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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 10:49 pm 
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I've been thinking about this over the weekend and so I'll think out loud and ask what everyone else here is thinking.

Here are some of the consequences of the Junior High School affectionately known as the U.S. Congress and the White House:

* Standard & Poors has threatened that there is a 50% chance - already - that it will downgrade the United State's credit rating (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/SP-warns-it-may-downgrade-US-apf-3001686388.html?x=0).

* Moody's has warned that if the U.S. Credit Rating is downgraded, the credit ratings of at least five U.S. states - Maryland, New Mexico, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia - will also have their credit rating downgraded(http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Moodys-eyes-debt-downgrade-apf-3269364794.html?x=0&.v=3).

* The value of the U.S. Dollar is falling http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-slips-as-us-debt-impasse-continues-2011-07-24?link=MW_latest_news, which will of course make the cost of things that we buy more expensive. Just what we need when we're in the middle of a very fragile recovery. Nicely done, Washington.

I've decided that if a deal doesn't get worked out and worked out very soon, I'm going to do the following:

1) I will hold BOTH sides accountable and will vote against every incumbent. I'll vote against my U.S. Senators. Vote against my Representatives. Vote against the President. But I will add the caveat that I will NOT support any Presidential nominee who has advocated for not addressing the urgent need of our nation's debt ceiling.

2) Even though I am a registered Independent, I am frequently contacted by my state's GOP as I've voted in GOP Primaries in the past and have volunteered to help in GOP campaigns. But if this thing goes down, I will tell them to never contact me again and to never ask me for money or help again.

3) I will give money, as much as I'm able to give, to any sane person anywhere in the country who runs against any incumbent member of Congress and for any sane candidate for President who is not a current member of Congress.

I am venting my frustration here and I know that my little voice and little contribution or lack of it means nothing. But this nonsense just has to end at some point. We have a dysfunctional government and we can't get our elected officials to sit down and play nice for anything. Everyone is doing whatever they need to do in order to keep their jobs - which means in my opinion that they don't deserve to have them, since they're all putting politics ahead of the immediate needs of the country. And just as the U.S. Credit Rating affects all of us, I think that all of our elected officials should be held accountable by voters if they can't get a deal done.

Is anyone out there anywhere near as frustrated with this situation as I am, or am I all alone??

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:57 pm 
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TVV, I do share your frustration. I'm just wondering because a lot of people do not realize this & I only just read it this past week, but did you know that raising the debt ceiling is not enough to stop our credit rating from being downgraded? That is a good part of the reason for the GOP's "obstinacy".

Compromising with Obama & the Dems won't save our credit rating. The credit rating people said that if we do not seriously cut our country's spending by something like $4 trillion in August (might be the reason for O's Aug 2nd deadline), we will be downgraded. So the GOP could go ahead & bend over & accept what the Dems are shoveling, but it still won't save us.

With that knowledge in mind, in addition to the fact that the Dems have put NOTHING/ZIP/ZILCH/NADA no solutions forth (having had years, including their time with a super majority, to do so) but haven't hesitated to trash everything offered by the GOP as usual, I am hard pressed to find fault with the GOP here.

I also cannot see punishing a politician for belonging to a particular party as opposed to holding them accountable for their own personal performance.

So how will I react? I will continue to pray for God's infinite mercy on our country & that He will save us from ourselves.



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:01 am 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
So how will I react? I will continue to pray for God's infinite mercy on our country & that He will save us from ourselves.


Amen to that!

I am just so frustrated because I just see the government now - and as far as I see it, I think all of it is this way - as completely broken and nearly completely useless. I think that if a deal can't be reached this week, neither the President or any member of Congress should be paid their salaries. Obviously, to most of these people, this would mean nothing in terms of their everyday lives. But, it would be a good first step in trimming back expenses and should be done before any other payments are held back due to lack of funding.

I just think that it's unhealthy when things are so divided that nothing can get done and everything is a battle to the end. I'm tired of it. And I guess from my perspective, I see fault on both sides as well as fault in both Congress and the White House. I just see this as completely unreasonable and absolutely ridiculous. I worry that the results of all of this posturing could be extremely bad and I, as a voter, think that everyone involved shares part of the blame here.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:21 am 
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My dad has always believed that all politicians are dishonest & untrustworthy and would probably agree with you, but I am curious what information leads you to believe that everyone involved shares part of the blame?

Do you feel that the GOP should agree to tax increases then? (Esp considering a number of major corp's just announced a few days ago that they will be doing massive layoffs)

I know that they did agree with the Dems that wealthy Americans receiving Medicare (or was it SS?) should be taxed on that income, but my understanding is that they are refusing to compromise on the WH & Dems desire to tax incomes $250K and up because it will hurt small business and further hurt employment.

I'm just trying to understand why you seem to be as angry with the GOP as with the Dems so I would like to know what it is that you think the GOP should be doing that hasn't already been tried.

Why don't the Dems offer up a concrete solution of their own for the discussion?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:50 am 
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QuoVadisAnima wrote:
My dad has always believed that all politicians are dishonest & untrustworthy and would probably agree with you, but I am curious what information leads you to believe that everyone involved shares part of the blame?

Do you feel that the GOP should agree to tax increases then? (Esp considering a number of major corp's just announced a few days ago that they will be doing massive layoffs)

I know that they did agree with the Dems that wealthy Americans receiving Medicare (or was it SS?) should be taxed on that income, but my understanding is that they are refusing to compromise on the WH & Dems desire to tax incomes $250K and up because it will hurt small business and further hurt employment.

I'm just trying to understand why you seem to be as angry with the GOP as with the Dems so I would like to know what it is that you think the GOP should be doing that hasn't already been tried.

Why don't the Dems offer up a concrete solution of their own for the discussion?


I think that in our current situation, the optimal solution is going to be one in which no neither side is completely happy. I believe we should absolutely not raise tax rates. I agree that American taxpayers are generally "Taxed Enough Already" - and I am one of them. But I do think that there are enough loopholes in place that enable some international corporations that are based in the U.S. to legally pay very, very little and in some cases nothing (which doesn't stop them from laying off American employees), that these loopholes could be eliminated to the extent that the companies can pay a reasonable rate - even 5% (some corporations have an effective tax rate that is less than this) - without "raising taxes" on the American people.

I would prefer that there is no income tax at all - and absolutely despise the progressive nature of income tax rates. I support the Fair Tax, which is one of the many reasons I support GH. But, at this point, we're so deep in the hole that I don't see a way that we can get out of it without addressing both sides of the equation - spending as well as additional sources of revenue. I don't think that the government should be so focused on taxation as a source of revenue - the government is not anywhere as creative as it should be about other forms of revenue (I would love to see the Government sell naming rights to the Federal Highway System and use this revenue to reduce the need for income from taxation). But when we're $14 trillion bucks in the hole, it's emergency time and we all have to be prepared to give up things.

I was astounded to hear last week that the Democrats were balking at cuts to Social Security and Medicare. Maybe I shouldn't have been astounded but I thought even they would realize that our current path is unsustainable and we can't just give money away forever. We simply can't continue that. But, I think that while some on their side were prepared to make sacrifices in the entitlement spending, which directly affects their political base, I have seen the House Republicans as unwilling to even consider dealing with the tax loopholes without raising the tax rates. I think this is unreasonable and it seems to me to be a shallow attempt to avoid tripping some type of political wire related to the no-tax pledge. I would be extremely upset of personal income tax rates were raised and think that would be very bad for the economy. However, I would not be upset at all if some tax policies were changed that resulted in a major corporation paying a 5% corporate tax rate instead of paying half that rate or nothing at all. I don't see that as a catastrophe for the American economy in the least - and it's absolutely nothing compared to the catastrophe that will certainly occur if our credit rating is damaged.

I think that there is blame to go on both sides. But my problem with the GOP is that they don't seem willing to give up anything - and I think the reasons have to do more with political consequences than with actual principle. I share the belief that our government is way too large, that our taxes are way too much, and that we need to radically cut spending, pass a balanced budget Amendment to the Constitution and entirely get rid of the concept of a Federal Budget Deficit. But I also know that this isn't going to happen overnight and that there are ways to close loopholes in our extremely complicated tax system without violating these principles. I also think that in any deadlocked negotiation, both sides have to be willing to give in order to get anything done.

I'm also both baffled and very put off by the act of walking away from negotiations, which Rep. Cantor did a couple of weeks ago and which Speaker Boehner did on Friday. I'm thinking to myself - really? It just looks to me like picking up your ball and going home. I don't care how much they dislike or distrust President Obama. Many of us throughout the country have to work with people we don't have on our Christmas Card lists. We still have to do our jobs and can't just say that we're not going to work with so-and-so. This entire scene is sickening to me.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 7:07 am 
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I think the GOP should agree to tax hikes.

Why? Because we don't need a double-dip recession, the stock market is not impressed by princinples and "fight to the bitter end" attitude.

Why? Because unfortunately, the american people elected a couple of democrats too. We can't overextend our mandate like Obama did, then we all know how things end. Polls show most people want a mix of mostly spending cuts and some tax increases.

Why? Because spending cuts are going to be painful, and too many of them may lead to a backlash with people supporting going back to spending like there's no tomorrow. Yes tax increases are painful too, but I'd still say it's nothing compared to a cut in entitlement spending.

Why? Because Obama would have loved a 100 % tax hikes deal, but has now agreed to only 18 % tax hikes.

Why? Because credibility is important. If you cancel your payments, that means your credibility is hurt forever. Yes, eventually, you won't have much credibility the way you're spending right now. But default - no, that's way worst.

/John



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Now I am actually fuming mad. I am worried about interest rates and the declining value of my cash. I tried to call Boehner's office but could not leave a message because the voice mail was full. I will most likely never vote for any current member of Congress for any office at any point in the future. I would rather have the NFL players run the House and the team owners run the Senate. They are not all the brightest folks in America but at least they have shown they know how to get a deal done. And who knows - with all the corruption we have seen over the past few years, the NFL players-turned-Congressmen might actually have a lower arrest rate than Congress.

It was a complete waste of votes putting any of these jokers in office. I am embarrassed for our county.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 11:14 pm 
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But it took the NFL players awhile to get a deal. That's the nature of negotiations, and Congress isn't any different. Boehner is right to press this one up to the wire to get the best possible deal. The ceiling is gonna be raised one way or another; they can always pass a one week ceiling increase to prevent default and let negotiations continue if they have to.

What bothers me most is how the media is swallowing Obama's talking points as High Statesmanship. I haven't heard NPR mention once that Boehner and Obama had a deal including 800 billion in revenue increase, and then Obama comes back the next day demanding 400 billion in tax increases on top of that. Of course he knew that would kill the deal.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 12:25 am 
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Yep, I just read those details today & I am more angry with Obama than ever. They had a deal nearly worked out - Boehner had given him some major concessions on tax increases - & then O goes & majorly changes the goal posts on increasing taxes. And he pouts that Boehner pushed away from the table after that stunt?

Then the House & the Senate finally work on something they can agree on - and Obama says he will veto it because he doesn't feel that the market should have to live with the uncertainty? He hasn't cared for nearly 3 freaking years - so why shouldn't we believe that it is simply because he doesn't want the debt limit to come up during campaign season? I cannot believe the way this is being spun as the GOP's fault!

Yes, the TEA Party is intransigent on this issue - but really, why shouldn't they be? Greece's money is now worthless. Who wants to go there? We're not going to be downgraded & have our interest rates increased because the GOP refused to raise taxes; it's all going to happen because the Spendocrats had an orgy of spending following 2008 & refuse to cut off any of the porkulous they passed.

I'm with Rep. King - if we default, Obama should be impeached! :evil:


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 2:08 am 
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Seems like an easy place to cut trillions of dollars would be to repeal Obamacare.

I saw abumper sticker that said: "ObamaCare... Jet us know when YOU are Shovel-Ready."

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 3:34 am 
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IMO, for Boehner to have reached the point where he is speaking as bluntly as he is, indicates that he has not only laid all his cards on the table, but is ready to let the (cow)chips fall where they may. Frankly, between the TEA Party members at his back & the Spendocrats attacking on every other side, I am fairly impressed by how he has handled this virtually impossible situation.
Quote:
Obama, Boehner Take Debt Ceiling Showdown to Nation’s Television Screens

Monday, July 25, 2011
By David Espo, Associated Press

Washington (AP) – Decrying a "partisan three-ring circus" in the nation's capital, President Barack Obama criticized a newly minted Republican plan to avert an unprecedented government default Monday night and said congressional leaders must produce a compromise that can reach his desk before the Aug. 2 deadline.

"The American people may have voted for divided government, but they didn't vote for a dysfunctional government," the president said in a hastily arranged prime-time speech. He appealed to the public to contact lawmakers and demand "a balanced approach" to reducing federal deficits.

Obama stepped to the microphones a few hours after first Republicans, then Democrats drafted rival fallback legislation Monday to avert a potentially devastating government default in little more than a week.

Obama said the approach unveiled earlier in the day by House Speaker John Boehner would raise the nation's debt limit only long enough to push off the threat of default for six months. "In other words, it doesn't solve the problem," he said.

The president had scarcely completed his remarks when Boehner made an extraordinary rebuttal carried live on the nation's networks.

"The president has often said we need a `balanced' approach, which in Washington means we spend more, you pay more," the Ohio Republican said, speaking from a room just off the House floor.

"The sad truth is that the president wanted a blank check six months ago, and he wants a blank check today. That is just not going to happen."

Directly challenging the president, Boehner said there "is no stalemate in Congress."

He said the Republicans' newest legislation would clear the House, could clear the Senate and then would be sent to Obama for his signature.

The back-to-back televised speeches did little to suggest that a compromise was in the offing, and the next steps appeared to be votes in the House and Senate on the rival plans by mid-week

http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/oba ... g-showdown


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:04 am 
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1) I will hold BOTH sides accountable and will vote against every incumbent. I'll vote against my U.S. Senators. Vote against my Representatives. Vote against the President. But I will add the caveat that I will NOT support any Presidential nominee who has advocated for not addressing the urgent need of our nation's debt ceiling.



I'm with you TVV, my wife and I switch our party affiliation in 2009 from Republican to Independent. I’m so fed up with the purity test, am I pro-life? You betcha I am. Do I think there are some people in this country that could afford to pay a little more into the treasury? Darn right I do. My father-in-law who is a plumber by trade (He's also an associate pastor at our church) was laid off late in 2009, his only source of income was a small retirement from a pervious employer, unemployment compensation & my mother-in-law still works. There income was slashed by over 50% over night, yet still they owed the fed tax money this year because of his unemployment compensation. I didn't hear my in-laws complain one peep, they paid every penny that was required. So forgive me if I think the GE's of the world can afford I don't know maybe paying $1 buck a year would be nice, especially since unemployed people can cough up over $2,300.

When President Bush left office our debt was over $10.6 trillion (but we must remember that our vice president at the time didn’t think deficits matter :wall ) , Obama comes into office and quickly added an additional $4 trillion on top of that. This is clearly not a Republican or Democrat problem, but a Washington problem. So I agree with Republicans that we need to cut or reform some areas in Medicare & Social Security, and I hope that they are serious about looking at cuts to DOD, DHS, (EPA CUT CUT CUT) DOA (unfortunately) DOE (cut the darn subsidies) & Dept of Education. On the other hand I do think the dems are right on share sacrifice, we all got in this mess together and everybody (yes even the top 1% heavens forbid they have to sacrifice anything) has to pull there own weight to get us out. Now I hear the average ceo pay for an S&P 500 company is $11.4 Million, something tells me that there going to be ok if we require just a little more from them.

Thanks everybody for letting me rant, I'm just a little frustrated but man did it feel good to get that off my chest. :D



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:42 pm 
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I've not been a member of the Republican Party since 2008. I'm registered with the Constitution Party, as some of you know. The Republicans can't be saved. Until conservatives realize that, nothing anybody every does will change anything.

At this point, I fully expect there to be a short term deal and that our credit rating will be downgraded ANYWAY. The ONLY person in gov't who has consistently made this point is Rubio, and he has been talking about this for at least a month that I know of. The Rep's had a message problem from the beginning. They put too much emphasis on the debt ceiling. Whether that is raised or not, the real problem is losing our credit rating.

And why is our credit rating going to be slashed? Because of big spending. And THAT, my friends, is something Republicans are guilty of, too. Yes, Obama has spent at an unprecedented level, but call a spade a spade. Has Obamacare been defunded? Where have there been any votes to SERIOUSLY cut spending? Remember their pledge to cut $100 billion that turned out to cut less than $500 million? And remember the accounting gimmicks they tried to use on us to convince us that it was more? Real cuts don't exist because Republicans don't want to cut spending. A few conservative members of the Republican party do, but by and large, the party's "conversion" has all been of convenience.

So what will I do? Oppose Republicans. I want the party to go the way of the Whigs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 2:35 pm 
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I am so frustrated and done with ALL of Washington. They're BOTH guilty of raising the national debt to where it is now. As a case in point, let me share with everyone the timeline of the House career of Speaker Boehner.

* January 3rd, 1991 - Assumed office as a Congressman for Ohio's 8th District.
National Debt at that time: $3,233,313,451,777.25 (as of 9/30/1990).


* January 3rd, 2001 - Assumed role as Chairman of the House Committee on
Education and Workforce.
National Debt at that time: $5,723,237,439,563.59

(An increase of 43% during the ten-year time span. Despite the fact that the
Republicans held the House and the Senate for six of those ten years and the
Presidency for the first two of those ten years).


* February 2nd, 2006 - Assumed role as Majority Leader of the United States House of Representatives
National Debt at that time: $8,198,626,872,332.20

(Another increase of 43% during the five year time span. Despite the fact
that the Republicans controlled the House and the Presidency for the entire
time span and the Senate for four of those six years).


* January 1st, 2007 - Assumed role as Minority Leader of the United States
House of Representatives.
National Debt at that time: 8,677,214,255,313.07

(Another increase of 5% during the eleven month time span. Despite the
fact that the Republicans conrolled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency
throughout that time).


* January 5th, 2011- Assumed role as Speaker of the United States House of
Representatives.
National Debt at that time: 13,997,932,781,828.89

(An increase of 61% during the four year time span, which can be
divided into two parts. The national debt raised by 22% during the last two
years of President Bush's term, when the Republicans held the White House
and the Democrats controlled the House and Senate. It raised by another
31% during the first two years of President Obama's term, when the
Democrats controlled the White House and both the Senate and the House).


So, it is in my opinion pretty inaccurate to make the issue of our national debt a partisan issue. As evidenced by the above, it's pretty clear that both parties have had a heavy hand in spending more than we have and that any differences between the two parties' overspending habits is simply just a matter of the degree to which they overspend.

John Boehner has been part of the House leadership for most of his twenty years in Washington, including for the significant period of time in which Republicans controlled the entire government. I say this to say that I think that there are politicians in Washington, Boehner among them, who have had as significant a role in getting us into this position as anyone else has and who are now trying to pretend that they've always been frugal and that they're trying to protect us from the other side. Ba-lo-ney.

And meanwhile, while they're arguing with each other and blaming each other for the crisis that most of them helped create, they're not working across the aisle to solve a problem that can only be solved by both sides working together and compromising. Meanwhile, we the people are suffering. And possibly worse of all, some of us are have such an intensity of feeling of dislike toward "the other side" that we refuse to hold them all accountable.

I wish that politicians weren't able to disclose their party affiliation. This is how we got in this mess. Most of us are so intensely on the side of (R) or (D) that we can't evaluate individuals on the basis of their actual records and what they actually stand for. This is why we have "safe districts" and we have a lot of members of Congress who have no real motivation to work. A Republican knows that he can do almost anything in certain districts and face no threat of losing his job to a person who has another party affiliation and a Democrat knows that they can do anything and never worry about losing to a Republican. Our intense partisanship as voters, our intense personal dislike for the other side, and our unwillingness to view "our side" as even partially accountable for the problems that only two sides can create has enabled Washington to be broken and to stay broken.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:18 pm 
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I never offered Boehner or the GOP absolution for their spending sins pre-Obama. But NOW, when we are in the crucible, who is doing what to get us out?

It is clear to me that the greatest obstacle(s) to getting us out of this mess AT THIS POINT IN TIME are the Democrats & Obama. And I would like to know what you fault the current class of Republicans for AT THIS POINT IN TIME because the Dems are the one who spent us up to this precipice & are now pointing their fingers at the Reps while still refusing to actually do anything (ok, I have to acknowledge that Reid is finally going thru the motions), while the Reps are the ones working to figure out where to cut spending.

I am stumped as to how a Huckabee supporter can suggest that the GE's of this world should do their share as he has pointed out so many times that businesses don't pay taxes; they roll all costs of business into their prices and we will pay for the tax increases imposed on the GE's of this world with higher prices. It also works against job creation.

And my admiration for Boehner AT THIS POINT IN TIME stems from the fact that he is managing this situation as well as he is while getting it from all sides. I would have done far more than push away from the negotiating table when Obama effectively trashed everything that had been accomplished by trying to add his tax increases back in at the last minute.

It also boggles my mind that anyone can see what the Dems have done to this country as a followup to the Reps and say that they will work to get rid of the Rep party. That's like saying you're going to get rid of your dog that protects your children but chews up your shoes while a wolf is shredding your house's interior & will have your children for dinner with the shoes for a chaser as soon as the dog's gone.

Huckabee was right - the party can be salvaged, but who on earth believed that it was going to happen in just 4 years? Seeds have been planted & roots are clearly spreading out - this is not the time to abandon the crop just when it is starting to show signs of green growth sprouting up.

I hope at the very least that we are all praying for a real resolution to the problem and one that will NOT benefit the culture of death in the next elections.



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:29 pm 
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Jac, there's this thing called the Democrat Party, and it controls the Senate and the Presidency. Kinda makes it challenging to simply get our way.

TVV, the trouble is that now the debt is approaching 100% GDP and, as we know, the credit raters are hinting at downgrade. That's why we need to treat this limit increase in a special way by at least trying to tie it in with serious cuts. Seems pretty reasonable and responsible to me.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 4:47 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
TVV, the trouble is that now the debt is approaching 100% GDP and, as we know, the credit raters are hinting at downgrade. That's why we need to treat this limit increase in a special way by at least trying to tie it in with serious cuts. Seems pretty reasonable and responsible to me.


Miserere, I agree with you that our debt level is rising to unacceptable levels and has been doing so for some time now. And I would LOVE to see a MASSIVE cut in spending - something way more aggressive than what is now being proposed. I did like what I had heard about the Gang of Six proposal and the thing that was being proposed originally between the President and the Speaker. We need trillions of bucks of spending cut. I have absolutely no argument with that and agree that this needs to be done. I just think that it's the wrong thing to do to resist some type of agreement for so long that we come within days of not being able to meet our financial committments and jeapardizing our credit rating.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 5:17 pm 
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QVV - you have made some very good points. Let me try to explain my point of view a bit more in response to your points.

QuoVadisAnima wrote:
I never offered Boehner or the GOP absolution for their spending sins pre-Obama. But NOW, when we are in the crucible, who is doing what to get us out?


I'd argue personally that both sides have as a very high priority looking good for their supporters and not appearing to "cave" to the other side. I think that the reasons for this are at least as much because of politics and perception as they are because of principle. But I also think that, in my view, the committment that no revenue of any sort can be obtained through modification of the tax code, even if tax rates are not raised and even if individuals are not directly affected, seems unreasonable given the current situation. We spend so much more than we take in that we have to do something that is going to be radical and will require some changes on both sides of the equation. Also, because of the numbers of people on each side of the political spectrum in Washington, it's just not possible to have a solution that is Republican-only or Democrat-only. It just can't be done. In my mind, we either do something or we do nothing. And if we do something, in order to actually get it done, we need to have some give and take in order to have something that is nonperfect but better than nothing.


Quote:
It is clear to me that the greatest obstacle(s) to getting us out of this mess AT THIS POINT IN TIME are the Democrats & Obama. And I would like to know what you fault the current class of Republicans for AT THIS POINT IN TIME because the Dems are the one who spent us up to this precipice & are now pointing their fingers at the Reps while still refusing to actually do anything (ok, I have to acknowledge that Reid is finally going thru the motions), while the Reps are the ones working to figure out where to cut spending.


Because our national debt is cumulative and did not just pile up over the past two years (although President Obama has raised the debt at a far faster rate than his predeecessor did), I can't just assign the blame to who has done what at this point in time. I think that the blame has to be shared as there were a lot of people in both parties and on both sides of the current debate who are responsible for borrowing that $14.2 trillion.

And if we were to just talk about current times, I still would say that the blame should be shared. President Obama deserves blame for not putting forth a specific plan, for making partisan political speeches that have diminished an already faint desire for any type of cooperation, and for continuing to talk about tax hikes. The GOP deserves blame for repeatedly walking away from negotiations, for taking a hard-line approach that essentially says that they will never support any solution that increases tax revenue in any way under any circumstances and, in the case of several politicians, including at least one GOP Presidential Candidate, arguing publicly that it wouldn't be the end of the world to default on our obligations. The latter point has had the additional negative result of convincing a number of voters that it's not important to resolve this and may have helped prevent a deal from getting done. From a poll I saw yesterday, about 68% of the American people blamed the GOP for a big part of this mess because of perceived intransigence. However, I think that both parties are to blame in the current timeline as well as historically.

The Democrats have an unrealistic view of spending money. They tend to think that the government has the obligation to take care of every problem, wipe away every tear, take care of every person who can't or won't take care of themselves in perpetuity. They have not been good stewarts of the economy by any measure. But the Republicans, while speaking to the issue of financial stewartship, have spent almost as much as the Democrats and have not seemed to take the nation's mounting debt very seriously until it got to this breaking point that we are in now. I blame them both.

Quote:
I am stumped as to how a Huckabee supporter can suggest that the GE's of this world should do their share as he has pointed out so many times that businesses don't pay taxes; they roll all costs of business into their prices and we will pay for the tax increases imposed on the GE's of this world with higher prices. It also works against job creation.


I hear you and I am generally against trying to make corporations and wealthy people the whipping boys for all of society. I think that our corporate tax rates are in general higher than they should be and that we have a lot of rules and fees that stiffle economic development and which should be scrapped. However, just last week, I heard of an earnings report for a major corporation that paid less than a three percent rate in U.S. corporate taxes - far less than any of us have to pay. Far less, in fact, than small businesses, which also are responsible for creating jobs. I know corporations pass their expenses on to consumers. However, if a company had to pay a ten percent rate or even an eight percent rate instead of a three perecent rate or a zero percent rate, would that really have that much of an impact on consumers? I would guess probably not, especially as those companies still have to compete in the open market against other corporations and against smaller businesses.

I still advocate the idea of the Fair Tax and hope that the day comes where there are no Income OR Corporate Taxes. However, since we're not there yet, I don't see the harm in closing some of the loopholes that enable corporations to pay a smaller tax rate than small businesses or individuals. Maybe I'm missing something, but, I don't see it. I also don't think that causing a major company to pay eight or ten percent instead of zero or three percent amounts to "raising taxes" on the American people.


Quote:
And my admiration for Boehner AT THIS POINT IN TIME stems from the fact that he is managing this situation as well as he is while getting it from all sides. I would have done far more than push away from the negotiating table when Obama effectively trashed everything that had been accomplished by trying to add his tax increases back in at the last minute.


I would be more impressed if I saw him really take charge of his own side. There are a lot of people on the GOP side who don't think the debt ceiling should be raised at all. There are some who would raise it but not if they have to compromise at all with the Democrats. To borrow a term from Trent Lott's book, I think that Boehner needs to do a better job of "herding cats" and getting everyone on his side to work together and to see the criticality of doing so. I also would have been a lot more impressed if there had been no walkouts in negotiations. Like somebody or not, you have to work with people when the American people are depending on you to do so.

Quote:
It also boggles my mind that anyone can see what the Dems have done to this country as a followup to the Reps and say that they will work to get rid of the Rep party. That's like saying you're going to get rid of your dog that protects your children but chews up your shoes while a wolf is shredding your house's interior & will have your children for dinner with the shoes for a chaser as soon as the dog's gone.


I didn't say that I would work to get rid of the Republicans. I said that I feel like working to vote out EVERYBODY who is currently in Washington. It's just a mess and is non-functional. They can't get anything done. It's just broken. A terrible mess of hot-headed ideologues on both the left and the right, a large number of career politicians who are eager to cast themselves in the image of whatever the polls are telling them people want ("I'm for protecting this country"," I'm for green energy," "I'm for fixing immigration," "My first priority, friends, has always been to watch our spending"). And then you have a few criminals and pervs thrown into the mix for good measure. We really can do better than this as a country. Are you proud of the collective group of people who represent us? This mess is just embarrassing.

Quote:
Huckabee was right - the party can be salvaged, but who on earth believed that it was going to happen in just 4 years? Seeds have been planted & roots are clearly spreading out - this is not the time to abandon the crop just when it is starting to show signs of green growth sprouting up.

I hope at the very least that we are all praying for a real resolution to the problem and one that will NOT benefit the culture of death in the next elections.


I absolutely do not want to benefit the culture of death, and that is a very good point that you make as well. I don't know what the answer is, but I want to stop the Democrats in the areas in which they promote abortion, changes in the definition of marriage, and just societal disentigration. This is why I was attracted to the GOP and to Huckabee. But I also am turned off by hypocrisy, hyper-partisanship that allows the country to burn while each side is fiddling in front of their supporters, and a lot of other things. This is why I am an Independent.

But my comment about wishing that politicians could not be affiliated with a political party is because I think it causes voters to be lazy. The root problem in Washington is that, essentially, once you get elected, most politicians only have to worry about pleasing their party and avoiding same-party challenges. Because most are in "safe" districts and know that they'll never lose to someone of the other party, no matter how much they might act like people from the other party. In general, too many voters just vote (R) and (D) and listen to however politicians wish to cast themselves without always doing our homework. I think we the people have enabled this mess and I'd like to see a more inquisitive, less easily placated electorate come out of this somehow so that we can elect a better quality of leadership.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 9:46 pm 
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Miserere wrote:
Jac, there's this thing called the Democrat Party, and it controls the Senate and the Presidency. Kinda makes it challenging to simply get our way.

Ah, I forgot about that. You are right. If only Republicans had the house, the senate, AND the presidency, things would be differn . . .

Oh, wait. n/m. Been there, done that.

But sure, maybe THIS TIME it will be different. That's what every person in an abusive relationship says when the spouse begs forgiveness. And, shock of all shocks, she ends up dead, just the same.

You people keep fighting for the Republicans. I'm done with them, and a growing number of people are, too. They won't have my vote come 2012 just like they didn't in '08. Complain and moan and blame all you want. I'm finished with them. And if there are enough of us feeling that way that Reps lose, then rather than blame us, how about blaming yourselves, as you are the ones who insisted on voting for people the rest of us said "not anymore" to.

When the TP started two years ago, I scoffed then at the "conservative resurgence." I feel pretty vindicated. There's been no resurgence of conservatism in the Republican Party. If there were, Chambliss and Boehner wouldn't have worked so hard to undermine Cut, Cap, and Balance. Y'all need to face reality. They're using the TP to get elected. Once in power, they'll "compromise" all day long to keep their jobs and enjoy their power.

Well you know what? When good compromises with evil, the only one who wins is evil. As I said, I'm done with them.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:12 pm 
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Quote:
I am stumped as to how a Huckabee supporter can suggest that the GE's of this world should do their share as he has pointed out so many times that businesses don't pay taxes; they roll all costs of business into their prices and we will pay for the tax increases imposed on the GE's of this world with higher prices. It also works against job creation.


While I agree with Governor Huckabee in principal on the fair tax, we are dealing with the reality that the fair tax is not the law of the land (If I’m wrong please correct me). Having said that I do notice quite a few corps that do pay there fair share if not more.

ExxonMobil: $21.6 billion worldwide income taxes (tax rate: 45% instead of the U.S. statutory rate 35%)

ConocoPhillips: $8.3 billion income taxes (Tax rate: 42%)

Chevron: $12.9 billion income taxes (Tax rate: 40%)

Goldman Sachs: $4.5 billion income taxes (Tax rate: 35.2%)

Wells Fargo: $6.3 billion income taxes (Tax rate: 33.9%)

Wal-Mart Stores: $7.1 billion income taxes (Tax rate: 32.4%)

If the fair tax does become law, will the banks eliminate or substantially reduce fees?

As for job creation, I believe we still have the same tax rates under obama that was under President Bush (If I'm incorrect please do forgive me) so where are all of the jobs? Plus wall street is sitting on 2 trillion that could be invested in our economy, instead they are learning unfortunately to do more with less.


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