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 Post subject: Doomed To Repeat It?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:25 pm 
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I'd heard some scuttlebutt about the "tea parties," but after reading this article, I'm appalled by the ignorance of using the original Tea Party to protest government spending. Obviously, the meaning of the event has been lost to the annuls of history, and the morons in the Republican party.



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 7:51 pm 
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Well, what I find most astounding is how there are a bunch of middle class people protesting against tax cuts for the middle class. Their taxes are literally going down, and they are protesting it.

It is literally dumbfounding. They are upset that the richest 1% of our culture is having their tax rate increased from 36% to 39%. Hell, under Eisenhower the tax rate for that group was 90%.

I have to imagine they have no idea what is actually going on.



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In other words, I remember that it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and deal with it best I can.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 1:49 am 
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It's not so much the tax cuts that they are rallying against, but the increase of the size of government, and the use of taxes as a way of redistrubiting personal wealth. Granted, it is a hard thing to say, after the previous GOP administration, and the last GOP Congress was just as bad, thus the lack of trust by some in the public by GOP statements against big government. However, it is not just something that comes from a single side of the political spectrum, even though admitedly it has origins on the right side.

I for one, although I don't earn enough to have my taxes increased, don't enjoy the idea of an expanded Federal Government, which already is to large in some areas, and neglectful in other areas. Furthermore, the State Government grows even though it knows that its income was projected to decrease, thus the NEED for higher taxes.
How can anyone expect the government to grow when there is less people, across the board, who have an income to pay taxes?
Eventually those who are in hire income brackets, who can afford to move to more tax friendly areas, will move.

If we are going to fund this continued growth by increasing the Federal Debt, it will have to be paid. And worse, the decision makers who are creating this debt, will have long since died, before the debt is paid off. Leaving it to future generations to pay the burdon that they leave for them.



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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 12:51 pm 
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I think the original poster was amazed that people were calling their protests, "Tea Parties" when the original Boston Tea Party was a protest against taxation without representation.

Protesting the size of the federal government or the tax rates on individuals is fine (albeit kinda dumb in my book), but come up with an original name for it and don't conflate it with an iconic revolutionary event in our history that has nothing to do with the principles you are espousing.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 2:22 pm 
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JALU3 wrote:
It's not so much the tax cuts that they are rallying against, but the increase of the size of government, and the use of taxes as a way of redistrubiting personal wealth. Granted, it is a hard thing to say, after the previous GOP administration, and the last GOP Congress was just as bad, thus the lack of trust by some in the public by GOP statements against big government. However, it is not just something that comes from a single side of the political spectrum, even though admitedly it has origins on the right side.

I for one, although I don't earn enough to have my taxes increased, don't enjoy the idea of an expanded Federal Government, which already is to large in some areas, and neglectful in other areas. Furthermore, the State Government grows even though it knows that its income was projected to decrease, thus the NEED for higher taxes.
How can anyone expect the government to grow when there is less people, across the board, who have an income to pay taxes?
Eventually those who are in hire income brackets, who can afford to move to more tax friendly areas, will move.

If we are going to fund this continued growth by increasing the Federal Debt, it will have to be paid. And worse, the decision makers who are creating this debt, will have long since died, before the debt is paid off. Leaving it to future generations to pay the burdon that they leave for them.


The purpose of the current spending isn't to create growth, but to stabilize the market. We had the potential to drop into a 20's era style depression. Every economist was saying that. The government had no choice really. It had to be done. This spending has a focus to drive down the national debt in the long run. If you look at the plan the administration has, it involves tons of spending to stabilize, and then cutting the national debt in half in within the next 6 to 10 years.

I don't think the problem is a government that is big or small. That shouldn't be the goal. The goal should be to have the government provide the services we want efficiently. Government isn't bad, but inefficient government is. This is the one instance where size doesn't really matter.



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Whenever I get confused about D&D alignment morality, I just imagine Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Ghandi arm wrestling shirtless on the back of a killer whale.

In other words, I remember that it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and deal with it best I can.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2009 7:12 pm 
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Government, is always going to be more inefficient than private businesses, and although there are certain industries and activities which I would not trust outside of the public trust, I think the best government is the smallest government possible. This is why I disagree with some of my party's platform, and a significant part of the other major party's platform.

The problem with what some on my side would term the "Porkulus", what is officially abbreviated as the ARRA, is that a significant portion of it was aimed at new government programs that weren't tied to said economic recovery. Yet, some of the programs that were suppose to be tied to economic recovery I believe will only keep people on the given government assistance longer than if said programs remained in their previous form (which was created by the Democrat President and GOP Congress). Furthermore, government programs don't create sustainable employment that is self sufficient, rather it creates government programs and projects that will require increase taxation to pay for, which will only take away more funds for businesses to create new jobs and economic growth. In the end those programs and projects will have to either end when funding via taxation dries up, or increase taxation to pay for it.

There is something said by the late former President Ronald Reagan, "The closest thing to immortality on this earth is a federal government program.". That is even if the program is ineffective, woes objective is duplicated by another program, or has finished its stated goals, more likely than not the program will continue. It is very rare that a government program ends. Case in point, we all remember how we all got a small tax deduction for a federal phone luxury tax. You all remember what it was for? That's right, it was to help pay for the Spanish-American War.

I do see why some would oppose the usage of the name which these protest were held under, just as some would oppose the usage of the term Minutemen by anti-illegal immigration groups. However, they are free to use that term as they see fit, just as anyone is free to change their legal sex on government documents.
Remember, the First Amendment is designed to protect said speech, practice of religion, etc. that you don't agree with, not that that you do.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 10:50 am 
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JALU3 wrote:
I do see why some would oppose the usage of the name which these protest were held under, just as some would oppose the usage of the term Minutemen by anti-illegal immigration groups. However, they are free to use that term as they see fit, just as anyone is free to change their legal sex on government documents.
Remember, the First Amendment is designed to protect said speech, practice of religion, etc. that you don't agree with, not that that you do.


What you appear to be arguing for here is Orwellian doublespeak. That is, using "words" to mean something other than what they were originally intended for in order to lend legitimacy to your cause.

You are putting words in my mouth by saying they don't have the right to say stupid things under the first amendment. People can call things whatever they want to, but it debases the language and the claim to legitimacy when discussing policy issues if you use poorly devised and misleading rhetoric. Unfortunately, the Republican party and its members seem incapable of having adult conversations about real policy issues without resorting to all sorts of crass ad hominem attacks, scare tactics, and baseless lies.

I would note that I am a fiscal conservative and think the previous and current administration are doing a terrible job of addressing the banking collapse and associated bailout. I would support conservatives of the George H.W. Bush mold who raise taxes and actually believe in having government pay for itself in the here and now rather than spending beyond our means in good times and bad. Unfortunately, Republicans think Reagan is the better role model, despite his chronic deficit spending and unwavering belief that tax cuts are always the answer to every problem.


End Rant.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 2:51 pm 
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JALU3 wrote:
Government, is always going to be more inefficient than private businesses.


How much does the health insurance industry spend on administrative costs each year? 40% of its budget.

With that in mind, take a guess at how much Medicare spends on administrative costs. 50%? Maybe 60%? If you guessed that you would be wrong. Medicare actually spends 2% per year.

Let's look at all the private contractors in Iraq. The typical soldier gets paid between 25k to 35k per year. Any idea how much a contractor gets paid in Irag? About 75K to 130K per year.

If I mail a 15 pound package from San Francisco to Emporia, KS which is 11x8.5x5.5 inches via UPS, it will cost me $42.30 to get it there in three days. If I send it priority mail flat-rate through the U.S. Postal Service, it will cost me $10.35.

The government can always do things cheaper because they aren't driven by profit. I wouldn't want the government to handle everything, that would just be silly, but the government is a more efficient organization, because they are always expected to make due with less. Could the government become more efficient? The government can always be more efficient, but don't sit there and think that private businesses ever have your best interest at heart. All they care about is profit, and some things shouldn't be left to profit.

And really, the government can't create a sustainable job? Really? I think our grandparents who walked away from the New Deal with skills and the means to start very successful businesses. The existence of the modern day middle class can be directly attributed to the New Deal.

I understand caution with government spending, but the government isn't your enemy, it is your representative. If it is ineffectual, then there is no one to blame but yourself for not working to make it effective.



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Whenever I get confused about D&D alignment morality, I just imagine Abraham Lincoln and Mahatma Ghandi arm wrestling shirtless on the back of a killer whale.

In other words, I remember that it doesn't really make a whole lot of sense and deal with it best I can.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:23 pm 
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Count Zero wrote:
If I mail a 15 pound package from San Francisco to Emporia, KS which is 11x8.5x5.5 inches via UPS, it will cost me $42.30 to get it there in three days. If I send it priority mail flat-rate through the U.S. Postal Service, it will cost me $10.35.



Just a point of fact, the post office was privatized a few years ago...



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:52 pm 
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Drew wrote:
Just a point of fact, the post office was privatized a few years ago...


Yes, but with strict government oversight. Everytime they raise the price of postage it has to first be government approved; the no-Saturday delivery that you have heard of is not in effect because it has not been ok'd (yet). So while the USPS is run by a private organization it does not have the freedom that, say, UPS or FedEx has.



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:47 pm 
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Yes, but it's a poor example of government efficiency. The reason it was privatized was because it was more efficient to, well, privatize it. So it's a bad example... Just saying.



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 3:24 am 
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Uber_snotling wrote:
What you appear to be arguing for here is Orwellian doublespeak. That is, using "words" to mean something other than what they were originally intended for in order to lend legitimacy to your cause.

You are putting words in my mouth by saying they don't have the right to say stupid things under the first amendment. People can call things whatever they want to, but it debases the language and the claim to legitimacy when discussing policy issues if you use poorly devised and misleading rhetoric. Unfortunately, the Republican party and its members seem incapable of having adult conversations about real policy issues with resorting to all sorts of crass ad hominem attacks, scare tactics, and baseless lies.

Did I say that you said those things? No I didn't, and I am sorry that you felt that my statement was a personal attack on your previous statement, as it was not ment to be that way. Rather, it was a statement of fact. Did I say that I agree with it? If you think I did, that is a poor assumption, and I am sorry you went about assuming things.

It is my feeling that this part of your response didn't address my response which I felt that Count Zero was more substantive in doing so. It makes me wonder if your response would have been as visceral if my view point was not right of center.

Uber_snotling wrote:
I would note that I am a fiscal conservative and think the previous and current administration are doing a terrible job of addressing the banking collapse and associated bailout. I would support conservatives of the George H.W. Bush mold who raise taxes and actually believe in having government pay for itself in the here and now rather than spending beyond our means in good times and bad. Unfortunately, Republicans think Reagan is the better role model, despite his chronic deficit spending and unwavering belief that tax cuts are always the answer to every problem.

One your first point I think we can find that we are in mutual agreement. A government that cannot pay for itself in the end is detrimental to the people which it is suppose to serve. However, I do not agree that former President G. H.W. Bush is the best mold for my party. Although he has served our country valorously and at times selflessly, I believe that he didn't have the strength of will to attempt to push his agenda, that even his predecessor former President Clinton (even with his faults) was able to do in the face of an oppositely controlled Congress. As for the late former President Reagan, although there were certain decisions that I do not agree with, his attempt to simplify the tax code, his actions of diplomatic engagement while increasing the military capability of the nation in the face of a political ideological foe, and his usage of tax cuts to free capital for businesses to invest in the face of a difficult recession were actions which I think assisted in the growth of his legacy.

Count Zero wrote:
How much does the health insurance industry spend on administrative costs each year? 40% of its budget.

With that in mind, take a guess at how much Medicare spends on administrative costs. 50%? Maybe 60%? If you guessed that you would be wrong. Medicare actually spends 2% per year.

Can you please provide a link backing up these figures.
As for the figures though, if they be true, which I have no reason why you'd lie (but I would like verification) is that Medicare does not provide any direct care, but rather acts as a funding source for contracted medical providers. Therefore, they would only have to administer the funds allocation to the care providers. Thus to compare Medicare to say an HMO or some other direct medical provider is poor comparison indeed.

Count Zero wrote:
Let's look at all the private contractors in Iraq. The typical soldier gets paid between 25k to 35k per year. Any idea how much a contractor gets paid in Irag? About 75K to 130K per year.

Ah but what you do not figure into the cost of said soldier is the cost of training and equiping said soldier and additional support cost that is required for that one combat arms soldier to effectively do their tasks. Remember for every Combat Arms soldier there are 8 other Combat Support and Combat Service Support soldiers who provide services that enable that single soldier to be an effective warfighter. That soldier also had to be trained and equiped, transported, fed, and provided care.
Therefore the cost of said soldier is far greater than just their wage determined by their military pay scale.

Count Zero wrote:
If I mail a 15 pound package from San Francisco to Emporia, KS which is 11x8.5x5.5 inches via UPS, it will cost me $42.30 to get it there in three days. If I send it priority mail flat-rate through the U.S. Postal Service, it will cost me $10.35.

On this point, I cannot, at this time, provide an effective counter, and thus credit is due.
As stated by a previous poster USPS is a government chartered, now private business entity, which as we have seen has not been able to keep in the black, thus the requests to raise rates and/or reduce services. Therefore does this mean that they are still receiving government financial support?

Count Zero wrote:
The government can always do things cheaper because they aren't driven by profit. I wouldn't want the government to handle everything, that would just be silly, but the government is a more efficient organization, because they are always expected to make due with less. Could the government become more efficient? The government can always be more efficient, but don't sit there and think that private businesses ever have your best interest at heart. All they care about is profit, and some things shouldn't be left to profit.

I will not argue with you that businesses are not suppose to be profitable, and the goal of a business is to get the largest profit margin for the smallest cost possible. However, I would state that government is not the most efficient, because due to the lack of competition there is no drive to reduce cost of operation, as they are only motivated to continue to exists (thus the nature of beuracracy (and how it is often a self-serving beast)).
Only in the face of watchful and attentive elected officials is government constrained in increasing the cost of operations. Yet, the problem lies in government officials who do not serve their constituents by allowing government to grow thus requiring the government to take away from the constituents more of their private wealth via taxation, in order for the government to grow. That is less freedom of action available due to the constituents due to less private wealth which to excersize said actions.

Count Zero wrote:
And really, the government can't create a sustainable job? Really? I think our grandparents who walked away from the New Deal with skills and the means to start very successful businesses. The existence of the modern day middle class can be directly attributed to the New Deal.

No it cannot. Once those programs were over, and the funding for those programs had ended, those jobs did not sustain themselves. Where is the self sustaining, not via taxation, Civil Conservation Corps? Where is the self sustaining, not via taxation, Civil Works Administration?
I would counter that what brought the US out of the Great Depression, and provided the skills, drive, and ability for the modern day middle class to grow to what it was today was due to World War II; especialy connected to the technical abilities learned by former servicemembers, the drive to build a new life after such devestation, and the GI Bill which allowed millions of returning veterans to focus that drive into educations which launched hundreds if not thousands of businesses.

Count Zero wrote:
I understand caution with government spending, but the government isn't your enemy, it is your representative. If it is ineffectual, then there is no one to blame but yourself for not working to make it effective.

Government, especially a representative Government is definatly not an enemy per say. The problem begins when people are not educated and attentive of said government and the officials who are suppose to be elected to serve the constituents bests interests. This is where you get a difference between Statesmen and Politicians. I can agree the government we have to day is a product of the general populations lack of attention to it, and thus the entirity of the voting population has its own share of blame.
Personally I think this is a problem with how we, the general population, view our own Citizenship. Many people see it as a passive concept, more of a burden than anything. Where as I see Citizenship to be an active part of being in a mutual society, which holds us to certain duties and responsibilities which if everyone attended to them would create a more effective and better government than that we have today. But that takes effort, and lets face it, most people aren't willing to invest that effort in what they see as someone elses problem.



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 6:34 am 
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I must agree on JALU3's last point, as it's a view I've held for quite some time, though much more broadly than just citizenship. I cannot speak for the rest of the world, but certainly we in the United States seem to have decided that personal responsibility is optional. This is one of the many reasons I respect those in uniform, be they soldiers, firefighters, or police officers. They have accepted a heavy duty as their personal responsibility, allowing the majority of us to enjoy the many rights granted us by our Constitution.

Unfortunately, this (perceived, by me) lack of personal responsibility has led to a sense of entitlement amongst the populace, where any wrong-doing will inevitably lead to (in one form or another) a misinterpretation of one Constitiutional Amendment or another. We claim these rights as though we are due them no matter our actions. To this, I say bullocks!

To paraphrase a comic book meme, with rights should come great responsibility. To make my case, I'll examine two of the most frequently quoted/approached amendments, free speech/press, and right to bear arms.

It is guaranteed by the Constitution that the government shall make no law hindering the press, but shouldn't the press, and the populace it informs, accept that sometimes information must be limited for the good of the people? For instance, in this era, when information is a mere few keystrokes away, is it prudent for the press to release the name of the accused, when public opinion may try and convict him, even if a jury of his peers acquits? When wireless and satellite connections are so easy to come by, why not wait to report our military's movements until after the action is completed, so the enemy is left unawares?

Why is it that no one seems to recall the opening caveat to the right to bear arms? "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State . . . ." The NRA, amongst other gun rights groups, have long railed against gun regulation. Why? Is it such a hardship to register your rifles and handguns? If you own guns, is it such a major inconvenience to buy trigger locks for them, so your children don't accidentally shoot themselves, or take the gun to school and shoot (intentionally or not) their classmates?

I'll admit, I'm not the best citizen. I'm not the most informed citizen, either. But at least I'm trying.



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