot more money spent in grocery stores, providing jobs to people all along the food supply chain. The greater economic benefits don't come from a single $25/month increase in grocery spending, but from all of them in the aggregate.

For people living paycheck to paycheck--those who know where every penny goes--an extra $13/paycheck will buy 4 pairs of thrift-store jeans in one week, or let you replace your kid's shoes sooner.

Are you truly suggesting that we close down the U.S. Capitol buildings to save money? Congress has to do business *somewhere*. I suspect the costs of maintenance cited in the linked articles are not wildly different from the costs of maintenance of commercial operations of similar size. Running and maintaining large (and old) office buildings is not an inexpensive proposition.

The purpose of economic stimulus is to get money circulating again. A major construction project will create economic ripple effects. You hire workers to do the job, and now they have jobs so they spend money, helping provide more jobs so those workers can spend money. We've all seen articles recently on negative ripple effects--a big business lays off workers, and the small businesses around them suffer, too, and then lay off workers--the suppliers of office supplies and materials, the people that run the restaurants where the workers bought lunch, the dry cleaners, etc. The same thing can happen in reverse, too.

We have to do something. If you have a better idea, let's hear it.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 3
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/15/2009 9:59:50 PM
I'm reading Jonah Goldberg's "Liberal Fascism" (a term used approvingly by the Progressive H.G. Wells in a 1932 speech.) He shows how the American Progressive movement that began about 1890 was an earlier, more benign version of the centralized or "totalitarian" states that later developed in Italy and Germany.

Not even the foremost experts on the subject can agree on just what "fascism" was. But Mussolini was an admirer of the Progressives, and they were heavily influenced by the same writings. President Wilson's social ideals (some of which he was able to realize) derived directly from those of the Progressives. And they are almost indistinguishable from those of the "fascisti." Wilson didn't have much time for the individualism of the framers. He believed the modern U.S. needed to be a centralized, all-inclusive state, and he went a long way toward turning this country into a police state. Fifteen years later, FDR and his circle patterned most of the New Deal agencies and programs after the ones Wilson had created during WWI.

What President Obama is proposing--or more accurately, what his lack of leadership has allowed the House Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees to propose--is a rewarmed hash of New Deal ideas, larded with many tens of billions in pork. The administration is relying heavily on government spending (of money it doesn't have) to cure the recession, incipient depression, or whatever it was that began in mid-September.

But from what I've read, almost no prominent economist, of whatever political persuasion, believes this 1,000-plus page "stimulus" bill is really any such thing. And most of them doubt that, even when combined with the financial reforms that are to follow, it will work. Instead, some of them worry that it will delay the recovery we'd see if the government took only a few obviously necessary steps, just as some leading economists believe the New Deal delayed the recovery that might otherwise have occurred in 1934 or 1935 until 1939.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 4
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/15/2009 10:27:18 PM

We have to do something. If you have a better idea, let's hear it.


Here's one: Cut business and personal taxes far more than the current bill does.

If time is of the essence, as Mr. Obama keeps preaching to us, what's the sense of spending on all sorts of projects (e.g. the Maglev fast rail line from L.A. to Vegas that Mr. Harry Reid pushed for) which won't kick in for several years? Employees would start to benefit from tax cuts within a couple weeks, in their next paychecks. They'd either spend this money--which would increase demand for goods and services--or save it, which would give banks more money to lend to businesses. And larger tax cuts would leave businesses with more to spend on expanding and buying new machinery--both of which would create jobs.

But God forbid Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Reed, Mr. Frank, Mr. Schumer, and the many other third-rate hacks in our federal government should do anything that would make us need them less. After all, don't they, along with Ms. Clinton, the President, and the First Lady, know what's best for all of us? Oh, if only that towering intellect, that mind for the ages, that sage to rival Jefferson, Adams, or Madison, could be in Washington now, she'd know just what to do! Where, oh where are you, Cynthia McKinney, now that your country needs you?
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 5
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/17/2009 1:40:29 PM
Mr SmartFun,

Your comment about Mr. Goldberg would carry more weight if you'd specifically rebutted his arguments. The fact you try to discredit them by attacking him personally suggests you have no idea what they are. And having read many of the letters that failing newspaper publishes (including quite a few with misstatements of fact the editors either don't catch, or don't want to catch) I think it's interesting you'd cite their authors to support your case.

I don't know what you mean by someone "from the Right." I don't accept the extremely misleading notion that political thought falls along a spectrum. The Bolsheviks created it to discredit their opponents, and it caught on. It should have been abandoned many decades ago.

Then term "liberal fascism" comes from a 1932 speech by H.G. Welles to the Young Liberals at Oxford. "I am asking for a Liberal *Fascisti,* for enlightened Nazis."

You don't say, specifically, how Mr. Hoover or Mr. Cheney created a police state, or anything even remotely resembling one. I take that as just the usual uninformed hyperbole about both men that's parroted everywhere.

But there's no question that President Wilson did. His Justice Department, under Attorney General Palmer, created the American Protective League as a quasi-official police force. It gave the APL very broad powers, some of which were probably unconstitutional. By 1918, the APL had 250,000 members and branches in about 600 U.S. cities and towns. APL members were given badges, many of which read "Secret Service." They read their neighbors' mail and listened in on their phones--all with government approval. One part of the APL, the American Vigilante Patrol, specialized in cracking down--sometimes very roughly-- on "seditious street oratory."

In raids in New York City in September, 1918, APL members rounded up *fifty thousand* "slackers" for resisting conscription. Two-thirds of these men were later found innocent of all charges. The American Legion was created in 1919, while WWI hysteria still ran strong. In 1923, its national commander said the legion stood ready, if ever needed, "to protect our country's institutions and ideals as the fascisti dealt with the destructionists who menaced Italy." FDR later tried to use the Legion as his own APL, to spy on dissidents and potential foreign agents in the U.S.

Wilson's desire to centralize power had to do with Wilson's Progressive beliefs. Progressive tenets--distrust of democracy and individualism, belief that the state must regulate capitalism heavily, love of action for its own sake, faith in the power of science to design a better, all-inclusive (i.e. "totalitarian") society, belief in eugenics as part of that science, view of progress toward the ideal state as a Christian "crusade" with a military spirit and structure, belief in militarism as a tonic that increased society's moral vigor--and their commonality with Mussolini's socialist theories ("fascisti," or bundles of grain, was a common symbol of Italian labor unions) could be the subject of more than one book.

I assume your views in your point #3 are just that--yours. If your have evidence to support your theory--and in particular, the part about Wilson's urge to centralize the federal government being a reaction to the Industrial Revolution--I'd like to see it.

There are a lot of findings by REAL economists, not shills for conservatives--some of it very recent--that support the conclusion the New Deal significantly prolonged the Depression. And you can look it up. You might start with Friedman's study of the Great Depression. To dismiss a large body of serious research as no more than a now-debunked "right wing talking point" is ridiculous.

YOU apparently "haven't gotten the memo" that I never cited Goldberg as an economic expert at all--let alone one to compare with Mr. Krugman. I can't imagine why anyone would. Please respond to my points as I make them, if you can, rather than to your own reworkings of what I said.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 6
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/17/2009 2:11:15 PM
pirateheaven,

I'd like to add Thomas Sowell's "Basic Economics" to that.

BTW, Prof. Sowell ought to speak at high schools, if he ever has time. He tells how he was hanging around Harlem at age 25 after high school (I believe he'd dropped out.) He'd hated school, especially because of teachers like one he'd had for English. She'd made him miserable by forcing him to work hard, and then work some more, until he got things right. He notes that she cared not one iota about his wishes, his pride, or his self-esteem--and that when he griped to his mother, she had no sympathy either.

Someone suggested he take the SAT--at 25. Without a very high score, he never could have gotten into Harvard. And he got one, mainly by acing the verbal section. He laughs at the irony that he was only able to do that because of what he learned in the English classes he hated so much at the time.
 MermaidSari
Joined: 2/4/2007
Msg: 7
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/17/2009 8:08:32 PM
Diane --

We have to do something. If you have a better idea, let's hear it.


Didn't you read the OP -- I suggest we close down the White House and Capital grounds and save taxpayers the $422,000 a day in incompetent goverance.



If in economic trouble in your own household -- do you run up the energy bills and keep the heat between 78 - 80 degrees or do you consider 'less' spending?

The way I voted has nothing to do with this thread, btw. Just asking what everyone is going to do with that extra $13.00 a paycheck and reporting the costs of government here.
 MermaidSari
Joined: 2/4/2007
Msg: 8
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/18/2009 7:13:58 PM
Okay Mr. Smart -- I have no idea where I got the first figure from? Was it on the website ? [lol...I get the same figure you do with my handy dandy calculator sitting right next to my computer].

I have to disagree with the rest of what you wrote though. If my budget is 'broke' or I am living on credit...[note the federal deficit and economic problems]...

I don't have the 'budget' you project above...no matter which way you move the decimal point!!

(a good mathematician...but what about economist)?

If we held 'no' deficit...and our GDP was outpacing our spending...then you'd be okay with moving that decimal for common understanding as far as billions spent [on what I find are expenses that could be cut to help pay for that whopping $13.00 we all are going to receive in our paychecks].

When is the last time you had a bowling alley [soon to be converted into a basketball court] in your house or reknown chefs in your kitchen cooking (oh wait these are expenses not reported above as far as the expenses our government price tags to the U.S. tax payer as with the decorating allowance when each new President entered the White House).
 MermaidSari
Joined: 2/4/2007
Msg: 9
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/18/2009 7:27:46 PM
SmartFun ... just one more point:


I use the term Social Democracy


We have a Republic.

Other nations abroad call Democrats 'socialists.' Awww...what we learn from watching foreign news or traveling. :-)
 MermaidSari
Joined: 2/4/2007
Msg: 10
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/19/2009 8:08:21 AM
Smart/Fun --

On the 19,500,000.00 per month figure...I added inflation as the figures listed above were for the year 2000 [I believe I was modest with 3-4% inflation added].

As far as your mention of the war...it was a minor outlay in comparisan to social security...which is the larger cause of our economic down fall that is falling to be addressed by Gov. (baby boomer's retiring). 2.34 billion a year which doesn't include salaries and fringe benefits is no small change when considering 'it can be saved' versus using 'credit' that is causing the 'U.S.' to loose 'credit' by the minute with private investors buying our 'paper.'

The CBO [non-partisan paid advisor to leglislatures] clearly stated the major concern with our economy is obtaining private investors and gaining 'world' confidence back. 'Spendng' is not a way to produce this 'confidence' as 'minorly' reflected in the stock market of the larger economic problems the U.S. faces today.

IndianBob -- this thread is about the economy and government spending and the stimulus package. Are you missing the point somewhere in between those beers?

(btw--Since you chose to discuss politics versus the economy though --Bush was viewed a liberal by a large majority of Conservative including myself...so he wasn't 'my' boy...I didn't even vote for him the last 4 years. McCain a liberal too, imo, however the popular vote (citizens) was not that far off in consideration of the previous election. I called Obama long before the rest of the Conservative 50% of this country was still having the audacity to 'hope' due to the electoral numbers. A government major here is college).
 Gaddflye
Joined: 9/10/2008
Msg: 11
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/19/2009 3:23:22 PM
Obama's "stimulus" is a "Stick-it-to-us" and his "milestone" is better described as a "Millstone". Roosevelt's actions prolonged the Great Depression (perhaps to insure his reelections???) and the so-called stimulus bill and others which are likely to follow will extend this recession or even drive us into another depression by driving the US government into more and more debt and increasing the number of bureaucrats we support, all at taxpayers' expense. I shudder to think about the future of the USA.
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 12
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/21/2009 10:21:10 PM
Diane

If I made great $$ then I would donate to Wikipedia or maintain a list of blogs filled with knowledgeable people and distribute it. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish and you feed him for life.
 MermaidSari
Joined: 2/4/2007
Msg: 13
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/22/2009 2:14:47 PM
Wikipedia -- huh? Have you ever wondered why the majority of professors at the University level doesn't allow Wiki as a crediable source? A lot depends on 'who' contributes to any given researched area wouldn't you agree.

Mr. Smartfun...over 50% of the federal budget is spend on Medicare/Medicaid and social security.

You are suggesting that people not think real money? Hmmm...it's no wonder then you didn't undestand exactly what I was speaking of when talking about 'global' confidence. What does the rest of the world think? Where and 'how' are we able to run up a deficit, Mr. Smart? You need to answer these questions to understand what I was saying [where you quoted me above and your answer below].


I'm not entirely sure what you're saying here, but this much I do know. The "world" lacks confidence in the US in that we run up enormous debts. To you that may simply say "we spend too much." A good chunk of the "world" and myself say the problem is that we don't match our spending and revenue.


A no-brainer and I have stated the same.


In other words, if we don't have the political will to cut spending (or realize that it shouldn't be cut) then we shouldn't be cutting taxes so severely for the top 10% and top 1%, and letting multi-national corporations off the hook. THAT'S the core of America's economic problems.


If a nation is 'bankrupt' as ours is...and expends debt...how do we build confidence. We sell our debt via paper to other countries and private investors. If we have no 'collateral' -- we have no investors. The elites hold a lot of cards no doubt as they employ, invest, etc.

I agree that our gov. shouldn't be given hand-outs to banks and the auto industry. Of course I have a feeling this is not what you are talking about (although it fits into your words stated above).




BTW, Bush and McCain's are nobody's "liberals". Conservatives can't decide to disown them- they're yours. And only a third of the country is "conservative"-[endquote]

They are liberal by most Conservatives' perception. Socialist creep is no secret to many -- is it to you? You can take this for what it is worth and disagree with me -- but you will not change the conservative view on this. As far as the past election you saw a popular vote of 48% McCain and 52% Obama. If what you say were true (only 1/3 of this country are conservative)...

Then you'd have to agree yourself that McCain much be a liberal then to account for these voting stats.

Beyond disagreement though, Mr. Smart I have to thank you for your politeness in this thread.
 sd_matt
Joined: 7/9/2006
Msg: 14
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 2/22/2009 7:03:36 PM
Wikipedia isn't perfect. At least it quotes it sources. If you are willing to check those out then you can decide if the content is good.

It's night and day better than most of the news.

The Congressional Research Service now has its reports available on the net. I think one is OpenCRS.com or org.
 MermaidSari
Joined: 2/4/2007
Msg: 15
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/6/2009 3:31:26 AM
Thank you Indian Bob...

And I like the way you are thinking here:

We need to stop treating politicians like royalty

Considering elitisim...one would think we might have separated from British ideology when declaring independence.

Mr. SmartFun...thanks. If you study politics abroad, you will find in Europe that the democrats here are called the 'socialist' party. I am stating a 'global' perspective and what I was taught at the University level and read as far as 'global' reporting on policy and what is referred to in scholarly circles as communist creep. There is debate on elistist control over this sector and I do not challenge you on this.

The economy however is being drained by social security outlays as baby boomer seek retirement [democratic professors of gov. even teach this] as well as governemnt spending that often goes to administrative costs unrealized by the general public. To be sure I work for the governement and have awareness of the overhead costs of doing business. In government this as my opinion in the area that I have well studied I find spending being quite extensive and beyond reason.

The creation of 'larger' government will lead to 'larger' expenses beyond the initial investment. Again the general public will not always consider the fact that 800 billion today equates to over 1.2 Trillion in 'real' dollars given the time span and course of three to four years. Then still then -- the program/building/office/overhead is still being fed tax payers dollars even beyond its useful period.

Taking 'politic sides and partisan' outside of the 'over' spending we do see as a governement that it might be a more realistic approach at helping the economy to create venture to 'make money' via outside sources [increase exports to other countries] verus spending what we do not have.

You are free to disagree as you have and I still thank you for your politeness.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 16
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/10/2009 2:07:19 AM

We need to stop treating politicians like royalty. Way to much money is spent on these yahoos.


Same goes for CEOs, especially those who don't perform.
 cncgandolf
Joined: 7/29/2007
Msg: 17
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/10/2009 6:18:02 PM
"As far as your mention of the war...it was a minor outlay in comparisan to social security...which is the larger cause of our economic down fall that is falling to be addressed by Gov. (baby boomer's retiring)."

It isn't appropriate to compare the cost of the war .... which had no source of funding for it so it had to draw its funding from monies that were supposed to pay for other things (like gas tax for transportation infrastructure) or from debt. The social security expenses for retirees who have contributed to it ... the baby boomers ... were fully funded by those baby boomers who are just asking for the money back, with reasonable interest, that they have been paying in for their entire working careers.

If they hadn't spent the money we paid for social security on things like war then the money would be there for us to receive.
 Rabbitman49
Joined: 10/20/2005
Msg: 18
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/10/2009 6:53:25 PM
What $13.00/paycheck? I'm self-employed, so I don't get a tax break. The deal applies only to employees, not business owners. ...And even though I make less than $150k/year, my income taxes in 2009 are going to double! Yes, that's a great deal indeed.
 cncgandolf
Joined: 7/29/2007
Msg: 19
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/10/2009 7:35:16 PM
"even though I make less than $150k/year, my income taxes in 2009 are going to double! Yes, that's a great deal indeed."

What is your source for that claim? Every source I have read has those of us business owners and self employed under $250k as paying less not more. So, naturally, I am curious to hear of a source that says differently.
 Rabbitman49
Joined: 10/20/2005
Msg: 20
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/11/2009 7:21:09 PM
RE #47:
What is your source for that claim?

1) Certain expiring benefits in the tax code that the current administration is letting expire.
2) AMT (the alternative minimum tax). Really hits property owners, as state/local taxes are NOT deductible under it. This one is the real killer as it resets in 2009 back to 2000 levels.
3) The charities I historically contributed to have gone out of business. This is the easiest one to fix, but requires money (or property) on hand, not merely owed.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 21
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/13/2009 4:42:30 PM
TWO wars! At that rate, World War II must have been at least TWENTY wars. Funny it's never been called World "Wars" II. Maybe people have always referred to Burma, the Pacific, Africa, Europe, etc. as "theaters" in the same war because they weren't trying to play tricks with words to distort their meaning. Sounds so much more dramatic--and damning--to say the U.S. has TWO WARS going on, than just to say it's waging war against Islamic jihadism in several theaters. But if you don't have facts for the jury, you can always try to snow them with hype instead.

As for the administration's efforts, I'm sure when they say they can't afford to waste a crisis like this, that's just what they mean. What Mr. Obama and people like him believe in is centralizing power in the federal government, and that's what he's doing. These projects, if carried through, will make every American even more subject to central control. Increasingly, in the ordinary things we do--take out loans, buy cars, use health services, etc., we will have less and less personal freedom. All hail to the State!

President Obama's comments during the campaign, lamenting that the Constitution wasn't better adapted to redistributing wealth, are telling. Both the President and Vice-President have taught constitutional law, but neither one seems to have much time for the Constitution. It grants the federal government enumerated rights only, and it happens to be the highest law of this country. Nowhere does the Constitution authorize a totalitarian, redistributionist United States. President Roosevelt was reminded of this fact when the Court held the NRA--the centerpiece of the New Deal--unconstitutional.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 22
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/14/2009 3:31:15 PM
Hmmm ... Let's see. I used to be able to make a deposit of $10,000 with no questions asked. I used to be able to make a phone call overseas in privacy. I used to be able to rest assured that no President could label me an enemy combatant and throw me in jail indefinitely. My parents could smoke pot if they wanted to. (They didn't, but that's beside the point). I used to be able to buy all the gold I wanted to without having to report the transaction to anyone.

These actual infringements on my freedom occurred pursuant to which agenda: Liberal or Conservative?
 Rabbitman49
Joined: 10/20/2005
Msg: 23
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/14/2009 6:39:44 PM
RE #50:
Can someone explain to me what this cr@p all means...
I don't think that even Congress knows, and they wrote it! All 1,200+ pages....

RE #52: As far as the "Bush tax cuts" go and rates, those rates apply to those with income $250k and above. Those aren't the benefits I'm talking about.

The AMT isn't as complicated as it sounds. Congress just likes to make it sound complicated. It's basically a flat tax.


The "stimulus deal" is an economic fraud. Banks aren't lending more than they would without it, and that was supposed to be one of its major purposes. There's no accountability.
 matchlight
Joined: 1/31/2009
Msg: 24
view profile
History
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/14/2009 6:44:46 PM

These actual infringements on my freedom occurred pursuant to which agenda: Liberal or Conservative?


When, specifically, was it legal for your parents to smoke pot, and just how have the relevant laws changed since then? The trend has been just the opposite of what you're suggesting. Well before 1980, the use of marijuana had been decriminalized--you could walk in a police station almost anywhere smoking a joint and not be arrested. That was not the case in the 1950's and '60's, when people routinely were imprisoned even for possessing marijuana, let alone for selling it.

How has any of the things you mentioned infringed your freedom, in practice? Can you name even one American citizen President Bush wrongly named an enemy combatant or wrongly detained? If you can, please do. And have you really suffered any injury in making any of the financial transactions you mention?

Why would any U.S. official listen in on a phone call you or I made overseas? I don't believe the Patriot Act authorizes that except for calls to the U.S. made overseas by people there is good reason to believe are jihadists. FISA is an outmoded joke, and the politicians and columnists who insist on complying with it know very well that severely hampers our ability to track jihadists. I believe that's just what they hope it will do.

As a conservative, I regret ALL government intrusions on personal liberties that aren't clearly authorized by the Constitution. But I also realize that when our national security is clearly threatened, some intrusions we shouldn't otherwise tolerate become necessary. Justice Rehnquist wrote two books on just this subject--inter armas silent leges. And I agree with the line, from a Supreme Court decision, that "the Constitution is not a suicide pact." But apparently you think 9/11 and the continued efforts of Islamists to kill us don't warrant taking any extraordinary measures to defend ourselves. I think they do.

As to infringing on liberties, anything being done now pales in comparison to the measures Presidents Wilson and Roosevelt--both politically progressive--took during the World Wars. Wilson created a federal secret police force that had 250,000 members by 1918. Its members arrested 50,000 men (80% of whom were later released for lack of evidence) for resisting the draft, in a single raid in New York. Wilson also authorized part of this force to act as a vigilance committee, with very broad--and very doubtful authority to spy on and arrest U.S. citizens. And that is only the beginning of the drastic measures he took to protect against possible German sympathizers.

Even before the war, FDR and his advisors had pushed forward the greatest experiment in social planning the U.S. had ever seen before now. When the Supreme Court frustrated his will by invalidating the NRA, FDR threatened to enlarge the Court to twelve Justices. And as Commander-in-Chief, he was also completely responsible for the Army's internment of Japanese-Americans. I think that was just a trifle more draconian than checking on bank deposits over $10,000, but you may not agree. He also orchestrated the trial and execution (as "unlawful combatants") of captured Nazi saboteurs. He made so clear to his AG that he wanted them dealt with that the man nearly resigned, out of concern Roosevelt was telling him to disregard the law. One of the men electrocuted may have been a U.S. citizen, and the government tried, convicted, and imprisoned his father and uncle for the crime of treason.

I'm no great admirer of President Bush, and he is very far from being a conservative. But conservatives favor less centralized government and are guided by the same political ideals the Framers believed in. "That which governs best, governs least." Our Constitution reflects those ideals by granting the United States only certain enumerated powers. Apparently a large part of our population is either ignorant of that fact, or has contempt for our laws. I suspect both are true.

Unprincipled and mediocre educators have--I believe intentionally--taught millions of people who live here contempt for dead white men and their thoughts. And the self-esteem they've told their students they deserve has made them foolishly sure they know better than any Locke, or Smith, or Montesqueue, or Jefferson, or Monroe, or whatever other irrelevant DWM you want to name! No wonder we see these people constantly running our country down and cheering for our adversaries.

People who call themselves progressive or liberal tend to have less faith in individual decisions, private charity, religious traditions, and democracy. Instead, they tend to place their faith in a unified, centralized government, guided by experts. This government, ideally, "comes together" and gets things done, and what it does affects many, or even most aspects of its citizens' lives.


What these progressives often fail to realize, however good their intentions, is that this "totalitarian" (in the sense of "all-encompassing") model of government is fundamentally incompatible with American tradition and law. It is for some foreign country, one the people who designed and created this country never meant it to be. They also seem oblivious to the ease with which totalitarian governments can use the utopian promise of centralized social planning to justify evil acts. That is a mind-boggling blindness, considering the awful, lurid examples 20th century Russia, Germany, and Italy provide.
 AceOfSpace
Joined: 5/28/2007
Msg: 25
The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?
Posted: 3/15/2009 9:42:22 AM
I'm no great admirer of President Bush, and he is very far from being a conservative.


Actually, I think he represents the conservative approach _in_practice_ quite well indeed.


But conservatives favor less centralized government and are guided by the same political ideals the Framers believed in. "That which governs best, governs least." Our Constitution reflects those ideals by granting the United States only certain enumerated powers. Apparently a large part of our population is either ignorant of that fact, or has contempt for our laws. I suspect both are true.


This is certainly what conservative claim. But when it comes right down to it, the so-called conservatives just have a different menu of governmental intrusions that they not only are willing to tolerate, but actively advocate. The Drug War, bans on abortion, bans on scientific research, the Patriot Act. In fact, if you can find a way to make something sound patriotic, you can get conservatives to go along with just about anything.

Unprincipled and mediocre educators have--I believe intentionally--taught millions of people who live here contempt for dead white men and their thoughts.


Well, if that has occurred then it was because of an uncritical acceptance of a Marxist distortion of what started out as a very good concept--increased representation and inclusivity. Those dead white men remain relevant, but there are also other important contributors to our cultural heritage that should not be ignored. Of course, what the conservative "black-and-white" label it pejoratively and then dismiss it if it doesn't fit our worldview approach does is throw out the baby with the bathwater. If we are a representative democracy, then broader representation and inclusion strengthens us, even if it means that we adapt in ways that are unfamiliar.


And the self-esteem they've told their students they deserve has made them foolishly sure they know better than any Locke, or Smith, or Montesqueue, or Jefferson, or Monroe, or whatever other irrelevant DWM you want to name! No wonder we see these people constantly running our country down and cheering for our adversaries.


Well, this isn't an either-or proposition. Self-esteem earned through progressively higher achievement is not incompatible with the wisdom of our predecessors.


People who call themselves progressive or liberal tend to have less faith in individual decisions, private charity, religious traditions, and democracy. Instead, they tend to place their faith in a unified, centralized government, guided by experts. This government, ideally, "comes together" and gets things done, and what it does affects many, or even most aspects of its citizens' lives.


Well, which do you prefer? Experts with some scientific backing or religious authority? Because conservatives don't seem shy at all about proposing sweeping interventions on the basis of religious authority.

Don't get me wrong. Unthinking liberal dogmatists are dangerous and damaging. But so are conservative dogmatists.

Whoever said that we are involved in a war between moderates and extremists was right. However, we aren't going to win that war either by favoring one extreme over the other, or by desperately trying to make nice while ignoring history. If we are going to get through the changes that are coming with some semblance of civilization, we're going to have to identify the principles that make for effective moderation and hold to those. Otherwise, the conservatives will chip away at our rights on the one hand and the liberals will do so on the other, and eventually we will neither have the freedom, nor the resource base, to move at all.


They also seem oblivious to the ease with which totalitarian governments can use the utopian promise of centralized social planning to justify evil acts. That is a mind-boggling blindness, considering the awful, lurid examples 20th century Russia, Germany, and Italy provide.


I couldn't agree with you more on this point. However, let me also point out that Fascism, just one of those horrifying and lurid examples, pitched itself as a conservative ideology.
Show ALL Forums  > California  > The latest stimulus 'deal' -- a deal or a steal?