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Ten Questions Right Wingers Cannot Answer


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Conservatives will tell you that they want to return to small government. After all, Jefferson and the other founders of our country were mainly for small government. "The government that governs best governs least."

Jefferson did say that. He also lit a candle when he wanted to read at night, rode a horse on a dirt road to travel from Monticello to Washington and went to an outdoor privy to relieve himself. If the American people want to give up electricity, cars and flush toilets, and every other benefit of modern technology, then we can have small government - provided we can figure out a way to sustain 300 million people in a rural economy without modern technology. Well, maybe we can find some more land to steal.

What conservatives won't do is acknowledge everything that has happened since the late 18th century, like the industrial revolution and the technological revolution. We tried small government for a very long time. The result was ever-widening swings in the business cycle as the economy became more complex. Capitalism has built our modern way of life but it doesn't care how many people starve. Inevitably, greed sends the capitalist system spiraling out of control periodically. For a century, the business cycle was approximately twenty years, and each crash was worse than the last one. This was no accident. The more complex the economy, the deeper the crash, because as the system grows more complex its parts also become more interdependent. Usually, an apparent prosperity is built on speculation. That is what happened in the 1920s and in the 2000s. And then it collapses, unless government bails it out, liquidates its losers and starts over. Problem is, each of those losers today represents millions of people who will be put out of work.

We learned the lesson in the 1930s and 40s, and then for decades we gave the federal government a larger role in the economy. The top tax rates were more than 80%, and the economy grew as never before and the big winners got filthy rich. Most important, the vast bulk of people in an ever-more prosperous middle class improved their standard of living and their economic security. And during those decades, from the mid-1940s until 2008, big government regulated the economy and provided a safety net for the poor, and the United States grew into the greatest economic force in history. Those are facts, but you will never hear them from Limbaugh, Palin or Hannity.

Toward the end of that era, the economy was progressively deregulated. Sure enough, as they always do, investors took unwarranted risks, boosting the economy on paper and feeding a speculative boom. It had to come crashing down, and it did. Obama and some of the Democrats in Congress are now engaged in the thankless task of trying to rebuild an economy that works and is sustainable long-term; we don't see an immediate escape from a hole we spent decades digging ourselves into, so many people cast blame where it doesn't belong.

A responsible opposition would seek to prevent waste, guard against too large a national debt and challenge each new program to ensure it would do more good than harm. That is not what the Republican party is doing. It is just as willing to waste money as the Democrats, as it proved when it had power, has run up most of the national debt and just says no to everything, even if it's necessary.

The missing element is an understanding of what is possible and what is necessary. Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over. It was smart politics because it is what people want to hear, but it's not true. There is no such thing as a small government in a 21st century economy. The economy will not regulate itself. Left on its own, capitalism results in privately-held concentrations of wealth and power that destroy the very essence of the free enterprise system: competition.

A sound vision for our future includes investing in non-fossil fuel sources of energy and freeing ourselves from dependence on fossil fuels; a health care system in which the financial risks of illness are spread among all; a regulatory system that controls the excesses of capitalism and ensures that free markets remain truly free; an education system that makes the ability of our children to compete with the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, and others, a national priority and a matter of national security - because it is - and a political system in which each person's vote rules, not money. All of these will require a major governmental involvement at the federal level.

What is the conservative vision of for our future? They don't have one. All they have is a fantasy of an 18th century government in a 21st century economy. There isn't a single advanced nation on earth that does that, for the simple reason that it isn't possible. Make conservatives, and especially right wingers, tell you how we get from point A to point Z. If you want to go to the moon, you have to have the knowledge, resources and ability to built a spacecraft that will get you there. You can't just say "I want to go to the moon." Well, we can't just say "we want all our modern technologies but we don't want any government." The conservative will never tell you how that can be done - because it cannot be done.

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Guest Keith
Conservatives will tell you that they want to return to small government. After all, Jefferson and the other founders of our country were mainly for small government. "The government that governs best governs least."

Jefferson did say that. He also lit a candle when he wanted to read at night, rode a horse on a dirt road to travel from Monticello to Washington and went to an outdoor privy to relieve himself. If the American people want to give up electricity, cars and flush toilets, and every other benefit of modern technology, then we can have small government - provided we can figure out a way to sustain 300 million people in a rural economy without modern technology. Well, maybe we can find some more land to steal.

What conservatives won't do is acknowledge everything that has happened since the late 18th century, like the industrial revolution and the technological revolution. We tried small government for a very long time. The result was ever-widening swings in the business cycle as the economy became more complex. Capitalism has built our modern way of life but it doesn't care how many people starve. Inevitably, greed sends the capitalist system spiraling out of control periodically. For a century, the business cycle was approximately twenty years, and each crash was worse than the last one. This was no accident. The more complex the economy, the deeper the crash, because as the system grows more complex its parts also become more interdependent. Usually, an apparent prosperity is built on speculation. That is what happened in the 1920s and in the 2000s. And then it collapses, unless government bails it out, liquidates its losers and starts over. Problem is, each of those losers today represents millions of people who will be put out of work.

We learned the lesson in the 1930s and 40s, and then for decades we gave the federal government a larger role in the economy. The top tax rates were more than 80%, and the economy grew as never before and the big winners got filthy rich. Most important, the vast bulk of people in an ever-more prosperous middle class improved their standard of living and their economic security. And during those decades, from the mid-1940s until 2008, big government regulated the economy and provided a safety net for the poor, and the United States grew into the greatest economic force in history. Those are facts, but you will never hear them from Limbaugh, Palin or Hannity.

Toward the end of that era, the economy was progressively deregulated. Sure enough, as they always do, investors took unwarranted risks, boosting the economy on paper and feeding a speculative boom. It had to come crashing down, and it did. Obama and some of the Democrats in Congress are now engaged in the thankless task of trying to rebuild an economy that works and is sustainable long-term; we don't see an immediate escape from a hole we spent decades digging ourselves into, so many people cast blame where it doesn't belong.

A responsible opposition would seek to prevent waste, guard against too large a national debt and challenge each new program to ensure it would do more good than harm. That is not what the Republican party is doing. It is just as willing to waste money as the Democrats, as it proved when it had power, has run up most of the national debt and just says no to everything, even if it's necessary.

The missing element is an understanding of what is possible and what is necessary. Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over. It was smart politics because it is what people want to hear, but it's not true. There is no such thing as a small government in a 21st century economy. The economy will not regulate itself. Left on its own, capitalism results in privately-held concentrations of wealth and power that destroy the very essence of the free enterprise system: competition.

A sound vision for our future includes investing in non-fossil fuel sources of energy and freeing ourselves from dependence on fossil fuels; a health care system in which the financial risks of illness are spread among all; a regulatory system that controls the excesses of capitalism and ensures that free markets remain truly free; an education system that makes the ability of our children to compete with the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, and others, a national priority and a matter of national security - because it is - and a political system in which each person's vote rules, not money. All of these will require a major governmental involvement at the federal level.

What is the conservative vision of for our future? They don't have one. All they have is a fantasy of an 18th century government in a 21st century economy. There isn't a single advanced nation on earth that does that, for the simple reason that it isn't possible. Make conservatives, and especially right wingers, tell you how we get from point A to point Z. If you want to go to the moon, you have to have the knowledge, resources and ability to built a spacecraft that will get you there. You can't just say "I want to go to the moon." Well, we can't just say "we want all our modern technologies but we don't want any government." The conservative will never tell you how that can be done - because it cannot be done.

Excellent post!!

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Guest 2smart4u
Conservatives will tell you that they want to return to small government. After all, Jefferson and the other founders of our country were mainly for small government. "The government that governs best governs least."

Jefferson did say that. He also lit a candle when he wanted to read at night, rode a horse on a dirt road to travel from Monticello to Washington and went to an outdoor privy to relieve himself. If the American people want to give up electricity, cars and flush toilets, and every other benefit of modern technology, then we can have small government - provided we can figure out a way to sustain 300 million people in a rural economy without modern technology. Well, maybe we can find some more land to steal.

What conservatives won't do is acknowledge everything that has happened since the late 18th century, like the industrial revolution and the technological revolution. We tried small government for a very long time. The result was ever-widening swings in the business cycle as the economy became more complex. Capitalism has built our modern way of life but it doesn't care how many people starve. Inevitably, greed sends the capitalist system spiraling out of control periodically. For a century, the business cycle was approximately twenty years, and each crash was worse than the last one. This was no accident. The more complex the economy, the deeper the crash, because as the system grows more complex its parts also become more interdependent. Usually, an apparent prosperity is built on speculation. That is what happened in the 1920s and in the 2000s. And then it collapses, unless government bails it out, liquidates its losers and starts over. Problem is, each of those losers today represents millions of people who will be put out of work.

We learned the lesson in the 1930s and 40s, and then for decades we gave the federal government a larger role in the economy. The top tax rates were more than 80%, and the economy grew as never before and the big winners got filthy rich. Most important, the vast bulk of people in an ever-more prosperous middle class improved their standard of living and their economic security. And during those decades, from the mid-1940s until 2008, big government regulated the economy and provided a safety net for the poor, and the United States grew into the greatest economic force in history. Those are facts, but you will never hear them from Limbaugh, Palin or Hannity.

Toward the end of that era, the economy was progressively deregulated. Sure enough, as they always do, investors took unwarranted risks, boosting the economy on paper and feeding a speculative boom. It had to come crashing down, and it did. Obama and some of the Democrats in Congress are now engaged in the thankless task of trying to rebuild an economy that works and is sustainable long-term; we don't see an immediate escape from a hole we spent decades digging ourselves into, so many people cast blame where it doesn't belong.

A responsible opposition would seek to prevent waste, guard against too large a national debt and challenge each new program to ensure it would do more good than harm. That is not what the Republican party is doing. It is just as willing to waste money as the Democrats, as it proved when it had power, has run up most of the national debt and just says no to everything, even if it's necessary.

The missing element is an understanding of what is possible and what is necessary. Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over. It was smart politics because it is what people want to hear, but it's not true. There is no such thing as a small government in a 21st century economy. The economy will not regulate itself. Left on its own, capitalism results in privately-held concentrations of wealth and power that destroy the very essence of the free enterprise system: competition.

A sound vision for our future includes investing in non-fossil fuel sources of energy and freeing ourselves from dependence on fossil fuels; a health care system in which the financial risks of illness are spread among all; a regulatory system that controls the excesses of capitalism and ensures that free markets remain truly free; an education system that makes the ability of our children to compete with the Japanese, Chinese, Indians, and others, a national priority and a matter of national security - because it is - and a political system in which each person's vote rules, not money. All of these will require a major governmental involvement at the federal level.

What is the conservative vision of for our future? They don't have one. All they have is a fantasy of an 18th century government in a 21st century economy. There isn't a single advanced nation on earth that does that, for the simple reason that it isn't possible. Make conservatives, and especially right wingers, tell you how we get from point A to point Z. If you want to go to the moon, you have to have the knowledge, resources and ability to built a spacecraft that will get you there. You can't just say "I want to go to the moon." Well, we can't just say "we want all our modern technologies but we don't want any government." The conservative will never tell you how that can be done - because it cannot be done.

All your nonsensical bloviating won't change the coming democratic bloodbath this Nov. 2nd.

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All your nonsensical bloviating won't change the coming democratic bloodbath this Nov. 2nd.

Really 2smart? That's all you can add? This poster, like many before them has soundly kicked your ass!

I glad to see that you have learned a couple of new words, other than that its' just your predicatable, pathetic whining.

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Guest 2smart4u
Really 2smart? That's all you can add? This poster, like many before them has soundly kicked your ass!

I glad to see that you have learned a couple of new words, other than that its' just your predicatable, pathetic whining.

After Nov. 2nd. return to his post and see how relevant it is.

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Guest Gadfly
After Nov. 2nd. return to his post and see how relevant it is.

You are king of the sheep aren't you? It will be relevant. Republicans are making the same mistake Democrats did. In 2006 and 2008 the voters weren't choosing the Democratic plan for the future-they were rejected the party that had led them into disaster. The Democrats hadn't offered anything but criticism-how could voters choose them? Now the parties have switched sides as Democrats have failed to improve matters much and the Republicans think that they will come in and do the same thing they've done in the past. Just like the Democrats did! Feel free to continue making the same mistakes they did. The thinking voters like myself will keep tossing the parties out on their rears until one of them starts listening. It isn't sheep like you that decide elections anymore Sparky-it is people like me who love our country enough to open our eyes instead of blindly rooting for one team like this was no more important than a high school football game.

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After Nov. 2nd. return to his post and see how relevant it is.

This idiot has absolutely no idea that he just proved the point: the right wing has no answers, just juvenile comebacks that won't help the American people in any way.

Stupid: Even if Tea Party nutcakes take 80% of the seats in Congress and Palin becomes President on a ticket with Limbaugh, it won't change the tide of history. If they do what they say they want to do, they'll destroy the country and wipe out the middle class, hand oil policy over to the oil companies, health care policy to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and banking regulations over to the banks.

This is bad enough from coming the people who control the wealth but at least it makes sense coming from them. They're making killing with socialism for the rich. For people in the middle to vote for this is just stupid.

Stupid, or Loki or any of the other right wingers who post here: Read the opening post again. You can't answer the question. Prove me wrong if you can.

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You are king of the sheep aren't you? It will be relevant. Republicans are making the same mistake Democrats did. In 2006 and 2008 the voters weren't choosing the Democratic plan for the future-they were rejected the party that had led them into disaster. The Democrats hadn't offered anything but criticism-how could voters choose them? Now the parties have switched sides as Democrats have failed to improve matters much and the Republicans think that they will come in and do the same thing they've done in the past. Just like the Democrats did! Feel free to continue making the same mistakes they did. The thinking voters like myself will keep tossing the parties out on their rears until one of them starts listening. It isn't sheep like you that decide elections anymore Sparky-it is people like me who love our country enough to open our eyes instead of blindly rooting for one team like this was no more important than a high school football game.

That's not true. The Democrats proposed national health care legislation, and while they haven't delivered all of it, they delivered as much as they could considering the stranglehold money has on Congress. They also promised an energy policy. They haven't delivered on that at all but that is because they didn't have enough votes, even with 59 Senators in their caucus. They promised to restore reasonable regulatory policies and have partly done that, again over the kicking and screaming opposition of every Republican and a few right-leaning Democrats.

Give us a congress of people like Alan Grayson and Anthony Weiner. Then we'll see things get done.

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Guest Gadfly

I have to say that while I don't agree with all of the original points and I think that the poster is far too lenient on the Democrats' involvement in creating the current crisis, this type of debate (if anyone on the other side were brave enough to actually debate) is exactly what our national discourse needs.

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Guest Gadfly
That's not true. The Democrats proposed national health care legislation, and while they haven't delivered all of it, they delivered as much as they could considering the stranglehold money has on Congress. They also promised an energy policy. They haven't delivered on that at all but that is because they didn't have enough votes, even with 59 Senators in their caucus. They promised to restore reasonable regulatory policies and have partly done that, again over the kicking and screaming opposition of every Republican and a few right-leaning Democrats.

Give us a congress of people like Alan Grayson and Anthony Weiner. Then we'll see things get done.

That's the problem though-perception is everything anymore. The Democrats have passed a bunch of half-measures while simultaneously utterly failing to make their case to the American people. Ultimately, in tough economic times the party in power gets thrown out. They should have concentrated on that rather than splitting their forces. The Republicans have controlled the national discourse and thus will walk into power this November while offering no substantial ideas-just like the Democrats in 2006.

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Guest 2smart4u
This idiot has absolutely no idea that he just proved the point: the right wing has no answers, just juvenile comebacks that won't help the American people in any way.

Stupid: Even if Tea Party nutcakes take 80% of the seats in Congress and Palin becomes President on a ticket with Limbaugh, it won't change the tide of history. If they do what they say they want to do, they'll destroy the country and wipe out the middle class, hand oil policy over to the oil companies, health care policy to the insurance and pharmaceutical companies and banking regulations over to the banks.

This is bad enough from coming the people who control the wealth but at least it makes sense coming from them. They're making killing with socialism for the rich. For people in the middle to vote for this is just stupid.

Stupid, or Loki or any of the other right wingers who post here: Read the opening post again. You can't answer the question. Prove me wrong if you can.

Your ravings tell me you've done way too much Kool-Aid. Go take a nap.

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Guest Studies and Observations
I have to say that while I don't agree with all of the original points and I think that the poster is far too lenient on the Democrats' involvement in creating the current crisis, this type of debate (if anyone on the other side were brave enough to actually debate) is exactly what our national discourse needs.

Someone reasonable here..will wonders never cease. There is actually a pretty simple Solution to almost all of the MAJOR issues today. Strike the term "Comprehensive" from the political Lexicon. STOP writing multi-thousand-page bills that nobody will read before the Vote on (And the republicans are jsut as bad, they STARTED this trend with the Patriot Act). Everyone wants to get everything done at once..which screws up the whole process.

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Guest Truth Teller
That's the problem though-perception is everything anymore. The Democrats have passed a bunch of half-measures while simultaneously utterly failing to make their case to the American people. Ultimately, in tough economic times the party in power gets thrown out. They should have concentrated on that rather than splitting their forces. The Republicans have controlled the national discourse and thus will walk into power this November while offering no substantial ideas-just like the Democrats in 2006.

Except that's not what the Democrats did. They had real proposals that made a lot of sense, but the problem just as you say is that they enacted only some of them and only halfway. Some of that couldn't have been helped. The Republicans were prepared to, and did, filibuster everything. So the Democrats had to compromise. On the other hand, energy legislation has stalled but that is because the monied lobbies stopped it.

It's always popular to say both parties are the same, but in fact they are not. The Democrats as a whole are bad, though some of them are terrific. The Republicans are horrid to the level of lunatic.

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Guest Truth Teller
Someone reasonable here..will wonders never cease. There is actually a pretty simple Solution to almost all of the MAJOR issues today. Strike the term "Comprehensive" from the political Lexicon. STOP writing multi-thousand-page bills that nobody will read before the Vote on (And the republicans are jsut as bad, they STARTED this trend with the Patriot Act). Everyone wants to get everything done at once..which screws up the whole process.

I'm open to what you're saying but am not convinced you're right. Why shouldn't major issues be addressed comprehensively?

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Guest Gadfly
Except that's not what the Democrats did. They had real proposals that made a lot of sense, but the problem just as you say is that they enacted only some of them and only halfway. Some of that couldn't have been helped. The Republicans were prepared to, and did, filibuster everything. So the Democrats had to compromise. On the other hand, energy legislation has stalled but that is because the monied lobbies stopped it.

It's always popular to say both parties are the same, but in fact they are not. The Democrats as a whole are bad, though some of them are terrific. The Republicans are horrid to the level of lunatic.

Some Republicans are, not all by far. I do think that if a bunch of the Tea Party lunatics get elected government will come to a screeching halt. but that isn't always a bad thing.

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Guest Gadfly
I'm open to what you're saying but am not convinced you're right. Why shouldn't major issues be addressed comprehensively?

Because if you change everything at once and it doesn't work, you don't really know what went wrong. Gradual change gives a better chance to see what works.

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Guest Studies and Observations
I'm open to what you're saying but am not convinced you're right. Why shouldn't major issues be addressed comprehensively?

because "Comprehensive" means, in the parlance of THIS deicussion to be "Everything to everyone" you CANT please everyone, nor can you cover every contingency. Let's take the Immigration Issue....just to be Bipartisan. This Nightmare started to get REALLY bad during the previous Administration. there has been debate for years about "Comprehensive" solutions, when if they had taken a Graduated approach, we would actually HAVE legislation in place by now. Instead we've been subject to years and years of discussion and debate, all the while the problem has been getting worse, which drove Az to start takign the matter into their own hands because of a Loss of confidence in the ability of the Federal govt to do THEIR job. START with a Guest Worker program..which allows people to come here DOCUMENTED, to work, and allows them over time to work towards being naturalized, which also gives them protections under Labor laws, that Illegals dont have. THEN you address the Illegals already here. You give them an option. Register as a guest Worker, and Stay, and never be allowed that path to naturalization, or Register, go back for a short period, then re-enter as a Guest Worker, with the protections, and the eventual possibility of Citizenship. With that taken care of, NOW you work on a more proactive and workable solution for the border itself.

Healthcare.. take it one step at a time.. Small bites instead of trying to push a Multi-Thousand page law through in one shot. Hoe are our Congressmen in Either hosue "Representing" us when they are voting Laws into being that they ADMIT they havent even read, nevermind understand?

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Guest Truth Teller
Because if you change everything at once and it doesn't work, you don't really know what went wrong. Gradual change gives a better chance to see what works.

You say that and I see what I think is the "common-sense" reasoning behind but I see no basis that that is what happens. No matter what policies government adopts, there is always a set of policies and economic forces in place, in the context of our complex 21st-century economy. Changing or omitting one feature of a system can completely change how the system works, or convert it from a system that works to a system that does not work. In health care, for example, if everyone isn't in the system, the system won't work properly, which is why coverage is mandated. So I understand the comprehensive approach. Can you identify any facts that support your claim?

Responding to your other post, in which you wrote: "Some Republicans are, not all by far. I do think that if a bunch of the Tea Party lunatics get elected government will come to a screeching halt. but that isn't always a bad thing. "

The Republican party today marches in lock-step to a radically right-wing agenda. That wasn't true when Chuck Percy, Hugh Scott and many others were in Congress. The Republican party has become and is becoming increasingly radical, exhibiting the no-dissent feature of dictatorship. Any Republican who supports anything put forward by Obama or Congressional Democrats is immediately targeted for challenge from within the Republican party. Gaining the support of even one or two Republicans for any legislation that captures even a little public attention is a major lift, just because of how rigid and doctrinaire the Republican party has become.

This is a direct outgrowth of a philosophy that is called "conservative" but is in fact radically right wing. Historically since the New Deal, conservatism meant a cautious approach to change, fiscal caution (such as being concerned about incurring debt) and a preference for limited government as opposed to an active government. This has been transformed into a consistent pattern of knee-jerk reaction against any government involvement, coupled with a willingness to incur massive debt and to make radical changes without meaningful thought about the consequences. When they had power under Bush II, the Republicans doubled the national debt from $5 trillion to $10 trillion dollars without bringing about economic growth or laying a foundation for future economic growth. True conservatives are appalled. And if any Republican dares to suggest that we need a comprehensive energy or health care policy, she is immediately branded a traitor to the cause, if not to the country. Republicans have also engineered the transformation of the judiciary into a political operation. The consistent support of the five right wing radicals on the current Supreme Court for whatever big business wants is an example of how the judiciary has become subservient to monied interests: this was deliberately engineered by Republican presidents who sought out and selected judges they called "conservative," who are in fact radical. If they weren't radical, they wouldn't side with corporate interests in virtually every decision. I don't think you're being realistic about what the Republican party has become.

Finally, I can only shake my head when you say that bringing the government to a screeching halt isn't always a bad thing. People love to criticize their government but if it ever came to a halt, the roads would have to be closed, social security, Medicare and Medicaid payments would have to be stopped, all government services would have to be stopped and even the military would have to be shut down. Our credit in international markets would cease to exist. We would have no means of defending ourselves against terrorism and nuclear attack. The United States of America would cease to exist, its economy would collapse and outside forces would act immediately to fill the vacuum, which means that the United States would be taken over by outside forces and would no longer be of, by and for its people - to whatever extent that ideal remains alive. A comment like yours tells me you're either not thinking clearly or, more likely, you're not being clear about what you mean.

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Guest Truth Teller
because "Comprehensive" means, in the parlance of THIS deicussion to be "Everything to everyone" you CANT please everyone, nor can you cover every contingency. Let's take the Immigration Issue....just to be Bipartisan. This Nightmare started to get REALLY bad during the previous Administration. there has been debate for years about "Comprehensive" solutions, when if they had taken a Graduated approach, we would actually HAVE legislation in place by now. Instead we've been subject to years and years of discussion and debate, all the while the problem has been getting worse, which drove Az to start takign the matter into their own hands because of a Loss of confidence in the ability of the Federal govt to do THEIR job. START with a Guest Worker program..which allows people to come here DOCUMENTED, to work, and allows them over time to work towards being naturalized, which also gives them protections under Labor laws, that Illegals dont have. THEN you address the Illegals already here. You give them an option. Register as a guest Worker, and Stay, and never be allowed that path to naturalization, or Register, go back for a short period, then re-enter as a Guest Worker, with the protections, and the eventual possibility of Citizenship. With that taken care of, NOW you work on a more proactive and workable solution for the border itself.

Healthcare.. take it one step at a time.. Small bites instead of trying to push a Multi-Thousand page law through in one shot. Hoe are our Congressmen in Either hosue "Representing" us when they are voting Laws into being that they ADMIT they havent even read, nevermind understand?

In the first place, the only people who said that were the ones who opposed the legislation. If they didn't understand it, then they should have abstained. They certainly shouldn't have filibustered. All their comment proves is that they were determined to oppose health care reform for any reason, sound or unsound. When the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were up for consideration in the 1960s, the excuse was "don't go too fast!" The opponents will always have an excuse. The question is whether the excuse is reasoned and reasonable. This one is not.

Every person who voted on the legislation had a duty to read and understand it. Unlike with the scandalously misnamed "Patriot Act," they had sufficient time. Excessive length is just an excuse from politicians who would have voted against health care reform even if the legislation had been no more than a paragraph long.

But if that’s your argument, let’s consider it. There is no reason to think that piecemeal legislation would be any freer from defect than comprehensive legislation. All the same interest groups, with all their money, will still oppose the most needed reforms. The reason Republicans were babbling about taking it slow and a step at a time was the same reason that segregationists were warning "Don't go too fast!": that they didn’t want anything to be done. They favor the old system, in which the insurance companies controlled everything.

The main effect of taking something like health care a step at a time is that real reform would have to overcome hundreds of hostile filibusters, instead of just one. The result of that, inevitably, is more corruption, not less. Think it through. When legislators have to decide on a large piece of legislation, yes or no, they have only one opportunity to push for a special favor; if Congress gives them hundreds of chances to vote yes or no, every legislator will have hundreds of chances to push for more corruption. As a result, there would never be a systematic approach, which is essential if the system is going to work properly to serve the people. You and Gadfly may be sincere in your argument but the reality is exactly the opposite.

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Guest 2smart4u
You say that and I see what I think is the "common-sense" reasoning behind but I see no basis that that is what happens. No matter what policies government adopts, there is always a set of policies and economic forces in place, in the context of our complex 21st-century economy. Changing or omitting one feature of a system can completely change how the system works, or convert it from a system that works to a system that does not work. In health care, for example, if everyone isn't in the system, the system won't work properly, which is why coverage is mandated. So I understand the comprehensive approach. Can you identify any facts that support your claim?

Responding to your other post, in which you wrote: "Some Republicans are, not all by far. I do think that if a bunch of the Tea Party lunatics get elected government will come to a screeching halt. but that isn't always a bad thing. "

The Republican party today marches in lock-step to a radically right-wing agenda. That wasn't true when Chuck Percy, Hugh Scott and many others were in Congress. The Republican party has become and is becoming increasingly radical, exhibiting the no-dissent feature of dictatorship. Any Republican who supports anything put forward by Obama or Congressional Democrats is immediately targeted for challenge from within the Republican party. Gaining the support of even one or two Republicans for any legislation that captures even a little public attention is a major lift, just because of how rigid and doctrinaire the Republican party has become.

This is a direct outgrowth of a philosophy that is called "conservative" but is in fact radically right wing. Historically since the New Deal, conservatism meant a cautious approach to change, fiscal caution (such as being concerned about incurring debt) and a preference for limited government as opposed to an active government. This has been transformed into a consistent pattern of knee-jerk reaction against any government involvement, coupled with a willingness to incur massive debt and to make radical changes without meaningful thought about the consequences. When they had power under Bush II, the Republicans doubled the national debt from $5 trillion to $10 trillion dollars without bringing about economic growth or laying a foundation for future economic growth. True conservatives are appalled. And if any Republican dares to suggest that we need a comprehensive energy or health care policy, she is immediately branded a traitor to the cause, if not to the country. Republicans have also engineered the transformation of the judiciary into a political operation. The consistent support of the five right wing radicals on the current Supreme Court for whatever big business wants is an example of how the judiciary has become subservient to monied interests: this was deliberately engineered by Republican presidents who sought out and selected judges they called "conservative," who are in fact radical. If they weren't radical, they wouldn't side with corporate interests in virtually every decision. I don't think you're being realistic about what the Republican party has become.

Finally, I can only shake my head when you say that bringing the government to a screeching halt isn't always a bad thing. People love to criticize their government but if it ever came to a halt, the roads would have to be closed, social security, Medicare and Medicaid payments would have to be stopped, all government services would have to be stopped and even the military would have to be shut down. Our credit in international markets would cease to exist. We would have no means of defending ourselves against terrorism and nuclear attack. The United States of America would cease to exist, its economy would collapse and outside forces would act immediately to fill the vacuum, which means that the United States would be taken over by outside forces and would no longer be of, by and for its people - to whatever extent that ideal remains alive. A comment like yours tells me you're either not thinking clearly or, more likely, you're not being clear about what you mean.

Yada, yada, yada ...... so much nonsense. What are you ever going to do when the GOP takes over. Tell your mom or wife to take away all the sharp objects, it could get ugly.

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Guest Truth Teller

No one answered the question. Some people criticized the current crop of Democrats but that does not answer the question:

How can you have small government in a 21st-century economy?

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