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Status of the GOP: Disjointed or Finding Its Voice?

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Tea parties, libertarians, and moderates, oh my!

The conservative base of America is in a peculiar state of flux. Ever since nominating a candidate in 2008 that nauseated conservatives of all stripes, the Republican party is struggling to define itself as a big tent party while trying to keep everybody happy underneath the big top. It seems that the fabled "Reagan coalition" may be lost to the ages, a prospect that troubles many of those in the conservative movement. Is it possible for the Humpty Dumpty GOP to put itself together again? Maybe, maybe not.

Let's look at the factions that are vying for attention in the GOP today.

Tea Parties: Keeping taxes low and controlling government spending sounds good to most people, doesn't it? That appears to be the drumbeat of the Tea Party movement. So why do they pose a problem for the party of fiscal conservatism? It's a trust issue. Many in the Tea Party movement are disenchanted with both sides of the aisle. Some feel that only a new, pure third party is the answer to the acrimony in Washington. This challenges the GOP's fiscally conservative credentials and would thus inhibit the chances of a conservative defeating a liberal in a three-way election. Remember how Bill Clinton didn't take home 50% of the electorate but still managed to win in 1992? Vote splitting kills conservatives. That's not to say that Tea Party members should suck it up and get on board with a candidate they can't stand. After all, many Republicans have broken the trust of fiscal conservatives. They should be held accountable. But a third party isn't the answer.

Ron Paul/Campaign for Liberty: Little can diminish the spirit of those who follow Ron Paul. Lauded as the quasi-messiah of small government by those in the Campaign for Liberty, Ron Paul has electrified the libertarian wing of the conservative base. Although winning very few delegates in any of Republican primary contests back in 2008, his ardent fan base remains undeterred. However, as staunch as his army is, they are also his primary liability. A substantial number of his followers are affiliated with the 9/11 Truth movement, a group of conspiracy theorists who believe that the government was involved in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Another problem is that many of the non-truthers resort to obnoxious postings across the web (i.e. "GO RON PAUL!!" "GOD BLESS RON PAUL!" "RON PAUL IS THE ANSWER!!" "ONLY RON PAUL CAN SAVE US!") or are unwilling to compromise for any "lesser" candidate. Ron Paul is 74. At his age, the remainder of his career is limited. However, he did win the CPAC straw poll and is currently polling in dead heat with Barack Obama. Certainly, the man himself has very few detractors. And if his supporters can redirect their focus and clean up their act, they could prove to be highly valuable to the GOP. Perhaps his son Rand Paul might carry the torch.

David Frum: I remember enjoying David Frum's book The Right Man, a generally positive look at the early presidential career of George W. Bush. But that was then, this is now. Canadian-born Frum has used his credentials as an author and former Bush speechwriter to catapult himself into the conservative arena. But don't be fooled, he's not your average conservative Republican. In fact, he decried the Republicans' united opposition to ObamaCare. His blog site, FrumForum, appears to be interested in pushing the GOP to the center. But is moving to the center the right thing for the party who nominated a center-right candidate in 2008, only to fail miserably?

Sarah Palin/Mike Huckabee/Evangelicals: I like Sarah Palin. I used to like Mike Huckabee. But if both of them ran in the GOP primaries in 2012, it's very likely that they would split the same demographic: evangelicals. When it comes down to it, both Palin and Huckabee have likable personalities and are generally favored by people like themselves. Neither have a great deal of moderate or independent appeal. And both have baggage. Huckabee pardoned or commuted the sentences of 12 murderers, including Maurice Clemmons, who recently murdered four police officers in Washington state. Palin failed to shine in her Katie Couric interview (although in Palin's defense, Couric wasn't exactly playing nice). She also resigned halfway through her only term as governor of Alaska which, whatever her reasons may have been, was a poor political move. Perhaps these caveats are the reason that her poll numbers among independents are consistently low. Nonetheless, her popularity among conservatives is high and the palpable energy she brings to the party is undeniable. While Huckabee has said that he is leaning against running again, Palin has indicated that she is considering a run in 2012. It will be interesting to see which candidate will become the favorite among evangelicals if both decide to run.

Romney/Pawlenty/Dark Horse: There are some who still hold out hope for that candidate who has everything. Right on all the issues, looks, charisma, no distracting scandals. Some maintain that it's Mitt Romney, businessman and former governor of Massachusetts. Others say it's Tim Pawlenty, governor of Minnesota. However, ObamaCare has passed, which some claim was modeled after Romney's health care system in Massachusetts. This could hurt his chances among diehard conservatives. Pawlenty has few detractors other than poor poll numbers and a lack of name recognition. But even still, some are hoping for a dark horse to come in and reshape the field. Who would that be? Some have suggest Bobby Jindal, John Thune, and Mike Pence. But it's hard to nail it down for sure. After all, Barack Obama was a state senator just three years before announcing his candidacy for President. Part of this particular demographic is waiting to be swayed.

Michael Steele: Then there's Michael Steele, the chairman of the Republican party. In spite of the optimism surrounding the early part of his chairmanship, Steele has found himself eclipsed by other heavy hitters in the conservative movement like Rush Limbaugh, who some consider to be the de facto leader of the GOP. And the recent spending scandal has proven to be a distraction in the midst of what could be a sweeping success for the Republicans in November. However, a larger than expected victory in the mid-term elections could erase the cloud that currently surrounds his administration.

From a distance, the pieces of the puzzle shouldn't be too difficult to put back together. Most, if not all, of these factions can agree on fiscal conservatism, capitalist principles, low taxes, and smaller government. It's all a matter of holding elected Republicans accountable. We can't allow what happened in the early 2000s to happen again, when Republicans were intoxicated by spending just like liberal Democrats.

If the Democrats can unite environmentalists, unions, anti-war activists, and most progressives, the Republicans should have little difficulty bringing together fiscal and social conservatives and even some moderates and independents.

Perhaps the answer lies within a 2012 alliance between a social conservative and a fiscal conservative. Sarah Palin recently commented favorably on a possible team-up with Mitt Romney. A Palin/Huckabee type with a Romney/Pawlenty type could satisfy the thirst for united conservative front.

The key is for these groups to compromise their particular likes and dislikes in favor of their basic principles. If an evangelical doesn't like Mitt Romney, he or she should consider that Romney poses no real threat to family values. If a fiscal/economic conservative is nauseated by Sarah Palin, he or she should be comforted by the hope that she would surround herself with individuals who would pursue a fiscally conservative agenda.

But if the GOP fails to unite these groups, a loss is nearly guaranteed. United they stand, divided they fall.

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About Braden

  • Glenn Contrarian

    I really do hope the Republicans choose someone as conservative as they can – Palin/Bachmann’s my choice for the GOP!

    Please, oh please choose a Palin/Bachmann ticket!

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Careful what you wish for, Glenn. Both of them might have their GED by 2012…

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    BTW, I think it’s an absolute certainty that Sarah Palin will run in the GOP primaries, or at least test the water.

  • http://www.republicofdave.com Dave Nalle

    The team-ups you suggest at the end would lose all of the Ron Paul and Tea Party voters and the middle-ground independents. Guaranteed losing strategy gof the GOP.

    Dave

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Doc, I’m almost ready to place a wager against your prediction in #3. I think she loves being a well paid celebrity, and even a substantial number of tea partiers seem to have their doubts about her as a candidate. But the fact that she still hasn’t been laughed off the public stage yet gives me pause.

  • Arch Conservative

    I didn’t vote for Mccain in 2008 and really don’t want to vote for Romney/Huckabeee/Palin/Pawlenty etc in 2012. But if Obama insists on being an arrogant asshole for the 2 years, and I do believe he can’t help himself because it’s just who he is, then I may well have to vote for whomever the GOP runs.

    Apparently the one feels so secure in the support of the moonbat media and what remains of the koolaid drinking cultists that we he will openly mock, on television, millions of Americans with grievances against the government. Why doesn’t he stop beating around the bush and just come out and call them all racists? What’s he waiting for? Will ge still be wearing that stupid smirk on his face come November? I think not.

    Like his positions on the issues or not, at least when Ron Paul is asked a question he gives a genuine answer and not some soundbite based on something a staffer told him to say after looking at the latest public opinion polls that morning. Ron Paul is honest, not full of guile and deceit. That alone seaprates him from just about every other politician out there. He is the only man being discussed as a candidate, on either side of the aisle, that would truly put the nation before his own political ambition and legacy.

    No one thought Barry the thug from Chicago had a chance in 2008. Ron Paul isn’t a corrupt pig like the man in the white house now, but hopefully common sense and reason will prevail in 2012.

  • Baronius

    On paper, a pro-life libertarian would be great. But four years of a pacifist Democrat followed by four years of an isolationist Republican would be terrible. By 2016, the US would have the clout of a Spain or Egypt, and millions of people worldwide would fall under oppression.

  • zingzing

    archie’s fallen out of love with romney? but, but… what happened? and ron paul is far too divisive to ever make a serious run. and he’s got too much baggage.

    baronius: “By 2016, the US would have the clout of a Spain or Egypt, and millions of people worldwide would fall under oppression.”

    do you really think so, or is that just some blubbering? if you really do think so, why do you think that we are the only thing protecting the world from tyranny?

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Archie, your first 50 or so comments about Obama were about the shape of his ears.

    Now you have progressed to “arrogant asshole,” “thug,” and “corrupt pig.” No actual evidence required, of course. Just an overall impression you have.

    Do you ever simply disagree with someone, or is Insultese the only language you speak and type?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Screw him then, Handy. If that’s the only level of conversation he’s capable of, ignore the fucker. Same with Ruvy.

    Let ’em both piss in the wind for all I care.

  • Arch Conservative

    Let’s see……Obama’s cabinet is full of tax cheats….there’s the corruption.

    He goes on TV mocking Americans protesting the government…there’s the arrogant asshole…

    You think I’m the only one that his a personal distaste for Obama Handy?

    We are legion.

    Let’s see how much he’s laughing come November.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Obama’s cabinet is full of tax cheats….there’s the corruption.

    That’s pitifully inadequate, even for you. To take an example, if you think that Tim Geithner’s making a mistake about self-employment tax defines him as “corrupt,” you show little or no evidence of knowing what you are talking about. You start with a conclusion, then rewrite the facts to fit it.

    And the president’s “mockery” was based on a simple fact: people were protesting on Tax Day that he was picking their pockets, when nearly all of them had paid less tax in 2009 because of tax cuts and breaks authorized by the president.

    There are lots of non-facts [and lies] out there posing as the truth, and I applaud the president for having the cojones to point out some of them. He should do it more often. If it makes bozos mad, that in itself makes me happy.

  • Cannonshop

    Gee, Handy, last year, my tax-bill on April 15th was a whopping $257 and change. This year, it’s over two grand. Nothing on my W-4 changed. Your figures are full of shit.

  • Cannonshop

    To expand on that… going over it in exact terms, my income went up 25%, my tax bill multiplied by 800%. some savings.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Don’t be ridiculous. “My figures” [not mine really] were not about you.

    Tax rates did not change, Cannon, so something else must have. No income tax increases have gone into effect during this presidency.

    But if your income went up 25%, you could have moved into the next bracket.

  • Arch Conservative

    Yeah Cannon, don’t be rdidiculous. Tax rates didn’t go up. The federal government just felt like penalizing you for bettering yourself. Get over it

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    If Cannon or Arch can find anything whatsoever to document that income tax rates for 2009 went up, I’d be very interested to see it.

    Rates may go up next year, mostly or entirely for upper incomes when the Bush cuts expire. But not yet.

    You may have plenty of disagreements with the president, but there’s no need to add your fantasies into the mix.

    Prove it, please, or admit that you’re just indulging in rhetoric and venting.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “my income went up 25%, my tax bill multiplied by 800%.”

    That doesn’t make any sense – unless your tax bill from the year prior was next to zero.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    “tax bill” = how much additional he had to pay on Apr 15 each year. Does not include what was withheld from his paycheck. Cannon says his pay “only” increased 25%, but most people would think that’s a helluva raise.

    And if you add up the total tax paid for each year, and take it as a percentage of total income, it’s probably in the same ballpark, unless there was something screwy about a deduction.

    I’m just guessing. But if there’s another explanation, it’s not about secret tax rate increases.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I would have to see it black on white to make sense of his claim.

    Again, unless he paid next to zero a year ago, these figures just don’t make sense.

  • Arch Conservative

    Handy I didn’t say taxes have gone up over the past year, Cannonshop did.

    But thanks to the legislation Obama and the Dems have enacted, tax rates MUST go up eventually.

    You libs just don’t get it. Every time I complain about taxes and spending I get some lefty lecturing me on the roads and the police and fire dept. Here’s a little secret though. THAT”S NOT ALL OUR TAXES ARE BEING USED FOR!

    I have no problem with being taxed to pay for the roads, the police and public education. What I do have a problem with is our tax dollars being used as political payback for the myriad of special interests that buy the candidates on BOTH sides of the aisle. I have a major problem with our tax dollars being wasted on bullshit social welfare programs that are created and defended upon the basis of cheap emotional sentiment. This country could still afford to pay for all of the public goods and cut taxes drastically if we stopped being such a bunch of selfish, whiny pussies.

    But you moonbats don’t get it and never will. You’re addiction to dependency is fatal.

  • John Wilson

    What’s your specific beef, and how much money is involved, Arch?

    “I have a major problem with our tax dollars being wasted on bullshit social welfare programs that are created and defended upon the basis of cheap emotional sentiment.”

    Which program? How much money?

    I have problems, for example, with a defense budget that consumes 58% of the national budget and doesn’t defend us. A big part of that is just corporate welfare.

    I have a problem with spending a trillion dollars invading Iraq.

    I have a problem with $192billion/year to occupy Iraq and Afghanistan. Must be a lot of corporate welfare there.

    How much people-oriented welfare do you think there is?

  • Baronius

    John – 58% of the national budget?

  • zingzing

    i’m thinking more like 20%… still, that’s a large chunk.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    From Wikipedia:
    The U.S. Department of Defense budget accounted in fiscal year 2010 for about 19% of the United States federal budgeted expenditures and 28% of estimated tax revenues. Including non-DOD expenditures, defense spending was approximately 25-29% of budgeted expenditures and 38-44% of estimated tax revenues. According to the Congressional Budget Office, defense spending grew 9% annually on average from fiscal year 2000-2009.

    This ahows the non-DoD parts:

    2011 Budget request & Mandatory spending

    DOD spending $721.3 billion
    FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion
    International Affairs $10.1-$54.2 billion [At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget]
    Energy Department, defense-related $20.9 billion
    Veterans Affairs $66.2 billion
    Homeland Security $54.7 billion
    NASA satellites $3.4-$8.5 billion
    Veterans pensions $58.4 billion
    Other defense-related mandatory spending $7.5 billion
    Interest on debt incurred in past wars $57.7-$228.1 billion
    Total Spending $1.003-$1.223 trillion

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    I’ve done my own taxes almost every year since 1981 (and the past decade I’ve been itemizing), and when I read your claim above, I know it from one of two things: either your personal financial situation changed – you made more, or withheld less, or had fewer deductions – or you’re making it up.

    I’m fairly sure it’s the former, and instead of acknowledging the REAL reason why your tax bill is higher, you’re simply wanting to use it as a straw man to beat up on the Democrats. In either case, your making such a claim is completely unwarranted and certainly reflects poorly upon you. In the future, I recommend you refrain from making wild claims that are so easily refutable.

    In case you’re wondering, I got a little over half the refund I got last year…but I also know that even though I made less overall income, I wasn’t able to take anywhere near the deductions I’d taken the previous year. I KNOW why I got less…and politics (other than the lingering effects of the Great Recession thanks to massive deregulation) had squat to do with it.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Handy –

    Funny how the Republicans, the conservatives, and their Tea Party sock puppets are SO up in the air about the budget and their taxes…but where were they when Bush and the Republicans were busy flushing our economy down the toilet and trampling on the Constitution?

    That’s why I’m a liberal – I REALLY don’t like hypocrisy.

    And good call on the Defense budget.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, we were complaining about the spending of the Bush administration back then. The deficit is increasing at 3x the rate under Obama, so we’re complaining 3x as loud.

  • zingzing

    3x the rate of what? it looks to be on a similar trajectory far as i can tell… then again, the last numbers i saw could be old news by now. bush certainly wasn’t afraid of spending any more than obama is.

  • Cannonshop

    Handy, my tax-bracket theoretically went from 25% to 28%, but the actual numbers (based on doing the actual math) put my tax-burden closer to 31%, not including state and local taxes. Further, an increase of 3% (theoretical) with no change in what % is witheld, should’ve netted MAYBE a six hundered dollar increase over last year-instead, it’s close to eight times (eight times would actually be less) what I paid for 2008.

    Further, a check of hours worked, most of that increase in income is due to overtime worked. (Worked a HELL of a lot of overtime last year) for which I am penalized, while Exxon-Mobil, ACORN and Microsoft pretty much walk without paying nearly as much.

    (not only did I NOT get to see my wife as much, I pay extra for the privelage of not seeing her as much…)

    And I wouldn’t have nearly the problem I’m having with it, if I didn’t know that the money is NOT going to fund highways, police, hospitals, schools or the military, but instead it’s going to pay partisan fund-raising outfits like ACORN, which IHMO deserves about as much public funding as the NRA (which would be zero, if you’re counting-don’t give me the ‘non partisan’ bullshit-when an organization is as thoroughly associated with a single party or politician as ACORN is, they’re about as non-partisan as the RNC.)

    I further resent it when the guy writing the tax-laws decides he’s immune to them (Chuck Rangel), and when caught, doesn’t face either the interest payments normal people have to cough up, or the criminal penalties that normal people have to face.

    Further, the Rockefellers and the Kennedys can afford the Trusts to avoid paying inheritance taxes, but margin-riding farmers get fucked, as does anyone that owns their own home and wants to let their kids have it when they die-and god help the small and medium business owners out there-they have even less protection than I do (and my witholding is max-rate!)

    Taxes Delayed are still taxes, Handy. Making believe that jsut because the big bill’s delayed until 2014 somehow makes it all better is crass bullshit, it’s based on a lie.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Further, the Rockefellers and the Kennedys can afford the Trusts to avoid paying inheritance taxes, but margin-riding farmers get fucked, as does anyone that owns their own home and wants to let their kids have it when they die-and god help the small and medium business owners out there-they have even less protection than I do.

    As you were saying, the laws in the good ole USA don’t favour the super rich?

  • Cannonshop

    #31 I never said they didn’t. They favour the top and the bottom, and screw everyone in the vanishing middle.

    Particularly tax laws, Obamacare, and other revenue schemes touted as bringing “Social Justice”-just the way that the Soviet system had ITS super-rich (the powerful Party Elite) and client destitute, just the same way any system that can be concieved, can be abused if you’ve got the keys to influence over the rulemakers, and rulemakers who’re constantly involving themselves in making more rules.

    one of the hallmarks of a free society, is that that top layer isn’t closed off to newcomers, isolated and sequestered caste-like from the rest of us. The more limits on upward mobility, the more sequestered and caste-like it becomes, and the less free your society is as a result.

    More laws and more taxes only serve to preserve and protect the ones already AT the top from competition-which is the only force that actually WORKS to level things-because unlike Lawmakers, it’s nigh impossible to corrupt a competitive environment with bribes and ‘suggestions’ based on access.

  • zingzing

    cannonshop: “I wouldn’t have nearly the problem I’m having with it, if I didn’t know that the money is […] going to pay partisan fund-raising outfits like ACORN…”

    someone hasn’t been paying attention. your money’s not going to acorn.

    “not only did I NOT get to see my wife as much, I pay extra for the privelage of not seeing her as much…”

    overtime has ALWAYS been taxed heavily. are you really going to blame obama for something that has always taken place? i don’t think you can do that. at least not in reality.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    You’re complaining about Exxon-Mobil et al not having to pay taxes…yet you’re IGNORING the solid fact that the tax laws currently in place were NOT NOT NOT NOT NOT written by Chuck Rangel!!!!!!!

    They were passed in the early Bush administration when the GOP owned the Senate, the House, and the White House…but far be it from you to blame the people actually responsible when there’s a Democrat you can blame instead, right?

    You complain about the inheritance laws…and you’re apparently taking the Democratic side since WE want to continue the inheritance taxes that apply ONLY to multimillionaires, and the GOP is dead-set against it.

    Furthermore, as Zing pointed out, ACORN doesn’t exist anymore (thanks to the falsified videos by a GOP supporter)…so your griping there is completely unwarranted. Funny how you compared ACORN to Exxon and Microsoft. Talk about a low-information voter….

    And since you are continuing your tax rants here, I’ll continue my points to you that you refused to answer from comment #15 on this other thread:

    (from #7 on that thread) That might (the thing about Exxon Mobil) be a side-effect, Glenn, of letting Chuck Rangel write tax law (alongside 435 other people who don’t know how to read the laws they vote on.)

    Oh, so Exxon-Mobil not paying any taxes AT ALL was merely an ACCIDENT????????? And if you’ll recall, Charlie Rangel did NOT write and pass the huge tax cuts during the early Bush administration. When, oh WHEN will conservatives ever learn to admit it when something’s THEIR fault?????

    And you paid NO attention to the facts I presented that:

    – taxes are already quite LOW compared to most tax rates of our past.

    – Even Warren Buffet pointed out how it’s wrong that the rich pay a lower rate in taxes than low-level workers.

    – The top 1% who own 42.7% of the nation’s wealth and 49% of the nation’s investments pay only 25% of the tax revenue.

    It’s easy to see why you ignored these – you could come up with a truly lame excuse for Exxon-Mobil (it’s just an accident since Congressmen don’t know how to read!), but these are even more outrageous.

    Given your excuse to let Exxon-Mobil off the hook, I wonder what kind of excuses you’ll come up with for the rest….

    ===================

    And let me conclude with a quote by the guy that the Republicans twice put one heartbeat away from the presidency: “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”.

  • John Wilson

    Without seeing c’shops actual tax return I think I can reconstruct a simile since I’ve been self-employed with a small business, as I imagine he is.

    I’ll just pull some values out of the air without reference to tax tables or any actual returns.

    Let’s say in 2008 I drew $20,000 in salary with just 1 deduction and $2750 withholding. I compute my total 2008 tax and it’s $3000, so on Apr 15 I have to pay $250.

    Then, in 2009 I increase my draw to $25,000 (a 25% increase) and list 11 deductions (the max you can claim without filing suporting docs) to reduce withholding because I have better things to do with my money. Only $1200 gets withheld, and on apr 15 I compute my total tax as $3200, so I owe $2000, due and payable.

    Wow! I owe 8 times as much as last apr 15! I scream on BlogCritics.

    Of course, my total tax only went up $200, or 6.7%, in response to my 25% draw increase. A clear winner for me.

    This stunt is used so often by businessmen that I’m surprised more people aren’t aware of it. It’s a form of “vendor banking” adapted to taxes, so you can call it “taxman banking”. Of course, usually you have outside investments whose (apparent) losses you intend to lay off against your draw to reduce net income in the coming year to average out earnings and reduce taxes. But sometimes it doesn’t work out right and the IRS comes after you to justify your deductions.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Nearly all our tax money goes to Defense, Medicare/Medicaid, and Social Security. Those are the three areas that someone, sometime, is going to have to be brave enough to tackle [along with revenue reform]. Everything else by comparison is just a distraction.

    The president asked Republicans in the Senate to authorize a bipartisan panel for deficit reduction. They predictably refused, so he set one up by executive order. [Then the GOP decided to cooperate enough to nominate some panel members.]

    When that panel starts making recommendations after the election, the rhetoric will diminish in importance and both sides will have to stop hiding behind their talking points.

    There will be fireworks — figuratively speaking. Even a more Republican Congress — and even a majority-Republican Congress — will then have to put up or shut up.

  • John Wilson

    DOD spending $721.3 billion

    Total Spending $1.003-$1.223 trillion

    DoD looks like 60% or more of spending.

    Where are all those huge ‘welfare’ expenditures?

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius, Baronius, Baronius –

    Glenn, we were complaining about the spending of the Bush administration back then. The deficit is increasing at 3x the rate under Obama, so we’re complaining 3x as loud.

    I really, really wish that for once, just once conservatives like yourself would learn from history.

    WHY is the deficit so huge, Baronius?

    1 – the stimulus, which according to most economists IS working to put America back on track and people back to work.

    2 – $400B of the deficit is directly attributable to the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and to the Bush Medicare ‘reform’.

    3 – Thanks to the Great Recession (thanks to massive deregulation of the financial markets), we had significantly less REVENUE. It doesn’t matter if you cut taxes – it doesn’t do any good if the tax revenue doesn’t at least stay the same. In this case, it didn’t.

    4 – TWO WARS that we didn’t need to be in (especially the Iraq war started on false pretenses). We’ve already spend $1T (in loans payable by our grandkids) on the Iraq war.

    Obama comes in to clean up the mess…and what do you do? Raise hell about Obama…because to you, it doesn’t matter how bad the mess was that the Bush administration left and what it takes to fix it, it’s all Obama’s fault.

    I truly do wish that the conservatives would learn a little history, pay attention to what’s going on, and get their heads out of Fox News.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    John, that “total” figure included non-Pentagon defense spending.

    Total expenditure for everything is $3.5-4 trillion, and Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security make up nearly 40% of that total.

  • Baronius

    Thanks, Handy. This gives as good a breakdown as any.

  • Baronius

    Zing –

    “it looks to be on a similar trajectory far as i can tell…”

    Year Deficit ($M)
    2001 128,236
    2002 -157,758
    2003 -377,585
    2004 -412,727
    2005 -318,346
    2006 -248,181
    2007 -160,701
    2008 -458,555
    2009 -1,412,686
    2010 -1,555,582
    2011 -1,266,680
    2012 -828,452

  • zingzing

    you’re certainly not trying to say that obama is totally responsible for the 2009 jump are you? the last few years of bush’s presidency show the debt going up sharply and that trend continuing now. but you knew that.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The pie chart Baronius links to on Wikipedia is hilariously difficult to read, but it does make one big point graphically — take away Defense, Soc. Sec., Medicare/Medicaid, and servicing the debt, and there is not a great deal left to trim.

    This is the point that talking points/propaganda from both parties decline to acknowledge.

  • Baronius

    Zing, I’m saying what I said, that the deficits are about 3x what they were, and the trajectory is currently moving in the direction of larger deficits (I should have noted that 2010 through 2012 are projections that may prove overly optimistic). However you want to interpret the data, the one thing you can’t say is that 2009-2010 are like anything we’ve ever seen in American history.

    Handy, I liked that pie chart!

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I’m sorry. Yes, it’s a very purty chart. Lotsa nice colors and shapes. Goes well with a variety of home decor schemes.

    And microscopic numbers. And a color key that is nearly unusable for the smaller slices.

  • zingzing

    funny. i see numbers that say the debt was 10.7 trillion when bush left office. it’s not 30 trillion now… so… what gives with your numbers?

  • zingzing

    ah…. i get it. you said “deficit.” not “debt.” we’ve been going at two different things. my bad.

  • http://drdreadful.blogspot.com Dr Dreadful

    Whatever the relative sizes of the deficit under Bush Mk II and Obama, Baronius’s claim that conservatives’ protests are three times as loud is unconvincing.

    While conservatives did express concern about the Bush administration’s profligacy, they did so along the lines of “Tsk, tsk. Bad boy. [pat, pat, pat] Do better next time.”

    In contrast, one would gather from listening to current conservative opinion that the Obama deficit is like a scene from one of the more Grand Guignol bits of Revelation.

    So no, they are not protesting three times as hard. They are simply protesting.

    What they were doing under Bush was more like raising a quizzical eyebrow.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    Look at the number you quoted: 2009 -1,412,686

    Guess who submitted the 2009 budget – IT WASN’T OBAMA.

    And I notice you didn’t address the Bush tax cuts and Bush Medicare reform that account for $400B of every year’s deficit, the $1T of our debt for the illegal Iraq war that was paid for with loans mostly from China, and the decrease in revenue thanks to the Great Recession that was costing us 800K jobs per month before Obama ever took office.

    But we understand – you really don’t care where the blame actually belongs for the hideous deficit we now have. All you DO care about is blaming Obama for it.

  • Baronius

    Handy, is it “go time”? ‘Cause if you keep mocking the pie chart, it’s “go time”.

    It does illustrate what you noted, that as dumb as farm subsidies are, you’re not going to fix the budget by getting rid of them.

  • Baronius

    Glenn, I didn’t answer you because you play silly games. You know as well as I do that the 2009 deficit includes the $787B from the ARRA that was passed under President Obama, and other violations of paygo.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Baronius –

    That’s a great way to get out of answering difficult questions, isn’t it? Just say it’s “a silly game”.

    Here’s something the quite-conservative Bloomberg News posted this past October 8th:

    The nonpartisan CBO said yesterday the government was squeezed on both sides of the budget ledger in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. Tax revenue fell by $420 billion, or 17 percent, to the lowest level in more than 50 years.

    Individual income taxes, the biggest source of tax receipts, fell by 20 percent, the agency said. Corporate income taxes dropped by 54 percent, reflecting the slow economy.

    At the same time, federal spending rose by 18 percent, the CBO said. About half of the spending increase, $245 billion, was driven by the costs of bailing out the financial industry and taking over mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The spending increases and tax cuts included in the economic stimulus package approved in February added almost $200 billion to the 2009 deficit, the CBO said.

    Bloomberg leans to the right, but they DO try to adhere to some measure of reporting integrity (unlike Fox).

    And as far as PAYGO goes, your Republicans opposed it before and after Clinton, and oppose it still (except for when it’s convenient for political points). If you’d been paying attention, you’d know that already.

    In summary, Baronius, you’re holding Obama responsible for for the whole of the deficit when $820B of it came directly from Bush tax cuts, Bush Medicare reform, and the Bush Great Recession…and that’s not even addressing the interest we’re paying on the $1T of loans (mostly from China) that we’re paying for the illegal Iraq war or the interest for the deficit spending that began ratcheting up when Reagan took office.

    “Reagan proved deficits don’t matter”. Bush’s VP Dick Cheney said that – and I’m going to remind you of it every single time you complain about a Democrats’ fiscal ‘irresponsibility’.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    ARRA [the stimulus bill] is a two year program. At least half the expenditures, say $400 billion, would be FY 2010. I’ve been looking for a more exact breakdown but haven’t yet found it.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Also, I like to needle our conservative friends by reminding them that the stimulus bill they despise so contains about $300 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    If I’d had my way, there would have been no tax cuts – that way the deficit would be $300B less. I would’ve raised the taxes on the rich even more, and also sliced-and-diced the corporate tax breaks (a.k.a. corporate welfare) that enabled Exxon and GE to pay NO taxes whatsoever (except to other countries that aren’t as stupid as we are). It worked in the 50’s when our deficit was worse than it is now, and it would work now. Not that the conservatives pay any attention to history, that is.

    But the politically-expedient thing to do was to try to make nice with the conservatives who think that tax cuts are the cure for all that ails us. That’s why Obama’s the politician, and I’m not.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The tax cuts were for middle class working folks and small businesses primarily. Not such a bad way to spend $300 billion.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    True.

    Handy, you’ve got this nagging habit of being right. Stop it, or the righties will start calling you a socialist….

  • Cannonshop

    #35 Let me clarify something for you, John.

    I don’t (and haven’t in the past) HAVE any deductions to claim-my W4’s always been set at “Take the max out of the cheque”.

    At max witholding, I’m still writing a cheque for Tax-Day, and a three percent theoretical increase (25% to 28%) still doesn’t explain an eightfold increase in the size of the bank-cheque I had to go get made out to pay uncle sugar.

    and yes, I made more last year-it’s what happens when you go from eight hour days five days a week, to tens and twelves six to seven days a week for months on end. (my doctor actually thinks I may have compromised my immune system doing that. go figure.)

    Now, for you progressives out there, a little civics lesson/reminder…

    The President doesn’t write legislation, he’s got an up-or-down vote on it, and he can use the bully-pulpit to beg, cajole, nag, or advocate, but in the end, the national purse belongs to the Congress. You all should consider that when discussing “Reagan’s” Deficits, or “Clinton’s” balanced-budgets.

    Which, Glenn Contrarian, means you missed my point-because I didn’t make it clearly enough…

    Rangel’s a dirtbag, but he’s not the cause-he’s a symptom of a culture in D.C. that crosses party lines-a culture of lawmakers who can’t balance a checkbook, much less a national budget. Democrats got elected in 2006 and 2008 promising to ‘change’ things-well, they aren’t-they’re doing the exact same things every other Congress has done, only more of it.

    Savvy now? I’m not necessarily blaming Dems, they’re just the ones in power, and the ones that said they could fix it in order to GET that power, then haven’t actually fixed a god-damned thing, just made cosmetic changes (about like putting gold hubcaps on a clunker car, on Credit, with no job.)

    “Bush Deficits” and “Bush Mess”? Congress, kids. Congress writes the laws, Congress oversees the agencies, Congress sets the priorities for spending.

    Congress. Who’s run Congress the entire second Bush Term, and is still running Congress today?

  • Baronius

    Cannon, well put.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Dems did not take over Congress until the last two of Bush’s 8 years, after the 2006 elections. And they didn’t change any income tax rates during that time. [If they had, Bush would not have signed them.]

    About Cannon’s taxes: You can always request to have more tax withheld. I’ve done it myself…There’s a line on the W-4: Withhold $___ additional per pay period.

    The withholding tables were adjusted for 2009, because of the $400 tax credit virtually everyone received [they received it by having less withheld]. That combined with your heavy overtime probably explains it.

    But you make it sound like the government is targeting you or even cheating you. And that’s just silly. Someone in HR/payroll at your company should have given you better advice about withholding.

  • John Wilson

    My point was that the check you make out on Apr 15 isn’t necessarily a reflection of your tax burden, it’s only a part of the picture of your yearly taxes.

    Also, more complex returns with things like loss-carry-forward can create spectacular immediate changes as part of smoothing a longterm tax situation.

    It’s all a matter of manipulating WHEN and WHERE the dollars pop up in order to best allocate funds.

  • John Wilson

    Baronius ignores or is unaware that Bush took items (like the wars) “off books” so that they wouldn’t appear in yearly budgets and therefore not create ‘deficits’ for any given year, which would have alarmed even the lumpen-republicans who supported him. Instead he sent that money straight to the bottom line as more ‘debt’ added to the national debt. Some $5 trillion worth.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It’s really futile to decide on the veracity of Cannon’s preposterous claim unless he presents us with all the information – dollars and cents – as he would to his tax accountant. And in absence of that, the value of his testimony is anecdotal at best.

    And why on earth, Cannon, would you believe that by working overtime you’d be eligible for the protection and preferential treatment accorded to the uber-rich? You have more in common with the working-poor or the unemployed welfare slob, the people you so readily despise, than the kind of people you aspire to become like or look up to.

    Talk more about the virtues of capitalism, free markets and equal treatment under the law.

  • Baronius

    John, I’m pretty sure that the OMB’s historical deficit numbers include the cost of the war. If you’re sure that they don’t I can double-check that, but it would mean slogging through a bunch of government tables and I’m not particularly inspired right now. Anyway, as with Handy’s comment about the cost of the stimulus being spread across years, it doesn’t change explain away the remarkable increase in deficit spending.

  • Cannonshop

    #63 Working Poor? sure, that’s where I’m from. It’s inevitable I’d share a viewpoint there, it does not, however, mean I want to STAY THAT WAY.

    Savvy? I want to work my way OUT of that. In a free market, I can, in a command economy, I can’t. Every time taxes go up, prices go…up. that makes what might have been a net profit from working longer no longer a profit, but a necessity to remain at the level I’m at, rather than moving upwards, see?

    I am, as they say, not down with that shit.

    In my view, government can’t mandate prosperity, it can only restrict it, or permit it-and I think that’s the difference between my position and yours-I want to be ALLOWED to move upward, not held down and ‘made comfortable in my station’ by someone else’s misplaced urge to do ‘good’.

    Also, Roger, I don’t despise people who’re honestly trying to get a job but can’t-I despise those that don’t even look, who just demand to be taken care of by strangers-especially if there’s not a damned thing wrong with them. (I have relatives like that.)

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    My point Cannon is, the deck is stacked against you by the rich guy – always was, always will be. You can’t work your way into riches and wealth unless you’ll do it illegally.

    Talk of “pure capitalism” is a pipe dream. Even now, with government regulation supposedly in effect, you’re being ripped off because of the collusion; that’s the effect of money and power and the desire for gain. Why do you suppose things would be better if capitalism were unfettered?

    Connect the dots.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Roger –

    You can’t work your way into riches and wealth unless you’ll do it illegally.

    Roger, while I strongly agree with most of your argument, I’ve got to call you out on the above statement. I really don’t think I need to write a long spiel about your claim, because I’m fairly sure you probably wrote it in the heat of the moment.

  • Cindy

    66 – I am surprised no one has written about what I am noticing now.

    AIG et al were bailed out by the public, now that that (along with everything else) has essentially bankrupted govt, govt is pressuring citizens to cough up more dough, do without, et, etc. Meantime all the bailed out financial cos turned enormous profits in the last quarters and have nothing to say about what they did with the money they were given.

    This Daily Show is worth watching to understand what the banks did.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m glad you’re still a believer, Glenn, in fairness and the American way.

    Somebody’s got to, so keep up the good works.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’re spot on, Cindy.

    Even with the Democrats at the helm, it’s still the corporations that run this country. Wall Street isn’t hurting – look at Goldman Sachs record profits – only the average American, be they employed or not.

    In fact, Wall Street is even more emboldened by government guarantees against possible failures. That’s why the stock market is up (since the risk has been eliminated and money is being printed like there was no tomorrow). Yet, some take that as a sign of economic recovery.

    Good luck!

  • Cindy

    68 …and hat episode helps too understand how power (the wealthy elite) has gained by causing the crisis that is hobbling everyone else.

  • Cindy

    I am hoping for a revolution. I don’t much care who starts it. I am beginning to think it’s the only possibility and a necessary one.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’m not certain the crisis was manufactured on purpose (i.e., that the financial firms planned to failed). I would think they just wanted to rake more profits.

    But the unintended consequences seem to be that those which have survived are better off and thus far, have the green light.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    You’d have to connect with the other Cindy, Cindy the anarchist.

    She’s on sabbatical right now, but due back anytime soon.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    In fact, here is here website.

  • http://thingsalongtheway.blogspot.com/ Cindy

    Roger,

    You are 2 cute. It’s me Roger. I didn’t bother putting my url in after I reinstalled windows. Thanks for making me smile and thanks for retrieving my url. :-)

    I’m not certain the crisis was manufactured on purpose (i.e., that the financial firms planned to failed).

    Right. I don’t think they planned a crisis either. I just think it was inevitable. But, my point was more accurately: they are not only not suffering from the crisis they caused everyone else, they have managed to end up profiting from it in ways formerly not even available.

  • John Wilson

    64 baronius: No, the war was taken ‘off books’, as proclaimed by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, at the time. Thus, war costs didn’t appear in the yearly budget, thus didn’t produce alarming deficits. Our CEO President treated war expense as CEOs treat ‘extraordinary items’, usually meaning one-time expenses that are non-recurring (like, say, a container of uninsured expensive stuff fell off a ship in 10,000 feet of Pacific ocean).

    I complained, at the time, to republican partisans, but they placidly maintained that the item would be resolved ‘next year’, but it never was.

    And that is why a $5trillion National Debt item went straight to the bottom line in 2008 when BushCo was done. It never appeared as yearly budget deficits.

    Good stunt, eh? Pass the hot potato to the next guy.

  • John Wilson

    #65 – c’shop: you have to look a little deeper to see reality.

    “I want to work my way OUT of that. In a free market, I can, in a command economy, I can’t.”

    Monopolies also form a command economy. They restrict access to markets, both labor and product markets, just as surely as a soviet system.

    It takes a delicate balancing act to maintain a ‘free market’ in which workers can look to improving their condition, and you forfeit that when embracing extremism and partisanship of either left or right.

    Soviets can only envy the extremes of market control enjoyed by a collusion of capitalism and government.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Let’s just say I had my suspicions but I wasn’t sure. The syntax was somewhat off.

    But you’re right, Cindy: Two Cindys would have been too much of a good thing.

  • Cannonshop

    #78 And I oppose Monopoly for the reasons you just gave-I’m not a fanatic, John, there’s definitely a place for Government, it’s just that that place is narrower in my view than it is in, say, Roger or Glenn’s view.

    Trust-Busting is a legitimate role for Government, to keep the competitive, free market marketplace competitive and free. (an extension of the statement that “in order to secure these liberties, governments are formed…” from the Declaration of Independence.)

    However, in addition, I believe it is ILLEGITIMATE for Governments to force their citizens to become customers to any industry, this creates something akin to a monopolistic environment. Notably, OUR government has been mostly asleep at the wheel in terms of preventing monopolies. I work for Boeing, I LOVE working for Boeing, it’s really neat, but…

    with the buyout of McDonnell Douglas, the number of competitors for commercial aerospace products, and the number of large-aircraft manufacturers capable of competing for Federal contracts in the Defense field, has effectively declined to one (two, if they let the Europeans, a foreign entity, compete.) That’s a condition that’s bad for the market, the customers, and ultimately, bad for Boeing’s share-holders. (Too big to Fail=Too Big to Succeed.)

    Another example is the merger-mania in the oil and energy fields during the period from the eighties to…today. There isn’t enough competition, and largely that’s a result of an SEC that doesn’t do their job and hasn’t for decades, and the bank-crisis of the last three years is another example of this problem- a market with lots of Medium and Small operators is less vulnerable to a small group mistake than a market with only huge, very powerful operators, and the damage is limited, whereas it’s extensive and grows huge (out of proportion, IMHO) when you have very few, very large, operations that are basically copying each other and sharing board members.

    Government is itself a form of Monopoly-our constitution was unique in its time (when it was written) in that it LIMITS what Government can do-a law that controls the law-Makers, you might say. The bill of Rights, in particular, is written to refuse power to GOVERNMENT that other governments enjoyed, and abused at their leisure.

    We HAVE to have a single government, but we do NOT need that government getting into bed with, say, the Insurance Industry to guarantee it can profit off of everyone at the point of a gun, nor do we need that government able to hold a citizen for months on end without charging them, nor do we need a government that can seize your property without convicting you of a crime, sell it off, and enjoy the profits of the sale, nor do we need a government that uses the Tax system to reward one group of citizens at the expense of others, in exchange for that group’s patronage at the ballot box or the fundraising rubber-chikken dinner.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The civil fraud charges against Goldman certainly got their attention, and it was a more aggressive move than most on Wall St seemed to expect.

    And a financial reform bill reigning in at least some excesses and preventing most future bailouts seems virtually certain to pass.

    Maybe this is not enough, but it’s a start.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Cannon, I thought you had dropped that “health insurance at the point of a gun” bit of horse manure.

    Do you have health insurance? Would you prefer not to? It’s easy to take a tunnel-vision ideological stand when it doesn’t apply to you.

  • Cannonshop

    #81 Goldmann-Sachs would never have gotten into that position, if the SEC and FTC had:

    1. been allowed by Congress to do their jobs

    2. Had done their jobs.

    looking at the barn-door after the fact (not even closing it, they’re just going to look) just doesn’t cut it.

    #82 Yes, Handy, I do-but I’ve also gone without it in the past, and even paid cash when I was down with Mono and between jobs.

    It wasn’t fun, but…there’s something fundamentally wrong with using the power of law to guarantee a market for a private product offered by for-profit companies. IMHO, it’s the same as demanding everyone have a Cell-Phone.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The failure of everyone to have a cell phone does not have these consequences:

    When a person who is uninsured, and by selfish choice remains that way, has a serious accident or gets cancer, they will still get treatment, paid for by the rest of us.

    Do you think they shouldn’t be treated? If they should be, who should pay? Don’t you think that uninsured person is being irresponsible as well as selfish?

    On a much wider scale, if healthy people enter the risk pool, insurance premium costs come down. If they deliberately stay out of the market, the costs go up for everyone else. That simple free-market fact is the reason for the mandate.

    Of course the way I and most progressives would prefer to handle this is to give everyone single-payer health coverage and do away with for-profit insurance companies.

    Wouldn’t you be yelling even louder if we had passed that? Even though you and everyone else would be better off if we had.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “We HAVE to have a single government, but we do NOT need that government getting into bed with, say, the Insurance Industry to guarantee it can profit off of everyone at the point of a gun . . .”

    But there was no other way, Cannon. The country wasn’t ready for nationalized healthcare and for throwing the health-for-profit industry under the bus. The government is still in the clutches of the powerful business interests.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Maybe this is not enough, but it’s a start.”

    Meanwhile, Handy, there are twenty five lobbyists – repeat after me, “twenty-five” – for every member of Congress.

    That’s five times as many when compared to what obtained in connection with the Obamacare.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    looking at the barn-door after the fact (not even closing it, they’re just going to look) just doesn’t cut it.

    You say an awful lot of over-the-top things that are not fact based. I’m sure it makes you feel better to vent, but if you managed to vent and use facts and evidence at the same time, the rest of us would feel better — less headachey.

    The proposed finance reform does a lot more than look at barn doors, whatever looking at barn doors even means. Please take the time to become better informed before writing more rants.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I agree about the lobbyists, Roger. I don’t have a solution to offer as long as the Supreme Court is hostile to campaign finance reform.

    Just wait until the fall when corporations can spend as much as they want running 30 second political attack ads. It will be insane [and immoral and disgusting].

  • Cannonshop

    #84 Handy…MONOPOLIES ARE BAD.

    I thought even so called Progressives understood that.

    Down the rabbit hole we go…

    Handy, you want people to get healthcare, and that’s a good, virtuous desire to have.

    However, what passed isn’t going to fix the problem,it just papers it over and costs a lot of money while creating new and exciting avenues of waste, fraud, and abuse, most of which are avenues yet unexplored (Rule of Natural Consequences).

    Here’s my counter proposal…

    make Health Insurance 100% tax-deductable. All of it. NO TAX on it. NONE, and a rebate if your insurance costs more than your tax bill.

    D’ya think, maybe, that those healthy people who see it as a cost now, might get some if it meant paying fewer taxes or getting a bigger return? I think so. If you’re goig to use the Tax system to social-engineer, you might as well use it effectively, in the simplest manner possible, to get the outcome you’re shooting for, and it would be a definite stimulus to small businesses and one-horse shops to buy the stuff for their employees-even the part-timers.

    I suspect my way would work better than yours, and better than the way we ended up GETTING.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “I don’t have a solution to offer as long as the Supreme Court is hostile to campaign finance reform.

    Just wait until the fall when corporations can spend as much as they want running 30 second political attack ads. It will be insane [and immoral and disgusting].”

    The crux of the problem, Handy. Moneyed interest continue to dictate our politics.

  • Cannonshop

    #90 AS long as the laws continue to treat corporations and collective organizations as if they were real people, this is going to be a problem.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    C-shop –

    Single-payer health care is NOT a capitalist monopoly. It’s a way for government to ensure that health care is provided as efficiently as possible to as many of its citizens as possible.

    I can see your face turning purple right now at the mention of the word, “efficiently”…but that is the proven FACT. Do you really want me to go over the life-expectancy stats again as compared to how much all the various first-world governments pay per capita? Do you really want me to go over the administrative costs of Medicare…which is one-TENTH the average administrative costs of most health insurance companies despite the fact that Medicare patients are by FAR the most expensive group of patients?

    (and your 100%-deductible ‘solution’…isn’t a solution. It would do NOTHING for those whose care is DENIED by the health insurance agency. Tax cuts are NOT the cure for what ails us.)

    C-shop, all the FACTS are on the side of single-payer health care. All you’ve got are talking points.

    And if you’re going to gripe about how bad monopolies are, remember who it was that pushed to remove half-century-old regulations that PREVENTED such monopolies in the banking industry? Hint – it wasn’t the Democrats….

    And if you’re going to gripe about the laws treating corporations as real people, who was it that set such laws in stone less than two months ago? The CONSERVATIVES in the Supreme Court. All the liberals opposed it.

    And if you’re going to gripe about the SEC and FTC not enforcing the laws, well, guess who it was that ensured the SEC and FTC would be FAR less proactive about enforcing the laws beginning in about 2001? And guess who it was on the SEC board that just last week voted against investigating Goldman Sachs with fraud? It was a party-line vote – the Dems voted to investigate, and the Republicans voted NOT to investigate.

    So…C-shop – who exactly should you be pissed at? The ones who voted to enforce the law? Or the ones who didn’t want to enforce the law?

  • John Wilson

    Good points, Glenn.

  • Clavos

    Single payer presents the same great flaw as the current employer-paid insurance scheme, in that it relieves the end-user of any and all burden of paying for their health care, which encourages waste and fraud.

    And, once again, Glenn raises the old strawman about Medicare administrative costs, completely ignoring the rampant waste and fraud inherent in that agency, whose budget is increasing at an alarming rate, threatening the very stability of the nation’s entire economy.

    But, hey, it’s our wonderful gummint, so let ’em run with it, we’ll all be so much better off when the gummint takes care of and coddles us from cradle to grave.

    I can barely contain my joy…

  • Jeff Forsythe

    I have observed with some interest the plummeting (and subsequent near recovery) of the American Stock Market today. From what intel I could remotely gather here, it was principally caused by the deepening European dept crisis.

    I can only conjecture with some amusement how long it will take for your barmy conservatives there to attempt to misleadingly fault Mr. Obama for it as well.

    Mr. Forsythe