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Letters to the Editor

Tea party bullies

August 9, 2011

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To the editor:

Congratulations! The current credit downgrade is brought to you by the tea party patriots. It was pretty heady stuff. Tea party patriots sounded so, well, patriotic. Maybe it was just the shot in the arm the country needed to get it on the right track again, whatever that meant. When they told us it was time to get our country back, my question was, back from what? But it sounded promising, and it was important to give them a chance.

The first clue that not all was well with the tea party was when its most vocal adherents showed up at rallies with guns strapped to various body parts. Well, I thought, that’s pretty juvenile and dangerous, but perhaps that’s just a lunatic fringe. We should give them a chance to express their viewpoints. A third party might be a healthy addition in the political equation.

As time went on, it became evident these people were not patriots, but they were surely bullies. It was an embarrassment to listen to the ranting and raving. Pretty much akin to junkyard dogs, with just as little common sense.

In the latest debt ceiling fiasco, congressional tea party members have lived up to their least flattering image. They have conveniently forgotten they were elected to lead, not cave in to unscrupulous power brokers who have no loyalty to this nation or its people. Sadly, one of the biggest casualties in this political struggle might be the reputation of the Grand Old Party. Where are you Bob Dole? We could use your type of conservative Republican patriotism.

Comments

EarlFGlynn 3 years, 4 months ago

Perhaps the "Tea Party Bullies" can be identified by their signs, words, and actions in the pictures and videos of these articles:

Kansas Tea Parties http://kansasmeadowlark.com/blog/2009/04/15/kansas-tea-parties/

Kansas 4th of July Tea Parties http://kansasmeadowlark.com/blog/2009/07/05/kansas-4th-of-july-tea-parties/

Overland Park Tea Party in the Snow Against Health Care Bill http://kansas.watchdog.org/3176/overland-park-tea-party-in-the-snow-against-health-care-bill/

“Tea Party” Rally and March to Senator McCaskill’s Office in Kansas City http://kansasmeadowlark.com/blog/2009/02/28/tea-party-rally-march-to-senator-mccaskills-office/

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

We're at the point when being identified as a "Tea Partier" is about as socially acceptable as a child molester on prison release.

My personal point of revelation, as a person who has been shouting about governmental fiscal incompetence for years through out the the Bush drunken Greek sailor era, was discovering that the Partiers has zero clue about where the government got its money or what it spent that money on.

For the typical Mad Tea Hatter, the money all comes from middle class people and is spent on NPR, abortions, aid to foreign countries, and illegal immigrants. What's more, these are people who suck at the teat of the government but then proclaim that government does nothing for them!!

The perfect example is Marcus Bachmann, who ordered his wife to attend law school and then work for the IRS prosecuting tax cheats, whose family lives off farm subsidies, bills the taxpayer via Medicaid for quack 'gay' therapy, and who takes out a mortgage subsidized through the taxpayers, yet turns around and decries 'government welfare'! Honey, if that ain't chutzpah!!!

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement."

But the fact that the prior four comments are plagiarized from the Stratfor website doesn't get them and their author removed? http://www.stratfor.com/weekly/20110808-global-economic-downturn-crisis-political-economy

What a strange sense of priorities.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

That conversation did have a rather deja vu feel to it.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

This LTE brought to you by the DNC's most recent set of talking points.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

No, it is just a concerned citizen recognizing a major problem caused by tea partiers in Washington.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

It's just a coincidence, I assure you.

Pastor_Bedtime 3 years, 4 months ago

Way to redirect blame there. The Tea Party is no more reponsible for our current situation than Republicans or Democrats, but passing the buck sure makes Obama's sheeple feel all better inside. Seew what happens when you let Oprah pick your president?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

"See what happens when you let Oprah pick your president?"

Truer words were never spoken.

Just ask Bill and Hillary.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

Funny, none of this happened until the corporate advertisers sold us the Tea Bagger movement.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

No, what did happen was bottomless deficit spending by Obama and liberal Democrats as soon as Obama took office, which was one of the major factors causing the formation and rise of the Tea Party Movement in America.

pinecreek 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh how soon you forget....Bush was a major contributor to the deficit spiral as well. Endless spending on a war in Iraq that didn't actually attack the enemy-source for 911. Unable to balance a single budget in 8 years. Added a Medicare prescription program that was not funded and is the single most expensive expansion in healthcare cost since Medicare and Medicaid were created. And on and on and on...... There's plenty of blame to go around for the deficit. Too bad the Tea Party Movement is so myopic in its view of history.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

And let's not forget the TARP giveaway to the same banksters that are stealing our retirement funds.

Or how screwed we'd all be if these same immoral crooks had gotten their hands on the Social Security funds. If nothing else, this week has been another stark reminder of the idiocy of privatizing Social Security.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

It never ceases to amaze that loony leftists will criticize Bush's deficit spending (I myself am a critic of Bush in that regard) and then defend a president and a party who, following on Bush's coattails, put deficit spending on steroids. If you really felt that way about Bush, then you should agree with the Tea Party about deficit spending.

I'm sure you don't.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Actually, our financial crisis was caused by government itself. Read up on it:

http://www.businessinsider.com/how-the-government-caused-the-mortgage-crisis-2009-10

As for your "grand bargain," the only "bargain" Obama wanted was a free pass until after the 2012 election, and he got it. Based on news reports, it's quite apparent that had Obama and the Democrats accepted any of the plans that House Republicans sent to the Senate, the downgrade would not have occurred.

pinecreek 3 years, 4 months ago

Hey cato, a deficit is a deficit...I don't defend any of them.
I also don't defend 'terror-based legislation' (ie, Tea Party hostage taking) that gives the world the impression that we cannot manage our own business. As far as I'm concerned, throw ALL of them out and start over.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

We're not that far apart on that subject. You might want to look into the Term Limits Movement in America and Senator Coburn's views re same.

SueDonem 3 years, 4 months ago

cato, you damned liar. It was the Republicans that ran up the deficit. Have no shame, sir? At long last, have you no shame?

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Do you know what the deficit has become since Obama took over versus what it was when Bush left office?

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

The deficit gets worse and worse the longer the bush tax cuts remain in effect. That is not completely President Obama's fault, although he should have ended the ruinous initiative.

Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

The Tea Baggers marched us up to the abyss and said there would be no harm from default on the debt ceiling.

They were wrong about that too.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

This comment pre-removed for using a vulgar sexual term to describe a disappointed progressive.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"...marched us up to the abyss and said there would be no harm from default on the debt ceiling. "

Does that even mean anything? You can't default on the debt ceiling any more than you can default on the speed limit.

KS 3 years, 4 months ago

Get used to the Tea Party movement. There will be more. Some folks just don't/can't/won't understand that the well has run dry.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

"Tea party bullies."

In my experience, those who routinely call others "bullies" in political situations do so because they've been repeatedly beaten by them and can't equal them in the marketplace of creative ideas for the future.

pinecreek 3 years, 4 months ago

'marketplace of creative ideas for the future'

Now that is some creative humor...many thanks for that!

pizzapete 3 years, 4 months ago

This is just what Osama Bin Laden set out to do, bankrupt our country like he professed to do to the Russians. Interesting that some people find it commical.

nativeson 3 years, 4 months ago

It is simply shortsighted to lay blame with any political faction. This situation has been brewing since entitlement programs stopped being fully funded. The Tea Party represents a lot of growing anger that is somewhat misdirected. However, it is real and reflects the growing frustration with a political system that is not functioning.

It is interesting that some would point to a faction that is primarily Republican, a party that controls one house of Congress. The administration has failed to lead in this situation, and the Congress has polarized. This is a problem that is so much bigger than one grassroots movement.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

Frustration should look in the mirror. The Partiers are the system "not functioning." We have a Do-Nothing Congress whose only accomplishment to-date is to bungle the question: "shall we pay our debts"?

In office 7 months, #1 issue in America is jobs, number of jobs bills debated = 0. That pretty much sums up the Teabaggers.

Besides, how is a corporate funded, astoturfed group "grassroots"?

bradh 3 years, 4 months ago

Those terrible Tea Party people, they are responsible for all the ills of this country. Wait, they weren't even around when all these ills came up. Maybe someone else is to blame.

Methinks thou dost protest too much.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

Sure, these aging baby boomers were born yesterday. It was someone else who cheered on the irresponsible GOP policies of drunken spending and unaffordable tax cuts.

Question is: when do they graduate from temper tantrums and sippy cups?

bradh 3 years, 4 months ago

The Republicans definitely are part of the problem, as are the Democrats who controlled Congress, or part of Congress before and after this economic mess. No one is blameless. However, the least blameless are the Tea Party folks who basically came about because neither the Republicans nor the Democrats were doing anything to fix the obvious problems this country is facing. While the deficit has gotten substantially worse the last decade, we've been spending more than we have since the 60s, so there are plenty of people to blame, including ourselves for electing officials based on what they promise to GIVE us, rather than on fiscal restraint. It is always nice to get something, up until the time you have to pay for it.

Keith 3 years, 4 months ago

Boehner said he got 98% of what he wanted in the debt limit deal. Guess the credit downgrade and market crash was the 2% he didn't want.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

The number one problem in America is the inability of Democrats and Republicans to get along. The Constitution of the U.S. makes no mention of a two party system and it says nothing about a Democratic or Republican party. I strongly suggest voters to explore the possibility of voting for political parties other than those two. They no longer serve the best interests of the people.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

To the letter writer: Barackalypse Now was brought to you in living color not by the Tea Party, but by Obama, Geithner, Reid and the rest of the liberal Democrats in Washington who refused to agree to any meaningful cuts in spending. Their words spoken during the many debates on this subject demonstrate that quite clearly.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm still waiting for some independent confirmation that's what happened, and not just Boehner's version of events.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

To the letter writer: Barackalypse Now was brought to you in living color not by the Tea Party, but by Obama, Geithner, Reid and the rest of the liberal Democrats in Washington who refused to agree to any meaningful cuts in spending. Their words spoken during the many debates on this subject demonstrate that quite clearly.

I only repeat the truth.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 4 months ago

I always find it fascinating and revealing that those that preach acceptance and diversity are so quick to attack others for their different political view. The tea party is simply exercising their right of free speech and trying to shape government as they believe it should be shaped.

They have not promoted violence nor have they committed any acts of violence. They have not tried to shut down the free speech of others so why is the left fear them so much?

Fred Mertz 3 years, 4 months ago

Do you have any credible sources, data, numbers to back up your assertions? What percentage of tea partiers currently receive SS, Medicare and VA benefits?

Are you suggesting that a veteran that earned their VA benefits should forfeit them if they complain that taxes are too high?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

The problem is everybody wants to cut spending, but only if it doesn't affect them personally in a negative way.

Since almost all of the spending benefits somebody, that's why it never gets significantly cut.

Even building weapons we don't need creates jobs for the folks building those weapons, material suppliers, etc.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

"The problem is everybody wants to cut spending, but only if it doesn't affect them personally in a negative way". The problem is that everybody wants to raise taxes, but only if it doesn't affect them personally in a negative way. The "me" generation has seized control.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I pay taxes, and don't complain about them, and would gladly pay slightly higher taxes if it would help get us on the right track to financial stability.

Even though, for one example, we pay about 1/2 our property tax bill for public education, and we'll almost certainly never use that personally, not having children in that system.

The only way out of this is through a combination of increased revenue and decreased spending, combined with healthy growth of the GDP.

I agree that people seem to have gotten very focused on the small picture these days.

llama726 3 years, 4 months ago

I love that you're asking for statistics. Who is going to commission that study? Will you take them seriously? Are you sure? If a publicly funded school took up that study, you'd criticize them for wasting resources...

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I have no problem with them expressing themselves.

The problem is that they are part of why the credit downgrade occurred, in that they have made it more difficult for D and R politicians to work together (this was already difficult), which is one of the factors that led to the downgrade.

If you check out S&P's rationale, they changed their outlook when it became clear that politicians couldn't work together - before that point, they wouldn't have downgraded our rating.

I suspect that without their "no tax increase" ideology, we might have gotten a better deal, one that cut spending more and raised revenue, making a bigger dent in our deficit spending, and maintaining our credit rating.

Fred Mertz 3 years, 4 months ago

People complain that their elected officials do not represent them, but the republican freshman that are labled as the tea partiers are doing just that - doing what their constituents want. I think that is a good thing.

The House passed a bill that raised the debt ceiling. It was the Senate controlled by Reid that tabled it with no debate on the bill. Who then, might I ask, contributed more to the delay of raising the debt ceiling? I contend it was Reid and his followers. Why didn't they compromise and accept the bill or amend it, pass it and send it back?

Why is it a bad thing for them to stick to the no tax increase ideology? It is what their constituents want and what they believe is best for the country. I am all for offering different views, countering the positions put forth by tea partiers, but I reject attacking them personally or as a group. Attack their positions and their proposals, but stop attacking the group (not you personally).

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree, and that's why I do my utmost best not to attack anybody personally - I think it's counterproductive and ugly.

The problem with only representing what constituents want occurs when those wants aren't realistic, or well informed. Americans seem to want things without wanting to pay for them, which is problematic.

I think that in this situation, our elected officials should solve the problem, which requires spending cuts, revenue increases, and a healthy economy. I think that most Americans want a healthy economy, and a balanced budget, and aren't interested in cutting the government down to libertarian size.

It's clear that the increasingly polarized atmosphere in Washington is hindering rather than helping this happen, and it's part of why our credit rating was downgraded.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

It is unsustainable.

But the only real solutions involve both spending cuts and revenue increases, combined with healthy growth of the economy.

We can't cut our way out, without the other two, unless you're willing to cut the government to libertarian size, which most Americans don't want to do.

Mike Ford 3 years, 4 months ago

the tea party soo real and so brought to you by grassroots crooks like dick armey, grover norquist and the koch brothers. why doesn't the gop let it's bad politicians go out to pasture???

Anunnaki 3 years, 4 months ago

Star people cast their eyes apon us. Follow their wind.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

No, blaming the debt crisis on the Tea Party is like having arsonists for firemen.

itwasthedukes 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow such vitriol. Tea parties want nothing more than to see America prosper. I have seen with my own eyes, but let the paranoia continue by all means with the enlightened left.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

Tea Parties are immensely powerful, it seems. I mean, they represent just a tiny fringe of the population, and maybe half a dozen senators and 2 dozen reps ally with them. That's about 5% of elected officials. And yet they have managed to destroy the credit of the nation and its ability to govern in a year or two?

No wonder all the Moonbats check under their beds twice before climbing into them and pulling the blankets over their heads in fear. These people are like Julius Caesar, Napoleon, and Michael Jordan rolled into the body of a 5' tall, 60-year-old grandmother.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Their intransigence, and insistence on nothing that appears to be a "tax increase", even if it really is letting temporary tax cuts expire, is part of the problem, in that it has helped create an even more polarized atmosphere in Washington - S&P remarks that was a major reason they changed their view and downgraded our rating.

Is it the only cause? Of course not - that's silly.

S&P also comments on the previous administration, the current administration, etc.

But it may have been the "straw that broke the camel's back" for S&P - they said that before it became clear that the folks in Washington couldn't work together to solve this problem, they weren't planning to downgrade the rating.

situveux1 3 years, 4 months ago

So the Tea Party reps said they wouldn't vote for the compromise because it didn't cut enough and would probably result in a credit downgrade because it didn't cut $4 trillion.. So the non-Tea Party folks pass it anyway and then we get downgraded. And then it's the Tea Paty's fault. Sure, sounds logical to me.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"THAT is why we were downgraded. "

Unless Obama was right: http://www.cnn.com/2011/OPINION/08/09/obama.right/index.html?hpt=hp_t1 and the S&P's 'reason' was simply an excuse to cover bad math...

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

For the link to work, OPINION in the URL must be in all caps.

Our handy dandy LJW.com comment handler changes the URL to lower case.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

It's probably impossible to know for sure, since ratings are almost wholly subjective anyway. There is no chance - zero - that the US will default on its bonds. As the Maestro himself said, worst case we just print the money: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:US1...

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

The problem is they wanted to make that much of a dent in the deficit without any revenue increases, which isn't realistic, without creating a lot of other bad consequences.

A reasonable combination of spending cuts and revenue increases might do it, and maybe if R representatives weren't afraid of losing their seats to T-party candidates, it might have happened.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

If that's personal, I've paid far more in taxes over my lifetime than I've benefited from tax dollars.

If it's not, nobody doesn't "pay taxes", unless they're homeless and destitute.

The often repeated assertion that 1/2 of our population doesn't pay taxes is simply wrong - about 47% don't pay federal income taxes, but they still pay FICA, state, local, sales, etc. taxes.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

Happened after the Mad Tea Hatters took a simple question ("Shall we pay our debts"?) and turned it into a phoney-baloney crisis.

Happened after Obama offered $4 trillion and Yasser Arafat concluded he was too weak of a House Speaker to sell it the Partiers, so he walked away from the peace table.

JohnBrown 3 years, 4 months ago

Warning: Facts ahead.

1- Following the S&P credit downgrade on US bonds was an increase in demand for US bonds on the day following the downgrade. Conclusion: The market does not believe the S&P downgrade for one second. 2- The stock market, down nearly 2000 points in the past few weeks, obviously believes something is amiss, but what? Hint: it has something to do with the belief that businesses will not be able to sell as much stuff in the future because the government has publicly declared a stop to all future stimulus combined with an actual contraction of spending, which leads to fewer jobs, which leads to fewer "things" being bought.
3- The stock market decline has nothing to do with the US debt, it has a lot to do with shareholders recognizing the current US financial policy will create a second recession. 4- The current recession cannot be ended by companies creating "jobs" for the same reason the market is in decline: companies don't want to produce surpluses when demand is low. Thus these companies are no longer "jobs creators", so let's tax them. 5- The current recession CAN be ended by government creating "jobs" by spending $3 Trillion on infrastructure improvements. This will put people to work, including manufacturers to supply the infrastructure materials. NOTE: people put to work earn money which they spend to buy things that otherwise won't be bought from companies that have stock on the NYSE. Once investors realize this, the stock market will rise. BUT if it doesn't happen, the market will continue to fall.

If you don't believe this, go back and study the events of the Great Depression - with a focus on 1937.

Two Republican presidents, Reagan and Bush W created most of our current debt. How can anyone believe that people from the party that gave us all this debt are now the one's with the answers on how to get us out of it?

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"The current recession cannot be ended by companies creating "jobs" for the same reason the market is in decline: companies don't want to produce surpluses when demand is low. "

Now, ask yourself why demand is low. The answers are a) we already have everything we need, and b) we are being smothered in personal consumer debt brought on by a. Adding another $3 trillion in government debt (or 5 trillion or 10 trillion) is not going to change the real problem.

You are absolutely correct that the GOP is primarily responsible for the present debt. We are closing in on Banana Republic status because of Banana Republicans. But the solution is not to make their mistakes faster, it is to stop making their mistakes.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

More than that has no job, much more. But demand is low because we have so much stuff that we have an entire industry dedicated to storing all the stuff we can't keep in our already-biggest-in-the-world houses.

Even if everyone had a job, how many more cars, TVs, dishwashers, or even houses does America need?

verity 3 years, 4 months ago

Need isn't a factor. Our economy is based on growing consumption. As long as we have the money, most of us will continue to buy. What do you think yard sales are all about?

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

Errr....demand is low because George Bush fired 16 million hardworking Americans and Barrack Obama has only managed to hire back 2 million of them.

Still waiting on the Bush tax cut prosperity ...........

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"...demand is low because George Bush fired 16 million hardworking Americans"

Is that why the rest of the world is in recession as well? Or is it just the biggest coincidence we ever saw?

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

The rest of the world?

Outside of minor spots (and earthquake damaged Japan), the only other country in a recession right now is Britain, where a Conservative government took over a recovering economy, implemented Tea Party style cuts, and promptly drove the economy back into recession.

Indeed, the only other countries in decline are tiny Greece and tiny Portugal - 2 countries that have long followed Republican economics: Step 1, spend like drunken sailors, Step 2, refuse to collect tax revenues, Step 3, crisis, Step 4, massive cuts in spending, Step 5, economy shrinks, Step 6, repeat again starting at Step 3.

Meanwhile, in countries not allergic to Keynesian stimulus, Canada growing @ 2.9%, Euro area growing @ 2.5%, China growing @ 9.5%, Brazil growing @ 4.2%, Russia growing @ 4.1%, Mexico growing @ 4.6% and on and on: http://www.economist.com/node/21525438

Sorry, "the rest of the world is in recession" is an objectively false statement.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"Sorry, "the rest of the world is in recession" is an objectively false statement."

Yup, I should have said, "was in recession when we were in recession."

Still, heck of a coincidence, huh? I guess the President really is the most powerful man in the world.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Or, of course, our economy is global, and thus things in one country affect things in other countries.

If Jimo's information is correct, then other countries are recovering much more and better than we are - maybe we should find out what they're doing.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"Or, of course, our economy is global, and thus things in one country affect things in other countries."

Of course they do, but in a world of 6 billion people, 16 million lost jobs do not a worldwide recession make.

Blaming George Bush alone is no more meaningful than the writer of this LTE blaming the tea party alone. It tells us everything about the political proclivities of the writer and nothing about the actual problem.

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

For 2 years we followed a watered down version of Keynesian stimulus and things got a little--but noticeably--better. Millions of jobs were created or saved, economic growth returned, people began to have a bit more confidence, corporate profits soared to record highs, and the stockmarket boomed.

For the last year, we dried up what little stimulus left, engaged in massive anti-stimulus at the state and local level, fired half a million government employees, extended the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy even longer, told the unemployed 'no more welfare for you you lazy bums', and proclaimed loudly to our creditors that we just might default on repaying them. How is following the Tea Party economic plan working?

Jimo 3 years, 4 months ago

Ha. My taxes pay for your welfare check in about an hour.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

There's an interesting analysis I read this morning, that says this financial problem is different from the last one, and that government spending can't fix this one.

The problem is basically that businesses are sitting on wads of cash.

So pumping more cash into the economy won't help that.

monkeyhawk 3 years, 4 months ago

Have no fear: the treebaggers are here, alive and well ? in Lawrence --- witness their daily T party. Ain't no bozos on their bus, nobody else for that matter.

I agree with the bully analogy. It's going to be a plasmic 2012 for those who do not realize how small their numbers are.

usnsnp 3 years, 4 months ago

To the person saying thers is a disconnect in knowing who pays for VA benefits, get your head out of the sand. Vetrans receiving benifits pay Federal Taxes and all other taxes just like everyone else, they are receiving benefits just like every vetram has since the Second World War. How many days have you served in combat or even in the military.

Katara 3 years, 4 months ago

Actually, not all veterans pay all other taxes just like everyone else. Some states exempt veteran benefits from taxation. Anything bought in the military commissaries are also sales tax exempt.

All taxpayers pay for veterans' benefits. Some just don't understand that and that has nothing to do whether one has served in the military.

jayhawklawrence 3 years, 4 months ago

New information regarding the Great Recession has revealed that it was far worse than economists realized.

The S&P makes a $2 Trillion mistake and shrugs it off like no big deal. More information starts to come out about their role in the financial crisis. Shouldn't they admit to playing some role in the great financial crash. Many think so.

The Republicans refuse to accept blame for GW mistakes for 8 years or the swelling of the National Debt under Reagan?

The Republican refusal to accept Obama as President and give him the respect the office deserves will not be viewed favorably by historians. It will be looked upon as a lost opportunity to fix a lot of problems in our country.

Today, the largest corporations are hoarding cash while the large majority of Americans fear they are one bad day away from living on the streets. That cash is being invested outside of the United States and they brag about their profits.

Americans are supposed to be a proud people. We hold our hands over our hearts when the national anthem is played.

But how can you be proud when your leaders have no character to be proud of.

Brownback has given us a taste of Washington style politics through the recent SRS disaster and the annihilation of the Arts Commission while he flies down to a prayer meeting for bigots in Texas.

We have Kansas legislators comparing our President to a monkey and one of them proposes shooting immigrants from helicopters and laughing about it.

When is the last time a politician said, "I'm sorry. We were wrong."

If there is one message I wish God could give these people it is to remind them of the need for repentance. Simply repent for being very, very bad leaders.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

"The Republican refusal to accept Obama as President and give him the respect the office deserves will not be viewed favorably by historians." Did you also speak out about the same tactics used by the Democrats from 2000 through 2008? I'd bet I heard disappointed progressives say "he's not MY president" thousands and thousands of times during the Bush administration. Sauce goose, sauce gander.

tbaker 3 years, 4 months ago

People don't trust the president to fix the economy. Most Americans don't think he is serious about the budget deficit. Mr. Obama added more to national debt in his first 19 Months as president than all presidents from Washington through Reagan combined. His foreign policy projects weakness, and is certainly confusing. Independents (who elected him) are deserting the president in droves. A majority of Americans still reject Obamacare. Mr. Obama looks increasingly out of touch with the American people, 1 in 7 being on food stamps now. Twice as many Americans now call themselves conservative, compared to those who describe themselves as liberal. The president increasingly comes across as bitter, nasty and divisive. Last but not least the president's liberal elite allies are deserting him.

Its tough to deny, from a purely political perspective, the Tea Party has been one of the biggest political success stories in a decade. But even that comes no where close to explaining the shocking decline of this president. For that, dear liberal readers, you have to finally accept the fact the blame must placed where it belongs - on the president.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

People don't trust Washington at all - most would welcome an entire change of characters there.

I'd like some sort of source for your claim about the national debt - not an opinion piece, but actual numbers, if you've got them.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks - that's interesting.

You didn't mention that it's the federal debt held by the public, and doesn't include intragovernmental debt.

I wonder how the numbers would look if we included that.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

tb, most of the polls I have seen show Americans are more likely to blame the Republicans and the tea partiers than the President for the current downgrade. Many of us recognize the nearly impossible task of tixing the economy in a short time, which crashed just before Obama was elected. While you may be correct that a majority reject the Affordable Care Act (using false names like "Obamacare" to describe it), but when you ask them about the specific details people tend to favor the policies. Conservatives are very good at word games and have turned "Obamacare" and "liberal" into a dirty words. That doesn't mean people don't agree with liberal ideas. Many of us also disagree with your assesment of Obama as either weak or bitter. That is your judgment, but that is all it is.

However, the Republicans will likely benefit in the next election if the economy falls back into a double dip of the recession, even if their actions are a major cause for it. It isn't a guarantee, since most Americans recognize that Obama didn't create the debt himself. The majority of the debt existed before he took office.

tbaker 3 years, 4 months ago

B - with the exception of my comment about the President being out of touch, everything I said in my first paragraph is backed-up by polling. It didn't paste the URLs becuase I'm not Merril. Politicians of all stripes are good at words games. Now B - I read your posts. You're one of the few lucid liberal voices on the blog, you know darn well that politicans who want the government to spend less money can't possibly be a "cause" for a double dip rescession. The one's who want to continue the insane spending are the one's running the economy into the dirt. 40 cents on every dollar we spend is borrowed and many democrats, the Presidnet included, want to spend MORE. It has to stop. Disaster is looming. Nobody wins when the US president fails. I want the guy to be successful, but he just doesn't like private sector business; he's been openly hostile towards them. I think he knows private sector business is the only real way to fix our economy, but he really doesn't like that idea one bit. As a consequence, $12-15 trillion is now parked, waiting. If he changed his tune, instituted some pro-business ideas, etc, that money would come out of the driveway and be back on the road of commerce, starting / expanding business, creating jobs, and growing the economy. As it is, nobody wants to put any money out there for fear of punative treatment from the government, on top of all the normal risk investors have to take. Who would? Now the Repubs aren't the whole answer either, and have caused a huge share of the problem we face, but at the end of the day, they "tend" to behave toward the job-creating, GDP-growing part of America in a more favorable way. There is less uncertainty with them. Bottom line: You just can't blame all the Presidnet's troubles on the Tea Party. He is his own worst enemy.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

Verity asks: "As long as we have the money, most of us will continue to buy. What do you think yard sales are all about?"

But you can't have it both ways. Most of us will continue to buy*, but yard sales are all about the fact that we have bought too much. We must get rid of some of our stuff to make some room and/or some money.

Now if you have 4 chairs for sale at your garage sale, it is not likely that you are selling them in order to buy four new ones. It is likely that you have 4 more than you need, correct? After the sale, you intend to have four fewer chairs. You may buy something else with the new money, or you may pay off something you have purchased prior. But your garage sale is negative demand, supply, the opposite of 'continuing to buy.'

Assume there is someone in your yard who wishes to have four more chairs (positive demand), and he gives you some money for yours. Here's the part that gets missed: in buying your garage sale chairs instead of new ones, he has denied the job of making chairs to four potential chairmakers. So just having money and just spending money merely moves goods around when those goods already exist; it does not create jobs.

Now here's the point: it is not 'spending' that keeps our consumption-driven economy going, it is ever-increasing spending, predicated on ever-increasing debt, on new items that must be produced through jobs. When we reach the point where we can no longer increase our debt at the increasing rate of the last 70-90 years, we will have a) no jobs, and b) lots of garage sales.

Then we get to blame the result on our political opponents.

  • We continue to buy because stuff wears out, we get hungry, all that. ** We have debt because in order to artificially increase our spending today, we must borrow from the future. But that reduces future demand, necessitating more and more debt as more and more of the future arrives.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

We don't know that - it's entirely possible people are clearing out old stuff, and then planning to replace it, partly with the money they get from selling the old stuff.

And, unless they just sit on that money, it circulates in the economy. I sell an old chair for 5 bucks, and I go buy a cd from a local store.

Fossick 3 years, 4 months ago

"it's entirely possible people are clearing out old stuff, and then planning to replace it, partly with the money they get from selling the old stuff."

Possible, of course, but probable? How many people do you know who replace all the items sold at a garage sale with similar items? As for CDs, I acknowledged that possibility when I said, "You may buy something else with the new money, or you may pay off something you have purchased prior."

Verity's argument that, "Need isn't a factor. Our economy is based on growing consumption" combines a truth with a falsehood in a most dangerous way. The truth that our economy is based on growing consumption does not mean that consumption always will grow, that it ought to grow, or even that it can grow. When you have everything you can eat, store, or drive, your demand for new goods is reduced unless you have some sort of psychosexual shopping disorder.

To insist that 'need isn't a factor' is to assert that enough Americans are afflicted with such a disorder that supply and demand are out the window, to be replaced by fetish and inertia as the heralds of a new economic age.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree with that.

Except that it's not just need, it's also want, that drives spending, otherwise we'd all only buy the bare minimum.

I'm not sure that's something we want either.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

I blame Texas governor Rick Perry for this week's stock market crash. Perry prayed to god on Saturday to help fix what is troubling America, and the shrinking market is clearly god's response. Thanks for nothing Perry.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

We have raised the debt ceiling 74 times since 1962. This time the tea partiers tried to stop the process and allow the country to go into default. Our nation's credit rating was lowered as a direct result not of the debt itself -- which needs to be fixed -- but for the partisan nonsense taking part largely on behalf of the tea partiers.

So of course you blame the "lib dems." Too bad the last person you voted for for president called the tea partiers "hobbits" for living in a fantasy world in which compromise doesn't exist. That must sting just a little bit.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry. I shouldn't assume you are old enough to vote.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

I am repeating exactly what John McCain said. Did Senator McCain not call the tea partiers in congress "hobbits"? I am pointing out the way Republicans are calling out the tea partiers as well, noting that the criticism isn't just from Democrats. Nothing uncivil about it.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

They are a fantasy, which was McCain's point about tea partiers' views.

Katara 3 years, 4 months ago

The prayer rally didn't do much for the drought Texas is experiencing now either.

http://www.kvue.com/home/North-Texas-town-runs-out-of-water-127219558.html

This is what happens when people use short-term thinking (No taxes or tax increases) rather than long-term thinking (pay taxes or increase taxes for infrastructure upkeep).

Aiko 3 years, 4 months ago

Bulllies...?That is funny. They make fun of the tea party for being irrelevant, make up derogatory remarks and/or names about the party.. Now they fear them and are calling them bullies. Very typical as history has repeated itself.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Given the amount of foul invective hurled at the Tea Party in this thread by the usual suspects, the damage that it has inflicted on doctrinaire liberalism in this country is patent.

jayhawxrok 3 years, 4 months ago

The Tea Party is a joke, a bad joke and Bachman is their lunatic punch line. What's sad is how many of them have no clue at all and will run this country in the ground if given opportunity, largely because they know nothing beyond their bumper sticker slogans.

John Hamm 3 years, 4 months ago

Baldertrash! The credit downgrade is directly attributable to a wasteful Congress and wimp President! The Tea Party did NOT run up the debt of the United States. Stupid wasteful programs did. There wouldn't have been a credit downgrade if Congress AND the President had been willing to accept that THEY have lived beyond OUR means for years. Now it's coming back to haunt all of us.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Read what S&P said about the downgrade.

It blames this administration, the previous one, and the inability of politicians to work together to solve the problem, which undoubtedly includes the stubborn ideology of the T-Party.

Our debt didn't appear overnight - it's the result of many years of financial mismanagement on both sides of the aisle, and under both D and R presidents.

Clinton was the last president (and the only one in the last 35-40 years) to run budget surpluses - were you a big Clinton supporter?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Well, I think that his tax and spending policies had something to do with the economy - if you look at the record, the deficits shrink steadily for 4 years, and then surpluses grow steadily for the next 4, and he left Bush a rather large surplus.

Bush then immediately gave that back in the form of tax cuts, lowering the tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, and then getting into 2 wars without any way to pay for them.

I agree with your other comment in general.

But the only way to fix the problem is to both raise revenue and cut spending - the last time the budget was balanced, they were both about 18% of GDP - currently spending is about 24% and revenue is about 14%.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

But cutting taxes and not having any way to pay for the wars seems like it was a rather Republican idea.

How much of the income do the top 50% of earners have?

whats_going_on 3 years, 4 months ago

That one sign "Ruin the Economy, Yes we can!" is incredibly ironic.

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