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CON-servative

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All you need to know about the experiment in right wing governance that we have been engaged in since 1980:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110614/bs_yblog_thelookout/workers-share-of-national-income-plummets-to-record-low

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_thelookout/20110223/ts_yblog_thelookout/separate-but-unequal-charts-show-growing-rich-poor-gap

It has been a record of miserable failure.

It remains to be seen if the American public will allow itself to continue to be abused.

Comments

ksrush 3 years, 2 months ago

It has been a record of miserable failure.

It remains to be seen if the American public will allow itself to continue to be abused.

Actually the most interesting part of your attempted slam is the following :

Still, there's little sense that either Obama administration or Congress plan to do much about this growing inequality. Indeed, any serious action to boost the economy and cut unemployment now seems to be off the table. That pretty much summs it up. Thank you

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gudpoynt 3 years, 2 months ago

Bush era tax cuts. You're welcome.

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jafs 3 years, 2 months ago

He's responsible for the whole $14 trillion?

So when he took office, there was no deficit?

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

And why, pray tell, was such spending necessary. What economic catastrophe was President Obama responding to?

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jaywalker 3 years, 2 months ago

Pray tell? Sorry, scott, TRIPLING our debt was not some sort of necessity, nor was printing money with no collateral a legitimate response to any 'catastrophe'.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

The impotent rage of bitter, disappointed progressives.....

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somedude20 3 years, 2 months ago

poor wildcat. do you have a thorn in your paw? would you like me to pull it out so that you can be a nice kitty?

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Posting facts is impotent rage, huh? Well, the irony of your response post is not lost on me (and I expect other thoughtful folks.) Thanks for demonstrating yet another example of right wing projection of their, ahem, shortcomings on to others.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

scottie, your continuing behavior of hopping up and down with your little fists clenched and muttering about how stupid everyone else is marks your impotent rage.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Actually, snap, what has happened here is that I cited facts which, so far, have not been disputed. There has been some agreement and then the personal attacks. Some would conclude that those who cannot marshall a coherent argument would resort to such tactics to assuage their feelings of inadequacy. But perhaps those engaged in such tactics will offer up some alternative explanation.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Really?

Please point out how I implied my conclusions belonged to the author.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Wow.

If you cannot understand a one word message, perhaps your time would be better spent re-examining your understanding of the world, rather than playing childish games.

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Mike Ford 3 years, 2 months ago

I always wonder who spiked the kool aid in the 1980's. It seemed from about 1982 on part of this country just went ape&%$! with corporate handouts and supply side economics and cutting school lunches and the BIA budget. Before any of the usual clowns yell handout realize that if people pay taxes their government should either honor treaty obligations or lookout for the less fortunate. What bothers me is how stupid these people are. They want no regulation and yet they fail to realize that no regulation leads to the mess Obama inherited. These clowns yell against regulations and yet do they behave without them...no. Enron? no Haliburton? no Fannie and Freddie Mae? no Jack Abramov? no Duke Cunningham? no What's even more telling is when David Stockman, a member of the Reagan administration calls the whole GOP economic plan a failure. Do these people ever look in the mirror or is the head in the sand more conveinient?

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overthemoon 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, one batch of Kool-aid was mixed up by the religious right movement who worked diligently to put abortion on the minds of people who probably would have never thought about it otherwise. Like the TeaParty, it was a manufactured issue strategy to co-opt a large voting block that could be counted on to vote by emotion rather than logic. Frank Schaeffer, son of the central clown character in the circus Francis Schaeffer, has written extensively on his involvement in creating this religious/political faction within the Republican party. When he realized the extraordinary damage the movement had dealt to our country and our culture, he turned tail and started writing about the inside workings of people like Falwell, Robertson, Graham, et al. He will be the first to tell you that the decline of rational thinking and reasoned debate has a lot to do with the infusion of religion into the party platform.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

The evil genius of the right wingers is that the more of their destruction of government that is implemented, the more frazzled and desperate the middle class has become. On the ropes with all sorts of right wing imposed insecurities, the good citizens of our country are easy pickings for the right wing ad men and their relentless mainstream media propaganda.

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overthemoon 3 years, 2 months ago

Actually Scott, the more they can destabilize the government and the economy, the more they open the doors to their corporate handlers to sweep in with 'privatization'.

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BigAl 3 years, 2 months ago

Larryville, "The little dot of sanity in a far-right wing, blinders on, lockstep mentality of fear and hate state."

Thank goodness there are still some free thinkers in this little dot of sanity.

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BigAl 3 years, 2 months ago

Reagan (the Republican God) raised the debt ceiling 17 times. G.W. Bush raised the debt ceiling 10 times. Now comes Obama and he wants to raise the debt ceiling once and the right wingers and the tea-party are about to have a coronary? Where were they when Reagan and Bush both ran up huge deficits and raised the debt ceiling multiple times?

Partisan politics at it's finest.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

So what are we going to do about it?

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

So that the republicrats can sic their minions on you. Strikes me as a fools errand. I'd rather find a way to take away the power of those who abuse us. Concerted action and cooperation seem more promising to me than solo actions.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Ok. And what does that accomplish? You get to pay for insurance company lobbying and graft? Whooopeee! You're still giving money to the folks that are using it to screw you.

I'd rather increase the withdrawl of money from the too big to fail banking giants and increase the amounts of money in local credit unions.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Via education and persuasion and power of the argument.

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Flap Doodle 3 years, 2 months ago

scotty, I'd advise you to keep ranting about how everyone who doesn't agree with you is stupid. That's the way to win friends & influence people! Look how much you've accomplished with that tactic already.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

I really don't care about what stupid people think, nor do I need stupid people for friends. What's been accomplished is the sharing of some info and competing points, marred only by a few who cannot offer anything but personal insult.

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beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

The company that owns Olive Garden, Darden Restaurants, gave their CEO a compensation package worth $7.7 million last year. Darden is asking for tax money from the citizens of Lawrence to open an Olive Garden.

I believe this is an example of the abuse of taxpayers by wealthy corporations that speaks to Scott's argument against the so-called pro-business legislation largely supported by Republicans. The message seems to be, "Get government out of the way of business ... except when they want your tax money or massive tax cuts." On the local level, it seems to be a perfect example of the type of pro-business legislative abuse Scott finds offensive. I would agree.

Of course, if you think your taxes should go to help open businesses like an Olive Garden - knowing that the profits from which will remain in private hands - then maybe you disagree with Scott.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

beatrice (anonymous) says… “The company that owns Olive Garden, Darden Restaurants, gave their CEO a compensation package worth $7.7 million last year. Darden is asking for tax money from the citizens of Lawrence to open an Olive Garden. "

Please tell me about the pro business legislation supported by Republicans that led to that salary.

Nobody has introduced or passed legislation on salaries as it is not clear we can legislate them. Certainly Mr. Obama had the ability to do that in the first two years of his term. He didn't. He could not even get his totally controlled House to pass a tax increase on the rich.

Tell me about his asking his rich donors to bring in $350K each for his 2012 campaign. Certainly they are all operating in our best interests and WLL NOT seek to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom or worse.

Tell me about the Democratic parties support for ethanol subsidies which lead to some companies having little tax liability.

I wish we could all fall back and agree we are not being well served by many of our elected officials of both parties.

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beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

Republicans often support tax breaks for businesses, like that proposed for the Olive Garden. Get big enough tax breaks, and the companies can afford to pay their CEO's outrageously large sums. It isn't that difficult a leap to see the connection.

Correct about Obama on taxes. He was set to let the Bush administration's tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, rather than raise taxes as you suggest. I don't believe he ever talked about flat out raising taxes. When it came time to allow the cuts to expire, however, the Republicans fought it and Obama caved to their desires in a "compromise" that had Republicans supporting continued unemployment benefits. Continued tax breaks on the Republican side, helping those without jobs on the Democrat side. While I wish Obama had stood his ground, it isn't too difficult to see which side is interested in protecting the wealthy and which is interested in helping the middle and working classes that are in trouble.

About the sleeping arrangements of donors, I certainly did not mention anything in that regard. Republicans are not the only ones to answer to their donors.

Yes, both parties could do a much better job for the people, hence the most recent 9% approval rating of Congress (makes me wonder what is wrong with that 9%).

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Bea you are wrong

What Republican proposed the break for Olive Garden. Yes Republicans propose tax breaks for business as do Democrats in almost equal numbers

Mrs Pelosi tried in August of last year to raise taXES on those above $350K. She could not hold her caucus ansd it never came to the floor

Mr Obama was not supporting letting the Bush tax cuts end as it would have taxed people below @250K - a promise he made to not do

Ducked those donors didn't you. That is where all the goodies on tax breaks start - big donations.

You know better Bea

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beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

I didn't duck a thing. Read my response again and you will see I admit that both sides answer to donors.

Obama supported letting the Bush tax cuts end on the high end only. I should have made that distinction.

I don't know who proposed the tax break for the Olive Garden, but my guess is more Republicans support this type of corporate tax break than do Democrats. It is their track record, including recent votes in the House and proposals by Republican candidates.

I don't believe for a second that Democrats and Republicans propose or seek to pass corporate tax breaks in equal numbers. What Democrat is proposing that all business taxes should be lowered to 15% the way Tim Pawlenty has? It was the Republicans in the House who approved business tax cuts recently, not the Democrats. Republicans also are the ones who rejected the notion of stopping the tax breaks given to oil companies.

Sorry George, but you are incorrect.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/GOPled-House-OKs-business-tax-apf-2171840563.html?x=0&.v=2

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-many-flaws-of-tim-pawlentys-tax-cut-plan/2011/06/10/AGTjPCSH_story.html

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Bea you are switching points.

Yes Mr., Pawlenty suggested reducing corporate taxes, the highest in the industrial world, but he tied that do the elimination of all kinds of special deductions that have resulted in big business paying few if any taxes.

Mr. Obama appeared at a plant in NC the other day lauding energy efficiency activities. Exactly who has been behind tax deductions for investments in energy efficiency??

I challenged two of your points.

That a Republican was behind the proposed tax cut for Olive Garden and you acknowledged you may have inferred that, I also attacked the exclusivity of Republican granting of special tax deductions for business. I still do.

My data suggests that many of these tax deductions arise when a local congressperson (of whatever persuasion) seeks special treatment for a local business. That is to be expected. Rolling them all up in a large logrolling contest then leads to the sorry state of many businesses paying little or no taxes is IMHO reprehensible.

Better we stop all the deduction and vote to provide direct subsidy if the business warrants it. Helps us all see where our money is going – you know like transparency. Tax expenditures are very sneaky and highly undesirable.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Bea said:

It isn't that difficult a leap to see the connection.

Big salaries will happen dispite no tax breaks. The salary is a cost of doing business and as such reduce tax liability. I guess we could change the tax law. Why did we not when Mr. Obama held all the cards??

We used to handle large salaries by taxing them. At best Mr. Obama has proposed to raise taxes on the super rich by 4%. We need to go back to the Pre -Reagan rates on the rich. For that the Republicans are in part to blame. But with those big donors i am not sure the Dems would raise the taxes and many of thenm voted at one time or another to lower the rates.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Why? This country was certainly more prosperous, and wealth more equitably distributed, in the 1970's than in the 1900's.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Bending toward justice......

A good argument for those who favor progressive improvement of our government, rather than a conservative's return to some imagined past.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

Our country, and the hopes and dreams of its citizens for a more just and equitable society, has been built on imagined futures.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Too late LO. We (the voters) have chosen to have government provide many services for all of us. We have that right.

I suspect we are not ready to go back to horrible pollution, poorly designed toys, counterfeit medications, and more. If business were truly consumer focused maybe we would not have to do these things. But business is not. I also challenge your market-based arguments. The market definitely has been very helpful in our progress but it has been most unhelpful in its side effects. We also have the problem that it is a feature of the market to try to eliminate the market creating goods and services provided by few businesses and very prone to exploitation with no alternatives.

I really love the idea of market based medical services. How in gods name does the average citizens determine what is a good buy for his/her money. All it leads to is rationing by cost with quality floating. .

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

LO

Well, first of all I am not asking my neighbors to pay for anything I am not. More importantly, they, if a majority, can block me sticking them with the costs

Now I am already on point about the 50% problem. Everybody should pay. If we are to be progressive in our taxes than the progressivity should be uniform - meaning that as a matter of equity the rich should pay more.

Market tune up is our business and if we wish to use government to work out the rough spots that is also our right. You have no right to pour gas in a stream that crosses my property - period!!!

Yes, we may have gone to excess with helping people who fail to help them selves. Victim politics is way out of balance. Needs to be fixed.

Most importantly we need to put a ceiling on how much the government can take from the average citizen. That coupled with a required balanced budget will force priorities on the system. By the by I include regulatory costs as taxes.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Yes, you are. You are asking them to pay for something they are not wiling to pay for while you are willing to pay for.

What am I asking them to pay?? You must have me confused with one of our tax at all cost liberal posters.

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beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

George, you keep bringing this back to the argument that Obama could have done things but didn't. I'm not here making the case for Obama. I think he should have done a lot of things he hasn't done. No argument.

My point is that Republicans support big business and the wealthy with their legislation -- giving tax breaks to corporations and wealthy individuals, for instance -- far more than they support the average American citizen.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Well, I agree with you Bea!! However, I do not see the Democrats as my savior. They are too tightly tied to the same businesses.

I want term limits, automatic and frequent redistricting, enforced limits on contributions and more as a way to break the stranglehold that our elected officials of both parties have on our economy and our way of life.

RFemember, I voted for Mr. Obama and he did not meet his promises even though we gave him total control of Congress.

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beatrice 3 years, 2 months ago

I sure hope you wouldn't look to a political party as your savior! Anyone who thinks of Obama (or Romney or Pawlenty or...) as a savior is only fooling themselves, or setting themselves up for major disappointment. They are called politicians for a reason. As soon as anyone is elected, we should hold them accountable for what they are doing. That doesn't mean criticize every move or have unrealistic expectations of fixing everything instantly. We as a nation seem to too often express the worst -- either defending at all costs those on "my" side and not holding elected officials accountable, or expressing extreme partisan criticism, all the way down to criticizing a first lady for suggesting kids eat their veggies. That gets us nowhere.

Yes, Obama should have done much, much more when Congress was on his side. No argument from me. Even though he didn't, I still believe he has done more good than the other side would have had they won the election. Just the thought of a McCain presidency -- seeing first hand how little he has actually done for Arizona -- scares me.

I agree on greater limits on contributions (sadly, the Supreme Court doesn't see it that way), but disagree with you regarding term limits. The legislators who know they only have a couple of terms to "serve" act quickly on behalf of the funders who got them there. They don't create relationships with fellow legislators on the other side of the aisle because they don't have the time. Instead, they stick to their own and they stick to their monied support. At other times, good people must step down to allow someone far less capable to take over. I don't see that as being in our best interest.

I suspect Obama will remain in office after the next election. I'm not alone in being unimpressed with the current Republicans running for office. I'm waiting to see what Huntsman has to bring to the table. At first glance, he seems like a reasonable guy.

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gkerr 3 years, 2 months ago

Deec, From NRO regarding Wall Street Journal report the gist of which follows, ".....When the highest tax rate ranged from 91% to 92% (1951-63), even the lowest rate was quite high—20% or 22%. As the nearby chart shows, however, those super-high tax rates at all income levels brought in revenue of only 7.7% of GDP, according to U.S. budget historical data.

President John F. Kennedy's across-the-board tax cuts reduced the lowest and highest tax rates to 14% and 70% respectively after 1964, yet revenues (after excluding the 5%-10% surtaxes of 1969-70) rose to 8% of GDP. President Reagan's across-the-board tax cuts further reduced the lowest and highest tax rates to 11% and 50%, yet revenues rose again to 8.3% of GDP. The 1986 tax reform slashed the top tax rate to 28%, yet revenues dipped trivially to 8.1% of GDP.

What about those increases in top tax rates in 1990 and 1993? The top statutory rate was raised to 31% in 1991, but it was really closer to 35% because exemptions and deductions were phased-out as incomes increased. The economy quickly slipped into recession—as it did during the surtaxes of 1969-70 and the "bracket creep" of 1980-81, which pushed many middle-income families into higher tax brackets. Revenues fell to 7.8% of GDP.

The 1993 law added two higher tax brackets and, importantly, raised the taxable portion of Social Security benefits to 85% from 50%. At just 8% of GDP, however, individual income tax receipts were surprisingly low during President Bill Clinton's first term.

The Internet/telecom boom of 1998-2000 was the only time individual income tax revenues remained higher than 9% of GDP for more than one year without the economy slipping into recession (as it did when the tax topped 9% in 1969, 1981 and 2001).?...""

In any case deec, Higher income taxes do not mean higher income to government. Especially in today's capital markets where savvy wealthy send their wealth private and corporate to sheltered accounts overseas out of reach of IRS. Under Eisenhower the 91% tax rate for wealthy did NOT raise income to higher percent of GNP rather Feds take at those rates were lower than under Reagans 28% rate.

Government taxation has a cost to the private economy pure and simple and private capital is the engine of economic growth for this Nation and the world. Bureaucrats and pointy head idea wonks creating government law and regulation crimp and reduce the ability of the economy to innovate, expand and grow jobs and income for all. Progressives hate to hear this. They stop their ears and ignore the truth to the nations detriment. Gkerr

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Well old grandpa has a real time comment on this artice which I read. Back then theer were alot more deductions. The article did not address those. That is why in noir amall part less revenue was obtained.

Wife and I wer in the 45% bracket (certainly not rich) but we paid lower actual taxes after deductions then we paid at a lower tax rate post Mr. Reagan (deductions were limited).

In fact we used tax shelters that wree specifically developed for use by the middle middle. Mr. Reagan made those non-productive if not illegal.

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scott3460 3 years, 2 months ago

So, you're saying things are the liberals' fault?

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gkerr 3 years, 2 months ago

Scott3460, Gee, no. That would be as simplistic and wrong as your prejudiced sentiments. It's the fault of those of us who have bought the notion that Government elites are honest and pure, and business elites are evil spawn of satanic conservatives. What stupid simplistic and even evil thinking.
Corrupt politicians are at fault, and evil elites of business, non-profits, law, medicine, education, entertainment, media, etc. For the most part first in line of responsibility are our leadership elites who are banal and corrupt, which hello, is a trait of our race. Second of all we are at fault for being so busy trying to get something for nothing, or getting more of what we already have that we close our eyes to the corruption present at all levels of our public and private lives. This stuff, excess and corruption, is not new but as old as Cain and Able, Adam and Eve. Gkerr

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

If you are a referee watching the conservatives and the liberals arguing over tax policy, you only have to look at the $14 trillion plus debt and realize that spending and tax cutting is the only way you get to this point.

Let's face the fact that the American voter allowed it to happen by electing these people starting back with Reagan. I remember when Mondale was making a big deal out of the deficit and look what it got him. He was hammered by Reagan because Americans didn't know or didn't care what Mondale was talking about.

At the end of the day, all the name calling and the blame game doesn't explain that we have created a Frankenstein called the US economy and we don't know whether we can fix it before it kills itself and us.

The problem we have today is that we invested in the development of a huge industrial base overseas that was focused on destroying our industrial base and our middle class jobs. It was not for the benefit of the American people.

There must be something in our history that makes us prone to destroying ourselves in the pursuit of wealth.

Why would a guy as smart as Greenspan stand back and watch the housing industry blow itself up and do nothing about it?

We cannot predict what an even more dangerous Congress will do to hurt this country but with the kind of massive cuts that are being proposed by the candidates, I think we should start storing food and water and ammunition in our basements.

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

Are you seriously suggesting that our financial mess is the responsibility of the RFepublicans alone??

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George Lippencott 3 years, 2 months ago

I think we should start storing food and water and ammunition in our basements.

People are - we should be concerned!

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gkerr 3 years, 2 months ago

To all who blame conservatives for EVERYTHING,

Like I said on another thread, but in the context of this one it bears repeating:   Most conservatives I know were against the bailout of banks, wall street, unionized American auto makers who were bankrupted by overgenerous union perks, and the 800 billion dollar program to stimulate the economy, which of course did no such thing. You attack greedy corporate fat cats and corporations cozy with the government.  Good for you.  I do too and so do most sane Americans.  Before you seethe more at republicans be aware, if you are not already aware but ashamed to admit it, that most Wall street fat cats, New York bankers, media elites, entertainment elites, corporate elites are democrats or democrat supporters.  GE's Immelt has been in bed withe Dems for years, same with Google Mogels, Silicone valley billionaires, BP executives, Cap and Trade investors, denizens of the Hamptons, Martha's Vinyard, Cape Cod, Warren Buffet, the 200 plus Soros front corporations, big Law, big labor,  big education, even big Pharma, Big medicine, Toni neighborhoods of New York, Chicago, Boston, etc. are all Democrat heavy areas.  Dems dominate the elites.  Elites love the Dems cause they are a bit easier to buy than the Republicans who are all too ready to sell themselves as well.  

I want individual citizens empowered, not corporate elites and not government.  Government corruption and abuse, greed and isolation of politicians from their citizens, is a travesty.  Corporate, business, nonprofit, and cultural elites buying corrupt politicians is a travesty as well.  Enough is enough.  

Look we are by many accounts (ex: USA today and  Bill Gross of Pimco bond fame) between 61 and 100 trillion in debt based on Federal government services already in arrears and promised services with no visible means of paying for themselves by any accounting standards.   100 trillion dollars is a whole lot of money, 100,000 billion dollars to be exact.  Government especially Federal government but some state governments as well are out of control and corrupt, really corrupt.  It's time for tough love.  It is time for all us cool aide drinkers to wake up and quit looking at our friends through rose colored glasses and our Imagined and real enemies through the jaundiced yellow lens? Gkerr

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jayhawklawrence 3 years, 2 months ago

One of the most interesting debates I have seen in a long time occurred yesterday on GPS with Zareed Zakaria. Robert Reich and David Stockman were his guests and they discussed economic policy of the past, present and future.

Here is one link I found:

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-cohn/90264/what-honest-economic-debate-looks

This was the kind of discussion and debate that I would like to hear more.

Personally, I think Reich is a very brilliant and creative guy and I have no doubt that some of his idea(s) are worth meditating on and have merit, but I am not a disciple of his economic world view at all.

I think there is much to learn from listening to David Stockman. He gives an accountants perspective on our current situation.

Best new quote I have heard lately:

Zakaria saying that today's Conservatives are now similar to the Marxists in that they have theories that have nothing to do with reality.

Or...

David Stockman referring to the Democrats and Republicans as the Keynesians on the Right and the Keynesians on the Left.

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