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Responsible citizens, responsible government


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I argued in "Reagan's legacy" that Americans have become irresponsible these past thirty years or so. Instead of tax and spend, we have borrowed and spent, which is even worse. Joe (the plumber) Wurzelbacher's knee jerks in favor of the candidate who promises him $1,000 less in taxes, if he could somehow buy a business he obviously can't afford and couldn't run (since he's not a licensed plumber). We have to be more responsible than that if we are going to continue to be a great power, maintain our standing in the world and maintain and improve our standard of living.

In today's New York Times is an excellent letter from Daryl Altman of Lynbrook, New York. He writes that "Fair taxation" is "about making sure that 'Joe's Mega-Plumbing Incorporated' gives back to the country and the people who gave to him.

--- Roads and bridges for his trucks to roll on.

--- Support for research for his latest plumbing equipment.

--- Public education so he can have a well-trained work force.

--- Markets so he can raise capital.

--- Police and firefighters so his business is protected.

--- Health care so the employees who helped him build his business can stay on the job.

--- Freedom so that he can build his business creatively."

Mr. Altman concludes: "If 'Joe' has been able to become wealthy because of his bounty of America, then he should pay his fair share back to America --- that is patriotic."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/opinion/...ref=todayspaper

In the Reagan era, we have squandered much of the national wealth that previous generations created. It is time to become a more responsible country again, recognizing that we depend on each other to build a nation and its economy. This is the fundamental philosophical shift that I believe must occur if we are to maintain and advance our standing.

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I argued in "Reagan's legacy" that Americans have become irresponsible these past thirty years or so. Instead of tax and spend, we have borrowed and spent, which is even worse. Joe (the plumber) Wurzelbacher's knee jerks in favor of the candidate who promises him $1,000 less in taxes, if he could somehow buy a business he obviously can't afford and couldn't run (since he's not a licensed plumber). We have to be more responsible than that if we are going to continue to be a great power, maintain our standing in the world and maintain and improve our standard of living.

In today's New York Times is an excellent letter from Daryl Altman of Lynbrook, New York. He writes that "Fair taxation" is "about making sure that 'Joe's Mega-Plumbing Incorporated' gives back to the country and the people who gave to him.

--- Roads and bridges for his trucks to roll on.

--- Support for research for his latest plumbing equipment.

--- Public education so he can have a well-trained work force.

--- Markets so he can raise capital.

--- Police and firefighters so his business is protected.

--- Health care so the employees who helped him build his business can stay on the job.

--- Freedom so that he can build his business creatively."

Mr. Altman concludes: "If 'Joe' has been able to become wealthy because of his bounty of America, then he should pay his fair share back to America --- that is patriotic."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/opinion/...ref=todayspaper

In the Reagan era, we have squandered much of the national wealth that previous generations created. It is time to become a more responsible country again, recognizing that we depend on each other to build a nation and its economy. This is the fundamental philosophical shift that I believe must occur if we are to maintain and advance our standing.

Maybe it's about defining who is rich in America. Is a person that owns a small business that brings in $250,000.00 a year really rich.

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Guest 2smart4u
I argued in "Reagan's legacy" that Americans have become irresponsible these past thirty years or so. Instead of tax and spend, we have borrowed and spent, which is even worse. Joe (the plumber) Wurzelbacher's knee jerks in favor of the candidate who promises him $1,000 less in taxes, if he could somehow buy a business he obviously can't afford and couldn't run (since he's not a licensed plumber). We have to be more responsible than that if we are going to continue to be a great power, maintain our standing in the world and maintain and improve our standard of living.

In today's New York Times is an excellent letter from Daryl Altman of Lynbrook, New York. He writes that "Fair taxation" is "about making sure that 'Joe's Mega-Plumbing Incorporated' gives back to the country and the people who gave to him.

--- Roads and bridges for his trucks to roll on.

--- Support for research for his latest plumbing equipment.

--- Public education so he can have a well-trained work force.

--- Markets so he can raise capital.

--- Police and firefighters so his business is protected.

--- Health care so the employees who helped him build his business can stay on the job.

--- Freedom so that he can build his business creatively."

Mr. Altman concludes: "If 'Joe' has been able to become wealthy because of his bounty of America, then he should pay his fair share back to America --- that is patriotic."

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/opinion/...ref=todayspaper

In the Reagan era, we have squandered much of the national wealth that previous generations created. It is time to become a more responsible country again, recognizing that we depend on each other to build a nation and its economy. This is the fundamental philosophical shift that I believe must occur if we are to maintain and advance our standing.

The NY Times is one of the worst far left rags (it's not a newspaper anymore) in the country. If you subscribe to that loony mantra, and apparently you do, then any letter penned by a leftist and published in the Slimes is an "excellent " one. BTW Paul, I'd like to hear your thoughts on Joe Biden's inability to count to 4.

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The NY Times is one of the worst far left rags (it's not a newspaper anymore) in the country. If you subscribe to that loony mantra, and apparently you do, then any letter penned by a leftist and published in the Slimes is an "excellent " one. BTW Paul, I'd like to hear your thoughts on Joe Biden's inability to count to 4.

I'm sorry that you make it impossible to have an intelligent discussion with you.

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Maybe it's about defining who is rich in America. Is a person that owns a small business that brings in $250,000.00 a year really rich.

I don't see how arguing over the meaning of "rich" is going to help us. We have things we need to do, some of which require money. We can either borrow it or tax. To the extent we decide to tax, the question is how to structure the tax system. What characterizes the Reagan era more than anything else, perhaps, is the insistence of the American people that we borrow to support our life style and stick our heads in the sand regarding our long-term needs. We are now in a position where we need to invest on things like energy and health care. Somebody will have to pay for it. We have to stop acting like it should never be any of us. It's selfish and unpatriotic.

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The NY Times is one of the worst far left rags (it's not a newspaper anymore) in the country.

Translation from Moronese to English:

"The NY Times is one of the finest and most respected news organizations in the country. It exhibits an outstanding journalistic quality and integrity that leaves right-wing ideologues distinctly uncomfortable, much like the vermin that scurry for cover when the rock they were hiding under has been lifted, exposing them to the light."

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Translation from Moronese to English:

"The NY Times is one of the finest and most respected news organizations in the country. It exhibits an outstanding journalistic quality and integrity that leaves right-wing ideologues distinctly uncomfortable, much like the vermin that scurry for cover when the rock they were hiding under has been lifted, exposing them to the light."

I hate to break this to you, WillieBoy. The NY SLimes stock has just been downgraded to "Junk". A designation that will make it almost impossible to borrow money. Their advertising revenue is down 16% this quarter.They are also heavily in debt. Could it be their far-left reporting is catching up with them? Lets hope so.

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I don't see how arguing over the meaning of "rich" is going to help us. We have things we need to do, some of which require money. We can either borrow it or tax. To the extent we decide to tax, the question is how to structure the tax system. What characterizes the Reagan era more than anything else, perhaps, is the insistence of the American people that we borrow to support our life style and stick our heads in the sand regarding our long-term needs. We are now in a position where we need to invest on things like energy and health care. Somebody will have to pay for it. We have to stop acting like it should never be any of us. It's selfish and unpatriotic.

See, but this is where the disagreement lies. I feel that government doesn't "need" to do as many things. We need to cut spending, but every person/representative/organization has their own projects which shouldn't be touched. I don't doubt their intentions, but I question whether the federal government should pay for it. Two great "achievements" of the federal government: social security and medicare, both well on their way to insolvency, if not collapse; this is why I don't want the government to be in charge of more things (like banking). They do not, right now, do well with the programs that they have already been given custodianship for.

For example, they are considering a new round of rebates to help "ease the pain." Great idea, but unless the money they want to send is sitting in a vault, this money will be borrowed or printed at whim by the Fed; this will cause the value of a dollar to fall, or the cost of goods to go up. If their plan to send me money is borne from the idea that someone else will pay for it later; then I DON"T WANT IT.

To drop this on Reagan, or Clinton, or any single presidency or congressional session is ridiculous. It started with Nixon taking us off the gold standard; where each dollar was backed by a dollar of gold. But, each and every person passing through Washington D.C. since then has played a part. The West was not won because of the fantastic government programs that existed in that day.

You want to raise my taxes Paul, okay. I'll help pay down the debt for future generations, only the existing debt, but I do not want to pay more to satisfy Washington's desires for more government and more of the public's hard earned money.

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See, but this is where the disagreement lies. I feel that government doesn't "need" to do as many things. We need to cut spending, but every person/representative/organization has their own projects which shouldn't be touched. I don't doubt their intentions, but I question whether the federal government should pay for it. Two great "achievements" of the federal government: social security and medicare, both well on their way to insolvency, if not collapse; this is why I don't want the government to be in charge of more things (like banking). They do not, right now, do well with the programs that they have already been given custodianship for.

For example, they are considering a new round of rebates to help "ease the pain." Great idea, but unless the money they want to send is sitting in a vault, this money will be borrowed or printed at whim by the Fed; this will cause the value of a dollar to fall, or the cost of goods to go up. If their plan to send me money is borne from the idea that someone else will pay for it later; then I DON"T WANT IT.

To drop this on Reagan, or Clinton, or any single presidency or congressional session is ridiculous. It started with Nixon taking us off the gold standard; where each dollar was backed by a dollar of gold. But, each and every person passing through Washington D.C. since then has played a part. The West was not won because of the fantastic government programs that existed in that day.

You want to raise my taxes Paul, okay. I'll help pay down the debt for future generations, only the existing debt, but I do not want to pay more to satisfy Washington's desires for more government and more of the public's hard earned money.

Actually, Loki (I wish I knew who you really are), I trust Obama to have developed a good tax plan. So unless you're making more than $250,000 per year, I'm not supporting anyone or anything that will raise your taxes. Personally, I'm not in favor of a rebate either. But I do point out that you and I wouldn't have such a huge debt to pay off if we had invested in things like alternate sources of energy years ago.

To make any sense, we have to be specific about government programs. Obama is proposing $15 billion a year for an Apollo-style project of research and development for new energy sources. To me, that's a program that cries out for immediate enactment. I don't understand why so many people assume that they're not paying unless they're paying taxes. You are paying for the lack of government leadership on this issue every time you buy or consume gas and oil. Those costs are enormous, and growing every year.

You can complain about Medicare and Social Security, but the fact is that those programs are keeping millions of people off the streets right now. I can't understand why so many people just assume that if those programs were ended, nothing bad would happen. It's as though you think people are housed, clothed and fed by an inevitable act of nature, like the Sun rising in the morning. It's just not so. The money has to come from somewhere, and for many years that somewhere has been these government programs.

This is not the Wild West. We now live in an urban America of 300,000,000 people. We rely on a complex web of institutions and industries, which brings together all the goods and services that make our lifestyle possible. The Republican philosophy during the Reagan era (very different from the Republican philosophy before that time) has been that the free market always takes care of itself. Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman and a long-time proponent of this philosophy, admitted just this past week that this idea was wrong. Now there you have it. We tried the Reagan approach for 28 years, and this is where it leads. Too bad you didn't know me 28 years ago, because I said then and have said consistently since that this is what was going to happen. It had to happen, because complex interrelated networks of business and finance don't just magically come together. It's like throwing metal and nails into the air and expecting it to come down as an airplane. That's why government is necessary. Government is necessary to make sure that blind forces of the market work in the people's interests. It does not happen by itself.

That said, no one is proposing that the government be "in charge" of banking. All we want is reasonable regulation so that the systems work as they need to work. No one has said that any one person is responsible, but the fact is that this has occurred because of an anti-government philosophy that came to dominance under Reagan and has remained dominant these past 28 years. It was a bad idea, and it is dawning on just about everyone, including many Republicans like William Weld, that it has to end.

Now some people may argue that Americans lived very well during the Reagan years. Yes, we did, for the most part, although savings rates and home ownership have declined since then, and people are finding it harder to pay for college, etc. But to the extent that we had prosperity, we did it on borrowed money. Reagan came into office promising to balance the budget, then did the exact opposite, tripling the national debt during his two terms. By the end of Bush I's term, the debt had been quadrupled. Clinton restored some sanity, but these past 8 years the national debt has gone from 5 trillion to 10 trillion dollars. Reagan used to say that facts are stubborn things. Indeed they are. We were told that we could have it all without paying for it. We were lied to, and we bought it because we didn't want to give up our lifestyle. Now we pay the price. That's what has happened. Tell me I'm wrong, but if you do, then also tell me why.

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Guest 2smart4u
Actually, Loki (I wish I knew who you really are), I trust Obama to have developed a good tax plan. So unless you're making more than $250,000 per year, I'm not supporting anyone or anything that will raise your taxes. Personally, I'm not in favor of a rebate either. But I do point out that you and I wouldn't have such a huge debt to pay off if we had invested in things like alternate sources of energy years ago.

To make any sense, we have to be specific about government programs. Obama is proposing $15 billion a year for an Apollo-style project of research and development for new energy sources. To me, that's a program that cries out for immediate enactment. I don't understand why so many people assume that they're not paying unless they're paying taxes. You are paying for the lack of government leadership on this issue every time you buy or consume gas and oil. Those costs are enormous, and growing every year.

You can complain about Medicare and Social Security, but the fact is that those programs are keeping millions of people off the streets right now. I can't understand why so many people just assume that if those programs were ended, nothing bad would happen. It's as though you think people are housed, clothed and fed by an inevitable act of nature, like the Sun rising in the morning. It's just not so. The money has to come from somewhere, and for many years that somewhere has been these government programs.

This is not the Wild West. We now live in an urban America of 300,000,000 people. We rely on a complex web of institutions and industries, which brings together all the goods and services that make our lifestyle possible. The Republican philosophy during the Reagan era (very different from the Republican philosophy before that time) has been that the free market always takes care of itself. Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman and a long-time proponent of this philosophy, admitted just this past week that this idea was wrong. Now there you have it. We tried the Reagan approach for 28 years, and this is where it leads. Too bad you didn't know me 28 years ago, because I said then and have said consistently since that this is what was going to happen. It had to happen, because complex interrelated networks of business and finance don't just magically come together. It's like throwing metal and nails into the air and expecting it to come down as an airplane. That's why government is necessary. Government is necessary to make sure that blind forces of the market work in the people's interests. It does not happen by itself.

That said, no one is proposing that the government be "in charge" of banking. All we want is reasonable regulation so that the systems work as they need to work. No one has said that any one person is responsible, but the fact is that this has occurred because of an anti-government philosophy that came to dominance under Reagan and has remained dominant these past 28 years. It was a bad idea, and it is dawning on just about everyone, including many Republicans like William Weld, that it has to end.

Now some people may argue that Americans lived very well during the Reagan years. Yes, we did, for the most part, although savings rates and home ownership have declined since then, and people are finding it harder to pay for college, etc. But to the extent that we had prosperity, we did it on borrowed money. Reagan came into office promising to balance the budget, then did the exact opposite, tripling the national debt during his two terms. By the end of Bush I's term, the debt had been quadrupled. Clinton restored some sanity, but these past 8 years the national debt has gone from 5 trillion to 10 trillion dollars. Reagan used to say that facts are stubborn things. Indeed they are. We were told that we could have it all without paying for it. We were lied to, and we bought it because we didn't want to give up our lifestyle. Now we pay the price. That's what has happened. Tell me I'm wrong, but if you do, then also tell me why.

Paul, re-read your last paragraph, then tell me why you believe the answer is to elect a tax & spend Democrat as opposed to an experienced no-pork budget cutter. Sounds like your idology is getting in the way of clear thinking.

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Actually, Loki (I wish I knew who you really are), I trust Obama to have developed a good tax plan. So unless you're making more than $250,000 per year, I'm not supporting anyone or anything that will raise your taxes. Personally, I'm not in favor of a rebate either. But I do point out that you and I wouldn't have such a huge debt to pay off if we had invested in things like alternate sources of energy years ago.

To make any sense, we have to be specific about government programs. Obama is proposing $15 billion a year for an Apollo-style project of research and development for new energy sources. To me, that's a program that cries out for immediate enactment. I don't understand why so many people assume that they're not paying unless they're paying taxes. You are paying for the lack of government leadership on this issue every time you buy or consume gas and oil. Those costs are enormous, and growing every year.

You can complain about Medicare and Social Security, but the fact is that those programs are keeping millions of people off the streets right now. I can't understand why so many people just assume that if those programs were ended, nothing bad would happen. It's as though you think people are housed, clothed and fed by an inevitable act of nature, like the Sun rising in the morning. It's just not so. The money has to come from somewhere, and for many years that somewhere has been these government programs.

This is not the Wild West. We now live in an urban America of 300,000,000 people. We rely on a complex web of institutions and industries, which brings together all the goods and services that make our lifestyle possible. The Republican philosophy during the Reagan era (very different from the Republican philosophy before that time) has been that the free market always takes care of itself. Alan Greenspan, the former Fed chairman and a long-time proponent of this philosophy, admitted just this past week that this idea was wrong. Now there you have it. We tried the Reagan approach for 28 years, and this is where it leads. Too bad you didn't know me 28 years ago, because I said then and have said consistently since that this is what was going to happen. It had to happen, because complex interrelated networks of business and finance don't just magically come together. It's like throwing metal and nails into the air and expecting it to come down as an airplane. That's why government is necessary. Government is necessary to make sure that blind forces of the market work in the people's interests. It does not happen by itself.

That said, no one is proposing that the government be "in charge" of banking. All we want is reasonable regulation so that the systems work as they need to work. No one has said that any one person is responsible, but the fact is that this has occurred because of an anti-government philosophy that came to dominance under Reagan and has remained dominant these past 28 years. It was a bad idea, and it is dawning on just about everyone, including many Republicans like William Weld, that it has to end.

Now some people may argue that Americans lived very well during the Reagan years. Yes, we did, for the most part, although savings rates and home ownership have declined since then, and people are finding it harder to pay for college, etc. But to the extent that we had prosperity, we did it on borrowed money. Reagan came into office promising to balance the budget, then did the exact opposite, tripling the national debt during his two terms. By the end of Bush I's term, the debt had been quadrupled. Clinton restored some sanity, but these past 8 years the national debt has gone from 5 trillion to 10 trillion dollars. Reagan used to say that facts are stubborn things. Indeed they are. We were told that we could have it all without paying for it. We were lied to, and we bought it because we didn't want to give up our lifestyle. Now we pay the price. That's what has happened. Tell me I'm wrong, but if you do, then also tell me why.

So, in your opinion, the Democrats bear NO responsibility for the economy; despite their large support of the subprime mess (see Barney Franks, and Chris Dodd). As for being involved in banking, that was merely a reference to the bailout which I disagree with. Oversight of banking could have/ should have been done by the Board of Directors; we now know that it wasn't. But, had they done their job, I believe the market could have taken care of itself.

Social Security and Medicare, wasn't complaining about them as a whole. Merely that our government is doing a terrible job of running them. Though, it seems obvious that Soc. Security cannot support itself. When created there were 16 employees per retiree, today there is between 3 or 4 per retiree; add to this extending benefits to illegal aliens, extended life expectancy etc. the prospects for Social Security looks grim.

Remember that JFK was also a tax CUTTER, and subscribed to the philosophy that "all ships rise in a high tide." So, the Boards, didn't do their jobs. With or without regulation (the argument can go on about how much, etc.) the government has numerous committees for oversight, and they will never do their job when the companies to be overseen are padding your campaign coffers.

None of them are blameless, Paul, none. I'm not a partisan, I blame all those who were supposed to look out for us.

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Guest Lincoln logger
I don't see how arguing over the meaning of "rich" is going to help us. We have things we need to do, some of which require money. We can either borrow it or tax. To the extent we decide to tax, the question is how to structure the tax system. What characterizes the Reagan era more than anything else, perhaps, is the insistence of the American people that we borrow to support our life style and stick our heads in the sand regarding our long-term needs. We are now in a position where we need to invest on things like energy and health care. Somebody will have to pay for it. We have to stop acting like it should never be any of us. It's selfish and unpatriotic.

So I guess it is unpatriotic to have to pay for the 47 million unemployed people who refuse to work and who the Obomber wants to insure. You seemed to do quite well for yourself under the Reagan era and now toss stones at it now that your ideals have changed. No one said the Republican party is unpatriotic. It is your bias and your own lack of unpatriotism. How can someone who tries to act intellegent be so ignorant.

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Guest Lincoln Logger
I don't see how arguing over the meaning of "rich" is going to help us. We have things we need to do, some of which require money. We can either borrow it or tax. To the extent we decide to tax, the question is how to structure the tax system. What characterizes the Reagan era more than anything else, perhaps, is the insistence of the American people that we borrow to support our life style and stick our heads in the sand regarding our long-term needs. We are now in a position where we need to invest on things like energy and health care. Somebody will have to pay for it. We have to stop acting like it should never be any of us. It's selfish and unpatriotic.

Please define on how we invest in health care. It is a black hole which money goes in and nothing comes out. It will just cost the American people who are middle to lower financially more for health care. So please explain to them where their money is going. Just flush.

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Paul, re-read your last paragraph, then tell me why you believe the answer is to elect a tax & spend Democrat as opposed to an experienced no-pork budget cutter. Sounds like your idology is getting in the way of clear thinking.

You read it, dimwit. It's more complicated than that. Obviously you can't get your arms around anything with more than two sentences in it. And you're hardly the person to criticize someone else for being too ideological.

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Please define on how we invest in health care. It is a black hole which money goes in and nothing comes out. It will just cost the American people who are middle to lower financially more for health care. So please explain to them where their money is going. Just flush.

Preventive care is an investment, which prevents us from having to spend more money on diseases that have been allowed to get worse.

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So I guess it is unpatriotic to have to pay for the 47 million unemployed people who refuse to work and who the Obomber wants to insure. You seemed to do quite well for yourself under the Reagan era and now toss stones at it now that your ideals have changed. No one said the Republican party is unpatriotic. It is your bias and your own lack of unpatriotism. How can someone who tries to act intellegent be so ignorant.

You really think there are 47 million unemployed people who refuse to work? That's ignorant.

It must be very hard to live with so much fear. Everybody's out to get you, those 47 million welfare queens with their gold teeth and Cadillacs, right? All coming straight for your house. Bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! Straight out of Hollywood and as much a fantasy as a Chuck Norris film. In fact, just like Reagan.

Let me explain the point, since you obviously didn't understand it.

If you borrow money, eventually someone has to pay it back.

You can live on borrowed money for only so long.

See, that's not so hard.

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Paul, re-read your last paragraph, then tell me why you believe the answer is to elect a tax & spend Democrat as opposed to an experienced no-pork budget cutter. Sounds like your idology is getting in the way of clear thinking.

Why don’t you just ask me if I’ve stopped beating my wife? The choice is between Obama, who understands the future, and McCain, who does not. Anyone can frame an issue.

Cutting pork is an excellent idea, but it’s not a big ticket savings. There are only about $18 billion in earmarks as I understand it, in a budget of more than a trillion dollars. If we cut out all $18 billion, it would barely dent the deficit.

So what we have to do is

1. End the war in Iraq, which will save us approximately $10 billion per month

2. Invest in alternative energy so we can stop buying foreign oil, thereby saving $700 billion per year.

3. Adopt a more intelligent health care system so that people get the care they need instead of having to get it in emergercy rooms, where it’s much more expensive.

4. Understand that the government does have an important role in the national economy, all the time. McCain has been a champion of deregulation his entire career. It isn’t just Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that have failed. Deregulation has resulted in a wholesale economic meltdown. This is a direct result of Reaganomics, which said that government is the enemy. Come on, you guys have been arguing that for years. You can’t pretend you haven’t been doing it just because everyone has finally realized what a disaster it is.

It’s like any good investment you make in life. Sure, college costs money, but if you invest in college, you (or your son or daughter) will make a higher income over a lifetime. It’s a good investment. That’s what we have to do as a country: invest intelligently in the future. This isn’t rocket science. It’s common sense.

You seem to think that chanting “tax and spend” is going to solve something, as though spending money is always a bad idea and paying for what you buy is worse. You completely missed the main point, which is that Republicans have been borrowing and spending, which is worse than taxing and spending. With all due respect, you’re hardly someone to be lecturing me about thinking clearly.

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So, in your opinion, the Democrats bear NO responsibility for the economy; despite their large support of the subprime mess (see Barney Franks, and Chris Dodd). As for being involved in banking, that was merely a reference to the bailout which I disagree with. Oversight of banking could have/ should have been done by the Board of Directors; we now know that it wasn't. But, had they done their job, I believe the market could have taken care of itself.

Social Security and Medicare, wasn't complaining about them as a whole. Merely that our government is doing a terrible job of running them. Though, it seems obvious that Soc. Security cannot support itself. When created there were 16 employees per retiree, today there is between 3 or 4 per retiree; add to this extending benefits to illegal aliens, extended life expectancy etc. the prospects for Social Security looks grim.

Remember that JFK was also a tax CUTTER, and subscribed to the philosophy that "all ships rise in a high tide." So, the Boards, didn't do their jobs. With or without regulation (the argument can go on about how much, etc.) the government has numerous committees for oversight, and they will never do their job when the companies to be overseen are padding your campaign coffers.

None of them are blameless, Paul, none. I'm not a partisan, I blame all those who were supposed to look out for us.

I agree with your last paragraph. Why would you assume that I don’t understand that Democrats aren’t perfect either? I’m a Democrat, but not because I think Democrats are great. Democrats did the wrong thing on Fannie and Freddie, and so did many Republicans. But in the main, it’s the Republicans who have sunk the ship. The Republican philosophy has dominated American politics during the Reagan era. That’s why it will be called the Reagan era. I just think Democrats, by and large, are better than Republicans, who are horrible.

The main point I’m making is that we are at the end of the Reagan era. It will be called that because the dominant theme and mood was anti-government and anti-tax at all costs. Making government efficient is an excellent thing to do, but the Republicans have become increasingly radical over these past thirty years or so, and have gone much too far. There are very few moderate Republicans any more, like Hugh Scott and Chuck Percy and Nelson Rockefeller. The odd thing about this is that instead of living out the promise of fiscal conservatism, the Republicans have become more fiscally irresponsible than the Democrats ever were. The Democrats of the 1970s had grown corrupt, but nothing like what we see with the Republicans today. The Democrats of the 1970s spent money unwisely, but they didn’t borrow us into debts we couldn’t service. What has happened is insane, and what is even more insane is that the American people have continued to vote for the guys who did it – extremist Republicans who redistributed vast amounts of wealth toward the top, and wrecked the economy in the process. I can hardly believe that Republicans have the nerve to complain about redistributing wealth. Now we all have to pay the price for what they did, and we let them do. The only good thing about it is that the Republicans appear to be headed for a crushing defeat, very much like they suffered in the 1930s after they caused the Great Depression by letting unregulated markets run wild then. Free enterprise – great system, but make sure you regulate it. Keep the government off everyone’s back – also a great idea, to a point. The Republicans took it to an extreme. Same thing all over again, just like in the 1930s. What drives me crazy is that I told everyone who would listen that this was going to happen, when Reagan was first elected. You would think we would have learned.

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So I guess it is unpatriotic to have to pay for the 47 million unemployed people who refuse to work and who the Obomber wants to insure. You seemed to do quite well for yourself under the Reagan era and now toss stones at it now that your ideals have changed. No one said the Republican party is unpatriotic. It is your bias and your own lack of unpatriotism. How can someone who tries to act intellegent be so ignorant.

What on earth are you talking about? If there were 47 million unemployed, the unemployment rate would be on the order of 30 percent. If you're going to call other people ignorant, don't you think you should have some idea what you're saying?

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Please define on how we invest in health care. It is a black hole which money goes in and nothing comes out. It will just cost the American people who are middle to lower financially more for health care. So please explain to them where their money is going. Just flush.

A human being is not a black hole. Human health is not a black hole. American citizens are valuable for their own sake, and they are also the backbone of our economy and their own families. A healthy American is a productive American.

When people don’t have adequate health care and good coverage, they tend to put off treatment. For example, some people are making choices between taking pain medications and taking medications that control their cholesterol. Many of them are continuing the pain medications and discontinuing the medications for cholesterol. The result of that will be more strokes and heart attacks, more heart disease, more time missed from work – and many of these people are going to be getting their medical care at public expense.

Many people don’t get cancer screenings because they don’t have coverage. Many of those people do have cancer, but they don’t know it yet. By the time it’s diagnosed, it’s advanced and requires far more care, at a far greater cost than if it had been diagnosed early.

If we invest in health care, so that everyone who needs medication for cholesterol can obtain it, we’ll reduce strokes and heart ailments, increase worker productivity and lower overall costs of health care. If we make sure that everyone can get needed cancer screenings, we will reduce the incidence of cancer, save the costs of very expensive treatments for advanced cancers, increase worker productivity and lower overall costs of health care.

That’s how we invest in health care.

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Please define on how we invest in health care. It is a black hole which money goes in and nothing comes out. It will just cost the American people who are middle to lower financially more for health care. So please explain to them where their money is going. Just flush.

Not so fast. The very brilliant Paul will tell you that even black holes emit some radiation.

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I don't see how arguing over the meaning of "rich" is going to help us. We have things we need to do, some of which require money. We can either borrow it or tax. To the extent we decide to tax, the question is how to structure the tax system. What characterizes the Reagan era more than anything else, perhaps, is the insistence of the American people that we borrow to support our life style and stick our heads in the sand regarding our long-term needs. We are now in a position where we need to invest on things like energy and health care. Somebody will have to pay for it. We have to stop acting like it should never be any of us. It's selfish and unpatriotic.

Well if you want me to believe that Obama won't be raising my taxes then the meaning of rich is important. A year ago he said that people making under a million dollars will not have there taxes raised. Then the number kept dropping. It was at $250,000 a couple of weeks ago. Now Joe Biden has lowered it to $150,000. So what's it going to be if Obama gets elected?

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Well if you want me to believe that Obama won't be raising my taxes then the meaning of rich is important. A year ago he said that people making under a million dollars will not have there taxes raised. Then the number kept dropping. It was at $250,000 a couple of weeks ago. Now Joe Biden has lowered it to $150,000. So what's it going to be if Obama gets elected?

He's going to do exactly what he said he would do and not raise your taxes if you make $250,000 or less. You'll get the tax break even if you tried to tell people things about his policies that aren't true.

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I agree with your last paragraph. Why would you assume that I don’t understand that Democrats aren’t perfect either? I’m a Democrat, but not because I think Democrats are great. Democrats did the wrong thing on Fannie and Freddie, and so did many Republicans. But in the main, it’s the Republicans who have sunk the ship. The Republican philosophy has dominated American politics during the Reagan era. That’s why it will be called the Reagan era. I just think Democrats, by and large, are better than Republicans, who are horrible.

The main point I’m making is that we are at the end of the Reagan era. It will be called that because the dominant theme and mood was anti-government and anti-tax at all costs. Making government efficient is an excellent thing to do, but the Republicans have become increasingly radical over these past thirty years or so, and have gone much too far. There are very few moderate Republicans any more, like Hugh Scott and Chuck Percy and Nelson Rockefeller. The odd thing about this is that instead of living out the promise of fiscal conservatism, the Republicans have become more fiscally irresponsible than the Democrats ever were. The Democrats of the 1970s had grown corrupt, but nothing like what we see with the Republicans today. The Democrats of the 1970s spent money unwisely, but they didn’t borrow us into debts we couldn’t service. What has happened is insane, and what is even more insane is that the American people have continued to vote for the guys who did it – extremist Republicans who redistributed vast amounts of wealth toward the top, and wrecked the economy in the process. I can hardly believe that Republicans have the nerve to complain about redistributing wealth. Now we all have to pay the price for what they did, and we let them do. The only good thing about it is that the Republicans appear to be headed for a crushing defeat, very much like they suffered in the 1930s after they caused the Great Depression by letting unregulated markets run wild then. Free enterprise – great system, but make sure you regulate it. Keep the government off everyone’s back – also a great idea, to a point. The Republicans took it to an extreme. Same thing all over again, just like in the 1930s. What drives me crazy is that I told everyone who would listen that this was going to happen, when Reagan was first elected. You would think we would have learned.

Paul, the Depression was caused when, in the midst of a recession, Hoover RAISED taxes. Businesses closed their doors rather than pay the debilitating tax burden; from there it snowballed. We have been increasing spending, scope, and size of the policies of the New Deal for about 75 years, and we are worse off for it. I'll trade Reagan's shortcomings for the shortcomings of the over 40 years of Democratic congressional rule any day. It wasn't until the 90s that Republicans took control of the House; had they not reneged on the promise of "term limits" I believe they would still be in control. In the process, all of Congress may be more accountable to the people that they allegedly serve.

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