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“I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers.

To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must take our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labors and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

This is a quote from Thomas Jefferson; right about now, he's probably rolling in his grave. Only in Washington can the solution to a problem of debt (mortgages) and spending be to borrow and spend somemore. I think they all got one of those balance transfer teasers delivered to the Capitol building and took it to heart.

Good luck all, its a long road. Try to imagine a billion dollars, if you can (I can't), now picture 1,000 piles of a billion dollars. This is what we just passed to stimulate the economy.

Remember, government can provide nothing for someone without first taking from someone/thing else.

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“I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers.

To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must take our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labors and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

This is a quote from Thomas Jefferson; right about now, he's probably rolling in his grave. Only in Washington can the solution to a problem of debt (mortgages) and spending be to borrow and spend somemore. I think they all got one of those balance transfer teasers delivered to the Capitol building and took it to heart.

Good luck all, its a long road. Try to imagine a billion dollars, if you can (I can't), now picture 1,000 piles of a billion dollars. This is what we just passed to stimulate the economy.

Remember, government can provide nothing for someone without first taking from someone/thing else.

What did Jefferson say about 747 jets? What did he think about the internet? Those questions make as much sense as suggesting that Jefferson's ideas about economics can be applied to 2009.

In Jefferson's time, there was no electricity, no interstate highways, no national markets to speak of, no global economy, no computers and no multi-national corporations. The boom and bust cycle of business wouldn't start happening until after Jefferson died and the Great Depression wouldn't happen for more than a century after his death.

You are overlooking the critical fact that private corporations can take away freedom just as much as government can. They have, and they are. They were the ones who wanted the economy deregulated so they could speculate and gouge. By stepping out of the picture, our government allowed the private economy of the first decade of the 21st century to operate on its own; that is a completely different picture than allowing an 18th century economy to run on its own.

You are also overlooking the fact that we have seen what happens when government steps out of the modern economy. The Great Depression happened because government was not sufficiently involved in regulating business and industry. It ended when the federal government spent massive amounts of money on World War II. In the 1920s, lack of regulation and supervision resulted in massive speculation and unstable markets, the same as just happened. The debt we have incurred was a horrible idea, but the reason for it is that no one wanted to pay any taxes or have the federal government do anything except Social Security, Medicare and the military; so politicians kept telling us we could have everything without paying for it, even though we were borrowing our way into deep trouble. Meanwhile, whether you like it or not, we are all dependent on the health of the global economy. If you think we will ever again have the same kind of freedom that people had in the 18th century, then you're not thinking clearly at all. The compensation we have for the loss of those freedoms is that we have other freedoms and a standard of living that people in Jefferson's time could only imagine, if they could even imagine it; more important, our technology could support far more people than it could have supported in Jefferson's time, so unless you're willing to reduce the population tremendously, government will have to play a major role in the economy. We need to invest in our national infrastructure and we need to address issues such as energy, health and education on a national scale. In other words, we are one country and we need to think and act like it. It's going to cost money, but we have no choice except to let the entire economy collapse and tens if not hundreds of millions of people in the United States alone to lose their homes and maybe starve.

Jefferson said that the people should abolish their Constitution every 19 years and start over. He understood that things change, and that is especially true of the economy. You can't just ignore the past 225 years and expect your ideas about government and economy to make sense.

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Strange how many of you now are worried about the budget. Wish you were as worried when Bush bankrupted us during his reign of mismanagement.

Imagine 5,000 piles of one billion dollars. Which is what Bush managed in his two terms - raising our national debt from 5 to 10 trillion.

And to think, after Clinton left office and based on what he did, they predicted the debt would go from 5 to 3 trillion during Bush's first term.

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Guest Paul
“I place economy among the first and important virtues, and public debt as the greatest of dangers.

To preserve our independence, we must not let our rulers load us with perpetual debt. We must take our choice between economy and liberty, or profusion and servitude. If we run into such debts, we must be taxed in our meat and drink, in our necessities and in our comforts, in our labors and in our amusements. If we can prevent the government from wasting the labor of the people under the pretense of caring for them, they will be happy.”

This is a quote from Thomas Jefferson; right about now, he's probably rolling in his grave. Only in Washington can the solution to a problem of debt (mortgages) and spending be to borrow and spend somemore. I think they all got one of those balance transfer teasers delivered to the Capitol building and took it to heart.

Good luck all, its a long road. Try to imagine a billion dollars, if you can (I can't), now picture 1,000 piles of a billion dollars. This is what we just passed to stimulate the economy.

Remember, government can provide nothing for someone without first taking from someone/thing else.

None of that makes any sense. Imagine the gross national product, which is many trillions of dollars. That reflects the nation's wealth. It's also a vast sum of money. The image is meaningless.

If you want to return to Jefferson's day, then be prepared to give up your flush toilet for a privy, your electric lights for candles, your car for a horse, etc. Then try to imagine how you're going to grow enough crops on a backyard in Kearny, if you have a backyard. Forget about the internet and your television because they don't exist. You can't apply Jefferson's comments to contemporary life. Too much has changed. You can't just superimpose 18th century political ideas on a 21st century economy. It's like trying to fit into the clothes you wore when you were eight years old.

I just saw the current governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty, arguing for a Constitutional amendment for a balanced federal budget. Imagine if we had that. We'd be in a full-blown depression right now. Trillions of dollars of wealth have been lost, and the only agent that can even begin to fuel the economy is the federal government - but the geniuses on the radical right have passed a Constitutional amendment that says the federal government can't borrow money. Imagine your own life if you couldn't borrow money when you needed it, like for college or your first house. Is he out of his mind? How do these people manage to get through the day without getting run down in the street?

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What would Jefferson have said if you told him that someday people would be able to destroy entire cities, killing millions of people and rendering many square miles uninhabitable for years, just by pressing a few buttons?

If you told him that way, he would not have understood you. You would have had to explain to him how buttons would one day be used to trigger controlled electrical relay systems, allowing people to harness electrical power, which could be used to set in motion a delivery system for an atomic bomb. Then you would have had to tell him that someday people would learn to split the atom, causing the release of vast amounts of energy, and that eventually explosive devices would be invented that would allow these atomic bombs to be detonated after being fired from a missile powered by another source of energy that you would also have to have explained. You would also have to explained about splitting the atom because although people of his time knew something about atoms, they didn't know much. You would also have to have explained how these bombs would produce radioactive waste after they exploded, and how that would contaminate the area where the bomb had detonated for years.

You wouldn't have had to explain that some nations would be bigger and stronger than others, but you would have had to explain that only a few nations would have the technology to build these atomic bombs, at least for a while. You would also have to have explained how a complicated system of international relations would have formed after two world wars that would be fought in the 20th century. You would have to have explained the rise and fall of Communism, the Great Depression, business cycles, international trade, urbanization, the advance of technology and accumulations of power, both public and private.

After you explained all of that, Jefferson would have had to think about it and figure out what it all meant. He couldn't have done it quickly because having never lived in a world where such things were possible, he could only have guessed how these developments would change the world. Judging from his writings, he probably would have wanted more information.

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What would Jefferson have said if you told him that someday people would be able to destroy entire cities, killing millions of people and rendering many square miles uninhabitable for years, just by pressing a few buttons?

If you told him that way, he would not have understood you. You would have had to explain to him how buttons would one day be used to trigger controlled electrical relay systems, allowing people to harness electrical power, which could be used to set in motion a delivery system for an atomic bomb. Then you would have had to tell him that someday people would learn to split the atom, causing the release of vast amounts of energy, and that eventually explosive devices would be invented that would allow these atomic bombs to be detonated after being fired from a missile powered by another source of energy that you would also have to have explained. You would also have to explained about splitting the atom because although people of his time knew something about atoms, they didn't know much. You would also have to have explained how these bombs would produce radioactive waste after they exploded, and how that would contaminate the area where the bomb had detonated for years.

You wouldn't have had to explain that some nations would be bigger and stronger than others, but you would have had to explain that only a few nations would have the technology to build these atomic bombs, at least for a while. You would also have to have explained how a complicated system of international relations would have formed after two world wars that would be fought in the 20th century. You would have to have explained the rise and fall of Communism, the Great Depression, business cycles, international trade, urbanization, the advance of technology and accumulations of power, both public and private.

After you explained all of that, Jefferson would have had to think about it and figure out what it all meant. He couldn't have done it quickly because having never lived in a world where such things were possible, he could only have guessed how these developments would change the world. Judging from his writings, he probably would have wanted more information.

Ho-Hum, what's your point?

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Ho-Hum, what's your point?

I see two points.

(1) From post 4: "You can't apply Jefferson's comments to contemporary life. Too much has changed. You can't just superimpose 18th century political ideas on a 21st century economy. It's like trying to fit into the clothes you wore when you were eight years old."

(2) You're an idiot.

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I see two points.

(1) From post 4: "You can't apply Jefferson's comments to contemporary life. Too much has changed. You can't just superimpose 18th century political ideas on a 21st century economy. It's like trying to fit into the clothes you wore when you were eight years old."

(2) You're an idiot.

"You can't apply Jefferson's comments to contemporary life. Too much has changed". Now there's the profound statement of the year.

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I see two points.

(1) From post 4: "You can't apply Jefferson's comments to contemporary life. Too much has changed. You can't just superimpose 18th century political ideas on a 21st century economy. It's like trying to fit into the clothes you wore when you were eight years old."

(2) You're an idiot.

I think the original post was not meant to be read for specifics. When I read it, I took it to mean a warning for the power and scope of the federal government. Applicable in the 18th century and today.

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I think the original post was not meant to be read for specifics. When I read it, I took it to mean a warning for the power and scope of the federal government. Applicable in the 18th century and today.

That may be true, but it could also be read the other way. Unfortunately, too many people aren't willing to look beyond how an idea appeals to them in their gut. So I thought the original post was at best ambiguous and at worst (and certainly to some people) would be misleading.

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I think the original post was not meant to be read for specifics. When I read it, I took it to mean a warning for the power and scope of the federal government. Applicable in the 18th century and today.

Yes, but it's not applicable in the same way. The balance among forces has changed to such an extent that Jefferson would have had to rethink everything he had written on this subject. And the application of 18th century ideas about political economics has a tragic history, which makes arguments like those in the original post misleading and dangerous to the body politic.

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Yes, but it's not applicable in the same way. The balance among forces has changed to such an extent that Jefferson would have had to rethink everything he had written on this subject. And the application of 18th century ideas about political economics has a tragic history, which makes arguments like those in the original post misleading and dangerous to the body politic.

And government sponsored "entitlements" has worked well in what country? Talk about tragic history. Most recently, Japan went through a situation similar to ours (late 80's early 90's), the government threw a ton of money at the problem, and their economy grew about 1% per year. We have to GROW our way out of this problem, government may well be able to help, but they will not solve this downturn.

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And government sponsored "entitlements" has worked well in what country?

This one, and pretty much every developed country in the world. Most of them have more government entitlements than we have.

Most recently, Japan went through a situation similar to ours (late 80's early 90's), the government threw a ton of money at the problem, and their economy grew about 1% per year. We have to GROW our way out of this problem, government may well be able to help, but they will not solve this downturn.

You don't know what you're talking about. That's not what happened in Japan. And of course we have to grow our way out of the problem, and all government can do is help. So how? Government is the only source of large amounts of money we have right now to stimulate the economy. So just what do you propose to do? Go back to the Republicans? I'll pass on that, thanks.

Like it or not, Obama is the president. Someone has to lead and so far he's doing the best he can and a good job. Give him a chance.

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This one, and pretty much every developed country in the world. Most of them have more government entitlements than we have.

You don't know what you're talking about. That's not what happened in Japan. And of course we have to grow our way out of the problem, and all government can do is help. So how? Government is the only source of large amounts of money we have right now to stimulate the economy. So just what do you propose to do? Go back to the Republicans? I'll pass on that, thanks.

Like it or not, Obama is the president. Someone has to lead and so far he's doing the best he can and a good job. Give him a chance.

[/quot

Gave him a chance, not convinced. He basically took out the Visa to pay the Amex bill. That whirring you hear is the overdrive of the printing machines devaluing the large amounts of money that you speak of. Welcome back, Carter!!

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This one, and pretty much every developed country in the world. Most of them have more government entitlements than we have.

You don't know what you're talking about. That's not what happened in Japan. And of course we have to grow our way out of the problem, and all government can do is help. So how? Government is the only source of large amounts of money we have right now to stimulate the economy. So just what do you propose to do? Go back to the Republicans? I'll pass on that, thanks.

Like it or not, Obama is the president. Someone has to lead and so far he's doing the best he can and a good job. Give him a chance.

Gave him a chance, not convinced. He basically took out the Visa to pay the Amex bill. That whirring you hear is the overdrive of the printing machines devaluing the large amounts of money that you speak of. Welcome back, Carter!!

Whose policies caused this mess? Hint: it starts with an R. And a B.

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Gave him a chance, not convinced. He basically took out the Visa to pay the Amex bill. That whirring you hear is the overdrive of the printing machines devaluing the large amounts of money that you speak of. Welcome back, Carter!!

So what would you like him to do? Should he continue the Republican policies of maxxing out the Amex card to throw a party for the rich? He's using monetary policy to float a debt until the economy gets moving again. If it's temporary and it rebuilds our infrastructure and gets us away from foreign oil, we will save far more than we spend. If we don't get our money's worth, then you'll have cause to complain, but right now you don't - unless you can lay out a better alternative.

I won't hold my breath.

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So what would you like him to do? Should he continue the Republican policies of maxxing out the Amex card to throw a party for the rich? He's using monetary policy to float a debt until the economy gets moving again. If it's temporary and it rebuilds our infrastructure and gets us away from foreign oil, we will save far more than we spend. If we don't get our money's worth, then you'll have cause to complain, but right now you don't - unless you can lay out a better alternative.

I won't hold my breath.

Right, he's floating a DEBT to get the economy moving. How about we research and improve alternate fuel sources, WHILE using what we have available. Specifically, drill in ANWAR, and find ways to process the shale oil that exists in some midwestern states (estimates put these reserves greater than what Saudi Arabia currently has.) Imagine the US using green energy policies, yet exporting oil for foreign use. We would get away from foreign oil, and sell what we have. This is an investment in infrastructure and the future with self sustaining jobs. You know, the jobs that don't require the taxpayer to pay the income of the employee, they get paid from sales of goods and services sold.

I have yet to hear one person offer a plausible explanation as to how increasing debt will spur the economy. Bush helped create the deficits, and Obama blasted him for it. That's fine, Bush did it he should answer for it. But, how does the President expect us to believe that "No, mine is a better debt for your children."

So, there's my alternative, let the environmentalists now become apoplectic.

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So what would you like him to do? Should he continue the Republican policies of maxxing out the Amex card to throw a party for the rich? He's using monetary policy to float a debt until the economy gets moving again. If it's temporary and it rebuilds our infrastructure and gets us away from foreign oil, we will save far more than we spend. If we don't get our money's worth, then you'll have cause to complain, but right now you don't - unless you can lay out a better alternative.

I won't hold my breath.

"What would I like him to do"? Resign. The guy is in over his head.

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Right, he's floating a DEBT to get the economy moving. How about we research and improve alternate fuel sources, WHILE using what we have available. Specifically, drill in ANWAR, and find ways to process the shale oil that exists in some midwestern states (estimates put these reserves greater than what Saudi Arabia currently has.) Imagine the US using green energy policies, yet exporting oil for foreign use. We would get away from foreign oil, and sell what we have. This is an investment in infrastructure and the future with self sustaining jobs. You know, the jobs that don't require the taxpayer to pay the income of the employee, they get paid from sales of goods and services sold.

(1) I have yet to hear one person offer a plausible explanation as to how increasing debt will spur the economy. Bush helped create the deficits, and Obama blasted him for it. That's fine, Bush did it he should answer for it. (2) But, how does the President expect us to believe that "No, mine is a better debt for your children."

(3) So, there's my alternative, let the environmentalists now become apoplectic.

(1) Then you haven't been listening. Spending spurs the economy, and if you're not paying for it with current taxes, then you're running a debt. When we spend money to fix roads, as just one example, we put people to work. Then they have money to spend and that boosts the economy.

(2) For the same reason that going into debt to fund a college education is a better debt than blowing all your money at the roulette tables in Atlantic City. Bush ran up a debt to transfer wealth to people who were filthy rich and didn't need it. Obama is running a debt so we can do things we should have done decades ago, like investing in our infrastructure and converting to sustainable fuel sources. That's why Obama's debt makes sense and Bush's didn't.

(3) A wise person takes our natural environment seriously.

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"What would I like him to do"? Resign. The guy is in over his head.

No, you're in over your head. We all know you want him to resign, but it has nothing to do with his ability to do the job, which he is doing very well. That's not just my opinion. It's the opinion of 62% of the American people according to the latest surveys. You far-right-wingnuts were screaming how Democrats couldn't get anything done - well, now that we have a president who won't veto anything we try to do, we're getting things done, just like we said we would - good things, even though you're so far right that you wouldn't agree with them no matter how fast they improved the economy or anything else. And of course you're silent about the accomplishments of this Congress and this President now that we have proved that we can get things done. In other words, the facts mean nothing to you, and they never have.

You want Obama to resign solely because you don't agree with him, and no matter how well he performs you will still say exactly the same things. That's why your posts don't mean anything.

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(1) Then you haven't been listening. Spending spurs the economy, and if you're not paying for it with current taxes, then you're running a debt. When we spend money to fix roads, as just one example, we put people to work. Then they have money to spend and that boosts the economy.

(2) For the same reason that going into debt to fund a college education is a better debt than blowing all your money at the roulette tables in Atlantic City. Bush ran up a debt to transfer wealth to people who were filthy rich and didn't need it. Obama is running a debt so we can do things we should have done decades ago, like investing in our infrastructure and converting to sustainable fuel sources. That's why Obama's debt makes sense and Bush's didn't.

(3) A wise person takes our natural environment seriously.

(1) Yes, and we also have our roads fixed. It's called investing in the future.

(2) Bingo!

(3) Exactly right.

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(1) Then you haven't been listening. Spending spurs the economy, and if you're not paying for it with current taxes, then you're running a debt. When we spend money to fix roads, as just one example, we put people to work. Then they have money to spend and that boosts the economy.

(2) For the same reason that going into debt to fund a college education is a better debt than blowing all your money at the roulette tables in Atlantic City. Bush ran up a debt to transfer wealth to people who were filthy rich and didn't need it. Obama is running a debt so we can do things we should have done decades ago, like investing in our infrastructure and converting to sustainable fuel sources. That's why Obama's debt makes sense and Bush's didn't.

(3) A wise person takes our natural environment seriously.

First, fixing roads creates jobs only until the job is done. Unless they do a terrible job, it is not ongoing work. And, why do they "have" to spend money. Most people I know are storing money away to prepare for the short term uncertain future.

Second, these people that are "filthy rich" create most of the new higher paying jobs by growing their business. Not some of the unsavory people at banking, (the smaller banks are not in the same fix), but the honest job creating businesses. They do exist, enough of the class warfare, if you please.

Third, I believe that we can be environmentally conscious and still accomplish the tasks I set out. Accidents may happen, but I know that we would be the most careful with our environment. Case in point, do you have any idea how many wells in the Gulf of Mexico had leaks during Katrina and Rita? Negligable amounts. You talk about oil independance, but offer alternative sources as the ONLY solution.

Wise people look for more than one solution to a problem. I remember the criticism that drilling in ANWAR would be unable to make it to the market for 10 years. Clinton vetoed that 12 years ago. So, 2 years ago when we started to pay three and four dollars a gallon, we might have seen relief, had we only tried to help ourselves.

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First, fixing roads creates jobs only until the job is done. Unless they do a terrible job, it is not ongoing work. And, why do they "have" to spend money. Most people I know are storing money away to prepare for the short term uncertain future.

The point of the stimulus is to have temporary jobs until the economy rolls again. The highway construction project in the 1950 wasn't meant to permanent, and it wasn't. They have to spend money because if they don't millions of people will be out of work.

Second, these people that are "filthy rich" create most of the new higher paying jobs by growing their business. Not some of the unsavory people at banking, (the smaller banks are not in the same fix), but the honest job creating businesses. They do exist, enough of the class warfare, if you please.

They weren't putting the money into business. They were piling up huge fortunes and sitting on them. I can't stand the way the Republicans have accused Democrats of class warfare. It's the Republicans who have been waging class warfare against more than 90% of the people. If you read history, you would realize that one of the major causes of the Great Depression was excessive income inequality. Well, the United States has reached those same levels yet again - we didn't learn a damned thing from the worst economic collapse in our history, and now you want us to do it again. What is wrong with you?

Third, I believe that we can be environmentally conscious and still accomplish the tasks I set out. Accidents may happen, but I know that we would be the most careful with our environment. Case in point, do you have any idea how many wells in the Gulf of Mexico had leaks during Katrina and Rita? Negligable amounts. You talk about oil independance, but offer alternative sources as the ONLY solution.

Wise people look for more than one solution to a problem. I remember the criticism that drilling in ANWAR would be unable to make it to the market for 10 years. Clinton vetoed that 12 years ago. So, 2 years ago when we started to pay three and four dollars a gallon, we might have seen relief, had we only tried to help ourselves.

The comment was in response to what seemed like a snide remark against environmental protection. Alternative sources must be the major solution. You could criticize me if I was running for president and had a detailed platform, but the little you read here does not come close to justifying your conclusion.

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First, fixing roads creates jobs only until the job is done. Unless they do a terrible job, it is not ongoing work. And, why do they "have" to spend money. Most people I know are storing money away to prepare for the short term uncertain future.

Second, these people that are "filthy rich" create most of the new higher paying jobs by growing their business. Not some of the unsavory people at banking, (the smaller banks are not in the same fix), but the honest job creating businesses. They do exist, enough of the class warfare, if you please.

Third, I believe that we can be environmentally conscious and still accomplish the tasks I set out. Accidents may happen, but I know that we would be the most careful with our environment. Case in point, do you have any idea how many wells in the Gulf of Mexico had leaks during Katrina and Rita? Negligable amounts. You talk about oil independance, but offer alternative sources as the ONLY solution.

Wise people look for more than one solution to a problem. I remember the criticism that drilling in ANWAR would be unable to make it to the market for 10 years. Clinton vetoed that 12 years ago. So, 2 years ago when we started to pay three and four dollars a gallon, we might have seen relief, had we only tried to help ourselves.

I don't know, maybe you really think you're being objective, but if you're asking why the government should stimulate the economy and create some short-term jobs on needed projects during the most dangerous economic downturn since the Great Depression, I have to wonder whether you don't understand economics or are just hyper-partisan. It has to be one or the other.

The class warfare argument is completely without merit. Income has been redistributed in the Reagan era toward the rich and the super-rich. As a result, people in the middle class are working two jobs if not more (both partners in the marriage, for example) and struggling to pay for college. That's class warfare. You can't look at the numbers during these past thirty years and not see the problem. See, for example: http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=746

Regarding energy, arguments to "drill, baby, drill" are usually used as an excuse never to explore alternatives, which is the tragic course we have taken. If we had begun working on this problem 35 years ago when Nixon told us we had a problem, we wouldn't have this problem today. Fossil fuels are finite resources, so we need to develop technologies that will allow us to stop using them, so that 100 years from now some oil will still be available for uses in which it can't be replaced. We're being greedy and selfish, and we're not looking toward the long term. Our children will be cursing us as it is. If we don't stop this, our grandchildren may not even survive. And that's not even to mention the national security issues in our reliance on fossil fuels. There is no excuse for how irresponsible we have been as a nation and as a people on this issue.

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