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Political Chicken

© Dan Wasserman

Are they playing chicken or are they just determined to drive us off a cliff?



  1. Guy Savage wrote:

    Hopefully that weakass speaker Boehner does not flinch. We must make Obama stop spending and we must not compromise by allowing taxes to go up on anyone. Remember Obama’s speech equating the political parties to the transmission. Well, he’s damn right the Republicans want to put the car in reverse and the Democrats want to put the car in drive and floor the accelerator . . . right off the cliff.

    We do not have a revenue problem, there is not enough money to pay for Obama’s destructive spending. We have a spending problem. Didn’t Mike Tyson go broke at one point? Seems like some stupid ass rappers have gone broke also, but I don’t pay attention to those ignorant morons. We are in the same situation. Those fools had a bunch of money, but not unlimited amount, and they spent it all. Same as the USA, the government has more money than it needs, but it does not have as much as it wants. Obama wants to spend more than he can possibly bring in

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink
  2. Mad Hatter wrote:

    Nice racial rant. Why didn’t you just say that “we have a n****r in the White House problem”. That’s what most of the Tea Party idiots really think. Their goal is to get him out of there even it means taking the country down. That’s a nice patriotic strategy.

    Besides, most of the spending and revenue reductions that are killing us happened during 2000 – 2008 with your boy wonder and his goose stepping Republicans.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Permalink
  3. Michael wrote:

    So we’re back to blaming Obama’s “big spending” again, huh? Let’s look at this illustration again. Other than entitlement programs, the three biggest sources of long-term deficits are (in order) 1) the Bush era tax cuts, 2) the economic downturn, and 3) the Iraq/Afghanistan wars. All of Obama’s spending has either been short-term stimulus to prevent us from experiencing a full economic collapse, or has been offset by spending cuts elsewhere.

    Sources 1 and 3 are clearly Bush policies, and there is absolutely no way that one can legitimately place the blame for those on Obama. (One can place partial blame on Obama for not withdrawing the troops fast enough, but that’s a complicated matter and a different discussion.)

    As for the economic collapse…which was brought on by a collapse in the financial sector…well, assigning blame for that is a complicated matter. Part of it is the anti-tax, anti-government, anti-regulation culture that is the legacy of Reagan. We can’t blame all that on the GOP, because plenty of Dems are also guilty (e.g., Dodd). However, these stances are core elements of the GOP platform, and not universally accepted by Dems.

    As for entitlements, we could have addressed some of these problems 20-30 years ago with a combination of reasonable tax increases and/or benefit reductions. But no one ever accused Congress of being reasonable.

    At the end of the day, we don’t have a debt problem, we have a Congress problem.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 6:28 pm | Permalink
  4. Arthanyel wrote:

    Absolutely right, Michael, and there is a fourth – the unfunded Medicare prescription drug benefit, which is also a Bush/Republican legacy.

    But we should be clear – the reason we are having this crisis is because conservatives have been engineering it for 20 years. Check out information about Grover Norquist. The plan has been to slash revenues to less than 15% of GDP from the historical average of 18.5% (done, Bush tax cuts) to precipitate a deficit crisis (done) to force the dismantling of social programs they don’t like, including privatizing Medicare (Ryan plan) Social Security (will be on the agenda for 2013) and eliminating all funding for the Department of Education, welfare, etc.

    We should not let them get away with it. They created this mess and we should properly reward them for it in 2012.

    Guy’s comments are conservative propaganda and unworthy of a serious response, because they aren’t serious comments.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Permalink
  5. Guy Savage wrote:

    Wow, so wrong in so many ways, but I can’t write everything I am thinking.

    So, you guys like big government, eh? Despite all the waste, fraud and abuse inherent in the system. I do not support Bush’s big government liberal policies like Plan D or TARP. See, that is not conservatism. Furthermore, I don’t see anything wrong with Norquist or ATR. Why, because I am an American. Americans can do for themselves better than the government. We don’t need the government taking our money to waste it on entitlement programs, Harry Reid’s Cowboy Poetry Festival or the huge salaries for government workers. Y’all and I have some philosophical differences that can not be resolved. I want government to leave us the hell alone. Either y’all like the government taking care of you, or you believe the liberal nonsense that says Obama is cutting spending.

    Anyone here ever listen to Mark Levin? That man is never wrong on constitutional or financial issues. I don’t agree with him on social issues, but on the economy he is spot on. I wish I could argue like he does, but I am not that educated. That is why I come around here, to increase my knowledge and debate skills.

    Sorry if I annoy anyone. I got annoyed with y’all back in January and haven’t been back since.

    If someone gets indicted for a crime they did not commit, and goes to trial with a shitty lawyer, while the state DA knows what he is doing, that suspect will probably lose the case and go to jail. So, even though the District Attorney is in the wrong, he will win because the Defense Attorney is uneducated. That is synonymous with our debate here. I am the uneducated, but correct defense attorney trying to debate the educated, but incorrect District Attorney. But I still come around for the debate, because that is how I improve my knowledge.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 7:29 pm | Permalink
  6. Guy Savage wrote:

    A trillion and a half of deficit spending every year. Wasted

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 7:39 pm | Permalink
  7. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    There is waste, fraud and abuse at all levels. State governments, county governments and even (or especially) city governments are rife with corruption and fraud. Waste abounds. Look at state deficits. No, don’t look on your favorite right wing sites which will try to show that “liberalism” is the problem (i.e. California). Look at actually state budget statistics. You will be floored at the red states with serious problems.

    To believe that this is a “big government” problem only proves that you are truly suckling at the kool-aid teet.

    You say you want to become more educated. Step 1 is to stop repeating right wing talking points. Mark Levin is never wrong? That is some serious delusion guy. Nobody is “never wrong.” If someone has convinced you that they are never wrong, they are not incredibly intelligent, they are a con artist.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  8. russell wrote:

    Mad Hatter:

    Nice troll.

    In the last two weeks, Rand Paul (on MSNBC of all places) is the only politician to publicly agree that both spending needs to be cut and revenue needs to increase.

    He wants a balanced budget amendment because “Congress simply cannot be trusted to keep outyear commitments.”

    Yeah, complete idiots.

    How has Obama been any different than McCain would have been? The Fed is still pumping money into the same institutions that wrecked the economy. The wars are stupid, but they are his wars now (plus the new fiasco in Libya). What “change”?

    Which political group opposed the wars and TARP?

    Agreed the states have lost their minds (doubling spending in a decade), but both mainstream parties did it.

    Much of the content here is black/white thinking, but you drug it to a new low.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 8:55 pm | Permalink
  9. Arthanyel wrote:

    Russell and Guy – the issue is not “big government” vs “small government”, the issue is having Repulicans intentionally driving us all off the cliff to kill social programs they don’t like while protecting the wealthiest, and the ongoing destruction of the middle class to shift money to the rich.

    Our problems can not be solved with taxes alone. Even the President has suggested 1 part revenue to 3 parts spending cuts.

    The vast majority of Americans have seen their purchasing power remain flat to down over the last 11 years while the rich have drastically increased theirs. The programs that benefit the people in need are the ones conservatives want to cut – and they refuse to allow even the most sensible fix on revenues. They would literally rather then people starve in the streets and die without medical coverage than ask multimillionaire executives to give up the tax break on the corporate jet.

    Well, gentlemen, the majority of voters are not rich. And we see what you are trying to do, lying at the top of your lungs about job killing taxes (they aren’t) while trying to make actual people suffer.

    And I expect we won’t forget if the Republicans force a default, and hopefully throw them so far out of power they will wise up and help solve the problems instead of create them.

    Sunday, July 10, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Permalink
  10. starluna wrote:

    Some of you might be interested in this:

    Note 1: Any resemblance between this link and others participating in this discussion is completely intentional.

    Note 2: Yes, I’m deviating from my general policy against ad hominems. But the message actually targets those interested in reasoned discussion, not those who are not.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 6:38 am | Permalink
  11. PatriotSGT wrote:

    I don’t particularly like wrestling in the mud, cause both me and the pig get dirty, but the pig likes it.

    We do have a spending problem 1.5 trillion avg deficit in Obamas’s first 3 years? It took Bush 8 years to accumulate that much debt, so in that sense Obama is an over acheiver.

    We do have a revenue problem. Only 51% of households paid federal income tax last year. Increasing taxes on the top 2% will raise, at best, 700 billion over 10 years or 70 billion per year, which still leaves us with a 1.43 trillion deficit annually. Yes, close the loopholes for all corporations, but adjust the tax rate downword in line with the rest of the world. While we’re at it fix the darn tax code for everyone. It shouldn’t require a tax preparer or software program to figure out your taxes. There should be a flat rate tax (much lower then it is now) and no other deductions. Eliminate 70% of the IRS.

    While we’re at it lets eliminate TSA and let the airports pay for and provide security under supervision. Lets also get rid of big chunks of the Fed dept of Ed, just give the money directly to the states and leave a small supervisory group to oversee that. Eliminate 25% of the congressional and senate staffs, since all they can do is point fingers across the aisle at one another anyway.

    Corporate entities that send manufacturing jobs over seas and then want access for their goods in US markets should be paying a tariff, to make US “made” goods more competitive, same with goods from countries who don’t look after their environment or workers.

    Lastly, these deficits are partly to blame on a sluggish economy. The jobs lost will not be back so we need to create new sustainable industries, but the problem is with global logistics, finances and communications improving we have to create an environment that is attractive to new business. Stop the rich vs poor class bullshit. No poor person ever created a job for someone else. The rich pay the lion’s share of taxes (for the 51% who don’t) and they are the primary donars to much of what everyone enjoys in the way of art, museums, community centers, little league teams, community sports, more buildings then anyone can name have been built or donated for the benefit of all. So just stop demonizing them, yea some are dirtballs but there are many wonderful human beings that are also wealthy.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 6:52 am | Permalink
  12. Oh… my

    Starluna, if that comic was female, it would be describing me. Except for the RedBull, that stuff is evil. I drink coffee or tea.

    I really need to get out into my garden more often.

    (I’ve not cleaned the den in a bit, either, and there are some crumbs on the ancient carpeting here…)


    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 6:55 am | Permalink
  13. ebdoug wrote:

    PatriotSGT: You have been very quiet for a long time. Out of the country? Sick? I always enjoy your voice of reason.

    Rich are different. There are certain things we need like clothes, medical care, food, gas for our vehicles and money for transportation. Each rich person spends a lesser percent than the bottom of the heap. For instance as we have discussed, poor and rich all pay sales tax. But it is a lesser percent of the income for the rich.

    And, yes, it did take Bush a much longer time to accrue the deficit. He had so much in the kitty to work with.

    If people in this country don’t have jobs, they don’t pay Medicare or social security so there is no way to get that money into the government coffers Simple.

    I was unaware that the goods produced overseas don’t pay tariffs to come back to this country. I did know that they don’t on this continent. NAFTA

    And the subsidized have mostly been paid back from the auto companies and what else?

    At the 2008 election more of those over 250K voted for Obama more than McCain expecting their taxes to go out.

    Read “The Bridge”. Obama has always been a compromiser.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink
  14. starluna wrote:

    I have a hard time seeing you as a troll or full of vitriol. Indeed, I was inspired to post this partly based on the advice that the best way to diffuse a potentially toxic conversation is with humor.

    I was just listening to the Diane Rheem show and the whole budget/debt ceiling talks seem to have passed the point of absurdity and have entered the realm of destructiveness, both for political discourse and the economic well-being of the country. I’d hate to see that replicated here.

    I do want to respond to one point made by PatriotSgt: Poor people are actually great job creators. Someone needs to staff the homeless shelters and food pantries. Police officers are needed to deal with those desperate enough to resort to crime (petty and not so petty). Courts, jails, welfare offices, foster homes, non-profit social service organizations, and private foundations all rely on the poor to keep them busy and employed. In fact, as a very corrupt ED once told me, there is plenty of money to be made off of the poor.

    However, even the middle class (which I count myself lucky to be a part of) do create lots and lots of jobs. We hire tradesmen and women to do repairs to our house and car. We send our laundry out to be washed and, when I can afford it, I hire a company to clean my house. We eat out in restaurants, still get most of our food from the grocery store and most of our clothing from retail stores. When I host a fundraiser for the EJ organization on whose board I sit (we don’t have wealthy donors; most of our money comes from small donations and government contracts), I buy the alcohol from the local package store and pay the neighborhood girls to do child care. I would not be surprised to find that, on the whole, it is the middle class and poor (at least near-poor) that comprise the bulk of the purchasing power in this country. For good or for ill, consumer spending comprised the basis for our economy for a very long time. Even the housing bubble propped up consumer spending to the extent that home purchases led to purchases of consumer goods.

    We are no longer a country that relies on manufacturing to provide the bulk of jobs or economic stability. Because of this, I’m not really sure how important the role of the wealthy capitalist is anymore. 1032 made a really interesting point earlier about how profits are not made on the basis of labor anymore, at least not domestic labor. If that is the case (and it very well might be), I think it is high time we start questioning the privileges they’ve accumulated for themselves.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 9:23 am | Permalink
  15. Starluna. 😉 Of course, that’s why I thought it would be amusing for me to fit the image of the comments. It’s the last thing that fits my personna here in these comments, which I had hoped would make the whole thing just one more level of fun.

    If my attempt at humor failed, apologies, indeed. I was just trying to play along.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 11:18 am | Permalink
  16. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Ebdoug- I’ve been away training some combat medics getting prepared to leave our country. I understand everyone’s point on the wealthy and tax issue. All I’m saying is the current tax rates were/are not up to them unless you count the many “wealthy” politicians who also benefit from the same tax code. It just seems to me we want to blame them when it is clearly not their fault (the majority of them anyway). If taxes are raised by congress then the wealthy will pay more, the fault for our current fiscal mess is politics and policies made by both parties in the last 20 years. Lets stop demonizing the wrong people, lets demonize congress instead.
    Starluna – I hear you on the economic engine of our economy, but last time I brought that very same point and alot of the same examples several contributers were unhappy because cleaning jobs, landscaping, etc are not “real jobs just servant type”. I also understand that the poor create a need for a whole host of taxpayer jobs. However, aside from GM the government doesn’t run many “for profit” corporations that create jobs not spend tax revenue. Do you know off hand the total # of government employees, vs persons eligable to work and the # of eligable non governemnt employees? I looked briefly and couldnt find it, but I think it was like 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 employees (local, state and federal) were government workers. THis model is hardly sustainable long term. There are not enough taxes to be collected. The other oddity I have is why do we pay government employees a higher wage (using taxes) so they can pay taxes? It’s like, “here’s $100 of tax money, now you give it back so we can give it out to someone else”. Crazy math. No governemnt employees should have to pay tax, just lower the wage and then remove them from the taxable income list.
    On 1032’s point I do understand, but if we want to cave the country we’ll need some marketable product or service to “sell” to the world or we’re done. It may not be steel, or cars, but it needs to be something else. Here’s an idea, why don’t we charge the countries who use our military to protect them or keep the peace instead and turn it into a money making enterprise.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 11:33 am | Permalink
  17. Arthanyel wrote:

    Republicans don’t want to deal, they don’t want to fix the problems or balance the budget, and they are not facing facts.

    FACT: Current deficit is $1.65T

    FACT: Social Security doesn’t matter – current SS taxes pay all current SS benefits. That won’t be true in the future, but unless the SS tax dollars are diverted to non-SS uses (raising taxes, which Republicans won’t do) changes to the SS program have zero impact on the deficit.

    FACT: Republicans refuse to cut defense (in fact they just increased defense spending)

    FACT: The forced contractual obligations of the budget (veteran retirement benefits, veteran medical care, etc.) can not be cut.

    FACT: That leaves 1.9T in current spending for EVERYTHING ELSE, and the deficit in 1.65T.

    Therefore, to do what the Republicans claim (balance the budget on spending cuts alone) we would have to:

    1) Eliminate THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT in every area but defense

    2) Eliminate (not reduce, not contain – totally eliminate) ALL SOCIAL SAFETY NET PROGRAMS (unemployment, aid to the poor, etc.)

    3) Eliminate (not reduce, not contain, totally eliminate) all food safety, environmental safety, workplace safety, and disaster recovery aid.

    3) Eliminate (not reduce, not control – totally DESTROY) all of Medicare and Medicaid. All of it. For everyone.

    This means one of two things only:

    1) We have to raise taxes to balance the budget – and the Republicans are lying about everything being a spending problem, and lying that they want to balance the budget because they refuse to raise revenues in any way.

    2) The Republicans truly want to destroy the social safety net, destroy food safety, destroy environmental safety, and destroy Medicare and Medicaid rather than have the rich and large corporations pay a dime more.

    Nothing else is logically valid. So think about that in 2012 when you vote, and when the Republicans lie about the reality we face, don’t reward them for it.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Permalink
  18. ebdoug wrote:

    Please remember, taxes will be raised at the end of 2012 when the tax cuts expire. Obama chickened out at the end of last year. He’ll have nothing to lose by vetoing any bill to maintain the currect tax code.

    The wealthy: I was raised in the wealthy. I went to school with the wealthy. I now what it was like. My first shock was when I looked in my mother’s check book. Our cook “Hunt” made $35 a month. He was nearing 80 at that time, had retired and come back as he got lonely. He had room and board. I also had room and board, but my allowance was $50 a month. My mother and I come from a long line of abolitionists so she refused to call the elderly Miggie Hunt by his first name, and so we called him Hunt. He was always there for us. He had Thursday and Sunday off. My mother cooked scrambled eggs and bacon when Thursday came.
    Then there was the matter of my class mates in grade school. They were stupid and didn’t have to worry about it as they were going to live off the dole-the dole provided by their parents’ inherited wealth. The men have spent their life as “real estate agents” or just minding their portfolios. This isn’t money they earned. This is their inherited money. The wives played tennis and let nannies raise their children.
    They left the private school at the beginning of eighth grade to go to boarding school. My siblings left to go to boarding school. I stayed. Now the intelligent high powered students came from public school. They went to high powered colleges and have high powered jobs. Meanwhile my sisters were good little girls and had debutante parties. I meanwhile refused, said to my mother she could have the party but I wouldn’t be there.
    I became a nurse (RN, BSN,) a Tax Preparer, did it my way bought 40 acres and three barns, lived in one while I learned to build another while raising three children, paid cash for all. I got into financial trouble once, asked my siblings if I could ask our very wealthy very alcoholic mother for help. Back came “You made your bed, you lie in it.” Which I did. They were given houses and cars because they did the “done thing”. (now doesn’t that sound like welfare? which is what it was but at the top of the spectrum, not the bottom. I’m the one with the idyllic life. I know about those who can’t make it on their own, the rich and poor. Yes, I collect social security, Medicare and Medicare D, but I have no debt and figure I stayed off the public dole until I was 65. And yes, I did get to collect some earned income credit at the beginning when my income was so low. $4400 a year in 1975 with three children.
    I’ve worked public health. I see those who have nothing and are in need. I know those same people could have been born rich and had it all without doing anything. I’ve worked in a factory as the nurse seeing the welfare people brought in to work. They didn’t last.
    One of the very rich Mellon families has four children who are also very rich, except they are adopted and have it all.
    Like Starluna, I have help. I have a youth who comes four hours a week when he wants to, cleans and mows and helps me with things. I pay him well.

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Permalink
  19. russell wrote:

    “And we see what you are trying to do, lying at the top of your lungs about job killing taxes (they aren’t) while trying to make actual people suffer.”

    Not sure how you distilled that from anything I said. I certainly don’t agree – R

    Monday, July 11, 2011 at 7:43 pm | Permalink
  20. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Arthanyel- I generally like your ideas, but your letting emotions get the best of you I believe. Neither side has said they want to balance the budget next year because they know its impossible. They’re looking at the earliest 10 yrs latest 20 years from now. We can’t raise enough revenue or cut enough spending to get there under current economic conditions, the economy must grow to close the gap. Both sides have different philosophies on how to close that gap, but I assure you it will take cutting spending and raising revenue. Everything else is them playing politics, what else do you expect they’re politicians playing to those that contribute money and/or vote. Neither side has rarely ever done the hard work of fixing our finances, now at least Obama seems interested in forcing them to make the long term changes to address our financial mess long term. I like that and hope he doesn’t cave in for a short term fix.
    Coincidently- DOD spending was down in 2010 to slightly more then 700 bill from its high in 2009 of nearly 800 billion and this years budget is lower then last year (not counting war appropriations). It also is no longer the number 1 money pit in the budget, that honor belongs to HHS. 🙂

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 5:26 am | Permalink
  21. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Sorry, here’s a link to the budget info:
    simple visual version

    official version

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 5:30 am | Permalink
  22. starluna wrote:

    PatriotSgt – To answer your question:

    According to the 2005-2009 ACS:
    – 71% of American workers working in private, for-profit companies
    – An additional 8% work in the private, non-profit sector
    – An additional 7% are self-employed
    – Only 15% of American workers work for a government entity.
    – 83% of government workers are employed by state or local governments.

    These numbers are largely unchanged since 1990, except that the proportion of federal workers (among government employees) has declined from a high of 21% to 15% today. Note that this does not include military personnel, except the civilian workforce that support the military.

    Now, here is a caveat that complicate these numbers and also addresses the claim about government not having for-profit corporations: many state and even some local governments have authorized quasi-public/quasi-private agencies that operate as private corporations but with all of the legal benefits of being a public agency. For a long time, they had the term “authority” in their name. Many handle waste management. In MA, we have one that manages our ports and airports. Today, it isn’t always clear which ones are quasi-public by their names. In MA, we have a technology collaborative that I originally believed was a non-profit but is in fact a quasi-public agency.

    These are governmental corporations that operate as private entities. Some even trade on stock exchanges (like Fannie Mae). Depending on how they are structured, they can be great sources of revenue for a state (like our MassPort) or can be great boondoggles that persist because of the unquestioned belief that the private sector is more efficient (even when faced with evidence to the contrary) or because powerful interests keep it going (the waste management authority in Delaware comes to mind). They are very problematic because the lines of accountability are often non-existent. And plenty of research has found that they are not more efficient than a typical government agency. A great report on these entities (although critical of them) can be found here:

    Many folks who work for these quasi-public agencies do not recognize they are working for a government agency. For example, a friend of mine is now working with a newly developed quasi-public organization to address data issues related to our health care system here. She sees herself as working for a private, non-profit organization. This despite the fact that she is paying into the state’s pension system and that her health care coverage is organized through the state employees insurance commission. So, it is possible that some (hopefully small) number of people list themselves as working in the private sector when in fact they are working for a hybrid organization.

    I do agree with you that it is not very productive to demonize “the rich” as if they are a singular group. It is as constructive as lumping all of “the poor” or all “academics.” 🙂 But, the wealthy are unambiguously more powerful in this country. Individuals who earned more than $250,000 a year also give the majority of political donations to parties and individual candidates. If they were truly interested in contributing to the well-being of the nation and were willing to pay higher taxes, they should make their voices heard. Their silence can only be interpreted as support for tax policy proposals of the Republicans.

    I’m not sure what supports your conclusion that having only 15% of the entire American workforce in the public sector is “unsustainable.” While there might be redundant or inefficient (and even corrupt) labor in the public sector – as in the private sector, if there are functions that are necessary for the health, safety, and well-being of nation that are not going to be effectively or efficiently provided by the private sector (like old-age pension support), then perhaps we should figure out how to bring in the revenue to sustain it. If we want some level of accountability in the performance of these functions, then doesn’t it make sense that the public goods and services provided by government be operated within government agencies? And if that is the case, then perhaps it is time for the wealthy and the corporations to forgo some of the tax privileges they have accrued over the past 30 years.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 8:03 am | Permalink
  23. PatriotSGT wrote:

    Starluna, thanks for the great response as always 🙂
    To clarify my satements I unclearly meant to say that as the “retired” population grows over the next 20-30 years and the work age force declines more services/capital will be needed for the seniors with less fresh revenues being generated from the declining work force.
    I don’t see how gov jobs can decrease while providing services to more people, especially health care.
    On the wealthy point, I’m not convinced that a majority would be against paying more. In fact previous discussions on this sight showed that many wealthy would be willing to pay more. I’m also positive there are those well off who want to hoard their money, but I think they are in the minority (they’re just louder).
    Lastly, while a family income of 250k puts them in the well to do category, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t put them in the evil millonaire/billonaire groups.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Permalink
  24. Arthanyel wrote:

    Patriotsgt – I have to admit that when we have elected “leaders” making bald-faced lies when they are well aware they are lies, my blood pressure goes up. The point I was trying to make is the statements made by the Republicans that we can “balance the budget with no increase in revenues” or “we do not have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem” are flat-out lies, they are well aware of it, and yet they keep saying them (usually at maximum volume). And when people say things that are blatantly illogical, or are mutually exclusive, I cannot help but laugh at them and point out their insanity.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Permalink
  25. Arthanyel wrote:

    And to Ruseel, I synthesized both your and Guy’s posts om this thread and on others to make the point that Republicans and “fiscal conservatives” are lying about “job killing tax increases” (and know they are lying) while being more than willing to throw actual people under the bus in the name of “cutting outrageous government spending.”

    And that the two of you seem to be repeating the same talking points and making the same (logically invalid) arguments. If I tarred you with the same brush as the Republicans and “conservatives” in the debt debate and it was unwarranted, I apologize.

    If, however, you believe that the US can not afford “job killing tax increases” and therefore no revenue can be raised, and that “it’s time to get rid of all the wasteful government spending on social safety programs”, well then, I don’t apologize for calling it like it is.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 3:07 pm | Permalink
  26. starluna wrote:

    Just one point: I intentionally stated “an individual who makes $250,000” because families “are allowed” double that to be considered in the top 5%. The unmarried individual who makes $250,000 a year is in a different category of wealthy than the family who makes $250,000 (each in the couple perhaps making $125,000).

    Although, I will grant that if the average family had a family income of $125,000, they would still be rather well off in most parts of the country. But they would not necessarily be in the economic class position as those families who make $500,000 a year, who are the primary beneficiaries of the current tax structure and the most important source of political contributions. It doesn’t make them evil. But it makes them powerful.

    On the last point, I remember laughing my buns off when I heard the reports that the majority of Obama’s campaign donations were in small amounts (less than $50 I think it was). As a former campaign treasurer, we used to say the same thing if we could to cement our grassroots credibility. The thing is, it isn’t entirely truthful. The majority of donations might be in the $50 and under category. But a larger proportion of the revenue came from the few that give the maximum in donations. And those are always people in the top 5%. I might have 5 people give $50 each. But their collective contribution is still less than the single $500 donation.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Permalink
  27. starluna wrote:

    Well, not always. But most of the time.

    Tuesday, July 12, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink