Forum Index » Chaff » Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable!


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Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Green Party on 02/21/2011 13:10:04 MST Print View

@ Brad

I just want the government out of my way. Both parties


--------------------------------------------------------

Excellent observations from someone who understands how a business runs. I don't care who is in power (majority), they all just want to pass more laws or regulations. No one really wants to truly reduce government.

Regarding 3rd parties... they do have an impact if enough people support them. Look at the Tea Party (I am not one) -- they have shaken up the political scene.

I am an independent and never vote any party line. None of them represent the intent of this country's founders.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
@Brad on 02/21/2011 14:18:49 MST Print View

"I just want the government out of my way. Both parties"

Thought you might enjoy "the world's shortest political quiz"

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: political quiz on 02/21/2011 14:33:39 MST Print View

Thanks Katherine

Turns out I'm a centrist. No surprise there!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: @Brad on 02/21/2011 14:48:01 MST Print View

Interesting. I'm a centrist (not surprised) on the libertarian side (might surprise some).

From the chart: Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 60%

Chris Benson
(roguenode) - F

Locale: Boulder
RE: Quiz on 02/21/2011 14:51:57 MST Print View

"Thought you might enjoy "the world's shortest political quiz"

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz"

Confirms my fears, it says I'm centrist. Where's the fun in that? :)

As polarized as D.C. has become, politicians are one group where the outlier may in truth be the norm.

Kendall Clement
(socalpacker) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
RE: RE: Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable! on 02/21/2011 15:53:55 MST Print View

I loathe both major political parties. Politicians lie and have little regard for the lives of the people they represent. It doesn't matter what they tell me. It's corporations and special interests they represent. What we are desperately in need of are campaign funding reforms and term limits. When and if these things ever happen, that's when we might see real change in American politics and the peoples' interests genuinely represented in Washington. And, I emphasize the word might because politics is a business. My hope is that we return to the days when you voted for your local shop owner or barber to represent you and when his term was up he returned home to what he was doing previous to holding elected office.

Regarding the point of this thread. It would be a monumental tragedy to see our hard won wilderness protections abandoned.

Edited by socalpacker on 02/21/2011 15:56:39 MST.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: RE: RE: Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable! on 02/21/2011 16:05:44 MST Print View

"Politicians lie and have little regard for the lives of the people they represent."

I don't entirely agree. Some politicians really believe what they promise, but are totally ignorant of the reality of trying to implement these promises if elected. Other politicians certainly don't flinch at lying. Either way, no single politician gets free run of the country to implement any policy they choose, otherwise it would be a dictatorship and not even close to democracy. I Do agree that campaign contributions should be limited. It doesn't seem like much of a democracy to me though, if America really only has two opposing and somewhat extreme parties to effectively vote for.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
quiz on 02/21/2011 16:54:39 MST Print View

90% 30%

I guess I'm a liberal

But social security is insurance, not investment - each year expenditures should equal taxes - nothing to invest

IRAs and 401Ks are better than pensions - let me invest the money - I don't trust government or private company - that's libertarian - but they didn't ask that

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 18:06:14 MST Print View

I have often said that two simple changes would fix a lot of problems:

1. Term limits. 2 terms max like the president
2. Make lobbying illegal. Lobbying = bribery, kick backs, etc in the business world


It's amazing that we even allow the concept of lobbyist. It was basically created by politicians who didn't get reelected, but wanted to capitalize on the connections they have in congress. I think we have over 40k lobbyist in DC today representing everyones needs.

Maybe it should be a law that the white house and congress can't be controlled by one party. Always seems to just lead to trouble.


Brad

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 18:10:41 MST Print View

Guess where I ended up :)

Jerry, I will disagree on SS being insurance. Insurance is risk management and the insurer puts aside/invests the money to cover the risk and generate profits. SS is a tax. The Gov't collect the tax and re-distribute it... and at current rates will run out of money in a few short years. Time to give everybody their SS taxes back and shut it down. I have paid well over $100,000 into SS (not counting medicare). If I retire at 66 how much I get is capped by law... and some people who contributed less than me can get the same benefit. Right now if I live 14 years after I retire, I will receive around $400,000... but how can the government pay me this much money if they have not invested?

It is a Ponzi scheme at best. The Gov't has paid out to separate investors (tax payers) by generating the income from subsequent investors (taxpayers): that is the definition of a Ponzi scheme. Additionally the Gov't pays out to people who did not invest at all through other programs financed by SS.

Last I checked, Ponzi schemes are illegal in the US.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 18:20:36 MST Print View

Nick, couldn't agree with you more. Great explanation.

In 1960 we had about 8% of the population on SS. In 2008, it was 16%.

Lot of painful decisions to make, but they only get worse if we don't start addressing them. Don't have to fix everything tomorrow, but at least we need a realistic plan. It amazing how we keep ignoring the elephant in the room. Oh back to that voter/lobbyist thing again.


Brad

Jack H.
(Found) - F

Locale: Sacramento, CA
Re: Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable! on 02/21/2011 18:32:01 MST Print View

This thread is largely ignoring the fact that the places that we like to hike are under attack.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable! on 02/21/2011 18:33:49 MST Print View

i think it has switched from and attack on "places we like to hike" to "people who like to hike"

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Republican's attack on wilderness. Unconscionable! on 02/21/2011 18:53:48 MST Print View

Jack, you are right your post has gotten sidetrack.

In my opinion neither parties really cares about our love for the outdoors. It is evident in the lack of funding. They each take a position that represents the votes they are trying to win. To them the outdoor vote is probably pretty insignificant. Don't think for a minute that the Democrats wouldn't sell us out if it meant they could pick up more votes.

I think this is only the beginning. With the financial condition of most state and local governments they have no choice but to cut cost. Can't afford to continue raising taxes in this sluggish economy. This means that our love of the outdoors will be first on the chopping blocks. Not like we are going to march to the capital and voice our opinion.

Sad times in my opinion.

Brad

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 19:00:31 MST Print View

Call it insurance or whatever, my point is that they don't invest your money, they pay it out, and the same will be true when you start collecting. Recently, a "fund" of excess payments had accumulated, but it doesn't get invested, it goes to fund other government spending. I think that sucks, but complain to Reagan/Greenspan that doubled taxes which started this "fund" accumulation.

SS will be fine for 25 years, then it will be able to pay out 75% of it's claims, assuming nothing is done to fix it. Just need minor fix to get it stable at 100% of it's claims.

Income over about $100K doesn't get taxed, but then you won't get bigger payments for that either. If you're lucky and hard working enough to make over $100K, don't worry, you'll be paid more than someone that wasn't so lucky and hard working.

Some of the SS payments go to disabled people or children of dead people. Call it insurance or whatever, that's just how it works. I think it's compassionate to do this, and society is better off too.

Ponzi scheme is where you tell someone that they're investing money and they're going to get an unreasonable return. You pay off early "investors" with later investments. Geometrically grows until it collapses from its own weight.

SS has nothing to do with this. You pay in. If you get disabled you'll get paid. If you die your children will get paid. If you retire you'll get paid. No unreasonable returns are promised. Everything is above board, although complicated so many people don't understand it.

The right wingers want SS to die, so they portray it as a Ponzi Scheme to get people to be against it.

Medicare is another problem. One thing is, the Republicans passed a prescription plan but didn't provide a way to pay for it. Another thing is that medical care is getting way more expensive which is screwing up everything, but that's another issue. The right wingers want medicare to die, so I think they intentionally put in this precription "time bomb" that will go off resulting in medicare's death.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 19:15:17 MST Print View

Yeah it's all the right wingers fault. The Democrats had nothing to do with the problem. I personally think both of them are at fault and contributed to the problem. We could sit here all day and pick things each party did to contribute to the problems we have. But to blame one party for all the problems is just not factual.

Not sure how you define a "minor fix", but here is the problem:

The 2009 Social Security and Medicare Trustees Reports show the combined unfunded liability of these two programs has reached nearly $107 trillion in today's dollars! That is about seven times the size of the U.S. economy and 10 times the size of the outstanding national debt.

The unfunded liability is the difference between the benefits that have been promised to current and future retirees and what will be collected in dedicated taxes and Medicare premiums. Last year alone, this debt rose by $5 trillion. If no other reform is enacted, this funding gap can only be closed in future years by substantial tax increases, large benefit cuts or both.

The issue I have is a business is required to record future liabilities (ie pension expense, etc) on the balance sheet to make investors aware of a companies future liabilities/exposure. However our government has not such responsibility to it's investors (ie the taxpayers, me and you). How is that for transparency and ethics. Yet during the financial meltdown our representatives had the gall to call out the banks and wall street as unethical. Geez give me a break.

Brad

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 19:27:09 MST Print View

I agree Democrats went along with things so deserve some blame.

During the last two Democratic presidents, spending bills have been paid for. They sometimes use a little bit funny math but they make some effort.

During the last Republican, they got into two optional wars, passed medicare prescription, made huge tax cuts that went mostly to wealthy people, all on borrowed money. No attempt to pay for it.

There is a difference between when the Republicans control things and the Democrats.

I said SS requires minor fix.

I agree Medicare is a major problem. Obamacare fixed things a little.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn)

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 19:44:22 MST Print View

Jerry,

Enjoyed the conversation. Let's agree to disagree. Next time I'm in the northwest we should grab a beer and talk backpacking. A topic that I'm sure we agree on.

Take care
Brad

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 20:27:20 MST Print View

"The issue I have is a business is required to record future liabilities (ie pension expense, etc) on the balance sheet to make investors aware of a companies future liabilities/exposure. However our government has not such responsibility to it's investors (ie the taxpayers, me and you). How is that for transparency and ethics."

I'm with you here, Brad. That's just one example of an increasingly transparency and ethics challenged government. Think the whole "state secrets" farce, for example.

"Yet during the financial meltdown our representatives had the gall to call out the banks and wall street as unethical. Geez give me a break."

However, IIRC, the reasons for calling the big banks and Wall Street, along with a lot of loan mills, unethical had more to do with their loading up of investment vehicles comprised of home mortgages with mortgages they knew to be likely to fail and then getting the ratings agencies to give them a AAA rating before foisting them off on private investors or mortgage enabling corporations like Fannie and Freddie, occasionally arranging for other customers to take out credit default swaps on said tainted vehicles in order to collect huge profits when said vehicles failed, and predatory lending practices, to name a few of their more egregious antics. I don't think our government has quite sunk to that level.....yet. Still, you have a point.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: quiz on 02/21/2011 21:06:03 MST Print View

Yeah, agree to disagree

It seems like there must be some way to find common ground. Unless you're one of the owners of Walmart or an oil company owner we're both getting scammed.

We'll have to grab beer after taking a hike somewhere.