Untaxing and Spending

Debater ErrinF hits the bulls eye in a response to a fellow Debater, PC Gorilla, who blamed victims of check diversion schemes for bouncing checks in the first place. "One wonders when was the last time PC Gorilla looked at our national debt or current deficit," ErrinF writes.

Congress did recently raise the debt ceiling, but it's still a limit that is arbitrary and potentially harmful, according to Justin Fox of Forbes. Regardless of whether Congress had a choice in the matter (general consensus: it did not) $9 trillion is nonetheless a staggering figure. And I don't even want to think about the interest payments, which apparently are up by 12 percent.

The Post reports on today's front page that the House and Senate have reached a deal on a tax package estimated to cost $70 billion over the next five years. With the deficit hovering around $300 billion, some say tax cuts are the best way to reduce that figure.

Debater Jaxas isn't convinced: "If supply side economics is such a great economic theory, why is it that every time it is applied, it gives us crushing national debt and annual deficits for as far as the eye can see?" Columnist Sebastian Mallaby explains that a big hunk of the problem is that the federal government tends not to reign in spending along with tax cuts -- in fact, spending frequently rises as taxes are cut.

A recent Post editorial adds another dimension, saying, "That rhetoric about giveaways for multimillionaires? It's accurate." A thoroughly documented study by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities backs up the contention that the wealthiest Americans are disproportionately benefiting from recent and proposed changes in tax law. (The estate tax, and the tiny group lobbying for a permanent repeal, will be the subject of the next post.)

Debaters, what do you think of the Bush tax cuts? Do you think there's more motivating them than just an unwavering belief in supply-side economics?

By Emily Messner |  May 10, 2006; 7:55 AM ET  | Category:  Economics
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AND NOW THEY COME FOR THE IRISH!!!!!!

May 9, 2006 -- First they came for the Muslims and the Arabs . . . then they came for the illegal Latinos . . . and then they came for the Irish. Yes, the Department of Homeland Security under Obergruppenfuhrer/chief Kapo Michael Chertoff has decided to sic his Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents after illegal Irish bartenders and waitresses who mostly work in New York City Irish pubs and who have overstayed their visas. Also being rounded up in the DHS sting are U.S. citizens of Irish descent who have facilitated the entry of the Irish workers from Canada through such entry points as Buffalo and Rochester. Since he became Homeland Security Czar, Chertoff has menaced Arabs and Muslims, Latin Americans, African-American survivors of hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, and now Irish pub workers. Chertoff's actions against Irish bartenders and pub keepers has increased anti-American feelings in Ireland and among New York's large and influential Irish-American community.

"Kapo Chertoff's" new enemies: Irish bartenders in New York City. Chertoff is out to catch Osama McLaden.

One group Chertoff will definitely not touch is the non-documented organized crime syndicates from Russia, Ukraine, and Israel, some with provable financial links to "Al Qaeda," which operate mainly out of Brighton Beach in New York, Miami, and the greater Los Angeles area. Chertoff's financial and religious ties to these groups may explain his reticence in seeking their deportation.

Posted by: che | May 10, 2006 11:04 AM

Ayaan Hirsi Ali...look her up. Learn. Join the struggle.

Posted by: | May 10, 2006 11:12 AM

Che,
What does that have to do with this post?

Meanwhile, even if they are coming for the Irish, who cares? Just because they're white means nothing if they are here illegally. Are you saying race SHOULD be an issue and people SHOULD care more that white people are now threatened with deportation?

Posted by: Freedom | May 10, 2006 11:16 AM

Hey...come on...we don't need to pay for this war. Or, even mobilize for it. That's why we have an all volunteer military. So the rich folks need not dirty their hands or their kid's hands. Now...they don't even have to make the ONLY sacrifice they would allow, and that is to pay more in taxes!

Hey, come on, it's not like the Chinese buying our debt is an issue...right? And hell, who needs education funding when the women can stay home and home-school their kids? New Orleans...that's a state problem, right?

Guess what...it cost money to govern almost 300 million people. We can argue about how much government we need...but we should at least pay for what we are doing now. And, since the utility of money suggests that those with the most income are least affected by increases in taxes AND they certainly aren't going to dirty their hands with the lower classes or fight a war...perhaps they can pay a little more. It's not like they won't be able to buy the third car or second house or anything.

"The interest of them who own the property used in industry is that their capital should be dear and human beings cheap."
- Richard Tawney

"He mocks the people who proposes that the Government shall protect the rich and they in turn will care for the laboring poor."
- President Cleveland

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 10, 2006 11:24 AM

Praise Gaia! Power to the Proletariat! Eat the Rich! People Power! Whoo hoo!!! the "Man" is keeping you down....I know, 'cause last night, while trippin' on mushrooms, Bob Dylan told me.

Remember, you are too stupid to know what to do with your own money dude!

Posted by: I saw a hippy dancing...his name was Glenn | May 10, 2006 11:33 AM

The purpose of Bush's tax cut agenda is to create a financial crisis, but not until after he leaves office. The crisis will hit at the end of this decade when Congress is confronted with the decision whether to renew Bush's tax cuts, all of which expire in 2010, or let them lapse, in which case taxes will rise somewhat for most Americans and sharply for the top 2%.
Bush and the Republicans are betting that Congress and the American people will go for the immediate benefit of renewing the tax cuts, which will force difficult choices about what Republicans refer to as the "entitlement program problems", i.e. cuts in Medicare and Social Security benefits for the Baby Boomers and subsequent generations. By that time, the federal debt will likely exceed the entire U.S. GDP and interest service on the debt with the attendant rise in long-term interest rates will hamstring the nation's economy. The Republicans are betting that the American people, with their backs against the wall, will be forced to agree to old age benefit cuts that they never would have acceded to if they had been told the truth about the long-term impact of Bush's policies.
As David Stockman, Reagan's OMB director, and Ben Stein, son of Nixon's chief economic advisor, have acknowledged, supply side economics is a sham and is intended only to benefit the very wealthy. One only needs to look at the growth in the federal debt under the Bush administration for evidence of this sham: the debt ceiling has been raised three times since Bush took office, from $5.9 trillion to just under $9 trillion, and is set to be increased a fourth time to
$10 trillion in a sneak provision in the GOP's latest budget. At that rate, Bush has added more debt to the U.S. government than all prior presidents combined, nearly a trillion dollars every 18 months, and the Republican-controlled House and Senate just rubber stamps his madness. Bush's former GAO director Doug Holz-Eakin says it will take 20 years to fix the fiscal damage caused by the Bush administration.

With Republicans talking this candidly about the problems Bush has created, one can only imagine what Bush's poltical opponents are thinking-- the Post's recent editorials on these problems are a step in the right direction, but much more needs to be done by the press to inform the American public of these issues.

Posted by: Skye | May 10, 2006 11:58 AM

Do you really need to ask? If Social Security was paid on all income not just on anything below the $100,000 then it would not be in as bad a shape as it's in right now. According to the Reagan/Bush & Bush jr. theory, that if you give all the money to the rich that because they are in a position of running the corporations that the extra money will be invested in expansion of corporations, there by creating jobs. Yea Right this is the "Trickle Down or supply side economic theory" that 3 out of the last 4 presidents suscribed to. While the only president that everyone made money, everyone who wanted to work just about, had a job, We were actually paying down the national debt and had a balanced budget was a Democrat. It's no secret that under the Republicans that the top 10% of the wage earners have done quite well (top 1% have doubled their wages) while the middle class and below have lost ground in their ability to purchase. The Republican especially the Bushs' tax policies has always favored the rich. This Bush because he also has a Republican "Rubber Stamp" Congress has been able to give away the government to his special intrests such as Big Oil, Pharmacuitical companies, Haliburton, etc. While Reagan and Bush # 1 had a Democratically run congress and couldn't hand out the big giveaways like jr has.

Posted by: Lab Rat | May 10, 2006 12:20 PM


Dear Lab Rat,

That is what you get with capitalism!!!

For more uncensored news please bookmark:

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Yours truly,
Che

Posted by: Che | May 10, 2006 12:26 PM

Does anyone believe the republicans have any expertise in determining economic policies? They have proven over and over again they do not work to improve the general economy, only their wealthy supporters. Even Cheney said that Reagan proved deficit spending being harmful was wrong, according to O'Neill's book.

Someone's got to stand up and say "HEY, THESE GUYS ARE LINING THEIR POCKETS!". What's sort of sad is most people know it and continue their lives, paying $3/gal gasoline and blaming themselves for their low pay, for buying that SUV, for having too many children and for trying to get them into college. Bush wants an ownership society, but one where we own the results of his and the republicans decisions.

It doesn't have to be this way. Kick the republicans out of Congress this November and a lot will turn around fast.

Posted by: Sully | May 10, 2006 12:52 PM

Another Possible Bump to the Debt Ceiling

By Jonathan Weisman and Shailagh Murray
Tuesday, May 9, 2006; Page A21

A $2.7 trillion budget plan pending before the House would raise the federal debt ceiling to nearly $10 trillion, less than two months after Congress last raised the federal government's borrowing limit.

The provision -- buried on page 121 of the 151-page budget blueprint -- serves as a backdrop to congressional action this week. House leaders hope to try once again to pass a budget plan for fiscal 2007, a month after a revolt by House Republican moderates and Appropriations Committee members forced leaders to pull the plan.

Leaders also hope to pass a package of tax-cut extensions that would cost the Treasury $70 billion over the next five years. They would then turn Thursday to a $513 billion defense policy bill that would block President Bush's request to raise health-care fees and co-payments for service members and their families. (Why does Bush hate our military?)

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 10, 2006 01:32 PM

http://www.taxfoundation.org/publications/show/1478.html

Corporate tax collections totaled $278 billion, up from $195 billion in 2004 and $139 billion in 2003 (all in real 2005 dollars). That represents a real rate of growth of over 100 percent over two years. A new study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) shows this trend has continued into 2006. As of April 2006, corporate income tax receipts are up nearly 30 percent over receipts during the same period in 2005.
The recent surge in corporate income tax collections has substantially increased corporate tax collections as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 1.2 percent of GDP in FY 2003 to 1.6 percent in FY 2004 and, most recently, 2.3 percent in 2005. By this measure, corporate tax collections in 2005 were higher than in any year since 1980.


Additionally, as a percentage of Total Federal Receipts, corporate taxes in 2005 were at their highest level (12.9%) since 1979 (14.2%).

What this means is that projected deficits are shrinking. We could easily see federal budget surpluses in the next couple of years, in spite of surging spending levels and because of lower taxes.

Posted by: | May 10, 2006 01:34 PM

And yet...we are still running a deficit. How can that be?

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 10, 2006 01:41 PM

Hey, the amount I ADD!!! to my credit card keeps getting smaller...that's great!

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2005/sheets/hist01z3.xls

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 10, 2006 01:45 PM

2001: Bush Deliberately Underestimated Future Deficits. In 2001, Bush predicted massive budget surpluses over the following four years, in order to make the case that we could afford his tax cut plan. Instead, each of those years will suffer an actual or likely deficit.

In 2001, Bush predicted a $231 billion surplus in 2002 (reality: $158 billion deficit), $246 billion surplus in 2003 (reality: $375 billion deficit), $268 billion surplus in 2004 (reality: $422 billion projected deficit), and $273 billion surplus in 2005 (reality: $348 billion projected deficit). [Washington Post, 2/24/04; Office of Management and Budget, 1/01; Congressional Budget Office, 3/04, 9/04]


2002: Bush Continued To Underestimate Deficits. Bush has said that his optimism about budget deficits was based on the assumption that the economy would not hit a "trifecta" of trouble: recession, national emergency and war. But in February 2002-after the recession was declared, the terrorist attacks had occurred, and war had begun in Afghanistan-the administration continued to have upbeat predictions. Although it forecast a $106 billion deficit in 2002 (reality: $158 billion), it saw the deficit shrinking to $80 billion in 2003 (reality: $375 billion), $14 billion in 2004 (reality: $422 billion projected), and becoming a surplus of $61 billion in 2005 (reality: $348 billion projected deficit). [Washington Post, 2/24/04; Office of Management and Budget, 1/02; Congressional Budget Office, 3/04, 9/04]

Bush Administration's 2002 Deficit Projections Were Worst In 21 Years. Figures released by the White House show that Bush's 2002 underestimate of the deficit was the largest miscalculation in at least 21 years. [Washington Post, 2/24/04]


2003: Bush Tried A Different Tack: Overestimating Deficits. In the July 2003 OMB budget forecast, Bush projected a considerably larger 2003 deficit than any other analysts were projecting at that time. When the actual deficit for 2003 turned out to be $81 billion lower than Bush's July estimate, the White House trumpeted the difference as good economic news and evidence that Bush's policies were working. Yet, most of the difference was unrelated to the economy: two-thirds of the $81 billion difference occurred because spending in 2003 was lower than Bush's OMB predicted in July. [Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, 2/2/04, 2/3/04; Office of Management and Budget, 7/03]


2004: Bush Again Overestimated The Deficit For Political Reasons. In February 2004, Bush projected a 2004 deficit of $521 billion, whereas the CBO projected a deficit of $477 billion-$44 billion less. Then, in July, the White House revised the number down from the unrealistic $521 billion to $445 billion; in September the CBO issued more realistic projections of $422 billion. [Office of Management and Budget, 2/04, 7/30/04; New York Times, 7/31/04; Washington Post, 7/31/04; CBO, The Budget And Economic Outlook: An Update, 9/04]

Posted by: | May 10, 2006 01:48 PM

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 10, 2006 01:51 PM

It's simple, really: tax the rich to feed the poor. As next step, say no to representative "democracy".
I
So now they go after Irish bartenders, those bastards. This is too far. Chertoff... Sounds like some kind of minority. Where did he emerge from, Chechnya?

Posted by: Emilio | May 10, 2006 02:48 PM

Here's an interesting chart:
http://www.cedarcomm.com/~stevelm1/usdebt.htm

Posted by: Sully | May 10, 2006 03:24 PM

The economy, I hear, is doing good though.

Posted by: Emilio | May 10, 2006 04:30 PM

Mallaby's article is particularly good in linking to the Atlantic Magazine piece showing the utter failure of tax cuts to "starve the beast" of government. In fact, tax cuts appear to regularly grow government by making it's goodies "less expensive" to the taxpayer portion of the US population, that could otherwise be counted on to resist massive new government growth. (This has enormous ramifications for Republicans, which have made the failed "tax cuts" strategy the very center of their conservative movement, in how they finally react to it's failure and acknowledge it's fiscal recklessness and causation of LARGER GOV'T, not LESS GUMMINT)

The other three factors that play into this ?

(1)Tax cuts for the wealthy do indeed help concentrate wealth at the top, because the rich don't pay FICA after 91K and pay less a proportion of their income towards state and local government taxes and fees than middle class people are....and after the "necessities of life - basic food, ultilities, etc. taken care of, the very rich have far more a percent of each dollar earned as discretionary - available to spend or invest. Meaning not only do the rich have more dollars, up to 70-75% of each of those dollars can be put to work making the rich richer, whereas a lower middle class person may only have 20-30% of dollars earned truly discretionary in nature.

(2)Don't think the rich getting richer is a pure Republican phenomenon. The income inequalities in America actually picked up under Clinton, as the hammers of free trade and globalization and illegal and H-1B immigration the Democrat Ruling Elites also enthusiastically supported began to pound the middle class. And the Democrat Ruling Elites are far richer now than when Reagan took office because they were 1st in line for new government programs, government fueled dot.com and real estate bubbles, and FCC license giveaways later worth billions.

(3) While it is fair to discuss the rich wanting new government pork and giveaways, a balanced discussion must include the parasitic classes of Americans that push for more government goodies at any chance they get because it has long been true that they as groups get far more from government benefits than they pay - thus have no current check on their unending appetite for more entitlements. Which the Democrats gleefully pander to. Parasitic classes? Seniors. The black underclass. Government employees. The legal system. Universities run on government largess more than on student tuition. People from middleman cultures that thrive on taking a substantial cut of government money going to the poor through the slums they own and stores they operate. Other than seniors, the parasitic classes getting more goodies as part of daily life than they fund - are overwhelmingly Democratic.

*********************

Conclusions? Tax cuts for the wealthy increase economic inequality, grow gov't and appear to be failed economic theory. But the entitlements of the parasitic classes are responsible for 70-75% of government spending and attendent deficits. The biggest drivers of "mo' gummint" are still the parasitic classes, not the wealthy, because they pay the taxes and get less from gov't than they contribute.

Posted by: Chris Ford | May 10, 2006 04:44 PM

Ford, could you provide the breakdowns of government spending? Or link to where you are getting the 70-75% figure of government spending going to entitlements? Last I heard spending on military/defense was higher than entitlement programs. Also, please list/link what you mean by entitlement programs? It might be that you are including some programs I was not and that could be the source of my error in thinking.

Posted by: Geb | May 10, 2006 04:57 PM

Continued tax cuts for our wealthiest?

When we're running huge deficits, adding to a debt approaching $30,000 for every US citizen, man, woman, child ... when medicare, medicaid and social security are unsustainable as now structured ...

When marines and army personnel earn 3 tours in the everywhere-is-the-front war zone that is Iraq ..... with neither relief nor end in sight ....

.... Mr Bush wants his well-healed friends to enjoy more of their hard-earned money.

it's all about THEM .... troops be damned, future generations be damned, other US citizens be damned, so long as the most-well-off in the US can keep more money .... how much is enough for those guys

Posted by: Mill_of_Mn | May 10, 2006 07:27 PM

Chris Ford you are a bag of wind - the kind of wind that comes from behind you.

The reason that the common worker hasn't appreciated the economic boom is that he/she lost a good manufacturing job with benefits and is now underemployed in a lower paying job. Here are some actual income figures: http://jec.senate.gov/democrats/Documents/Reports/busheconomyapr2006.pdf

I am one of those people who top out the SS income distribution. The reason the deductions were topped out is because eventually the benefits top out. However, if no one can afford to pay my bills, my income will suffer.

I'm so tired of hearing that the people who dare to criticize the BA "hate America". Corporate America has sold out this country for a few million pieces of silver... and gold. The people who moved our jobs to India hate America, not the people desperately defending the dying sighs of the Constitution. But there may be a backlash brewing, I pray. After hours of fruitless non-communication with various people in Bangalore trying to fix the installation problem on my Norton antivirus, I gave up and de-installed it and bought a product with domestic tech support - no more problems. Who knows, it might catch on.

Posted by: | May 10, 2006 09:19 PM

I see the play soldier is still spreading more funny numbers around. 70 to 75 percent for entitlement spending?

Let's do a quick calculation one more time - yes it's getting tiresome with these noncomputable numbers. Defense spending not including Iraq & Afghanistan accounts for about 20% of the federal budget. The 'parasites' suck up another 75%. Gee that leaves about 5% for everything else - debt interest payments, homeland security, national intelligence, road buiding, congressional earmarks, foreign aid, Iraq war, hurricane relief, veteran affairs (you are not calling them parasites right?), CDC, NIH, etc., etc.


But rest assured those tens of thousands of registered lobbyists working on behalf of the wealthy who the play soldier told us contribute much more than they ever steal - er take - are no parasites. Think of them as indispensable political entrepreneurs instead. And their patrons venture capitalists of the oldest kind.

Posted by: Minister of Information | May 10, 2006 10:57 PM

Anyone hear Jonathan Turley on Countdown tonight? It seems a prerequisite for rising in the Bush administration seems to be to have a record of accusation, investigation or downright conviction for thumbing their nose at the constitution.

Posted by: Constitution | May 11, 2006 12:12 AM

Why are you referencing 1997 data from the Center for Buget and Politics? That's where the link embedded in the article points to.


I agree that the "trickle down" economics theory is out-dated because it isn't based on a consumer spending-driven economic model. Consumer spending has been 2/3 of our GDP for years and years now, yet the supply-side theory is still based on a corporate-spending GDP model.

Posted by: LQ | May 11, 2006 01:53 AM

Geb and unsigned Democratic activist -

Both of you are blinded inside the Beltway types, who appear to not see any local or state taxes as relevant. Entitlements? Free public education, free health care for the poor, local welfare programs, food stamps....then you get into the Big Grand Daddies - SS, Medicare, Fed part of Medicaid and funding cities so overwhelmed with parasitic classes that only the Feds have the money to keep the cities going...

And you ignore the unfunded liability part of entitlements 32 trillion for just Medicare, 4 trillion for SS, and interest for servicing debt on past entitlement goodies funded by debt instruments.

Annual defense spending? 3.4% of GNP. Up slightly over Clinton's 2.9-3% levels, but less than any other Admin since FDR.

Anyone looking at net local, state, and Federal taxes knows entitlements chew up most of the funds.

Posted by: Chris Ford | May 11, 2006 02:28 AM


They can read our e-mails, they can eavesdrop on our conversations, they can spy on dissident groups, and they don't make any bones about it. They claim to be exporting "democracy" and liberty abroad - while, at home, they shrink our liberties.

Antiwar.com is fighting not only for peace, but also for liberty - but we can't do it without your support. We must make our fundraising goal of $60,000 - or else be forced to make radical cutbacks in our coverage. And you won't like that one bit. When so much is in peril, including what is left of our freedom, it's not a good thing to see Antiwar.com's fate hanging precariously in the balance. Your 100% tax-deductible contribution will help make it possible for us to carry on the fight. Make it today - and remember, it can happen here if you don't act now to stop it.

Posted by: che | May 11, 2006 06:25 AM

"Both of you are blinded inside the Beltway types, who appear to not see any local or state taxes as relevant"


You got that right. The Feds pat themselves on the back about how they've lowered taxes, when in fact they've replaced them with "stealth" taxes. My increased property tax wiped out my income tax cut. But wait, they didn't raise my property taxes, they cut the rate, don't you know? But isn't it convenient that they keep raising my assessment so that now I pay more? But make sure I kiss their feet for lowering my taxes. Road tolls are up at twice the rate of inflation, but that's not a tax. Need a copy of your birth certificate? Cost has doubled. Pay your tax late? Late fees doubled. Want to put up a fence? Permit fees doubled. But they didn't raise our taxes, did they?

Posted by: taxed for war | May 11, 2006 09:24 AM

Indeed, the parasites! Let them eat cake!

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 09:30 AM

Does it not seem strange that as citizens in our roles in business will not allow anyone without money to buy, sell or function in our society? Yet we permit our Government of, by and for to function without any money and a credit report that is awash with debt so large the end is incomprhensible?
Something seems out of whack and balance with this attitude!

Posted by: olerb | May 11, 2006 09:51 AM


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Report: NSA has domestic phone call database

Agency collecting information on tens of millions of Americans, paper says

• Newspaper: NSA snooping on U.S. phones
May 11: USA Today is reporting that the National Security Agency has been collecting phone call records of tens of millions of Americans. NBC's Lisa Myers reports.

WASHINGTON - In an effort to build a database of every call made within the country, the agency in charge of a domestic spying program has been secretly collecting phone call records of tens of millions of Americans, USA Today reported on Thursday.

It said the National Security Agency has been building up the database using records provided by three major phone companies -- AT&T Inc., Verizon Communications Inc. and BellSouth Corp. -- but that the program "does not involve the NSA listening to or recording conversations."

Instead it documents who talks to whom in personal and business calls, whether local or long distance, by tracking which numbers are called, the newspaper said.

USA Today said its sources for the story were "people with direct knowledge of the arrangement," but it did not give their names or describe their affiliation.

The existence of an NSA eavesdropping program launched after the Sept. 11 attacks was revealed in December.

Defending the controversial program, President Bush and his administration officials have said it aims to uncover links between international terrorists and their domestic collaborators and only targets communications between a person inside the United States and a person overseas.

Posted by: che | May 11, 2006 10:43 AM

What, college out for the summer break already? Spreak Truthiness to Power!

Posted by: Peter Fonda | May 11, 2006 11:02 AM

Constitution wrote:
"Anyone hear Jonathan Turley on Countdown tonight? It seems a prerequisite for rising in the Bush administration seems to be to have a record of accusation, investigation or downright conviction for thumbing their nose at the constitution."

I heard it. I thought it nicely summed up what I and others have been seeing, not just corruption in this administration, but the seeking out of corrupt individuals to fill key posts. I think that is why Hayden is up for CIA director. He's proved himself corrupt and loyal at the NSA. By corrupt I mean that he is willing to break laws, not line his pockets as so many other's in this administration do. Loyalty and the willingness to break laws. Wow, John Dean was right, this administration's record is worse than Watergate.

Posted by: Sully | May 11, 2006 11:04 AM

Blinded? Uh, theres a reason why I asked you for your numbers- either in posted or link form. I'm willing to hazard your numbers and review them myself, but I'm not going accept them on blind faith, especially from someone as biased as you against anyone thats not part of the elite. I even included a statement admitting where I might be wrong in my thinking. You say I'm ignoring figures?!?! I'm asking where you got them from. I'm actually trying to do the opposite of ignore.


You can attack me all you want Ford. But if you're not willing to show you're 'Proof' or where you got it, I'm not going to believe you. I admit that I am not the most well versed in this field. However, I find it funny that when it comes to energy, no one can shut you up from spouting figure after figure, but when it comes to government spending and a claim of 75% diverted to entitlement spending, you won't explain, resorting to attacking people asking for information on the subject.

Didn't you used to call ErrinF a Marxist based on the argument style of attacking the person and not their argument?

Thanks for playing.

That seems credible, don't you think?

Posted by: Geb | May 11, 2006 11:13 AM

Hayden corrupt? How so? Everything I've heard about this guy (and not from sources on the right but from such established lefty venues like NPR or folks such as Sen feinstein, mikulski, etc.) indicate the guy is a straight shooter and well qualified for the job. And as for his role in the whole NSA surveillance thing, well, thats just another lefty wet dream....even the Dems aren't interested in that anymore.

Posted by: D. | May 11, 2006 11:16 AM

D,

Actually, his qualifications to lead the HUMINT org are suspect. Additionally, his interpretation of the Constitution leaves a GREAT DEAL to be desired. Lastly, putting a military person in charge of the CIA, while not unprecedented, is worriesome.

Why? Because this administration has wanted to transfer the bulk of intelligence operations to the military since it's inception. Why? Because they feel they can control and manipulate the military more easily then an independent, civilian run agency. It's called politicization of intelligence.

This administration wants information that makes their case, not information that presents issues with their ideology, perception or planning. It's how the NEO-TARDS work in general. If they cannot make their case with the facts they either generate their own set of facts or they attack the source of the facts to cast enough doubt to give them the wiggle room they need to develop a very nice marketing/sales campaign to pitch another rediculous, ideologically driven, poorly planned THEORY about how things SHOULD be.

And, how bad is he as a choice...REPUBLICAN LEADERS are denouncing him. Without DeLay there to scare them off, it seems even Republicans can use their brains.

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 11:28 AM

I am not a kneejerk opponent of tax cuts. Unlike the crusaders on the right who see taxes as a moral issue, I see them in the cold logic of using the right tool for the right job.

When Bush pressed for his tax cut packages in both 2001 and 2004, he used a variety of arguments that were logically inconsistent with one another. On the one hand he argued in 2001 that we needed tax cuts to stimulate demand because the economy was undergoing a slump, yet his tax cuts were directed at the one segment of the economy--the supply side investment sector--that was already bulging with excess inventories(Remember the investment bubble that led to the weakening of the economy in 2000?).

In 2004, he argued for tax cuts--again directed at the one segement of the economy that has little need of any stimulus at the moment (the supply side)--this time arguing that it will create additional revenues to make up for the shortfalls in revenues that his previous tax cuts had already created. Tautology anyone? And it is not an exotic drink.

Look. My point is this: Tax cuts are neither the evil that liberals suggest nor the panacaea that conservatives insist will solve our economic dilemmas. On the other side of the argument, tax increases are not the evil that conservatives suggest nor the absolute necessity that liberals are convinced is the only answer to increased revenues.

Tax policy is a tool, nothing more. Supply side conservatives will never be satisfied as long as there exists one penny of federal income tax. Demand side liberals will never sate their desire for ever increasing revenues they see as the answer to all of our social ills. Somewhere betwixt these two mutually inconsistent idee fixes lies reasonable tax policy. The answer in getting us there is the removal of all of those in office who are there on a moral crusade rather than as the dull, humdrum policymakers that we really need to keep government functioning.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I have had it with the crusading visionaries. They have given us nothing but grief and a level of sustained incompetency. It is time to return governing to the boring business of the day-to-day policymaking that depends on mutual compromise. Give us back the unprincipled back room politics of the old days that got things done.

Posted by: Jaxas | May 11, 2006 11:49 AM

Start with the basics:

Why do we collect taxes?

Does the Federal Government have roles and responsibilities associated with governing and managing almost 300 Million people?

Assuming this is a yes, does it cost money to provide services connected to said roles and responsibilities?

Assuming another yes, how do we best collect the money?

Now, WHAT services should the Federal Government provide? THIS IS THE QUESTION THAT NEEDS TO BE ANSWERED!

By attacking TAXES, which no one LIKES, but are necessary to sustain the infrastructure of this nation - both physical and human - NEO-TARDS get an electable issue that does nothing to solve the root problem.

WHAT should the GOVERNMENT provide and HOW do we pay for that?

See, NEO-TARDS KNOW that if they try to openly run on stripping out all entitlements and social programs, they will LOSE. So, they approach it from a different angle, one much more emotionally appealing to the masses...your pocketbook.

So, the question becomes, WHAT should the Federal, State and Local governments provide to create and sustain the type of society you want to live in? NEO-TARDS want us to pay for everything per service and they don't want to be "handing out" anything to the "parasites" because they think that by ignoring them, they'll just go away or perhaps miraculously become "productive" citizens who can own stock too and a big screen TV.

Of course, they conveniently ignore everytime in history where this has been tried and those left behind picked up rocks, spears, knives, swords, guns or bombs and decided not to be ignored anymore. They harbor the false impression that the metal gates of their pretty communities will keep the armed and really pissed off "parasites" from coming in and laying waste to all that they cannot have.

NEO-TARDS scoff at the left for not learning from 9/11...when the irony is that it is the other way around. 9/11 happened because the "gate" around this country was not strong enough, and never will be, to keep out people whose perception of their future is so bad that they are willing to kill themselves to make their point.

Yes, government will be wasteful, but better to waste it trying to improve the human condition in order to create stability then to waste it trying to protect ourselves from a situation that is the result of the very neglect we are now trying to bring to our nation.

The funny, or sad, thing is that the NEO-TARDS and the far right are made up of people who will NEVER be part of the "club" that they THINK they are part of already. There are a lot of $50k a year millionaires out there who think that they can survive or even thrive in a world that cares only for the free hand of the market and laws of nature. This is all well and good until such time that they figure out that they were never in the "club" and that the rules they supported now work against them.

So, what type of world/country do you want to live in? What is the best way to achieve that through government and the free market? How much will it cost, eiher through taxes or retail? And, how do we pay for it?

I lived in places with no government and little or no taxes...you don't want to live there. Why? Because NONE of us are as tough as are SUVs and Big Screen TVs make us think we are.

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 11:52 AM

NEO-TARDS? Come now Mr. Vet...surely you mean to say J-E-W. No need for code words mate.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 12:13 PM

Sorry Geb, we all know your type. The debater who wishes others to become their "instant research flunky" over disputed facts. "SHOW ME all articles, CBO data for the last 5 years, preferably linked and highlighted in size 9 pica...Or...Or...YOU FAIL MY TEST!" Which is that you somehow dispute the significance of entitlements on all levels of gov't budgeting. On another thread, we have another of your sort who responds to people noting no WMD have been found in Iraq..an obvious fact, just as government entitlement spending is...with "show me the UN reports, the Kay/Dulfur reports so I can see their flaws.."

Tell you what Geb, if you dispute net local, state, and Fed entitlement spending and interest on debt incurred on entitlements, plus unfunded liability on entitlements amounts to 70-75% of gov't budget....PROVE to us all The Correctness of Geb...with your own "research data".

*********************

Taxed for War -

You make an excellent point that even with Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy and runaway entitlement spending fueling obscene deficits, they are STILL foisting massive gov't burden down to states, municipalities, and businesses.

And those suckers are hiding it as regressive fees for this or that, or as hidden non-deductable sales transaction taxes-- rather than come out and be honest and call it "tax". So you get hit with non-tax deductable doubled and tripled driver's license fees, sewer fees, permit fees. Air travel is now socked with "security fees". Smokers hit with tripled state taxes, all the states want internet sales taxes, various utilities now have increased "excise taxes" stealthily added to your bill. None of it is deductable, and it all hits the poorest hardest.

With over 30 trillion unfunded medicare liability, 4 trillion in SS taxes, wait 'till the next FICA "good deal" the Ruling Elites give to us and our kids to fund those baby boomers entitlements - boomers who borrowed us into massive debt already to fund present entitlements for the rich, the "no more taxes, stick it to future generations" middleclass, and parasite classes. Watch the Ruling elites boost FICA to 22-24%, with a 100K cap, so "it is fair for everybody"....

Which will effectively increase the disparity in the disposable income portion of each dollar earned between the super-rich who "pay off FICA" month 1, week 1, even day 1 of every year....and the "lesser Americans" who will pay 22-24% FICA every day and not even have their Senator's and various Fed and State "Fixers" private phone numbers so they can "pay to play", as the super-rich do, for their troubles....

Posted by: Chris Ford | May 11, 2006 12:21 PM

Four Large Entitlements: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Interest on the Public Debt: There are two main types of government spending: entitlement or "mandatory" spending, and appropriated or "discretionary" spending.

Entitlement spending is automatic, based on rules for eligibility and payment. For example, Social Security benefits are based on the years of work and wages that people earned. Medicare payments to hospitals and physicians are defined in formulas in the law; eligibility and benefit criteria are also stated in the law. Medicaid spending consists of matching funds paid to states for a variety of health services under highly specified rules.

Of course, those eligibility, payment, benefit, and matching fund rules can be changed by Congress. But if Congress does not act, the rules persist from year to year, and spending based on those rules occurs automatically. These programs are, in effect, on "autopilot."

Interest on the federal debt is treated in much the same way. The government pays its creditors first, before making any decisions on other spending -- even including ordinary entitlements. Interest payments, then, might be considered as a "super-entitlement."

The four largest entitlement programs are Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Interest on the Public Debt. Figure 1 shows the relative size of these four entitlement programs as a percent of GDP.

Social Security is currently the largest entitlement. It currently accounts for about 4.5 percent of GDP. However, as the baby boom generation retires, Social Security spending is projected to grow to 6.4 percent of GDP by 2030.

Medicare is the second largest entitlement. It accounts for about 2.6 percent of GDP at present, and its spending is on track to rise to 6.2 percent of GDP by 2030 with the addition of the drug benefit recently passed by Congress (see Figure 2). The drug benefit alone will likely raise Medicare spending by about 1 percent of GDP by 2030.

Medicaid currently accounts for 1.5 percent of GDP, and is projected to grow to 3.0 percent of GDP by 2030. Medicaid spending is difficult to project because spending is heavily affected by state actions. However, the fact that Medicaid pays for nursing home care for poor senior citizens (or those who have deliberately "spent down" or divested themselves of assets to gain eligibility) will put tremendous upward pressure on Medicaid spending as the baby boomers begin to age into their 80s (after about 2025).

Interest accounts for about 1.5 percent of GDP currently, down from a recent high of 3.3 percent in 1991. However, on the current budgetary trajectory, which includes large deficits and a dramatic buildup in the federal debt, interest would grow to a staggering 8.0 percent of GDP by 2030.

The four big entitlements currently amount to about 10 percent of GDP, and are projected to grow to almost 24 percent of GDP by 2030 (see Figure 3).

By comparison, total federal spending is about 21 percent of GDP currently. Therefore, spending for the four largest entitlements currently encompasses about half of the budget. But by 2030, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Interest would together account for more than the whole current budget.


http://www.centrists.org/pages/2003/12/1_guest_budget.html

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 12:29 PM

That makes sense Ford, you show your data when you have it, and hide behind the defense of a claim that you don't have to do your research for me when you've got nothing.

... Have you ever done any serious research in your life? Scientific testing, research proposals, papers, etc?

You made an erroneous claim that I asked you to back up. I didn't even ask you necessarily type it all up. Simply tell me your source and send me on my way. And apparently you can't do that. REAL CREDIBLE. When you make claims using hard numbers, the onus is on you to back those up. Sorry if you don't like being called on pulling numbers out of no where, but in an intelligent debate, its the defense against people making unverifiable claims.

To further the point, I'm sure I can go to one of Che's sites and find some numbers off of there. They probably disagree with yours (Remember I'm using Che as the example so I'm not actually disagreeing with yours. I actually want to review yours so I know what you are talking about). And if so, by your own logic of not showing sources, I can say my numbers are just as credible as yours. I can also claim that you are wrong based on people that think like Che. For Godsake, does this sound like a good idea? No. But apparently, its how you think an intelligent debate should opertate. That sheds a lot more light onto your true level of intellect Ford.

Posted by: Geb | May 11, 2006 12:35 PM

Geb...Geb...Geb

Get with the program...it's not about truth...it's about truthiness!

Hey, they don't need to buy their own BS, they just need to sell it.

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 12:41 PM

When the Bush administration took power in 2001, the Postal Service Fund, a special account established within the Treasury Department, had a substantial surplus. However, in order to pay for its Iraq war adventure, the Bush administration raided the Postal Service Fund and created a deficit. The two successive rate increases have been necessary in order to replenish the fund, according to Postal Service sources. In addition to the Postal Service Fund, the misappropriation of money for the war has also adversely affected the Postal Employees' Compensation Fund.

Posted by: mj | May 11, 2006 12:45 PM

Making the tax cuts permanent doesn't do much to help the economy in the short run and leaves policymakers a hell of a hole to climb out of in 2012

Posted by: mark | May 11, 2006 12:53 PM

I'm happy with the tax cuts. In my income bracket, I save $20.00! The biggest winners: the nation's wealthiest 1 percent of taxpayers, who stand to reap most of the benefit.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 01:01 PM

The tax cuts are a joke. They bring less revenue to the local towns and cities, which inevitably increases property taxes for people, (schools, street repair, etc) which raises rent and house payments for people. The cities are forced to get the money somehow, and it's the average family that pays.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 01:08 PM

I get tired of hearing the economy is good because of consumer spending. I'd sure like to find out how much of the so-called consumer spending is akin to how our government spends: on credit. I have friends who are paying for their gas and groceries with their credit cards now.

Posted by: mark | May 11, 2006 01:15 PM

People say that Medicaid is a big entitlement program, yet these same people state that they don't want national healthcare for Americans. I sometimes wonder if the reason older Americans NEED medicare so much is simply because they did NOT have the health insurance to take care of themselves in their younger years.

Posted by: jk | May 11, 2006 01:27 PM

I was amazed to hear the tax cuts passed. If that isn't an example of fiscal IRRESPONSIBILITY, I don't know what is!! this current admin. is nuts!!! don't they have young children or grandchildren that they CARE about???

talk about sweeping things under the rug!!!

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 01:35 PM

All this talk about tax cuts to give the economy an extra needed push is hogwash. The Feds have been raising interest rates sixteen times from 1% to 5% to SLOW DOWN the economy. And more are coming.

And all the previous talks about giving tax cuts to corporations so they can invest in the US economy is also hogwash. US companies supposedly are sitting on one and a half TRILLION dollars in cash. Presumably much of in govt bonds. So you have it they cut taxes so the people benefitting from it can turn around and lend the money right back to the taxcutters. The rest of us of course end up with the massive national debt.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 01:44 PM

As a physician I looked at the Canadian system as a disaster. Kidney failure at age 66? Too old for dialysis. Need a bypass? If you're still alive when the next surgical slot comes us in 6 months you can have it - unless you're too old, of course. The system didn't implode because people with money came to the US for care and paid out of pocket. Canada is now allowing private offices to open up for some specialites, but if they take private money they can't take government money.

But I am completely disillusioned with the current US system. Its a nightmare. The cost of having to pay staff to try to keep up with the endless web of paperwork and plans and billing is part of what is driving up the cost of healthcare. This is why doctors are starting to back single payer systems in increasing numbers - sheer frustration.

The Canadian system is evolving into a British style system of govt funded basic healthcare (with long lines and rationing) and privately funded carte blance healthcar(previously in the US but not increasingly in private offices in Canada). I think that's ultimately where the US will end up - a govt funded rationed entitlement for all citizens that is too broke to pay for more than basic medical care, and a private system for those who can pay. Given the paltry reimbursement for the govt funded care, we will go back to two tiers of care - "county" public hospitals that will be underfunded hellholes, and privately funded plush facilities. I predict that when seniors have to start living in county nursing homes they will stop spending down/transferring their assets and start buying private long term care insurance. And the good news is that once the private health care system doesn't have to fund the public one anymore, the cost of the private system will drop.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 01:49 PM

NSA Has Call Data on Millions in U.S. Dubai Purchase Debacle. Tax cuts. National Debt. Unnecessary Iraq War...FEMA screw ups...Oil and Drug companies influencing policys (to their benefit)...

Wrong track....wrong track....wrong track...

This country is DEFINITELY on the WRONG TRACK.....

And if the Republicans gain office again this fall, we should seriously take a look at the tampering with voting machines.

Posted by: old man | May 11, 2006 01:49 PM

Entitlement programs like welfare? With all the self-righteous-legislate-morality pro-lifers and anti-abortion people out there, this practically guarantees the welfare system for life.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 01:57 PM

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 01:59 PM

Debt and strategic warfare.

The Chinese have been probing our telecommunications systems for years now. They got snagged infiltrating the TRICARE system. They have been accused of shutting down cell sites throughout the US via denial of service attacks.

The Chinese are securing Oil from wherever they can.

The Chinese are buying our debt.

Now, you tell me if being debt, oil dependent and bogged down in Iraq isn't an issue.

Anyone want to discuss what would happen if the Chinese sold all of there dollars at once?

You say, "They would never do that, it would hurt them as much as us."

I say, the Chinese think long-term and will think nothing of sacrificing some of the BILLION humans they have to come out on top in the end.

How say you?

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 02:05 PM

Anyone want to discuss what would happen if the Chinese sold all of there dollars at once?

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 2:05:34 PM | Permalink


It's already happened. Look at the price of gold!

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 02:20 PM

Once again, from gas prices to prescription drugs and cuts to financial aid for students, Bush Republicans in Congress put the special interests ahead of the needs of America's working families. President Bush's failed fiscal policies have had little benefit for America's working families while piling billions in debt onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 02:22 PM

But he's not a troll!

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 02:25 PM

Thanks Sully and Afghan Vet. At least someone gets it.

I only pray that we will get back on the kind of footing where we actually find out how dangerously close we came to complete fascism. The last lesson seems to have lasted only about 30 years, and its ever so much worse this time.

D, Over and over you buy the propaganda without thinking through the issue. What does it mean to militarize the intelligence agencies? Military men take orders, they are trained to do this rather than think for themselves. What does it mean for an intelligence agency to do as its told and not to think for itself? We already saw the beginnings of it - a stovepiping sytem that brought intel favorable to the govt to the top and somehow "lost" the rest of the story, a partisan agency head who got rid of some of our most experienced agents because they objected to being told not to think. An adminstration so intent on destroying enemies that they willingly dismantled what little internal intelligence we had on the nuclear programs in Iran (remember Brewster-Jennings?). Military intelligence brought us Abu Ghraib (of which, by the way, we let about 70% of those "terrorist" prisoners who "didn't deserve better" go after the scandal broke, because, get this, turns out they weren't terrorists).

Think about your impressionable mind as a schoolchild, hearing stories about how another evil empire invaded its neighbor based on trumped up charges, stirred up the pot of fear to gain popular support for military campaigns, tortured prisoners, secreted prisoners off to gulags, and spied on its own people. Who do you think of? Germany, Japan, North Korea? That is who we have become, with the consent and the assistance of everyday Americans just like you who can't think past the propaganda.

There will always be Chris Fords at the fringes. It is middle America, people just like you, who are allowing our Constutition to be slowly dismantled. And it is your children and grandchildren who will pay the price. They will have to be more afraid of their own government than of Islamic fundamentalist terrorists.

One more thing to chew on. It seems generally forgotten that part of the NY Times report was that a lot of the calls monitored by the NSA and referred to the FBI (that supposedly had one foot "internationally" were "dead ends", including thousands of pizza orders. Let me ask you, how many people do you think call Afghanistan or Iraq to order pizza?

Posted by: Constitution | May 11, 2006 02:32 PM

"How say you?"

AFghan Vet, I say you are a lot smarter than the guys currently running Washington and if you decide to run for Congress I will contribute to your campaign.

Posted by: Constitution | May 11, 2006 02:37 PM

Its pretty simple. If you want to know what is going on vote the republicans out this fall and watch the democrats launch investigations into all of this. It is the republican's lack of oversight that has allowed this president to break the law without consequence. Like a cop that turns away from a crime in progress, this congress needs to be fired!

Posted by: Sully | May 11, 2006 02:58 PM

The debt is a problems the republicans should have snuffed out by now. Instead of promoting everyone's REAL wealth, they stepped on the accelerator.
They SAY that 'only' 2 trillion is foreign owned, my nickel says it's more like half the debt is owed to great countries like saudi arabia etc., those 'nice' people with so many great things to say about america. It stands to reason that owing them money probably is one of the Big Reasons we still do business with em. Nice going, George, fixing it so americans pay taxes to foreign kings again. What's in a name? What, indeed...

Posted by: Bert | May 11, 2006 03:04 PM

Of course their is something else motivating the tax cuts besides a belief in supply-wide economics! It's called pandering. If we stop voting for people who promise us that they can cut taxes and raise spending, they'll stop pushing this policy!

Posted by: Zippy | May 11, 2006 03:04 PM

Well now Sully, you and I know it is time for a breath of fresh air over the Presidency. What is happening is beyone concerning and getting into dangerous.

But people are finally getting the extent to which this nation has become divided and how that is ruining the country. And they don't really think more of the same of what we dished out to Bill Clinton is what we need right now. So this can backfire. Its time for some uniting, not more dividing.

Of course, if they really grasped the mortal danger their freedom was in they'd be storming Washington demanding hearings and impeachment. But Karl Rove is too good at his job, and they are instead storming against what they have been conditioned to believe our greates threats are, gays, immigrants, the poor and Muslims. How sad that our own ignorance is our greatest threat and our Constitution's worst enemy.

Posted by: Constitution | May 11, 2006 03:07 PM

Coincidence that the "revelation" that the NSA has been collecting data on phone calls (detecting patterns, mind you, not recording them...though don't trust the MSM to make that distinction) comes out right around the time hayden is set to be confirmed?

You know, the same guy whose been brought in to plug the leaks by Clinton-era CIA hold-overs to the Dem-loving press?

Funny, that.

Posted by: It all about Karl... | May 11, 2006 03:28 PM

Do you people actually think before you write? The Chinese buy our bonds because they are the safest and most reliable investment, and because the Chinese government has linked their currency to ours and need to buy our debt to keep inflation pressures down. The idea that they would dump our currency from their holdings is crazy. They have no central banking system, which is why they peg their currency to the dollar, and if they unloaded their US bonds, their entire economy is ruined. This would not only shatter their economy, it would also destroy any chance of rising to superpower status, not to mention destabilize their government.

If this economy is so bad, please explain why there is so much great news. Record stock market averages, 4.7% unemployment rate (lower when you use the household survey), record corporate profits, 4% GDP growth, record productivity, income growth of over 3% annualized over the past 12 months. Where is the bad news in this economy? The post-April 2003 economy has been one of the greatest economic booms in history.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 03:32 PM

Or we could go back to the Keynesian economic stagflation of the 1970s, that was fun.

We didn't vote for people who promised lower taxes and higher spending. We voted for lower taxes and lower spending. They haven't delivered on that one though.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 03:36 PM

Good Afghanvet, to that 50% of the big 4, add in another 8% in other Fed entitlements. Now, move outside the Beltway and factor in the impact of entitlements like free education and free medical, welfare, on the local and state gov'ts. Add in court and Federal mandates on free legal counsel, prison care, free garbage pickup, free fire protection, nursing homes for the indigent, public housing, interest on bond debt incurred on entitlements, all those government employee positions mandated on us as entitlements..from bilingual translators to minimum police staffing levels in "distressed communities". Education is the largest entitlement, over 80% to pay for education in your community and what the state grabs for educating children of parasites who contribute no taxes -- but state medicare is getting close. You see the 70-75% total taxes on entitlements?

And you amply point out how the "Big 4" entitlements are going to get far worse as a load on us in the next 30 years. Looks to me like something has to give, Afghanvet...huge taxes or less entitlement goodies...or significant cuts in cost of those goodies..

It is always important to look at American policy and factor in all taxes, not just the Fed budget which has been pushing stuff to a state or local burden for many years. The tax-cutters love to omit any mention of taxes outside the Federal income tax - but anyone who looks will quickly see the regressive burden of FICA, state and local taxes means that most wealthy people pay less in total taxes and fees than an upper middle class wage earner, and that disparity only gets worse when you deduct "minimum living expenses/family" off the top.

(I can see Geb being outraged. "Prepare me a 20 page research report with links to all your evidence - suitable for court - so I can "better understand" total tax burdens...." Frankly Geb, I don't care what you think. If you wish reports prepared outside CBO, OMB, State & local budget PDFs...I'm sure you can hire some researcher flunkies on your own dime to satiate your curiosity.)

To understand the entitlement burden, you simply can't stop with Federal. You have to add the other stuff that the Feds and Courts have pushed into other tax collection structures into it.

Posted by: Chris Ford | May 11, 2006 03:44 PM

The Dem loving press? What are you smoking? (and can i have some?)

The same Dem loving press that investigated the WMD story (you know, the story with holes big enough to drive a hummer through).

The same Dem loving press that did nothing to educate the public even when 70% of Americans believed that Saddam was involved in 9-11 or had ties to al Qaeda?

The same Dem loving press that published the aluminum tube story without actually vetting it, or even interviewing the Oak Ridge scientists who wrote the letter to Bush on why the story was bunk and were told to shut up if they wanted to work in the nuclear field any more?

The same press that is so Dem loving that it would STILL be a surprise average Americans to learn that a concerned group of patriotic nuclear scientists wrote Bush and told him the aluminum tubes were bunk, and that they were told their opinion was not needed?

The same Dem loving press that published paid propaganda as from Armstrong Williams, or media who are STILL airing propaganda disguised as "news footage"?

And since when are CIA agents partisan hacks? CIA agents don't turn over every 4 years. They are supposed to be intelligence agents, not political hacks. When they saw their bosses stovepiping peices of intelligence while ignoring the other half of the intelligence, what were they supposed to do if they believed their country wasn't being served honestly?

How much more are you going to swallow?

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 03:45 PM

"People have got to know whether or not their President is a troll. Well, I'm not a troll."

Posted by: W | May 11, 2006 03:48 PM

big ranchers...Colorado is a welfare state...

one thing about dealing with and ahole that doesn't know how to take his _constant_ spin out of it is that you need to throw away most of what he says...

.

Posted by: parasitic classes you mean like | May 11, 2006 03:54 PM

NSA wiretapping Lefty wet dream...aren't you cute,

you want some fries with that d.a.?


hayden ~= rumsfeld

look up the CIA officer Peter Brookes and see who he served under as part of the Bush administration...


you're not the smartest pioneer when it comes to breaking out in honesty are you,

lobbyist?

.

Posted by: oh hello mr responsible... | May 11, 2006 03:57 PM

MASSIVE RESERVES. If you really want to worry about something, though, it's the news that China's foreign exchange reserves (which finished 2005 at $819 billion) likely will top $1 trillion in late 2006, overtaking Japan as the country with the biggest stockpile in the world. One trillion, about half the size of China's total economy, would be an astonishing figure, even for a rapidly developing economy like China.

The superfast growth in reserves is being fueled by heavy inflows of foreign money and the repatriation of earnings that Chinese companies earn overseas. Given China's tight capital controls, a good chunk of that money has to be converted back into yuan and then reinvested by the central bank into other investments, mostly U.S. Treasury bonds and Euro assets. In recent years that, again, has been a great deal for the U.S., which relies on foreign capital, particularly from Asia, to make up for its massive current-account deficit with the rest of the world.

Chinese officials in charge of managing those reserves said a few weeks ago that they want to diversify away from the dollar investments. China is the No. 2 holder of Treasuries behind Japan, and a sudden pull-out would be felt keenly in both the Treasury bond markets, where long-term interest rates would likely rise, and in the dollar, which would probably tumble and unsettle U.S. stock markets. That's unlikely to happen in all at once, but Beijing does have some serious leverage over the U.S. on this score.

http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/jan2006/nf20060118_0234_db065.htm

----

I don't think China would do anything of the sort PREEMPTIVELY, but if they are being pressed or if they decided to make a play for Taiwan and we put subs in the straights?

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 03:59 PM

Around 40 Million without healthcare,

social services being cut,

no overtime,

no job security,


3 out of four factory workers are now working retail...


SSI increased to record levels...


most families have both parents working..


let's be honest, okay?


can you deal with that, or do I have to slap you.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:00 PM

What am I smoking? Dude, if you can't see that the MSM has been so blatantly biased against all things republican and/or conservative, you're the one hitting the sauce this morning.

What color is the sky in your world? I'm thinking some kind of red cotton candy swirl.

Posted by: Just finished rigging an election, thought I'd check in... | May 11, 2006 04:00 PM

MD77

Let them eat cake, I guess. If corporate America is doing fine and enriching Bangalore and the top 5% are thriving, why aren't the worker bees getting the trickle?

http://www.epi.org/content.cfm/webfeatures_econindicators_income20050831

1. People have a mountain of debt and interest rates are rising. this is eating into their income and contributing to feelings that their income is not improving.
2. Congress spit on all the worker bees and allowed banking laws that they should have gone to jail for. Have a family emergency (family member critically ill, etc) and make even ONE credit card payment even a DAY late, and suddenly your interest rates are 24% or higher on ALL your accounts.
3. Lots of underemployed people who lost good jobs with benefits, now have lower paying jobs without benefits. Health insurance has risen faster than median wages.
4. "hidden' taxes and fees are eating more and more into their incomes. Local property and sales taxes, government fees, etc hit them hardest.
5. College tuition is no longer affordable for the lower and lower middle class.

The working class is struggling. The waitress that served your breakfast, the maid that cleaned your last hotel room... these people are getting squeezed by this "robust" economy you brag about.

I'd like to see you try to live for six months as a hotel maid or waiter at Denny's without outside help right now.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:04 PM

the Canadian system still allows you to take out insurance to cover some things.

They have only the basics covered and some injuries.

_YOU_ don't have anything to lose if we went to something like the Canadian system do you?


IF you had a brain you'd realize that they'd have to do something about that malpractice insurance that is putting a lot of physicians out-of-business...


there are many ways to handle National Healthcare.

as I understand it most countries opt for a level of coverage as standard and you have to pay for, get insurance for something greater than that...

Posted by: let's be honest doc.... | May 11, 2006 04:06 PM

rigging

I gave examples.

Your turn

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:07 PM

Damn that free education, free legal counsel and police protection and the parasites that use it!

What is the alternative? Free enterprise? Yeah, ENRON my public school please. Make my police answerable to the major stock holders of their security company. Whatever.

I understand where you're coming from, I just don't want to live in that world. Some things that are in the interest of the common good will not benefit all equally, will not cost all equally and cannot be made better by profit motive. Different philosophy, no changing that.

Again, WHAT should the government do and HOW should we pay for it?

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 04:07 PM

when the truth is what's spoken how's that a bias...

come on little endian, I feel like kicking some ess...


spoofing me buddy...yeah john les do it..

Posted by: hey just finished rigging... | May 11, 2006 04:07 PM

that was talking about slapping...

that john m was spoofing me I think..

the little weeeeeeeeeeeezel

Posted by: by the way that was me, | May 11, 2006 04:11 PM

"IF you had a brain you'd realize that they'd have to do something about that malpractice insurance that is putting a lot of physicians out-of-business..."

Ummm...not so much:

The President holds out the prospect of major cost savings if Congress will pass a law limiting what injured patients can collect in lawsuits. He wants a cap of $250,000 on any damages for "pain and suffering" and other non-economic damages. His administration projects savings to the entire economy of between $60 billion and $108 billion per year in health-care costs, including $28 billion or more to federal taxpayers.

But both the General Accounting Office and the Congressional Budget Office criticize the 1996 study the Bush administration uses as their main support. These nonpartisan agencies suggest savings - if any - would be relatively small.


Analysis

In a speech in Little Rock, Arkansas on Jan. 26 the President said, "One of the major cost drivers in the delivery of health care are these junk and frivolous lawsuits." He said rising malpractice insurance premiums and needless medical procedures ordered up out of fear of lawsuits cost federal taxpayers "at least" $28 billion a year in added costs to government medical programs. Bush's Department of Health and Human Services claims total savings - public and private - of as much as $108 billion a year.

Those claims rest mainly on a single 1996 study by two Stanford economists who said caps on damage awards could hold down overall medical costs by 5% to 9%. They studied heart patients who were hospitalized, compared costs in states with and without limits on malpractice lawsuits, and then projected their findings to the entire health-care system.

But both the GAO and the CBO now question their sweeping conclusion. When the CBO attempted to duplicate the Stanford economists' methods for other types of ailments they found found "no evidence that restrictions on tort liability reduce medical spending."

"In short, the evidence available to date does not make a strong case that restricting malpractice liability would have a significant effect, either positive or negative, on economic efficiency, " the CBO said.

http://www.factcheck.org/article133.html

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 04:12 PM

If reducing taxes increases the revenue the federal government brings in, then logically we should be able to eliminate taxes entirely and have an infinite amount of revenue for the federal government

Posted by: Dayle from Atlanta | May 11, 2006 04:15 PM

to honest doc

malpractice is seriously hurting some specialties, but mostly OB/Gyn, maybe neurosurgery. The average shingle on the street is feeling the pinch, but that's not what is putting the doc on the corner out of business. Its reimbursement.

For young academic docs in "thinking" specialties, starting salaries are lower than experience nurse practitioners make. Things are better in private practice but in order to make ends meet most young practices are selling out to hospitals or managment groups

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:17 PM

Should we punish those who have strived in our capitalist society to make a better living (the rich) while rewarding those who sit back and wait on "gummit" (thanks Ford) funds? The parasites abuse the systems that are already in place. The answer is to give them more?
If it's Socialism you all want then move to a country with that form of Government.
The deficit is a moot point, and the reason the deficit is so high is due to unnecessary Government programs not the war on terrorism.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:22 PM

Ford,
Where'd my request for a 20 page report come from? All I asked was where you were getting your information. Sorry if that's so hard to produce. Is that because it comes from inside your head with no documentation? You're doing more harm to your own validity than anything I or anyone else could do. And suitable for court? All I asked for was a link, that you apparently can't provide. Sorry Chris, but as much as you would like to hope, yours is not the word of God. And for someone that doesn't care what I think, you do spend an awful amount of time trying to tell me how I don't need to validate your sources or putting words in my mouth in attempt to make my request for your source seem outrageous as opposed to a rational request needed to discuss information. Sorry if you can't actually supply any sources because you are afraid the source isn't credible or they won't stand up against scrutiny.

If you want to spout your anti-american garbage about entitlements and how the lower classes and minorities that you always show contempt for deserve to have no ground to stand on, at least be able to back up your information. Though its nice to see you finally show your Anti-American colors. How, you ask? These programs are created with the intent of helping the American people. You cite minimum police levels as an entitlement. I cite it as a necessity. Education? Also a necessity for the majority of the population that can't afford private education. Or do you want the majority of Americans to not go through formal education so that our country performs less well comparitavely on the global level? It seems you don't actually care about the American people and instead want them to perform worse.

Posted by: Geb | May 11, 2006 04:27 PM

you said:

"Should we punish those who have strived in our capitalist society to make a better living (the rich) while rewarding those who sit back and wait on "gummit" (thanks Ford) funds? The parasites abuse the systems that are already in place. The answer is to give them more?"


you're not very bright, but excepting that you need to understand that the world is getting to be a smaller place...

you're spouting a cliche.


let's take one industry,


the auto industry...


how does a company make money, by itself?


does any part of the company belong to the country within which it works, does any company owe it to it's workers to provide them a future if the people invest themselves in that company...


you really want to do this, or do I just point you towards what life was like during Dickens time and you figure it out?


if you need some help I'll kick your butt around the block a couple of times...that okay with you?

Posted by: dear friend of the lobbyists... | May 11, 2006 04:32 PM

dear friend of the lobbyists...

You're about as bright as a 20 watt light bulb. Please no, don't kick my butt around the block. I don't know if I could take it. Nothing you EVER said to me could change my views on the fact that I would like to keep more of my money than give it to the leeches of society.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:36 PM

I think you're overstating the problem a bit and oversimplifying as well.

We ALL benefit from the STABLE infrastructure, both physical and social, that the various government entities provide through various services. A fair argument can be made that becoming rich and maintaining said financial standing is ONLY possible given the stability provided by the government.

You could not be rich if you didn't have an educated/trained workforce to employ. You could not be rich if you did not have a well regulated financial structure in which to operate. You could not be rich if the transportation infrastructure did not allow you to trade your goods. You could not be rich if the health of your workforce precluded them from working. You could not be rich if the "parasites" became so downtrodden that they started picking rocks---nukes and started to change the status quo.

Becoming rich does not happen in a vacuum and CANNOT happen WITHOUT the stability provided by various government agencies at all levels THAT ARE FUNDED BY TAX DOLLARS!!!

Get over it. You all seem to think that Bill Gates could arise in Afghanistan or Ethiopia. Bill Gates cannot be what he is, legally/ethically/peacefully/honestly, without the stability of the country he lives in. And, physical security and infrastructure is only PART of what creates that stability. A strong middle class and a network of social services that provide for upward mobility and emergency support play just as large a part.

There are no SELF-MADE men in a society governed by the rule of law; they ALL took advantage of a system that allowed them to operate in a trusting, stable environment. Without this environment we would revert to the likes of Afghanistan and Ethiopia and the like and then it would truly be natural law. And guess what, everyone on this blog would probably be dead in the first month...myself included.

There is a balance, a sweet spot if you will, that must be reached between government and private industry, but it will be a balance...not a lopsided list.

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 11, 2006 04:37 PM

the truly ignorant are afeared of words like


socialism, communism, facism, or whatever...

they are simply words that _today_ have an emotional flavor to them...


Joe McCarthy, was paid to do one thing.


To prevent Americans from embracing or thinking about embracing communism.


not because it was bad for them, but because it was bad for "the landed,"


he was no hero....he was a house slave , paid to rant as his fellow slaves to the


"landed"


mind you, I don't think communism would or will work, that's been proven...


an oligarchy or plutocracy always attempts to take the country away from the citizens..

but employee ownership, can be a very mutually beneficial thing....and that is a form of communism.

social security is socialistic in intent.


want to go on...or have I spanked you enough?

Posted by: as far as socialism... | May 11, 2006 04:38 PM

as far as socialism...

I'm sorry you consider that spanking me. Just sounded like the opinion of a mindless liberal to me. There are socialistic programs already in place. Some are good and some are bad. It's the abuse that angers me, and the lack of action taken to discontinue it.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:41 PM

conversationis a childish retort...

someone already kicked you around the block and you've lost all a you brain cell

write nitwit?


comeon...ew buh doobah...

Posted by: oh I see your level of | May 11, 2006 04:43 PM

what abuse?

be specific and flesh your ideas out

Posted by: I'm very smart | May 11, 2006 04:46 PM

oh I see your level of

What? Who's the child here? This is an opinion blog, right? Just because you talk in circles doesn't mean you're intelligent. You're right, I think we are on different levels. You're obviously here to pick an argument rather than debate a topic.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:48 PM

Budget deficits have the effect of creating MASSIVE entitlements for those who recieve the interest payments, and these individuals and institutions are by and large the uber-wealthy that benefit from the massive tax-cuts that necessitated the massive borrowing that creates the entitlements for them. Ask a conservative what he thinks of government entitlements.

Posted by: eddiesharp | May 11, 2006 04:49 PM

Big assumption that I had a maid clean my room last night or had a waitress serve me breakfast. FYI, I know exactly what it is like to live paycheck to paycheck. I also know that incomes have risen over 3% over the past year. No overtime? Where are you working? Unemployment is 4.7%, jobs are being created everywhere. Employers can't find enough workers.

The corporate profits are being made because people are working, buying, and investing. They don't just magically appear. You want the corporate profits to disappear, well watch the jobs go with them (think 1991, think 9-12-2001). After the 2003 supply-side tax cuts, the tax system became more progressive, the rich pay more as a percentage and in dollars. You complain about 2 parents working as if this is something new.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 04:50 PM

MD77 writes: If this economy is so bad, please explain why there is so much great news.

Great news for WHO?? The top 3% who get dividend checks??

Just about everybody I know are feeling a pinch financially - NOW - than they were 5-6 years ago!

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:51 PM

non-response and name calling, you're right you are the childe hear...

but you're not the first...you're simply another lamb that has fallen prey to the wealthy's scheme of ruling the world through ignorance...


you're a prime example that it's working

at least between your ears.

Posted by: oh I see, | May 11, 2006 04:52 PM

I'm very smart

Ok here's an example:
Welfare - "I'm gun had me anutha baby so I git mo check. Then I ride to da sto in my Lexus wit him on my lap. What I need to git? A box a squares and a 40."

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:53 PM

For uncensored news please bookmark:
www.wsws.org
www.takingaim.info
otherside123.blogspot.com

Iranian President's Letter Highlights 9/11 Inside Job
Ahmadinejad answers 'warning to the world' challenge

Paul Joseph Watson/Prison Planet.com | May 11 2006

Iranian President Ahmadinejad's letter to George W. Bush hit the headlines for many reasons but the most important segment, in which Ahmadinejad discusses government sponsored terror, has largely been ignored.

Here is the excerpt from the letter.

"September eleven was not a simple operation."

"Could it be planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services - or their extensive infiltration? Of course this is just an educated guess."

"Why have the various aspects of the attacks been kept secret? Why are we not told who botched their responsibilities? And, why aren't those responsible and the guilty parties identified and put on trial? All governments have a duty to provide security and peace of mind for their citizens."

In July 2005 this website issued a challenge to leaders of all 'rogue states' imploring them to blow the whistle on the achilles heel of all major western government's, their propensity to fulfil geopolitical agendas by means of carrying out staged false flag terrorism.

"It is now time for all governments who still operate outside of the control of the Globalists to come forward and join humanity in unveiling the real terrorists who are attempting to deform the world into a prison planet."

"On a governmental level the challenge is here before you. Either scream from the rooftops about government orchestrated terrorism or sit back and watch your country become a victim of it as it is wrestled away from your hands and placed in the domain of a black and cancerous global dictatorship."

That challenge is now being answered not because of our article but due to increased exposure of 9/11 and a clearer understanding of how governments create crises in order to justify wars.

Posted by: che | May 11, 2006 04:55 PM

This blog is getting subversive.

Posted by: Emilio | May 11, 2006 04:56 PM

Is that offensive enough for you, or did I just strike your vital nerve? Maybe it rings a little too true for you, or brings back memories of your childhood.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:56 PM

MSM has been so blatantly biased against all things republican and/or conservative???

Tell that FOX news.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 04:58 PM

Dale from Atlanta, let me educate you about the revenue generating effects of lower taxes (I feel like I'm in Econ 101). Supply-side econ is built on a curve, at 100% taxation the gov't would receive 0% revenue because nobody would work. At 0% taxation the gov't would receive 0% revenue because nobody would pay anything to the gov't. There is a tax rate on the curve that generates the most revenue. We are not there when the government is taking 40% of peoples' salaries. Review your history of tax cuts growing the economy and the tax base (Coolidge, Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton's cap gains tax cut, Bush's investor cuts in 2003, Russia's flat-tax, Ireland, eastern Europe...the list goes on). Learn the basics of econ before you start spouting ignorant rants.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 04:59 PM

37 year old out of work inner city dweller that can't tell the difference between a drug dealer

and the fact that welfare _don't_ exist any more...


you look, but you don't understand


you don't even have a job do you?

.


not that you need one, but

Posted by: I see you're a | May 11, 2006 05:01 PM

Nobody has ever said FOX News was anti-Republican (I love when people argue against a point that was never made). FOX was designed as an alternative to MSM's bias.

Good to know you consider FOX the MSM. Wasn't too long ago liberals considered FOX to be irrevelant and part of a right-wing media. Now, apparently, it is MSM.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 05:02 PM

I have nothing to get offended about,

I actually can think...


shock is really tawdry, something like you walking in on your mother an d her handyman...

Posted by: no I don't get offended.. | May 11, 2006 05:03 PM

Che, don't you have opinions of your own? In addition to copying your blog entries, do you also formulate your ideas and opinions directly from crazy websites. Try thinking for yourself...I know, for liberals that's hard. Give it a try though.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 05:08 PM

MD 20/20?

people have different styles are you thinkin g

or just spouting cliches?

Posted by: you're sure your name is not really | May 11, 2006 05:10 PM

when factories are overseas in other countries, and factory people are out of work...

they make less money and there are less revenues coming in...


since the coporations and wealthy have avoided taxes

via the scamp in the Whitehouse there are less revenues from taxes in general


so your point is?

Posted by: DEAR MD 20/20 | May 11, 2006 05:14 PM

Should we punish those who have strived in our capitalist society to make a better living (the rich) while rewarding those who sit back and wait on "gummit" (thanks Ford) funds?

There is not a simple response to this. The truth is, if you are born without a silver spoon in your mouth in this country, it is very difficult to raise your lot in life.

The professional welfare recipients represent just the tip of the iceberg, yet claim all of the attention. Most people on welfare move off it in about two years, but the question is, to what? If a better job means you lose healthcare for yourself and your kids, lose your subsidized daycare, etc of what value is hard work? We need to restructure benefits so that they improve when you work, not get taken away when you are still below poverty level but working.

Take the janitor in your office who empties your trash and cleans the toilets. Or the nurses aide who empty's grandma's bedpans. Do they not contribute honorably to the running of this country? Do they deserve less health care than you simply because they have either not the money or else the IQ to raise their lot in life? Yet, one family emergency will put them on food stamps or welfare if they can even get it. Did you know that most people declaring bankrupcy were forced into it becasue of unexpected medical bills?

I have a family friend trying desperately to improve her lot in life. She has no contacts, daddy can't get her a plush internship, and she's not smart enough to get academic scholarships. She tried going to nrusing school for a LPN but the federal grants gave her $1200 to live on for the year. Fortunatly she had me to take her in. Her less fortunate classmates are trying to work minimum wage jobs, some of whom will fail out because of the rigors of trying to do both. When she gets out she will start at an honest $13/hr schlepping feces in a nursing home, and hopefully trying for a RN. But she just did the math and discovered to her dismay that you can't afford more than a shoebox studio apartment and a clunker car unless you can find a job with benefits so that you don't have to buy your own health insurance or that will help you with your nursing student loans.

Leave your plush apartment/home, get an honest job cleaning the toilets in your building, and try to support yourself and see what happens.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 05:17 PM

range than before _now_

old people are becoming the fastest growing group of people joining the poverty group.


notice any old people bagging lately at the supermarket?


remember when people used to live the life of a Ward Cleaver?

I saw that as a majority during my lifetime...and your excuse for why we're going to 'ell in a 'andbasket?

...comeon

you're not liberals, oh you're talk show hosts...ha ha..

Posted by: there are more people living in the poverty | May 11, 2006 05:18 PM

thanks for the humour, you can reach me at my new website...


urananus.com

Posted by: gotta go, | May 11, 2006 05:20 PM

I love hearing this:
"Ok here's an example:
Welfare - "I'm gun had me anutha baby so I git mo check. Then I ride to da sto in my Lexus wit him on my lap. What I need to git? A box a squares and a 4"

because it means that the person obviously hasn't ever looked at how much money those checks are and how much each child past the first actually adds to monthly welfare. I also love the stereotyped accents/spelling because it shows that they are in now acting on any information other than bigoted emotion.

Recommended reading: Shipler's The Working Poor.


And this?
"Good to know you consider FOX the MSM. Wasn't too long ago liberals considered FOX to be irrevelant and part of a right-wing media. Now, apparently, it is MSM."

Priceless. People trying to frame Fox as the underdog always cracks me up. Have you ever actually looked at the size of the corporation? Since at least the 1990s, Fox and its affiliates have been seen as a major component of the MSM. Look at any information regarding the media, communications, and corporate america and ample evidence of FOX as one of the top four can be seen.

If you're using only stereotypes and outdated information, I implore you to please try to stay current. FYI, it is 2006.

Posted by: Freedom | May 11, 2006 05:24 PM


Posted by: Chris Ford

"entitlements of the parasitic classes are responsible for 70-75% of government spending and attendent deficits. The biggest drivers of "mo' gummint" are still the parasitic classes, not the wealthy, because they pay the taxes and get less from gov't than they contribute."

Ford, it's America, love it or leave it! You would be very happy in Saudi Arabia, it seems to be the government you're looking for. Since you hate America so much, why don't you leave it.

Posted by: Jamal | May 11, 2006 05:29 PM

Afghanvet - I think we generally agree. I am not, like you, dismissing entitlements as "bad" - just that they form the vast majority of what out tax dollars go for.

But I think entitlements are where the most government "fat" is and where we can save the most money, not going after defense or other smaller contributors of discretionary spending already gone over with a fine-toothed comb.

Examples?

1. We pay 30% more per capita than any other advanced nation on health care, but fail to cover 40 million working Americans and are in the bottom 1/3rd in hospital infections, medical errors, overall dental care, and average life expectency. We can cut costs and still achieve high health care availability and quality. Both Newt and Hillary agree there is tremendous wastage and little accountability.

2. We have become convinced that it is the taxpayer burden to hire "super teachers" and reduce class size to better "motivate" lazy, unmotivated students...we rank at the bottom of advanced nations in math and science education while having class size half what other advanced nations have. Government employees (teachers unions, administrative staff) of course love this...mor jobs, more money for degrees they never use... The onus should be on lazy kids and their lazy parents to provide self-motivation. It is always a massive shock to hear kids going to elite universities finding their core classes have 60-70 students...some hundreds with Distance Learning...when they never had a public school class with more than 20. The reason - universities know that students come ready and willing to learn to get their time and money's worth or they get chucked.

3. Federal government borrowing to fund entitlements is beyond obscene. It would be illegal and pension fund and benefits administrators would be in jail if that crap happened in the private sector. Borrowing off pension funds (SS) to pay a firms executives (richest 1%) extra??? Insane and immoral.

4. You mention legal costs. Its not in the Big 4, but sheltering provisions - written by lawyers into law to mainly enrich other rich lawyers, are far too easy on criminals in sheltering their assets through "the children!! the children!!" and other time-honored dodges. IMO, if the state or private citizen goes after an American and charges are thrown out or the person found innocent, the initiating poarty should pay all legal costs...including stuff that hits poor folks the hardest like bail fees and court filings. But on the other hand, if guilt is found, all assets should be open for paying the legal and prison systems back, including Mommy's drug money funded dream home and Juniors 40,000 shares of Microsoft. Or an otherwise indigent murdering thug's gold fillings for all I care.

===============
Geb, go f**k yourself.
You tried the old "I demand you become my lackey and generate documentation, links, evidence! Source everything you say and pretend I am a lawyer in court with the power to make my foes acceed to my demands." debating ploy, and it failed. As the saying goes, "I'm not your b**tch, b**tch!!" Go visit the CBO and other economic organs to find the obvious on entitlement costs for yourself.

Or, write back and say that you wish to purchase my time and research via Paypal. A 5,000 dollar deposit will definitely put my labor at your disposal, at 80 an hour.
===============
Oh, and Afghanvet, I quite agree with you that with America's wealth rapidly concentrating in the hands of the richest 1% that all wealth gains and productivity gains are not All Theirs as "self-made" entrepreneurs, but dependent on a larger American society to create conditions for their successes. And while it is a balancing act to distribute wealth fairly and not overly reward parasites instead of fatcats, the entire economic justice mechanism has been thrown completely out of whack by the Bushie ideologues in a way that mirrors just complaints about socialist states punishing the top wealth generators with 90% income taxes. Both are extremes. Both should be fought.

Warren Buffett made a famous observation a few years back as he railed on excessive taxation punishing investors and entrepreneurs, listing governments and US structure that screwed wealth creation and productivity - but at the same time, he closed his missal with noting that his awesome, able 85K+ a year executive secretary paid far, far more taxes on every dollar she earned than he as America's second richest man did.

Posted by: Chris Ford | May 11, 2006 05:29 PM

MD77

Supply side theories were not founded on those at the top taking their capital and removing it from the country. And getting tax breaks for doing so.

In supply side, GM is rich, as is its CEO. It builds more factories using local labor and sturdy materials. It realizes that a productive workforce needs to be healthy and provides benefits. The auto worker gets his/her good paycheck, and has enough discretionary income to buy a beef roast, and clothes, and to get their hair done, and to eat out in local restaurants. And to go to movies. And so the entire community benefits from GM even though most of them don't work there.

In today's supply side economics, the GM equivalent takes its money and gives back what it must to stockholders, and moves the rest out of the country. New construction - try illegal immigrants (think New Orleans). Workers too expensive? Pay them pennies in Bangalore. Supply side takes the money, but where's the trickle down? Its not there. And THAT is why the average Joe isn't feeling the economic boom.

3% rise in wages. 3% rise in interest paymnets. 10% rise in health insurance. 5% rise in property taxes. 1=2% rise in sales tax. 50% rise in fees. Close your economics book and get a clue about real life.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 05:31 PM

Unnamed poster who posted at May 11, 2006 5:17:26 PM about the family friend who is currently in nursing school.

Thank you for posting this. A large misconception among many people is that the 'American Dream' can come true and that if you work hard enough, you can improve your lot in life. Sorry, but the facts state that this simply isn't the case. The upward/downward movement of individuals between the varying social classes is too low of a percentage to reflect the idea that the 'gifted' or 'ungifted' get what they earn. If you are born into poverty, the chances of escaping are abysmal. If you are born into riches, the chances of failing are incredibly low. Most of the situations people are in and criticisms about them have nothing to do with the individuals themselves. America has created a modern caste system and sadly, there is little anybody will do about it. They are stuck in the mindset that people get what they deserve.

Meanwhile, people wonder why the US has the worst health of the major global players despite being the top nation. The main theory is that American life is much more stressful based on the concept of the American Dream.

Posted by: Freedom | May 11, 2006 05:32 PM

"The truth is, if you are born without a silver spoon in your mouth in this country, it is very difficult to raise your lot in life. "

What country are you living in. The country I am living in has tremendous amounts of economic and social mobility. The percentage of millionaires being born rich is small. The great story of America is our entrepreneurial spirit and opportunity. Most of today's rich people were not rich 10 years ago. They took out loans, mortgaged their homes if need be, in order to start up a small business and have spent the past decade working their tale off.

If things are so bad, then why do so many people want to come here? Why are there more rich people today than ever before? Why is our standard of living so high?

Yes, there are uncertainties and problems with our country and economy. Gas is high, but we can afford it. Our economy has changed from a manufacturing economy to a service oriented economy, but that is a good thing (much the same way that changing from an agricultural to manufacturing economy was good). Some people will fall on hard times, and for those we are the most generous with welfare, food stamps, job training, government loans.

More people are working today than ever before. Consumers are spending so much money that stores are reaping record profits (if things are so bad, how is it that so much money is being spent on "luxury" goods? Is there a 12 year old out there who doesn't own an iPod?). Things are not perfect, they never were and never will be. But they sure are pretty good.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 05:39 PM

Ford breaks:
"Geb, go f**k yourself.
You tried the old "I demand you become my lackey and generate documentation, links, evidence! Source everything you say and pretend I am a lawyer in court with the power to make my foes acceed to my demands." debating ploy, and it failed. As the saying goes, "I'm not your b**tch, b**tch!!" Go visit the CBO and other economic organs to find the obvious on entitlement costs for yourself.

Or, write back and say that you wish to purchase my time and research via Paypal. A 5,000 dollar deposit will definitely put my labor at your disposal, at 80 an hour."

So much for not caring what I think, eh? For someone that doesn't care you seem to be using some pretty strong language! Sorry you can't back up what you claim with sources. Little Fordie want a cracker?

For the record everyone, I'd like to post that Ford is secretly a marxist and a liberal, but only posts pseudo-posts to make everyone see how incredibly ignorant the right can be. However, I will not provide proof and merely allow you all to find it on your own and assume that I'm correct. As Ford would argue, I'm not your lackey and do not need to provide you with sources, but you must assume I'm correct for the debate's sake unless you find evidence to the contrary. Ford's vast intelligence has proved to me that you do not need to provide your sources but can merely say what you want without being called on it.

Posted by: Geb | May 11, 2006 05:42 PM

MD77
"Is there a 12 year old out there who doesn't own an iPod?)."
Yes, there are quite a few million, believe it or not.

And in regards to the Millionaires you reference, they account for a very small percentage of the population. And of these Millionaries you reference, how many of them are simply star athletes or actors? For a very few in select areas, there are easy ups. But for the majority? No. Nothing to do with truly working your best. There are a great many people who probably work harder than you, longer than you, and still live below the poverty level. People working two jobs a week (at least one full time) that still can't make ends meet.

And Record profits? How much more is outsourced now than it was ten years ago? Try to find something with a "Made in America" tag.

Posted by: Freedom | May 11, 2006 05:49 PM

*note* didn't mean to say million on the amount of 12 year olds without ipods. Was thinking ahead as typing. I meant to simply say there are quite a few. I can't back up the millions, though I know it is high based on experiences in even affluent areas.

Posted by: Freedom | May 11, 2006 05:51 PM

Nice of you to respond without saying who you are. Are you trying to give me a history lesson on the foundation of supply-side economics? Your post demonstrates that you know nothing about it. It's a macro economic school, and has nothing to do with GM or beef roasts.

Close my econ book? Try opening one. And believe me, I'm in the real world. Every firm and business I know of is hiring, from financial services to construction. I wasn't born rich, and am nowhere close to it now. But I have done pretty decent for myself by working hard, and not complaining.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 05:52 PM

MD77
My nephew and a lot of his friends recently graduated from college. Please explain to him how easy it is to get a job currently.

Posted by: Freedom | May 11, 2006 05:56 PM

Anonymous writes:

3% rise in wages. 3% rise in interest paymnets. 10% rise in health insurance. 5% rise in property taxes. 1=2% rise in sales tax. 50% rise in fees. Close your economics book and get a clue about real life.

Brilliant view! I believe you covered it all in a nutshell!

Real life = not so great economy. Many people are living paycheck to paycheck. If they're buying things, it's mostly on credit cards.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 05:58 PM

Freedom, you're making judgements about me without knowing anything about me. I'll let that slide along with you taking my iPod comment/question literally.

There is a reason companies are outsourcing. If they didn't, they would be out of business. Our tax rates are much higher than competing countries, our regulations make it difficult for companies in America to compete. You ask about made in America, try the parts to a Toyota or Honda. How about the financial services we provide to the world. How about all of the construction labor going into all the homes that are being built everywhere. We are not a manufacturing economy anymore.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 06:07 PM

Freedom, tell your nephew it's easy.

Not sure what you want me to say about a situation I have no information about.

Posted by: MD77 | May 11, 2006 06:09 PM

Republican tax cuts for the wealthy are about giving their friends extra cash to keep the political contributions rolling in.

Same thing in reverse for tort reform. Do you think tort reform is about reforming the legal process? Then you are naive. Its really about stemming the cash flow to trial lawyers which are a large source of contributions to Democrats.

Republicans are also interested in busting unions. Not so much because their labor costs are a problem, but because one again they contribute to Democrats.

Perhaps you think this is a cynical, but it fits right in with the pattern of K-street lobbying. Republicans only please. In a nutshell the Republican strategy is to increase their financial support while reducing the financial support of Democrats. Cutting taxes for the wealthy is all part of this. I don't think the Club for Growth, Heritage Foundation or the Cato Institute have been secretive about this.

Posted by: Realist | May 11, 2006 06:12 PM

Realist, the Bush 2003 tax cuts removed millions of poor from the tax rolls and made the rich pay more taxes than before (facts really are just a side note to liberals, aren't they?).

Maybe tort reform has something to do with the almost 80 companies bankrupted by the asbestos litigation scam (many of which are now just a shell company with no workers that exists just to pay claims - not exactly good for the lost union jobs). Tort reform is about ending the huge transfer of wealth from productive companies to the plaintiff's lawyers (who donate millions to the Dems to keep it that way).

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 06:23 PM

The fact that anyone takes anything the Republican party proposes seriously means they've already won.

The end goal of the Republicans is to have a relatively small wealthy ruling class with everyone else desperate for employment at whatever they deem a "fair" wage. Does anyone but the wealthy think this is good for America?

OK, like America, I'm in debt right? So the Republican solution to my problem is for me to voluntarily cut my income (or tax revenue in America's case) so that my employer now has more money left in profit. So now I have less income to pay my debts and my employer has more profit. How does this make me better off? It doesn't but it makes my employer chuckle at night that I was so easily fooled.

No wonder the rich have such a low opinion of the rest of us. We really are stupid.

Posted by: RealityCheck | May 11, 2006 06:43 PM

RealityCheck I agree.

The awakening which occurred during the 60's caused a shift in the political establishment in the US. For the first time political power was transferred from the ruling elite to the masses. The masses flexed their new found power not just through protests, but thrpugh the legal system and organizing. The Civil Rights movement is a perfect example.

Since that time the Democratic party has embraced the concept of a party for the people and not for the ruling elites. Democrats who didn't like this became Republicans especially the Dixiecrats.

The Republican party, on the other hand, has been all about the ruling elite regaining their dominence in American politics. God forbid that a peanut farmer could become President. The ruling elite fumed over this. And then came a poor child of a single mother from Arkansas. Good God what's next a poor streetwise kid from Haarlem? Not in this America if the Republicans can help it. Numerous right wing think tanks with many millions of dollars in donations have been established since the 60's to bring American back to the good old days when the average Joe didn't get involved in politics and just a few privileged ruling elites could become President. Think about the Presidents prior to Carter. How many of them were son's of a poor share cropper?

Posted by: Realist | May 11, 2006 07:06 PM

>the Bush 2003 tax cuts removed millions of poor from the tax rolls and made the rich pay more taxes than before (facts really are just a side note to liberals, aren't they?).

Dude, you're a moron.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 07:29 PM

Pretty much looks like pandering to wealthy folks who probably donate to Republicans in an election year. It's not good for America. That's never been a priority for Republicans. They don't seem to believe in shared sacrifice. ExxonMobil has to be taken care of and that's that.

Posted by: LJM | May 11, 2006 07:46 PM

"Anonymous writes:

3% rise in wages. 3% rise in interest paymnets. 10% rise in health insurance. 5% rise in property taxes. 1=2% rise in sales tax. 50% rise in fees. Close your economics book and get a clue about real life. Brilliant view! I believe you covered it all in a nutshell!

Real life = not so great economy."

Quite true by poster who also is an anonymous wannabe.

The Bushies ignore the wiping out of any wage gains by higher costs they selectively ignore at their 2006 and maybe 2008 peril.

Add to that the massive insecurity of Americans now believing any job outside Ruling Elites circles could be gone tommorrow if the right business deal with foreigners is set up, nothing made in the USA anymore, and foreigners pouring unchecked over our Borders + belief nothing is being solved and our foreign policy is a disaster - and you have one Angry, Pissed Electorate.
=========================
Geb, you tried your shyster lawyer "you owe me research documents!!" tactic and you failed.
---------
Jamal - The truth about gov't parasites stings you doesn't it? Perhaps close to home?

While some rich may suck up on the Gov't teat, like WalMart billionaires fobbing health care costs onto the gov't, and the question of the value of government employees from Marines to "Hispanic Crisis Counselors" ready for their 2-3 "crises" a year between union and Democratic Party business consuming their normal 35 hour workweek outside the other 185 days of the year - the biggest concern has always been the exponentially expanding underclass parasites which use all entitlement programs and consume 100% other peoples tax monies...

Posted by: Chris Ford | May 11, 2006 07:53 PM

I see the play soldier having been once again shown to put up phoney numbers is now trying to shore up his reputation by including education among entitlement spending. Education! Entitlement as in welfare! Look a bunch of welfare princes and princesses riding the bus to school everyday! It drives the play soldier nut.

I have news for you ignorant runt. People the world over including the commies, the 'Islamoids', the Mexicanos want nothing more than an education for their children. You either educate your young or you kiss your vaunted civilization good bye.

If you are so against the way of life here prissy Chrissy why don't you emigrate somewhere else like say Burma or Belarus, where you will fit right in with the ruling class of the two last fascist states on earth.

Posted by: Minister of Information | May 11, 2006 08:14 PM

you're an economist eh?

macro and micro eh?


so what effects have:
1. downsizing and internationalization had
on white collar work?

2. what has outsourcing done to rural
communities that used to do customer
service work, after the factories
closed?

3. what has closing the factories down and
moving them to Bangalore or Indonesia
or taking out the middle man and moving
Wal Mart to China done/doing?

4. what is the importance of the middle
class?

5. what impetus does an international
corporation have to favor Americans
over any other country? In any form.

6. what is corruption in government?

7. when is corruption in government
treason?

8. why are you pretending to be civilan?


pretending to be smart is stupid if you dont' have what it takes to back it up,


it's called biting off more than you can chew.


has the poverty rate increased or decreased in the last five years?

has the level of services decreased or increased for schools, social services, school loans, or any kind of services?

what the eff are the National Guard doing overseas? why were they formed? what is the fourth amendment?

why is crissy got is hand in your pants?

Posted by: dear Mad Dog 20/20.... | May 11, 2006 09:28 PM

it's like this,

cooperation amongst those in power leads to controlling scarce resources, and to some degree the media.


Rupert Murdoch, owns Fox News and tried about 10 years ago, to take over American media....I know that he is supposedly backing Hillary,

[
but you need to understand, I'm neither a liberal, a conservative or of any party affiliation...

I deal with reality as it exists not as someone is trying to spin it...
]

Even Russia/Communist china can be a plutocracy....a state where a few people control resources and to a certain extent mindset because they have access to the tools to do it...

just because someone is in control doesn't mean that they have earned it...

does it?

I bet I could control you one on one...want to try?

would that mean that I was right or that I had more resources?

Posted by: no actually the ruling party in any country is called a plutocracy... | May 11, 2006 09:35 PM

it lowers the United States to 3rd world standards


instead of raising theirs...


you could outsource if you required them to provide the same level of services to the employees in India that they adhered to in the United States in say the late 70's....


the supply side economist need to consider this too...


a retail job (with no beneifits at minimum wage) is not equal to a factory job with beneifits and retirement...


even something simple like this:

slave owners that built plantations and businesses on the backs of slavery....


could they have done it without their workers....


do you really think American companies could have succeeded without Americans?


and all of the inventions that are fueling our modern world, where did they come from...

overseas?

hardly.

I'm not into the patriot bs, I'm a scientist, engineer first...

when I head a project or work on it, it succeeds and I don't blow up numbers or push for a particular product or tool because I'm enamored of it....I push for tools that work...

you want your country to work in all of it's pieces then you need to see that all peoples are fit too, not just your effin class...

you don't piss in the water and drink it unless you're in India...

.

Posted by: the thing about outsourcing is this: | May 11, 2006 09:43 PM

While driving through the south to visit family, I turned on a conservative talk show. The guest had studied budgets over the past several decades. He had two observations. That Republicans and Democrats spend about the same overall. The difference is how they fund it. Republicans borrow while Democrats tax.

The second was how they tended to spend. Republicans tended to spend more on the military while Democrats tended to spend more on social programs.

The touch is knowing when to tax and when to borrow. Neither does it perfectly, but Bush #2 is demonstrating just how horribly wrong endless spending and severe tax cutting can be. How little is too little tax to run a country our size?

Posted by: CB | May 11, 2006 09:44 PM

Federal deficits are good because they are efficient - they fund government expenditure through voluntary contributions (i.e. purchases of Tbills) rather than coerced funding (i.e. tax).

Of course debt is just deferred taxes - so everyone pays their share of government revenue at some point - but happily this debt is being payed off as we speak: in 4 years the Reagan debt from 1980 will be completely paid off...

All this deferred tax is paid off at $10,000 per second (someone put up a clock)...

Posted by: mike | May 11, 2006 10:05 PM

by people that don'thave a say about their lives...


well, the results will be inequity...


that's what is going on.


there is inequity and lack of responsibility by your congress people...

Posted by: when the load is pushed onto one portionof the economy... | May 11, 2006 10:15 PM

I love hearing government mouthpieces like MD77 telling us how great the economy is. For 5 years Bush and his Soviet-style rubber stamp Duma has been deficit spending and cutting taxes at a pace that doubled the national debt in that time. Interest rates have been at 50 year lows. This is ok for a short time to get out of a massive recession, but he's been at it for 5 years! And all we get finally is some mediocre growth, and a few added jobs that barely amount to a net positive after all of the jobs Bush lost in his first term. And most of those at Wendy's and Wal-Mart.

What we have is an economy painted right into a corner. There aren't any options when you already have the pedal to the metal. Anything such as the presently rising interest rates and real estate slowdown can cause it to crater, and when it does, remember MD-77 telling you how great the economy is. Just like back during the Savings and Loan Crisis (remember that 600 billion fiasco? It seems quaint now...) The fat cats partied and the middle class got the hangover. Well wait till this time around.

And how about those still parroting about how they know best how to spend their own money? Dumb@sses! We're BORROWING the money to fund the tax cuts. Our kids will be paying off these further gifts to those who have no need for them. Not us. I hope you're not depending on any goodwill from yours, because man, they are going to be pissed! I hope they don't take our lessons on responsibility to heart! They just might not pay your nursing home bills. And tell me, how do you stimulate the economy with tax cuts on captial gains when you have to borrow the money to do it?

I know, I know - I'd rather give the money to the rich than to the "parasites". Well those parasites happen to be the middle class. And nobody is going to say no to them, but causing a collapse on purpose is going too far.

Posted by: | May 11, 2006 10:15 PM

no company that has origins in the United States, made a profit without the help of the United States PEOPLE....


when they take profits overseas, by taking their companies overseas, they're taking the PEOPLES MONEY overseas....


and the people that still have jobs are the ones that have to pay the bills of the people without jobs...


if a company is overseas, unless it has to be,

then it should be treated as a foreign competitor....


a simple example for morons....


if your teeth, which live in your face, are not taken care of they can kill you...


an infection can move from the teeth, to the brain....


citizens are like teeth, they require maintenance....


the feet can't just decide that they don't need to take care of the teeth...


the affluent, can not steal from the citizens without something falling apart...


it's real effin simple....we are connected...


it is bad engineering to treat the citizens "as if" they were unimportant by using, misleading and stealing from them....


orange jumpsuits, family-style.

Posted by: put the bushes in charge of family planning prison style... | May 11, 2006 10:41 PM

I think CB brings up a good point about the difference between taxing and borrowing. It's important to know when to borrow, or I guess more correctly, what it is okay to spend borrowed money on. I think it basically boils down to it being okay to borrow money (ie run a deficit) if the money is being invested in programs that will provide future returns.
One aspect of the American economy that has been wildly successful over the last decade has been the tech sector, and particularly the internet. The internet was born out of a DARPA project, which means DoD money we ran a defecit to spend during the Cold War. This has clearly done wonders for us.
Unfortunately the increased spending these days, particularly defense spending are on things like video cameras in airports, and xray scanners at ports. These things, however important, simply wont provide the same kind of returns in the future.

The bottom line is running a defecit and the related supply side economics concept isnt inherently wrong. The application of it can definitely be questioned. If we are going to run these huge defecits, we need use that money to invest in education and advanced research.

Posted by: PK | May 11, 2006 10:55 PM

Realist, follow your thoughts through to the conclusion.

Union busting is about more than controlling contributions. Its about power. Labor must be broken in order to really control society.

The blueprint the Repubs are following so expertly wasn't written by them. It entails:

Rule by Cronyism and Corruption.
Avid militarism, excessive showing of flags and military/patriotic symbols
Obsession with crime and punishment (of others, of course)
Uniting behind fear of a common enemy, and keeping fear stirred up.
HIding behind religion - God is on our side
Attacking the patriotism of your critics
Making -isms mainstream - racism, sexism, and eroding respect for human rights by scapegoating the target
Busting the power of labor
I could go on, or you could just read Britt

This is called FASCISM, and its taking root with a worrisome strength in this country. I can only hope todays government spying episode starts to wake people up some, while they still have a country left. The proponents of the fascist system have used the public's ignorance about fascism to tell people its only about Hitler and skinheads. That's a myth they hide behind to avoid being seen. This is about Pinochet. Its about Chile. Its about Peru. Its about Peron. If you're not worried you're not paying attention.

Posted by: Constitution | May 12, 2006 01:42 AM

Ford claims:
"Geb, you tried your shyster lawyer "you owe me research documents!!" tactic and you failed"

Nice try at reframing the situation. How about this?

Ford, you tried to pass off false information without being able to back it up with a source and you failed.

Notice how no one really seems to be talking about the 75% you claim? No one seems to be able to supply the same numbers as you? Funny that. I actually want to talk to you about this 75%. However, without whatever imaginary source you seem to be referencing, I can't. Sorry. I thought you wanted an intelligent debate as opposed to one person making a random claim followed by another making a random claim. Apparently you've never ahd a scholarly discusion in your life. It shows.

I'm sorry that someone is trying to hold you accountable for something you claim Ford. It must be a very, very scary thing. Before you jump to conclusions Ford, I'm from the mid-west, middleclass, I'm white, and I'm male, so please don't try any of your normal bigotry diversionary tactics.

Thanks for playing.

Posted by: Geb | May 12, 2006 02:17 AM

CF should take the advice and leave America asap. There are plenty of more deserving people waiting for his spot.

Posted by: Bu | May 12, 2006 02:26 AM

Just when you think they can't stoop any lower!!! It sure makes you wonder... since there is nothing at all wrong with listening in on calls from al-qaeda, then why didn't the Bushians/Rove just go get the retrospective FISA warrants? From their increasingly odd behavior, it is becoming more and more obvious that they were listening in on their own domestic political opponents, a la Richard Nixon, which of course the FISA courts would disallow. They are merely hiding behind the pretext of "fighting terrorism" to avoid prosecution.

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 04:07 AM

If the Dems succeed in taking the House in November we will learn a lot next year.

I expect we will learn that Echelon has been turned inward, and that our government has been listening to us all along.

I expect we will find that it has been justified to catch the "subversives", and that they have been spying on their political enemies.

I expect we will find some "irregularities" on the last election if we are allowed to really look.

These people are scary.

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 09:27 AM

Fascism? Oh how funny...most of you Starbucks Revolutionaries have no bloody idea what fascism was really like. Give it a rest. Until you experience it, until your family has to suffer from it, until you are forced to LEAVE your homeland because of it, then you can glibbly toss around comparisons to "Bushs'" america being akin to fascism.

Till then, go pour yourself another latte...

Posted by: D. | May 12, 2006 10:47 AM

D. an idiot. That's like saying most of you don't know what death is really like until you experience it. That kind of experience is for lower life forms like worms and true believers. The rest of us use our brain to survive.

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 11:04 AM

D states,
"Fascism? Oh how funny...most of you Starbucks Revolutionaries have no bloody idea what fascism was really like. Give it a rest. Until you experience it, until your family has to suffer from it, until you are forced to LEAVE your homeland because of it, then you can glibbly toss around comparisons to "Bushs'" america being akin to fascism.

Till then, go pour yourself another latte... "

Just curious D, but what fascist regime did you escape to be able to make those comments? By your own admission, you must have to be able to make this claim. If not, then you've created a hyprocritcal flaw in your argument.

Posted by: Freedom | May 12, 2006 11:07 AM

From another blog:

That LIBERAL Wall Street Journal -- 29%

An ABC news poll (subscription req) of Iraqis taken two months ago said that 28% favor a strong leader for life like Saddam.

"So, we can take comfort in knowing that our dictator still holds a lead in the polls over their dictator."

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 12, 2006 11:15 AM

Mussolini and the subsequent Nazi occupation of Northern Italy. Grandfather and great uncle drafted into service. Uncle captured in Africa, grandfather sent as a "laborer" to germany. Uncle on my mothers side executed by the Nazis as a partisian ("partisiani"), another a regional partisan commander in the hills of the Lima valley. Family forced to emigrate to France and then the US.

I was lucky to have been born here. No family gathering goes without a discussion of those events.

Posted by: D. | May 12, 2006 11:22 AM

God, some of you people kill me. I hear the right using the word "parasite" to refer to people who avail themselves of government programs they paid taxes into that were specifically established to address a particular inequity in our free market system.

Let me give you an example. The right would see anyone who took advantage of the GI Bill as a "parasite". Yet, programs like that have elevated untold millions out of ignorance and illiteracy and given them a level of education they could never have been able to afford.

I have absolutely no use for these fatheads out there who disparage such programs and lump them under "welfare" and call people who avail themselves of such benefits as "parasites". They are the same ignorant screechheads who get all mistyeyed over the taxes that billionaires have to pay, but do not blink an eye at the outrageous inequity in the distribution of societal wealth.

If you want to flatten taxes on the basis of equitable distribution, then you ought to be willing to flatten out the salary and wage structure in this country to more accurate reflect the value of work.

Posted by: Jaxas | May 12, 2006 11:22 AM

D,
So you've heard discussions. So have I. So has probably a great many people on this blog. What it comes down to, then, is your opinion based off of someone else's opinion. So you ignored the authority you claimed you need to make a claim about fascistic regimes. It appears you don't actually need that authority, eh?

Posted by: Freedom | May 12, 2006 11:27 AM

Well, my opinion is based off of someone elses, in this case, blood relatives, experiences. So I may get a bit touchy when folks make these casual "US=Fascism" or "Bush=Hitler" references. Again, just a personal pet peeve.

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 11:36 AM

Sorry, that was me.

Posted by: D. | May 12, 2006 11:38 AM

Being touchy is understandable. Unfortunately there are others with blood relatives that might agree with the whole "US=Fascism" or "Bush=Hitler," references, based on their own experiences. I have relatives (extended family that I've known since I was a boy through a sisters marriage), who were forced to fight for Germany. They later escaped Slovakia, and eventually made their way to the US. While I don't think they would out right say Bush is equal to Hitler, they have made the remarks that there are certain trends of downward slides that they have seen.
Like you said, it's just a personal pet peeve. But because its personal, that doesn't mean its universal.

Posted by: Freedom | May 12, 2006 11:42 AM

Consitution, I'm not sure what the Republicans and their brand of the ruling elites want to turn America into a fascist state. I think they simply want to turn the clock back to when they called all the shots. I don't think its a vast conspiracy just a common desire of people with power to retain power.

I think the ruling elite got more than they bargained for with George Bush. They could count on him to cut taxes for the wealthy and roll back big government, undoing first the Great Society and then the New Deal. Then came 9/11 and Bush's true persona was revealed (i.e. a spoiled brat who felt he never got the respect he deserved, especially from his father, and now that he has power they'd better respect him or else). Combine that with Cheney's utter paranoia (he wears a bullet proof vest all the time and takes a different route to work every day) and we have the makings of a police state. Bush has become a loose cannon, making one mistake after another, always overreaching. If we're lucky Bush will shatter the majority of American's faith in the Republican party for the next 10-20 years as Vietnam did for the Democrats. If this happens the ruling elite's work over the last 30 years will have been for naught. Thanks George! Power to the people.

Posted by: Realist | May 12, 2006 12:18 PM

The neocons have had great success using the apparent general ignorance of the public to control public perception of what fascism is.

They equate Fascism=Hitler, thus promoting the appearance that fascism is a horrible little man in a funny mustache who commits unspeakable genocide and starts first strike wars to protect his people (whoops, strike that last one). They then tell people that since Bush doesn't have a funny mustache and gas Jews and render enemies of the nation into gulags (whoops, strike that last one), that the comparison of current events in the US to the rise of fascism is absurd.

What they do with this is successfully obscure the rise of fascism, the part before it turned into a horrible dictatorship, the part where it arose with the full consent of the governed. The part where the US is dangerously close to right now.

Fascism rises when people feel weak, vulnerable, poor or frightened. A party/leader emerges who promises law and order and peace and stability and strength, and at the time it seems like a good idea. Oh, and the God thing. God is always on their side. Most fascist dictatorships in history came to power by perfectly legal means. Mussolini was made Prime Minister by the King, who remained in office as a figurehead. The parliment passed a few laws essentially giving themselves extraordinary powers and voila, a dictatorship with elections, a parliment and an impotent king. Hitler was also appointed legally. In fact the "emergency powers" that the Reichstag gave him that made him dictator had "sunset" provisions and had to be renewed every four years. So, fascism certainly can arise legally and with the consent of the governed, even if it doesn't stay that way later.

Here is a small summary of the rise of fascism in Italy: http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1315 Just google "rise of fascism in Italy" for lots more.

Britt did an excellent summary of the 14 tendencies of fascist governments: http://www.veteransforpeace.org/The_14_characteristics_030303.htm

D. You would be better off asking your grandparents about why they allowed Mussolini to come to power. Not only that, but why he was initially immensely popular for a long time. What was it that he said to people to gain their support and trust and backing? Unlike military coups, most fascist governments arise legally and with the consent, even approval, of the governed.

If you want to understand fascism, don't look at the end product, look at the making.

And, most fascist regimes don't fall by popular revolution. They're too "disciplined" for that. They fall from overextending their military might.

Posted by: Constitution | May 12, 2006 01:36 PM

Realist

Do I think a bunch of guys sat around in Stone Mountain Georgia and said "hey, lets become fascists". No.

I think they sat around and decided to remake the country in their image. The appearance of law and order and military might and prosperity, where they get to take all they want and don't really give a damn if there's enough leavings for the masses. As we have seen, at least for Halliburton, war is good for business. And I suspect some of them really believed in what they were doing.

But the ones who really believed in it are starting to peel of, Buchannan, Fukayama, Scowcroft, etc. For the rest, it was obvious it takes a particular kind of cronyism and corruption to gain that kind of control, and it wasn't hard to find a few architects who knew the blueprints well, and maybe even thought they wrote the blueprints.

And that, my friend, is in fact fascism.

Posted by: Constitution | May 12, 2006 01:46 PM

Dear Emily,
Could you, perhaps, start a line about the unbelievable government line that for all of us here that the economy is great and inflation is in check?
Where is it written,"a quart of wheat for a Denarius (days pay)and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the olive oil and the wine." Revelation of John/The Apocolypse.
I wonder what that means? Every year my overall insurance rates increase by 10% and more, food and fuel even more, my real estate taxes increase, my income taxes increase,my registration taxes and maintenance costs increase far beyond the 3% that my wages increase, and it is becoming more difficult to find work in my industry.
We all know that part time employment has been and is, especially designed to avoid the requirement of benefit packages and other costs, that the employment statistics are completely rediculous, and that the executive and legislature are only cutting taxes for the affluent, with no regard for the working classes.
But I digress, will you please honor me with your querys on these matters?
Regards, Brian

Posted by: Brian S | May 12, 2006 02:07 PM

Constitution, if that's what you define as fascism then, ok. I do think we are currently headed down the path of fascism, but I don't think the effort has been conscious. Its my belief that the under siege mentality of the current white house occupants is responsible for the police state actions of the NSA, deliberate blurring of the chain of command to allow torture at Gitmo and Abu Grhraib and secret prisons. But I think this says much more about Bush's psychology than it does about the other ruling elites like Scowcroft. The ruling elites were happy to go along with Bush as long as his popularity was high, but now that its down they are turning on him. Even the likes of Peggy Noonan are turning on him. If Bush was out of office and safely ensconced on his ranch it would be fascinating to read a psychological profile of him, but with him in office still it would be a horror story. Could he be the first messianic psychopath to lead the US? If he bombs Iran there would be no doubt in my mind that he is.

Posted by: Realist | May 12, 2006 02:09 PM

The Rich get Richer and the Poor get Poorer...

People like the Exxon "Fat Bastard" that received an obscene retirement package that obciously came for the huge profits Exxon is making off the GAS that the poor HAVE to buy.

Exxon is giving Lee Raymond one of the most generous retirement packages in history, nearly $400 million, including pension, stock options and other perks, such as a $1 million consulting deal, two years of home security, personal security, a car and driver, and use of a corporate jet for professional purposes.

This is just plain sick.

So these people need more TAX BREAKS like I need a hole in the head...

It makes me furious that this Administration has hoodwinked the poor so easily... but then again I guess that is why they are still so poor!

Donnerboy

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 02:23 PM

Whats really odd is that if you go into rabidly conservative websites such as
Polipundit or Rantburg and express opinions contrary to the Bush Doctrine, you will be attacked as being "the loony left" as if anyone who disagrees with President Bush suffers from some sort of
mental illness.

Are Bush and the Republicans currently in control of the U.S. Government fascist?
I would argue yes up to the point allowable by this democratic form of goverment we have. But if you read the websters dictionary definition it looks like a carbon copy of what they are attempting to do.

Fascism: a system of govenment characterized by rigid one party dictatorship, forcible suppresion of opposition, private economic enterprise under centralized government control, belligerent nationalism, racism and militarism.

Posted by: Cassini | May 12, 2006 02:35 PM

Realist

The architects of current US policy began their work under Bush I, and some even earlier. They thought it would take longer - but were slowly setting the stage with their "villanize the liberal media" campaign (and it worked brilliantly, getting the media to just roll over and let them trump up charges to invade Iraq while getting the sheep to stop trusing "investigative reporting"), and while working their idealogy into education (No child money requires letting military in, and lets talk about the villified "liberal bias" of academia, where you have to have things, like, say, facts, to promulgate theories).

They went shopping for a candidate who they could control, and found Georgie boy. That worked like a charm too, and they have kept him in enough of a bubble that I doubt he really understands why his approval ratings are so bad and why the majority of Americans would no longer used the word "honest" to define him. Their next candidate will be George Allen. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Cheney had to step down in a year to make him heir apparent. Second choice George Pataki. (They can't control Guliani or McCain)

And then 9-11 was their platform for early admission. What was the first thing they said afterwards - "Can we bomb Iraq?". The drumbeats of fear have been so very omnipresent.

For God's sake, read Frank LUntz, their word architect. Have you not read this: http://www.zephoria.org/lakoff/files/Luntz.pdf on how to sell a first strike war, or the one on the environment (Lost my link but its easy to find - it says to the effect on global warming - the window is closing on the science so attack it while you can quickly as soon we'll have to admit its real ... or why they canged the name to "climate change" )

In order to get what they wanted they had to control the media and get the people to scorn the "academic elite". But when they had the chance to add fear the last peice of the puzzle fell into place.

These guys began their work long before 9-11. Go back and read the rhetoric of Buchannan and the far right as far back as the early and mid 90's. I don't believe in the conspiracy theorists that they allowed 9-11 to happen in order to use it to gain control, but they sure did take advantage of it.

Wake up and smell the coffee man!

Posted by: Constitution | May 12, 2006 02:50 PM

Thank you Cassini. NOw please go slap a few million people awake, one at a time

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 02:52 PM

Constitution, Jaxas and Afgahn vet, I have been saying many of the very points you are now bringing out, but do you know the saddest thing? It seems that Americans seem to be asleep at the wheel, and something needs to happen to awaken the sleeping tiger. I still can't believe that the other day I was watching an interview on some show with the mother of a fallen soldier who still beleives Saddam was in bed with Osama. I heard bush say on television that he never said that or did anyone in his administration. Americans can't understand why they are hated by the rest of the world, but with this white House and it's rubber stamp congress we are portrayed as hypocrits. We want to bring freedon to the rest of the world yet we operate hidden prisons that we condone torture of human beings. Most Americans have their head buried so far in the sand that they beleive anything that the president tells them is the honest truth. Being a scientist I know that statistics can be made to show anything you want them to. It all is in how you pose the question. This nation was founded to get out from under tyranny and we embraced freedom. The Republican party is the party of elitists and of the rich.I can only hope that Bush has finally awaken the masses and the bring their rath upon the group that is trying to oppress the masses.

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 02:55 PM

Ah, but where is the true suppression of dissent? The Michael Moores or Tim Robbins or the rest of the more high profile dissenters haven't been rounded up and sent of into camps. We are free to disagree with this administration openly and vocally. Fascism would have none of that. Mssr Colbert was not frog marched into the back alley and administered "la purga" for his not so kind comments vis-a-vis Bush.

The lure of absolute power tempts everyone in power, whatever their political stripe. We still have the mechanisms in place to challenge that power and that is demonstrated day in and day out in the media, in blogs, in public discourse, etc. When that is lost...when you see the Richard Cohens' or Sy Hersch's of the media world walking lockstep with those in power, than you know we are in trouble.

Posted by: D. | May 12, 2006 02:55 PM

The suppression of dissent comes in the viscious counter attacks on motives, reputations and patriotism of the Bush critics.

That is exactly what it is designed to do which is to silence the opposition. Thats why I say Bush and the republican party are fascist up to what is allowable by a democratic form of govenment.

Posted by: Cassini | May 12, 2006 03:05 PM

What do you call the tapping of our phones, monitering of our calls, interception of e-mails, nation security letters to the ISP's demanding search information of their clients.

Posted by: Lab Rat | May 12, 2006 03:06 PM

Cons,

It all comes down to fear. Which, I find ironic, given that the majority of Americans are Christian. What exactly do they fear? Death? Hey, if you have your ducks in a row, and they MUST as they spend a whole lot of time worrying about other people's ducks, then why the fear?

Politics as a profession and a "science" plays on emotion, not reason. If the end-game is to be elected and to stay elected, solving problems is secondary to being reelected. Being reelected in a world where virtually no one could fend for themselves means appealing to emotion...especially fear and hate.

If you can tell me your pro-life and pro-death penalty in the same breath, there's a problem. If you can tell me you love your fellow man and then ignore the poor, then there is a problem. If you can tell me that you want to be safe andd then state that the "Gay Agenda" is the biggest threat to society, there's a problem.

It's all about emotion...fear.

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 12, 2006 03:21 PM

Afghan Vet,

That's easy like the devout Muslims they fear humiliation. That's why so many of them have the we gotta go get 'em attitude and puffed up faux patriotism. If they're so damn patriotic they should join the army. I hear the recruitment age has been raised to 42 and you can get into the guard much older than that.

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 03:30 PM

Consitution, we have lots of Republican dirty tricks going on with regard to suppressing dissent, but I don't think they have yet reached the point of fascists, which would be where they start closing dissenting newspapers, etc. But I think Bush 2, like Nixon, took suppressing dissent to a new level by using government resources in the NSA, Justice Department and generally flouting the will of Congress. My main point of all this is that after 9/11 Bush has not been the controllable guy the ruling elite would have liked and has more overtly taken fascist steps like eavesdropping on who knows how many American citizens. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn that the eavesdropping was widespread tapping both administration friends and foes alike. So in my opinion, Bush is acting more like a fascist after 9/11 and the ruling elite is more subtle than that simply relying on distortion and dirty tricks, but went along with Bush because he was so popular after 9/11 and like the rest of us they were willing to give him the lead.

Posted by: Realist | May 12, 2006 03:41 PM

D. Again, you miss the point.

It is the process that we are seeing. We haven't gotten to the end result yet, and if people like you wake up and smell the coffee, maybe we won't.

Mussolini didn't show his colors to your grandparents right off the bat either, or he wouldn't have had such widespread support at the beginning. (Ask you grandparents if il duce wasn't going to get Italy some respect in the world for a change, and stop the gangs and violence, and get industry working.....)

Right now they couldn't get away with jailing Michael Moore. But five years ago they couldn't have gotten away with a witch hunt in the CIA either. These things take time.

They started with attacking the patriotism of the opposition, but went a bit too far and tipped their hand and had to back off a bit. But fear not, it's coming back

And they're moving on to step 2 - making an example out of the whistleblowers. How do you keep the public in the dark about what you're really doing? They only have to jail a few reporters and whistleblowers to slow down the tide of truth.

Its already happening D. Look around you. The roadmap is marked. By the time they get to the destination it will be too late to change direction. What you're doing is akin to believing the people telling you - "we can't be going to the beach - there's no water here, no waves, no sand. therefore our car can't be headed to the beach" as you pass the sign - "beach, 10 miles ahead".

Posted by: Constitution | May 12, 2006 03:44 PM

Hmm REalist, an interesting point

I confess I vacillate between thinking Bush is diabolical genius and a village idiot puppet.

But given what we know about the long history of the neocons and their careful planning and Bush's history of breaking everything he's touched (businesses, a country), I can't stay with the idea that this is Bush's doing. I think they shopped for him, and that he's played along beyond their wildest dreams.

Ask this, who wrote the memo legalizing torture? Legalizing domestic spying? I don't think Bush dreamed this up. Just listen to him talk. I think his simple folksy explanations are a repitition of how they sold it to him. I mean, do you think he meant to say "you have to catapault the propaganda"?

Woodward's book is a fascinating study. Tenet laid out the case for war, Bush asked "is that all you've got?". Tenet "its a slam dunk" (a bit of paraphrasing there, but you get the point). These are not the words of someone driving the policy. these are the worlds of someone talked into carrying out the neocon agenda.

Posted by: Constitution | May 12, 2006 03:55 PM

"The thought police would get him just the same. He had committed--would have committed, even if he had never set pen to paper--the essential crime that contained all others in itself. Thoughtcrime, they called it. Thoughtcrime was not a thing that could be concealed forever. You might dodge successfully for a while, even for years, but sooner or later they were bound to get you."

"And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed--if all records told the same tale--then the lie passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past' ran the Party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'"

"In Oceania at the present day, Science, in the old sense, has almost ceased to exist. In Newspeak there is no word for 'Science.' The empirical method of thought, on which all the scientific achievements of the past were founded, is opposed to the most fundamental principles of Ingsoc."

"Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows"

"He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark mustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother"

Posted by: AfghanVet | May 12, 2006 03:56 PM

Realist, mark my words, George Allen is Bush's heir apparent. If it looks like he's going to go down in the Virginia race, I expect Cheney will develop a sudden heart problem necessitating making Allen the VP.

If they can't get Allen, I think they might go for Pataki. I lived under his rule for more years than I care to remember and I belive he has already sold his soul to corporate interests and is morally weak enough for them to control him.

Posted by: Constitution | May 12, 2006 03:59 PM

Afghan Vet

Tell us about yourself. You don't sound like one of the 85% in the Pew poll who said (recently) that we were in Iraq because Saddam was involved in 9-11 and/or in bed with alQaeda.

Also, when were you last there? About a year ago a soldier posted there told me that due to us pulling out most of our troops to Iraq, regional sympathies and US antipathy, etc most of the country outside of the major cities was back under the Taliban or the warlords, and that they were not only re-establishing their old power base, but this time they were armed to the teeth and hidden in the caves like the Mujahadeen, and that it was just a matter of time before Afghanistan blew up in our faces. If this is so, why aren't we reading about it in the liberal MSM?

Posted by: | May 12, 2006 04:44 PM

Constitution,

The neocons took advantage of the circumstances and Bush was only too happy to grab onto Iraq after 9/11.

I don't think Bush is the village idiot, but he is definitely not a genius. I think things happen like the President says we need to be able to get information out of these terrorists. We need to use more coercive methods. Then the yes men go to work and come up with some twisted legal argument and some careful semantics. As others have said Bush does the vision thing and leaves the dirty work to others.

Allen. Hmm. They certainly wouldn't be happy with McCain. And Frist has all of the appeal of a day old fish wrapped in a newspaper.

Posted by: Realist | May 12, 2006 05:48 PM

I agree with Brian S. Let's have a debate on the so-called 'great' economy. The fees for everything are sure going up in my city, since the tax cuts have brought less revenue here.

Posted by: mark | May 12, 2006 08:14 PM

Nobody likes taxes, but I believe most reasnable people will tolerate them if they believe they are getting good value in the form of services and and signs of a healthy economy. If people thought that by raising some taxes and holding down spending, we could begin paring down the deficit and actually improving conditions for our long term economic health, I don't think the general population would be against it.

Posted by: DK | May 13, 2006 12:29 AM

There seems to be a discussion of fascism and whether we are going that route in this country. I think we are traveling on a road toward a type of tyranny,but I wouldn't call it fascism. If we let things continue the way they have without calling the perpetrators on it, it could become fascism. It seems to me that the type of tryanny we're experiencing is one of ideology trumping science, logic, unbiased investigation, and transparency. The Bush Administration smothers independant thought and any type of dissent. Look at the reports of NASA and NOAA scientists having their global warming related findings edited by Bush policy loyalists. Through cronyism appointments, government watchdog agencies have become accessories to the Bush agenda of advancing interests of big business. Intellegence cherrypicking, questionable legal opinions written by Bush lawyers to justify controversial tactics (e.g. warrentless wiretapping, torture), and controlling the players in the formulation of policy all contribute to a culture of forming and disseminating messages to the people based on skewed and incomplete information, if not absolute falsehoods. The result is that policies are formed and people vote based on a perception of the world that is not based on reality, but on a fantasy that would seem to justify the implementation of the neo-con ideology Most of these tactics are not new, but they have been used so thoroughly by the Bush Administration and Congress has been so cooperative up til now, that the pattern is obvious and the results are such that we are finally having to pay the piper on many fronts.

Posted by: DK | May 13, 2006 01:02 AM

"If we let things continue the way they have without calling the perpetrators on it, it could become fascism"

DK, will YOU stop them?

Congress killed the Dubai ports deal because they were bombarded with constituent mail. Flooded. Overwhelmed. Innundated. Shocked.

But for torture? Silence.
For the parts of the Patriot Act that strip civil liberties without increasing safety? Silence.
For court stripping legislation? Silence.
For the NSA program that is supposed to be only calls with one international link but many of which turned out to be pizza orders? Silence.
For rumblings about bombing Iran... Silence.

Guess what... Silence really is assent.

The Dubai ports deal should have been a watershed for all of us, proof of the pudding that WE, common everyday Americans, can change the course of this country. There's an election coming. We really can shame Congress into doing what's right.

Posted by: wake up and smell the coffee | May 13, 2006 01:32 AM

"The lure of absolute power tempts everyone in power, whatever their political stripe."


things happen in degrees.


the Patriot Act is the rape of the Bill of Rights.

do you disagree?


this paper printed that the majority of people are "okay"

with having their phone calls intercepted, as long as it's for terrorists....


what effing terrorists?


12 to 20 Million Mexicans have entered the United States


ANY ONE OF THEM COULD HAVE BEEN AN ARABIC TERRORIST....


but weren't.


the 9/11 Commission said that this administrations _inaction_ on addressing terrorists threats "bordered on the criminal,"


why are the borders guarded and why have there been no _real_ action on terrorists?

because _WE_ are the terrorists...


Peter Brookes, who stood up for Hayden as a former CIA man is also a Rumsfeld man....

the same man that Dana Preist, acting as a Washington Post disinformation agent for your country...and I know that she leaked about secret prisons...who cares...she plants information so that she appears to be a credible source....he walk doesn't match that....she _never_ openly speaks against this administration....

as an authority if she cared about her country she would....


IN FACT THE ECONOMY IS A GREATER NATIONAL SECURITY ISSUE THAN ANY ARABIC COUNTRY...


and that's being discussed a lot isn't it?


and the fastest way to stop illegal aliens,


arrest the people that hire, them starting with Congress people, the Judicial Branch and system, and the Executive branch of the Federal government....


ZERO TOLERANCE for Federales hiring _illegal_ aliens....


check all of the ranches, and owned properties of FEDERAL PEOPLE....

if you can't obey the laws of this country, then you shouldn't have the option of affecting, creating, or passing laws...

because you're sure not capable of putting other people first....


.

.

Posted by: Are you sure _your_ name isn't village idiot? | May 13, 2006 01:44 AM

our own country could be planning a terrorist attack against us to garner credibility...


I urge anyone in government service to not let Americans be killed as part of some political ploy to keep the Bush family in power...

.thanks.

.

just say no to crime, arrest the bush family...today,

take a bite out of crime, have a country you can be proud of...

thanks so much you r mother loves yah...

.

Posted by: here and now there is another thing going on... | May 13, 2006 01:59 AM

I can do the bus analogy one better.

D is sitting on the Republican bus, proud to be among the best of the best - the ones who will save America from the evil godless, gutless, Liberals.

Outside the bus, reporters are shouting that the bus is headed for a cliff. But not to worry, busdriver Karl Rove says, Fox news says they've seen the roadmap and there's no cliff.

The bus runs over a man rushing to his second job. He used to have a good job with benefits, but now he has to work two jobs to make ends meet. Not to worry, says driver Rove...if he'd been exhibiting family values he'd have been home with his family and not out on the road at this hour, after all the economy is booming and family values are too important.

Next the bus rolls over a woman weeping because she just lost her job for taking too much time off for her children's illnesses and unreliable daycare. She used to have Medicaid and subsidized daycare but she lost it when she went back to work. Not to worry, says driver Rove, its not our fault she's too lazy to work.

Next the bus slams into a community college student who just dropped out because he had no place to live and no money for food and his Pell grant got cut back. Driver Rove says "nothing to see here folks but an ingrate who turned up his nose at our generous grants. Anyone can go to college if they're just willing to do a little hard work"

Now the bus passes a group of academicians who are shouting to them that the bus is heaaded off a cliff. Driver Rove says "haven't you learned yet not to listen to the liberal academic elite? Do you see any cliffs here? I don't see any cliffs. They are just being obstructionist. We know where we're going. And we have to stop them from poisoning the minds of their students too - look at them showing those students false road maps showing cliffs on this road"

Suddenly Brent Scowcroft jumps up and says, "my God, we are headed for a cliff, and jumps off". Driver Rove says "you can't believe him, he hates America and our bus and isn't trustworthy". Next Francis Fukyama jumps up and says "Oh my God, Scowcroft was right, we are headed for a cliff", and jumps off the bus. Then Peggy Noonan joins him. Pretty soon 71% of the bus passengers follow her. Driver Rove scoffs "look at them, they'll be begging to get back on when they discover that gays are secretly plotting to destroy marriage, and that women want to kill their babies and use birth control so they don't even conceive the babies they want to kill. We don't want those terrorist loving America hating ones anyway.:

Suddenly the bus plunges off the cliff. As it falls Rove looks back and sees the media and the academic elites and the workers working two jobs and the moms without healthcare or daycare and the students who can't afford college, as well as the former bus riders, and he shouts "its all your fault, you wanted us to fail".

(my apologies to Tom Tomorrow).

A final question, will D. still be on the bus when it plunges over the cliff?

Posted by: wake up and smell the coffee | May 13, 2006 02:00 AM

The multiname poster wrote: our own country could be planning a terrorist attack against us to garner credibility...

Seriously. After another large scale attack, lots of people will be responsive to the "see, stray from Daddy and look what happens' mentality and lay down and expose what's left of their civil rights, er jugular. But don't you think that given Bush's credibillity numbers, an attack either planned or allowed to happen would backfire and make people ask why OBL is still alive and plotting against America, and why we gave Zarquawi an entire country to hone a new generation of terrrorists in? they'd have to be pretty desperate to take that chance that it wouldn't backfire.

But sadly, I believe them capable of doing it.Not a twin towers kind of thing, but maybe small timed explosions at a few shopping malls, or one that is caught "just in time" .

Posted by: | May 13, 2006 02:16 AM

"But sadly, I believe them capable of doing it.Not a twin towers kind of thing, but maybe small timed explosions at a few shopping malls, or one that is caught "just in time" . "


This administration likes to send up trial balloons to see what happens - it it goes poorly they deny it was ever true. I believe they might be a party to having a timing system failure so that the device "accidentally" went off at night when the store was closed 'by mistake', gee aren't we lucky the timer failed so no one was hurt instead of at rush hour? - just to gauge the reaction - fear or anger?

Shoud be an interesting October, no?

Posted by: | May 13, 2006 02:21 AM

I think we're over-ripe for reform, in a lot of ways, entitlements, the Pentascam, D.C. at large needs to stop stuffing tax money in their pockets, the border needs to be patrolled, and everybody needs to cash a reality check, and PRONTO. Our nation's finances are out-of-balance, our expectations of what 'government' is supposed to do or provide for us is out-of-balance, and in general we need to borrow a page from the Amish and 'get back to basics'. I'm not saying trade in your car for a horse-and-buggy, but rather that you only use about 1/2 the ponies you're accustomed to until this fuel garbage gets over and done with.

Reform's a bear, no one wants to admit they've been doing something stupid, or foolish, but it's the price we're going to have to pay for getting things back IN balance, and to end our dependency on 'nice' countries like in the middle east.

Bottom line, we've gotten lazy, and spoiled. We expect 'the government' to take care of the utilities, instead of taking the time to learn about the water and electricity and how it gets to our homes. We expect 'the government' to bring down oil prices as demand for gasoline SOARS. We expect 'the government' to 'make it all better' in other countries so they don't complain about us no more instead of refusing to buy imports that finance the loudmouths in the first place. We expect 'the government' to care for us when we haven't saved for retirement, we expect 'the government' to finance failing hospitals and provide magical cures for avoidable diseases, we expect 'the government' to vote and legislate the way we want them to by osmosis, without participating in civic debate, we expect etc etc etc.

News Flash: We, The People, ARE 'the government'. Reform comes from US, the U.S.
The People of the U.S.A. Not from Bush, the oil baron, or his lackies, or the 'do-gooder' democrat loonies, but from Americans At Large, the heretofore 'silent majority' that has been quietly oblivious to the direction this country's been taking for many decades, too cynical and too ignorant to participate in elections and have it mean anything.

Well, party's over. Time to get to work. There's 280 million citizens, plus guests, in this country. While we should honor those guests, we should also politely inform them of the location of the exits when their sojourn with US is over. The oil industry is one such 'guest' who's over-stayed their welcome, the mexicans are another. We don't need either one to be a prosperous country, nor will we stand for being dictated to by either one. But: Catch is, to re-assert our independence will take 'work', that famous 4-letter word that doesn't leave you smelling 'country-fresh'. If you're sitting on your porch at your house that you own eating your lunch that YOU made, there's less likelihood of someone coming along to try and 'tax' you for it, somehow. Well, property taxes are inevitable, I suppose, that's the 'rent' you pay on your own house, and those crafty tax assessors keep pumping up the assessed value of your home so's you get to pay more, every year, but the bottom's gonna fall out of THAT racket, too, when the home market finally tanks. Downside: The rest of the economy's gonna take a Big Dump, too, so chances are if you can't afford a home now, you won't be able to then, either. But hey, time will tell, maybe they'll end up doing the Homestead Act again or something.

Regardless, though, it's sufficient to say that the sustainability of what we're looking at now is going to change, probably diminish at least to some degree, and prices will continue to climb. As they do, and more people get 'priced out', there'll be a lot of 'i told you so's, a lot of 'neener neener neener', and a lot of promise-generating politicians out of a JOB. And, good riddance, fellas, take your hyperbole and go find a REAL job. If there's any left, by the time you need one! LOLOL

Posted by: Bert | May 13, 2006 11:55 AM

US media, Democrats deflect opposition to government spying on Americans

By Barry Grey
13 May 2006

Use this version to print | Send this link by email | Email the author

One day after the revelation that the National Security Agency has been secretly compiling a data base of the telephone calls of some 200 million Americans, the response from the media and both Democratic and Republican politicians already makes clear that there will be no serious opposition from within the political establishment to this further step in the direction of a police state.

On Friday, as General Michael Hayden, who presided over the NSA spying program as head of the agency from 1999 to 2005, made the rounds of Senate offices in advance of next week's confirmation hearings on his nomination to head the CIA, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, praised him as "a good man" and declared, "I have no problems with General Hayden going into the hearing."

Reid, along with other top Democrats in Congress, was well aware of the NSA's domestic spying program, having been briefed along with leading Republicans by the Bush administration.

As for the media, it did not take long after USA Today published its May 11 exposé on the spying operation for the networks and press to begin their efforts to confuse and disorient the American people and condition them to accept this unprecedented attack on democratic rights.

The Washington Post led the way, publishing as the lead article on its web site early Friday the results of an overnight poll conducted jointly by the Post and ABC News. The survey purported to show that 63 percent of Americans supported the NSA domestic spying operation that was authorized by President Bush shortly after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Under the program, the three largest US telecommunications companies--AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth--are handing over to the NSA the records of every telephone call made by every one of their customers, including the date, the duration of the call and the phone number dialed. This is being done without securing court warrants and without Congressional oversight, in flagrant violation of both the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and federal statutes.

The existence of the program exposes as lies previous statements made by Bush and Hayden, following last December's exposure of a secret NSA program to intercept and monitor international telephone calls and emails. At that time, Bush and Hayden said that the NSA was targeting only communications from or to countries outside the US and strictly limiting the spying to communications involving known terrorist suspects.

Beneath the headline "Poll: Most Americans Support NSA's Efforts," the

FOR THE REST GO TO:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/may2006/phon-m13.shtml

Posted by: CHE | May 13, 2006 04:01 PM


http://www.waynemadsenreport.com/

May 12, 2006 -- GOP Scandal Scorecard Updated with Republican Kentucky Gov. Ernie Fletcher's indictment late yesterday on 3 counts. He joins fellow GOP Governor Bob Taft of Ohio in the criminal docket.
The Republican governor's criminal chain gang gets a little longer. Kentucky's Fletcher (right) joins Ohio's Taft (left) in criminal court. An idea for the location of the next Republican National Convention: Alcatraz.

Posted by: che | May 13, 2006 05:28 PM

"fuel garbage gets over and done with."

Newsflash. It will never be over and done with until we are so efficient at producing alternate power that Saudi Arabia and Venezeula and Nigeria are begging us to buy their oil, and they bottom out the price to make oil cheaper in order to tempt us to abandon our alternate energy sources

So long as the Bush dynasty is in charge in Washington we will never truly develop alternate energy sources.

But Bert is right. The Dubai ports deal taught us that WE the PEOPLE, when we use our voice, are stronger than the Bush special interests.

That begs the question - WHY THE HELL AREN'T WE USING OUR VOICE?

Posted by: Constitution | May 13, 2006 06:19 PM

they say we can't hear you or, that's not what you're saying...


in response to:

"WHY THE HELL AREN'T WE USING OUR VOICE?"

like who the eff asked bush to send the National Guard to the border?

I asked him to arrest federal people that used illegals on their property or companies...


like check out all of the congress people, people from the executive branch, judicial branch and so forth...


I know for a fact that there's congress people from New Mexico, and some from Georgia, and some from....Rhode Island...


that own properties or invest in them that hire illegals as a preference because they can get two or three for the price of one American....but they live on tax dollars, as they give your jobs away....


outsource USA, that's the congressinal motto,


long as we get a cut you can have your way with "liberty,"


check out the difference between the Bill of Rights and the Patriot Act...which by definition should have the executive branch held in prison waiting to be extradited to the Hague for "occupation/terrorist/war/false flag attacks," crimes...

.

Posted by: because when you do, | May 13, 2006 07:47 PM

i do not have time to think about this. if i stop to smell the roses, the fat cat raking in millions on tax cuts will dole out my job to an immigrant he can further exploit.

Posted by: worker bee | May 14, 2006 02:03 AM

listening to a rerun of Meet the Press, Newt is banging the drum for war in Iran...do you want to wait until we lose TelAviv and Jerusalem?

I guess now that Newt's no longer in Congress that he can plaragize.

We have to get rid of these SOB's. Iran is a big problem and we can't trust these clowns to deal with it. We can't afford to have Iran come out like Iraq.

Posted by: | May 14, 2006 10:24 PM

David Brooks: "In the political world, we're seeing a conservatism that emphasizes freedom give way to a conservatism that emphasizes authority. "

Duh, he just defined fascism. Wake up and smell the coffee

Posted by: | May 14, 2006 11:53 PM

Probably a dead topic but I'm of the opinion that when annual deficits reach 500 billion you have to increase taxes AND lower spending. Immediately.

If anyone disagrees I'd like to hear what would/could possibly be an "inappropriate" amount of annual government deficits. 1 trillion? 2 trillion? 4 quadrillion billion bajillion?

Cutting taxes during war is unpatriotic.

Posted by: Will | May 15, 2006 12:06 PM

Having read the article on the disproportionate benefits of the overall tax cuts and having done some small researching on my own, I've come to the conclusion that the American way isn't working for the vast majority of its citizens. DUH, this has been patently obvious for a number of years. The ideology that says lift yourself by your bootstraps is admirable but the greater population doesn't get anywhere even after toiling and grinding their whole lives trying to improve their living standards, lifestyles, and prospects for their children.
As quite a few posts have stated, the supply side economic theory is not working because from all available evidence it only increases the wealth of the top 20 % of the population - none of that trickles down. The policies that have been implemented since Bush TOOK office have not been directed towards relieving the burden on even middle income families much less those with lower income.
The wealthy and ultra wealthy have not put hardly any of the money they have received back into the economic system. Instead they have hoarded their wealth and sought ways to increase it even further, investing it not in this country but overseas and on personal luxuries. Meanwhile through the mismanagement of an ill conceived war, billions are wasted by contractors who being cronies of the current administration are lining their pockets with our tax dollars. The waste, fraud, and abuse of the "War on Terror" is almost with out parallel in this era. There are massive expenditures for work that is redundant, not done, and/or over-charged. I'm not surprised that those things are happening concurrently.
This well-nigh criminal abuse of power used for self enrichment (It will be interesting to see who gets what positions after they leave office) and cronyism will quite probably be the straw that breaks the camels back. Even though America is resilient and equally strong in spirit among its citizens, the misuse of the public funds can in my opinion create the conditions to topple our nation. I can almost foresee this happening in the life time of this generation. If it isn't shear irresponsibility then it must be that there is some intentional motivation behind it. The prerogatives involved may have an agenda that is not in harmony with the best interests of the citizens they purport to serve. As a matter of fact I don't think I have heard rhetoric by the principles to the effect that this is to benefit the common good.

Posted by: Amp-8 | May 19, 2006 01:22 PM

I agree with you Will. Taxes should be raised, at least for the top 10 percent who received all the benefits of the tax cuts.

Posted by: Amp-8 | May 19, 2006 01:25 PM

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