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Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
"Hi, I am a Tea Partier" (video) on 08/09/2011 17:08:06 MDT Print View

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

These have been around for a while but I just discovered them. Good stuff :)

Edited by backpackerchick on 08/09/2011 17:10:41 MDT.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
More... on 08/09/2011 17:09:35 MDT Print View

"Logic vs. the Tea Party" (video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5XWBn6nglQ&feature=related

Scott Truong
(elf773) - M

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: Hi, I am a Tea Partier on 08/10/2011 17:03:05 MDT Print View

Hahaha... thanks for posting. That was funny.

I had a co-worker (we were all on a bus), who was an ex-patriate Canadian living in the US presumably to avoid higher income tax, declare how the tea party had the right idea and that "Obama was a socialist" and "he's not even American" (meaning he's black).

I have no idea why they have to be so loud. Douche bag.

Maybe Plato was right about democracy after all.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Re: RE: Hi, I am a Tea Partier on 08/10/2011 21:06:04 MDT Print View

"George Bush was NOT a Tea Partier." LOL

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: RE: Hi, I am a Tea Partier on 08/10/2011 21:34:59 MDT Print View

thought he preferred jack daniels.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Don't blame S&P on 08/10/2011 21:44:40 MDT Print View

Don't blame S&P for the downgrade and the Tea Partiers at least have basic grip on finance. From Agora Financial:

Let’s take a look. Here’s the reality about the debt-ceiling deal that S&P seems to be concerned with... perhaps we’re getting the math wrong too. In any case, we’ll enlist the help of Michael Pento of Euro Pacific Capital: “The debt ceiling agreement virtually assures that over the next decade the U.S. will add an additional $8 trillion in public debt, an increase of nearly 80% in 10 years.

“The back-end-loaded deal will cause the amount of deficit reduction to be just $21 billion in 2012 and $42 billion in 2013.”

If we play with those last two numbers a bit, as David Thomas of Equitas Capital Advisors did in a client letter last spring, we get a federal “budget” that looks something like this:

U.S. income: $2,170,000,000,000
Federal budget: $3,820,000,000,000
New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
April budget cuts that averted a partial government shutdown:
$38,500,000,000 (about 1% of the budget)

“It helps to think about these numbers,” Mr. Thomas wrote then, “in terms that we can relate to. Let’s remove eight zeros from these numbers and pretend this is the household budget for the fictitious Jones family.”

Total annual income for the Jones family: $21,700
Amount of money the Jones family spent: $38,200
Amount of new debt added to the credit card: $16,500
Outstanding balance on the credit card: $142,710
Amount cut from the budget: $385

“In effect,” Mr. Thomas tried in vain to convey, “Congress, or in this example the Jones family, sat down at the kitchen table and agreed to cut $385 from its annual budget.

“What family would cut $385 of spending in order to solve $16,500 in deficit spending?”

We know our answer: The same family that would agree to cut $210 from its annual budget next year... and $420 the year after that.

At some point, the issuers of the Jones’ credit cards figure out the Jones family won’t be able to keep up minimum payments. When that point is reached, the Jones’ ability to continue running up their debts comes to an end..

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: RE: Hi, I am a Tea Partier on 08/10/2011 21:51:24 MDT Print View

The vids are funny, to be sure. But if more people acted like the Tea Partiers perhaps we could stop the decades long slide this country has been in and start to 'right the ship' again. For those willing to step away from the jingoism for a moment, it's rather obvious that the U.S. is a sad, sad reflection of its former self. We need a whole lot more Tea Party-acting folks, not less.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
OMG, Tea Partiers on BPL on 08/10/2011 22:00:12 MDT Print View

Just kidding :) I've never met a Tea Partier in person. Spotted first sign of tea party activity in my neighborhood today -- 2 bumper stickers on a car parked in the Peet's/Fresh & Easy parking lot.

Edited by backpackerchick on 08/10/2011 22:04:51 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: OMG, Tea Partiers on BPL on 08/10/2011 22:03:52 MDT Print View

Gosh, there's all kinds of partiers on BPL! I've partied with a few of 'em......

"I've never met a Tea Partier in person."

That you know of ...... Contrary to popular belief, they don't all wear signs.......

Edited by idester on 08/10/2011 22:07:10 MDT.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Re: Re: OMG, Tea Partiers on BPL on 08/10/2011 22:27:18 MDT Print View

So...there are low profile tea partiers. Tea Party Lite?

I hope to leave on a 45+ day trip in 2 weeks or so. Hardly started preps. And I am procrastinating on BPL. I came here to look at some trip reports and notes and get sucked into misc posts. Ever happen to anyone else?

Edited by backpackerchick on 08/10/2011 22:31:03 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: OMG, Tea Partiers on BPL on 08/10/2011 22:29:56 MDT Print View

"So...there are low profile tea partier. Tea Party Lite?"

No no, Tea Party Minimal. They all wear Merrell Tough Gloves......

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Tea Partiers on 08/10/2011 22:46:55 MDT Print View

People like Michele Bachmann simultaneously leave me rolling with laughter and scare the living hell out of me. But I do agree with the Tea Party people that the national debt is a travesty. Some of the other things that various Tea Partiers espouse are kinda amusing, but mostly it's the fundamentalist christian element and their screwed up social policy that turns me off. To my very core I'm opposed to an American theocracy.

Edited by acrosome on 08/10/2011 22:47:41 MDT.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
À la Carte Tea Partiers? on 08/10/2011 23:02:08 MDT Print View

Dean:
I very much hope that all tea partiers do not subscribe to the total package!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Tea Partiers on 08/10/2011 23:05:44 MDT Print View

"To my very core I'm opposed to an American theocracy."

Amen to that, brother! But then again, as an atheist, I'm opposed to any theocracy!

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Tea Partiers on 08/10/2011 23:22:22 MDT Print View

"tea party lite", I like that!

Not TP, I'm agnostic.

Just giving credit them credit for bringing up (albeit in a rather shrill way) the slow train wreck of the US financial situation.

Can't support many other issues that are associated with them. One, for example, is the manic insistence that we 'rid the country of all the illegals'. If you could give the their wish and snap you fingers Bewitched style and have it be done, you'd see a downward economic spiral that would make post-Soviet Russia look like, well a tea party.

So, some good, some ....

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Re: Re: Sucked into misc posts on 08/10/2011 23:36:13 MDT Print View

Sucked into misc posts

Yes, Chaff and Gear always seem ripe for procrastination, so don't feel alone.

In terms of the Tea Party, some interesting ideas (some too far, some not far enough) but it will be interesting to see how they deal with the Big 3 (defense, Medicare, and Medicaid). Does the US buy new weapons (with layers of contractors) on the installment program or pay up front (more taxes)? Do without? Slow procurement? May set up some fights within Republican ranks.

The 800 lb gorilla no one wants to talk about: Future medical spending on an increasingly unhealthy older American public is a far bigger budgetary headache, if what I'm reading is correct. Haven't seen much of Rep Ryan since his proposal but agree we need to really take a look at Medicare.

Add about theocracy: In terms of relying on a higher power for infrastructure and similar items, think all the prayers and rain dances haven't helped Texas. Read where Big Spring TX is recycling their own urine for drinking, but not sure if the residents really like that technological solution. Sometimes regulation has a place and that water problem had to be years in making. "Tragedy of the Commons"

Edited by hknewman on 08/11/2011 00:06:33 MDT.

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Tea Party on 08/10/2011 23:38:20 MDT Print View

I think the GOP will use them for what they are worth and dump them in a big hurry as 2012 approaches. How is the tea party related to the "birthers"? Same players?

Edited by backpackerchick on 08/10/2011 23:43:14 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Tea Party on 08/11/2011 09:42:18 MDT Print View

I think the Tea Party has been captured by the right wingers

David Koch funds at least one of the big Tea Party organizations

Their big issues are no tax increases and no cuts in miltary expenses

"tax increases" means preserving loopholes so the most wealthy people and biggest corporations pay nothing or less than their fair share. Like Warren Buffet says, it's not fair that he pays half as much in taxes as his secretary, as a percentage of income.

"miltary expenses" means welfare for big government contractors. I think most of our miltary actions actually make us less safe.

Most people that call themselves Tea Partiers don't want medicare to be cut, but the "Tea Party" people in congress have tried their hardest to do this

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Tea Partiers on 08/11/2011 10:51:08 MDT Print View

Whenever I look at those numbers, I become convinced we can't dig ourselves out with mostly spending cuts. Taking us back to the tax structure of the Clinton years would have such a bigger effect than any cuts we have the will to do. I think if you're interested in a balanced budget more than just smaller government, the answer is pretty clear. But it seems you can't say this and run for office.

http://www.theatlantic.com/pol​itics/archive/2011/07/the-char​t-that-should-accompany-all-di​scussions-of-the-debt-ceiling/​242484/
The Chart That Should Accompany All Discussions of the Debt Ceiling
www.theatlantic.com
You can be against deficits. You can be for preserving tax cuts. You cannot be for both -- logically, that is.

Jeff Spradling
(Spratz) - F

Locale: Southeast
I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 15:18:08 MDT Print View

Taxing the rich is not going to fix the problem:

"in tax year 2009, the combined gross income of all Americans earning $500,000 per year or more was about $1.03 trillion ($1,029,256,075,000.00) of which these Americans paid $256.7 billion ($256,699,499,000.00) in federal income taxes.

That left this group of Americans about $773 billion ($772,556,576,000.00) in income that the federal government had not taken away in income taxes.

Also during tax year 2009, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, the national debt increased by $1.61 trillion ($1,611,544,812,899.90).

If the federal government had increased the income-tax rate on Americans earning more than $500,000 to 100 percent in 2009–and seized the remaining $773 billion in income it had not initially taken away from these Americans–that would have closed the federal deficit for the year to $839 billion ($838,988,236,899.90)."

Raising taxes on people just forces them to hide the money and find loopholes. That's where the Rockefeller and Ford foundations came from - the rich avoiding taxes. It's not a solution. These politicians have to stop spending other peoples money on non-sense. Why do we supplement corn? Why do we supplement tobacco? Why do we supplement Cowboy poetry festivals?

Take a look at Greece and tell me we aren't headed there. These are the reasons the Tea Party came together.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
GOP and the Tea Party on 08/11/2011 16:16:25 MDT Print View

@ Hartley - "I think the GOP will use them for what they are worth and dump them in a big hurry as 2012 approaches."

I wish that I agreed with you, I really do. I do agree with Dean on Michelle Bachman ("People like Michele Bachmann simultaneously leave me rolling with laughter and scare the living hell out of me.") But I live in Texas, where Rick Perry has been governor since 2000 and he only scares the living hell out of me, with no accompanying laughter. He's the prototypical Tea Partier without Bachman's brains, and he's got a great chance of being our next President. The Tea Party taking over the GOP, not vice versa. I'm not laughing at all.

Richard

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Tea Partiers on 08/11/2011 16:18:08 MDT Print View

"To my very core I'm opposed to an American theocracy."

We've already got one, Cher Acrosome. The Almighty Dollar is God and the theocrats reign from their temples on Wall Street.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: GOP and the Tea Party on 08/11/2011 16:19:31 MDT Print View

"He's the prototypical Tea Partier without Bachman's brains"

For a second there I thought you were discussing Sarah Palin.

I think the IQ Test was the only test that she ever scored 100 on.

--B.G.--

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: GOP and the Tea Party on 08/11/2011 16:26:40 MDT Print View

"The Tea Party taking over the GOP, not vice versa. I'm not laughing at all."

That's gotta be every Democrat's wet dream.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
The Truth will set you free...or catch-up to you eventually on 08/11/2011 16:27:16 MDT Print View

It is funny to see the same liberal arguments and all of the class warfare rhetoric repeated at nauseum.

"pay their fair share" - which is what? how much money do you want to confiscate from the job creators? - yes. most people and corporations are job creators and they exist to make money - yes money is not a bad thing. Already the top 10% pay 90 % of the taxes. - do you need it to be 98%. 51% of the population pay no net income tax. Is it wrong to want to work hard and enjoy the fruits of your labors, or should we let the gov't decide how much cheese we get. What would that do for motivation? Ok, here is a test. If you believe that gov't is the answer to all problems and that we need to redistribute all of the wealth and close all of the legal tax exemptions (loopholes for the liberal minds) - then did you take any deductions on last year's taxes? Did you use the home mortgage loophole, the child deduction loophole, the charity loophole or did you put your money where your mouth is and just sign it and give the gov't the maximum.....I didn’t think so...so why should anyone else. As Margaret Thatcher said " the problem with socialism is that at some point you run out of other people’s money"


"the gov't can create jobs through spending" What, the govt' does not create jobs, because it takes someone’s money to give to someone else and does not produce a product. What happened to all of the last 3 stimulus bills? Where did all of the money go? Where are all of the jobs? If you dig deep - you will find that a lot of this money was used as pay-offs for gov't cronies. This mindset made the great depression last longer than it should have.

"Let's go back to the tax rates of the Clinton years" you forgot to mention that the tech boom and bubble helped increase revenues to the state and that the balanced budget did more to stabilize the economy. Clinton actually worked with congress instead of blaming them. I think that the Carter years have more in common to what is happening today- massive spending, wild out of control printing of monies and a president with no clue. Should I mention that when Regan and Bush cut taxes the revenues to the gov’t increased…hmm

"I think the Tea Party has been captured by the right wingers David Koch funds at least one of the big Tea Party organizations" These are the most hilarious statements. The liberal media has tried very hard to put a negative face on the tea party. Their main problem has been that there is no central leader. This is a grass roots organization that believes in decreasing the size of government, cutting gov't spending and reinstating the constitution. They are disliked by the big spenders in both parties. Please read more than the Huffington post - the truth will set you free!

The only way to change the course that we are on is to elect conservative people. People who have balanced a checkbook and run a business or a family. People who know that the best gov't is one that stays out of the way and thus bringing back American exeptionalism. (and yes I have heard the "robber Barron" argument and believe me there is plenty of gov't regulation )

I know this will not be popular with the so called "educated" folk and members of the ruling class, but this is chaff

Enjoy,

Dave

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 16:28:29 MDT Print View

"Take a look at Greece and tell me we aren't headed there. These are the reasons the Tea Party came together."

I was on a long hike recently (I really should write a TR), and in my solo musings I started laughing that the populace in the birthplace of democracy is virtually unfit to govern themselves, what with the riots that break out whenever austerity measures look like they'll pass. Leaders there can't win, because by working for the long term solvency of their country they won't get reelected, but working for their own reelection will continue the country's horrible financial cycle.

It seems to me that this short-term bias in leadership priorities is a major point of failure for democracies. Still, democracy is better than the alternatives.

(and I know, in Greece's case and in ours, the populace has a really solid argument in favor of their protests against cuts in social spending or unrealistically sweet employment/unemployment/retirement packages: "The government promised them to us." I don't have a well-composed counter argument, but I am reminded of the USSR's failure to deliver on their promise to take care of everyone, and of China's gradual transition away from the 'Iron Rice Bowl' towards a freer market in which folks are more responsible for themselves. Neither of those were fun transitions, and it surely sucks to be caught unprepared for the switch in social contract.)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: The Truth will set you free...or catch-up to you eventually on 08/11/2011 16:41:44 MDT Print View

"Should I mention that when Regan and Bush cut taxes the revenues to the gov’t increased…hmm"

Probably you shouldn't have, because the deficit was 5.73 trillion dollars when G. W. Bush took office and 10.63 trillion when he left. This would imply that revenue didn't increase as fast as his administration pi$$ed it away, mostly on two ill considered disastrous wars and an underfunded Medicare drug program.

Edited to include the Medicare drug program.

"the best gov't is one that stays out of the way and thus bringing back American exeptionalism."

What exactly do you mean by American exceptionalism? That we are somehow superior to the rest of humanity? Take a good, long look around you and then go out into the world and do the same. When you get back we can have an informed discussion about American "exceptionalism".

Edited by ouzel on 08/11/2011 17:01:53 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 16:59:59 MDT Print View

"I am reminded of the USSR's failure to deliver on their promise to take care of everyone, and of China's gradual transition away from the 'Iron Rice Bowl' towards a freer market in which folks are more responsible for themselves. Neither of those were fun transitions, and it surely sucks to be caught unprepared for the switch in social contract.)"

The Soviets failed to deliver in large part because they engaged in a ruinous arms race with us and drank the Afghan Kool Aid, which resulted in an inability to deliver on their promise. While we crowed over the fall of The Evil Empire, it passed unnoticed that this period was the beginning of the massive increase in our own national debt. We have continued to spend massive amounts on our military, more than the next 10 nations combined,IIRC, and have drunk deeply of the Afghan Kool Aid, washed down with an Iraqi chaser. We also have military bases in over 140 countries and are the world's number 1 exporter of arms. At the same time there has been a massive redistribution of wealth upward into the hands of a very small percentage of the US population, millions are unemployed, our education and infrastructure systems are a shambles, and our own government, at all levels, is tottering on the brink of insolvency. Those who once ran The Evil Empire must take grim satisfaction as they enjoy the spectacle of America following in their footsteps down the path to ruin. Such has always been the fate of empires. "Those who do not remember history are condemned to repeat it". George Santayana. Edited to add "not"

Edited by ouzel on 08/11/2011 19:48:03 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
missing. on 08/11/2011 17:05:24 MDT Print View

I knew something was missing.

I just couldn't put my finger on it.

Come to realize we've been without American exeptionalism (sic) all this time.

No wonder I've only been feeling pretty good or adequate or just fair-to-middlin'.

Edited by DaveT on 08/11/2011 17:06:10 MDT.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
That's all you got on 08/11/2011 17:08:37 MDT Print View

That's all you got out the entire post. I must be losing my touch.

Yes, Regan was a conservative and brought the country back from the damage of the Carter years.(I am old enough to remember) He cut taxes and decreased the size of gov't. Numbers don't lie...look it up. The Bush tax cuts save the economy after 9-11, but he was not a conservative and spent like a drunken democrat. He instituted very large entitlement programs - no child left behind and Medicare part D...oh yes and the first tarp was on him also.

American exceptionalism - it is sad that you can’t fathom this. It is not about ego. I'll let you stew on it.


Enjoy

Dave

Ben Crocker
(alexdrewreed) - M

Locale: Kentucky
Bush is your example....really? on 08/11/2011 17:13:59 MDT Print View

Bush had the White House. He had the House of Reps. He had the Senate. Heck, he even had the Supreme Court. And he inherited one of the best economies ever. How many balanced budgets did he have? Zero. His tax cuts make it impossible. And the prophet Reagan? Also zero. Name the last Republican to do so. You will need google probably. You can't have low taxes, big defense, and take care of people all at the same time. Looking at the numbers, we can probably only do one of them. If the tea party gets in, the the one will be low taxes (and probably defense too). Then they will get their revolution.

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Perry and Palin on 08/11/2011 17:18:58 MDT Print View

"For a second there I thought you were discussing Sarah Palin.

I think the IQ Test was the only test that she ever scored 100 on."

Suffice it to say that Perry makes his distinguished predecessor as governor, George W. Bush, look like a Rhodes Scholar. Perry's undergraduate transcript was published recently, couple of Bs, mostly Cs, several Ds, at that bastion of academic excellence, Texas A & M University. There's a special category of joke here in Texas called Aggie jokes. For a reason. But Perry's no joke, unfortunately. He has all the Tea Party credentials, comes from an important state, has great hair, and does well at prayer meetings. Just the kind of guy who's very likely to win the nomination in a party that's already falling over itself to kow-tow to the Tea Party.

And the 2012 presidential election (like the 2008 presidential election) will turn on the economy in general and job creation in particular, and I don't have to tell you where we're likely to be on those subjects if the two parties can barely agree on a no-brainer like raising the debt ceiling.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
that's all. on 08/11/2011 17:25:32 MDT Print View

“That's all you got out the entire post.”

Well, other than that bit of exeptional (sic) comedy, it was just the same conservative arguments and all of the business über alles rhetoric repeated at (sic) nauseum.

(On a related note, watch more than Fox News - the truth will set you free!)

Hartley F
(backpackerchick) - MLife

Locale: Planet Earth
Birthers on 08/11/2011 17:38:16 MDT Print View

How do they fit in with the Tea Party? Maybe some one can produce a Venn diagram.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 17:55:45 MDT Print View

"While we crowed over the fall of The Evil Empire, it passed unnoticed that this period was the beginning of the massive increase in our own national debt. We have continued to spend massive amounts on our military, more than the next 10 nations combined,IIRC, and have drunk deeply of the Afghan Kool Aid, washed down with an Iraqi chaser. We also have military bases in over 140 countries and are the world's number 1 exporter of arms. At the same time there has been a massive redistribution of wealth upward into the hands of a very small percentage of the US population, millions are unemployed, our education and infrastructure systems are a shambles, and our own government, at all levels, is tottering on the brink of insolvency. Those who once ran The Evil Empire much take grim satisfaction as they enjoy the spectacle of America following in their footsteps down the path to ruin."

All too true Tom, all too true. And we just don't seem to want to learn our lessons. Ever.

I disagree with much of what the tea partiers stand for, and, unfortunately, far too many of them are simply the same old hypocritical, greedy, christian-spouting but not christian-acting folk (that jesus, he must have been all about keeping what's his and letting the poor and disabled fend for themselves if you take our many 'christian' examples in this country).

But there is one area, in my opinion, in which many, many of us could follow the tea partier lead. They stopped settling for the lesser of two evils and instead supported and elected very different politicians, not the usual cast of characters. It's really screwed up the country at the moment, yes, but that's a necessary side effect of true change.

Far, far too many of the American voting public simply settles every election cycle. Gonna vote Dem because the Repubs are bad people. Gonna vote Repub because the Dems are bad people. No sense in actually thinking for ourselves, that's too much trouble. No sense in actually doing a bit of research on candidates, 30-second sound bites will do. Besides, ain't got time, gotta catch [insert reality TV show or sporting event here]. So we keep getting the same-old, same-old, and nothing changes. It really doesn't matter much who is in power, the military continues to grow, military contractors continue to get rich through both legal and illegal means, our education and infrastructure systems continue to deteriorate, the massive redistribution of wealth goes on unabated. Under both Dem and Repub administrations/congresses. We just don't get that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

At least the tea partiers are really attempting to affect real change. If the rest of us stopped settling and did the same, we might actually get the country we think we deserve. But we don't, we settle, we vote, as I've said before, our fears and our hatreds and our intolerance and our ignorance, and we do get the country we deserve.

It sucks being so cynical, yes, but it's a learned response.......

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Birthers on 08/11/2011 17:59:05 MDT Print View

Hartley, you're looking for a neat, tidy group. The tea party ain't one. While it's a fair bet that the vast, vast majority of them are conservative (Hey Kat P, does it bug you when someone uses the same word twice in hyperbole fashion? Just curious....). Tea partiers are across the spectrum, from moderates to crazies. Birthers are simply a fringe crazy group of haters. They can't help themselves. So no real, in my opinion, mesh.

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
Exceptionalism on 08/11/2011 18:44:30 MDT Print View

This is a difficult concept for liberals to understand because they believe that gov't is the answer to all problems.

Every industry and endeavor that the gov't tries to regulate or "run" is a disaster. We lose the desire to be exceptional. The products we produce are inferior and the work ethic is pathetic. if gov't steps aside and let's the market forces take over, innovation and exceptionalism abound.

Exceptionalism isn't limited to America; we have just lost it with gov't takeovers.

Pick a topic that the gov't has taken over.... Education - how are we doing? Industry - how many are left?...Banking - don't get me started. FEMA...churches and private organizations are faster and more thorough.

See no ego, just be the best you can be. Work your butt off. Enjoy the fruits of your labors. Gov't get out of the way. (do we really need 30,000 new regulations per year?)

Enjoy,

Dave

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Exceptionalism on 08/11/2011 18:58:59 MDT Print View

Lack of government regulation caused the BP oil spill in the gulf, the coal mine collapse that killed 11 (?) people in Kentucky (?), and the financial collapse, to name a few.

In each case, industry corrupted government regulators which enabled the companies to do dangerous things that resulted in disasters

Education including universities were largely public from the end of WWII until about 1980, and resulted in a boom in high tech that we're all enjoying now. Starting about 1980 the right wingers have degraded education but it would be possible to come back

Highways, police, fire, the military, social security, have all been pretty good, but recently have gone down in quality

If the right wingers idea is that the government is incompetent to do anything, and they're in charge of the government, then they will fullfill their evil ideas

And when private companies take over, like Enron, they can screw up things worse than the government, but a bunch of people make out with huge profits

I don't think you're one of the people that has profitted, unless your name is Koch or Walton - you've been conned man - quit listening to the propoganda

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: That's all you got on 08/11/2011 19:12:44 MDT Print View

"That's all you got out the entire post. I must be losing my touch."

I don't think you've lost your touch at all. It's just that I didn't find much else worth replying to.

"Yes, Regan was a conservative and brought the country back from the damage of the Carter years.(I am old enough to remember) He cut taxes and decreased the size of gov't. Numbers don't lie...look it up."

I'm old enough to remember, too, and I looked it up just to be sure. Now let's see whose memory is better. Reagan increased the national debt by $1.692 trillion, almost tripled it-not bad for a cost cutting conservative. Rumor has it that a lot of tax and spend Democrats were livid that he had beaten them at their own game. Reagan also increased the defense budget by 26%. He cut some discretionary spending, but I wouldn't say he exactly shrank the size of government. It is a mystery how government can shrink and have the national debt almost triple at the same time. Maybe you could enlighten me on that score?

"He instituted very large entitlement programs - no child left behind and Medicare part D...oh yes and the first tarp was on him also."

Oh, the shame of it all. Imagine a Republican trying to take care of kids and old folks. Will you guys ever get over it?

"American exceptionalism - it is sad that you can’t fathom this. It is not about ego. I'll let you stew on it."

Some things are just too deep for me to wrap my head around unaided. Maybe you could explain to me just exactly how we are exceptional? Seriously. I feel like I'm in over my head here.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Sanity on 08/11/2011 19:14:39 MDT Print View

Here's a source of non-partisan sanity regarding the fiscal debate:

http://tcaii.org/Default.aspx

Set up by David Walker, former Comptroller General of the United States and head of the Government Accountability Office (GAO) from 1998 to 2008.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 19:16:57 MDT Print View

"All too true Tom, all too true. And we just don't seem to want to learn our lessons. Ever."

The longer we procrastinate, the harder the lessons will be. Time is running out on us, and others are not standing on the sidelines picking their noses while we dither.

Daniel Allen
(Dan_Quixote) - F

Locale: below the mountains (AK)
Re: Re: Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 19:23:46 MDT Print View

"Those who once ran The Evil Empire much take grim satisfaction as they enjoy the spectacle of America following in their footsteps down the path to ruin."

Tom, that's prettymuch what I'm saying too. =)

On another note, could you expand on the contents of the Afghan Kool Aid?

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 19:34:29 MDT Print View

"But there is one area, in my opinion, in which many, many of us could follow the tea partier lead. They stopped settling for the lesser of two evils and instead supported and elected very different politicians, not the usual cast of characters. It's really screwed up the country at the moment, yes, but that's a necessary side effect of true change."

In my more optimistic moments I see them as the first primal scream of an outraged American public. Hopefully it will be followed by an equally independent group with a more nuanced, pragmatic view of what it will take to get our country back on track.

In my darker mood I see them as a bunch of Manichaen dupes that are being manipulated by the Republicans to shore up their support amongst the nutters on the far right fringe. Lord help us if this is the case and they prevail in 2012.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 19:43:31 MDT Print View

"Hopefully it will be followed by an equally independent group with a more nuanced, pragmatic view of what it will take to get our country back on track."

My hope as well, but I'm not very hopeful......

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: Re: Re: I'm a Teabagger. on 08/11/2011 19:45:20 MDT Print View

Douglas Ide said:
"While we crowed over the fall of The Evil Empire, it passed unnoticed that this period was the beginning of the massive increase in our own national debt. We have continued to spend massive amounts on our military, more than the next 10 nations combined,IIRC, and have drunk deeply of the Afghan Kool Aid, washed down with an Iraqi chaser. We also have military bases in over 140 countries and are the world's number 1 exporter of arms. At the same time there has been a massive redistribution of wealth upward into the hands of a very small percentage of the US population, millions are unemployed, our education and infrastructure systems are a shambles, and our own government, at all levels, is tottering on the brink of insolvency. Those who once ran The Evil Empire much take grim satisfaction as they enjoy the spectacle of America following in their footsteps down the path to ruin."

All too true Tom, all too true. And we just don't seem to want to learn our lessons. Ever.

I disagree with much of what the tea partiers stand for, and, unfortunately, far too many of them are simply the same old hypocritical, greedy, christian-spouting but not christian-acting folk (that jesus, he must have been all about keeping what's his and letting the poor and disabled fend for themselves if you take our many 'christian' examples in this country).

But there is one area, in my opinion, in which many, many of us could follow the tea partier lead. They stopped settling for the lesser of two evils and instead supported and elected very different politicians, not the usual cast of characters. It's really screwed up the country at the moment, yes, but that's a necessary side effect of true change.

Far, far too many of the American voting public simply settles every election cycle. Gonna vote Dem because the Repubs are bad people. Gonna vote Repub because the Dems are bad people. No sense in actually thinking for ourselves, that's too much trouble. No sense in actually doing a bit of research on candidates, 30-second sound bites will do. Besides, ain't got time, gotta catch [insert reality TV show or sporting event here]. So we keep getting the same-old, same-old, and nothing changes. It really doesn't matter much who is in power, the military continues to grow, military contractors continue to get rich through both legal and illegal means, our education and infrastructure systems continue to deteriorate, the massive redistribution of wealth goes on unabated. Under both Dem and Repub administrations/congresses. We just don't get that the lesser of two evils is still evil.

At least the tea partiers are really attempting to affect real change. If the rest of us stopped settling and did the same, we might actually get the country we think we deserve. But we don't, we settle, we vote, as I've said before, our fears and our hatreds and our intolerance and our ignorance, and we do get the country we deserve.

It sucks being so cynical, yes, but it's a learned response.......



Excellent post. Thanks for conveying your message so well.

Edited by Kat_P on 08/11/2011 20:33:11 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Exceptionalism on 08/11/2011 19:47:28 MDT Print View

"Exceptionalism isn't limited to America;" Now we're getting somewhere, David. But if "Exceptionalism" isn't limited to America, just what is it that makes our exceptionalism superior to others' exceptionalism?

David Goodyear
(dmgoody) - MLife

Locale: mid-west
so what is your solution - more spending? on 08/11/2011 19:59:28 MDT Print View

Come on, you guys backpack and make gear evaluations. Cut unwanted items...improve each piece of gear based on function, performance and weight.

Relate that to gov't spending. it is not that difficult. Ok, who came up with idiotic notion of baseline budgeting? A 7% increase per year is a zero baseline and any decrease in this is a budget cut...yeah right. I don't think my wife will go for this in my gear budget.

Why can’t we examine each gov't program for results and efficiencies? Once a program - always a program. We can lighten this backpack also.

Why are there career politicians? Don't seem to represent the people. We can lighten this pack also.

Enjoy

Dave

(Tom, you still don't get it..superiority is not part of it. If we all do the best we can do instead of settling for "gov"t work - we will all be better, have better products and more innovation. Competition is good, it is just that we have been put on the couch by gov't interference and have been watching reality TV for a while)

Edited by dmgoody on 08/11/2011 20:01:06 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: Re: Re: Afghan Kool Aid on 08/11/2011 20:12:00 MDT Print View

"On another note, could you expand on the contents of the Afghan Kool Aid?"

Down through the millenia Afghanistan, due to its geographic location, has been the target of invaders seeking to either use it as a corridor to invade India(e.g. Alexander the Great, the Mongols, various Turks), gain access to warm water ports(Russia), keep others from invading their Indian colony and foiling the Russians push for warm water ports(Britain), and lately they US(nominally to destroy al Qaaida, but strategically to gain bases from which to monitor and potentially attack Pakistan and Iran, as well as project influence into energy rich Central Asia). Of all these invaders, none have succeeded in controlling the Afghans for any length of time. They have learned the hard way to be patient, resourceful, implacable fighters, as we are currently learning to our distress. I think Kipling expressed it best: "When you're lyin' there wounded on Afghanistan's plains
and the women come out to cut up what remains
roll o'er to yer rifle an' blow out your brains
and go to yer Gawd like a soldier"

The same can be said of the Iraqis, and the ill advised invasions of these two countries has contributed in no small measure to our current dire fiscal straits. And we have yet to experience the true long term costs in terms of treating the hundreds of thousands of grievously wounded soldiers, the majority of whom have no visible wounds but suffer from PTSD and other psychological damage. Only part of that cost will be borne directly by the US Government in treatment programs. The rest will be borne by society at large as these men and women try to reintegrate into civilian society and become decent husbands, wives, fathers, and mothers, and fail. Drug use, domestic violence, child abuse, inability to hold a job, and so on. A more careful reading of history, a better understanding of the cultures of the peoples there, and a decent respect for their intelligence, resourcefulness, and resolve in the face of a technologically superior invader might have prevented this disastrous outcome.

HK Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: so what is your solution - more spending? on 08/11/2011 20:27:16 MDT Print View

Why can’t we examine each gov't program for results and efficiencies? Once a program - always a program. We can lighten this backpack also.

Most suspect that EPA, OSHA, and the like will be targeted as political enemies, with deep cuts resulting in very little cost savings ( but likely high externalities), but miraculously saving the budget. As a country we need to handle on our present and future health costs (private, Medicare, Obamacare, Romneycare, or even Ryancare); unless the Tea Party can address this spending (future and even current) in a meaningful way, IMHO they are just peeing in the direction of a category V hurricane in terms of budget (or any party).

ADD: getting rid of Medicare doesn't seem an option palatable to most voters at the present, though they may be up for some common sense but massive cost-cutting. Think most Americans are practical.

Edited by hknewman on 08/11/2011 20:35:37 MDT.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: so what is your solution - more spending? on 08/11/2011 20:33:05 MDT Print View

"Tom, you still don't get it..superiority is not part of it. If we all do the best we can do instead of settling for "gov"t work - we will all be better, have better products and more innovation. Competition is good, it is just that we have been put on the couch by gov't interference and have been watching reality TV for a while)"

Actually I "get it" just fine, Dave. I just don't agree with your simplistic argument that the government is at the root of all our problems, or with your implication that it is liberal Democratic administrations who are solely responsible for the expansion of the role of government and government spending. There are places where the government could be cut back or made more efficient, to be sure, but in an increasingly complex society government must of necessity expand to keep things from spinning out of control and prevent a small minority from taking unfair advantage of the majority of the population. This is ultimately a recipe for social unrest. In addition, the vast majority of people, Democrat and Republican alike, have come to expect expanded government serices such as Medicare and Social Security, witness the reaction to Ryan's plan to privatize Medicare or Bush's attempt to privatize Social Security. When it comes to expanding government, BTW, Bush the Younger presided over one of the biggest expansions ever, Homeland Security accompanied by an unprecedented expansion of government intrusion into citizens' private lives.

It wasn't government interference that "put us on the couch" either. A lot of people are on the couch because businesses have either moved the jobs overseas or imported cheaper labor to take the jobs here, and not just in agriculture. It is also increasingly the case with the trades and in the software industry, not to mention research institutions. I could make a good case for more government regulation to prevent this kind of behavior and preserve jobs for our own people, ditto for more government regulation of education to truly prepare our kids for those "high tech jobs of the future" that increasingly go to better educated foreigners, either here or overseas

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Doug on 08/11/2011 20:36:22 MDT Print View

"Hey Kat P, does it bug you when someone uses the same word twice in hyperbole fashion?"

What bothers me is that it reads " Cat pee"

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Doug on 08/11/2011 20:37:18 MDT Print View

"What bothers me is that it reads " Cat pee"


LOL

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Doug on 08/11/2011 20:46:10 MDT Print View

"What bothers me is that it reads " Cat pee""

Hey, it's your screen name! ;-)

Jeff Spradling
(Spratz) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: so what is your solution - more spending? on 08/11/2011 21:46:23 MDT Print View

"A 7% increase per year is a zero baseline and any decrease in this is a budget cut...

Why can’t we examine each gov't program for results and efficiencies?

Why are there career politicians?"

Good points, Dave. What happened to Obama's plan to do just that? He said, "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way."

Just one of his many unfulfilled promises. "We will continue to work toward an unmatched level of transparency, participation and accountability across the entire administration." HA! Why can't we audit the Fed?

I'm no Bush fan, either. I'm sick of ALL the career politicians. We need common sense solutions, common sense regulations, and term limits on ALL politicians AND appointees, including the Supreme Court.

The Ryan plan was a decent start. A balanced budget amendment is a good idea. So is eliminating the regulations that prevent Insurance companies from offering health insurance across state lines, and requiring that they insure every single possible health issue whether you need it or not.

Lots of ways to scale back the size, scope and reach of government.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Name on 08/11/2011 21:49:33 MDT Print View

Well, I had picked just Kat and I had some problems with the account. Then Addie emailed me that user names had to be longer than 3 letters and she had changed it to the current name.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
. on 08/11/2011 21:57:01 MDT Print View

.

Edited by kthompson on 08/11/2011 22:01:47 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Re: Re: RE: Hi, I am a Tea Partier on 08/12/2011 11:15:56 MDT Print View

"The vids are funny, to be sure. But if more people acted like the Tea Partiers perhaps we could stop the decades long slide this country has been in and start to 'right the ship' again."

No, Doug, that is just a myth! No one is saying we should just continue borrowing and spending. TPyers are saying we should cut back. So far so good. But cut back on what? Welfare. OK, good, but cutting welfare ain't gonna solve our annual trillion dollar deficit, never mind paying back the $14 trillion already owed. TPyers don't want to cut Medicare (cause it benefits them never mind the socialistic nature) or defense (cause they are insecure never mind that we are already spending more than the next 17 highest spending countries combined. Funny how NO TPyers advocate getting rid of income tax benefits on mortgage interest or property tax payments -- again benefits cherished by largely middle and upper class TPyers! And if we are spending so much and not just on welfare, how about taking the middle road and raise some taxes? Absolutely not -- cause TPyers don't want to contribute one iota more.

So, Doug, cutting back is right. But these TPyers are high on emotions, high on self righteousness, and pitifully low on intellect. Worse, they are also low on fairness! Follow the TPyers and you will NOT begin to solve "the decades long slide this country has been in and start to 'right the ship' again". Not a ghost of a chance.

A better idea? Seriously cut welfare, defense, and the myriad of subsidies and tax benefits to special interests. And plug the remaining gap with tax increases -- after we have seriously identified on all cuts. In other words, ignore the demands of both the extreme left and the extreme right (including the idiotic, "angry" TPyers)!

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Hi, I am a Tea Partier on 08/12/2011 12:24:20 MDT Print View

Well said Ben

Only minor thing is there isn't very much spent on welfare. Clinton "ended welfare as we know it".

If you include Medicaid - that's been falling behind inflation and it's now difficult to provide medical care with Medicaid payments. We need to address this which will probably cost. Or do you just want people that can't afford it to "don't get sick and if you do, die quickly".

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn) - M

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: RE: Hi, I am a Tea Partier on 08/12/2011 12:48:51 MDT Print View

Why do we expect Congress and the White House to fix our problems? All of these elected officials have one goal in mind:

- Funnel as much tax dollars or benefits to their supporters.

Doesn't matter which party or group you support. They all have this objective, so don't get blinded by the smoke and mirrors that they are really concerned about making the best decisions for the country.

Maybe our voting strategy should be to vote out ALL the incumbents next election and send a message that the days of a career politician are over. Maybe that would shake up the system. It doesn't seem that the 10% approval rating in Congress is doing any good.

my two cents (well maybe 1.5 cents in this economy) worth

Brad

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Vote 'em out on 08/12/2011 14:09:43 MDT Print View

"- Funnel as much tax dollars or benefits to their supporters.

Doesn't matter which party or group you support. They all have this objective, so don't get blinded by the smoke and mirrors that they are really concerned about making the best decisions for the country.

Maybe our voting strategy should be to vote out ALL the incumbents next election and send a message that the days of a career politician are over."

+1

tyler marlow
(like.sisyphus) - F

Locale: Southeast
Strategy on 08/12/2011 16:49:15 MDT Print View

Maybe the best political strategy would be recognizing that your political agency doesn't begin or end at the ballot box and acting accordingly.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Vote 'em out on 08/12/2011 17:34:18 MDT Print View

-1

Bad idea to vote out all incumbents

Then the only ones left in DC that know how to make things work will be the lobbyists

Better to create public funding of elections, illegal to give money to politicians, that should be called bribery

And corporations should not be allowed to run political ads. If a real person wants to run a political ad they should have to identify themselves in the ad or be as restrictive as possible without being unconstitutional.

Brad Fisher
(wufpackfn) - M

Locale: NC/TN/VA Mountains
Re: Re: Vote 'em out on 08/12/2011 18:24:05 MDT Print View

Jerry,

I agree that it would be a great idea if we could get all special interest groups out of the picture. Including:

- Corporations
- Unions
- PAC (both parties have plenty of those special interest groups)

Public funding of elections? Last thing I want is more tax dollars going to fund a govt program.

However your suggestion is never going to happen because those in power would have to agree to limit/eliminate their power.

I have mentioned several times that another good option would be to outlaw lobbyist/special interest and put term limits on Congress. Again this is not going to happen.

We can't expect those in power to make those decisions. The people are going to have to step up and force a change.

On the flip side the voters can make a statement by shaking things up at the polls.

Brad

James Lantz
(jameslantz) - F

Locale: North Georgia
Is Atlas contemplating his shrug? on 08/12/2011 19:03:48 MDT Print View

The ongoing tension between the producers & the looters continues.... Where is Galt's Gulch & when is John coming to get me? ;)

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Vote 'em out on 08/12/2011 19:12:37 MDT Print View

I agree it would be difficult to eliminate private funding of elections.

Maybe if we all "get mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore"

The tea partiers were briefly not controlled by the elitists, but it didn't take long for them to be taken over

I know you're skeptical of government spending on anything, but if we could eliminate the current private funding I can't think of anything better to spend government money on

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Critique this... on 08/13/2011 05:18:01 MDT Print View

Begin rant:

Obviously I am something rare in this discussion so far- a moderate. I usually describe myself as a "Schwarzenegger Republican", which means very green, with a moderate/libertarian streak on social issues, but erring somewhat conservative on business and foreign policy.

But I MUST say that I agree with the thoughts earlier on this page- corporations are not human beings and should not have the same rights. A corporation can't vote, so why should it be able to contribute to a political candidate or air political advertisements? As conservative as I am regarding business I can't help but weep for the error that the supreme court recently made in Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission.

But I'll take that a step further...

Part of my conservatism is a staunch belief in HUMAN rights, which is expressed in one form in the U.S. Bill of Rights, etc. I categorically reject the argument that forbidding corporations/PACs/unions to contribute to politicians is an infringement upon free speech. All of these entities represent HUMAN BEINGS. For instance, if a corporation wants to support a candidate they are free to send mailing to their shareholders explaining why they should donate to a given candidate, and then those HUMAN BEINGS can donate if they agree. (They should NOT be allowed to send mailings to the general public.) The problem with allowing corporations to give donations is that the vast majority of people cannot be involved in decision making at the corporations, so the sole motivation devolves to the corporate default- profit. For instance, I have no realistic way to take part in the corporations in which I own stock through my various investment funds. Thus decisions are generally made by the few VERY rich who hold the most shares and elect corporate officers. So, essentially, those big shareholders are stealing money out of the pockets of smaller shareholders and using it to promote politicians that the smaller shareholders might well find distasteful and refuse to support otherwise. So in this case- as it usually is- it is the very rich who are the "looters." Mind you- I believe that corporate motivation SHOULD be profit, but it's just not the proper principle upon which to base a government- which is in what corporate support for politicians results.

Obviously, there would have to be serious consequences to corporations trying to circumvent such a law by, for instance, giving every employee a "bonus" on the condition that they donate part of it to a given politician. Something THAT egregious should be considered an infringement upon civil rights and result in public flagellation of the guilty corporate officers and confiscation of all their assets, as well as severe repercussions to the corporation involved.

I would also consider limiting the size of donation that a given person can contribute to a given candidate per year, so that a rich man doesn't end up with "more freedom of speech" than a poor man. (I'm not as committed to this one.) But it needn't be a farcically low sum- ten thousand dollars might work (COL adjusted)- but it would at least keep one uberrich Trump from buying elections. I would still allow lobbying by corporations, as well as other organizations, but not donations. The Sierra club and the UAW can feel free to send mailings to their members, too.

Actually, a second-best solution to limit the influence of corporate and special interests without a total ban on their making donations would be to institute a cap as in the previous paragraph, with corporations limited to the same cap as citizens. There'd have to be a mechanism to prevent the establishment of multiple shell corporations solely as an avenue to funnel funds to politicians. Since I haven't come up with a good idea on that I'd rather just ban corporate donations.

I understand the arguments for publicly-sponsored funding of political campaigns. Obviously, the motivations for it are similar to mine, but I'd rather see how mine work before we try it.

Finally, to combat extremism I would adopt instant-runoff voting. I would not make voting compulsory, but I'm a big proponent of instant-runoff voting (a.k.a. preferential voting) because it generally discourages extremism. I'm not a big fan of our two-party system despite my (very liberal) college polysci professor's fawning admiration of it, and instant-runoff voting would probably mean the end of it. Obviously, I'm especially interested in the opinion of Australians and others who are experienced with this system.

The United States certainly does a lot of things right, but I sincerely believe that these measures would solve A LOT of what is wrong in American politics. Please critique me- honestly, there are some smart people on this forum and I'm smart enough to cut through the leftist and rightist propaganda that some are spewing, and I'm interested in whether or not I'm missing something obvious.

Edited by acrosome on 08/13/2011 23:26:55 MDT.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Even a Tea partier could follow it on 08/13/2011 08:27:52 MDT Print View

Here's an overview of a solution. Simple presentation, color graphs, easy to scan:
http://www.tcaii.org/UploadedFiles/072011%20Restoring%20Fiscal%20Sanity%20Washington%20DC.pdf

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
boooom. on 08/13/2011 18:19:05 MDT Print View

Good to have Fella-booooom! back in the game.

Always good food for thought.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Re: boooom. on 08/13/2011 22:26:06 MDT Print View

Yeah, I knew you'd like that.

Also, because of a PM I got I want to clarify something:

My rant against objectivism wasn't a personal attack against anyone. I was just trying to avoid wasting time by having someone try to use an objectivist argument against me. I reject objectivism. But anytime these subjects come up some diehard Randroid pops up and starts spewing it.

Please try to convince me some other way if you disagree. And I'm most interested in comments on the ideas "above the fold," anyway.

As a matter of fact, that's all kinda distracting. I'll remove it.

Don't get me wrong- I went through my own objectivist phase as an elitist self-absorbed teenager. But I grew out of it. (Heck, even Greenspan- the great objectivist- has admitted that he under-regulated the financial sector.) Personally, I now think Mill was on to something. Utilitarianism certainly has problems- it could lead to pure socialism if taken too seriously- but it's also certainly a heck of a lot better than objectivism! And, as long as you accept some realities of human nature it does not necessarily lead to socialism.

I do accept some objectivist points- I believe that as a PRACTICAL matter it is most efficient for people to watch out for their own interests in day-to-day life. No doubt. I certainly do not want government running everything! Remember- I'm a moderate conservative and a believer in human rights including self-determination. But selfishness is nothing upon which to base an entire system of morality, or even government.

Also, at least one part of objectivism is self-contradictory, and thus it fails as a logical moral system.

Edited by acrosome on 08/13/2011 23:31:44 MDT.

Steve Robinson
(Jeannie) - F
Monitor the party? on 08/14/2011 08:54:44 MDT Print View

Greenspan won't admit anything he actually did was a mistake, just thinks he failed to do more. That's a cop-out.

So, he gave teenagers hard alcohol ( in the form of ultra low interest rates) and then said maybe he should have monitored the party a bit better?

His and now Benanke's ultra/crazy low interest rate policies fuel this boom/bust cycle.

Edited by Jeannie on 08/14/2011 08:58:48 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Monitor the party? on 08/14/2011 09:16:19 MDT Print View

Greenspan is a Weazel - screws up and doesn't admit it

In 2000, to dampen the Tech bubble, he raised interest rates, which caused the economy to tank, as well as popping the tech bubble. He should have decreased the amount people could borrow to buy stocks. and/or put a small fee on stock transactions - long term investors would be effected insignificantly but short term speculators would have been dampened

And when Brooksley Born, chairman of CFTC, in 1999, tried to regulate the derivatives market which probably would have prevented the 2008 market crash, Greenspan, Treasury Secretary Rubin, and SEC chairman Levit politically assasinated her and forced her to resign. This was all during the Clinton administration - that moderate Republican that has done more to screw up the economy than anyone besides Bush.

The current ultra/crazy low interest rates stimulate the economy, which is what is needed now. If congress would do their job and stimulate the economy, like by having more stimulus, then it wouldn't all be on the Fed's shoulders.

It seems like the number one priority of congress is to make sure Obama isn't re-elected and the best way to do that is to do everything they can to make the economy terrible.