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Shark Bait
09-16-2008, 08:19 PM
Interesting article on McCain's plan to reform health care insurance (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/opinion/16herbert.html?em). :eek:

Crash
09-16-2008, 08:32 PM
The first two paragraphs of this story ought to catch the eye of just about every working person in the US. Read on and wonder.

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 08:41 PM
Interesting article on McCain's plan to reform health care insurance (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/16/opinion/16herbert.html?em). :eek:

Not necessarily a bad thing! The article is very slanted. The fact is Health care sucks and the reason it sucks is the costs to the employer have gotten so unfairly high that the employer manages it by either selecting sub par insurance or cutting back wages or both. Oh, but you say you are union or fixed salary so employer can't cut back your paycheck? See ya! New employees are much cheaper! The health care providers need to be brought back down to manageable levels....how better than to have those who have previously been out of the loop suddenly start doing the math because what they pay out of pocket might be cheaper in the long run than the insurance pirates siphon from the workforce?

Groucho
09-16-2008, 08:48 PM
Just another example of giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan.

I would like to know how the McCain plan is supposed to help our country. I am not against private health care, nor do I think that the system is perfect now (far from it), I am against taxing more of our wages to justify increasing the national debt. I guess we need more money to pay the severance of the Fannie May-Freddie Mac CEO's when they get their $6+ million severance each for running their respective companies into the ground and sending thousands of people into foreclosure. 'Course we could just print more money, reducing the value of the dollar further and tell everyone the principal features of our economy are "strong"...:blah::blah::blah:

Shark Bait
09-16-2008, 08:50 PM
I do agree that the current system is horrible, too. But, as the article points out, as we see our benefit taxes rise we'll elect less coverage. And could mean the end of health care insurance all together.

Taxing employer-paid health benefits is the first step in this transition, the equivalent of injecting poison into the system. It’s the beginning of the end.

When younger, healthier workers start seeing additional taxes taken out of their paychecks, some (perhaps many) will opt out of the employer-based plans — either to buy cheaper insurance on their own or to go without coverage.

That will leave employers with a pool of older, less healthy workers to cover. That coverage will necessarily be more expensive, which will encourage more and more employers to give up on the idea of providing coverage at all.

The upshot is that many more Americans — millions more — will find themselves on their own in the bewildering and often treacherous health insurance marketplace. As Senator McCain has said: “I believe the key to real reform is to restore control over our health care system to the patients themselves.”

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 08:52 PM
Just another example of giving Uncle Sam an interest free loan.

I would like to know how the McCain plan is supposed to help our country. I guess we need more money to pay the severance of the Fannie May-Freddie Mac CEO's when they get their $6+ million severance each for running their respective companies into the ground and sending thousands of people into foreclosure. 'Course we could just print more money, reducing the value of the dollar further and tell everyone the principal features of our economy are "strong"...:blah::blah::blah:

True Dat! Only way to start getting the US back on the up is outlaw credit cards and better yet teach the kids in school how to balance checkbooks! :blah:

Groucho
09-16-2008, 08:55 PM
True Dat! Only way to start getting the US back on the up is outlaw credit cards and better yet teach the kids in school how to balance checkbooks! :blah:

I couldn't agree more with your statement!

However, it will be hard to convince those youngsters who see that the value of their credit is less than the value of a dollar saved.

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 08:58 PM
I do agree that the current system is horrible, too. But, as the article points out, as we see our benefit taxes rise we'll elect less coverage. And could mean the end of health care insurance all together.




So your saying you prefer that your employer decides how much health care you need based on what they are willing to pay for?

Supply and demand! Health care won't disappear....too dang much profit in it. It will just be forced to reform! I'm all for that! :thumb::thumb:

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 09:03 PM
I couldn't agree more with your statement!

However, it will be hard to convince those youngsters who see that the value of their credit is less than the value of a dollar saved.


Heard a good quote the other day referancing the drop in Wall Street and banks going under....

" My 6 year old son knows not to lend money to someone who couldn't pay him back! Why can't the banks figure that out?"

Shark Bait
09-16-2008, 09:16 PM
So your saying you prefer that your employer decides how much health care you need based on what they are willing to pay for?

Supply and demand! Health care won't disappear....too dang much profit in it. It will just be forced to reform! I'm all for that! :thumb::thumb:

I'd be all for eliminating the insurance companies entirely. I just don't want to be taxed on health care insurance as a benefit. I'd rather go the way of socialized medicine.

Uncle Ben
09-16-2008, 09:40 PM
I'd be all for eliminating the insurance companies entirely. I just don't want to be taxed on health care insurance as a benefit. I'd rather go the way of socialized medicine.

I do hear what you saying and I agree as services are not taxed now but if they are listed as your income they will be. The bigger picture you don't see is you are already paying dearly for healthcare and no, you're not taxed on that because you never get that money in your paycheck anyway. No one could push a tax on services without a vote.

Beater
09-17-2008, 06:46 AM
gee ub, I think we found one of your hot buttons...

I have experienced socialized healthcare, in the military. If you didn't think that was enough or flexible enough, and in some cases it wasn't due locations, they offered a special plan through an hmo as a supplement. You know what? it was great. Sure it wasn't the same care you would get if you were super rich, but you were cared for. Period. You never thought twice about your kids or you going to the doctor or dentist.

My personal coverage went up due to a re-structuring in the plan that AT&T was willing to pay by around 4k this year in additional costs, co-pay changes and out of pocket expenditures. That increase was STILL a better value than the other plans. It's getting crazy out there.

j

Uncle Ben
09-17-2008, 07:17 AM
Your right John, it is a hot spot. As a company with a small amount of employee's I get hit hard by the health care BS. I have to pay a competitive wage to keep good employees but the company health care I'm required to pay is like paying a whole different employee and to top it off that worker should be fired! Large companies get a volume break so they can offer great beni packages but us little guys again get the bullet. My number 1 guy has his own health care so I don't provide it for him. He really likes his paycheck as it's way above the norm. I pay him on the same scale as everyone else. His health care is greatly superior to what I would have provided him and it cost's him less than I would have slid back on his pay scale. Employers and employees are getting ripped off because gubment had to mess with something they shouldn't have! I am well versed in McCains HC plan and I wish Obama had a clue what one was. One thing very acurate in the article Chris posted is McCains plan WILL tip the HC system on it's side. That is a VERY GOOD THING! :blah: ;)


gee ub, I think we found one of your hot buttons...

I have experienced socialized healthcare, in the military. If you didn't think that was enough or flexible enough, and in some cases it wasn't due locations, they offered a special plan through an hmo as a supplement. You know what? it was great. Sure it wasn't the same care you would get if you were super rich, but you were cared for. Period. You never thought twice about your kids or you going to the doctor or dentist.

My personal coverage went up due to a re-structuring in the plan that AT&T was willing to pay by around 4k this year in additional costs, co-pay changes and out of pocket expenditures. That increase was STILL a better value than the other plans. It's getting crazy out there.

j

nuclearlemon
09-17-2008, 08:51 AM
hhhmmm....don't have health insurance, so i guess it doesn't affect me :rolleyes:

RockRunner
09-17-2008, 09:11 AM
True Dat! Only way to start getting the US back on the up is outlaw credit cards and better yet teach the kids in school how to balance checkbooks! :blah: :thumb:

Somewhat of topic but.........

One of the best things we can do for our future. Last night at the Carrie Underwood show, My wife wanted to go ;), there were kids handing over CC's buying $35-45 t-shirts of their Idol Carrie.

Now ask that 14 year old how long he or she would have to work to pay for that shirt??? They wouldn't have a clue. Mom and dad just give us the cards and we buy what we want. I bet Mom and dad even forgot what it takes to pay for these things.

We need to go back to CASH! You get your paycheck from your boss on Friday and you go to the bank and deposit it. Get the cash you need for the week and the rest stays in the bank to pay the bills. The auto deposit has really taken the the "real money feel" from the process. With all these credit lines and CC's we just spend what we want and somehow it is covered until....................we reach our CC limits or worse your job is gone and you have to start paying the CC cards.

We have gotten desensitized, we don't remember what real money is like. Everything we buy we just hand them a card, be it debit or credit it just doesn't matter. We praise people that have CC cards that are worn out like they are heroes or something.

If people would go back to cash they would be far more fiscally responsible compared to CC or Debit cards. Those $20 bills disappear at an alarming rate and it is only getting worse.

Last night concert;

Tickets $150.00
Parking $ 10.00
Dinner $ 21.02 Quesadilla's one beer and one Ice tea (Not much food etc.)
Drinks $ 30.00 Two beers each

Total $211.02 For two people to go to a concert. :rolleyes:

This is crazy :eek:

Sorry for the rant, Rant OFF :blah::blah:, back OT

Uncle Ben
09-17-2008, 09:17 AM
Tom, You totally get it! Any plans for running for office? :thumb::thumb:

Deleted-Too far off topic and TMI....

RockRunner
09-17-2008, 09:51 AM
Tom, You totally get it! Any plans for running for office? :thumb::thumb:



I would love to but I do not think the "Rich folks" would like me. :rolleyes:

Also I may have one or ten skeletons in my closet :o

Maddmatt
09-17-2008, 10:07 AM
Wow, UB, I usually stay out of these discussions, but man, a lot of people (myself included) respect you and your opinions a great deal, and I can't let your comments go without responding.

Here is the one fundamental reason why McCain's plan can't work. Human beings, are, at heart, weak, greedy, self-serving individuals. Need proof? Turn on the news. How's the de-regulated insurance and mortgage industries doing today? You think the lawyers that run the insurance/health care industry are magically altruistic?

Government, in my opinion, should be there only to handle what an individual can't handle on their own. That doesn't include your guns, or my wife's uterus, or some dead and dying stem cells, but it does include representing the interests of the common citizen against more powerful forces that are aligned against him/her.

Big business is one of those forces. Big health care is one of the biggest, and its not regulation that drove prices out of control, it's greed.

I've seen the health care issue from three different sides over the last few years, here's a quick summary.

1) I had P&L responsibility for a division (about 12%) of a 50 year old $150million company that lost all healthcare because it had too many old people on the books. To this day I can't believe it wasn't illegal, but we had too many retired members of the "greatest generation" (that's a rant for another time) who's retirement package included not only a pension, but continuing healthcare. Same problem GM is facing, and to a greater extent Social Security, but on a much smaller scale. We didn't have enough young people paying into the system without taking out, and too many old people taking out without paying in, and it collapsed like a house of cards. Our insurance company sent us a registered letter saying thank you for your 40 years of partnership, but as of Jan. 01 you and all 200+ other employees would be without health insurance of any kind. Have a nice day.

Like it or not we are a society, and a society requires the strong to support the weak. How long would it have taken me to remove myself from the health care roll when I was 22 years old, if it would have increased my paycheck by $25? 30 seconds? A minute and half? You'll see mass exodus of young healthy people from the system, and costs won't come down - they are entrenched. That means health care for the elderly and seriously ill will dissolve, virtually overnight. I've got 5 immediate family members in the generation above me and two kids below me - I can't support them all.

2) I was with a much smaller, younger company that used a third party provider to create a healthcare system, combining our company with hundreds of other to negotiate competitive health care. It costs a big chunk of payroll, approx 30% when all was said and done, but at the end of the day somebody was making sure we followed OSHA rules, safety training was done properly, the paychecks were issued on time and correctly and the health insurance was awesome, and each employee only saw a relatively small cut from their paycheck (about $280/month for full medical, dental and vision for a family of four with a $20 deductible). Honestly, that system provided by Administaff (there are others as well) worked great and in my mind would be a model for a larger, national plan. They negotiated acceptable rates, handled the paperwork and took care of the problems. Case in point, I had my once every five year visit with the backdoor rotor-rooter man that those of us of a certain age have come to expect every 5 years or so, Doctor's price: $5800 - Negotiated price: $3500, my cost: $100. That means that at least 53 young healthy people paid in their $70 monthly single coverage that month to cover my expense.

The downside is that like social security, this system requires two things. Lots of healthy young people paying in (which McCain's program will eliminate almost overnight) and older people staying healthier longer, which required preventative care, which will also be eliminated, due to younger people dropping out of the program.

3) I am now a proud member of the 6% unemployed group in this country. 6% is Carter era numbers. I've spoken with a couple recruiters recently who told me they are seeing in the neighborhood of 50-100 qualified applicants for every position at my level (Executive/VPish) because a lot of people who have jobs also read the paper, so they're covering their bases. Anyway, I had the COBRA option, turned it down as it was about the same monthly cost as a mortgage on a condo in Winter Park, so I had to research my own options. Took two days, but I was able to find health care coverage for my family of four at a similar level for about 1/3 of the COBRA option.

So while I haven't sat in your chair, I have sat in the chairs all around it. Health care is a mess, and way too expensive, McCain's plan, (just like all of his other plans, wake up people) will avoid the real problem and make the situation exponentially worse for my children and eventual grand children.

This country has some serious problems and we need to address them now. That means that no matter who wins you'll pay more taxes next year. It also means the economy is going to get worse before it gets better, again no matter who wins this election. The world is too small and our country is too big for a "sink or swim" Darwinian response to the health care problem. Big business has proven dramatically over the last few days or weeks that it can't be trusted to run itself, and most people don't have the time or training to make the proper choices for health care. That doesn't leave us with a lot of options.

Health care management and oversight needs to be an insulated, tax payer supported, non-profit entity reporting to the Surgeon General (what else does that post do anyway, tell us all to not smoke?). Any other solution lets in PAC money, the system gets skewed in favor of the giver, and we're right back where we are now.

That's my opinion - peace and love :)
-Matt

Red_Chili
09-17-2008, 10:13 AM
I understand the appeal of socialized medicine. I think it is criminal how insurance companies become investment companies - on our dollar (AIG, anyone?). The healthcare system in this country is BROKEN and getting BROKENER.

But just look north, or down under, or east to England, if you want to see what a disaster it can become. Don't tell me about how you heard about how it works better... I have known real individuals who would have died had they not crossed the border. Darwinism applies to services too - and when you remove competition, the less fit survive.

No thanks, no sale.

One of the frustrating things about this election is, I get to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. Whoopee. However, it is CONGRESS that will enact the next administration's policy, and it is CONGRESS that demands our attention. The major employment of Presidents is as Commander in Chief, and directing foreign policy. The rest is a bully pulpit - AKA words.

Take a deeper look into the whole plan (nothing new or radical; this has been bantered about on both sides of the aisle, McCain cannot take credit) before you write it off because the word 'tax' and 'benefit' occurred together. A working plan that will pass Congress without an uprising will not simply take your existing benefits and tax them. Like I say, look at the whole plan - or rather, the several plans that are related - from several sources of analysis.

Groucho
09-17-2008, 10:48 AM
One of the frustrating things about this election is, I get to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea. Whoopee. However, it is CONGRESS that will enact the next administration's policy, and it is CONGRESS that demands our attention. The major employment of Presidents is as Commander in Chief, and directing foreign policy. The rest is a bully pulpit - AKA words.


Absolutely correct, hence my bumper sticker that reads "Vote Third Party". It used to be a vote for third party is the wasted vote, but now the tables are visually turned.

Plus, I believe that our voices are not being heard by our Congressman/Senators. I know too many people who live in the same district as I do who do not believe in the bail-outs of AIG and Freddy/Fannie, but our friend and "neighbor" Ed Perlmutter replied to my fax demanding the stop to the Freddy/Fannie bailout by telling me "this opportunity has to be taken to help our neighbors who got themselves into mortages they couldn't afford". I want to ask that guy how many letters and faxes he got WANTING the bailouts and severances ($70 MILLION for the AIG one according to news today) because I haven't met anyone in my neighborhood who does.:rant: I agree that his position is more complicated than just figuring out what his constituents want in these matters, but isn't it supposed to be a big part? I sure as hell don't want the US taxpayers to be financially responsible for a $70 million severance package to someone who lost in the stock market and drove his charge into the ground so bad it needed a $85+ billion "Loan" to avoid a crash to the market. :blah:

From the wikipedia definition of CONSTITUENT:
"Elected officials tend to believe that responsiveness to their constituents is their highest professional responsibility." This shouldn't just mean reading our faxes and doing what they want anyway.

RockRunner
09-17-2008, 10:53 AM
So back to the topic....why should I as an employer have to spend my employee's money on services that are sub par. Shouldn't my employee have the choice of managing their money for their needs?

That is one of the biggest reasons my parents moved us to the US. In Holland they paid all the costs of their employees, we had 3-5 of them at any given time. The employees paid nothing for insurance but used it as if they were visiting a candy store. With no deductions the employee would go to the hospital with a sniffle or if they had a head ache. Result? Our costs went up.

Now fast forward to the future, here in Denver we had two-three employees when we opened Doggie Delights three years ago we are now down to none. From the day we opened the doors sales have increased in double digits each month followed by each year we have been very fortunate. You would think that a profitable company can afford three sales/labor positions right? Not even close! The choices given us for insurance for a 1-10 person company were to say the least lacking any sort of benefits an employees could use without emptying their own pocket. Co-pays of $100 for a doctor visit, $1000 if you are admitted to the hospital, you would do better paying cash for these services. If we did not offer the insurance option to our employees they would gain nearly 30% in their paycheck. Problem is nearly all employees we interviewed all wanted insurance included in their benefits, did I mention we are a Mom and Pop establishment??

Like UB showed us before, the small business person who keeps the economy rolling can not afford employees without loosing a major percentage of their bottom line. We chose to let our employees go saving the cost of insurance and all the other costs related to having employees. UB did not even mention the Workman's comp cost, another killer. What it came down to was this; do we want to save money for our own future at a decent level and work harder ourselves or do we want to manage three workers and watch our bottom line shrink to single digits of profit if not into the red some months :eek:

The small business owner is not represented by any of the candidates in MY opinion. Everybody always looks at the big picture, how can we help the entire country? How can we make everybody happy?

YOU CAN"T!!! YOU CAN NOT MAKE EVERYBODY HAPPY AT THE SAME TIME!!!!!!!

They, the government/candidates, need to understand that the huge corporations are killing the small industry that supports the largest workforce. If the insurance companies have to make such huge profits for their share holders the government has to understand that the lower class workers are NOT going to have insurance or a job because I want the small profit my company makes. I end up working longer and harder but I make more money. See how that just trickled down??? The huge company wants profits as do I so I cut my workforce as do they. They raise their prices, I first lower my work force and if that still does not work I raise my prices. I am seeing a pattern there do you?

UB I am sorry to hi-jack your thread but just as you have your hot button so do I .

PS I wrote this rant while listening to a Con call regarding the purchase of huge amounts of computers, very interesting..........

RANT OFF!:rant:

Maddmatt
09-17-2008, 10:56 AM
Yeah Bill, I hear you, and you'll notice I was very careful to not say that "socialized" medicine works better, that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about insulated regulation over an entire, competitive industry. You represent Blue Cross, and you want to offer insurance to Americans? Meet the committees requirements and you get your license. This country gave up on a free market economy decades ago, there's no reason to pretend (especially this week) that Adam Smith's invisible hand is still watching over everything.

If McCain's plan was offering to just tax my existing benefits (assuming I had some :p: ) and keep the status quo, it would be better than what it will actually do, which is, as I mentioned before, drive out the people who are propping it up right now.

So you're right, the actual work does get done in Congress and I'm no health care scholar (although I have been watching Glen Beck this week - usually don't like him much, but this week he's mad at EVERYBODY, so it's been entertaining) and I did sit and listen to some long interviews with some important sounding people on NPR last week, comparing and contrasting the two candidates economic and health care plans.

Neither plan sounded great, but the gist of McCain's program for everything is what has become the Republican standard during the last 8 years: Everything fine, don't worry about the future, it won't be your problem. Obama's plans all sounded pretty messy and grim, but that's how real problems get real solutions.

So I guess for me it comes down to personal responsibility. I, for one, would rather start shouldering the burden of the mess this country is in now, rather than put it off, hope that God really does like us better than people in other countries, and assume that everything will be all right. Any problem we're facing now will be exponentially worse in 20 years if we don't start dealing with it yesterday. :blah::blah::blah:

-Matt

Red_Chili
09-17-2008, 11:31 AM
Hey Groucho, that was $70 BILLION, not million. I hate that it had to happen. It had to happen because of inept oversight of mortgage loans and their derivatives. THAT was the real evil and the greed there spread like unregulated cancer. And yes, it was on Bush's watch, but frankly he had very little power (as is usually the case with Presidents and the economy, good or bad). Again, THAT WAS THE ROLE OF CONGRESS who was and is dominated by the other party, but aided and abetted by the Rs. Equal culpability. But once that chain of events was started, there was no choice but to mop up - if you think the economy hurts now, do the math on an AIG collapse. That was not a corporate bailout. It bailed YOU and ME out. Yes really.

Thus is experience gained. You act wisely because you make good decisions. You make good decisions because you made bad decisions. There is no substitute. There is no accelerated program. That is why we need old guys around. (thankfully... :p:)

My major concern is the area where the President has the most power and influence: foreign policy and the armed forces. IMHO, you may disagree, but Bush screwed the pooch here (mostly, not entirely). Let me illustrate my fears from history.

JFK was regarded as a neophyte, and history showed this regard to be dangerously accurate. We almost had a nuclear war because Kennedy wanted to sit down unconditionally with the Soviets, and Khrushchev saw that as weakness he could capitalize on - and did (amazing parallel to Obama's stated foreign policy regarding Iran). So we had the Cuban Missile Crisis.

And this was after Kennedy's TEN YEARS of experience in the House and Senate. Fortunately in his case, he had enough experience to fall back on and add to it quickly. He did not blink when it really counted, having learned his lesson. But it was a HELL OF A GAMBLE and we could have LOST.

Sound familiar? History repeats itself. We are facing an enemy that has no nation, but has the sympathies of nations with, or on the verge of, nuclear weapons. Some of those nations officially tilt toward us, but could very easily tilt starkly the other direction. They actively hate us - for ideological, idealistic, and religious reasons, not because of things we have done (though we have given their propaganda plenty of fodder). They have access to nuclear materials. They regard talk as weakness and fear. They are not as easy to find on a map and confront as Nazi Germany was. If you review their propaganda however, you will shudder to see not only the parallels to Nazi Germany, but the actual use of the same materials. They share the very same goals. Yes really.

The leadership of the Free World absolutely requires executive, military and foreign policy experience. Any solutions do not make good sound bites. The problem is real, complex, thorny, and a matter of survival. IMHO. I am not sure the present candidates are up to the task frankly, but you probably see where I lean, given my choices.

The economy is important, vitally so. But actually having an economy is more so.

(BTW, I am a Kennedy Democrat by preference).

Caribou Sandstorm
09-17-2008, 12:20 PM
I hate to say taxes but I think we need a tax reform that eliminates the IRS and everything you consume has a tax, including food.

That way you capture the illegal population, they have to eat and they have to buy goods and services just like everyone else...

This could cover their healthcare costs....

Caribou Sandstorm
09-17-2008, 12:30 PM
Bill I have to disagree just a bit. I think the mortgage crisis came from two loosening programs..One started by Clinton and then Bush had a program, as well.. Lindsey Graham is one name that keeps coming up as the super lobbyist that helped drive the lossening of legistlation during the last 7 years or so. hence why McCain had to drop him from his campaign, as he was too close to the fire...

McCain was even on the committee that was supposed to regulate this mess but I bet so were plenty of Dems..

We are all in this one together.. But I would say the Dems running congress for the last 18 months or so can not take the entire hit..

My facts might not be perfect here but I think I am pretty close.

Both parties have to come together and figure this out... I also just heard that we might give Georgia (the one next to Russia) like a billion dollars to re build? WTF....

I am not an isolationist but I think right now we need to say hey, sorry we got enough checks we need to write at home...Go ask mother Russia for some help.

Hulk
09-17-2008, 01:59 PM
One of the reasons that I took this job at WildBlue a year ago was to get decent health insurance for my family.

When I ran Idea Shop as my sole income, I had insurance that was quite good, but with a very high deductible -- something like $10,500. I did get the benefits of the negotiated rates, but all our medical expenses were straight out of pocket. If one of our family had needed to go to the hospital, all the expenses after $10,500 would have been paid for at 100% (or 95%, I forget). The problem was that a simple doctor's visit could be anywhere from $75 to $750, depending on the tests that they ran. The price of tests and services are just out of control.

That is one of the biggest reasons my parents moved us to the US. In Holland they paid all the costs of their employees, we had 3-5 of them at any given time. The employees paid nothing for insurance but used it as if they were visiting a candy store. With no deductions the employee would go to the hospital with a sniffle or if they had a head ache. Result? Our costs went up.

There's an easy fix for that: co-pay. If it costs $50 to go to the doctor and another $20 to get a prescription filled for some nasal spray, then you're only going to go to the doctor when your sniffles turn nasty.

Any problem we're facing now will be exponentially worse in 20 years if we don't start dealing with it yesterday.

Guess who else thought that the problem should be addressed now, rather than waiting? Nixon. He wanted to create universal health care in the U.S. Just like Hillary Clinton.

McCain's plan of deregulating the system will have the same fine effects that we've recently enjoyed with the financial industry. In a decade, this will probably result in a gov't bailout that we will all pay for "because we can't let down the elderly." The choice is making some real course corrections now, or keeping driving the entire thing into a sucking black hole. Kind of like Bush has been doing with deficit spending.

UB did not even mention the Workman's comp cost, another killer.

I'll tell you another killer cost: unemployment insurance. Guess who I had to pay it on? Myself. I asked my accountant if I could lay myself off on June 1st, collect unemployment insurance for 3 months, and then hire myself back on Sept. 1. "It doesn't work that way," he said. Then why am I paying for insurance that I can never qualify to collect?

The entire system is set up to screw small businesses. I don't see that getting better under McCain's system.

Bruce Miller
09-17-2008, 02:37 PM
Health insurance should be treated no differently than groceries, auto insurance, or utilities. If you want it or need it and can afford it, you buy it. Forcing the business owner to provide health care insurance has got to be one of the worst burdens placed on businesses, big or small. I would be very happy if I did not have to provide health insurance to employees. The amount of health care premiums our business pays annually would buy a nice 3 bedroom home in the Denver area each year. Insurance and insurance companies are a ripoff. The last thing we need is government intervention or regulations since the less government we have the better off we'll all be.

And Groucho may be correct. I've heard that Martin Sullivan, the CEO of AIG, received a golden parachute of $47 million and I heard on this morning's news it was $70 million. Either way, not bad for mismanaging a business!

Red_Chili
09-17-2008, 08:55 PM
Nope.
$70 Billion. (http://blogs.wsj.com/wallstreetcrisis/2008/09/15/fed-seeks-70-billion-loan-assist-for-aig/)

Chris, I am searching for where we disagree and am not sure I can find it! ;)

Red_Chili
09-17-2008, 08:59 PM
Guess who else thought that the problem should be addressed now, rather than waiting? Nixon. He wanted to create universal health care in the U.S. Just like Hillary Clinton.
And just to balance the irony, Hillary's most recent proposed plan for the healthcare crisis was essentially a Republican alternative proposed to counter her original plan in the 90s! Go figger.

Oh, and before Reagan thought up 'trickle down economics', JFK spearheaded putting it in place in the 60s. You tell me if it worked. :lmao:

The entire system is set up to screw small businesses. I don't see that getting better under McCain's system.
OR Obama's.

Groucho
09-17-2008, 09:56 PM
And Groucho may be correct. I've heard that Martin Sullivan, the CEO of AIG, received a golden parachute of $47 million and I heard on this morning's news it was $70 million. Either way, not bad for mismanaging a business!

Nope.
$70 Billion. (http://blogs.wsj.com/wallstreetcrisis/2008/09/15/fed-seeks-70-billion-loan-assist-for-aig/)


Bill,

I was talking about what Mr. Sullivan got when he was let go in June, not the AIG federal bailout amount. The "golden parachute" Bruce mentions was what he got when he left. The $70 BILLION figure is what the Fed is "lending" ("lending" WINK, WINK) to AIG to prevent the inability of AIG to make good on their mortgage investments losses should anyone come to call for the money.

This phenomenon, in case anyone DOESN'T know, is the error Wall Street allowed which resulted in the stock market crash in 1929. Investors were allowed to buy "on the margin" which, if my economics classes serve me well, was 10%. An investor could by $100,000 worth of stock for $10,000 in liquid cash. When all of the turbulence started before black thursday, it caused financial institutions to start calling on the margin, asking for the money that was due because the stocks or businesses lost money. Not many ever feared that the margins would ever be called in, so everyone was standing there with their thing out, peeing into the wind. Common Joe's then began the runs on the banks, fearing their deposits would be lost. This started a cyclical event, where as people started to hoarde cash and spend less, businesses made less, and lost more on their investment capital.

The Roaring Twenties was a time of prosperity and excess, and despite warnings against speculation, many believed that the market could sustain high price levels.

In the days leading up to Black Thursday, the market was severely unstable. Periods of selling and high volumes of trading were interspersed with brief periods of rising prices and recovery. After the crash, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) recovered early in 1930, only to reverse again, reaching a low point of the great bear market in 1932. The Dow did not return to pre-1929 levels until late 1954, and was lower at its July 8, 1932 level than it had been since the 1800s.

Sound familiar?

wesintl
09-17-2008, 10:01 PM
Neither of the candidates have any experience with the economy and they way it's going right now there won't be $$ for any promises, certainly not universal health care from either candidate. Well, unless there is a tax increase. :D

Shark Bait
09-17-2008, 10:36 PM
Health insurance should be treated no differently than groceries, auto insurance, or utilities. If you want it or need it and can afford it, you buy it. Forcing the business owner to provide health care insurance has got to be one of the worst burdens placed on businesses, big or small.

Bruce, I understand your position as a business owner. I'm sure when the plan was conceived it seemed most convenient to set aside money at pay day for health care insurance. If people aren't capable of managing their finances now, as most of the contributors to this thread seem to agree on, what makes you think they will be able to handle the financial responsibility of purchasing their own health care insurance? I think that's the point made in the article I quoted. I think it needs to be managed somehow, not necessarily by employers, but somehow. McCain's plan will put it in the hands of individuals. So then it will be society's next big crisis.

Caribou Sandstorm
09-17-2008, 11:00 PM
70 billion?....man that just doesn't seem like a good idea.

Sorry Bill guess I mis read your post.

Caribou Sandstorm
09-17-2008, 11:31 PM
Here is some further clarifaction from a NY times article..Man this is complicated stuff, I think I was more confused after reading all this..

New Agency Proposed to Oversee Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae

By STEPHEN LABATON - (NYTimes) - September 11, 2003

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates.

”There is a general recognition that the supervisory system for housing-related government-sponsored enterprises neither has the tools, nor the stature, to deal effectively with the current size, complexity and importance of these enterprises,” Treasury Secretary John W. Snow told the House Financial Services Committee in an appearance with Housing Secretary Mel Martinez, who also backed the plan.

Mr. Snow said that Congress should eliminate the power of the president to appoint directors to the companies, a sign that the administration is less concerned about the perks of patronage than it is about the potential political problems associated with any new difficulties arising at the companies.

The administration’s proposal, which was endorsed in large part today by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, would not repeal the significant government subsidies granted to the two companies. And it does not alter the implicit guarantee that Washington will bail the companies out if they run into financial difficulty; that perception enables them to issue debt at significantly lower rates than their competitors. Nor would it remove the companies’ exemptions from taxes and antifraud provisions of federal securities laws.

The proposal is the opening act in one of the biggest and most significant lobbying battles of the Congressional session.

After the hearing, Representative Michael G. Oxley, chairman of the Financial Services Committee, and Senator Richard Shelby, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, announced their intention to draft legislation based on the administration’s proposal. Industry executives said Congress could complete action on legislation before leaving for recess in the fall.

”The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,” Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ”We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,” the independent agency that now regulates the companies.

”These irregularities, which have been going on for several years, should have been detected earlier by the regulator,” he added.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, which is part of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, was created by Congress in 1992 after the bailout of the savings and loan industry and concerns about regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which buy mortgages from lenders and repackage them as securities or hold them in their own portfolios.

At the time, the companies and their allies beat back efforts for tougher oversight by the Treasury Department, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or the Federal Reserve. Supporters of the companies said efforts to regulate the lenders tightly under those agencies might diminish their ability to finance loans for lower-income families. This year, however, the chances of passing legislation to tighten the oversight are better than in the past.

Reflecting the changing political climate, both Fannie Mae and its leading rivals applauded the administration’s package. The support from Fannie Mae came after a round of discussions between it and the administration and assurances from the Treasury that it would not seek to change the company’s mission.

After those assurances, Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chief executive, endorsed the shift of regulatory oversight to the Treasury Department, as well as other elements of the plan.

”We welcome the administration’s approach outlined today,” Mr. Raines said. The company opposes some smaller elements of the package, like one that eliminates the authority of the president to appoint 5 of the company’s 18 board members.

Company executives said that the company preferred having the president select some directors. The company is also likely to lobby against the efforts that give regulators too much authority to approve its products.

Freddie Mac, whose accounting is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission and a United States attorney in Virginia, issued a statement calling the administration plan a ”responsible proposal.”

The stocks of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae fell while the prices of their bonds generally rose. Shares of Freddie Mac fell $2.04, or 3.7 percent, to $53.40, while Fannie Mae was down $1.62, or 2.4 percent, to $66.74. The price of a Fannie Mae bond due in March 2013 rose to 97.337 from 96.525.Its yield fell to 4.726 percent from 4.835 percent on Tuesday.

Fannie Mae, which was previously known as the Federal National Mortgage Association, and Freddie Mac, which was the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, have been criticized by rivals for exerting too much influence over their regulators.

”The regulator has not only been outmanned, it has been outlobbied,” said Representative Richard H. Baker, the Louisiana Republican who has proposed legislation similar to the administration proposal and who leads a subcommittee that oversees the companies. ”Being underfunded does not explain how a glowing report of Freddie’s operations was released only hours before the managerial upheaval that followed. This is not world-class regulatory work.”

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.
__________________

Red_Chili
09-17-2008, 11:40 PM
In the days leading up to Black Thursday, the market was severely unstable. Periods of selling and high volumes of trading were interspersed with brief periods of rising prices and recovery. After the crash, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) recovered early in 1930, only to reverse again, reaching a low point of the great bear market in 1932. The Dow did not return to pre-1929 levels until late 1954, and was lower at its July 8, 1932 level than it had been since the 1800s.

Sound familiar?
Familiar in kind, if not degree. The current situation (thankfully) is not quite the same in degree - market valuations are now cheap based on real value of the companies, which allows for further economic downside margin (different 'margin'). Risk is now priced out of equities, long term at least. IMHO. In 1929 the markets (maybe due to information infrastructure, as well as no oversight, dunno) were not very efficient. They got that way in a big hurry.

These kinds of corrections are painful but necessary from time to time to shake out unsustainable dynamics, such as lending to people who cannot afford it, on property that cannot continue to appreciate to the needed degree to justify the leverage, then to market derivatives on this shaky Ponzi scheme and distribute them throughout the world investment scene.

The problem is, the little guy (and gal) gets hurt the worst - if your investment time horizon can't average it out, such as the 60 year old who was trying to make up for lost time by overweighting equities. Or the 45 year old who just got laid off - with one of those mortgages.

The corrections are good. The violence of them, not so much. Heard a quote by Teddy Roosevelt, something to the effect of pure capitalism (without safeguards and accountability; analogous to Darwinian economics) breeding corruption through greed with inevitable collapse. On the heels of the robber barons, Teddy came to that conclusion based on the kind of experience I described above. Smart Republican. Some of the later ones should have paid attention - right around 1928.

You might have guessed I am not a pure capitalist, not a completely free market advocate.

Red_Chili
09-18-2008, 06:46 AM
I do have to say, given the political diversity of this club, this has been a really refreshing, civil, thoughtful thread. We aren't supposed to be able to discuss this. What's next?
RELIGION?!? :eek::eek::eek:

:risingsun

Tch2fly
09-18-2008, 07:55 AM
OK, using my DEMOCRATIC-ISOLATIONIST-SOCIAL-REPUBLICAN thinking ...here I go ;)
Health insurance should be treated no differently than groceries, auto insurance, or utilities. If you want it or need it and can afford it, you buy it. I agree to a point BUT in any society shouldn't our "goal" be the health and happiness of all (notice I didn't say wealthy). Socialism, Communism, Capitalism and other "isms" or political ideals aside isn't health a basic human right. As a society we fail if we allow people to suffer and die due to a lack of heath care caused by poverty. No I'm not a fan of Welfare, we just need a different mindset.

Forcing the business owner to provide health care insurance has got to be one of the worst burdens placed on businesses, big or small. I would be very happy if I did not have to provide health insurance to employees. The amount of health care premiums our business pays annually would buy a nice 3 bedroom home in the Denver area each year. I guess things have changed since I owned my business in the 80s. I was only required to provide health coverage for employees if the company paid for mine. Heath coverage as a "benefit" was meant as an incentive to potential employees. I agree that it should not be a requirement for a company to provide.

The last thing we need is government intervention or regulations since the less government we have the better off we'll all be. HELL,YES :thumb:




If people aren't capable of managing their finances now, as most of the contributors to this thread seem to agree on, what makes you think they will be able to handle the financial responsibility of purchasing their own health care insurance?
How many people are going with Kaiser for health care because it is "cheaper" and how many of those people will DIE because the plan administrators didn't think it was "cost effective" to provide services or delayed treament. I HAVE SEEN IT HAPPEN!
We are creating a society with screwed up values. It's GREED, somewhere along the line Capitalism got perverted into the current way of life in the US. People would rather give up health care then their $10 a day Starbucks habit, cell phones and the cable tv bill. They are greedy and buy homes they KNOW they can't afford because other greedy people offer crazy deals. People lose sight of reality in search of the "American Dream".

PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS. (note the period)




..........the hands of individuals. So then it will be society's next big crisis. SEE ABOVE

Groucho
09-18-2008, 09:25 AM
... BUT in any society shouldn't our "goal" be the health and happiness of all (notice I didn't say wealthy). Socialism, Communism, Capitalism and other "isms" or political ideals aside isn't health a basic human right. As a society we fail if we allow people to suffer and die due to a lack of heath care caused by poverty. No I'm not a fan of Welfare, we just need a different mindset.

This is debatable. In nature, it could be "survival of the fittest". I religion, it is "help your fellow person". In the US today we seem to be separated by the idea of either "let them fend for themselves" and "lets support eveyone".

Socialism, Communism, Marxism are all good societal structures, given the absence of individuality in needs/wants. Everyone has to buy in and work for the same goal, otherwise there is too much imbalance and forces the realization that there is no incentive for one person to work hard if another isn't. I would like someone to show me how Native American Indians were NOT a good (close) example of socialism. The all shared everything, worked for the same goal, and took care of each other AND the tribe.

PEOPLE NEED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS.

I agree. Without the consequence of "failure", responsibility is non-existent. If we intervene and tell people how they have to procure health care, how are we any better off than forcing employers to offer it?

I believe the two biggest wastes of time and money are using the restroom (#2 specifically):D and insurance. You have to participate in both, and all either produces is s*#t.

Uncle Ben
09-18-2008, 09:55 AM
I decided to just walk away on this discussion but I do have to add one beliefe I have based on facts gathered from a practicing Docter friend and several other healthcare worker friends.

If the Insurance companies lost their control on health care expenses/payoffs the price of health care would drop significantly across the board for the consumers! Insurance companies rip everyone off especially the HC providers so the out of pocket costs for the un-insured and non-covered items is inflated to make up the expenses not getting paid back. The main goal I will support is to derail insurance companies control. I will vote for what ever politician has the biggest balls to cause the biggest upset in monopolies.

Edited: For the record I cannot put my freedom, safety and religious beliefs in the hands of someone I view as a weak Liberal! I feel that at this time in our country's world situation we need a strong leader not a people pleaser. We have had way to many previous years passive leadership already which set us up for attack and financial chaos. Flame on.....

nakman
09-18-2008, 10:26 AM
If insurance is no longer "required," and the the incentives to go uninsured go up so that more people opt to just not have insurance, who pays for them when they become critically ill or injured? Not necessarily the folks on welfare who maybe couldn't afford it, but the young healthy guy who thought he could live without it, who then falls while climbing and has a flight for life bill and a surgery, that add up to more than he makes in a year?

Don't we all pay extra for auto insurance for "uninsured motorist" coverage, with that same end in mind? I'm not sure how you can ignore that, or to be honest if this policy actually does..

Uncle Ben
09-18-2008, 10:38 AM
If insurance is no longer "required," and the the incentives to go uninsured go up so that more people opt to just not have insurance, who pays for them when they become critically ill or injured? Not necessarily the folks on welfare who maybe couldn't afford it, but the young healthy guy who thought he could live without it, who then falls while climbing and has a flight for life bill and a surgery, that add up to more than he makes in a year?

Don't we all pay extra for auto insurance for "uninsured motorist" coverage, with that same end in mind? I'm not sure how you can ignore that, or to be honest if this policy actually does..

Very valid point! The truth is it's already that way! We do credit/criminal checks on every new prospective tenant. It is staggering how many folks in the last 5 or so years have 8 or more pages (our record so far is 22 pages of just revolving credit/loan history!) of credit card history paying one card off with another, and another, and another and finally ending up with Consumer Credit loans! Another incredible and sad issue thats becoming more and more prevalent is medical collections. It is becoming such an issue that it's common practice to ignore Med collection on the report and focus on utility company collections and felony convictions. What we as a society are accepting as moral standards has really become disturbing! That, unfortunately is a problem no politician can fix but they can make it worse! I wish someone had a cure all!

Red_Chili
09-23-2008, 10:40 AM
Here is a pretty balanced discussion on the candidates' positions on health care insurance, less editorializing and more simple comparison. Other issues too:

http://www.smartmoney.com/smartmoney-magazine/index.cfm?story=october2008-election&split=0

Red_Chili
09-23-2008, 11:05 AM
Here is one that is more editorial (opinion), but still pretty fair on actual data.
http://www.smartmoney.com/smartmoney-magazine/index.cfm?story=september2008-presidential-election&split=0

The comments here and there have information sources as well.

Red_Chili
09-23-2008, 11:16 AM
Comparison from the perspective of your pocketbook:
http://www.smartmoney.com/consumer/index.cfm?story=20080904-mccain-obama

Interesting that McCain's tax on insurance benefits is pretty much offset by his tax credit?

wesintl
10-07-2008, 12:15 PM
Anyone want to place bets? $20 to rising sun that 70% of the items under healthcare will not get done. We'll look at this thread 4 years from now and decide.

Since Obama is going to win we'll list his items..

On health care reform, the American people are too often offered two extremes - government-run health care with higher taxes or letting the insurance companies operate without rules. Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe both of these extremes are wrong, and that’s why they’ve proposed a plan that strengthens employer coverage, makes insurance companies accountable and ensures patient choice of doctor and care without government interference.

The Obama-Biden plan provides affordable, accessible health care for all Americans, builds on the existing health care system, and uses existing providers, doctors and plans to implement the plan. Under the Obama-Biden plan, patients will be able to make health care decisions with their doctors, instead of being blocked by insurance company bureaucrats.

Under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year.

-If you don’t have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance options.

Make Health Insurance Work for People and Businesses - Not Just Insurance and Drug Companies.

* Require insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions so all Americans regardless of their health status or history can get comprehensive benefits at fair and stable premiums.
* Create a new Small Business Health Tax Credit to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance to their employees.
* Lower costs for businesses by covering a portion of the catastrophic health costs they pay in return for lower premiums for employees.
* Prevent insurers from overcharging doctors for their malpractice insurance and invest in proven strategies to reduce preventable medical errors.
* Make employer contributions more fair by requiring large employers that do not offer coverage or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of their employees health care.
* Establish a National Health Insurance Exchange with a range of private insurance options as well as a new public plan based on benefits available to members of Congress that will allow individuals and small businesses to buy affordable health coverage.
* Ensure everyone who needs it will receive a tax credit for their premiums.

Reduce Costs and Save a Typical American Family up to $2,500 as reforms phase in:

* Lower drug costs by allowing the importation of safe medicines from other developed countries, increasing the use of generic drugs in public programs and taking on drug companies that block cheaper generic medicines from the market
* Require hospitals to collect and report health care cost and quality data
* Reduce the costs of catastrophic illnesses for employers and their employees.
* Reform the insurance market to increase competition by taking on anticompetitive activity that drives up prices without improving quality of care

MDH33
10-07-2008, 12:27 PM
Since Obama is going to win we'll list his items..



Won't happen. :confuse2:

wesintl
10-07-2008, 12:33 PM
We'll list mccains too so we have a backup ;)

that means you're in for $20?

Uncle Ben
10-07-2008, 02:21 PM
Thats a sucker bet! :rolleyes:

Uncle Ben
10-07-2008, 02:26 PM
Since Obama is going to win we'll list his items..




Wonder if it's too late to move the family to Canada or have they already closed the borders? :banghead::bawl::help:

Hulk
10-07-2008, 02:31 PM
Here is one that is more editorial (opinion), but still pretty fair on actual data.
http://www.smartmoney.com/smartmoney-magazine/index.cfm?story=september2008-presidential-election&split=0

The comments here and there have information sources as well.

That's a pretty good article. One highlight:

So what is Obama proposing? Start with $60 billion in "infrastructure" development. This would include high-speed rail and rebuilding the energy grid. Tack on $15 billion a year for energy technology. He would also double spending on basic research, subsidize high-speed Internet hookups and make more funds available for education and a new health care regime. The gangly Illinoisan's guiding premise: Government should be more than a cop keeping markets efficient and fair; it should also be a force for "good." Like it or not, this is a radical departure.

It should be noted that our federal gov't has acted as a "force for good" for nearly 80 years. Driven through Glenwood Canyon on an amazing stretch of highway? Enjoyed a concert at Red Rocks? Used a satellite phone? Were you vaccinated against polio as a child? All of them possible because the government funded projects to advance the interests of the American people.

None of the things that Obama is proposing are boondoggles like the public housing of the 50s and 60s.

Investment in energy research and technology will benefit every American man, woman and child. Anyone who has used high speed rail in Europe or Japan knows how good it can be. Health care is an issue that has been ignored because it's such a political hot button, but it's not getting any better on its own (unless you work for an insurance company).

It's time for some new ideas. The old ones have been tried, and failure has been the result. Let's try some "trickle up" economics for a change.

About the only McCain economic theory I support is fewer taxes on corporations. With more money, corporations can invest in new technology and jobs. When people have good jobs, it means less crime, better education, more competition, and a better standard of living for everyone. Obama's version of this is that he will provide tax breaks for those companies who still do business on American soil, and make it more expensive for those that send business overseas. Either plan could work, but Obama's is sketchier.

McCain is not being honest. His economic plan is to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts beyond 2011 and to add billions of dollars of new tax breaks. If he went ahead, the national debt would explode. I wonder if McCain just says all of this to pander to the Bush base, and then he's going to start using his brain again if elected. I respect John McCain, but I won't vote for him with Palin as his running mate. She's scary beyond belief. And to those who say, "The VP doesn't matter: you don't elect a vice president, you elect a president," I'd like to introduce you to Mr. Dick Cheney.

Hulk
10-09-2008, 12:47 PM
Here's another reason to not vote for McCain:

The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/09/opinion/09kristof.html)

From the headline, you may think that's a good idea. Go read the article.

nuclearlemon
10-09-2008, 01:31 PM
i don't consider his not supplying birth control to another country a reason to not vote for him. i'm sick of having to deal with other countries. the population of africa is africa's problem.

i won't vote for mccain because i don't like him. i like barack even less.

Red_Chili
10-11-2008, 10:35 AM
This is from a Brady Campaign mailer. The Brady Campaign is trying to rejuvenate public interest in one of the group's priority issues: a ban on all detachable-magazine semi-automatic firearms, a vast expansion of the federal "assault weapon" law of 1994-2004. As Brady notes in a new paper, "Assault Weapons: Mass Produced Mayhem," "Senator Barack Obama supports banning assault weapons."

Reflects his voting record. Hmmm... There are also proposals to ban armor piercing rounds. Eww, who would want armor piercing rounds out there in the hands of criminals? Well, except that they define 'armor' as the lightest body armor, which any of my .300WSM hunting rounds would penetrate. That would make several of my hunting rifles illegal, or unusable. Oh great.

"Assault weapons" have not had a clear or consistent definition in ban legislation (besides begging the question of constitutionality), but most of the definitions used to date in proposed legislation would include many legitimate hunting rifles or pistols. It seems most of the pols who want to restrict them understand firearms, sport shooting, personal defense, and hunting, like I understand particle physics.

This combined with some of the other proposals could make for a very dark four years. And make Jimmy Carter look like a friggin' genius. Remember his policies?

Uncle Ben
10-11-2008, 10:59 AM
Here's another reason to not vote for McCain:

The Bush administration this month is quietly cutting off birth control supplies to some of the world’s poorest women in Africa. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/09/opinion/09kristof.html)

From the headline, you may think that's a good idea. Go read the article.

What the hell does McCain have to do with the Bush administration other than they are both Republican? You just actually gave the Republican side a few points! We need to focus on American soil issues these days and let other country's deal with their own issues more. Kudos to the Bush administration! Obama I'm sure will be happy to cut off all support to our troops and give all that money to promote daisies and sugarplum growing in Indonesia or ???? Sorry, I am just so tired of the liberals in Boulder preaching to me over and over how Obama is the only choice! If his campaign is really so strong and perfect why is 90% of my phone trash and other unwanted solicitation coming from his goonies? One day we will have real choices for office that actually get elected because we want them rather than we think they are the lessor of the two evils!

Hulk
10-11-2008, 02:54 PM
A HISTORIC TICKET....

The McCain/Palin ticket is the first in American history in which both candidates were found to have violated ethics standards before a national election.

McCain, of course, was admonished by Senate Ethics Committee (http://www.keatingeconomics.com/#research) "for exercising 'poor judgment' for intervening" with federal regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, as part of the infamous Keating Five scandal.

And now McCain's running mate has also been found to have violated state ethics laws (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_10/015129.php) and abused the powers of her office, as part of the "Troopergate" scandal.

The nation has had 102 major-party tickets covering 51 presidential elections over more than two centuries. And we've never had a ticket in which both candidates on the same ticket were responsible for ethics violations before a national election. McCain/Palin is the first.

I'll admit, this is playing politics. But it makes the whole "reform" pitch a little more difficult, doesn't it?

Inukshuk
10-12-2008, 09:42 AM
What is troubling me the most lately is how there appears to be a lot of hostility being roused at McCain/Palin rallies. To call Obama terrorist is simply absurd. To analyze his relationship with Ayers and what that says of Obama's views is a legitimate issue (BTW, did not the American Revolutionaries first bring "guerrilla warfare" tactics to European nations when fighting the British?). People neglect to talk about Republican Annenberg selecting Ayers for that grant and Ayers being a Chicago Man of the Year. With Ayers' prominence in Chicago how could he and Obama not cross paths (not that I have decided whether or not I have a problem with that anyway). I was very pleased to see McCain take the mic from the woman who said at a rally "hey, Obama, he's and Arab, right?" and say "no, he's a decent, Christian family man."

In the end, we are all Americans and the divisive rhetoric - from any and all - needs to stop.

Uncle Ben
10-12-2008, 06:30 PM
Here here! :cheers: I agree all the way Dan! Both candidates have run out of quality campaigning and have decided to destroy credibility. It's like watching Judge Judy and then casting your private vote for one of the plaintiffs. I hate politics! Wouldn't it be nice to just get someone in office that had OUR best interests in focus?

What is troubling me the most lately is how there appears to be a lot of hostility being roused at McCain/Palin rallies. To call Obama terrorist is simply absurd. To analyze his relationship with Ayers and what that says of Obama's views is a legitimate issue (BTW, did not the American Revolutionaries first bring "guerrilla warfare" tactics to European nations when fighting the British?). People neglect to talk about Republican Annenberg selecting Ayers for that grant and Ayers being a Chicago Man of the Year. With Ayers' prominence in Chicago how could he and Obama not cross paths (not that I have decided whether or not I have a problem with that anyway). I was very pleased to see McCain take the mic from the woman who said at a rally "hey, Obama, he's and Arab, right?" and say "no, he's a decent, Christian family man."

In the end, we are all Americans and the divisive rhetoric - from any and all - needs to stop.

Groucho
10-12-2008, 07:38 PM
Here here! :cheers: I agree all the way Dan! Both candidates have run out of quality campaigning and have decided to destroy credibility. It's like watching Judge Judy and then casting your private vote for one of the plaintiffs. I hate politics! Wouldn't it be nice to just get someone in office that had OUR best interests in focus?


Ain't that the truth! Just someone who doesn't have the media slobbering over everything trying to spin it this way and that, its like a game to them! I for one want nothing to do with Socialism, Fascism, Communism or a welfare state. We have the means to take care of our poor, our tired and our huddled masses. We just shouldn't make it so that that is all we do, or bureaucratically make it so that is what we have to do! Neither of the corporately sponsored candidates (and not just the white house ones, either) will give us anything better than we have had for decades, yet masses are lining up to drink their kool-aide and say that it is all for the "change" we need.

I want to be represented by my elected officials, not have any warmongering, blithering idiot, socialist minded fools driving the bus! Gimme back the keys, Rufus!:rant:

Inukshuk
10-12-2008, 09:01 PM
Who would we select for a write-in?

Uncle Ben
10-12-2008, 09:50 PM
Who would we select for a write-in?

Jeff Zepp of course! ;) :thumb::thumb: :bowdown::homelessguy:

Rzeppa
10-13-2008, 12:31 AM
Jeff Zepp of course! ;) :thumb::thumb: :bowdown::homelessguy:

Heh.

I seldom go to our chat section. For whatever reason, I read every post in this thread, and agree with a lot of what the participants in the thread have written. I have "thrown away" my vote on the Libertarian candidate the last several cycles. Last time was Michael Badnarick. This year's will be Bob Barr. Although I do like Palin - she's hot! ;-)

There can not be a viable alternative to the two party stranglehold until voters make a stand.

Not that it's particularly salient, but I won both elections as TLCA Central Rep in three way races.

I purchase my own health insurance, and pay most health care costs out of pocket due to the relatively high deductible. This past summer I missed a meeting due to being ill. The routine tests my doctor ordered for me cost me $211 out of pocket. That was on top of the co-pays for my doctor's visits.

Back when my employer paid the majority of my health insurance premiums, I had outpatient surgery. The original bill was $3000. The negotiated bill from the contract they had with the insurance company was $1000. My out of pocket share was $500. Monthly premiums (split between me and my employer) were $355, so they made back ALL of their money in less than two months.

Is the system broken? Dang right it is!

Is socialization/nationalization the answer? I don't think so (at least that's what my Canuck friends tell me). Is more regulation the answer? Dunno. There's certainly a lot of cost shifting. A lot of folks simply don't pay their medical bills. Whether they have insurance or not, they still don't even pay their deductibles or co-pays. Those of use do have insurance, and pay our deductibles and co-pays, end up paying for those who refuse to pay.

At least I have choices, and among them are paying my hard earned greenbacks for quality care of my choosing. I like choices. I just don't like how much they cost!

Red_Chili
10-13-2008, 11:33 AM
McCain, of course, was admonished by Senate Ethics Committee (http://www.keatingeconomics.com/#research) "for exercising 'poor judgment' for intervening" with federal regulators on behalf of Charles Keating, as part of the infamous Keating Five scandal.
which he called the greatest mistake of his career, and which launched his passion for cleaning up Congress, based on how easily he found himself entangled.

And now McCain's running mate has also been found to have violated state ethics laws (http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_10/015129.php) and abused the powers of her office, as part of the "Troopergate" scandal.
Have you looked into this? The state trooper was a domestic violence kind of guy that was getting a pass due to the good old boy network. Should the governor have taken a personal interest in a state trooper's penchant for violence, simply because due to private information she knew about it? I dunno. Maybe that breaks state rules. I would break them too. No way do I want a cop getting a pass for something the rest of us would get nailed for, and righteously so. Screw the rules, they can be wrong too.

I'll admit, this is playing politics. But it makes the whole "reform" pitch a little more difficult, doesn't it?
Not when you look into it. In fact, it makes the case rather well.

Red_Chili
10-13-2008, 11:52 AM
Yes it's John Lott. Yes, it is Fox News, which in the minds of some makes it patently false (the reverse is also not true, FWIW). But if you look at the comparison between the bimbo governor's answer versus the sage politician, it is rather illuminating to see who was right, who was wrong, and by how much. And who got a total pass in the media.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,433314,00.html

Maddening that the bimbo governor didn't point out the inaccuracies in fact her opponent displayed - expecially given his righteous indignation.

nuclearlemon
10-14-2008, 08:27 PM
when did we acquire all the extra states:confused:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpGH02DtIws

Shark Bait
10-14-2008, 08:58 PM
Maddening that the bimbo governor didn't point out the inaccuracies in fact her opponent displayed - expecially given his righteous indignation.

:doh: She's unqualified for the job of Vice President, let alone President. That's a really scary thought, if John McCain were to win, that, heaven forbid, he keels over and then she's in charge. :eek:

That, and she's in complete denial about the state trooper investigation that said she violated state ethics laws. She's trying to pull a "teflon" act and it isn't working. Most of the general population can see that she's lying.

Now there's talk that the contractor that built the hockey arena, or whatever it was, in Wasila, also built her a new house in some kind of shady arrangement.

It was fundamentally irresponsible (http://www.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/americas/09/29/zakaria.sarah.palin/) of him to pick Sarah Palin. Between her and the "attack" strategy, people are starting to shy away from McCain. He's going down the tubes.

Red_Chili
10-15-2008, 07:52 AM
We'll have to agree to disagree. She is as qualified - or more so - than a certain governor from Georgia we suffered under and had horrible unemployment, inflation, and interest rates under (who coincidentally shared some of O's economic policies). She has a proven track record of reform in Alaska and is one of the most popular governors in the eyes of her constituents in the entire nation because of it. I would have to say she is more qualified than a one-term junior senator who would be the most liberal president in US history. But YMMV.

Be prepared for a landslide of 'wilderness' designation and road closures under O and Udall. You heard it here first.

nuclearlemon
10-15-2008, 08:49 AM
i'd rather see palin in there. she's not affected with washington's disease. and you think barack has any experience? after my boss sent me a video about barack and the cra, i'm doing a bit of research to see just how far he's connected to our crisis.

Groucho
10-15-2008, 08:51 AM
It's too bad that her true political face/agenda will probably never be seen again. In my opinion Sarah Palin and her viewpoint is being driven by McCain's camp, and not even McCain himself is in the drivers seat.

Since I am of a much younger generation (born in the early 70's), I often wonder how some staunch supporters of the "more gubment intervention/taxation/regulation" ideas actually feel better about the gubment tucking them in at night. Granted, I cannot build a city street, and therefore I agree that certain taxation and government action is necessary. But it's like we are getting to the point of so much bureaucracy in our lives that we forgot how to act as individuals in a society. I feel it should be a given that I don't dump my used motor oil into the sewer drain outside my house. But somehow, somewhere it was deemed necessary that in order to enforce that idea, we need to give doing the opposite (dumping the oil in the sewer) a consequence. In my opinion, living our lives by doing just enough not to suffer consequences at the end of the law is the surest way to strip just about everything out of the pursuit for life, liberty, and happiness. And that is what is allowing more individuals to act without responsibility because there is the high chance that they don't get caught. I don't myself naive, I just keep reminding myself to question these things.

Kill your television.:thumb:

Red_Chili
10-15-2008, 09:14 AM
i'd rather see palin in there. she's not affected with washington's disease. and you think barack has any experience? after my boss sent me a video about barack and the cra, i'm doing a bit of research to see just how far he's connected to our crisis.
I don't think Palin is going away. You'll see more of her. If you look at what happened in Alaska, and how its citizens have fared, I would have to say I look forward to it. Regards the credit crisis, McCain was involved in legislation to prevent the Fannie Mae debacle, while Barney Frank et.al. were accusing the regulator of racism for wanting to tighten down FNMA controls. O was... where was he? Funny how we don't hear about that. Don't hear much about his association with Franklin Raines, the fella who made $9M off of FNMA while the party was going, the guy who was TRULY responsible for its misdirection. Do some research. Google is your friend.

Nay
10-15-2008, 11:40 AM
I don't think Palin is going away. .

No, she won't. We have a fascination in this country with handing over power to people who can't speak in complete sentences.

But given that Alaska is a socialized state, and is effectively an earmark of the federal government for its energy supplies, she is not terribly applicable to the federal government no matter what you think of her.

I heard what I thought was a brilliant observation the other day. The U.S. allows all kinds of harmful additives in our food supply and environment. Take something as simple as BHT preservative, which Japan banned in 1953, and other countries have banned since then. When your government is responsible for the cost of healthcare, it will take greater measures to protect your health. When they are not responsible (directly), then the law will follow the lobbying.

When we can just pass the buck under the banner of "too expensive for the economy", it all winds up in healthcare costs, be it the effects of pollution, food additives, food products that aren't really food, water quality, and on and on. The health crisis of sugar loads in processed foods will dwarf anything we have seen from tobacco, and American's health expectancy will continue to decline. It is a tax one way or another - the reason you can't get a real raise anymore is because your raise is going to healthcare costs.

At some point we have to stop acting like it is a free lunch to not err on the side of consumer safety. I wonder how many more examples we need?

Hulk
10-15-2008, 12:48 PM
She is as qualified - or more so - than a certain governor from Georgia we suffered under and had horrible unemployment, inflation, and interest rates under.

Umm, ummm... Jimmy Carter! What did I win?

And you just made the point about why she's a ridiculous choice for a VP. "She's at least as good as a really bad president we elected 32 years ago." Hardly a ringing endorsement.

By all accounts, McCain wanted to pick Lieberman anyway, which would have shown him to be the true maverick that he claims to be. Instead, he pandered to the GOP by picking an idiot right-wing nut job who doesn't believe in abortion even in cases of RAPE. Yeah, rah rah Palin.

As far as road closures, I'll fight for my rights and so will others. The long-term health of the country comes first, and I believe Obama is the leader who will get us back on track in so many ways.

Did you see that Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley and (until yesterday) a columnist for the National Review, endorsed Obama (http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2008-10-10/the-conservative-case-for-obama/)? I pretty much agree with everything he says. If you read to the end, you get a link to his next column about resigning from the National Review. In it he says this:While I regret this development, I am not in mourning, for I no longer have any clear idea what, exactly, the modern conservative movement stands for. Eight years of “conservative” government has brought us a doubled national debt, ruinous expansion of entitlement programs, bridges to nowhere, poster boy Jack Abramoff and an ill-premised, ill-waged war conducted by politicians of breathtaking arrogance. As a sideshow, it brought us a truly obscene attempt at federal intervention in the Terry Schiavo case.

So, to paraphrase a real conservative, Ronald Reagan: I haven’t left the Republican Party. It left me.

I think John McCain is a hothead, and his campaign has showed that he is willing to sacrifice his principles to attempt to get elected. Obama is the better man and he will get my vote.

Chris
10-15-2008, 01:08 PM
And you just made the point about why she's a ridiculous choice for a VP. "She's at least as good as a really bad president we elected 32 years ago." Hardly a ringing endorsement.

Exactly, the old "not as bad as..." is as poor as rationalization gets.

I think John McCain is a hothead, and his campaign has showed that he is willing to sacrifice his principles to attempt to get elected. Obama is the better man and he will get my vote.

I think we'd be in serious trouble with McCain and agree that his temper is best kept out of the White House. If Palin were to gain the office due to his death we'd be screwed, she's a bright woman but not presidential material.

:twocents:

Red_Chili
10-15-2008, 02:05 PM
You guys misread what I wrote. I did not use "not as bad as...". I hope you don't errantly characterize all the issues as badly as you took what I wrote. If you do, your credibility is... well. 'Nuff said.

I pointed out that she is better qualified for VP than someone we elected President whose qualifications were never questioned - the very definition of a double standard? - and who drove this country's economy down the sewer. But it was before your lifetime, so not fresh in your recollection. I remember all too well, and that is what moved me from being a D (my party left ME long ago, I am a JFK Democrat). I VOTED for Carter, due to Nixon and Ford. I learned a hard lesson.

She is certainly better qualified than a one-term junior senator is, who is running for a higher office. Disagree with her, no problem, your perfect right, and dialog (vitriol aside) adds to knowledge. But you are in a glass house for sure if you say she is not qualified.

You also missed my reflection that Carter's policies mirror Obama's economic policies. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing twice and expecting different results. Carter raised taxes on corporations. You do know that no corporation actually pays taxes, right? Nope. You do. When you buy their products. It is called inflation and Carter sent it to the moon - coupled with stagnation. That is 'stagflation', and it is a mother bear to defeat. Even Clinton knew better. Kennedy (John, not the other bozo) certainly did and knew it - and succeeded with it - long before Reagan coined 'trickle down'. It is a DEMOCRAT idea, and it has been demonstrated.

Regards eight years of conservative government... I only wish that were true. I don't know what W is, but conservative is certainly not among the descriptors.
:rant:

I look to no one named Buckley for my marching orders, never have. Let's debate the issues and policies on point of fact.

Chris
10-15-2008, 03:38 PM
She is as qualified - or more so - than a certain governor from Georgia

I did not use "not as bad as..."

Okay, I stand corrected. What you said was, and I paraphrase: Palin is as qualified - or more so - than Jimmy Carter. Sure sounds like poor rationalization.

FWIW, I voted for Carter too. I would rather have Jimmy Carter back in office than see any possibility of Palin become President. She's still spouting that inane "terrorist" BS, denying she violated ethics and is a well-trained parrot.

Of course this is just my humble opinion.

Nay
10-15-2008, 04:48 PM
But you are in a glass house for sure if you say she is not qualified.

A rational, pragmatic, intellectually sound mind is what I will vote for. Because I want rational, pragmatic, intellectually sound government. You cannot have one without the other.

I think most of us want the same things for ourselves and our families, we disagree on how to best obtain and protect them. Without a profoundly intellectual leader attempting to find a central position who can communicate the real issues and benefits to all of us, we will never even start. 35 years of doing nothing about our energy supply, both Republican and Democrat, is a perfect example. All we've really done is pander to the voter to stay in power. No wonder people no longer trust government. There is nothing left to trust.

If you took Obama and tilted his message to the right, he would be the Republican nobody could beat. His demeanor, stature, and competency exude a conservative soul of thinking before acting, reconciling short term actions with long term results, and being willing to talk before fighting. These used to be admired characteristics that are clearly grounded in his Christian faith. Now they are "elite" and "different" and "not like us" in the new world of Prosperity Gospel.

That very well has become our problem. We live only in the short term, attack based on ideology with no fact based criteria, and demean a complex intellectual capacity as an unqualified personality disorder.

Where this will continue to take us is frightening, no matter who wins.

Chris
10-15-2008, 05:16 PM
Well spoken as usual Dave, I don't think any more needs to be said.

Hulk
10-15-2008, 05:21 PM
OK, let's talk glass houses. Everyone seems to think Reagan was the best president since JFK, and that Jimmy Carter was an utter failure.

First off, who said this?

"Ours is the most wasteful nation on earth," he said. "We waste more energy than we import. With about the same standard of living, we use twice as much energy per person as do other countries like Germany, Japan and Sweden."

"One choice," he said, "is to continue doing what we have been doing before. We can drift along for a few more years. "Our consumption of oil would keep going up every year. Our cars would continue to be too large and inefficient. Three-quarters of them would continue to carry only one person -- the driver -- while our public transportation system continues to decline. We can delay insulating our houses, and they will continue to lose about 50 percent of their heat in waste. "We can continue using scarce oil and natural gas to generate electricity, and continue wasting two-thirds of their fuel value in the process."

"Now we have a choice," he said. "But if we wait, we will live in fear of embargoes. We could endanger our freedom as a sovereign nation to act in foreign affairs."

Those are all direct quotes from Jimmy Carter. If we didn't begin to develop alternatives like solar power, and dramatically reduce our consumption of fossil fuels, then, Carter said, even our cherished personal freedoms would be at risk.

"If we fail to act soon, we will face an economic, social and political crisis that will threaten our free institutions."

Sounds like George W. Bush could have said that last one, doesn't it? Or Obama or McCain on the campaign trail.

"We can be sure that all the special interest groups in the country will attack the part of this plan that affects them directly," he said. "They will say that sacrifice is fine, as long as other people do it, but that their sacrifice is unreasonable, or unfair, or harmful to the country. If they succeed, then the burden on the ordinary citizen, who is not organized into an interest group, would be crushing." But that would be wrong. It would be un-American. It would lead to future oil shocks, and the probable death of American soldiers in Middle Eastern oil wars. Instead of caving in to the Saudis and the oil industry, Carter said: "There should be only one test for this program: whether it will help our country."

Jimmy Carter also started the national strategic petroleum reserve, birthed the gasohol and solar power industries, and helped insulate millions of homes and offices. Later he said, "I am tonight setting a clear goal for the energy policy of the United States," Carter said on July 15, 1979. "Beginning this moment, this nation will never use more foreign oil than we did in 1977 -- never. From now on, every new addition to our demand for energy will be met from our own production and our own conservation. The generation-long growth in our dependence on foreign oil will be stopped dead in its tracks right now and then reversed as we move through the 1980s..." In addition, we needed to immediately begin to develop a long-range strategy to move beyond fossil fuel.

Therefore, Carter said, "I will soon submit legislation to Congress calling for the creation of this nation's first solar bank, which will help us achieve the crucial goal of 20 percent of our energy coming from solar power by the year 2000."

Ronald Reagan's first official acts of office included removing Jimmy Carter's solar panels from the roof of the White House, and reversing most of Carter's conservation and alternative energy policies.

If the hostages had been released in Iran, and Jimmy Carter had won the election in 1980, would we be where we are today? Would we be worried about our dependence on foreign oil? Would we have the financial crisis we're in today? After all, much of the deregulation that got us in this mess started under the Reagan administration.

Hulk
10-15-2008, 05:32 PM
If you took Obama and tilted his message to the right, he would be the Republican nobody could beat. His demeanor, stature, and competency exude a conservative soul of thinking before acting, reconciling short term actions with long term results, and being willing to talk before fighting. These used to be admired characteristics that are clearly grounded in his Christian faith. Now they are "elite" and "different" and "not like us" in the new world of Prosperity Gospel.

Well said. Obama seems more like a leader with every speech, with every debate, even with his advertising. McCain seems to be headed the opposite direction. He's resorting to the Karl Rove tactics he denounced so vocally in past campaigns. He's showing his true colors. To me, Obama seems like what JFK must have seemed like to the voters of 1959.

Red_Chili
10-16-2008, 08:03 AM
I will grant you that. Obama presents supremely well and is an excellent communicator and public speaker. I also tend to believe he is a sincere man, not a phony, though I do not believe he is being transparent about his ideology based on associations, which is not a personal attack but extremely salient to the election (his ideology appears to be 'Christian' in the sense that socialist liberation theology is also 'Christian'. Black liberation theology - a.k.a. Afrocentric theology - springs from that school.).

My other problem with Obama is his voting record - please look into it. His presidency will be the most liberal one in US history. We have never gone there before. This worries me to no end, especially since the House, the Senate, and the Executive branches will be in the hands of one party, and Supreme Court justices will also be appointed by that party. This is a bad recipe no matter whether the party is R or D.

I will also grant your points about Carter (again, who I voted for) and many of his comments. Not all the man said or did was erroneous of course, which is why I voted for him. For the very reasons you point out, which were, and are, important to me. My points about Carter had to do specifically with his economic policies. His are as close to Obama's as we have seen. They resulted in double digit unemployment, double digit inflation, and along with this a stagnant economy that stymied the Fed's attempts to reign in inflation. The same factors that combined with increasing corporate taxation to produce these results are in play right now. This is not only a possible outcome, it is the most likely one, based on sound economic theory and demonstrated from recent history.

Please show me how this cannot be so. Please refer to generally accepted economic theory and historical examples to support your thesis. Yep, this is an essay question.

Obama has many of the qualities of JFK in public persona, and these are responsible for his popularity. His economic policies, however, are in direct opposition to JFK's, which were far closer to what Reagan eventually adopted than to Obama or Carter. JFK's approach worked. Reagan's worked less well due to being hampered by a horrible deficit, about which much could be said indeed. But interest rates and inflation plummeted, and the economy grew, in spite of this. And despite reduced tax rates, federal tax receipts jumped, making that horrible deficit much lower than it would have been otherwise.

Clinton also benefited from the same strategy coupled with reduced spending (regrettably, much of which happened to the detriment of the armed forces).

Red_Chili
10-16-2008, 08:15 AM
FWIW, I don't care for McCain's health care ideas, the OP's concern. My comfort comes from the fact that he will be about as successful at this - facing Congress - as HillaryCare was. Won't happen.

I support him for foreign policy and economic policy, the two most important aspects of the presidency, and in which Obama compares dismally for the reasons I have outlined. Palin is a nut job only if you do not look into her history and follow the sound bites from the left. As an example, Matt, it is flatly untrue that she opposes abortion even in the case of rape. She stated that she would prefer that the world could make a place for a child conceived in rape through no fault of its own - but strongly sympathizes with the tragedy of rape to the victim. I know you to be a good person, and doubt very much that you would disagree with her on this. I have also made the point that she is as qualified as any other governor elected president, and attempts to say that she is otherwise smacks of sexist double standards. It would never be tolerated if applied to a Democrat, nor should it be.

Hulk
10-16-2008, 12:40 PM
It is flatly untrue that she opposes abortion even in the case of rape. She stated that she would prefer that the world could make a place for a child conceived in rape through no fault of its own - but strongly sympathizes with the tragedy of rape to the victim. I know you to be a good person, and doubt very much that you would disagree with her on this.

I strongly sympathize with rape victims, yes.

I've never seen Palin answer the question directly, saying while she regrets even one abortion, an exception must be made in cases of rape. All I've seen her do is dodge the question and talk about how regrettable the whole situation is. My take-away is that she won't answer the question because she does, in fact, oppose abortion even in cases of rape.

I'm sorry, but the line must be drawn here. If my wife, mother, or daughter were ever raped and became pregnant, the last thing I would want to do would be to bring that child into the world. If you would be OK with your wife going through 9 months of pregnancy to bear a rapist's child, you're a much better man than I.

Red_Chili
10-16-2008, 12:49 PM
I agree that the line must be drawn there, and I am very strongly pro-life. But she did answer the question, to the dissatisfaction of those who are idealistic hard liners.

If my wife, mother, or daughter were ever raped and became pregnant, the last thing I would want to do would be to bring that child into the world. If you would be OK with your wife going through 9 months of pregnancy to bear a rapist's child, you're a much better man than I.
I would not say that would make me a better man, that I would be OK with someone else bearing the suffering I do not need to. I know what you mean though, just underscoring it. Sometimes there is only a choice of evils, without a good choice.

But when 1/3 of the younger generation isn't here because of abortion, we definitely have taken things to the other extreme. Legal and rare, to quote Hillary, it ain't. Not by a long shot.

Uncle Ben
10-16-2008, 02:10 PM
I agree that the line must be drawn there, and I am very strongly pro-life. But she did answer the question, to the dissatisfaction of those who are idealistic hard liners.


I would not say that would make me a better man, that I would be OK with someone else bearing the suffering I do not need to. I know what you mean though, just underscoring it. Sometimes there is only a choice of evils, without a good choice.

But when 1/3 of the younger generation isn't here because of abortion, we definitely have taken things to the other extreme. Legal and rare, to quote Hillary, it ain't. Not by a long shot.

I just can' resist.......I must reply......... Weather or not I am Pro-Choice or Pro-Life has no relavance.....what matters is GOVERNMENT HAS NO PLACE DECIDING ON A INDIVIDUALS PERSONAL MATTERS! My morals and my religion will guide me and my spouse on what we do if she has a child growing in her, my book keeping and budget and health history will determine my insurance needs, and my budget and morals will also determine my transportation preferance. I will never indicate on any form my religion or race and asshats hiding behind the Quran (or whatever) that decide to threaten me and my family on my soil will pay with thier life! I will continue to believe in the Constitution and I will use any resource I have to fight those who try to take that right my forefathers gave to me away! Nuff said.... :rant:

Red_Chili
10-16-2008, 05:38 PM
I hear there is legislation pending about mixing landcruiser and minitruck parts. In the D controlled Congress.

:lmao:

Seriously, I am not sure I disagree (viable term babies being aborted aside, this I think is the proper domain of government, no one can deny THEIR personhood, and they cannot speak for themselves). But the number of babies aborted for convenience in this country is a scandal, and IIRC even Hillary would agree. There are so many other options.

Purists would take me to task, but in a pluralistic society I think compromise with a view to reducing that scandal is a perfectly democratic idea.

Chris
10-16-2008, 06:04 PM
1. Reduce the number of abortions by educating the young on proper use of all birth control methods. Forget about "abstinence only" and goofy things like virginity pledges.

2. Get parents to be parents and talk to their kids about sex.

3. Keep the gov't out of it.

:cheers:

Shark Bait
10-16-2008, 08:02 PM
Obviously losing his way (http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081016/pl_politico/14645;_ylt=AnZqUouT2HfDitDUlsvpkS1h24cA). McCain is spending time and money in states he has no chance in. Even his own people don't understand why. :confused:

Azrael
10-16-2008, 08:05 PM
Obviously losing his way (http://news.yahoo.com/s/politico/20081016/pl_politico/14645;_ylt=AnZqUouT2HfDitDUlsvpkS1h24cA). McCain is spending time and money in states he has no chance in. Even his own people don't understand why. :confused:

Because if he didn't, he'd have nowhere else to go. :D

Chris
10-16-2008, 09:42 PM
Time for a bit of levity.

Makes me laugh! :D

Uncle Ben
10-17-2008, 07:17 AM
1. Reduce the number of abortions by educating the young on proper use of all birth control methods. Forget about "abstinence only" and goofy things like virginity pledges.

2. Get parents to be parents and talk to their kids about sex.

3. Keep the gov't out of it.

:cheers:

Very well said! :cheers:

Uncle Ben
10-17-2008, 07:28 AM
I hear there is legislation pending about mixing landcruiser and minitruck parts. In the D controlled Congress.

:lmao:



That is proper use of gubment authority! Anyone considering anything mini truck should be shot on sight! Now those individuals who choose to dabble in Toyotas midsize truck arena should be able to get federal grant money don't ya think? I've heard that if Toyota would have made a T-43 series Cruiser they would have cornered the market and all the cool kids would want one! :p: Just say "NO" to mini trucks and wuss liberals! :p:

Groucho
10-17-2008, 08:56 AM
1. Reduce the number of abortions by educating the young on proper use of all birth control methods. Forget about "abstinence only" and goofy things like virginity pledges.

2. Get parents to be parents and talk to their kids about sex.

3. Keep the gov't out of it.

:cheers:

I can't stand that there is still debate here over who is better (READ: Less crummy) between these two candidates and their vice-candidates. Neither one of them will actually impact the change this country needs. They still want to tell us how to live our lives by what we can't do; support our needs so much that we have no choice but to be supported at the detriment of personal and social progress; and try and control with "death grips" everything that should be at the maximum gently massaged (e.g.--Economic Bailout 2008). We need someone who will begin the process to lead us back to what we once were, and hope to be again.

There are too many "sheep" in our country. They all want to believe that they are free to make their own choices, but then they expect the gubment to be the "shepherd" by guarding, supporting and wiping our asses for us. Its rediculous!! Take the red pill!!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HU8jw7fzikQ)

Adapted from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" (and used in the movie Grosse Point Blank) :

Where are all the good men dead.
In the heart or in the head?

A admirable man would be dead in neither his head nor his heart.
If an intelligent man has no passion or compassion then he is worthless as an individual.
If a man has passion but no intelligence, then he is worthless as an individual.

Only teamed up can such men do good.

Lets begin by teaching our children the responsibility that comes with having sex. Then we can teach them the order of compassion for the consequences of having sex. I for one am sick of band-aiding the problem as an afterthought. All we do is leave it alone thinking someone else will fix it. I for one don't want or need gubemtn intervention in my life. Well said FR4X4 & UB!!:thumb:

Hulk
10-17-2008, 11:04 AM
A admirable man would be dead in neither his head nor his heart.
If an intelligent man has no passion or compassion then he is worthless as an individual.
If a man has passion but no intelligence, then he is worthless as an individual.

Only teamed up can such men do good.


Nicely said. There is a time for judgment and a time for compassion. The thinking man can do both, and approaches any situation with an open mind.

1. Reduce the number of abortions by educating the young on proper use of all birth control methods. Forget about "abstinence only" and goofy things like virginity pledges.

2. Get parents to be parents and talk to their kids about sex.

3. Keep the gov't out of it.

:cheers:

Completely agree. The older my children grow, the more I think parents are the key to nearly everything. If you're relying on schools to educate your kids, you're an idiot.

(viable term babies being aborted aside, this I think is the proper domain of government, no one can deny THEIR personhood, and they cannot speak for themselves).

I agree with this. In fact, I'd agree with making abortions illegal after the first trimester, except in some edge cases. Abortion is completely preventable. Put some good sex ed out there, make contraceptives easy to get, make the "morning after" pill available over the counter, and we'll have fewer abortions.

nakman
10-17-2008, 11:19 AM
If you make it illegal to put mini truck parts on a Cruiser then you're just opening the door to a whole myriad of entrepreneurial underground types willing to provide folks with illegal mini truck parts in an unregulated, unmonitored, and unsanitary environment. You don't erase the demand by making something illegal.

DaveInDenver
10-17-2008, 02:31 PM
Just for reference, I'm one of those ultra wealthy (despite having $500 in the checking account), heartless people who think they can go it alone in this world using only the two hands and few remaining functioning brain cells in my head. So the idea of an Obama + fillibuster proof liberal Senate scares me. I happen to like freedom and keeping the rewards for my work. The real possibility of unchecked socialist legislation is why I might vote for McCain (I'm traditionally a Libertarian voter).

Op Ed Article (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122420205889842989.html?mod=rss_opinion_main) from today's Wall Street Journal.

If the current polls hold, Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4 and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities, probably with a filibuster-proof Senate or very close to it. Without the ability to filibuster, the Senate would become like the House, able to pass whatever the majority wants.

Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven't since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.

The nearby table shows the major bills that passed the House this year or last before being stopped by the Senate minority. Keep in mind that the most important power of the filibuster is to shape legislation, not merely to block it. The threat of 41 committed Senators can cause the House to modify its desires even before legislation comes to a vote. Without that restraining power, all of the following have very good chances of becoming law in 2009 or 2010.

http://s.wsj.net/public/resources/images/ED-AI396_Filibu_NS_20081016214818.gif

- Medicare for all. When HillaryCare cratered in 1994, the Democrats concluded they had overreached, so they carved up the old agenda into smaller incremental steps, such as Schip for children. A strongly Democratic Congress is now likely to lay the final flagstones on the path to government-run health insurance from cradle to grave.

Mr. Obama wants to build a public insurance program, modeled after Medicare and open to everyone of any income. According to the Lewin Group, the gold standard of health policy analysis, the Obama plan would shift between 32 million and 52 million from private coverage to the huge new entitlement. Like Medicare or the Canadian system, this would never be repealed.

The commitments would start slow, so as not to cause immediate alarm. But as U.S. health-care spending flowed into the default government options, taxes would have to rise or services would be rationed, or both. Single payer is the inevitable next step, as Mr. Obama has already said is his ultimate ideal.

- The business climate. "We have some harsh decisions to make," Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned recently, speaking about retribution for the financial panic. Look for a replay of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s, with Henry Waxman, John Conyers and Ed Markey sponsoring ritual hangings to further their agenda to control more of the private economy. The financial industry will get an overhaul in any case, but telecom, biotech and drug makers, among many others, can expect to be investigated and face new, more onerous rules. See the "Issues and Legislation" tab on Mr. Waxman's Web site for a not-so-brief target list.

The danger is that Democrats could cause the economic downturn to last longer than it otherwise will by enacting regulatory overkill like Sarbanes-Oxley. Something more punitive is likely as well, for instance a windfall profits tax on oil, and maybe other industries.

- Union supremacy. One program certain to be given right of way is "card check." Unions have been in decline for decades, now claiming only 7.4% of the private-sector work force, so Big Labor wants to trash the secret-ballot elections that have been in place since the 1930s. The "Employee Free Choice Act" would convert workplaces into union shops merely by gathering signatures from a majority of employees, which means organizers could strongarm those who opposed such a petition.

The bill also imposes a compulsory arbitration regime that results in an automatic two-year union "contract" after 130 days of failed negotiation. The point is to force businesses to recognize a union whether the workers support it or not. This would be the biggest pro-union shift in the balance of labor-management power since the Wagner Act of 1935.

- Taxes. Taxes will rise substantially, the only question being how high. Mr. Obama would raise the top income, dividend and capital-gains rates for "the rich," substantially increasing the cost of new investment in the U.S. More radically, he wants to lift or eliminate the cap on income subject to payroll taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security. This would convert what was meant to be a pension insurance program into an overt income redistribution program. It would also impose a probably unrepealable increase in marginal tax rates, and a permanent shift upward in the federal tax share of GDP.

- The green revolution. A tax-and-regulation scheme in the name of climate change is a top left-wing priority. Cap and trade would hand Congress trillions of dollars in new spending from the auction of carbon credits, which it would use to pick winners and losers in the energy business and across the economy. Huge chunks of GDP and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and a vast new global-warming bureaucracy. Without the GOP votes to help stage a filibuster, Senators from carbon-intensive states would have less ability to temper coastal liberals who answer to the green elites.

- Free speech and voting rights. A liberal supermajority would move quickly to impose procedural advantages that could cement Democratic rule for years to come. One early effort would be national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the "community organizer" left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls. The District of Columbia would also get votes in Congress -- Democratic, naturally.

Felons may also get the right to vote nationwide, while the Fairness Doctrine is likely to be reimposed either by Congress or the Obama FCC. A major goal of the supermajority left would be to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition.

- Special-interest potpourri. Look for the watering down of No Child Left Behind testing standards, as a favor to the National Education Association. The tort bar's ship would also come in, including limits on arbitration to settle disputes and watering down the 1995 law limiting strike suits. New causes of legal action would be sprinkled throughout most legislation. The anti-antiterror lobby would be rewarded with the end of Guantanamo and military commissions, which probably means trying terrorists in civilian courts. Google and MoveOn.org would get "net neutrality" rules, subjecting the Internet to intrusive regulation for the first time.

It's always possible that events -- such as a recession -- would temper some of these ambitions. Republicans also feared the worst in 1993 when Democrats ran the entire government, but it didn't turn out that way. On the other hand, Bob Dole then had 43 GOP Senators to support a filibuster, and the entire Democratic Party has since moved sharply to the left. Mr. Obama's agenda is far more liberal than Bill Clinton's was in 1992, and the Southern Democrats who killed Al Gore's BTU tax and modified liberal ambitions are long gone.

In both 1933 and 1965, liberal majorities imposed vast expansions of government that have never been repealed, and the current financial panic may give today's left another pretext to return to those heydays of welfare-state liberalism. Americans voting for "change" should know they may get far more than they ever imagined.

DaveInDenver
10-17-2008, 03:56 PM
It should be noted that our federal gov't has acted as a "force for good" for nearly 80 years. Driven through Glenwood Canyon on an amazing stretch of highway?
Civil engineering projects. Fine use of public money, roads, dams, etc, total agreement. If there was ever a common welfare and good, I would say interstate infrastructure is it. But for comparison, the Bell telephone system was built out completely privately. In that case, though, AT&T was quasi-governmental in the sense that only a monopoly the size of Ma Bell could have afforded to roll out something on that scale. Consider the cell system and the Internet backbone, private.
Enjoyed a concert at Red Rocks?
Red Rocks was a private amphitheater first, back from 1900 to 1927, when the City of Denver bought the place. The theater as it exists now was built by the City using the CCC and WPA programs of the New Deal. I certainly do enjoy it as a park as much as a venue.
Used a satellite phone?
I have to make a point here. Commercial launches have far outweighed government for a while, most of the last decade the commercial world has grown by double digits over government launches. The place you work puts up their own birds without much help from the government, in fact. Your service is part of Boeing's Anik F2 and Loral built your second bird, which France's Arianespace launched. There are about 300 active commercial GEO birds in orbit for US companies alone, probably about 600 total from all nations, public and private. Take DBS and satellite radio to Internet and voice traffic, most of it is aboard satellites built by commercial companies and launched by commercial companies. The government itself relies on the efficiency of the commercial operators, around 75% of the SATCOM bandwidth used by the DoD is provided via commercial birds. There are 3 commercial companies providing digital imaging, which is used by the government almost completely for non-defense stuff (BLM, USFS, USGS, etc.) and to some extent by the other parts... GPS is a government operated constellation, obviously from necessity.
Were you vaccinated against polio as a child?
The polio vaccination was discovered by Dr. Salk at the University of Pittsburgh, so public funding was used there.

I think my point is that there are things that government does that could be done privately just as well. There are things that are better done by one or the other. I don't think it's useful to point out that since public funded this or that turned out well that we can generalize that government run everything would be ideal. We have a pretty good private food supply system here (just assuming farmer subsidies probably are a wash economically, the market will produce what sells no matter what the government does), which contrasted to Communist Russia, where selection and availability was always dismal.

Hulk
10-17-2008, 05:39 PM
I have to make a point here. Commercial launches have far outweighed government for a while, most of the last decade the commercial world has grown by double digits over government launches. The place you work puts up their own birds without much help from the government, in fact.

Sure, but all these commercial enterprises have been built on the backbone of the initial research and launches of NASA in the 60s and 70s. Private enterprise didn't lead, they followed. My point here was that a massive gov't funding of research into alternative fuel technology could be a great thing for our country, including private business.

I think my point is that there are things that government does that could be done privately just as well. There are things that are better done by one or the other. I don't think it's useful to point out that since public funded this or that turned out well that we can generalize that government run everything would be ideal.

Having the government run everything would certainly not be ideal. The point I was trying to make was the reverse of this. People seem to think that government funding of programs is always evil and should be avoided at all costs. I don't agree this is always true. Having the government put money into researching technology that will benefit the vast majority of Americans seems like a good investment to me. Yesterday's NASA funding should perhaps be invested in tomorrow's solar/wind/geothermal/etc. power technology.

The sooner we can tell Saudi Arabia and Venezuela that we don't need their oil, the better. They can sell it to China. And guess what? China and everyone else will want to buy our new technology.

DaveInDenver
10-17-2008, 07:53 PM
Sure, but all these commercial enterprises have been built on the backbone of the initial research and launches of NASA in the 60s and 70s. Private enterprise didn't lead, they followed. My point here was that a massive gov't funding of research into alternative fuel technology could be a great thing for our country, including private business.
NASA did launch Explorer first (1958), but the reason that the US Government got all the launches of commercial spacecraft in the 1960s and 1970s was that they had a protected monopoly. AT&T flew the first private satellite in 1960, TELSTAR. The very idea never occurred to NASA when AT&T filed for permission with the FCC to do that (an active communications satellite), so NASA themselves contracted RCA to build them RELAY. NASA also contracted Hughes to build GEO satellites, SYNCOM, when the military's program (ADVENT) got canned for overruns and technical problems. By the mid 1960s, AT&T, RCA and Hughes had at least half a dozen satellites up and going and NASA had nothing of their own, they just put them into space. Around 1965 the Early Birds started to be launched by COMSAT Corp. and ever since the commercial world has owned satellite communications basically exclusively. Even in the early 1960s AT&T recognized the cost benefits of satellite communication over sea bottom trunks. It was ABC in 1965 that had the idea of distributing their signal by satellite, but they never got it off the ground. It was actually 1972 when TELESAT in Canada that launched the first satellite for distribution of communications. RCA followed soon after and by 1975 the ground work was laid for companies like HBO and Showtime to begin widespread dissemination.

But all satellites that we put up until 1984 had to be on top of NASA lifters by law. JFK signed the Communications Satellite Act in 1962, which essentially required the government to oversee all space activities. It wasn't until Reagan signed the Commercial Space Launch Act that allowed commercial lifting companies to even operate. That was so successful that in 1990 Bush signed the Launch Services Purchase Act that flipped the tables and actually prevented NASA from launching satellites and required them to buy launch services from private industry. It was obvious after the Challenger disaster that putting all of our eggs in one basket (NASA) might be a major problem and the Shuttle is the only non-military exception to that rule. And even then NASA has to justify using the Shuttle if the payload is unique or a commercial equivalent does not reasonably exist (i.e. lifting humans, the Hubble and the ISS).

By the middle 1990s commercial launches far outweighed government ones. It's got to be at least 5-to-1 these days with the USAF being about the only government body launching non-human flights and that's only because of the black stuff. So to say NASA opened up space is true, but that was because they had the force of Congress and the Executive behind them. The price of space flight has come down dramatically because of competition through CSLA and LSPA. DBS, XM Radio, the X Prize, satellite phones, all that is because the government was removed as the sole path to space. Who knows, had NASA not been the only path into orbit for all those year, maybe we'd already be taking space tours. But it was necessary to protect NASA in the beginning, it's possible that Gemini and Apollo would never have happened if they had competition to deal with. But I'm personally not a major fan of manned space flight in a practical sense. Sure, it draws public attention, but the hoops you have to jump through and the costs, just not worth it IMO.

Caribou Sandstorm
10-17-2008, 08:03 PM
the other place I hang out at to talk 4x4 is caught up on whom is the better 4x4 driver.....which is hilarious because they all have been driving a 2 or 3 year old or in my case 10 month old vehicles...Ahh cruiser heads you gotta love em..

Great political reading througout this thread.

Red_Chili
10-21-2008, 01:23 PM
Note to self: never challenge Dave on supporting detailed history.
:lmao:

Red_Chili
10-21-2008, 01:32 PM
Really though, as posted before I would like to hear on why the similarities in Obama's economic plan to Jimmy Carter's would not lead to the same double digit unemployment, same double digit interest rates, and same stubborn stagflation. It is an honest question, not 'baiting'. Please use supporting economic reasoning based on generally accepted economic models. If you do, I promise I can be persuaded.

My premise for concern is, corporations do not pay taxes. They never have. We pay their taxes - when we buy their products and services. That means the claim that tax rates for 95% of the population will not go up, is only true when the analysis is restricted to income tax rates. Real taxes will go up significantly - just as they did under other presidents who tried it - with resulting impact to the economy just when it can least stand it.

DaveInDenver
10-21-2008, 02:05 PM
My premise for concern is, corporations do not pay taxes. They never have. We pay their taxes - when we buy their products and services. That means the claim that tax rates for 95% of the population will not go up, is only true when the analysis is restricted to income tax rates. Real taxes will go up significantly - just as they did under other presidents who tried it - with resulting impact to the economy just when it can least stand it.
You make the relevant point. Even in the stilted tax scheme that is income (as opposed to consumption) tax, only people who make money are taxed. If you are already rich (like say most Senators and wealthy families) you don't pay taxes retroactively on money you already have. Except for capital gains, which is essentially like income, only that you risked the money on an investment rather than exchanging your free time for the money. Since governments don't create any new wealth, taking more money out of the economy by taxes to move it around classes can't work to stimulate anything. From an economic standpoint you never want a government to increase spending or taxes, it is inefficient compared to the market. Sometimes you have to do that since the ends justify the means for whatever reason. You don't want a private military or police force that is loyal to the anyone except the public, for example. Also infrastructure makes sense to free commerce. Schools, I can agree that public schools are fine, although I think doing it at a Federal level is asinine, but none-the-less having everyone pay into a school system is fine, since it helps the community. The problem is what is appropriate levels and we've been tinkering with that for 75 years since the Great Depression, the balance between social spending and private markets. I think the level is already too high in that it genuinely impedes business. Business has costs and some costs are easier to work around than others. A business owner who ships labor over to China is not always doing so for evil, sometimes the combination of materials, labor and taxes tilts his decision. China offers businesses zero taxes and cheap labor, hard to look past that. If we had a lower level of burden imposed, I'm sure a lot of companies would like to bring work back here. You HAVE to believe in the market for it to work. If you believe capitalism doesn't work, then it won't.

BTW, as a libertarian I am a big fan of consumption taxes, but you will NEVER see them implemented because that is the real way to stick it to the rich people. They would have to pay more for $1,000,000 houses and $50,000 cars than we do for $250,000 houses and used Toyotas. The system of ultra-rich political families will do anything to protect their protected classes. Each time a Bush or Rockefeller buys another Long Island mansion they would have to pay a ton of taxes and we can't have that, can we? But really, the top crust doesn't want people moving beyond middle class and they would be happy if there were no middle class. So you have to force the government to do what you want it to and increasing taxes for social programs only hurts the upwardly mobile class, not the already wealthy class.

Nay
10-21-2008, 02:59 PM
Really though, as posted before I would like to hear on why the similarities in Obama's economic plan to Jimmy Carter's would not lead to the same double digit unemployment, same double digit interest rates, and same stubborn stagflation. It is an honest question, not 'baiting'. Please use supporting economic reasoning based on generally accepted economic models. If you do, I promise I can be persuaded.

My premise for concern is, corporations do not pay taxes. They never have. We pay their taxes - when we buy their products and services. That means the claim that tax rates for 95% of the population will not go up, is only true when the analysis is restricted to income tax rates. Real taxes will go up significantly - just as they did under other presidents who tried it - with resulting impact to the economy just when it can least stand it.

There is a serious assumption here: that one President's intended policies led in a short time to macro-economic changes. Presidents don't have this much power of the economy. This would be akin to blaming where we are now on Bush, when this is really the better part of 30 years of macro-economics coming to a head.

If you really want to make the Carter argument, then you also have to make the argument that 8 years of supply side economics under Reagan led to a severe recession, and 8 years of supply side economics under Bush has led to a severe recession.

Hulk
10-21-2008, 04:18 PM
Really though, as posted before I would like to hear on why the similarities in Obama's economic plan to Jimmy Carter's would not lead to the same double digit unemployment, same double digit interest rates, and same stubborn stagflation. It is an honest question, not 'baiting'. Please use supporting economic reasoning based on generally accepted economic models. If you do, I promise I can be persuaded.

Sorry man, too much work. But...

I would like to hear on why the similarities in Obama's McCain's economic plan to Jimmy Carter's George W. Bush's would not lead to the same double digit unemployment $700 billion bailout, same double digit interest rates record deficits, and same stubborn stagflation reduced real income for most American families and further division between the wealth of the rich and the middle class.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, why on earth would anyone want to vote for a continuation of Republican economic policies?

Hulk
10-21-2008, 04:28 PM
There is a serious assumption here: that one President's intended policies led in a short time to macro-economic changes. Presidents don't have this much power of the economy. This would be akin to blaming where we are now on Bush, when this is really the better part of 30 years of macro-economics coming to a head.

If you really want to make the Carter argument, then you also have to make the argument that 8 years of supply side economics under Reagan led to a severe recession, and 8 years of supply side economics under Bush has led to a severe recession.

I agree that some of this has been 30 years in the making. However, I do think the economic policies of whichever administration is in office do make a difference, even if it is only to affect the confidence of the marketplace. Part of the bubble from 1999-2000 was due to the love that the market had for a US economy that produced surpluses.

The egregious behavior of Bill Clinton during his second term have overshadowed the good work that his administration did in its first term. They seriously cut back government spending, and not just from the military (although the dittoheads would have you believe otherwise), and significantly reduced the size of government for the first time in decades. And they did all of this with a Republican congress.

GWB has increased the size of the federal gov't by 40% in 8 years. He had a Republican congress for 6 of 8 years of his tenure. He got what he wanted, and we are now seeing some of the results. I think his policies have caused some of where we are today, even if the foundations of this path date back to 1980.

DaveInDenver
10-21-2008, 04:31 PM
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, why on earth would anyone want to vote for a continuation of Republican economic policies?
Bush has been so much more of a demand side President than Reagan or his father, so it's hardly as clear cut as that (stimulus checks are classic demand-side moves). The policies of either the Republicrat or the Demopublican candidate here are both terribly Keynesian. But I'm a supply-side libertarian, I believe the market is driven by supply, not managed demand. Notice I'm not talking a trickle-up or trickle-down side. That's political pandering and rhetoric to whatever sub-class you are trying to win votes. Supply side and Keynesian economics are legitimate theories, trickle this or that is politics explaining who gets the old boy's slap on the back. The truth is that the President has just a fraction of the power to control the economy. That lies with primarily with Congress and had they been doing their job of oversight of the Federal Reserve, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, golden parachute clauses, unsustainable low income loan HUD policies and mortgage loopholes you could drive a Hummer H2 through we'd be in a lot less tenuous spot. With a responsible Congress it wouldn't matter if Obama, McCain, the Bush twins or Rin Tin Tin were President, the fundamentals would have been taken care of. I happen to whole heartedly agree that voting Bush back in for a third term would be a mistake, but it just happens to be that he's not running again and we have to chose between two dingbats who will say most anything to get elected and I have no faith that either will do anything close to what they claim they will. I have a feeling that the $700 billion bail out will be the norm of legislation under both guys. With Obama, though, I have a feeling he's be a lap dog for the Congressional leadership (not just Pelosi, Reid, but just as much McConnell and other slimy Congressmen) and that is IMHO worse than anything. Whether McCain would let two brain cells fire and stand for something he believes in is dubious, that's for sure. It's sad that it seems to me that this year my voting will be to see how much we can clog up Congress just so that nothing worse can be done. The economy can not handle more micromanagement through taxes or populist punitive legislation. We are driving capital off shore to more advantageous markets with lower taxes, less regulation, etc. To get that back here with tax breaks while also increasing government spending (i.e. publicly funded health care ain't free) means the tax-paying middle class get squeezed more, not less.

Nay
10-21-2008, 06:56 PM
In my limited study of economics during my undergrad (I have a Minor in Economics), I came away with the view that macro-economics lies largely in the management of micro-economics expectations more than any particular formula. If people feel good, they spend accordingly, and if they feel bad, the retrench accordingly. Many of the things they react to in investment news have no bearing on their lives, but react they do. This is a curiosity of the last eight years, where we have generally felt bad post 9/11 but spent like we felt good based on the incentives to do so.

I think the much of this lies on the enormous pedestal that Greenspan was placed upon. One of the arguments against constant government interference in the economy is that it accentuates the highs and lows rather than achieving its intention of mitigating those swings. By the time you deal with the lag effect of stimulus programs the natural economic cycle is typically on the upswing and the stimulus only adds to the forward momentum. "Soft landing" policies accentuate the downturns (remember Greenspan's well marketed soft landing?).

What Greenspan realized was management of consumer expectations was key to the economy (keep them spending through a recession and you don't have one, at least not until it catches up with you). The Fed, as we should all know now, as an array of tools at its disposal, but monetary policy is lost on the average citizen. What we understand is interest rates, and Greenspan tried too hard to use interest rates as a singular tool to deal with bubbles and geopolitical events. The recession we should have had early in the decade got pushed to now and took the housing market with it.

A trillion dollars of fake wealth generated on housing paper is the house of cards that has to give that trillion back. And the nationalization of our banking system to cover that trillion is a tax. Just like the war in Iraq is a tax. Just like tax breaks that we can't pay for are a tax. We are deferring them of course, disconnecting the pleasure of spending from the pain of paying. Just like a credit card. Make your minimum payment and you'll be fine. Just ask what happens when the US does not live on a risk free interest rate (no entity on earth but the US Government is considered risk free in credit markets), but has to pay interest rates that involve a risk of default in order to borrow to cover its deficits.

We will kill social security and other entitlement programs through debt spending, but they will simply be replaced by a tax for your portion of the debt assessment. The taxes won't go down, you just won't get anything in return other than the precarious solvency of our entire economy. When you can't borrow anymore you have to pay it back. When you have to pay it back, the only source of revenue is taxes.

Watching Bill Maher on Friday I saw a great quote from FDR's Fed Chairman, Marimer Eccles, who in 1951 wrote the following believing that the real cause of the Depression was the gross inequity between the rich and poor. Much has been made of the Bush policies that have intentionally and aggressively grown this gap to the highest levels since the Depression (Bush is the one who said, "My constituents are the haves and the have mores." Mission Accomplished). Mr. Eccles said:

"As in a poker game where the chips were concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, the other fellows could stay in the game only by borrowing. When their credit ran out, the game stopped."

As they say, history does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme.

DaveInDenver
10-21-2008, 07:40 PM
It's funny you mention Marinner Eccles. He happened to be one of the earliest adopters of Keynesian philosophy in the USA and huge proponent of heavy government involvement in directing economies, if by heavily deficit spending if necessary. He also happened to be a Republican. His philosophy was keep the economy liquid and as long as money did not stagnate, the economy wouldn't striate as badly. Taking that idea too far is what got us here, there was no basis, no fundamentals. When the time came to cash in, there wasn't anyone holding any real money. All the way up to the top, there is no responsibility beyond Fannie and Freddie to pass the till along. Anyway, Eccles was instrumental in writing legislation designed to oversee the market and reign in its freedoms and excesses, which is part of the responsibility that Congress never bothered to exercise. Had Eccles' been in charge, there might be less of chance that these companies would have gotten so leveraged just for the sake of showing the maximum amount of profit. He despised excess profit and felt that companies should make enough profit to generate continued growth, but beyond that sitting on bucket loads of cash was dooming the market and he rather it go to workers in higher salaries. But he advocated it seemed having the government borrow the excess money and redistribute it. I dunno if he really expected forcing that by will of the government. That's a political issue, tickle-up, trickle-down, etc.

It's further interesting to note that the interim recession in 1936-37 were caused (according to Eccles) by the government running a balanced budget. His point is that since the government only absorbs wealth and never creates it, as government grows as percentage of GDP, it shouldn't sit on that wealth and by doing so stifles the economy. It's also important to note that the marginal income tax rates were raised in 1932, which put the nail in the coffin of the economy for good. It is never a good policy to raise taxes to cover increased massive deficit spending going into an economic slowdown. You have to keep the money in the economy and tying it up in programs needs to be for a purpose. IOW, social entitlements aren't going to do it, keeping people working on government backed programs is better. Welfare without a return on investment is no good. So he would be OK with spending money to build roads, civilian projects, etc., I would think. The point is that the money is returned to the economy by spending on machinery, materials, supporting industries, personal items, housing, cars. The one thing that Eccles did not anticipate was the middle 1930s worldwide protectionism leading to the War. As global trade slowed, the recovery stalled until war broke out and created the need for a huge ramp up in economic activity around the world.

Red_Chili
10-22-2008, 11:19 AM
Sorry man, too much work. But...

I would like to hear on why the similarities in Obama's McCain's economic plan to Jimmy Carter's George W. Bush's would not lead to the same double digit unemployment $700 billion bailout, same double digit interest rates record deficits, and same stubborn stagflation reduced real income for most American families and further division between the wealth of the rich and the middle class.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, why on earth would anyone want to vote for a continuation of Republican economic policies?
My question was an honest one, and you threw it back in my face.

Too much work to answer an honest question? You support the man without knowing the answer? Surely that is not what you are saying?

OK, I will answer your question though you have not answered mine.

McCain is not continuing the Bush doctrine (which is far from Republican. VERY far. So your analogy fails about trying the same thing twice, while it holds for Obama=Carter until shown otherwise. Please do show otherwise. )

McCain and Palin have vowed to balance the budget by controlling spending. McCain has shown a predilection for cost cutting in his record. They have vowed to continue reducing taxes (which history has shown, under JFK first, then Reagan, undermining your insanity analogy again) actually dramatically increases federal revenue due to the effect on the economy - which is important, since we have one of the highest corporate tax structures in the world, which is the force actually CHASING jobs out of the country. These two things alone undermine your argument about jobs, about real income, and bailouts (bailouts were supported by both candidates and both parties, and the need for them was the result of pushing for looser FNMA requirements by a Democrat controlled Congress, nice try). To be fair, Bush was happy to take some credit for the increase in home ownership due to those looser requirements - allowing loans to those who should not have gotten them. Again, Bush is a lot of things but calling him Republican is like calling me a Ford owner.

Obama has said he will not raise taxes for 95% of Americans (but 40% of them PAY no income taxes). But he has voted to end Bush's tax breaks (one of the few things Bush has done that is Republican, and which I support) which is, in effect, exactly what he has vowed NOT to do: raise taxes on those 95% of Americans, by default.

I have done what you asked (though I doubt it was really a question seeking an answer). Now please do what I asked - and I really am asking. These are real concerns I have about Obama's economic ideas, and I would happily have them allayed.

Red_Chili
10-22-2008, 11:28 AM
The egregious behavior of Bill Clinton during his second term have overshadowed the good work that his administration did in its first term. They seriously cut back government spending, and not just from the military (although the dittoheads would have you believe otherwise), and significantly reduced the size of government for the first time in decades. And they did all of this with a Republican congress.

GWB has increased the size of the federal gov't by 40% in 8 years. He had a Republican congress for 6 of 8 years of his tenure. He got what he wanted, and we are now seeing some of the results. I think his policies have caused some of where we are today, even if the foundations of this path date back to 1980.
You are correct IMHO. Minus the 'dittoheads' comment. He did seriously undermine the military and had an outrageously weak foreign policy. But your points are well taken.

In other words, GWB has behaved in a way that could hardly be called Republican.

DaveInDenver
10-22-2008, 12:04 PM
since we have one of the highest corporate tax structures in the world, which is the force actually CHASING jobs out of the country
Just a FYI, the current US corporate tax rate varies from 15% up to 39%, but for the bulk of companies that might be considered national or international (my definition is a company earning $75,000 or more) the rate will be between 34% and 39%.

For comparison:
Australia = 30 %
Austria = 25 %
Belgium = 34 %
Canada = 34 %
China = 25 %
Czech Republic = 21 %

Denmark = 25 %
Finland = 26 %
France = 34 %
Germany = 30 %
Greece = 25 %
Hungary = 20 %

Iceland = 15 %
Ireland = 13 %
Italy = 28 %
Japan = 40 %
Korea = 28 %
Luxembourg = 30 %

Mexico = 28 %
Netherlands = 26 %
New Zealand = 30 %
Norway = 28 %
Poland = 19 %
Portugal = 27 %

Russia = 24 %
Slovak Republic = 19 %
Spain = 30 %
Sweden = 28 %
Switzerland = 21 %

Turkey = 20 %
United Kingdom = 28 %
United States = 39 %
Vietnam = 28 %

Sources:
http://www.oecd.org/ctp/taxdatabase
http://www.worldwide-tax.com

DaveInDenver
10-22-2008, 01:59 PM
Reading some interesting things. George Bush has been in office for 7.5 years.

At the end of 2006 and early 2007:

Consumer confidence stood at a 2.5 year high
The Consumer Price Index ranged from 1.6% (2001) to 3.4% (2005) per year and was 2.5% in 2006
Gasoline hit a high of $3 shortly in June 2006
Gasoline sold for $2.30 in Dec 2006
Unemployment rate was 4.4% in December 2006
The DJIA hit a record high (12,300 at the end of 2006 and went over 14,000 in July 2007)
DJIA was 8,400 when Bush took office, dropped below 8,000 after 9/11/01
The dollar was strong
Consumer spending was good, people were buying cars, taking trips overseas

But Americans wanted change! So, in 2006 they voted in a Democratic Congress. Under the 110th Congress' watch:

Consumer confidence has plummeted
Gasoline hit $3 a gallon again for good in April 2007
Gasoline hit $4 a gallon in June 2008
Unemployment is up to 6.1% in September 2008
Americans have seen their home equity drop by $12 trillion
1% of American homes are now in foreclosure
CPI was 4.1% in 2007 and 4.5% in 2008 (thru September)
Since Jan 2007 the DJIA has lost 4,000 points, undoing in 1.5 years what took 6 years to grow under the 107th, 108th and 109th Congresses

It's anecdotal for sure, but there you go. Remember that Congress has more to do with the state of the economy than the President. But OTOH, a President who rubber stamps Congress could be very powerful, for good or bad. What I do think is more important is not that the real indicators are much different, but public sentiment is so much worse now. I think that lies with the constant media negativity and the venom that both major parties spew at each other.

Hulk
10-22-2008, 03:09 PM
But Americans wanted change! So, in 2006 they voted in a Democratic Congress. Under the 110th Congress' watch:

Consumer confidence has plummeted
Gasoline hit $3 a gallon again for good in April 2007
Gasoline hit $4 a gallon in June 2008
Unemployment is up to 6.1% in September 2008
Americans have seen their home equity drop by $12 trillion
1% of American homes are now in foreclosure
CPI was 4.1% in 2007 and 4.5% in 2008 (thru September)
Since Jan 2007 the DJIA has lost 4,000 points, undoing in 1.5 years what took 6 years to grow under the 107th, 108th and 109th Congresses



That's like blaming Bush for 9/11, 7 1/2 months after he took office.

DaveInDenver
10-22-2008, 03:24 PM
That's like blaming Bush for 9/11, 7 1/2 months after he took office.
Uh, neither President Clinton or Bush nor any Congressman were directly responsible for that, so I guess I don't see the analog. The branches of government do have direct responsibilities and there are results of actions and inactions that affect the economy. Tax rates, monetary policy, regulative oversight, spending, etc. That's my point, the first 2 years of Bush were erratic, obviously because of September 11. The next 4 years were relatively stable and the last year and half have been traumatic. It is anecdotal? Sure, but I also don't blame one man for all the problems, it is systematic.

BTW, I attached the Urban-Brookings Institute analysis comparing the two candidate's tax policies. Just for some additional light reading, ya know.

Hulk
10-22-2008, 08:34 PM
My question was an honest one, and you threw it back in my face.

Too much work to answer an honest question? You support the man without knowing the answer? Surely that is not what you are saying?

Didn't mean to be a jerk, but I guess I kind of was a jerk. Sorry.

I'll give you an honest answer, but it's not the comparison you're looking for.

I'm not voting for Obama because I like every specific detail about his economic plan. I'm not voting for him because of any specifics. The reality is that he will need to work with analysts, both parties, and finally Congress to get any of his plans voted into law. His plans will get analyzed by the American people and the media, and the stuff that is too radical for most Americans will get dumped. His plans are likely to change, and the rough edges filed smooth.

The reason I'm voting for Obama is because I believe he represents the common man better than any nominee since perhaps Truman. I think the common man (and woman) has been forgotten in our nation's politics and policies. When our representatives in Washington D.C. start thinking that an income of $250K/year is middle class, it just shows how out of touch they are. You can live a pretty dang comfortable life on that kind of coin. Most people will never come close to it.

Obama grew up poor. He went to some great schools, yes, but he earned the privilege through hard work and intelligence, not connections or inherited wealth. His work as a community organizer had him down in the trenches with folks who struggled everyday to pay the rent and put food on the table. I can't think of a more thankless job. I certainly wouldn't want to do it. But I think if you want to know who is an American, you need to work in a soup kitchen once in a while, because the people who eat there are Americans, too.

The Bible teaches us the lesson that yes, we are our brother's keeper. I believe that there are things that government can do to provide a safety net for the least fortunate among us, and for those in circumstances that might wipe out the entire value of their life's work. Oh the horror! Let me put the brakes on the rhetoric here: Government programs can get out of control, and I do believe that there are things better left to faith organizations and state government.

I believe in compassion for our least fortunate, and competition for those who want to climb the ladder. In other words, everyone should have a warm place to sleep and access to some food on a daily basis, but if you want to sleep in a king-size bed and eat a steak, get off your butt and get to work.

I believe that Obama is a real candidate of change. Big, fundamental changes in the way we treat people and what is considered valuable.

Change is needed. Take health care, for example. What's wrong with a plan that gives every person access to health care when they need it? Why not build a society that takes care of sick people by default instead of arguing about it? Some people say that Canada is a great model, other people will say that Canada's health care system is terrible. Why not take the idea of universal health care and fix the parts that don't work, and create a health care that's better than any other system in the world? Let's kick Canada's ass rather than being scared of the whole idea. (Our approach to health care is like the guy who is so scared of being labeled gay that he won't even hug his Dad). Our health care system is no longer the best out there, yet it seems that any suggestion of change is greeted with derision and cries of socialism. There has to be a better way. It will take courage and cooperation to find it. It will take someone who is not getting all of their ideas from corporate lobbyists and political strategists.

The whole socialism/capitalism thing is out of whack. We've recently socialized the losses of the banking and finance industry, but the profits will continue to be privatized. I don't suggest privatizing these institutions, but why is it acceptable to spend $700 billion to bailout a bunch of banks but allow Oleg to lose his house because he can't pay his medical bills?

The combination of socialism/capitalism works great in education. Our education system is still one of the world's best. Everyone has the opportunity to get K-12 education, free. It's not always equitable in terms of the teachers and resources at each school, but I believe you can get a good education at any school in America if you're willing to work at being a student. If you want even better education, you can pay for it. And if you want to continue on in your education after grade 12, most folks will have to pay for that privilege. We provide minimum coverage education for everyone, and if you want better, you can buy it. I don't see why a similar model can't work for health care.

We need to shift our national priorities. Maintaining a national defense is always going to be important, but we need to get our folks home and work on out own country rather than someone else's. We need to focus on energy independence, creating real jobs for people, keeping our factories open rather than letting them move to China, and rebuilding our infrastructure before more bridges collapse and kill people.

Everything I have heard and seen from Obama makes me think that he thinks through every decision, and chooses carefully and wisely. He does not act on whims or anger. He can stand up to the heat of the political debate and still make decisions based on what is good rather than what will sound good.

The 18th and 19th centuries were America's childhood. In the 20th century, the US was the powerhouse of the world. In the 21st century, someone else will probably have their turn. We can be the adult country: strong, wealthy, healthy, and minding our own business except when called upon. Some of those European nations do some pretty great things for their own people -- we can take a few cues from them and do it our own way, the American way, in a way that doesn't kill all competition and put the government in charge of everything. But we're not going to be the greatest country on the planet by widening the gap between the rich and the poor. I'm not in favor of universal poverty -- I want everyone to have the opportunity to become as rich as possible.

I think McCain is a good man, but I like him less now than I did 12 months ago. His plans don't make much sense. His health care plan in particular sounds like an absolute nightmare, and I don't think it's even a realistic plan -- it will never pass congress. He's running on a plan that sounds good to the free market diehards but will never go anywhere. It's politics, not policy.

Obama has the potential to be a president who changes our society for the better. Teddy Roosevelt protected a few of our great places, and set in motion a philosophy that is still reflected in America today. Our country still honors Abraham Lincoln for the hard choices he had to make.

I'm an optimist. I believe that most people are good. I believe there are political leaders who are good at heart, who have not been corrupted, who still think like leaders rather than politicians. I believe Obama can be a president that will be remembered alongside Teddy Roosevelt and Abe Lincoln.

When I look at Obama, I see hope for the future. When I look at John McCain, I see the Republican party. The Republicans have written a book on cynicism, corporate greed, angry divisive politics, anti-intellectualism, favoring the rich over everyone else, arrogance towards the rest of the world, elevating military might while denigrating diplomacy, operating in secret in defiance of laws and precedent, reducing the right to privacy that has always been a cornerstone of US citizenship, ignoring state's rights, and completely ignoring any sense of fiscal responsibility. The book that Obama wrote is called "The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream." That's the book I choose to vote for.

Hulk
10-22-2008, 08:39 PM
And now, I have truly lived up to my HAM call sign. Good night.

Groucho
10-22-2008, 09:51 PM
Watch this!! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Phs6CwnutoY)

I still say that both of the corporately sponsored criminals candidates aren't worth the vote.

Dave's pretty much right on the money, as usual. Our effort here is wasted if we don't back it up in congress by beating up our elected officals to get our country back.

McCain is NOT a republican. Not unless there is a new wing of the R party called "double secret democratic" republican. Our state even picked him just above Ron Paul, but under Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee. So we as a state got our 3rd choice.

Don't waste your vote--Vote Third Party!!!!!!!

DaveInDenver
10-23-2008, 09:33 AM
Matt, I respect and dearly care for you and your family. You and I really do not differ much in what we think our country can be; strong, just and compassionate. These are the ideals on which we were founded and are true today as they were 250 years ago. Times change, technology and challenges change, the basic necessity that men have principle and integrity does not change.

We see the same ideal, a similar ultimately unachievable (given man's inherent weakness and flaw) goal to which we must strive. We do not see the same path to get there and that's simply politics. In a healthy republic there must be disagreement and conversation to hash out what is the goal. In 1787 the notion of universal health insurance coverage would have been foreign and not understandable. So the practical implementation of ideals must be contemporary within reality. I am not a fool to think that we can turn the clock back to the society of the Founding Fathers. That is absurd, we live in a different age.

Yet, I believe that to be a successful society we need to be allowed to live free and be primarily responsible for ourselves in the same image of men at our nation's infancy. I fundamentally disagree with the philosophy that things must be taken care of by the force and will of government. The inescapable truth is that we must take care of each other is shared in both of our hearts and minds. I just do not agree that government is the path to that end. It is the duty of each of us to be the best American we can and that has to come from within. Honor and ambition cannot be regulated and legislated. The system is not working primarily in my view because we are overburdened, there is rampant corruption of the system. The 20th century has been marked as the time we shifted from self reliance and trust of your fellow man to one of moral relevancy and subjective beliefs. There are things that are right and wrong in this world and to say so has become taboo. People are ridiculed for asking for clarity, truth and adherence to law from each other and government. The Democrats, major media and most of the ruling class will never truly hold Bush's feet to the fire, they would get burned in the process.

In any case, digging this hole any deeper, I simply do not share your enthusiasm for the path that Obama represents. He embodies a philosophy that does not leave you, me or anyone in charge of their destiny to do the right thing. He is as much a product of the cynical and unjust system that he purports to change as any politician in Washington. He surrounds himself with people who have played and done very well at the game. The point is not that he is going to raise taxes and redistribute wealth by another 2% or whatever. McCain's plan is just a different color of smoke and shape of mirrors. The point is that these men believe that it is the duty of government to make choices and supply providence for you. It is a form of enslavement, you are subjugated to the will of the majority and relieved of your responsibility and ability to think and act. It is a daily fight, you and Cheeseman and Crash know how a person can get complacent when they get comfortable that there is a safety net. I wasn't aware at how unfocused I had become and it took a well placed slap back into reality to realize it.

I don't believe that mankind's hope is or was ever lost. I believe that the United States (and like societies to which we have been a beacon) thrive in spite of and not because of government. To increase that burden now as much as any is, in my mind, a mistake. Adding to the power of a government has never been the answer to a troubled society. People get angry when they feel trapped. Why is that over the past 75 years that poverty has never been eliminated and malaise only increases? It happens when you are punished for real success and sheltered from real failure. If nothing is ever won or lost, then what's the point of trying?

I'm sure my explanation of liberalism pales in comparison to the masters, so I can only let the one man who I personally hold in high regard say it for me.


"Let us, then, fellow-citizens, unite with one heart and one mind. Let us restore to social intercourse that harmony and affection without which liberty and even life itself are but dreary things. And let us reflect that, having banished from our land that religious intolerance under which mankind so long bled and suffered, we have yet gained little if we countenance a political intolerance as despotic, as wicked, and capable of as bitter and bloody persecutions. During the throes and convulsions of the ancient world, during the agonizing spasms of infuriated man, seeking through blood and slaughter his long-lost liberty, it was not wonderful that the agitation of the billows should reach even this distant and peaceful shore; that this should be more felt and feared by some and less by others, and should divide opinions as to measures of safety. But every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle. We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists. If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it. I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world's best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not. I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern. Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

"Let us, then, with courage and confidence pursue our own Federal and Republican principles, our attachment to union and representative government. Kindly separated by nature and a wide ocean from the exterminating havoc of one quarter of the globe; too high-minded to endure the degradations of the others; possessing a chosen country, with room enough for our descendants to the thousandth and thousandth generation; entertaining a due sense of our equal right to the use of our own faculties, to the acquisitions of our own industry, to honor and confidence from our fellow-citizens, resulting not from birth, but from our actions and their sense of them; enlightened by a benign religion, professed, indeed, and practiced in various forms, yet all of them inculcating honesty, truth, temperance, gratitude, and the love of man; acknowledging and adoring an overruling Providence, which by all its dispensations proves that it delights in the happiness of man here and his greater happiness hereafter—with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and a prosperous people? Still one thing more, fellow-citizens—a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."

Chris
10-23-2008, 09:57 AM
Some very well-spoken posts here that are well thought out but will fail to convince anyone to change their mind if that was even the intent. Neither Obama or McCain can recreate the independence our forefathers envisioned when this country was created. The reality is someone has to be elected and we have two choices, McCain has shown he'll do whatever the party wants him to do and Obama promises more than he can ever deliver. Ultimately it sounds pretty much like every election in recent history. Whether the economics of the past can reflect the economy of the 21st century will remain to be seen. I don't think it can and comparisons to Carter strike me as irrelevant but only time will tell.

From my vantage point I choose Obama simply because he presents hope for a better tomorrow for all people, he repeats that this can only be done with commitment from everyone and states that parents need to step up. For that alone he deserves credit. Until this campaign I respected McCain but the more I listened to him the less I did. Again, strictly my view, I have serious concerns that McCain would live through his term. He's beaten the average life expectancy and I find it hard to believe that his POW ordeal would not shorten his lifespan. That would leave Palin as President and every argument against Obama can be applied to her two-fold.

:twocents:

DaveInDenver
10-23-2008, 10:12 AM
Had to reprint this, just trying to make my point that both parties are far from blameless.

http://townhall.com/columnists/ThomasSowell/2008/10/03/do_facts_matter


Do Facts Matter?
by Thomas Sowell

Abraham Lincoln said, "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time."

Unfortunately, the future of this country, as well as the fate of the Western world, depends on how many people can be fooled on election day, just a few weeks from now.

Right now, the polls indicate that a whole lot of the people are being fooled a whole lot of the time.

The current financial bailout crisis has propelled Barack Obama back into a substantial lead over John McCain-- which is astonishing in view of which man and which party has had the most to do with bringing on this crisis.

It raises the question: Do facts matter? Or is Obama's rhetoric and the media's spin enough to make facts irrelevant?

Fact Number One: It was liberal Democrats, led by Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, who for years-- including the present year-- denied that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were taking big risks that could lead to a financial crisis.

It was Senator Dodd, Congressman Frank and other liberal Democrats who for years refused requests from the Bush administration to set up an agency to regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

It was liberal Democrats, again led by Dodd and Frank, who for years pushed for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans, which are at the heart of today's financial crisis.

Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush's Secretary of the Treasury, five years ago.

Yet, today, what are we hearing? That it was the Bush administration "right-wing ideology" of "de-regulation" that set the stage for the financial crisis. Do facts matter?

We also hear that it is the free market that is to blame. But the facts show that it was the government that pressured financial institutions in general to lend to subprime borrowers, with such things as the Community Reinvestment Act and, later, threats of legal action by then Attorney General Janet Reno if the feds did not like the statistics on who was getting loans and who wasn't.

Is that the free market? Or do facts not matter?

Then there is the question of being against the "greed" of CEOs and for "the people." Franklin Raines made $90 million while he was head of Fannie Mae and mismanaging that institution into crisis.

Who in Congress defended Franklin Raines? Liberal Democrats, including Maxine Waters and the Congressional Black Caucus, at least one of whom referred to the "lynching" of Raines, as if it was racist to hold him to the same standard as white CEOs.

Even after he was deposed as head of Fannie Mae, Franklin Raines was consulted this year by the Obama campaign for his advice on housing!

The Washington Post criticized the McCain campaign for calling Raines an adviser to Obama, even though that fact was reported in the Washington Post itself on July 16th. The technicality and the spin here is that Raines is not officially listed as an adviser. But someone who advises is an adviser, whether or not his name appears on a letterhead.

The tie between Barack Obama and Franklin Raines is not all one-way. Obama has been the second-largest recipient of Fannie Mae's financial contributions, right after Senator Christopher Dodd.

But ties between Obama and Raines? Not if you read the mainstream media.

Facts don't matter much politically if they are not reported.

The media alone are not alone in keeping the facts from the public. Republicans, for reasons unknown, don't seem to know what it is to counter-attack. They deserve to lose.

But the country does not deserve to be put in the hands of a glib and cocky know-it-all, who has accomplished absolutely nothing beyond the advancement of his own career with rhetoric, and who has for years allied himself with a succession of people who have openly expressed their hatred of America.

Red_Chili
10-23-2008, 12:24 PM
Didn't mean to be a jerk, but I guess I kind of was a jerk. Sorry. Fair 'nuff. No worries.

I'll give you an honest answer, but it's not the comparison you're looking for.
No, it's not... but it is a fair answer. Probably the greatest hope is in these words:

I'm not voting for Obama because I like every specific detail about his economic plan. I'm not voting for him because of any specifics. The reality is that he will need to work with analysts, both parties, and finally Congress to get any of his plans voted into law. His plans will get analyzed by the American people and the media, and the stuff that is too radical for most Americans will get dumped. His plans are likely to change, and the rough edges filed smooth.
And that is what prevents extremism from ruling the day, or at least the week. It is the very thing that frustrates people - the slowness of government to respond - yet it is the safety mechanism built into the system by the founding fathers (and mothers).

And curiously enough, it is this that permitted Christopher Buckley to endorse Obama; his was not a resounding endorsement by any means, but he did trust his government enough to smooth out the rough edges and extremism. A protest endorsement, if you will. Fair enough.

I do find Obama to be long on rhetoric and short on track record supporting it, which undermines IMHO one of the reasons you support him. But enough of that.

There is a TERRIFIC set of articles in the Oct. 27th Newsweek; if you can get ahold of a copy, DO SO. Great debate in it, and if I may crudely summarize:
If Obama smartly gauges the center-right political values of the American public - like Clinton did after getting trounced for trying some of his more radical ideas first, and he did this very deftly, outmaneuvering Gingrich - and if he is able to control spending and taxes while ensuring the regulatory power of the government is solid and trustworthy (as opposed to what the D's allowed, abetted by many R's in all fairness), he stands a chance of building the legacy his supporters anticipate, even though it may disappoint them. The opposing opinion piece, endorsing a liberal legacy, was not really all that different: if he makes 'dumb left' moves and supports all manner of radical special interests usually associated with today's Democrat party, he and his party will get trounced in short order. But if he makes some smart-left moves designed to create equality of opportunity, civil rights without special rights, and can control spending like Clinton did (only without gutting the military, especially now), he will build a liberal dynasty.

Call it neo-liberalism. :hill: Which will look a great deal like the neo-conservatism I knew of in the '80s, and nothing like the caracatured neo-con image thrown about today in the mainstream media.;) (no, really, talk to me some time about what neo-conservative originally meant until co-opted by Wolfowitz and reacted to by east coast newspapers).

All of which is, perhaps, the best answer to be given to my concerns about Carter-like taxation and government regulatory policies. It is post-Carter. Hopefully the Ds in three branches of government were taking notes, because they will certainly be calling all the shots (single party rule is never a good thing IMHO).

(BTW, Matt, your bare-chested angry cynicism - !!! - about the Republican party is both understandable, and equally applicable to the Democrat party. And here's hoping both are taking notes.)

(Also FWIW, I voted for Mitt Romney - prescient I would say, since he is economically sharper than anyone who ran based on objective track record, a proven health care reformer, and a proven turn-around artist in business and the Olympics. But who knew what October would bring? I wish he were running.)

Bruce Miller
10-23-2008, 12:31 PM
Even though Obama and McCain are running on a platform of change, and even though the two of them are trying to distance themselves from Bush’s 8 years, the next president will continue the Bush legacy which is a continuation of the Clinton legacy, with even greater reliance on government power and more disregard for freedom, for a huge and expanding government, a growing welfare state, a spying and lying police state, handouts for Wall Street, homeowners, farmers, the elderly and for others in between. Socialism.

In June of 1956, Nikita Krushchev said, “Each year humanity takes a step towards Communism. Maybe not you, but in all events your grandson will surely be a Communist. The United States will eventually fly the Communist Red Flag. The American people will hoist it themselves.” We're on our way!

I hope that both Obama and McCain will lose.

SteveH
10-23-2008, 03:16 PM
Even though Obama and McCain are running on a platform of change, and even though the two of them are trying to distance themselves from Bush’s 8 years, the next president will continue the Bush legacy which is a continuation of the Clinton legacy, with even greater reliance on government power and more disregard for freedom, for a huge and expanding government, a growing welfare state, a spying and lying police state, handouts for Wall Street, homeowners, farmers, the elderly and for others in between. Socialism.


Well stated!

Steve

Romer
10-23-2008, 05:39 PM
We certianaly have a very diverse group here. Lefties, Righties, guys in the middle and those who dont want to be either.

I personally consider myself a moderate who has tended to vote Republican more times than not. So I guess I am a right leaning moderate Independant.

I am very troubled by the growing influence of the religous right in the Republican party. I am convinced that Sarah Palin was selected to appease those people. I dont have anything against her. I think she has done a good job for the role she was thrust into. I don't think she is the best choice and if McCain was truley a maverick he would have chosen someone like Liberman. I also dont like the complete attack mode they are in right now. I think McCain's advisors have led him down the wrong path. He had my vote locked up two months ago, now I am having troubles.

I don't like the alternative because he wants to "redistribute" the wealth and neither has a good health care plan. Why not go after what makes health care so expensive, the malpractice and insurance rates and all the red tape.

You guys have a lot of great facts and info in this thread and it has been interesting reading.

It's nice as heated as some of these discussions have been if a leftie asked a rightie how much pre-load was required on the bearings, the politics would melt away and the real freindship amongst the diverse members of this club would show through.

Red_Chili
10-23-2008, 08:06 PM
Actually I am surprised (and rather proud) at the way we have engaged in even some heated dialog and emerged still friends and still respectful of each other. This speaks well of our character as a club, frankly.


Maybe we should run for office... :lmao:

I agree picking Lieberman would have shifted a few tectonic plates (though he is left of McCain on domestic policy for sure). It would have been fascinating. Ironically enough, Ken, as one who others would see as a member of the religious right, I share some of your concerns. It is one thing to let one's religious commitments guide one in making decisions on behalf of a pluralistic constituency - both refusing to check one's faith at the door, and refusing to force the implications of one's faith on those who do not share it. It is quite another to feel one has a mandate from God to do His will in government and pursue something that begins to resemble a theocracy rather than a democratic republic.

One should fear idealism whether left or right. Per Dennis Prager at least, and I believe he has a profound point.

In actuality, the 'religious right' is far from monolithic. It is actually quite diverse, much to the chagrin of those who would organize it (coff coff Dobson et al coff). Some are noisome enough to be noticed. Others are very careful thinkers who work through the implications of faith in a diverse world and take that responsibility very seriously. Taking Palin as an example, I think Dobson might be quite disappointed in her based on her track record at least (despite the shrill reaction to her). It will be interesting to see where along the diverse continuum she really lives, in the years ahead. From what I see I find much I can relate to. We will see what is image and what is reality.

This is a fascinating social experiment really.

My biggest concern is that, with a Democrat legislative branch, and a Democrat executive branch, that though Obama might temper his instincts toward the center right or center left legislatively, he will have few constraints when it comes to appointing a Supreme Court justice or three. He will get a rubber stamp from Congress, and the repercussions will be felt for generations (and not just around issues that could be described as progressive social justice).

Something to think about.

Inukshuk
10-23-2008, 10:17 PM
Neither Obama or McCain can recreate the independence our forefathers envisioned when this country was created.

And even they had slavery, never considered letting women vote, and the Bill of Rights was an afterthought. Its all a process.

If only the entire country could carry on civilized dialogue like you guys....

From my vantage point I choose Obama simply because he presents hope for a better tomorrow for all people, he repeats that this can only be done with commitment from everyone and states that parents need to step up. For that alone he deserves credit. Until this campaign I respected McCain but the more I listened to him the less I did. Again, strictly my view, I have serious concerns that McCain would live through his term. He's beaten the average life expectancy and I find it hard to believe that his POW ordeal would not shorten his lifespan. That would leave Palin as President and every argument against Obama can be applied to her two-fold.
:twocents:

Well said! :twocents:

Hijack: I think 11/8 should be "Wheeling For Unity Day" - lets go find a trail with a patriotic name, grill hot dogs, wave flags, drink non-alcoholic beer from 6-packs, pick up trash and save GPS tracks so we can prove trail usage to keep them open! :thumb:

Uncle Ben
10-26-2008, 03:33 PM
Hi Folks.......Here's a little QUIZ for you today.....and I'm curious if you can come up with the answer. Good Luck!







Who Am I?



I am under 45 years old,
I love the outdoors,
I like to hunt,
I am a Republican reformer,
I have taken on the Republican Party establishment,
I have many children,
Finally.........I got a spot on the national ticket as vice president with less than two years in the governor's office and my opponents say I don't have enough experience for that job, let alone assume the job of president if something happened to my running mate if he got elected



Did you guess ...... ??? See if you answer if correct......
*

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*

*

*

*

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I am Teddy Roosevelt in 1900



GAZ Note: Gee, I guess he must have done an OK job despite his lack of 'experience'or he wouldn't be up there on Mt. Rushmore huh? Does this kind of resume sound familiar? Nah...didn't think so.

Azrael
10-26-2008, 03:52 PM
Who was guy from Illinois that only had a few year's experience in the senate before running for office?

Oh yeah, that was Lincoln. (That's the guy just right of Teddy on Mt. Rushmore)

wesintl
10-26-2008, 04:28 PM
more radical agenda..

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122488864905768469.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

nuclearlemon
10-26-2008, 06:14 PM
i hope whomever is elected does keep healthcare from being tied to employment. that's part of why i can't afford it through work. our employees have a lot of claims...the service employees (mainly techs). parts employees have near none, but we are lumped in with them and rates go up across the board. although, i tried looking into the online stuff and it was the same price:(

Hulk
10-27-2008, 12:18 AM
It's nice as heated as some of these discussions have been if a leftie asked a rightie how much pre-load was required on the bearings, the politics would melt away and the real freindship amongst the diverse members of this club would show through.

Actually I am surprised (and rather proud) at the way we have engaged in even some heated dialog and emerged still friends and still respectful of each other. This speaks well of our character as a club, frankly.

If only the entire country could carry on civilized dialogue like you guys....

I've really enjoyed the dialogue. The fact that we've been friends for a while helps maintain the civility of the discussion, since we all know and respect one another, not to mention the late-night bull sessions around the campfire. It's yet another benefit of being in the Rising Sun. I'm proud to call all you gentlemen my friends.
:cheers:

Cruzrman
11-14-2008, 06:07 PM
Thank God it's over, and that mean-spirited, desperate old man will hopefully dissappear back into the Senate. My worst fear is that the President-elect might appoint him to a position in his administration to show that he meant that he would "cross the aisle". There are other ways to accomplish the same objective.

Red_Chili
11-15-2008, 07:29 AM
....