Sunday February 1, 2015
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I think we can all learn something from a few great words spoken during Mitt Romney's concession speech last night.
When he spoke those words they brought the loudest cheers of the night. Were his supporters cheering because he spoke of issues, of politics, of a one-sided view of America? Were they cheering because he was bitter, angry, and uncompromising after a loss in a hard-fought election?
No! They cheered because he spoke like an American, like someone who understands what this nation is all about. He said, "The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this we can't risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the permanent work; we citizens also have to rise to the occasion."
He was speaking of the most fundamental truth in a continuing experiment that is the United States of America, the essence of Democracy: Having had a chance to have our say at the ballot box we are committed to support the result. Otherwise, Democracy cannot work. Think about it; isn't it true that if Mitt Romney had won you would have wanted those who lost to put aside their differences and work toward the common good?
Another American responded to the words of Mitt Romney. Here's what he said:
"Democracy in a nation of 300 million can be noisy and messy and complicated. We have our own opinions. Each of us has deeply held beliefs. And when we go through tough times - when we make big decisions as a country - it necessarily stirs passions, stirs up controversy. That won't change after tonight, and it shouldn't."
"Whether I earned your vote or not," President Obama added, "I have listened to you, I have learned from you, and you made me a better president."
On June 16, 1858, Abraham Lincoln spoke a few words which had profound meaning in his day, and may even mean more to us in our day.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand."
In his time, Lincoln's words fell on deaf ears, with sad and terrible results. You and I have had 154 years to learn from the mistakes of that day, but have we learned? Can we work together and get something done?
We can. If we try. That's all it takes. We are, after all, agreed on what we want this nation to be; we only differ in how to get it that way.
There may be 300 million of us, but if Mitt Romney and Barack Obama are great hearted enough to set aside their differences and work together, why can't you and I do the same?
Your living in a fantasy world that no longer exists. Here is my take and I ain't alone.
No, more Mr. nice guy for me. No more demuring in a conversation when Obama is bought up by some nimrod. I reject him, his agenda for my country, and those who support him. Yes, I _ _ half of my fellow Americans. The 50% living off of the Govt. _ _ and my hard earned tax dollars. I am angry at myself for being lulled into complacency buy self serving professional politicians pandering to the current flavor of special interest groups. I _ _ _ the illegal alien invasion that started 20+ years ago that had their anchor babies who now vote in my country's elections and promote values foreign to me. I _ _ the lieing liberal media who actively support the current socialist agenda buy their incidious political reporting or intentional failure to report the truth. And, I _ _ the coward citizens in my country who stand silently by doing nothing about any of this for fear of confrontation, criticisim, or petty self interest. What can I do you say? I can resist, obstruct, and confront as necessary. I will not buy into the empty promise of compromise and coming together. It's a lie, and it no longer exists for me. The facts and actions of many have proven this. I will not go silently into the night wringing my hands and be content sending email's just to like minded friends and family. If this offends those who receive it, then I applaud you in your deceptions. The sleepers have awakened.....
I will not be too happy if either side wins the presidency. Our congress has been so out of touch with the voting public that it seems like it is in a perpetual stalemate.
If the sleepers are awakened, they evidently did not go to the polls on Tuesday.
Nothing is gained from the refusal to thoughtfully compromise. The House of Representatives tried obstruction for 2 years. What did it get us? A Congress with the lowest rating. Did we get a budget? Did we get a plan to pay down the debt? We got nothing but the lowest rated Congress. It is time to work across party differences, it is time to ask not what is good for me or my party, but what is the best for the country.
Remember when JFK said, "Ask not what the country can do for you, but what you can do for the country."
We need to work to together. All sides need to compromise, if we are going to survive.
Bernice and Tom, couldn't agree more. Don, couldn't agree less.
I'm a life-long Republican, but I recognize that President Obama alone did not get us into the mess we're in right now economically. I agree that he did little in his first term to make matters better in terms of the national debt. Quite the opposite. But if you examine the progression of it, the previous two Bush administrations accounted for an awful lot of it with their forays into Iraq.
At any rate, I found it interesting that already the Speaker of the House and other Republicans are saying just what Tom did, that it's time to work together and fix the mess. I find that to be a very encouraging sign.
Let me preface what I am going to say over the next few days with this: I respect your opinions and always will because they are honest and straightforward. And I haven't the slightest doubt that what you said reflects the current opinion of a lot of Americans on both sides of the aisle. Not only that, you or anybody else can go back through the ten or eleven thousand posts I've put up and see where I stand on the specific issue you mentioned, as well as much of what you implied.
I am more than just a little surprised that the rest of you didn't also take my head off. I fully expected it. After all, today is only Thursday, two days after the election. Some anger and bitterness is natural.
I tell you, I am proud of you folks. It's easy to be negative about politics. It's a lot harder to try to solve problems by thinking about them.
I thought we might talk about one problem and a possible compromise. The Illegal Problem is always there, and always unsolved. Problems don't go away by putting patches on them. They go away when you address the roots of the problem. Would this proposed law do that? Would it be a fair and reasonable compromise?
The first part would eliminate "anchor babies," a major part of the problem. The last two parts would close the borders without the need to erect fences and massive numbers of border patrol agents. Once coming here illegally, or aiding and abetting an illegal to come here, or hiring illegals is a felony with a prison term our future problems will be reduced to almost nothing. The main problem today is the lack of any penalty.
The second through fourth parts would create a path to full citizenship for those who have been living here under our laws for a long enough period to demonstrate that they are the kind of people we welcome.
There are two reasons for the five year cut-off. One is that Congress works very slowly. If such a law were to discussed without a cut-off period we would be faced with a massive rush across the borders. The other is that living here for five years as a law-abiding person is reasonable proof that a person is "desirable."
I think we can find a path to compromise for most of our problems as long as we no longer use them as political footballs, don't you?
NO COMPROMISE !
Even if they have lived here 10 years. They did something illegal when they crossed the border without the proper papers. A law is a law. They broke it.
Send them and all thier kids back where they came from. We would have a lot more money to help the people who were born of citizen parents.
How do you think Obama got re-elected? Illegals voting.
If you insist on compromise make it 35 yrs.(:
Political footballs aren't needed anymore. On this point I tip my hat to Obama and the Dem's. They got it figured out. Obama is the Santa Claus President. Of course a majority will vote and keep him or his clone's, in policy leadership roles. He's giving out financial free stuff like mad and promiseing much more. Trouble is he's going to make the actual working and contributing 50% people pay for it while the rest kick back and enjoy. I am a registered Republican only because my wife made me! True....Lol...I consider myself really just an average Joe with strong conservative type values and not big on party identification. I refuse to compromise my core values just to get along. I suspect most of us posting on here are in our 60's plus. We are going to be gone before it all affects us down the road. But my kids and grandkids are my true concern. I care what kind of a country they will enjoy and have to pay for. I will fight for them. I want to hear your thoughts when the "O" in effect passes his alien Amnesty, (equals more new votes) appoints 2 supreme court justices, and passes his version of the new tax code. Oh, and the new restrictions on firearm ownership and the prohibitive tax on ammunition purchases. But, we will all be taken care of.
And, for Mr. Young. You are correct sir. Approximately 3 million regist. Republican voters sat out this election and did not vote! I don't know the answer as to why. Have they given up? Have they crossed over? Or are they disgusted with the whole process and the people involved in the whole system? Or ?????
I know all of you will be surprised that "liberal Bernice" says the following: I believe that English should be made the official language of the USA. I am very upset that our ballots are printed in both English and Spanish. I resent instructions that are given in both English and Spanish. Our country is a nation of immigrants -- immigrants who had to learn English in order to get ahead. Those of Hispanic background whose ancestors were here before the British all speak English. It is only recent Spanish speaking arrivals that speak Spanish. And, recent arrivals should learn the language of the country they want to live in as citizens.
So there, I have spoken.
"I am a registered Republican only because my wife made me!"
Made you do what? :-)
"I suspect most of us posting on here are in our 60's plus."
Make that a BIG plus for me.
All kidding aside, Don, we need a way to end the illegal problem. It will never go away until we find a long-term, practical, workable, inexpensive--and permanent!--solution to it.
Most people feel the same way about someone coming here without a visa, but the fact is that there are people here now who have been here all their lives, have obeyed the laws, have worked for what they got, and who only want to be part of our country. In that regard, they are no different from people who came here in earlier years--may family, perhaps yours. And many of the people who are illegals are people who were brought here by their parents when they were too young to do a thing about it. No matter what we do, you know as well as I do that when it comes to sending people back to places they have never seen isn't going to happen.
And yes, Pat, there are people I would very happily send back. You know me; I've said that many times before. But compromise means setting aside what we would think is the perfect solution and getting less than we would like to end something that just cannot be allowed to go on. So we give a little, the other side gives a little, and we put all this behind us.
Our nation has been through hard-fought battles like this before--many of them. In almost every case where the solution was not a compromise it was not a solution. Why? Because it did not address the root cause of the problem. We got into a civil war because we tried unrealistic compromises like letting one new state be a slave state and the next one be a free state, when everyone knew full well that the root cause of the problem was the fact that a nation that embraces freedom and liberty as its prime reason for existence has no room for slavery.
In the same manner, Congress has repeatedly failed to make it illegal to cross our borders without a visa or to overstay a temporary one. We are literally the only nation on the planet which does not have laws against such things, and we all know that the reason is pure politics. So we make a political compromise. Once we have a law in place the problem goes away, and the only way we are going to get that law is to take into consideration those who would be harmed by any other type of solution.
We have a choice: Do it with compromise or live with the problem forever. No Republican Congressman is going to vote himself out of office by passing the needed laws, nor is any Democrat going to do it.
What other solution is there?
I agree with almost all of what you said.
I would only change it very slightly. I would say it this way: Until we solve the illegal problem we are stuck with what we have. After we solve that problem there will be no great need for dual language forms after a few years. If we decide to produce them as a matter of courtesy for newly arrived legal immigrants then that's fine, but not for any other reason.
Took me some time, but I am once again posting on this blog. Sure you all missed me ;>0
Hope everyone is well. So much has happened since I completely left the World Wide Web in 2010 but I won't bore you with the details.
As a response to you opening post, I must say I lean towards agreement with Don Evans. Having said that, I will strive to be the optomist you and ohers are and pray for a positive outcome and future for our beloved country. Read an article , I think in The Washington Times , telling those on the losing side of Tuesday's election to get over it and appreciate that so many times in the past, both political parties have had their obituary written at one time or another, only to regain life and become viable once again. As I do agree with Don, these are times like we've never been in before. So the outcome could be vastly different both socially and politically, but America has a certain resilience and I am optimistically praying that it still retains that characteristic. Time will tell.
If you have access to todays Wall Street Journal (Friday 11-9) read the three major articles on the current trend in the USA with Hispanics. Both in job's, business ownership, and politics. They are leaving California in droves and other major magnet states. they are taking over towns and their economy's in the Mid West States! A real eye opener. I know the PC description word is Immigrants. I say BS, they are Illegal Aliens or, my word Economic Invaders. They bring and MAINTAIN the 3rd world culture and values and the majority really don't care about assimilating. I'm sorry their home country is so corrupt and economicly challanged but they should be the ones to fix that, not our tax dollars, not our schools, not our medical system. They demand the USA change to accomodate their wants. Our Immigation system should be called our open borders system. They are outbirthing us here 3 to 1. Ahhh but what a bank of future voters. They find an average of $2,500 to pay coyotes to get here. Ok, charge them $2,500 each, up front to get a two year work visa, apply and get in line for citizenship. If not, bye bye. And those who say it can't be done logisticly or be cost effective, bunk. Eisenhower did it in 1956, called it operation wet back. About once a month a large freighter ship with illegals transported them way down to the bottom of Mexico and they disembarked. The illegal tide was stopped for a considerable time by those efforts. It can be done. No, I'm not a racist or cold hearted. I'm tired of the pander politic and gutless wonders all bobing and weaving trying to avoid the topic.
I almost forgot. The majority of "tax free" cash wages made in the US. It goes back to Mexico yearly to the tune of $15 billion dollars! Food stamps, free education, in state tuition, medical care, no one hassels you to leave, and your kids get automatic citizenship and can vote. And a new prez who will say, come on down, bring the whole extended family. What a deal!
Ron, what was the thing or things that led to your return. You had been quite convincing about giving it up forever, or so I thought.
I won't go into that much detail but my severe hearing loss necessitated my getting back on the "Internet" to facilitate some services that make my life easier. Trust me. It was a real "gut search" deciding whether or not to re-join this blog. It will also challege the heck out of me to not repeat my demeanor and behavior of the past, but I need that challenge if I'm ever going to "grow up".
I spent my career in SoCal so I know a little about the "illegal" situation, particularly in that state, and as I've been here for going on 16 years it's starting to look very familiar here as well. In my day they had the "Bracero" program that provided the huge Central and Imperial Valleys agricultural industries with their cheap stoop laborers. That program went the way of the Hoola-hoop when the state government caved to "special interest groups" plus suddenly realizing the boon to their potential voter base if they simply looked the other way as to the illegality of the situation. As I was in the Fire Service (read that as EMT/Paramedic) I personally witnessed the burden that approach had on the emergency services such as Police, Fire, and especially hospital emergency rooms. School class sizes also burgeoned along with the demands on welfare, food stamps, etc. Look, all this is public record and the stats and facts are out there for anyone that is really interested in the truth.
Having said all that, I have family, and numerous friends that are of of Hispanic extraction and I know their general feeling regarding the "illegal" issue. It is not that much different from most here. Like the NAACP, CORE, the Congressional Black Caucus and all the other African-American special interest groups, LaRAZA, MALDEF, the ACLU, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus represent the "illegals" and their anchor babies. As we have to accept that we are no longer "the majority" in many regions of this country ,as was demonstrated last Tuesday, we will have to acknowledge that the battle is all uphill for us when it comes to this issue. I see where even the Speaker of the House and even Shawn Hannity are getting soft towards amnesty. It's all about politics. Nothing more. I think that has been adequately demonstrated by the plight of the blacks in America. They simply became slaves to a different plantation after the Civil War. The Hispanics will probably join them as well. Was a heck of ride while it lasted, eh?
Welcome back Ron!!!
Yep, I'm back. As I indicated to Bernice, I have every intention of being more civil and thoughtful about my posts.I probably used the wrong terms regarding the "grow up" comment, more like maturing my civil discourse skills. Never too old to learn. Say Hi! to Mike.
You are too adorable!!! You know the saying, "I may have to get older, but I refuse to grow up!!" I too have learned to play a little nicer; as well as pick my battles. My blood pressure can't take so much consternation. Besides, now that I know how nice you are, I can't fight with you like before!! Hope you are enjoying this awesome weather and Mike sais hi back, Tell Brenda we say hi!
Welcome back, Ron!
As to the problem with illegals, I agree entirely with almost all of what you say. No one can be allowed to change America. And to be allowed to do it by entering the country illegally is madness. I have ranted and raved about the problem for years, right her on this forum.
My only thought of compromise, is NOT compromise between us and the illegals. It is a way that GOP and DEM can compromise to get the problem solved. We need to stop the flow. We need to make it illegal to come here illegally (it sounds ridiculous to have to put it that way). We need to consider the poor kids who had nothing to do with being dragged here by their parents (and there a LOT of them). And we need to rid ourselves of the criminal element mixed in with what are other than the way they came here good people we would welcome if they had visas. And we need to find a way to do it that will be passed by Congress and signed by the President.
The political reality is that our goals can only be achieved through a compromise between the two parties. If either of the parties dares to go it alone it will lose such a large percentage of the voting public that it will take a decade or more to recover.
So, once again, I ask you all to look at the points of the suggested compromise and to ask yourselves if they appear fair and workable.
The alternative? All I can see is more of the same thing we have seen now for four decades. I sincerely do not think that is working.
"Hope you are enjoying this awesome weather..."
I was outside yesterday raking up pine straw in a frosty gale (which was blowing the right direction to make it easier). Just for the halibut, what's your definition of "awesome?" :-)
Hi Tom, Hope all is well with you.
As is so often the case, the issues this country faces are numerous and profound. One hardly knows where to start. Many cannot even agree on which problems should take priority. Once again, their opinions are of the "take care of my issues first" type. As you and others have intimated in your views, the overwhelming issue this nation must address if any of those numerous problems are ever going to get resolution, is to get the nation "United" again. As an old Cold Warrior, I was well trained on the political ideology of this nation's , therefore my, enemy (Soviet Union at that time), and I see a similar ideology at play in our political arena today. Seems I'm fighting the same "enemy" all over again. This time it's not called Communism per se, it's now called Progressive/ Socialism and it appear about half of this nation's citizens have bought into that ideology. If I were still as reactive in my later years as I was back then, I could fairly state that those citizens are my avowed enemies, as they want to take over this country and fundamentally change it. That means every aspect of our relationship would be advisarial and hostile. No quarter asked, none given. Literally a fight to the death. Last one standing wins.
I recall a moment in 1960 during one of those "Know your Enemy" training/indoctrination events. They provided a quote from the Premier Nikita Khrushev to wit " We (Soviet Union) will not have to defeat America through force of arms, we will conquer it from within as their very system will permit it." Wise little fat "Commie" that man.
As you might imagine, I am rather conflicted as to how to respond to the current socio/political environment I find myself in, but I know I have to take a slow, calculated and well thought out approach if anything. In the mean time I am simply a casual observer (with VERY strong opinions).
Sorry Tom, I guess I am a bit of a weirdo...I LOVE this kind of weather. I really, really dislike being hot. When I am cold, I can always build a fire, turn up the heat, put on a sweater, socks, a hat, or snuggle up in a blanket, but when I am hot, even if I am ...well...unclothed, I am still ...ummm well, not "hot" but, too warm. And trust me, unclothed is NOT hot! Oh shoot, suffice it to say that I just love this kind of weather, cold, windy, snowy...Yes!! I am happy!!
Hi, Ron. It's good to have you back.
It's interesting that you touch on so many things that are on my mind all the time. Over the past two years I have bought and read I don't know how many books on U. S. history, biographies and autobiographies of political figures, inside stories written by people in the White House, biographies of journalists, books on the Cold War, books on the Middle East, and Lord knows what else.
Add to that an almost equal amount of reading on world exploration and the history and the politics of other nations, and so on, and the result is a massive quantity of hard facts. For example, I've just finished reading a biography of Nikita and his own autobiography, which reveals things we would never have imagined, such as the fact that had Ike given the French the carrier (air) support they asked for there would never have been a Vietnam War. Uncle Ho had been driven back almost to the Chinese Border, was ready to quit, and the Chinese refused to help him because they had taken such a beating in Korea. That's something to make you really think.
In depth reading gets you into a kinds of knowledge pools you never suspected existed, I am, for example, involved at the moment in reading over 1,500 pages (3 books) of the life of Benedict Arnold. It is amazing how different history looks when you read the day to day details. It's as thought you were peeking through a keyhole before and someone has opened the door.
The result of all that is an in-depth understanding of what government is, how conflicts arise, how they have played out in the past, and their root causes. Some of what is hurting us is inherent in a Democracy; a man or woman can do nothing to serve the nation unless he or she stays in office. That places too much control in the hands of the extremists, who use it to prevent the normal give-and-take of government.
That's the worst possible situation; it results is a swinging of the pendulum--first too far in one direction, and then too far in the other. Both ends of the political spectrum are destructive. I am NOT a middle of the road type. That's pap. But I believe that both ends of the spectrum reflect strongly held beliefs that were a part of this nation in its beginning and should always be that way, and that if we do not shut our eyes to the value of all points of view we can only lose.
Hell, this has been going on since the first human piled two mud bricks on top of each other, realized he could build a place to keep himself out of the rain, built it, found out a friend needed a place to get out of the rain too, and had to make up his mind how much of what he had he was willing to share. I always think of this WWII poem written by Ogden Nash:
How courteous is the Japanese,
He always says excuse it please.
He climbs into his neighbor's garden,
And bows and says I beg your pardon.
He bows and grins and friendly grin,
And calls his hungry family in,
He grins and bows a friendly bow,
So sorry, this my garden now.
Learned that in high school (1945).
You know the cause of all this? Success in living things is reproducing. It's the nature of the beast. We find a place where there are "unlimited" resources. Then we reproduce to the point where what was once plentiful is now in short supply. Then we scrap over it.
The solution, the bottom line solution, is to face up to the fact that we can't keep on making more humans forever. Sooner or later we'll end up with one square foot apiece. When we face that fact, and slowly, fairly, and without coercion reduce the world population back to what it was in 1920 (2 billion; it's now 7 billion) we'll all have jobs, we'll all have what we need, we'll still have rich and non-rich, we'll still have thriving private enterprise, and we won't have to worry about pollution because...pollution r'us.
I used to be a snow bunny myself, but I'm not quite so crazy about it these days.
Nevertheless, I was genuinely enjoying myself out there yesterday, raking away, toting pine straw across the yard and piling it up, and just generally working my butt off. I started out with a little hooded jacket on and ended up in my shirt sleeves.
Work is good for you. It feels so honest, so useful, so right!
Keeps you healthy too. And happy.
Oddly enough, we talked about all kinds of things, but never about the original subject, namely: What would be the elements of a discussion of compromise on one major issue?
IF we were going to sit down and compromise, would these elements of the discussion be the right ones? Do they go too far? Not far enough? What should be added? What should be changed? Is each of them reasonable? Which ones do you agree with? And so on.
Repeal the law which bestows citizenship upon a child born to a non-resident.
Allow all current illegal residents who can present evidence of having been here for five or more years to register as potential citizens.
From the date of registration collect income or other taxes.
Create a path to citizenship for those who have registered and who have a clean record, both here and in their nation of origin.
Make it a felony for a foreign national to be within the United States without a valid visa.
Make it a felony to hide, to knowingly hire, or to aid and abet any foreign national in an attempt to enter or stay illegally within the United States.
Tom, I'll have a go.
1. Law was initally enacted to provide "dual citizenship" to foreign diplomats. Simply apply it to those it was directed towards, not people who broke the law.
Applies a statute of limitations to the crime of illegal entry and sends the message " Dodge justice long enough and you will not be punished for your violation of the law, but actually rewarded"!
Would only be applicable if No. 2 were acceptable.
That path already exists. Admittedly it is long and can be frustrating, but it clearly already exists or we now would not be the nation of immigrants that we are.
I really don't know if that would be any more of a deterrent to those already committed to ignoring the existing law and all it's inherent challenges. Although some frequently point to illegal entry as a minor crime, those illegals, almost to a person, immediately commit velonies via identity theft and document fraud, both of which are felonies in most jurisdictions.
Would favor that. The "Gorilla in the room" as applies to this whole amnesty debate is the United States Chamber of Commerce. They have long advocated behind the scenes for lax border enforcement and visa overstay enforcement on behalf of their members. This to provide cheap, exploitable labor to enhance those businesses "bottom lines" and to stick it to the unions that have negotiated all the wages and benefits contracts for American (legal) workers that so many businesses struggle with meeting and still provide dividends to their shareholders.
Sorry the numbering came out all discombobulated when I hit "Post Comment". I think you'll get the gist however.
Tom, I agree with governor Brewer, who today advised the Feds. to begin immigration reform by sealing the borders. That brings us back to the reality that no nation is such if it does not control its borders. I think that the Feds ought to then institute a serious registration of all workers who are not citizens. Third, begin a program of issuing Green Cards to all workers who sign up for them - 2 year length. Third, begin to register all illegals. Fourth, then and only then begin to solve the question of what to do with 11 or 12 million illegals. Do NOT reward illegals with cheap citizenship.
"Applies a statute of limitations to the crime of illegal entry and sends the message " Dodge justice long enough and you will not be punished for your violation of the law, but actually rewarded"!"
Sorry. Didn't make it clear enough. Was meant to be a one-time thing, with no possibility of a future repetition. The reason for the five year residence was to keep people from pouring across the borders when they heard that Congress was working on some kind of path to citizenship. If we didn't do that we'd have half the world here.
"That path already exists. Admittedly it is long and can be frustrating, but it clearly already exists or we now would not be the nation of immigrants that we are."
Only for someone who is in his home nation. I am speaking only of people who are already here. I do NOT want to change the immigration laws. I think they are fine as they are.
"I really don't know if that would be any more of a deterrent to those already committed to ignoring the existing law and all it's inherent challenges."
Interesting point. I'd like to see it a felony with a long prison term instead of what we have now, which is just to send them home without any form of punishment. All they do is try it again that way.
"Would favor that. The "Gorilla in the room..."
Right! And that's why we need stiff punishment for anyone who breaks our laws.
As for the numbering, I run into the same problem all the time. It was easy enough to see what you were talking about.
What you say makes sense, as does what Ron said.
You know what the main point is?
Once we get talking about doing something about the problem, and looking at it detail by detail, we can get it solved. What we have going on right now is two parties that are doing nothing (except selling out with bits and pieces of legislation intended to gather votes). It may turn out that each of us may not get everything he wants, but if we get the main thing: N O--M O R E-- I L L E G A L S ! we can all pat ourselves on the back for having done a good job.
You know what amazes me?
The fact that John Boehner, one of the most conservative Representatives I have ever seen in my life, is ringing the bell of compromise. If HE is willing to talk, then I find it hard to see why anyone wouldn't be willing.
I'll just throw one other thing in. It's off the subject so I'll put it up as a separate post.
This really ought to be a separate string, but because it is the kind of thinking that will kill any chance of compromise on major issues, I'll put it here.
Here's the opening of a CBS News report:
"In the aftermath of Mitt Romney's presidential loss last week, Newt Gingrich is joining the cadre of Republicans calling for the Republican Party to more actively reach out to a more diverse electorate, arguing on Monday that the party needs to become more 'inclusive.'"
Can you see what's wrong with that? What it means is "find ways to get more women, blacks, hispanics, and so on in the GOP." How do you do that? Two ways: Either change the core beliefs of the Republican Party or write pandering legislation like the laws that already make the borders more porous that they already are. That's what has been going on since Day One, with all the talk that Ron obviously despises when he talks about the "Gorilla in the room."
Politicians have to put aside the "election mentality" on both sides of the aisle and start thinking about what they got elected to do.
Let me say this about the "illegal immigration" issue. I spent some time in Mexico and except for the border cities I love that place and it's people. I know very well the condittions those people are trying to escape from and simply seeking a better life for themselves. Were I locked in down there I would be looking at ways of getting into El Norte' myself. Those that are currently in this country that came here "illegally", regardless of how long ago that was, have pretty much spit in the face of those fellow Mexicans standing in line and being patient to do it the right (legal) way. ANY amnesty or path to citizenship rewards them for their misconduct of "line-jumping". In all fairness, I think the government should deport every single one here illegally and fill their void with someone in Mexico who has been standing in line for years. And any semblance of rewarding those illegally here will in and of itself, open the floodgates to even more "illegals" rightfully expecting the same treatment.
I believe it is imperative we seal our national borders, both North and South, Left and Right. We must have absolute control of those entering this nation for whatever reason, especially in this new world of terrorism. And I don't buy into the excuse that we simply cannot roundup 12 million "illegals" and send them back to their country of origin. We could do it in short order if their was a national will to do so. I'll leave this topic for now. I have nothing else to offer.
As to the 2nd topic you ended with, I agree wholeheartidly. All I have heard since the election is how the GOP must "change" in order to win elections in the future. That is "spin speak" for either compromising your core principles or flushing them completely. By the way, I am not registered either GOP or Democrat even though at times I have been in both partys.
To me , as you might imagine with my Marine Corps background, sound principles and integrity are at the core of who I desire to be. I want to speak the truth in love, and not couch my views in political correctness or in fear of that truth hurting someone's feelings. I want to call right "Right" and wrong "Wrong". I have changed my views on various topics over time when it seemed right to do so. I am susceptable to emotional intransigence as others on this forum can vouch for, but at age 70 I have pretty much established my world view from personal experience and observation and am not likely to alter it much. A person has to stand for something or they stand for nothing. I know that is an old, well worn cliche', but the truth usually is induring, whether it convicts us or not.
The political arena in the US today is more akin to a "Super Bowl" every 4 years than it is like the governmental purpose identified and described in this nation's founding documents. I often think of Vince Lombardi's admonition, "Winning is everything, period". We're a nation so divided we look like two separate cheering sections sitting on opposite sides of an arena while "our" team plays smash face with the opponents. This is NOT a characteristic of the country I grew up in, but it may definately be the face of the New America.
"I think the government should deport every single one here illegally..."
Back when the problem was small I used to say the same thing, but the parties have let it drag on for so long that we now have some people who you might agree deserve an exception. See if you agree with this: "There's a young man down in Florida who was brought here by his parents twenty years ago. After having gone through American schools, and lived like an American all his life, he has just completed a law degree. He would like to be admitted to the bar and continue his life...here, of course, the only place he knows. Would you say it was fair to make an exception for him?
"And any semblance of rewarding those illegally here will in and of itself, open the floodgates to even more "illegals" rightfully expecting the same treatment."
There, I honestly disagree with you. The reason illegals are here is not because we fail to close our borders but because there is no penalty for coming here illegally. There is no law against it. Make the law, start rounding up people and sticking them in prison, and watch the line going back across the border.
And now, off the subject...
"with my Marine Corps background..."
I had forgotten that. Did you make it to the celebration on the 3rd? I was invited, and wanted very much to go, but it takes two trained people to take care of Lolly now and there was no way for me to get out of the house.
One reason I wanted to be there was because Lolly and I, back when she could talk, always spoke of the the way we missed meeting each other just a few days before we met in 1959. She was there at the ball the Marine security guards at the embassy in Karachi threw every year and so was I, but there were 400 people there and we didn't meet. We always spoke of how close we came to never meeting.
Colonel Guelich had asked me if I had a dinner jacket as I rode into Karachi from the airfield the day I arrived (I believe it was the 3rd of Nov). That came as a surprise.
"Sergeant Garrett," he asked right out of the blue, "have you got a dinner jacket?"
I had bought six suits (on the Air Force) for my tour (we could not wear uniforms because of the mission*). I think my answer was, "Huh?"
So he got his tailor to come see me and get me outfitted.
So there I was, all resplendent in my dinner jacket that night but Lolly and I missed each other.
It was 7:30 in the evening of Wednesday, 18 Nov 1959, that we met, just a week and a day after the Marine ball. A friend in the code room room asked me, "Hey, Tom. How'd you like to meet a couple of nice British girls?"
I wasn't about to say no. It was love at first sight. And I was no kid. I was 27.
By the way, I'm reading a very detailed biography of Benedict Arnold where the author made an interesting mistake just a few pages back. We are approaching the battle of Valcour Island (on Lake Champlain) where Arnold has put together a sort of inland navy, and the author says that he should be given credit for the formation of the Corps since the men he trained as marines were the first in the Continental forces. He's wrong, of course. The battle was fought in the fall of 1776. Arnold was a year late.
**The mission was support of the U-2 program. We wore civilian clothes so that the people there would not realize there were so many Air Force people in the city. We had something like four or five staff houses full of men. The officers wore uniforms, though, because there were only five of them, and so did the Marine security guards. Up on the base in Peshawar, where the birds flew from, the men wore uniforms because it was a Security Service base and the U-2 people just blended in with everyone else. The pilots were, of course, civilians--CIA. There were spooks all over the place in the embassy. In fact, the man who set up my office was a CIA man named Andrew Ness. Maybe Eliot's brother? :-)
"The reason illegals are here is not because we fail to close our borders but because there is no penalty for coming here illegally."
Two points of contention. I feel they pay a very severe "penalty" for coming here. First, they have to leave their families, then they have to pay a sizable amount of money to some "coyote" and run the gamut of predators who prey on those folks. They are at continual risk from many elements South of the border and then they become victimized by some of those same elements North of the border. Once here they have to live in the shadows and are constantly looking over their sholders for "La Migra". These people know those risks, costs, and penalties for what they decide to do, yet they still do it in numbers we have yet to fully calculate. It is pure "Risk Analysis" on their part. Plus any "punishment" they may recieve on this side of the border for breaking some new ,more severe law, often still puts them in an environment better and safer than that they are trying to escape.. I agree with the making of "illegal" entry" a felony, just don't think it will be any more of a deterrant than all the other difficulties they face once embarked on their journey.
The second point is based on the experience of both Israel currently and East Germany during the Cold War. Although East Germany sealed the border to keep people in,which was highly successful although not 100%. Israel's sealed border has effectively stopped the incursion of terrorists into their country. Now those same terrorists have to launch rockets from afar to do what they used to do via infiltration. A sealed/secure border is in fact a very, very strong obstacle to the movement of people, in either direction. Not 100% but still effective. And before you bring it up, I know the difference between the distances both East Germany and Israel had to "seal" as opposed the miles this nation's border consist of. Still doable if the will is there.
If these illegals have 2 or 3 thousand dollars to pay the coyotes, where did they get and if they have that much why leave Mexico?
You have asked a question that has always been on my mind. In interviews I've seen with apprehended border crossers, they say they sometimes pay $5 to $7 K to be smuggled into this country. I think the amount charged is determined on where the final destination is. If it's the Northeast, the the risks of apprehension are greater therefore the costs are greater to get them there. Many become "drug mules" for the cartels to cover the costs of getting brought over the border. I've personally viewed trail camera footage gotten by folks who used to hunt in the hunt units near Nogales. That Ms. Napalitano can claim the border is more secure than it has ever been is patently a lie. The situation is so out of hand in the Southeast corner of our state that the Game & Fish Department has warned folks about even thinking about hunting in those units.
I think you misunderstood my question.
Where do the people that are crossing getting thier money to pay the coyotes to bring them across the border? If they are so broke, did they rob a bank first?
The distance they are going is not what I am talking about or the price really.
Where did they get the money?
The Republican Party does not have to change its core values in order to be attractive to a broader base. All they need to do is stand away and disown the crazies like "women can shut that thing down Todd Akin" and the rest of them that are akin to Akin. They also need to learn the value of compromise. Many saw the Republican Party as the party of obstruction and the reason nothing got done. Signing a pledge not to raise taxes even before you are elected and know the full story. Tomfoolery!!!
What the Republican Party needs to do is examine its core values and return to them.
There are many who voted for what they believed to be the "lesser of 2 wrongs."
If it served any purpose whatsoever, I would revisit the views voiced by many on this blog regarding how the Democrats were simply doing what was necessary to stop the radical agenda of that evil President George Bush during his tenure. Heck, the GOP controlled Congress was even threatening to use the "Nuclear option" to get past an entrenched Democratic minority. Now , all of a sudden, that same approach by the GOP is somehow "obstructionist" and wrong . Even to the degree that "Dingy" Harry Reid is threatening to change Senate rules to prohibit the very rules they themselves used when the shoe was on the other foot. Talk about rampant hypocracy! I said back in "W's" administration, when he was being vilified and made fun of by the Left and most of the MSM, that there are people "going to school" on the treatment of "W" and Conservatives as a group and that those critics could expect that same type of treatment, in spades, of their President and party, when they gained control, and justifiably so. What goes around, comes around. You reap what you sow and the hate from the Left wasn't simply political disagreement. it was visceral and rabid hate. Any further chance of bipartisanship, compromise, or centrist thought was killed shortly after Obama assumed office and told the GOP leadership, "Get over it, I won, you lost". In essence, We'll do whatever we please. I give you ObamaCare as proof. Shoved down the throats of a disapproving citizenry. Remember the Town Hall meetings? The 2010 election changed the equation somewhat, but our nation's leadership is totally impotent and self- serving.
That's just my take on it, your milage may vary. Hope you are doing well.
Geez!!! Now people in some of the red states are signing petitions to be submitted to the President asking to secede from the union. If he doesn't agree, does that mean we have another civil war? First it was the birther thing, then it was the Affordable Health Care Act, then Donald Trump wanted the president to reveal his school records, etc.
Come on all this _)(&)&&^ just is keeping us away from solving the country's real problems. Like how to pay off the national debt, how to create more jobs and get more people out of poverty, how to stop the hemorage of jobs to China, etc.
That cliff that the Repubicans talked about is getting closer and closer. Time to set aside differences, roll up the sleeves and get to work solving problems rather than think up some more tomfoolery.
Secede from the union????????????????????????? Well, that idea deserves another
I have been reading the posts with interest. Many of us feel much the same about the results of the election- angry, confused, vengeful, and so on. I am still pondering the ramifications of the current power split between House and Senate and Executive. What initial thoughts do I have about the results? Wall Street has spoken (if you watch the Market). I still believe that the track we are on is harmful in many ways and, like many of us, I see our traditional value patterns being destroyed by new voting blocks. In regard to the Republican Party rushing to find ways to be more inclusive : I am reminded of how my mother would tell me how going to the Doctor to get "shots" was good for me. I did not think so! Now an assemblage of folks are telling the Rupublican Party that it should change. It will be good for you. In closing, I wonder if immediately after eating the apple of knowledge in the Garden of Eden, Eve asked God if they could not just used to it?? There are things that are just plain wrong.
"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. "
Exerpt from the Declaration of Independence
Some still have a very strong belief in the tenents of our Founding documents, others not so much.
"I believe it is imperative we seal our national borders, both North and South, Left and Right."
Ron, there is no doubt that where we have a border problem we need to look at it and do what we can about it, but a "sealed" border is beyond the realm of possibility. I know of no border in history which has been sealed, not even the USSR, with its massive guard towers every hundred yards, multiple lines of barbed wire, dead zones, informers, dogs, searchlights, and hundreds of thousands of soldiers told to shoot first and ask questions afterward could close its borders. I've read I do not know how many books about people passing through guarded borders. One good one is "The Long Walk," where 8 Russians walked right across the USSR, China, and India from Siberia. They did is at the time that the borders between China and the USSR were supposed to be impregnable in either direction. Even under Hitler, Germany could not seal its borders. The CIA walked through the borders of German as though they didn't exist.
Again, I say that where we have a problem we need to look at it--hard! Especially where we have border towns. But a sealed border? I don't think so.
Far better to change the lax laws that allow people to come here. Right now an alien does not break any criminal American law to come here, or to simply obtain a visitor's visa and overstay it; he or she is only in violation of rules that assume that if you are told to go home you'll do it. We do send then home; they just come back.
It is simplistic perhaps to mention the old "carrot and the stick," but one look at what is going on shows that we have the carrot--big time!--and no stick. No punishment. No reason for not trying it again. The first thing we have to do is make it a felony to be here without a valid visa. And of course, a felony to aid and abet an illegal alien in any way.
I would do those two things before anything else other than changing the citizenship law for a child born here. Look at what happened when Arizona first passed HB 1070. The flow of aliens across the border into Arizona slowed down from a flood to a trickle when the only threat we had made was that we would find them and send them home. Think of how much more effective it would be to tell them that we are going to find them and stick them in prison for a few years. That's the weak point in our borders: The WELCOME sign that adds, "Come and in and stay a while."
You are dead right. Those in line to come here legally should get a chance to do it, but those who try it any other way should know that when caught they will be tried, convicted, and imprisoned.
Look, if we removed the penalties for theft what would happen to crime in this country? It's the same thing: No penalty; no deterrent.
As to the political comments, consider this story carried in a moderate Seattle newspaper, "In a conference call Wednesday afternoon with his national finance committee, Romney said that the president had followed the "old playbook" of wooing specific interest groups..."
You could easily go out and find other newspapers saying exactly the same thing from the opposite direction. All you would have to do is switch the position of "Romney" and "the president" in the sentence; EG: "In a conference call Wednesday afternoon... the president said that Romney had followed the "old playbook" of wooing specific interest groups..."
Effectively, what Newt Gingrich is saying that Mitt Romney lost because he DIDN'T do what the Democrats did. And the political pundits are saying the same or similar things. And they are all FOR changing that. (That's what "being more inclusive" means.)
What's wrong with the country at the moment? We have two parties which are fighting with each other to see how much they can give away, to which special interests, to win votes instead of solving problems.
We need people who will forget about politics for a change, look at our problems, and at least TRY to solve them. Waving the flag while you slip gifts to the rich or the poor, the legals or the illegals, the educated or the uneducated, city or suburb, right or left, military or civilian, red or blue is the way to stay stuck in the mire we are in. It is driving me nuts listening to people all over the country say that the way to win the next election is to make it a bigger sell-out, or--even worse--to keep on quoting general principles that are nice to hear but are rarely observed.
Good God! Will we never learn?
It isn't the election that's important. It's the nation!!
I once saw a doctor back in New London when I was in my twenties. It was very hard to get an appointment with him because he was so popular. Everyone in town wanted him to be his or her doctor.
I had a problem with a knee that was killing me. I was just twenty-two and here was this knee that wanted to swell up like a balloon. No one else seemed to have an answer--at least none that I wanted to hear. Some of them were talking about BIG operations.
I managed to get an appointment with that doctor. It took him just ten minutes to find the problem. He did it with a magnetic compass. It was a small bit of wire that had broken off a spinning wire wheel and lodged in my knee. In another five minutes it was out. Cost me $37.
I asked him why he was so popular.
His answer? Word for word?
"It's a question of diagnosis. Once we know what's wrong with someone any damned fool can fix it."
That's what is wrong with us right now. No one is trying to diagnose our problems. They're all trying to diagnose the election results. THAT can't be fixed. Our problems can.
So true Tom. As I said in an earlier post, I hope the country will turn to solving the real problems it is facing -- debt crisis, job creation,etc. I am tired of all the hooting and hollering about things that distract us from moving on and attacking and solving these problems.
Let's do what's good for the country rather than what is good for one particular interest group.
Most certainly there are a large number of problems that will seriously harm our nation if not properly attended to. Some of us are correct in assuming that both polictical parties have a piece of responsibility for the problems. Both parties pander to the populace in order to curry voters. I call that "political prostitution" and it makes the problems more severe. Perhaps we need to think more critically about the issues. The Border issue reminds me of an analogy: The floor is wet due to a leak in the water line. We mop the floor. Then we mop it again. Then we apply wax and buff the floor. The next day the floor again is wet because the problem was not properly diagnosed and repaired. Also, I am reminded of the dead horse whose owner bought new reins, saddle, blanket, rope, and whip. The horse remained dead. It does not take a genious to understand that problems need to be diagnosed before fixes are designed or promised. We are failing.
Especially this: "We are failing."
It isn't "them." As long as we keep on supporting the parties by swallowing and regurgitating the party line, as long as we don't find some way to compromise on the issues, it's "us."
I tell you the truth, if we went to the Soviet method of voting "yes" or "no" on each candidate we might be better off. When there were more no votes than yes votes in places where disgusted independents voted against sending either candidate to Washington maybe the rest of them could get the job done.
So how do we compromise with people who felt they had to publicly vote weather or not to acknowledge "A belief in God" at their convention? And their yes or no voice vote? The No's were clearly the winner each time even though an embarassed Chairman Villagarosa called it for the yes people on the 3rd attempt! Spoke volumes for me.......
Here are some numbers for you to ponder.
Politically, the U. S. population consists of 38% IND, 32% DEM, 24% GOP, and 6% ???
That's changed from 32% IND, 36% DEM, and 25% GOP, and 7% ??? in 2008.
In 1991, it was 33% IND, 31% DEM, 31% GOP, and 5% ???.
As far as actual voting is concerned, 48% of Americans either are Democrats or lean toward voting that way, and 40% of Americans are either GOP or lean that way.
Religiously, the U. S. population is composed of:
1.7% Other Christian denominations
0.6% Eastern Orthodox
12.1% Believe, but are of no particular faith
2.4 % Agnostic
0.8% Don't know or refused to answer
A majority of Americans report that religion plays a "very important" role in their lives, a proportion unique among developed nations.
Latinos are split 50-50 between the Republican and Democratic parties.
A Gallup Poll released in 2007 indicated that 53% of Americans would refuse to vote for an atheist as president, up from 48% in 1987 and 1999.
Can you draw any conclusions from all that?
Do you really believe all the numbers you posted?
Did anyone ask you what religion or what political party you belonged to?
No one asked me.
It is like the TV programs. There are 1200 homes in the US that have monitors to tell what TV shows they are watching. Then someone puts out the word which shows are watched the most.
Pat, I think you meant Tom with the statistical numbers? And Tom, I'll go with what I saw and heard with respect to a belief in God at the convention. And no, I don't think it's all Dems leaning that way.
Sorry about that Don. I'll change the questions, did anyone ask you what religion or political party you belong to?
I would bet no one in Payson was asked.
I think polls are a sham.
Yeah, Don. I think you got a bum rap there. :-)
The federal government does not collect data on religious affiliation. Doing so would probably violate the Constitution. In fact, if you look at the the data included in any reference book you'll always see that it says that it is taken from several sources and is an averaging of the results.
I agree with you about polls by the way, at least if you are talking about political polls and all you read are the "results." Too much depends on how the questions are asked. The only safe way to view any poll is to actually read the questions they asked.
I usually go here:
And yes, I believe the numbers. And I think they say a lot.
Here's a couple of examples of what I mean:
Take this comment: "A majority of Americans report that religion plays a "very important" role in their lives, a proportion unique among developed nations."
That says a lot. It says something that we already know; namely, that we are a nation which, perhaps because of the way we were founded, is very religious in nature.
And this number: "Latinos are split 50-50 between the Republican and Democratic parties."
I've known that for a long time. My brother Frank married a Spanish girl (Spanish as in from Spain) and she pointed it out to me 60 years ago. Frank was a Republican; Bill was a Democrat. I couldn't tell you what Charlie was; I think that, like me, he may have been an independent. I'm an independent for the simplest of all reasons: When I see a good idea I'm for it, and when I see a bad idea I don't care where it comes from, I'm against it..
Most important, I think, are these three numbers:
As far as either party is concerned, I suspect that says it all.
Nope! Let me amend that.
As far as the VOTERS in either party are concerned, I suspect that says it all. When I look at radical politicians--extremists--in either party I find it hard to believe they give much thought to their faith--if they have any.
I might add that if the government ever starts asking about religious affiliation, or about anything else to do with faith, you'll find me in the list of those who "...refused to answer."
We talked a lot, and about a lot of things, the main one being Mitt Romney's call for compromise. We didn't get too far when we talked about a specific issue, but there was a bit of progress there, nothing earth shaking, but at least some thought given to it.
Having said all that, I thought I'd ask you to sum it all up.
One question ought to do it. The bottom line.
Is it possible to negotiate compromise solutions to our problems; that is, is it possible for us to work finally together and get something done?
Simple answer, No! The ideological divide is simply too great. As I've said before, this nation is more divided that at any time in my 70 years. It's no longer simply neighbors who have a political disagreement, it is now divided along racial, cultural, gender, religion, annual income, red, blue, age, sexual proclivities,ad infinitum, lines. Heck, even the Civil war primarily only had 2 sides at conflict with one another. Currently one needs a program to know who's who . The term "fellow Americans, has been relegated to the dustbin of history. A nation divided simply cannot stand. This nation is following Rome's path. I have been wrong in my views many times before, and I would enjoy being wrong on this one . I will wait and see if this is another of those times.
I've got 10 years on you, but I have the same sinking feeling when I look around and see what's happening. The terrible part of it is the fact that it's possible we are being driven apart by people who use it for their own benefit.
"I have been wrong in my views many times before, and I would enjoy being wrong on this one ."
Welcome to the group. :-)
Our votes are supposed to be secret. So how do they do the polls?
They use exit polls. They simply ask voters as they leave the polling place how they voted and more often than not, people are very forthcoming with that information. Once again, most are so polarized in their ideological position, that they actually see it as a badge of honor to say they voted for their candidate or ballot issue.
Folks, Mitt Romney was absolutely right when he called for compromise. Like the rest of the people in Washington he knows the truth. He knows the real numbers. He knows how much of what we are fed is propaganda. When he calls for compromise he is basing that call on the truth as he knows it. Listen to him. Write your congressmen. Tell them you want this nation straightened out, that you will not stand for any more delay.
I'll tell you what, suppose I put the real facts in your hands? Suppose I just give you the numbers and let you see how easy it would be to solve our problems. Because, you see, although we hear a lot of talk about principles it is not principles that separate us. It's money.
These facts are available to you anywhere you care to go to look them up. The truth is so simple you'll be able to follow these numbers without even getting out pencil and paper.
First of all, how much do the 144,000 million earning Americans earn each year altogether? Answer: $15 trillion.
Where does it go?
Government at all levels costs us $6.3 trillion. That's for income taxes, both state and national; sales taxes; property taxes; paying on the national debt; and all other money that goes to the government at any level. If you are curious how it breaks down here are real numbers: Federal government, $3.6 trillion, states $1.4 trillion, local $1.7 trillion.
Okay, fine. How much do we make? $15 trillion. Minus costs of $6.3 trillion, that leaves us $8.3 trillion to live on. That comes to $27,700 for every man, woman, and child in the country. If you divide it by the 144,000 earning people, it comes to $59,000 apiece.
So what's the problem?
The problem arises because of the $15 trillion that 144 million earning Americans earn, $10 trillion of it goes to just 0.007% of them. In other words, just one million Americans earn two thirds of the wealth we create, or $10 trillion dollars. The whole doggone 143 million other Americans only get $5 trillion. The result is that one million people average $1 million after taxes while the rest of us--the other 143 million of us--average $35,000
That's where the problem arises.
You can call it greed, you can call it crooked, you can call it whatever you want, but the simple truth is that it is a sign of our day, a day when electronic communications and computer-driven decision-making makes it possible for a very few people to amass riches that were beyond belief just thirty years ago. That's a fact. It is the story of our times. We just have not yet adjusted our economic structure to account for it. You can't entirely blame billionaires for what has happened. They just took advantage of things which were impossible when most of us were born.
Now think about it. As a nation we have plenty of money. We are doing fine. The problem is that too much of that money is in the hands of too few people. Our Constitution was written at a time when such wealth (including that of the poorest person in this country, by the way) was beyond imagination. We aren't broke. We aren't even close to being broke. Hey! We created $50,000 of wealth for every man women and child in this nation.
Now that you have the facts are you going to tell me we do not have the means of solving our problems?
We have the means. We have the system. All we need is the will.
We have to put the plain facts you just read before the American people. We have to let them know the truth, and tell them to demand that Washington quit standing around, waving the flag and filling the air with propaganda, and get the %$#@! job done.
Are you proposing taking wealth from those that earned it legally and redistributing it to people who have not earned that level of wealth? You know that is precisely what the Obama administration wants and intends to do. Take from the wealthy through some very high tax rate and basically use it to fund those who make up the "entitlement class" and pay little or nothing into the US Treasury through Income Taxes.
There are so many simple analogies which we frequently tell young kids so they can grasp the reality of the "Robin Hood" effect. I know you've heard them but here is one right off the top of my head. A kid works/studies hard, sacrifices some fun times and gets straight "A's" and a peer student works/studies less hard, spends a lot of time just having fun,, and gets "D's" and "F's". Now you explain the fairness of taking some of the smart kids "A's" and giving it to the lazy kid so that they both end up with about the same GPA. If you are up to it I can hook you up with a straight "A" student so you can convince them of the "fairness" of what you propose. Good luck with that and rightfully so.
I am proposing that our tax structure reflect reality.
The best way to look upon a nation like ours, one which is rooted in capitalism, which in my opinion is the only economy which parallels our beliefs in freedom and liberty, is to ensure that we can never again fall back into the situation we were in before our nation was formed, one where the wealth of the land accumulated in the hands of an elitist, self sustaining, all-powerful group. Right now we are in danger of having that happen, and we've go to find a rational, logical--and fair!--way of stopping it.
You can look at it this way: Our nation is set up to allow liberty, both individual and monetary. In essence, our government enables business success by--as much as possible--staying out of the way. There are 300 million of us. All 300 million of us should be pulling the same way, doing all we can to promote farming, manufacture, and distribution. We are in effect one giant business, right from the richest to the poorest. Liberty requires that we think that way. I know that it has been laughed at, but the comment that "what is good for General motors is good for America" (though it was originally spoken the other way around with "and vice-versa" at the end) is true. As for the costs of government, when we--say--pay for the military it's very much like paying for company security. If we didn't have the military someone would take over the company. The same thing is true of protecting our borders; if we don't do it then someone will slip in and take what belongs to us (money!) and go back home with it.
What we should do is simple. Since we are all of us owners of this immense enterprise called the United States we should all share in its rewards--but not by some socialistic Robbing Hood method. If you and I, and a half dozen other people formed a business, and we each put a given amount into it (either in money or of ourselves), then we would expect to benefit in accordance with our investment, wouldn't we? If you owned half, you should pay half the costs and get half the profits. If I own ten percent then I should pay ten percent of the costs and get ten percent of the profits.
Can the country be set up to be as fair as that? Yes, it can. It couldn't have been done 50 years ago, but it can be done now. I'll put up a second string to explain how.
Can we set up the country so that everyone pays his fair share? Yes, but we shouldn't criticize Congress too much for never doing it before because it couldn't have been done before.
The trouble is, no one has ever set up our tax structure to be "give back according to what you get." We never before had the capability of doing it. It requires something we have only created within the past 60 or 70 years--the computer, which can do calculations we could never do before. Just as the computer has made it possible for some people to amass incredible amounts of wealth, it also has made it possible to establish a tax system based on the fairest possible concept: We all have to pay for this nation, and we should each pay as we profit from it, in the same way that someone who owns half a company should get half its profits and pay for half its costs.
What do I mean? The simplest tax system ever conceived. What percentage of the Gross National Income did you make? With NO exemptions, your share of running the country is the same percentage of the cost. All you are paying for is what you get, and not a nickel more. Can anyone think of a fairer way for us to tax ourselves?
Just one tax. No sales tax, no property tax, no death tax, no deductions, no nothing.
So we take the percentage of the Gross National Income a person made, divide the cost of government by that percentage, and that's his tax. It's the "flat tax" concept worked out so that it actually can be done.
It's just a like a business. You got fifty percent of the profits? Okay, you pay fifty percent of the costs. Simple. Fair. Honest. And impossible to screw with as long as we don't allow ANY deductions. It isn't tax rates that are wrong now; it's deductions. We get canny people who get some congressman to put in just the right deduction, and then walk away with literally no tax because of it, while others who made exactly the same amount get soaked. Example: Oil depletion allowance, which cuts your tax by the amount of oil you pumped. Why? Because--poor baby!--you don't have as much oil to pump anymore. That may sound like something from some Hollywood comedy, but it's real.
We need to teach our kids that the government and business are not in opposition, but that the government exists to ensure liberty, not just individual liberty, but the liberty to be what we were when we were running around naked in the woods--free to do what we please as long as it doesn't harm anyone else.
"It's just a like a business.'
My college major was Business Administration and one of the required courses was Business Fundamentals. I don't believe in any of that semester I heard the professor imply that businesses were not started by individuals who saw a need and filled it. Those individuals took the risks, invested the capital, and are the arbiters of whether or not the business is successful. Establish a sound business plan and if one did their homework, then the chances of success are better than 50%. I have yet to see anyone employed by an employee.I have yet to see "workers" provide jobs or careers for anyone. Admittedly there are some proprietors who inject employee sharing in the success of the venture. That decision is often an integral part of that business plan. It tends to cause employees to feel they have a vested interest in the success of the business. More typically, employees simply do the minimal they are required in order to draw their paycheck.
One of the core aspects of this Costitutional Republic's capitalist system is that of "opportunity". Opportunity to either succeed or fail. It is when government injects itself into the system, that things start coming apart at the seams, ie. GM (Government Motors). I've seen too many examples of people who immigrate (legally) to this country without language skills or more than a dollar in their pockets, and simply by taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the Capitalist system, become quite successful and wealthy. Those opportunities are available to almost every American. It falls to them to take advantage of those opportunities and improve their station in life. It is NOT the governemnts job to simply provide them with an equal standard of success by taking it from the motivated and dedicated.
This is a major area on which I suppose we will both passionately disagree. I can handle that.This goes to the responsibility of the individual for their success or failure. The government's job should be solely to make sure they do not impede or limit those opportunities.
Happy Thanksgiving as well.
"This is a major area on which I suppose we will both passionately disagree."
Ron, I do not see where we disagree. What I am doing is looking beyond the propaganda and seeing government as the indispensable soil in which business--as well as liberty and individual freedom--takes root, grows, and flourishes. The extremist view that government should go away doesn't hold water.
Remember, our government was founded, not to maintain the status quo that existed, but to eliminate the abuses of privilege. As long as some men fail to control their greed there must be government to control it for them. That's not a new thought. It's the principle on which this nation was founded.
In Philadelphia, on February 14, 1776, a man called Tom Paine set down words that clarified what all men of his time were thinking. Paine was no fan of government, but like the rest he saw its purpose was: To protect all of us from a few of us. Read his words. They shaped both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
"Government, like dress, is the badge of lost innocence; the palaces of kings are built upon the ruins of the bowers of paradise. For were the impulses of conscience clear, uniform and irresistibly obeyed, man would need no other lawgiver; but that not being the case, he finds it necessary to surrender up a part of his property to furnish means for the protection of the rest; and this he is induced to do by the same prudence which in every other case advises him, out of two evils to choose the least. Wherefore, security being the true design and end of government, it unanswerably follows that whatever form thereof appears most likely to ensure it to us, with the least expense and greatest benefit, is preferable to all others."
That statement--accepted by many to have been be the clearest statement ever made concerning the necessity of government--was a primary source when John Adams, Tom Jefferson, and others laid wrote the Declaration of Independence. As you read it, especially the long list of abuses Jefferson lays out, you can hear Paine echoing.
Consider what Paine is saying. He is saying that in a true state of nature, where everyone acts as he should, we need no government, but that when "kings" (read that as any person who grabs more than his fair share of power and wealth) take more than their share we need government, as a protection from both within and without the nation.
If there were no U. S. Government there would be no U. S. business community. It could not stand alone. History is filled the examples of that. Where too much power is gathered into too few hands the result is tyranny. And it matters not what those who gather up that power use an excuse for doing it, whether it be monarchy, oligarchy, socialism, communism, free trade, or whatever handy name someone places upon it, the result is the same: Too few people; too much money and power. No one who looks at history can fail to see that simple truth.
Since government is "all of us" coming together to protect "each of us," it follows that each of us should pay into the system in proportion to what he gets out of it. That is the tax system I propose. In many cases those who are wealthy would pay LESS than they are now paying, but those who twist the system for their own benefit would pay their fair share.
How can we disagree on that? What could be more fair?
What Paine said makes perfect sense because he was able to see that greed and privilege was the root cause of the problems of his his day, just as it is the root cause of the problems of our day. Listen to him:
"Here then is the origin and rise of government; namely, a mode rendered necessary by the inability of moral virtue to govern the world; here too is the design and end of government, viz. Freedom and security."
Listen to the rest of that paragraph. He sounds as though he is writing about 2012 and the propaganda being spouted by two political parties.
"And however our eyes may be dazzled with show, or our ears deceived by sound; however prejudice may warp our wills, or interest darken our understanding, the simple voice of nature and reason will say, 'tis right.'"
That's all I am saying. Put aside the propaganda we have been fed. Sit down as honest men and women who care about the future of this country, ignore the hype we have been fed, find the common ground, solve our problems.
".....that each of us should pay into the system in proportion to what he gets out of it."
Darn Tom if that does not encspsulate the Utopean offer of Communism. As I said, we will disagree on this. I find very little that our "modern" government has done that has not been choked with inefficiency, bloat, incompetence, bureaucratic mire, and so much "red tape" not even the legion of agencies ( that simply should not exist) can figure it all out. Not someone I would want umpiring the "redistribution of wealth " in this nation. I will never accept that the Constitution is a "living, breathing , document that was intended to change with the times". The role of the Federal governent is clearly established in that document as you well know. Once, if ever, they retreat back into the limits of their power as prescribed therein, will I look favorably on considering them even more latitude. Until then, I remain criticle, no make that extremely criticle, of what masks as our "foundational government".
As to the original premise you put out there,the disproportionate amount of national wealth in the hands of a small precentage, I know you are also aware of the amount of the Federal Revenue pie which that small percentage disproportionately pays . Unfortunately we do not have a modern era Solomon in which to turn. But until people really make an attempt to abide by The Golden Rule, I see little consensus to agree on any issues that currently confront this nation and it's citizens.
We still live in the best county on earth in spite of the politicians.
Couldn't agree more. I think in spite of all it's ills, this is still the country of promise. That's one of the reasons so many want to come here. However, as Tom is alluding too and with which I agree, there are some MAJOR issues that need attending to. We only differ on how we resolve those issues, not whether they exist. And I think that is the gist of his discussion. How can we, all of us, find common ground to start putting our house in order. If it was easy, it probably would have been resolved long ago, even if was those in Washington who got it done. Now there's a streatch!
"We still live in the best county on earth in spite of the politicians."
I say that once in a while here on the forum, but it never attracts much attention.
"I think in spite of all it's ills...."
You said a mouthful there! Just think about this when it comes to Washington. Right now there are at least 500 employees in the White House, and there may be a lot more; the last book I read only covered the Bush era. Why? What do they do? Mostly politics.
"I don't believe in any of that semester I heard the professor imply that businesses were not started by individuals who saw a need and filled it. Those individuals took the risks, invested the capital, and are the arbiters of whether or not the business is successful. Establish a sound business plan and if one did their homework, then the chances of success are better than 50%. I have yet to see anyone employed by an employee."
I wanted to comment on that before, Ron, but it would have made my already too long post even longer.
When I read it I saw one reason why two people--you and me--who share the identical beliefs are still talking about all this.
Like one of my older brothers who ended up as the vice president of Proctor and Gamble, I started out in the business world. And I did quite well. I'm currently writing a pair of columns about people who affected my life (leaving out family). One of them was a Jewish businessman who did exactly that: "establish a sound business plan." He opened his first store in Providence, RI, in 1933 at the very depths of the Depression, and opened another one before the year was out.
I didn't go to college out of high school because some dumb-adze counselor told me I could not be a scientist because I was color blind and could not pass the qualitative and quantitative analysis courses. I just tossed away the scholarships I had been offered and went to work in a store as the second assistant stock clerk. In four months, at age 19, I was a department head (small store, small departments). After a break because my National Guard outfit was called up, I became assistant manager, and soon they were digging the foundation for my store. I would have been making 1.5% of gross, set for life in a job I liked.
How come I was so happy, and doing so well? "How come" was Benjamin Bromberg, founder of the chain, which had 23 stores when I joined it.
In all my life I never listened a man who was so right. At managerial conferences in Providence he would speak to us about how he wanted his stores run. His often repeated statement was, "I want every customer who walks out of my store to feel that he wants to come back. If that means we don't put two cents in the register, so be it." His focus was on price and service. I swear, after listening to him speak with a can of motor oil in one hand, I could have gone out of the meeting and sold that can to the first person who came down the street, even if it was a blind pregnant woman in a wheelchair. Mister B was so right! His focus was on the company. Our mission was to keep that company healthy, not to walk off with a big salary in our pockets.
Why did I reenlist in the Air Force?
Mister B had a son. He took after his mother. He would come down to the store and check the cash drawers in the register. There were eight drawers; each of us on the floor had our own.
I don't know how many times he said to me, "Tommy, your drawer has less than any other drawer in the store."
"I get a sale made and turn it over to a clerk."
"But what about the PM's?" (PM's were "percentage merchandise." When we sold certain items, we got a percentage of the sale price.)
"I'm not interested in PM's. I want to see the store do well."
It was like talking to a fence post. He could only understand self interest--in short, greed. After a year and a half back out of the Air Force, I looked at my future, saw the owner's son in it, and reenlisted.
When I took my master's degree I had already taken so many chemistry courses (yes, I took all those courses I "couldn't pass" and got an A in every one of them) that there was nothing left to hang a masters in chemistry on, so I took a degree in educational administration. About half the courses I took were the same whether you were taking an MED or an MBA. I used to listen to the guys who were taking an MBA. So many of them had no clue what company loyalty was all about. Their bottom line was how much they could take home.
I see the same thing now. The model of business you and I share is rarely found anymore. My son David, who gave up his life in the valley to be here with me and help with his mother, worked for one though. The company employed about 75 people and manufactured high tech gaskets. The owner was right there every day, running his business and making it better. Anything that went out his door was the best he could produce. No cheating on specs; you got what you paid for. That's business! That company will last forever unless it falls into the wrong hands.
What are the "wrong hands?"
Corporate America, where the "owners" of the business are cheated out of a fair return for their investments, and where CEOs and other "employees" (because that's all they are!) suck the life out of the company by overpaying themselves while the owners, the investors get zilch, and the employees who put in an honest day's work get even less.
Think of it. What CEO, what "employee," is worth the $143 million dollars each year that is being paid to one clown back east? NO employee!
Want a shock? Go look at the number of failed American businesses. Just go to WIKI and type in "List of failed American businesses." Look at the names on that list. Some of the finest companies in this nation have gone out of business, gutted from the inside by greedy "employees."
It is that group that I want to see pay their fair share. And because they manipulate Congress with their election contributions, the only way to get them to pay it is to create a system with NO deductions and NO exemptions.
And definitely no "tax brackets." Look at where Congress sets the upper bracket. At around $250,000. What crap! At that level a man or woman is getting virtually all of his or her income in the form of a paycheck. He or she can't do what the ultra-rich do: take their money, almost all of it earned in "bonuses," put it into a special tax category for an hour, and pay literally nothing on it. (Authority for that: Warren Buffett.)
One tax. According to what you take out, you pay back.
By the way, the Communist idea would only work in a perfect world, where we didn't need a government because people were all saints. it was, "From each according to his ability, and to each according to his need."
And so now we're back to Tom Paine. :-)
Simply cruising the "Net" today, I see where several groups are now petitioning Congress to exempt them from the coming "Fiscal Cliff" cuts. It's the same old "me, me, me!" syndrome. AARP, Unions, Federal employees, etc. We , as a nation, didn't arrive at this current crisis overnight and we will not resolve the problems overnight, but we certainly must start towards that resolution. That our Federal government, at all levels, is over-bloated is really an understatement. That is also applicable to the State and probably local level governments as well. There is going to be some pain for those who going to be directly affected if the process goes as it should. It's long past the time when we as a nation have to live within our maeans and forego much of the "icing on the cake" that many now see as a "right" and wallow in. Want a real eye opener, do a search of the number of committees, bureaus, departments, and such that currently exist in our Federal Government. Simply mind boggling! If future generations are going to have any semblance of the standard of living and quality of life most of us have enjoyed, severe measures and some good old austerity are in order.
As regards the Corporate CEO's, you and I, and I believe many Americans, agree that what we have witnessed in the last 40-50 years in regards to "Executive Compensation" borders on the immoraland obscene. How the corporate "boards" can look themselves in the mirror after approving such outrageous rewards is beyond me to understand. But again, I would be very cautious about how one addresses those severe imbalances and the corrective measures used to do so. As I've said earlier, I wouldn't rely on our Federal government for the solutions. True they have a role, I will accept that. They can start by simply abolishing the Federal Income Tax and all corporate and individual "loopholes" and implementing a National Sales Tax. You buy, you pay. Rich or not so rich. A millionaire who spends millions on their yacht will pay accordingly and one who simply spends on small $$$ items and necessities, the same.
I read an opinion piece once where the author proposed that ALL this nations fiscal and societal problems could, each and every one, be laid at the door of the US COngress. I wish I had the article as it is like so many things, when you read it, it simply reeeks of factual truth. As rarely see the "government" as a solution. More often that not, they are at the core of the problem.
"But again, I would be very cautious about how one addresses those severe imbalances and the corrective measures used to do so."
You hit the bulls-eye on that one. I don't trust Congress. They've shown themselves to be untrustworthy in the past. If we open the door to more control by the government we'll just make things worse. I truly do not know what the solution should be, but I know that people who invest in a company are the owners, and they should get first chop--as the Chinese put it--at the profits. As it now, corporate execs run companies as cash cows.
I just finished reading Ted Turner's autobiography. I'm not crazy about him when it comes to picking wives (EG: Hanoi Jane), but he took his Dad's small road sign company and with hard work parlayed it into a lot of money. And he made some BIG changes in news coverage with TNN and CNN. But what got me about his life is what happened when, after having been part of God only knows how many different mergers and whatnot, he finally made a mistake, trusted someone, and did not ensure that he had a majority of stock. As part of the deal he was elected President of the company. Then he waited to be assigned some work. Nothing happened. He waited some more. Still nothing. In his book he says, "It dawned on me. I had been fired." It was sad in a way, but he just retired, bought a huge ranch, and is living a happy life (minus his ex).
I have Sam Walton's biography. Haven't read it yet, but I imagine it'll be another story like that of Ted Turner, where a smart but honest man sees the possibilities and goes after them. One thing that Ted Turned did, for example, was to use the billboards that weren't being rented at the moment to advertise his own business, and when he bought up TV and radio stations he sued them to advertise each other. Simple, but no one ever thought of it before.
I see that Walmart is still a family-owned business, controlled by the Walton family, which owns 48% of Walmart stock, but there's still something wrong going on. I see policies in our local Walmart that make people mad as hell. All that has to happen is that someone comes in and goes head-to-head with Walmart and they'll learn that it doesn't pay to try to manipulate the public. The minute they can do it they'll drop you like a hot potato.
"They can start by simply abolishing the Federal Income Tax and all corporate and individual "loopholes" and implementing a National Sales Tax."
I was for that at one time until someone pointed out that all large sales would go south. I think it was someone speaking for Ross Perot back in 96. And I can just see that happening. Another good idea shot down.
I don't know how we'll ever get this mess fixed, but there's always the possibility of another Constitutional Convention to plug the loopholes.
You know what? I have lived through the best era this nation and this world ever saw and I am VERY grateful for it. I'm glad I'll be gone when the axe drops.
The "fiscal cliff" problem? Easy to fix. They have set the lower limit of the upper tax rate too low. There needs to be two or three NEW upper brackets There's a vast difference between some guy making $388 thousand and someone raking in $143 million. And there's a vast difference between some small business owner making a million or two and those at the top.
Congress keeps lumping them all together, and the reason is obvious. When they say that the "top ten percent" of Americans pay most of the taxes it is absolutely true, but when you check the numbers you find out that MOST of that money is paid in by people making between $388 thousand and $2 million. Let those people keep their Bush tax break, along with everyone else, and nail the hell out of the blood sucking leeches who make multi-millions and pay less than you and I do in taxes. They're the problem, not some poor guy who starts a business and works his butt off.
Here are the actual new numbers tax brackets, by the way. As you can see, they are ridiculous. All these are for filing jointly:
$0 to $17,400--10%
$17,400 to $70,700--15%
$70,700 to $142,700--25%
$142,700 to $217,450--28%
$217,450 to $388,350--33%
Anything over $388,350--35%
Propagandists keep putting out statements like this: "The top 10 percent of the population pay 68 percent of the tab."
See what they do? They lump the hard working, honest small business owners in with those who are actually making the money, which is only 1% of the earning public.
If you just go back to the fact that 1% of the population makes 66% of all the money (1 million out of 144 million earners), you can see that the people who pay most that "68 percent of the tab" are in the 143 million out of 144 million earning Americans who actually pay most of the taxes. the people at the top? The ones who rake in 66% of all we make? They pay beans.
I haven't got the number for those who made over $2 million (which MIGHT be the right place to put the cut-off for the top bracket, but seems quite low), but those who made over $1 million only paid in $486 billion of the $10 TRILLION in taxes. That's the real truth. The rest of us paid the other $9.5 trillion.
I wish Congress would quit playing games, set the tax brackets at a fair place, and get on with it. Or use my system and get rid of all other taxes, including things like registration for cars, drivers licenses, "impact fees," and all the rest.
By the way, Ron, thanks for keeping this string going. The longer it goes, the more people reading it will get the idea: Less government = better government. Fix the numbers, get rid of leeches at each end of the pay scale, close the borders, and celebrate!
Hey! I edited that last comment because I had typed in some temporary numbers, and the %$#@! edit didn't take.
This paragraph is dead wrong!!!
"I haven't got the number for those who made over $2 million (which MIGHT be the right place to put the cut-off for the top bracket, but seems quite low), but those who made over $1 million only paid in $486 billion of the $10 TRILLION in taxes. That's the real truth. The rest of us paid the other $9.5 trillion."
This is the correct version.
I haven't got the number for those who made over $2 million (which MIGHT be the right place to put the cut-off for the top bracket, but seems quite low), but those who made over $1 million only paid in $386 billion of the $1.764 TRILLION in taxes. That's the real truth. The rest of us paid the other $1.387 trillion.
Sorry. I did what I often do when dealing with numbers. You can't keep them all in your head (at least I can't), so I'll sometimes put in numbers as "placeholders" and then change them just before I post. The "$486 billion," "10 TRILLION," and "9.5 trillion" were placeholders. I knew they were wrong when I typed them, and forgot to change them. After I punched the edit button it took me a while to dig up the correct numbers and enter them. Man! It's a good thing I go back and read an edited post. Otherwise you'd have been reading the wrong numbers.
Just FYI, the reason it took me a while to get the numbers was adding all this up and checking it. We took in $865 billion in payroll deductions, $899 billion with filed returns, $191 billion in corporate taxes, $67 billion in excise taxes, $19 billion in estate, gift and other taxes, and $122 billion in "other" taxes, for a total of $2,163 in all taxes, out of which $1,764 billion was income taxes. I did not count the $191 billion in corporate taxes as income tax, but I also didn't count it in the total of income tax.
I guess there must be a time limit on editing a comment, and I must have missed it. Sorry.
How about a BIG import tax on everything that is brought in from out of the US or is there one already?
Start doing our own food growing, and all the other things we did many years ago.
Buy Local. Or is this to simple?
I could "compromise" on some of what you suggest. I would still want to see the "devil in the details" before I put my fingerprints on it. One of the issues that currently makes no sense to me is this current/previous Congress and Administration telling everyone that someone who makes $250,000 or more a year constitute "the rich". When I lived in Kalifornia, $250,000 a year might get you a place in one of th common bedroom communities and allow you to make ends meet in the economy that exists in that state. Admittidley, someone who makes that sort of annual income, if they use some of it for investments, then they will probably have a net worth that puts them somewhat higher than the "average Joe". But I, for one, am reluctant to paint with so large a brush. Ever see what a small flat is costing in New York in today's market?
Your "top" of $338,000 is a point for discussion. Unless we desire a "classless society", then I think we will always have some discrepencies in wealth and social status. Not against that since I could, availing myself of the opportunities available, move myself up that ladder if I so wished. I appreciate that you are specifically referring to simply making those who "get more, pay more",to make for a more "fair" system. Not sure how "fair" you would see it were it your ox that was going to be gored, Big Time. But am very, very sceptical of broad social engineering. We have a system, although changed significantly over the decades, that has worked reasonably well for this nation for over 230 years. I would propose real caution in trying to gerrymander that system.
"One of the issues that currently makes no sense to me is this current/previous Congress and Administration telling everyone that someone who makes $250,000 or more a year constitute "the rich"."
That's my BIGGEST issue--lumping in the guy who has made it and is doing well with someone who is making more in a day than he is. (I'm not exaggerating. The CEO who makes $143 million a year, makes $392 thousand a day.)
The upper tax brackets--if we are going to use tax brackets at all--should not include people who are just making a nice buck.
"Unless we desire a "classless society", then I think we will always have some discrepencies in wealth and social status."
There have to be discrepancies. Some people put more in; why shouldn't they take more out?
Trust me, Ron; I am no social worker.
All I am saying is that starting the upper tax bracket at $388 thousand is just baloney; that number is put where it is so that the people who make ungodly amounts of money can enlist ordinary people who make a nice buck into their ranks, saying that, "Hey! If they raise my taxes, they raise yours too." It's a ploy. And it works. If I open--say--a furniture store in Payson and am making--say--$400 thousand a year, I am going to fight tooth and nail to keep my taxes from going up and while I do it I fight for the guy making $143 million, who is selling me the furniture and making as much in a day as I make by working my butt off all year. So I end up fighting for people who live off my efforts, not just in running my store, but in voting for their buddies.
My only point is that if we are going to have tax brackets, let's make them realistic. Why are all five tax brackets jammed into just $388 thousand? Why not make--say--15 or 20 tax brackets? Why not let the tax rate change at roughly--say--doubling of income, started at--say--$25 thousand? I'm just pulling numbers out of the air, but that would mean a change in tax rate at $25,000/ $50,000/ $125,000/ $250,000/ $500,000 and $1 million, continuing on at $5, $10, $20, $50, $100 million and above. Raise the rate very slowly, so that someone is who just making $2 million isn't paying the same rate as someone who is making--say--$50 million.
It sure as hell would be more fair. What we have now is a phony as a three dollar bill. It's just crazy to say that a guy who makes $388 thousand should pay at the same rate as someone who makes $143 million. The guy making $143 million is making 368 times as much as the ordinary small business owner making $388.
So, to temporarily solve the argument over the Bush tax cuts, leave them in place for anyone making up to a million a year; then look ate whole tax structure and make if more fair by creating more tax brackets. I sincerely do not think we will harm anyone if we get a little bit more out of those who make over--say--two mill a year, and lower the taxes on the group between $250 thousand and one or two million.
By the way, I looked at some of the "compromises" being discussed by Republicans in Congress. I saw plenty of talk about "a path to citizenship," and "visas for students," and other such, but I have yet to see anyone say that we need to change the law on who is born an American and how long you spend in prison if you come here illegally.
Compromise means "you get something and I get something." It doesn't mean, "Okay, we cave in because we want more votes."
I tell you what! They better not!!!!!
Even changing the tax brackets as you propose is not going to dig us out of the fiscal hole we currently find ourselves in. One of the "lies" you implied is the administration saying that the solution to the problem is taxing the rich, or to put their spin on it, making them pay their fair share. Care to put a number or precentage of income that defines "fair share"? The Democrats absolutely refuse to put out a specific number. Many wealthy people are asking that question and the silence from washington is deafening. Just how much more than they are currently paying, constitutes a "fair share"? Your approach relies on someone making a "SUBJECTIVE" decision as to waht amounts to "fair share". That's what is required if one is going to justify the setting of precise "tax rates". One thing is for sure and that is that no matter how much taxes are collected, it will NEVER be enough to sate the appetitie of those in Washington who use those monies to retain power and constituents. I hear a lot about "raising taxes on the wealthy" and making the tax brackets "more fair" and I call BS on all that until such time as those in power address their addiction to revenues which are WAAAAAY above and beyond those necessary to meet their Constitutionally describe roles.
You know, I have thought long and hard on the situation this nation is in, both fiscally and socially. I have become convinced that it simply cannot be fixed within the current system. The current "system" has been so corrupted and those functioning within it are so self-serving, that they have created laws, policies, and rules that basically prevent "We the People" from changing ANYTHING by functioning with that very system. .
One certainly cannot change it through the ballot box, as much as some truly nieve citizens still buy into. Rahm Emmanuel wrote a piece pretty much saying if we want to fix America's problems, we have to adopt the "Chicago approach". I don't know what drugs he's on, but it seems to me that one of the major problems is that we have evolved a "system" that is almost the morror image of the "Chicago approach". Rotten and crooked to the core. A solution short of a total revolution and starting from scratch? I simply don't have one.
You may want to research the numbers for yourself, but not only this guy, who I have little confidence in as he is a "journalist", says what I have heard others profess as well.
"If you took every single penny that Warren Buffett has, it'd pay for 4-1/2 days of the US government. This tax-the-rich won't work. The problem here is the government is way bigger than even the capacity of the rich to sustain it. The Buffett Rule would raise $3.2 billion a year, and take 514 years just to pay off Obama's 2011 budget deficit." -Mark Steyn
•NYT: A Minimum Tax for the Wealthy -Warren Buffett
"If you think only the wealthy are going to be hit by what's coming, think again. The fiscal cliff is going to drag everyone else down with it. It's just the warm-up for the total societal collapse of the United States." -Mark Steyn
One of the realities my college Economics professor left us with was that there is no way Washington can resolve fiscal issues without putting the majority of the tax burden upon the middle class, as that is simply where the "numbers" are.
There is no fiscal cliff to fall off. I am all for the mandatory cut's to go into effect. This fantasy threat concocted by all of the Washington beltway elites is pure scare em to death poppy cock hype.
It's all a political show by the professional politicians of both party's to make us believe they will reach a "compromise" to save us from ourselve's. It's a pathetic cheap vaudville drama to get us to accept what the power brokers want. More government in our lives, digging deeper into our wallets, giveing more away for future votes, expand Government and retain your power. Term limits are so badly needed to break the hold of career politicians on the public dole. Stand by for a couple of stop gap measures and on to the pre-scripted great compromise agreement. What a dog and pony show.
"Care to put a number or precentage of income that defines "fair share"?"
The numbers I'd like to see, that I never have seen, is what percentage of our income goes to run the government at all levels. Oh, I know what the big number is. You only have to take the $6.3 trillion is takes to run the government at all levels, and the $15 trillion we all make. It comes 42%. Forty-two percent of every nickel made in this country goes to the government. That's a whopping number!
But what I'd like to see if what percent of your income, and mine, and other working stiffs goes into running the government. I'll bet it comes to a lot more than 42%. Every time we turn around the government has its hand in our pockets. What I'd like to know is something like this:
Percent of income going to the government at all levels for someone making:
And so on.
That's what we really need to know. Once people know what government is actually costing them they may do something about it.
Think about this: When you buy something in Walmart, how much of it went in sales tax, tax on gasoline, tax on heating fuel, corporation tax, tax on electricity, tax on phones, driver's licenses, auto and truck registration, and about a thousand other taxes?
It isn't just income tax that we are fighting; it's all the rest, most of them hidden.
Ah, well. We shall see what we shall see.
That 42% thing says a lot, though; doesn't it?
I've said this before so I will end my participation in this discussion with a repeat. Revenue is the cocaine of politicians. They are literally addicted to it. You simply cannot provide them with enough to make them content. They are always seeking a further "high". Our government, in it's current state, is truly the enemy of "We the People", not our friends. I can honestly only give them credit for one thing "Driving this nation into ruin. Welcome to Rome, 2013.
Did you know that under Bush the debt ceiling was raised three times? Were the raises in the debt ceiling made necessary because we were fighting war and lowering taxes at the same time? Was lowering taxes while fighting a war a responsible action?
Bingo Bernice! You've made my point as well. Our "government" is the source of our problems, not the solution. I could care less what the name of the party in power is, they are all cut from the same bolt of cloth. The "solutions" that are needed to fix what is wrong with our Constitutional Republic lie with "We the People". Until such time as we coalesce as Americans first, separate and diverse special interest groups second, we are going to have to live with this internal turmoil. The "recipe" for such an undertaking was left to us by folks far wiser than any I've personally seen in my lifetime.
"Was lowering taxes while fighting a war a responsible action?"
Especially since there was no need for the war in the first place.
Ron, Your comment, "The 'solutions' that are needed to fix what is wrong with our Constitutional Republic lie with 'We the People,'" set me to searching out one of my books, the one which most clearly explains the origin of the conflict that separates us: "Founders and Frontiersmen." It is a book printed in 1967 whose purpose was to provide map and pictures of Historical Sites relating to the years between the writing of the Constitution and the year 1830. It does that in Part II. Part I is titled "The Historical Background." It is the most even-handed history book I've ever read, probably because its focus is on sites and buildings, not events.
But read these comments made in passing regarding the writing of the Constitution in the next post.
[Sorry. Posting this took longer than I planned. Visitor showed up.]
(Everything here is a direct quote except my short comment at the end, so I will use no quote marks. I guarantee that everyone reading the first paragraph will be shocked as they learn how many of our founding fathers looked upon, "We, the People. It will take three post for the quotes.)
A widely held opinion in 1783 was the belief that men were entitled to equal treatment before the law. Related to this idea of equality, which Thomas Jefferson had stated in the Declaration of Independence, was a fundamental commitment to representative government. Just how representative government should be was a source of dispute, but most agreed that, for the good of society, in some way the will of the people must be expressed through representatives. In 1776 these two concepts had helped unite diverse groups in the Thirteen Colonies in defense of the rights of Englishmen. When political thinkers spoke of equality and representative government, they did not usually mean democracy as we think of it in the 20th century. Most 18th-century political theorists in the United States divided the state into three parts: The monarchy (executive), the aristocracy (legislature), and the democracy (the people). Each part had its function in government, and each was to act as a check upon the ambitions of the others. Should one of the three gain control of the state, evil was certain to result. Complete control by either the executive or the legislature was tyranny or oligarchy; complete control by the mass of people was "mob rule," or anarchy.
For generations the people of the United States have revered the Constitution, and rightly so. It has provided an enduring and evolving framework for more than 175 years of national development. In some respects, it reflects the time of its creation, for it incorporates basic American tenets of the 18th century. These include the theory of the state as a compact between the people and the government and the idea that fundamental laws should be written. The Constitution reaffirms the commitment to traditional rights of Englishmen to the protection of life, liberty, and property that Americans defended in their rebellion against the British Crown.
Above all, the Constitution expresses, both in its provisions and in the process by which they were formulated, the Founding Fathers' abiding faith in man's willingness to reason—his ability to surmount political differences by means of rational discussion and compromise. Men sometimes disagree over the meaning of specific provisions of the Constitution, but within its broad framework and mechanism for compromise lie means to reconcile disagreement. The Constitution expresses the concerns of a past age, yet it is the embodiment of a spirit and a wisdom as modern as tomorrow.
A well-qualified body of 55 delegates from 12 States—only Rhode Island abstaining—drafted the Constitution. They represented a variety of professions and vocations, educational backgrounds, age groups, geographical areas, economic interests, and political factions. Some 34 were lawyers; 29 had graduated from colleges in England or the United States; and 8 had signed the Declaration of Independence. Of the total of 55 delegates, 18 derived their major income from farms or plantations, 15 from commerce, and the remainder from various professional or political pursuits.
Despite the varied background and interests of the delegates, most of them shared a commitment to nationalism, economic conservatism, and practical politics. Perhaps only three or four would have acknowledged that they were "democrats," or believers in the ultimate wisdom of the general populace. On the other hand, Alexander Hamilton's purported dictum "the people are a great beast" would not have served as a representative opinion. To most of the group, the issue was not simply democracy versus aristocracy, but national union versus disintegration. They did not seek to impose a fixed political philosophy but to find a way to reconcile conflicting theories within a framework of stability and orderly growth.Some of the delegates stood to gain financially from the fiscal stability that was expected to follow the creation of a strong central government, but many stood to lose. On key issues, delegates often voted against their personal interests for what they believed to be the common good. If the Constitution was a conservative document, its underlying philosophy was potentially democratic.
The Antifederalists had many objections to the Constitution. Patrick Henry, who had declined to serve in the Convention because he "smelt a rat," began his objections with the first three words of the Constitution. Who, he wondered, were the Convention delegates to say "We, the people." They should have said "We, the states." Otherwise the Government would no longer be a compact among equal States but a "consolidated, national government of the people of all the states."
George Mason feared that a remote National Government based on the Constitution would destroy the rights of the people. Possessed of such sweeping powers unbridled by a bill of rights, the National Government would soon revert to monarchy or corrupt aristocracy. Richard Henry Lee, in his "Letters by a Federal Farmer" of 1787, presented a powerful statement of the Antifederalist case. He argued that the Federalists were attempting to rush the Constitution through, and, as he saw it, they were removing power from the many to the few to prevent future political change and reform. Other Antifederalists expressed fears that the new Government would be more powerful and tyrannical than the British Government had been in 1776.
(Just think about it. We, the People: "...complete control by the mass of people was "mob rule.")
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